Getting trapped in Paradise – Retiring in the Philippines

Over the last couple of years I have noticed a trend of “mistakes” relating to specific things people do on arriving in the Philippines. I made a few of them myself but not as major as other people have. First of all don’t trust expats, don’t trust them finding you a business or hooking you up with anything until you have been here at least a few months and you have sorted out the good from the bad. There are more con men in developing countries than anywhere else in the world because they know you rely on the trust because you come from the same country etc. The recent Legacy scandal is a prime example of how people get suckered into this sort of thing. Because they normally have a fixed pension with a bit of savings left from a house sale or some other nest egg. They want to top up the monthly income without too much risk and hearing how they can double the money in a short period of time from an expat already doing it why wouldn’t you trust them right?

The truth of the matter the one person you can trust with your money “should” be yourself. I generally go through life on business matters treating everyone as if they are likely to run away with my money. Meaning I double check everything, do a few things to test the water and generally find out about the person before i commit myself to anything. Doesn’t mean I do it with people “socially though” but then again people I meet socially I’m not doing business with.

Falling in love with the first person you meet, a few people I know have done this and has varying affects good and bad. For myself me and April knew each other for a long time before I even stepped into Cebu. We have similar hobbies and interests aswell as enjoy talking about anything we are pretty much happy with everything we have in life and never once grumbled about what we haven’t got. Sometimes I do set high goals and we are slowly reaching them but April keeps an even Kiel on life so we are in balance. Having harmony in a relationship is the most important thing, in the Philippines it has more than its fair share of beauty in the world but its personality and compatibility that makes a life long marriage. Hopping from girl to girl is not only bad for all people concerned its expensive. You should arrive with the right mind set before getting into any relationship.

The most important thing if your going to plan on living here for the rest of your life is planning for the unexpected. So many people plough money into businesses they know little about or build ventures that will never make a good living and also become a money pit and an end to any savings in the bank. If you haven’t operated in a business before start small! also start with a business that is easy to manage and easy to understand and develop. If you don’t treat your ventures harshly your not building a success story to boast to friends but a tomb that will lock you to the Philippines until your dying day.

If your moving to the Philippines visit first, so many people just arrive and then decide they don’t like it. But due to the amount of money invested in the trip and selling up in their home countries they are now stuck in Paradise. If you worry about security you need to research how you will find living in a country where you stand out like a sore thumb. Read the news headlines on the online Philippines newspapers and get a feel for the place.

But the one thing I would always advise someone is to keep an emergency fund offshore in a home country bank. This will allow you to buy air tickets online to leave but also comes in handy for medical expenses or offshore insurance policies etc. Do your research and remember this is your life your dealing with.. if its curiosity that is driving you remember that’s what killed the cat..