A lot of posts lately have been driven on the negative side purely by events but I just wanted to add one going the other way which is why I live in the Philippines. The reason behind actually being here were never something I had planned but it came down to the fact April (my wife) was here and when I looked at the immigration issues and the UK about to hit recession back in 2007 it seemed the only logic thing was to build a life here first.
In the UK I generally move around a lot avoiding owning or renting property which obviously has huge financial benefits which I came across when I split with my last ex as gained at least £2000 a month just by crashing at my parents then moving around for work instead of renting a house/apartment. Which when I came out to the Philippines it was very obvious that starting a family in the UK was not only financially crippling it was also going to be a pain to get Zoei and April to the UK at least short-term. So instead we invested some money here and things developed.
Now the way I look at it is that with the developments we have already we’ve been financially stable in the Philippines without external income for around 2 years. If we had gone to the UK first we no doubt would have got wrapped up in buying/renting a house and all the financial commitments and taxes the UK brings which would have stopped developments here in their tracks. The way it is now we could move back to the UK in the next few years and still have things operational here in Cebu which was the main point. But not for the UK itself but being able to travel around Asia then possibly go to the UK if we wanted to for a time.
Often people assume the Philippines is a bad deal because of its poor quality and overpriced electronics and electricity as well as bad infrastructure but you have to look deeper than that. If your earning money externally its nothing to do with the Philippines what your earning which means your cost of living is dirt cheap compared to the UK. I think some people also forget things are relative to other countries in the fact you look at what things cost in the UK for example then start to compare here forgetting a recession has happened and rising fuel costs in the UK where things have changed prices in both countries but obviously your still thinking they are the same as you haven’t seen price fluctuations because your in a different country.
The UK survives on the 2 working adults if you want to get on in life in the Philippines you can pretty much do a bit of small business in the morning and generally the rest of the day is yours as well as only needing one person to provide an income. Lets face it some families have 1 person supporting more than 7 in the Philippines where in the UK people struggle to support themselves in many cases never mind a wife and kids. Not everyone’s cup of tea and its not always easy to get things started but is it anywhere on the planet?
Living like a king in the Philippines as Philip said on his post is more to do with perspective but generally nothing to do with finances but quality of life. He’s right on the money with that as the UK generally sees me work long hours and most days and you may have the new car etc. but family life severely suffers to accommodate the consumerism. Its odd thinking back about the people I know who simply didn’t conform to society, they didn’t drive or even own a car, they generally preferred books and hiking to electronic gadgets and all in all not only was their mental state better they were in most cases financially well off. Odd thing is you will find many people thinking Philippines in the West the think you are living like a king in the Philippines with your glass being refilled by some super hot woman as you lay next to your private pool in your luxury estate but its all fantasy stuff for most people. In reality its more about doing things you want to do when you want to do it, its more about being woken up by feeling the sun touching your face through the windows in December. Its all about quality of life and living like a king in the Philippines suddenly starts to make sense and being possible because it has nothing to do with being rich in cash but rich in life. There are expats here living in native huts as they are financially broke but they still won’t leave and its not always down to the fact they can’t afford to but more to do with even that little piece of life they have is real living, not some kind of suit or conformist its a life of choice and ability.