Expat eventually...

Hello everyone,
I hate to do it, but I need to ask yet another relationship question. Most answers I have looked for I have found easily doing research. This is more of an opinion type question for you salty expats and possibly your wives as well. Any guidance/opinions are appreciated.

I am 47 yrs old. I am a one time divorcee with no kids. I have always been attracted to Asian women. I have recently decided the meaning to my life will be to work hard the next ten to twelve years and retire to the Philippines far earlier than I would be able to USA. The reasons are all the same. In the interest of keeping this post succinct, I won't go into them.

Here is where I need some wisdom and direction. I have two plans I could pursue:

    I could work for the next two years, take off six months, and go to Philippines to live. My intention would be to explore where I want to live in the future, but more importantly, and the biggest reason would be to meet my future wife to marry and bring back to the states temporarily until retirement. I am embarking on a mid life career change from middle management corporation to OTR truck driver. If I brought my wife back, I would like to see how she would like to explore while driving and living on the road. If she didn't, I have the experience to get a local driving job and be home daily.

    I could just wait till I retire, move to the Phil and meet someone at that point.

I am not super lonely, that being the reason for sooner than later. The reason is because I would like a little less of an age difference than when I am 60. I have no issue with those that have large age gaps, I am happy if they found someone, I would just prefer within 20 years. There is also the children topic that i assume will come up. While i am not overly interested in having children at 47 yo, I definitely won't at 60.  :)

The reason this is even a question is, driving OTR the next twelve years I could save some serious money. I wouldn't buy a house and would live a minimalist lifestyle. I already have 120000 saved so i am well on my way. But, even if it took a little of my nest egg away to marry in two years, i would still have enough to do it.

Any thoughts? thanks by the way for all the valuable information already posted.

As an expat who has lived in the Philippines for the past 5 years, I feel somewhat qualified to answer. I would not tell anyone, expat or Filipino how much money you have, from under the rocks the scammers will creep like the snakes they are, from both sides of the ocean. All of them like snake oil vendors selling the one pill a day wonder cure for all your ills. But to return to the main topic, for a estimated $400000 you can fund a purchase of a beach villa that is huge 4-5 bedrooms, private beach either on Cebu or Negros , the weather is very different here than the USA, it is hot and very humid, Where I am at it runs between 68 at night to 85 in daytime with 70 to 80% humidity. The electric is unreliable as 90% is supplied by hydroelectric plants which cannot keep up with the demand. Many expat dwellings have a generator usually on a standby sensor. A 12kw will cost around $5000, as far as women they are plentiful  and easy to approach for the most part, and without a doubt very beautiful, but like anything else there are good and bad. Your house, you cannot own real property  in the Philippines with the exception of some condos. You best bet is to find a lawyer you can trust who knows the laws and ask for a consultation, But the property laws are very straight forward. Any other questions feel free to ask.

First, understand these guys that are living here and married to a Pinay are the fortunate. Most Pinay are only interested in going to the United States. So your plans are right on if... That's a big if she is willing to come back with you. Most times that's when she leaves for greener pastures. As soon as you talk of bringing here back to what she perceive as her HELLHOLE.


"She would much rather live poor in America than wealthy in the Philippines ".

As far as your financial goals. Things change drastically over the timespan that you are talking about.

$120,000.00 is 6,000,000.00 the average family could live a lifetime off of that kind of money and never go broke.  I have a  house and lot. New construction,  three bedroom two bath all modern for less than $25k. A car cost less... Food and utility $5k per year... Seriously?  Dude you can do this now you just need a better plan.

Well said, the most important advice you gave is a "have a plan"

Please brother use common sense. I applaud you for giving us a dollars figure. Keep in mind that guys are going to always feel like they need to chastise you for saying anything personal, however that is what you are going to have to do to get straight answers. Now that brother that is talking big shot.... You know that one that wants to be negetive yet talking like he or everyone he knows can pull  400 thousand out of their butt... Sorry but he's the scammer he's warning you about. I'm sure you can find property that expensive. Heck I'll sell my house for that... But, realizing you are a working stiff like the rest... Well you might just want to live amongst us normal people. As long as you don't come off like a white guy who wants to live in a suburban white island you should do great living amongst the local population. This is a brown country don't come here with issues that way you will prosper. These folks are more interested in working and providing for their families than you and your affairs. So friend people the same as you would in your native country. Buy what they buy. If you see a Pinoy in a nice house find out what he paid. Same with everything. Too often I read posts where these guys get took for thousands of dollars trying to live too high on the hog. Be simplistic, and don't over do things.  One guy on here pays P60,000.00 a month for rent and his neighbors pay P15,000.00 his argument was that he wants to have the amenities he's used to in his home country  (USA ) I'm like dude that's crazy money... Way too much and foolish.
60 k in pesos is $1,300.00 no way does the average American pay that for a one bedroom... Maybe NYC or LA... So think like I do... If the average working professional here makes less than  $1,000.00 dollars a month then surely you should not be spending anywhere near that to live here because obviously they are doing pretty good with what they earn taking care of their family and sending kids to school and so on... Remember I said working professional... That is the Pinoy who lives in a house and drives a car with a wife and three kids. Don't allow anyone to tell you that it depends on how you want to live here... There is only one way and I call it the Pinoy way... When in Rome. So you being a middle class working stiff shouldn't be bothered by living here amongst the same.  Use what is free... COMMON SENSE. I promise it's free money.

I do agree with what you say, however, I was merely pointing out the diverse property values compared to  the USA, after all, we all must have a baseline in which make our comparisons. I hail from Southern California where property values are, for lack of a better word, stupid. I live here for a total budget of 58000 to 60000 thousand peso's a month, including rent. In my opinion, I live good well above the local standard. He is the one who stated he had $120,000 saved I was pointing our relative property values. For myself, I would prefer a person who overstates the cost, I would much rather have change left than not enough.
I am a white guy, but so what. As a Vietnam vet who learned the hard way no matter the skin color, once cut or punctured the same color liquid oozes out, it is red.
The sooner we stop classifying  different culture by the color of our skin, the better off we will be.


Wow, Thank you both for your responses. I will agree that you should really not discuss your finances unless comfortable and friendly with the other person. One reason is it could be considered rude, which I didn't think about.

Sirrob- Thank you very much for your advice. YOU ARE one of the reasons why I want to retire to the Philippines. If i was fortunate to marry a good Filipina, my plan already is to buy (she would obviously) a reasonable place among the native people outside the city. I may consider waffle box housing, with subsidized solar power. I have also decided i would eventually like to raise some chickens, rabbits (for food, not pets), and maybe a small vege garden. I like to eat healthy and would like a hobby anyways. The reasons for some of this stuff is I would like to leave my wife, and kids if it goes there, with a invested future, house that's paid for, reduced costs through solar and small hobby farm. I have no issues with race, color, and don't expect USA standards of living in some respects. I do realize i could make it happen now, but want a few more years for a little more savings and also earning years towards my retirement benefit. Again this is so my future family is good when i leave, and also we can enjoy life a little while i am around.

Thanks a lot for the Pinay perspective. I had been thinking the exact opposite. I figured she would want to be closer to family and maybe just loves her home country.

Madhatter- I appreciate your advice and can understand the approach you had giving me insight on the wide range of housing, and really lifestyles of Expats living in Philippines. You are right in line with monthly costs i read from other Expats. While i am planning that scenario, I am also planning on making upfront investments, like i mentioned, to bring those costs down for the long term.

Who knows? Maybe i won't even meet on Filipina I want to marry, and I will just be hanging out exploring...

thanks again to both of you.

Thanks Joe! Sounds like a great retirement!

Ahh yes the gold diggers. They are out there and everywhere. Here in the USA, in the Philippines.. everywhere. I agree with you on buying if i meet the right one. Wouldn't want to leave em hanging high and dry after I am gone.

yes, i built a small cottage on the beach in negros....but we also live in a rental in cebu....i like the shopping mall...eating american food like kfc or pizza hut....i am now working in india....i am a international boxing coach and we are starting pro boxing here..if you have facebook i can show you some nice photos of negros and my small land and cottage is paid my monthly bills are only electric which is only around $20...i have well water with a pump...and it comes into the cottage..also my poor neighbors use my water for washing and drinking....wi-fi and phone bill is up to you...i ride a motorcycle and the cheap jeepney or multi-cap is a good buy...

Firstly keep your savings private and don't mention it to anyone. Your first option sounds the best take a six months holiday break in the Philipinnes and do some travelling to find the areas you would like to retire to. Don't rush in to find a potential partner.Take your time, on some of the dating sites you find scammers looking for someone like you, so beware.Try and stay in one place you like for a few months and get to meet the expats that live there and out about the things that are not written about in the Philipinnes. Date the girls that have a job, especially in the Malls. Once you find someone you like, get to know her, and her family.So many guys jump in head first and make big mistakes. Again take your time. I think that for you to take your woman to the states it's not easy unless you go the fiancee visa route. Check compatability.Bagging a foreigner is sometimes considered like winning the jackpot for the girls family. So her class is important in my opinion.Her education level is also important also.Alot of us foreigners marry poor and uneducated young women, many end up regretting it. Keep away from the bar girls they are usually the gold diggers. Always research the places you want to visit and don't wander too much off the beaten track.You can have a great time find a safe healthy place to live and the woman your  looking for just be cautious and picky.

Plenty of good advice in the above posts, I would add that setting out with the mindset to find a wife asap is never a good idea IMO. Its better to take your time and meet as many different woman as possible or you may find you lose half that nest egg between marriage and retirement. How much time have you spent in the Phils.?

i was very lucky,i came head over heels to the Philippines and did not got scammed ,only maried to my wife haha.
but as i say i had all the luck in the world,manny got verry unlucky,so be aware of wath you do.
i have the advantige of telling my future wife wen we met on line that i was not rich,witch is the truth,her answer that she did not care abouth that ,made us stay in tuch and finaly getting maried hahaha
we have a modest inkome (my pension) and do wel here .
so to make you see the posibilitys, 1300us dolar is about what we live on
for the moment we rent (7000 peso a month) and wil save money to buyor own lot and build or own house.
land can be cheap or expansive depending on the location ,on the isl of Masbati there was a plot of 23 hectares for sale for les that 40000 peso haha,my wife sayd no becorse this is typhoon highway region haha
les than 1 hectare in Manila orso wil kost a multitide of this price ,so the posibilitys are so to say endles .
explore and learn i woold say
living among the lokal ppl is great to me ,but i dont mind some karaoke late at night wen some one is having a selebration or so .again explore and lurn he
Filipine ppl have been great to me (but it seems am a lucky fellow hahaha).
before desaiding on anything i think for most ppl it is best to spend some time here.
as sayed am lucky have a great wife,great inlaws and met manny good ppl here.
so ,i hope this is helpful to ya , greets Dirk

Thanks dinky and Kulch. I agree that you cannot rush finding a wife anywhere, the Philippines is no different. I guess how what i meant to say and how it came out may have been misleading. My intention for spending 6-12 months there are for two reasons, one try to meet a nice Filipina. If it happens, great, if not then oh well. The second is to truly find out if i would like living there for retirement. If so, what area. As far as meeting a Filipina, my intention would be for serious but i am not going to marry the first little hot 20 yr old that likes me. I do believe that if you want to meet someone from there, this is a whole lot better plan than taking your chances on the internet, with a couple three week vacations to "meet". I do appreciate your advice. I will definitely take my time and i have no intentions on "dating" any bar girls. Yes the internet is full of scams. Even tho i was foolish enough to mention my savings, which i agree was silly, I am not easily separated from my cash. I have run into a few scams of different varieties, where they were the same is they want your money. That is why I would rather go to the Philippines to actually meet a Filipina. Thanks again for your replies, they are appreciated.

Dirk-You are a lucky man! Congratulations. Yes your information, as well as everyone's information on this forum is helpful. Your monthly budget is right on with what I have heard for living there. Obviously, you can spend a lot more, or a little less, but that seems to be the average. Thanks for the prices on land. Sounds like you have a nice life carved out for yourself there. Thanks again!

you'r welkome ,
wen visiting the Phils,always welkome to stay at ower place,we live in Mati city Davao Oriental ,nice little city witch is in full developement.
manny expats live in closed comunitys with a wall around and armed guards at the entrance,am ex military and prefere not to live in a place that remembers me to mutch on my past so i live among local ppl ,find it more my style haha.
but some go for "security",i find peace of mind here,to each his own he hahahahaha
a fin ,good luck ,and remember welkome here.
greets Perlie & Dirk

Wow thanks again Dirk & Perlie for your hospitality. I appreciate the offer and will keep that in mind.

The posters here have given you a good picture of the challenges of moving to the Philippines and marrying a Filipino woman. I think if you have an open mind and willing to adapt and adjust, and of course, have enough funds, you will be happy here.

You said your plan is to come here, find a Filipino wife, bring her back to the states, and then retire in the Philippines. The problem is she might not want to go back to the Philippines.

Have you considered getting acquainted with Filipino women who are actually already living in the states?  Almost all of the Filipino-foreigner couples I am acquainted with, and who also have a successful marriage, first met outside the Philippines.

They were co-workers, friends of friends or relatives, neighbors, or members of the same organization or group. Living in the foreign country for some time, the Filipino spouse had assimilated foreign culture and understood the rationale behind her spouse's likes, dislikes, quirks, values, plans for the future.

I and my husband met in the US. We were introduced to each other by relatives who were co-workers. My neighbors first met in Australia. They were co-workers. One of my clients were members of a religious organization. We all were already in successful marriages before we moved here.

I have 2 male friends in the US. One was US-born, the other an Asian-American. They both went to the Philippines to meet their online chat mates. They came back disappointed. In the end, they actually did not need to look far for a wife. They got married to Filipino women living in the same city, whom they met at a friend's gathering. They're happy together and they understand each other.

So, try to meet first Filipino women already living in the US. If you find one whose on the same boat as you, it's more likely that it would be a mutual decision to move here.

Hi All,

I can't help it not to participate in this thread. It just makes me so happy whenever people of a different nationality plans on going or staying here in the Philippines. I love my country that's why it makes me happy because other people are giving it a chance to love it as well. Hi Sir Tgree, I hope you find yourself a woman to love and loves you too. I know you will. I wish you have a great experience here in the Philippines.


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