What kind of lifestyle will $5000.USD/mo. afford in the Philippines?

I AGREE WITH FEMALE_EXPAT

5,000.00 USD     =     217,300.03 PHP
i just used a converter to check at least and for you to know how much 5k USD is equivalent to pesos.
as you can see it's more than enough.
if an average family (with 4-5 members),with this kind of income a month, they can live in a house with 3 floors, complete with 5 bedrooms, 5 toilets/bathrooms, with LCD tvs, all kinds of appliances, a PC, a car/van, 2 family members studying in a private school --- plus they can pay for the water and electricity bills.
so, more likely you can even save money to your bank account if family members are not very techy/ materialistic, non-shopaholic and concern about the environment.

TeacherSumi :

I AGREE WITH FEMALE_EXPAT

5,000.00 USD     =     217,300.03 PHP
i just used a converter to check at least and for you to know how much 5k USD is equivalent to pesos.
as you can see it's more than enough.
if an average family (with 4-5 members),with this kind of income a month, they can live in a house with 3 floors, complete with 5 bedrooms, 5 toilets/bathrooms, with LCD tvs, all kinds of appliances, a PC, a car/van, 2 family members studying in a private school --- plus they can pay for the water and electricity bills.
so, more likely you can even save money to your bank account if family members are not very techy/ materialistic, non-shopaholic and concern about the environment.

see my post of 2011-02-22 13:35:06 I believe I am one of those advocating you can live "like a king" for less than 5000 USD
Female_expat seems to think you need more. :)

Living any part in the Philippines with that amount of money is so amazing, you can live like a king considering all is cheap in the Philippines.

The best place to stay, I guess Bohol, Camiguin Island, Boracay, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro of course( my hometown)

Good luck!

It is subjective to say you can live like a King for $5K in PH. You can definitely live comfortably if you live outside of Greater Manila but you dont live like a King. With $5K - you can't even buy a jimmy choo shoes and saks 5th ave clothes on that. And to live like a King ?

If I were to choose where to live in PH, I'll go to Davao and live in Insular Village or nearby community. It is a gated area (slums or ghetto are far away), close to flora and fauna, air quality is much better and a nice airport is minutes away.

I would definitely be living very comfortably in Davao if I have a $5K monthly income and I dont have to put up with outrageous traffic.

If I live in Manila, I'll be nervous all the time, so I have to choose where I think the building has adequate security. And that also means I have to pay a hefty price to live in that area.

I like privacy very much, and so I need a bigger place, I also like to invite friends for BBQ and for a cocktail party...

I'll choose the City of Makati. The reason why I choose Makati, its because its an international city and the area is quite far away from the "SLUMS"

But then to have that kind of location, you must be owning or renting a place in an "elitist" building. And yes, your $5k a month is not enough.

I am a person who has not been brought up with nannies or maids. I can cook and even clean a toilet to a dust free degree, hence I dont need any assistance to take care of my place.

Living in the Philippines financial capital certainly require a disposal income higher than $5K, because just to rent a 3BR  condo start from $3K. If you do the math, assuming that $3K is 30% of your monthly budget for accommodation, then you need substantially higher than $5K to live very comfortably in Makati.

How much do you think to own a 3BR in Greenbelt or Bel-Air ? In 2005, my audited income fall short to acquire a 3BR place in Greenbelt, because my income alone is not above $10K a month - hence I was rejected. And at the time when I applied to be considered for a Greenbelt property, the exchange rate was $1 to Php 56. How much more now that all construction cost going up and declining dollar plus inflation ??? Go figure.

To buy a small 3BR (200 sqm) Greenbelt property start from Php 15 million and anyone who live in that building are not even the wealthiest Filipinos, they are just the Executive class or Upper Middle Class.  They are the breed of Filipinos who prefer not to go to any ghettofied area or at least stay away from prostitution or gang like infested area.

So what's the point of living very comfortably if you worry every night that your house might be burglared with armed men, who may potentialy kill or assault you, for your money? This is very common in areas where you are sorrounded with Slums. A lot of houses that were built in these areas, if you noticed have iron bars all up to the rooftop.

So if you still think you can live there very comfortably, I'd say you are "disilusioned".

There is a good article on the Living in the Philippines site -

http://liveinthephilippines.com/content … s-reality/
it lists some of the myths of living in RP. The author lives in Quzon City so the cost of living is cheaper.

As he mentions, the cheaper items in RP relate to rent and maybe food. Most other costs (car, utilities) are same if not more than in the US.  Electricity and gas alone are much higher than in US. 

Like female expat, yes I could live in other areas, but I have to consider the safety and convenience for my family so choose to live in Fort B. for a good 3 br, it will cost between p100k to 200k. And I am far from living as a "King".  High middle class - yes.  IF you compare my lifestyle with someone from the province, yes its living like a king, but this is an expat forum, not a local forum and questions I assume are coming from persons living in the developed countries.

dhnindc :

There is a good article on the Living in the Philippines site -

http://liveinthephilippines.com/content … s-reality/
it lists some of the myths of living in RP. The author lives in Quzon City so the cost of living is cheaper.

Yes its an interesting Article but I think its written with somebody with a "chip on his shoulder" I will have a go at putting myself in the Myths and see what your comments are. :|

Myth 1: Living is cheaper here.
Reality Check: It can be, if you want to live at Filipino standards. Most foreigners may say they can, but realistically, most cannot. Most likely, your biggest savings will come in rent and commodity foods. Electricity, gasoline, vehicles, and virtually all imported goods are more expensive.

I Say :- Filipino's have many living standards so what does it mean to "Live at Filipino standards" Of course we are not talking about living at SLUM levels. Filipino SLUM or for that matter any other countries SLUM.
I find living is cheaper in the Phils(Tagaytay) than in the UK.
I don't need to wear designer clothes or have a camera phone (by choice) Of course I don't have or need  a Rolls Royce or a plane.

Myth 2: You are not rich.
Reality Check: Even if you are “poor” by US or European standards, you are considered wealthy here.
I say:- Yes no argument here All Expats in the Phils are considered as Wealthy by Filipino's whether they are or are not.

Myth 3: I won’t help my wife / girlfriend’s family with money.
Reality Check: You WILL, if you want to stay married.
-------------
I say:- TOTAL RUBBISH What is really being said by the writer is that Filipina's marry for money not love. Maybe in his experience it's true.
I met my wife 15 years ago ( we were both EXPATs) when we got married. For many years I never send any money to support her "extended" family. These days since I have experienced staying in various Family homes and getting to know OUR Family I send money for essential things like schooling and Medical costs. Whether I do or do not has no impact on our relationship. (up to now !!)

Myth 4: I totally agree
Myth 5: I totally agree

Myth 6: The Philippines is so corrupt. Every official is out for graft.
Reality Check: Though there are some corrupt officials here, it is nowhere near as widespread and prevalent as some make it out to be.
I say:- Everybody is Nice and wants to help, its not about corruption it's about greasing the wheels. Its The same in any country which is not a wellfare state.

Myth 7: I can live like a king on $____ per month.
Reality Check: I’ve met a couple of kings through work. Not bloody likely.
I Say:- It's just a phrase,(A Saying) I use it as do others - It just means to live comfortably.
I do however agree with the rest  of the comments.

Sorry to say I don't know what a Kano is and I also don't recognize what a Flip is........................

BTW I choose to retire to the Phils because that's where my wife is from and that is for her benefit not directly mine.

I think the whole point of the article is to give a bunch of mostly Americans a wake up call. A lot of older men who are under or not employed and divorced, surfing the web find these "Live Like a King" messages and think they can pack up and move to the RP. The pictures typically have some old kano (white guy), with a young Filipina, in a big house by the beach, with maids/drivers, etc and saying you can live like a king for next to nothing. Just read the "Living in the Philippines" website and makes RP seem like land of milk and honey.

Just a reality check that you need to budget for your expenses.

I could live a lot cheaper, but family comes first and until they get around the security concerns, we will stay in the Fort and pay rent that is beyond what I paid in Singapore and London (but not as high as Tokyo). Definitely more expensive than what I paid for in Marina Del Ray (LA) or Washington DC.

Have a good day.
Don

[Moderated: No free ad on the forum please]

:up:you are very right!!!

JHS2 :

And we did live in Mexico, I like here better-Bohol.

We have lived others places in the Philippines, Cebu, Manila, Negros Oriental. So far we like Bohol the best.

Best,

JHS2

Most of this is good information, some of it is hogwash. With $5000 or $82,000 a year you can live just about anywhere in the Philippines.  For me, I've been living here for a little over 2 1/2 years and my wife and I live on about $1200 per month pretty decently.  I don't go hungry and I even have to eat more "American style" food because I don't eat fish and many of the local dishes.  I never have and never will.  My Filipina wife and I have been married for 32 1/2 year and we now live in Calbayog City Samar.  If you need information about living in the Philippines, let me know and I can answer or find the answer for you.  Also let me know where you are moving in the Philippines and I can probably find you an expat in or near that area to help you with more local things.  Of course I'd recommend moving here because it's nice and quiet most of the time, but not boring, unless you want it to be.  We ain't got much here yet, but we are in a major upgrade and soon will have many of the city conveniences, without all the big city problems.  Visit The Texan in the Philippines for more information.

hi my friend,been to philipines various times,the 1st thing i recommend is get a trustworthy person to assist you,try to have an idea of the place you willing to live at,ome like cities other countryside like me.i can easily live on less than 1k a month.that would include rent,food,transportation,utilities,cel phone bill,etc,my advice is go on a low budget first for a few months,then adjust yourself to your own lifestyle,you would also select a place not far from medical facility,im sure theres a place perfectly for your liking,take your time and dont rush,please secure your money in a bank account either pesos or the currency of your country,us and euros are most prefered there.just use common sense and youll be ok,release the fears and let yourself go,treat yourself to your own tastings and freedom,lots of good luck on the way to your destiny.

You can live definitely like a KING with such amount of money :-) to spend every month.

You can live a good life already with that monthly income... I would also suggest venturing on a business

It really depends....

I think $5,000 is decent if you live in Makati and depends on your lifestyle... 2k/month for a nice place and $100/day spending money if you like to eat out and go out a lot... You can still live off 2-3k/month there... but as I said... it depends on your lifestyle...

If you're going to Bohol, I think you can live a great lifestyle for about $1,500/month... All depends on what you're looking for... I was there in October and loved it... I lived in Makati for a year but am now getting ready to move to Cebu to be closer to Bohol...

Bohol is beautiful and the people are great... just a little too slow for me to be there full time..

J

Jubhie :

You can live a good life already with that monthly income... I would also suggest venturing on a business

I would not recommend this at all... unless you have researched in GREAT detail the business you want to pursue...

In the year I lived there, I only met one successful expat (that started their own business)... Sure, there are many that are working there for other companies... But the amount of successful expat business owners is pretty slim...

You'll get all sorts of offers and I'm sure you'll here from hundreds of Realtors about what a great investment property is there... but don't buy into it...

All the best!

Johnny5 :
Jubhie :

You can live a good life already with that monthly income... I would also suggest venturing on a business

I would not recommend this at all... unless you have researched in GREAT detail the business you want to pursue...

In the year I lived there, I only met one successful expat (that started their own business)... Sure, there are many that are working there for other companies... But the amount of successful expat business owners is pretty slim...

You'll get all sorts of offers and I'm sure you'll here from hundreds of Realtors about what a great investment property is there... but don't buy into it...

All the best!

well instead of wasting your money...bhaving a business is still the best way to go about stuff... youd still have to save instead of wasting it for nonsense... yes, there would be people whod try to take advantage of you but i dont think that should hinder you from having a business... a small store a cafe or an eatery will do...

well instead of wasting your money...bhaving a business is still the best way to go about stuff... youd still have to save instead of wasting it for nonsense... yes, there would be people whod try to take advantage of you but i dont think that should hinder you from having a business... a small store a cafe or an eatery will do...

I don't understand why living on $5,000/month is 'wasting your money'?

A small store/cafe/eatery will keep you busy... but likely won't be a solid source of income... It will also keep you anchored to one location...

I travel and do month-to-month rentals... when I want to check out somewhere new, I just pack up and go... owning a small local business would prevent that...

Maybe if you are married and wanted to settle down and keep busy, you might think about opening a small restaurant to keep yourself busy...

Personally, I think traveling the country, exploring new places and meeting new people is more fun than owning a small restaurant/store/cafe.... But different stokes for different folks I guess :)

All the best!

J

Well Im a Filipina but having a business here in the Philippines is not a good idea, I loose a lot of money in my  business before, now I realize its even better to spend it traveling and enjoying instead of wasting for nothing,So much nonsense people always looking to take advantage of you even Im already a Filipina.Good luck to foreigner then.....

Van1978 :

Well Im a Filipina but having a business here in the Philippines is not a good idea, I loose a lot of money in my  business before, now I realize its even better to spend it traveling and enjoying instead of wasting for nothing,So much nonsense people always looking to take advantage of you even Im already a Filipina.Good luck to foreigner then.....

Sorry to hear that Van... But you're right... If you don't need to work and want to enjoy life... travel, see new places, try new food and meet new people..

Well I guess everyone’s entitled to their own opinion… People might have different upbringing and yeah maybe to someone $ 5000 is nothing.

Jubhie :

Well I guess everyone’s entitled to their own opinion… People might have different upbringing and yeah maybe to someone $ 5000 is nothing.

Who said $5000 is nothing???

Jubhie... I'm confused with your posts... Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to advise someone (new to your country) to do something that has a very small success rate and often results in financial problems/headaches is confusing...

How many expats do you know that started their own small business (cafe, restaurant, store) and have been successful?

People work their entire lives to be able to retire in comfort... This is what the OP has done... and to tell him to open a business that even the locals have a hard time succeeding at is not good advice...

J

To answer your question about what living like "a king" means.  It means you would have enought to pay for all the necesseties of life and then some.  But it also does not mean living on the "high end" of society there.  You would be able to afford lodging, food, medical, autos, petrol. You would also be able to afford live in housekeeper, cook, driver if so desired.  So it would mean in the philippines you would be able to live well and not have to worry about any living expenses.  Of course like anywhere you could live outside of your 5k and then be miserable.  But if done right 5k a month would be a very, very comfortable lifstyle.  And you would even have enough money to help others who may be literally starving.  There are many there who cannot even afford the most basic nessecities, so that is where the "live like a King" comes from, not have you would live in the lap of luxury, like Emelda baby.

Someone mentioned that you would not be able to buy property.  Not true there are two special types of visa for retirees, which the govt. is trying to encourage.  I forget the types of visas, but they are mentioned somewhere on this site.  Or you can look them up.  But these visas allow you to buy property and open a bank account.

One thing to note though is when you find a place you like, don't assume it has all the things you are familiar with, like running water, electricity, etc.  Always check, never assume.  If it has running water, also verify it is clean.  And just because it has running water does not mean it is hot water, so check that. 

Check for electricity, then check to see if it runs 24/7.  Also check to see how often are the "brown outs". 

Sounds bad, but it's not.  All I am saying is NEVER ASSUME.  There are plenty of places with 24/7 electricity, running hot water, etc.  But there are also plenty of places that do not have that.  I actuall bought my brother and sister in law a on demand hot water heater, since the place they just had built did not have hot water.  And that is in a nice neighborhood in Manila.  So just check first.

I have always thought that solar panels would be great, because in the Philippines there is no shortage of the sun!

Also, make sure you can tolerate the climate in the hottest part of the year wherever you decide on. 

And also be aware the seasons are "hot" and "rainy" (monsoon type).  Make sure your place is able to handle typhoons, cause those happen every year!  Not always in the same place, but some places like Isabella (N. Luzon) seems to get at least one a year sometimes two.  So be prepared for those.

But I can say once you start to experience the real culture there (not the tourist eye view) and the people, it will be hard to shake it.  I always look forward to going and miss it when I am not there.  But I have my in laws and they are the best in the world, so I don't see the "tourist eye view", I live the culture when I am there. :cool:  If you don't know people there though, no problem, believe me if you make even the smallest effort the locals will be falling over themselves to help you out.  And you will know dozens in a week. If there is one thing they are known for the world over is their hospitality.  But it takes knowing some locals to really experience and enjoy the culture there.  So do enjoy!

Johnny5, as I've deleted that weird guy's account (probably a scammer), I moved your post to a private forum (for admins only)

thanks ! -sorry for being off topic-

you will live very well on that budget. i know because that is the same budget i live on. you can afford whatever you want.

if you are really planning to stay in the philippines it's not really expensive here you can choose what type of lifestyle do you prefer.

some places are not quite expensive, more place just like in bantayan island you can visit there.

by the way all of you guys if you are planning to settle here in the philippines and have a problem of your packages like household effects or automobiles anything.

just email me and i can help you.. brod_roy[at]yahoo.com


best regards
roy

Hi-  US$5,000/mo?  With that kind of money you don't have to worry about budgeting.  Well...as long as you don't try to live like the Marcoses....then $5,000/mo would hardly be enough.  I lived there some years back on $600/mo  with all the amenities you mentioned and some.  It really depends on where you want to live.  Manila area is very expensive.  You can manage on $700/mo or squander $5,000, just depends on the lifestyle you prefer.  Now if you choose to live in the province...it would be cheaper, of course...then again, depends on your kind of lifestyle.  If you live well...not overly luxurious of course, but very comfortable, you don't have to worry about skimping on your expenses with that kind of income ($5,000/mo).
   Replies to your query are plentiful...some make sense...keep their advice under consideration.  Some are downright good, practical and wise.  I'm even learning from some of the replies...as I plan to return to my beloved country of birth someday and retire there.  Of course, I won't have the kind of income you'll have...but I can live quite comfortably on a meager pension (by U.S. standard...but quite sufficient by Philippine standard)...as long as I stay away from Manila. 
  Good luck...you'll do well...just be careful about advertising how much money you'll be earning...for your own safety and peace of mind. 
FCS

Well we live very well in Bicol with 3 kids in private school
and every available luxury on $2000AU p/mth
and I agree completely that doing business here is very hard
Pete

Well... to give you an objective view... if you were very frugal with your money... and wise in spending... you could live comfortably with $1000 USD/mo.

(Thats around PHP40,000/ mo.)

But if you like spending on expensive things... and since your budget is very high... (PHP200,000/mo.) you would be considered very rich here in the Philippines...

A reasonable cost estimate for a rich person is as follows:
Rent+other amenities (room/house/condo) PHP8,000-100,000/mo.
electricity  PHP5,000-20,000
water (tap)  PHP500-3,000
Drinking water PHP1,000-3,000
Food expenses PHP10,000-30,000
other expenses? PhP30,000+

But anyway... it is really up to you... cost of living in highly urbanized areas like Makati, Eastwood, Cebu, etc will cost you more... unless it is okay with you to rent in other cities close to the Metro...

well,well,well, $5000 a month, I will say this Phill is probably
the only place u can live comfortably on that amount in Aust u would only just get bye as in the cities rent will take one third
Pete

My advice is try to keep a low profile,$1000 per month is more than enough,safeguard your money and you personal safety,if your flashy with your money or talk about it,for sure you'll be a good candidate for ramsom money,play it safe and just discover it once you get there,just be extremly careful.Peace.

Van do you have a email would like to discuss something with you,its something simple,as long as your in Manila,let me know if your interested?Salamat.

I agree with those that say you can have a nice life here ....as long as you dont try to live like an american. I had a nice little apartment in Cavite for $100 a month......and if you go to the markets...you can find the best vegetables and fruits...and cheap....4 bags worth for less than $20. The only changes are....people just dont look at you....they stare at you...get used to it. And the biggest change is the time flow. Its 'rubber time" here....if someone says it will be done tomorrow....expect sometime next week. Hard to get used to...but as long as you arent in a hurry...to do anything...its a nice way of living....I no longer own an alarm clock. ...And $5000 a month? Just learn to say   tawad........or...lets bargain...because I wont pay that.....Good luck...and enjoy the good parts.....

I could live very comfortably on $5000 per month right here in Louisiana.

SpaceRat :

I could live very comfortably on $5000 per month right here in Louisiana.

____________________________________

SpaceRat,

What an awesome name, considering we all communicate through cyberspace these days. It's home for many of us. The problem with so many people of today is there's no imagination. "We" lack creativity. The rat is an awesome amazingly clever organism, read sign of the rat Chinese zodiac. Few can hold a candle in his "tail".

I see you've had some ups and downs with Philippine assets, life requires, one; two; some; a few more; runs; at (life's chances), as I tend to over-repeat from time to time, it's the only way to get things done....

As for me I can easy enough spend....
$1000.00 per-month on "soda drinks"
$1000.00 per-month on rent, electric, water, and other home basics, toothpaste, toothpicks, tooth-dental floss, et-alii'.
$1500.00 per-month eating (and) drinking out, I do prefer "Vodka Blue" cocktails.
The other $1500.00, well just depends, if I need to fly to some other Philippine islands and stay in hotels, it goes quickly too.

One really does need about [ $7K ], to be at ease... comfortable, in this great country; that is, without (too much), "looking over the shoulder".

___________________________________
**Looking over one's shoulder** -> [Meaning, being able to spend without worry, not spending like it's the end of the world, or spending like there's no tomorrow. Just being able to within reason, buy things and do things leading, living, a cozy, comfortable, life style....In the Philippines.] --- Lifestyle matters... I always need a "room" with a view....
___________________________________


I know a bit of Louisiana, have spent some time there, in the heart of Cajun-Country.

"jambalaya, a-crawfish pie, pick guitar fill fruit jar, son of a gun, well have good fun on the bayou" a few lines from the great one.

Don't know if they've got Cajun's over in Baton Rouge, my understanding is the river keeps them back? Out? Probably not the best swimmers; what with all those alligators, snakes, and loggerheads.

M-i-crookedletter-crookedletter-i-crookedletter-crookedletter-i-humpback-humpback-i river, she's a big old mighty gal.


Happy trails, happy travels.


RR__

you can live like a king with your 5,000 USD a month!

Decent Middle class lifestyle to keep you comfortable , not too fancy though. I make twice as much and I still think I can do better with a toddler and  wife to support. Expenses are:

1k USD rent for condo unless you live out of the city
$100 electricity and utilities
$2000. Car , food , gas , maid, Nanny and kids tuition
$1000 lifestyle expenses -dine outs , shopping etc.

Hello Jay1982!

Thank you for your participation on this thread. Complementary infos are always most welcome even if the initial post is 4 years old! ;)

Regards
Kenjee

Nice house, 2 maids live in, driver, go were you want, and do what you want lifestile with girlfriend and a small apartment downtown for your extra girlfriend.

Hahahahahaha....extra girlfriend. Living dangerous Huh?

' Live fast die young and have a beautiful corpse '   :lol:

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