Dumaguete Info Search


Is Philippines really that cheap?

Discussion in 'Expat Section' started by ThatNewGuy, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    Obviously you are not talking about affordability, as that depends on the cash you have available.

    You are saying that with the same amount of cash from your source (which may or may not be your home country) you can live cheaper in some other countries - and you name some.

    The problem is which part of each country are you comparing and which living costs. Comparing prices from any country with Manila will, of course, give different results than if comparing with Dumaguete, which is where you seem specifically to be comparing with. And what are people's living costs? That is the big unknown. Family 'A' rent a 4 bed detached house, like eating out, drinking quality wines (out and at home) and running a car - whereas Family 'B' live in a 2-bed townhouse, prefer eating in, do not consume alcohol (ok, I know they sound boring already to many!) and use trikes/jeepneys/buses. These are just two 'consumer types' and there are very many other possible types.

    The comparison is: How much does the exact equivalent (with all the difficulties that entails in matching) style-of-living cost in the original currency (the one you convert from)?

    Perhaps type 'A' will find their cost of living (for a comparable lifestyle) more expensive than if they were living in certain other countries you name but type 'B' might find it cheaper. And when currency exchange rates change, both might find a different story.

    For me, I know I am paying FAR less on my major expense - house rental - and that the savings compensate for virtually every other higher cost (possible exception of medical as it is unknown when and how much). So I have to focus on 1) Is it cheaper than my home country? (Answering 'yes' is an advantage and enables me to be a bit smug should I need to be); 2. Can I afford to live here? (More important than '1'); 3. Am I happy here? (Combined with '2' to give me the only factors I need to know).

    Then I can sit back and worry zilch about Thailand, Portugal, Italy or Indonesia.
     
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  2. cabb

    cabb DI Forum Patron ✤Forum Sponsor✤

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    Unless it's a relative. :o o:
     
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  3. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    I have stated the same thing many times on the forum. I'm probably not going to be surprised by the counterarguments.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  4. anti_crazy

    anti_crazy DI Member

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    Rent is the biggest cost factor for me vs. back home; here = approx 215USD vs. same size space back home = 2200USD. And as others have mentioned; labor. Someone mentioned petrol comparison, while it is a bit higher here, the consumption is much less. The weather allows for bike travel 12 months/yr on 1 cylinder transport and many choices of 3 cylinder cars, etc.
     
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  5. Stefan_Negros

    Stefan_Negros DI Member

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    For me it doesn't make any sense to look to and compare prices for f.i. accommodation, petrol, rice, T- Bone steaks, hookers, beer, rum, clothes, medical insurance or whatsoever.

    Just sit down and review what do you expect from life and how you want to live. Then have a look to your wallet and monthly income.

    Finally decide where you get the best value for money for the specific things you want to have in your specific life.

    Simple as that.
     
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  6. tuba-coma

    tuba-coma DI Member Showcase Reviewer

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    leave the hookers and life should be very affordable :-)
     
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  7. Stefan_Negros

    Stefan_Negros DI Member

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    Basically it's very simple.
    You save money on rent and spend the best part of the savings for medical insurance.

    All other costs - Food, Hygiene articles, drinks, bars, restaurants, clothes and and and....... is probably 60 - 80 percent of what you paid in your home country.

    Everybody has to decide which places gives him the best quality of life in return for the funds you got on monthly basis.
     
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  8. djfinn6230

    djfinn6230 DI Forum Adept

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    You may wish to self-insure for health insurance. For normal health expenditures, doctors visits, blood tests, x-rays and the like are very affordable out of pocket here. A doctors visit is 500php $10.00, executive panel blood test about 1700php $35.00, x-rays 1500php $30.00 and so on. Why bother to insure for those expenditures? For major issues, OK, now you are talking high prices like 500,000 php $10,000 for heart valve replacements,1M php $20,000 for heart bypass. Still, about 1/6 of the costs in the US, but in the US you usually have insurance. I still think it is better to save up $10-20k to self-insure here than to buy insurance. Pacific Cross, Caritas, pay attention to their coverage LIMITS, like perhaps 300,000 php for some plans where you might pay 30,000 php in annual premiums. That to me is not “good” insurance. It has been discussed before but especially if you are young and healthy, just having some self-insurance in savings may be the way to go. As comparisons go, many European countries have socialized benefits that pay for “free” if you are in country. In the US you can buy into Medicare but also need to go home for treatment. But here it is like you have no money or insurance, you die. “Your money or your life” applies to all hospitals including those with charity-inspiring names like “Holy Child”. If they do take a chance that you will pay them before you leave and you don’t have they money when you are ready to go home, they will hold your house on a promissory note and you are given a short time to pay the bill or they sell your house. If you have no real estate, hospital security keeps you in the hospital until the bill is paid. No charity cases here, especially for foreigners. They have govt health care here, Phil Heath, that for foreigners covers the less expensive regimens but not the catastrophic and you pay $300-$340 per year. I wouldn’t bother with it because most people spend less than that per year on the stuff it would cover. Phil Health is a bargain for citizens here though. Their premiums are 1/10 the cost of foreigner premiums and they are insured for the catastrophic stuff that we are not insured for. It is not hard to deduce that foreigners, who do not pay attention to coverage details and decide to buy it, are subsidizing the local citizens’ health care, but they do appreciate it. Foreign membership in PhilHealth ie a great source of sorely needed cash assistance to the national health insurance bureaucracy. So, for medical: Depending on your home country’s govt coverage and your own health or age, and your risks (alcohol, drugs, lifestyle risks like diving, mountain climbing, nightlife etc.) it could be a lot cheaper here or more expensive, depending. As for quality of care, if your are from the the US, AU, Eu or other 1st world places, the quality is surprisingly good but nearly as good as it is back home.


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  9. wolvhund

    wolvhund DI Member

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    Economist try to make this more objective by using a Purchasing Power Parity index. They take a basket of item, housing, food item, gas, etc., and compare them in different regions, accounting for currency differences as well. It is an attempt to compare apples to apples. The ones I know use the average US prices as the base. If a place is more expensive than the US the number will be lower, if it is less expensive, the number is higher, a number of 2, for example, means that the same items can be purchased for 1/2 the cost as in the US. Bulgaria has a PPP of 2.23, Portugal 1.20, Vietnam 3.36, Cambodia 3.21, Thailand 2.65 and the Philippines 2.62.

    Of course, if a place is more prosperous they tend to have things like better infrastructure and more efficient systems and similar things that improve the quality of life that aren't captured in that number. The GDP of the countries, using PPP, in the order above is 19,321, 26,688, 6609, 3870, 16,905, 7942. If I ranked them on a cost of living/quality of life scale then I would put them in this order, Thailand, Bulgaria, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Portugal.

    Actual quality of life and preferences are subjective and individual and there are wide variances in different locales within each country and there are a lot of other factors involved as well, for me, access to mountains and outdoors, climate, percentage of English speakers, ease of getting a visa and legally staying, and the fact that my wife is Filipina means that Philippines is the choice. Second choice is Vietnam.
     
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  10. Stefan_Negros

    Stefan_Negros DI Member

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    @djfinn6230
    I fully agree with your entire post.
    You can safe money for emergency cases, or you buy an insurance. Your choice. But you should do something, and that would be the main difference compared to f.i. Germany, where the majority of pensioners got covered already.
     
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