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.