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    • Paul

      New Members: Click Here   03/09/2017

      Hello. If you are a new member, and feel a bit apprehensive about posting in the "open" forums, or, just wish to get your "sea legs" prior to posting in the open forums, feel free to post anything you wish to talk about, in the Newbies Forum. No one will bother you, or give you any sort of grief. Everyone there is happy to help you get answers to your questions.


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  1. Is this a realistic budget for a single person to live comfortably in a rented condo in Cebu City? Peso/Mo Rent 30000 Utilities 7500 Internet & TV 2500 Food 20000 Visa 2000 Transportation 6000 Miscellaneous 32000 I have sufficient funds stashed away for medical costs and should I decide to return to the U.S.
  2. There is some excellent advice in this thread. Thanks for sharing.
  3. Earning a Little Extra Money

    Whether you are trying to start a business in a foreign country or your homeland, the first thing you should do is make an inventory of your skills. Are you computer savy? Do you excel at bartering (getting a seller to lower his asking price significantly)? Are you a people person (do people enjoy being around you and seek your company)? Have you ever been successful in any business ventures? Do you know the in and outs of a particular trade? Whatever you skill set(s) might be, this should be your starting place. As one poster has already pointed out, trying to raise livestock for someone who has little or no knowledge of animals is foolish. Start with something you know and your chances of success will be greatly magnified. Don't overlook the skills your significant other possesses either. She might be the key to your success. Also, don't confuse what someone wants to do with something they are actually capable of accomplishing. Example: People with no experience maintaining vehicles or driving taxis for a living have a small chance for success regardless of how badly they want to try it.
  4. I think your grasp of economics is lacking. Inviting a group of middle class consumers who will not compete with the local population for jobs is every third world country's dream population. They put minimal strain on the local infrastructure. They are not eligible for government benefits. All they do is spend, spend, spend. Add up several hundred thousand expats. Multiply that by $40,000 a piece. Example 500,000 expats x $40,000 a year = $20,000,000,000 added to the economy. That's a HUGE boon to the Philippines. Not every expat spends $40,000 a year however a significant number spend a lot more. Even half of 20 billion is a big number for the Philippine economy.
  5. If you have a MagicJack account, you can install the MagicJack app on your smartphone and receive calls sent to your MagicJack number in the U.S. You'll need a wireless connection to answer them. Unanswered calls go to your MagicJack vioce mailbox allowing you to return the calls using a local U.S. number by using your MagicJack app at your leasure.
  6. I suggest you first decide what you are interested in from a career perspective. Getting a degree in something you have little interest in merely because job demand is higher is a recipe for failure. After you have narrowed your areas of interest down, check the check the U.S. Bureau of Labor for employment demand in those fields. Clearly you have to wiegh your career goals against any occupation you might want to chose as it may not pay enough or offer the degree of flexibility you desire.
  7. Jobs or Careers in Cebu........?

    As has been stated in numerous other threads on earning money in the Philippines, you would be wiser to try and make money doing some kind of internet online work. To find out how, you should do some research on making money using the internet. For example: working for a U.S. based call center pays MUCH more than working for a Philippine call center. There are numerous other ways to earn money using the internet. It is doubtful anyone on this thread will give you specific intstructions on how to earn money on the internet. You will have to perform your own research. The big advantage of internet based employment is that it is not country specific. Being a native english speaker gives you an advantage over most of the world's population.
  8. Elevated Water Tank and Tower Design

    As has already been stated you will need a pump to get the water into your tank in the first place. If the tank is topped off, how long will it last before you drain the tank? If the power is only out for a few hours, you may have more than enough water in the tank to last you thru the "dry" spell. It might be worth while to have a slightly larger tank than you had originally planned. An added advantage of having your own water tower is that you still have water available even when the local water system is down.
  9. Why assembling your own solar panels might make sense: The solar cells themselves are integrated circuits made on an assembly line. They either work or they don't work. If you assemble your own panels you can test the individual cells prior to assembly to verify their power output. After the cells, the most likely point of failure are the interconnections between the cells. Wirling solar panels is not rocket science. If you assemble the panels yourself, you can verify that the wields are good and work as desired. The same goes for wiring the micro-inverters. You can test them prior to use. In a sealed solar panel, all of this is out of your hands for the most part. it either works or it doesn't. Personnally, I don't trust Chinese quality control.
  10. Why the Philippines will not move up economically compared to other first world countries: Ten years ago when I called a company on the phone a receptionist answered the call and redirected me to someone who could help me. Now days, I usually speak to a computer, not a person. Every day these programs become more and more sophisticated. In a few years they will begin to replace many call center jobs. The advent of 3D printers is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. In ten years or less, they’ll take over many of the small lot manufacturing tasks. This will eliminate many manufacturing jobs that are typically performed in third world countries, further reducing the need for semi-skilled labor. The science of robotics is advancing by leaps and bounds. This coupled with advances in artificial intelligence and microprocessor capabilities, means that people in first world countries will no longer need to import many of the semi-skilled labor personnel they relied on in the past. Robots will be able to perform basic tasks more efficiently than people can. Companies like Goldman Sachs and HSBC did not predict the invention of the microcomputer or the smart phone. Their predictions are based on the premise of “baring major changes”. Technology has always been a game changer. Look what happened during the industrial revolution in England. Technology is advancing so fast, twenty or thirty years from now you’ll hardly recognize the world we live in. First world countries, rich in skills and resources, will be the winners. They can afford the new gadgets. Third world countries with large unskilled populations will lose.
  11. Since 2009, the value of the U.S. Dollar has declined from a high of 50 Php/dollar to 42 Php/dollar in 2013. This equates to an approximate 16% decline in the exchange rate. At the same time, using an estimated 4% inflation rate, the cost of most goods have risen approximately 18% (from 2009 to 2013). Doing the math, if someone was living on a fixed income of $1,000 dollars a month in 2009, their purchasing power fell from 50,000 Php/Month to the equivalent of a little over $26,000 Php/Month in 2013 pesos. The only currency which has been able to maintain a semblance of parity with the Philippine Peso is the Australian Dollar. My question to people living on a fixed income without generous cost of living adjustments is what adjustments did you make to maintain your standard of living?
  12. Thoughts on solar installations: 24 volt systems have significantly less power loss issues than 12 volt systems and consequently have lower power cable requirements. There are a number of You Tube videos available explaining the construction of home made solar panels. Since labor costs are relatively low in the Philippines you might save money by buying the electrical components and getting someone to assemble the panels for you. Your battery backup does not have to be (and probably should not be) sized to run your entire household with every appiance turned on. All it really has to do is run a handful of electrical appliances, a few fans and maybe a refrigerator. During the day your solar panels can carry most of the load. The backup is only needed at night. Golf carts usually use deep cycle batteries. Micro inverters make sense. Not only do they help in the case of partial shade, if one of your panels produces lower output than the others your overall power output won't be advesely affected.
  13. Sagay City - Safe or not?

    You can thank America for making the kidnapping of foreigners unattractive.to the NPA. When they kidnap local Chinese business men, the families usually pay off quietly. Its a part of their tradition. When American's are kidnapped, the U.S. has a nasty habit of performing commando raids to get their citizens back. This practice makes kidnapping Americans (and other foreigners - all caucasians look like Americans to the natives) a bad business practice..
  14. time deposits

    Things to think about. There's an ETF composed of high dividend international stocks (SDIV) paying an annual yield over 6%. There are a number of emerging market bond funds paying 5.5 to 6% yields annually (monthly payments are made - TGEIX, etc.). Brokerage accounts for firms in the U.S. (as are those in several other first world countries) are insured.
  15. As has already been stated, don't carry your emergency credit card around with you. Keep it in a safe place. The Philippines utilizes a cash based medical system. Even if you have insurance, you still have to pay cash up front. Always carry your emergency contact information so the hospital can notify them in the event of a serious medical emergency.. If you are incapacitated, you will need to have someone you trust who will come to your rescue. Even if you are conscious, you'll need someone to act a helper to buy medicines, etc. When you were a child it was called the "buddy system". Try to establish a relationship with a local doctor who practices in the hospital(s) you might need to utilize. In emergencies, he can vouch for you. A search on these forums will show you that hospitals in the Philippines will perform a minimum of "free" emergency treatment. The bottom line: an ounce of planning can prevent a pound of cure. Make arrangements ahead of time.