Thursday, February 5, 2009

Live Cheaply in a Foreign Country (Part 1)

My husband and I were thinking of retiring in the Philippines. The cost of living in the Philippines is not as bad as what they have here in the US. Now I am not saying is that US is not a good place to retire, but economically speaking Philippines is the best place to consider. If you are willing to leave behind the USA, UK, Australia or other high cost expensive country and live in a foreign country, you can live or retire on $200 per month.

Here are some ideas for you to consider:
  1. Decide if you can do it. Leaving your country and moving to another country can be a difficult experience for some people. In fact, even the stouthearted will have feelings of homesickness. Plus, you will have many new experiences and face many problems. Can you deal with that?
  2. If you are married and you want to retire to a foreign country, you need to consider the thoughts of your spouse and or children. If you are separated, divorced, or never married, then you can make the decision yourself.
  3. See if you have enough money to leave your country and move to another country. You need money for an airline ticket, and at least 6 months of living expenses to get settled.
  4. Consider teaching English in a non-English speaking country. This can pay very well, so you get savings plus life in a foreign country.
  5. Pick a country. A good choice right now is the Philippines (if you have no desire to learn another language, they all speak English) or China (if you are willing to learn at least some of the local language).
  6. Pick a city. Pick one that is safe. A mid-size city with many universities is best. In this environment, you can make many friends which is critical to your success.
  7. Do some research. Learn about the location you are going to. Buy some books such as Lonely Planet or similar guide books. Also make sure you check the level of air pollution of that city.
  8. Find a community or dating website that has people from that location. Try to make some friends in the city you will be living in. Do not bother with people outside or in the distant suburbs of your target city. You need friends who are close by to help you with getting settled.