It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


When Going Gets Tart... Tarts Go Expat

page: 1

log in


posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 11:18 AM
Title Disclaimer/Explanation:

Parody on the proverbial "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Referring to "Tart", not as oldest profession, as "sharp in character, spirit, or expression; cutting; caustic: a tart remark." In this respect, i would consider myself more of a "tart" vs "tough".

"Expat" short for expatriate, comes from the Latin ex (out of) and patria (country, fatherland). A person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence.


Don't get me wrong, i think the diehard survival route is the stellar way to go, but the more i research this approach the more i find that i'm not cut out for the job. Being completely honest with myself, i don't think i could live with out the internet, nor do i think it would be in the best of anyones interest to do without it. A tool of survival... much like we are using here and now.

So as a viable alternative to buggin-out i have been looking at the prospects of heading out of dodge before our beloved U.S. democracy... i mean plutocracy self destructs. As i dig and compare options, i wanted to share my findings and if anyone has something to add, more power to us all.

I think a good starting point, would be to look at the dollar's worldwide exchange rate as a PPP (purchasing power parity) ratio, in other words where to get "the most bang for your buck?" Problem being, with such an unstable world economy, it can be a challenge to figuring out what the current ratio is, plus to complicate matters even further, most PPPs are expressed in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) and/or as a exchange rate, which neither pinpoints the purchasing power of the dollar. With a little extra math you could figure this out but when your objective is to compare hundreds of countries this task can be a bit time consuming, let alone daunting.

What you also have to take into account is the difference between urban and rural living, and also specific goods and services that are essential to a comfy life
. Fortunately there is such a survey that covers this in part, called the Mercer's Cost of Living report (pdf)

Based on more than 200 goods and services, our semi-annual surveys are conducted by professional researchers simultaneously in each of the 250 locations we cover. Carefully chosen vendors reflect only those outlets where your expatriates can buy goods and services of international quality.

[edit on 2-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 11:43 AM
To give us a push in the right direction and set the bar...
here is one example of what i'd like to see posted here.

At the time stamp of this post, according to the...

Yahoo Finance Currency Converter

$1 = P47.805

The Philippines is one of the cheapest places in the world to live where english is widely spoken. The natives are friendly, the women are beautiful and the cllimate is tropical. I live in one of the smaller cities Iloilo which is in the Visayas (middle).
Typhoons and earthquakes are rare here.

We have DSL availible at various speeds, good private hospitals, many nice and cheap beach and inland resorts. Many nice resturants and 5 new malls to choose from. The local supermarket chain carries a wide variety of imported foods.
A nice 3 br 2 bath house in a nice gated subdivision will cost P25,000 to P30,000 a month.
A live in maid will cost P2,000 a month plus room and board.
A full time driver will cost P5,000 a month plus room and board.
We usually spend about P10,000 a month for all the utilities, Electric, cooking gas, Phone, DSL and CATV. We run major appliances and aircons plus hot water heaters. We eat well and spend about P12,000 a month for food for the 4 of us. It's about a 50/50 mix of local food and american food.

A good meal at a nice seafood resturant will cost P400.
Beer costs P25 a bottle in a resturant and P18 at a local conienance store.

Trade offs ? You could drive here, but trust me downtown you don't want to. Traffic is chaos.

The locals run on Philippine time. That means they are never ontime for anything. A 1 o clock appointment can be as late as 2:30 and they think nothing of it.

As a foreigner you can't own property here, but you can own a condo or lease a home.

It's perfectly safe for Americans here. I have been living here for 6 years and never had a problem. Also you can stay now up to 24 months on a tourist visa with extensions ever 59 days. Extensions are quick and easy to get at the local B.I. Office.
6'2" white american who has never had a problem living here in the Philippines. I love this place. source

Reminds me of many other important issues to be noted/researched
i.e. political climate, racial hatred, crime, weather, pollution, medical care.

[edit on 2-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 04:41 AM
not to be negative - but being the ` outsider ` in a community when the crap hits is rarely a good idea

` outsiders ` tend to be the perfect scapegoats

also if you have lots of ` shiney stuff ` - the locals are going to " get over thier moral qualms " and resort to theft from the ` outsider ` far more readily than ` thier own `

i dont mean this as any racial slur against philipino`s

just look at history the world over - it happens almost every time there is a ` crisis ` and group x turns against group y

posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 11:17 AM
Yes point well taken, and certainly an issue one has to strategically take into consideration and figure out well in advance. I think two rhetorical inquiries need to be addressed:
Do you go into this environment as an Island... or as a Bridge?

Being an Island:
If you are the type of person who feels most comfortable keeping to themselves and focusing solely on one self, then ideally you want to purchase a very remote, secluded, rural property and hire (or marry) a bilingual native to manage all your external affairs. This individual will be the most important part of your strategy so it would be wise to screen their background thoroughly and compensate them above par in room, board, vehicle etc. If you enable them to take good care of their family, then you eliminate the chance of them ever crossing you.

Being a Bridge:
If you are on the other hand a people person, then you should learn their language, culture and get heavily involved in their community, volunteering for various human services, join the local buddist temple and generally do what the natives do. Building trust and respect among all of those you come in contact with, will go a long way in protecting your ass when there are riots in the street. In an effort to blend in it would be best to live modestly, no point in showing how much money you really have.

Either route i think it beats living in a tarp covered fox hole with very little to zero creature comforts

[edit on 3-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 04:49 PM
Three major things to consider when relocating abroad:

  1. Can you legally become a permanant resident of the country? (Do they allow immigration or just visitor/work visas?)
  2. Are you allowed to own property there?
  3. Are you allowed to own firearms there? (And can you take your own firearms there with you?)

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 01:25 AM

Originally posted by ignorant_ape
not to be negative - but being the ` outsider ` in a community when the crap hits is rarely a good idea

` outsiders ` tend to be the perfect scapegoats

also if you have lots of ` shiney stuff ` - the locals are going to " get over thier moral qualms " and resort to theft from the ` outsider ` far more readily than ` thier own `

i dont mean this as any racial slur against philipino`s

just look at history the world over - it happens almost every time there is a ` crisis ` and group x turns against group y

I know from expats who've lived in PI that the food leaves a lot to be desired. The country is often battered by cyclones / tropical storms too.
The levels of violence and robbery (theft is a massive problem) are quite shocking, even for a 3rd world country.

That said it's not a bad location for relocated to as the gun laws allow expats to wield firearms, the climate is pleasant and the immigration laws welcome foreigners.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 12:54 PM
...sounds like it might be a good training ground for what is to come?

All joking a side, there are huge neighborhoods in DC, NYC, Detroit, Chicago & LA that you wouldn't want to even stop for a red light in. A mix of poverty and drugs brings out the worst in people no matter what your nationality, gender or creed. Just as in the states, a general rule applies to where ever choose to call home in the world... small towns and very rural isolated locales are the safest places to live.

Here are some stats to help put crime in proper perspective through comparison:

Vision of Humanity's Global Peace Index

Nation Master's Murders (per capita) Chart

UN's Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems

As for the one city to completely avoid even as a tourist in the Philippines, I repeatedly see Manila top the charts.

As for culinary arts, this might be more of a subjective matter and some ethnic cuisines may take some time to warm up to. We are spoiled here in the states to have the luxury of partaking in a different world cuisine every day of the week.

[edit on 4-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 01:23 PM
As an expat (nearly 7 years), I approve of this thread.

The firearm thing - not too high on my list, so Japan suits me. I'm fine living without a gun knowing (a) 99.9% of the population doesn't have one either and (b) I'm on good terms with quite a few hunters (most of the 0.1%) who know I've handled guns in the past and have told me they'd be willing to "lend" me one if the SHTF.

Moving into a new country is not unlike moving to a new small town - you stick out like a sore thumb for a bit, but if you do your best to blend in, help people out, and don't cause grief for your neighbours, people tend to be pretty welcoming. Get your hands dirty, try to be humble, mind your manners and repay every favour, and things will work out fine wherever you are.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 01:34 PM
If your plan is to expat for survival, you should consider getting a spouse from the country of your choice and using them for your visa. I have a Japanese spouse visa and I enjoy the rights of a Japanese citizen with one exception, I cannot vote. That might change soon, too. I can come to and go from Japan with the same ease as a Japanese national. The only major drawback is that I pay tax to both Japan and the U.S.
All countries are a little different in how they treat the spouse of a citizen. I am a little dusty on the details now. I researched many places to run off to before I married my wife. I would like to add that Japan was not at the top of my list, there were other reasons for marrying my wife, and I didn't do it just for gaining unrestricted access to her country.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 03:47 PM
Might be good reason to feel safe in Japan... apparently they are known not to report all their crime.

Associated Content's pick for the Top 5 Safest Countries in the World
1 Norway 2 New Zealand 3 Denmark 4 Ireland 5 Japan
... and pick for Top 5 Most Dangerous Countries in the World
1 Columbia 2 South Africa 3 Jamaica 4 Venezuela 5 Russia

hmmm and i would have guessed 5 countries in the middle east

[edit on 4-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 10:31 PM
Not a very scientific approach to ranking... but based on some loose relevant criteria these are some intriguing recommendations (see site for a short critique on each):

10 Most Suitable Countries for American Expatriates

10. Costa Rica
9. South Africa
8. Mexico
7. Spain
6. Brazil
5. Italy
4. Australia
3. Czech Republic
2. Thailand
1. Argentina

Here’s how we determined the list: First off, we considered how receptive the locals were to Americans– is the local culture open to American values? Are they welcoming to yanks? Next, we looked at how popular the destination was for Americans who have already expatriated. Are there plenty of homegrowns who you can meet and befriend? Is there already a thriving community from the U.S. there? We also considered how easy it is to get around speaking only english, and also looked at similarities between the local culture and America. Do local customs overlap with American ones? Lastly, we considered certain practical necessities, such as how easy it would be for Americans to find jobs there, and whether the location was affordable (this is how we eliminated places like the UK, France, or Japan from the list– too expensive, despite doing well at all the other categories!). We also admit to a heavy dose of subjectivity involved in the rankings.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 10:36 PM
Thailand was my first choice, but then I met my wife... My military retirement would go far in Thailand and a native English speaker can almost always find work there.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 10:48 PM
I'm sure you came across this website in your research.
It's a great resource.

Escape Artist

and their online magazine


posted on Jun, 1 2009 @ 08:56 PM
A royal retirement in India

"Steve Herzfeld confronted the decisions that haunt most of us eventually. His elderly parents needed round-the-clock care, but he couldn’t afford the quality of nursing home he wanted for them in Florida. So he sent them to Puducherry, India!

Looking back, Herzfeld says the main thing he would have done differently would have been to hire staff before their arrival: it took him five difficult weeks to find a nurse.

But once staff had been found, he could give his parents a much higher standard of care than would have been possible in the US for his father’s income of $2,000 (£1,200) a month. In India that paid for their rent, a team of carers - a cook, a valet for his father, nurses to be with his mother 12 hours a day, six days a week, a physiotherapist and a masseuse - and drugs (costing a fifth of US prices), and also allowed them to put some money away.

Could this be the wave of the future? Herzfeld, whose parents died a few years after moving to India, knows this plan would not work for everyone, but he admires the caring way that his parents were treated in India."


new topics

top topics


log in