Friday, October 28, 2016
For years now I have had this dream, (fantasy? illusion?), of someday moving to another country, where the day-to-day expenses are lower, and my "estate" could support me and my family longer. Added to this was my dream of "earning money on the internet", (to date this has been a bust!), which created an image of yours truly sitting under the coconut trees*, laptop on my lap, idly pecking away at my keyboard while the dollars flowed into my bank account, and I lived like only the super rich do back in the USA.
There are plenty of websites touting the expat lifestyle, but one which early on caught my eye was Bob Martin's http://liveinthephilippines.com. My wife is also from the Philippines, so getting her to move back there would be much less of a struggle than, say, getting her to move to Panama.
Bob seemed to have it all going for him. He was a successful internet marketer, making "big money" (?) online for years, all while living a great life in Davao City in the southern part of the Philippines. (In case you didn't know, Davao is the city the Philippines current president, Duterte, used to be mayor of, and is considered one of the safest cities in Asia.) He was a guy I was going to emulate.
Then all of a sudden we get this: https://www.gofundme.com/2qjcm7as?utm_medium=wdgt.
First of all, if you are able, I hope you can spare Bob a buck or two. I don't know him personally, only through his website, but as best I can tell he is a decent human being.
But getting back to the point of this article ....... this really sucks!!
I know medical expenses are a dreadful thing, (medical expenses have destroyed our budget this year), and I believe they are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the USA, but I thought Bob had all this covered. I thought he was keeping his expenses low, and his income high, such that when bad luck drops a figurative brick on our head like this, he would be able to handle it.
I guess not.
My first reaction is to have the inner skeptic in me start screaming. Maybe Bob didn't really make all that much money online? Maybe his claims to be running a successful internet business from the Philippines were just BS? Or maybe he was a fool, and spent all his money, and didn't have any insurance or savings for a rainy day?
Or maybe he was a smart, successful guy, who just got hit with a perfect storm of expenses?
I guess no matter where you live, or what your income level is, health care costs can devastate you?
The "good news", (such as it is), from all this mess is that, in his latest update, he indicates that PhilHealth will be paying him some money towards his life-saving heart operation. Hopefully Bob will continue to get more and more good news like this in the future.
The takeaway from this awful experience is that, when planning your escape to your particular paradise, PLEASE remember to have a contingency plan, and the cash or credit set aside to help fund it.
* - Although "those who know better" laugh at me, having been around real coconut trees, and seen how high up in the tree the coconuts are, there is NO WAY I will ever, ever, ever sit under a coconut tree!