REASON WHY YOU SHOULD RETIRE IN THE PHILIPPINES: Cost, Visa, Best City, Healthcare

Have you already considered where to live after you retire from your active lifestyle? If you feel like you’ve already devoted much of your time and energy into your work and that you’ve already given all that you can contribute to society, maybe it’s about time to think of a place where you’d spend the rest of your life in comfort. That being said, would you consider retiring in the Philippines?

Planning where to retire? Check the reasons why you should consider to retire in the Philippines. Let's discuss the cost, retirement visa, best city to live in the Philippines. #philippinesculture #philippines #thephilippines #philippineshouse #philippinesislands #amazingdestinations #traveltheworld #asia via @amaryroad
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Several things should be taken into consideration when picking a country to retire to, such as the cost of living, the weather, retirement visa, and the culture. These factors are what make it ideal to retire in the Philippines. Do you need more convincing? Read on and we’ll talk about more of why the Philippines is the ideal destination to be in the relaxation phase of your life.

This is part of our Retirement Guides series:
– Retire in Portugal

– Retire in New Zealand

Retire in Costa Rica

REASONS TO RETIRE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS

The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia that are heavily influenced by western culture. This country has long been associated with Spanish and American culture due to it being colonized by these countries in the past.

It has also been influenced by its neighbouring countries, such as Japan, China, and India, making it a welcoming place for people from all over the world. Of course, it isn’t just the culture that makes it such a great place to retire to. Let’s scroll down and learn more.

Tropical weather

If you’re from the colder parts of the planet, you’ll most certainly appreciate warm and sunny weather, free from the hassle of snow-covered roads.

The Philippines on a Budget - What to Do in the Philippines
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Boracay, Philippines

The Philippines’ weather isn’t all that complicated; it’s either sunny or rainy. This is why many foreigners, especially from the west, think of retirement in the Philippines to be an attractive option.

English-speaking country 

There’s a reason why the Philippines is the BPO capital of the world, and that same reason can also be one of the main reasons why you should retire in the Philippines.

SOUTHEAST ASIA TRAVEL ROUTE AND ITINERARIES 2 Weeks or up to 6 Months
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Generally speaking, foreigners won’t have a hard time communicating with the locals. Filipinos are taught to speak or at least understand English from preschool age up to their college days. Even when they are speaking in their native tongue, you’ll hear many English words mixed in their sentences!

Retirement visa is easy 

Getting a resident visa in the country is easy, and you can retire in the Philippines at the age of 35! You’re only required to submit the following documents to the Philippine Embassy or the Philippine Retirement Authority:

  • Notarized PRA application form
  • Authenticated copy of passport
  • Medical Examination accomplished by a licensed physician abroad or a PRA Medical Certificate
  • NBI Clearance
  • Marriage Contract
  • Birth Certificate
  • Family Registry

In addition to these documents, retirees between the ages of 35 and 49 are required to deposit at least $50,000, and for ages 50 and above, a deposit of $20,000.

From the day of the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa or SRRV has been issued, the applicant has to enter the country within a year, and the Bureau of Immigration will then convert the single-entry SRRV into a multiple-entry and indefinite stay SRRV, with the endorsement from the PRA. You can find more information here.

RELATED: Philippine tourist visa guide

Affordability 

The Philippines is generally an affordable country to live in. Get this: an average worker’s Social Security benefit in the US is about $1400 per month. You only need about $700 to $800 to live a comfortable retirement in the Philippines. While this amount isn’t that much in the US or other developed countries, it will go a long way in the Philippines!

retirement in the philippines
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Philippines’ money – Photo credit Wikimedia

Westernized 

Most westerners will find themselves in a western setting when they settle in the Philippines. Many food establishments, especially in the big cities, serve western foods such as spaghetti, hamburgers, hotdogs, and the likes.

McDonald’s, Yellowcab, and other American fast-food chains and convenience stores can be found in almost every corner of the country, making its visitors feel closer to home than when they are in other Asian countries.

BEST PLACES TO RETIRE IN THE PHILIPPINES

We’ve already discovered that the culture in the Philippines is a lot closer to the west than most Asian countries, but how about its destinations or perspective place to live?

Many of its destinations have awe-inspiring scenery, and the big cities have many establishments where you can get almost everything you need, from international and local food, relaxation and fitness centres, recreational activities, and more.

RELATED: North of the Philippines – What to see and do

Manila and Davao 

Manila and Davao are some of the places in the Philippines where many foreigners live. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet other foreign retirees in a Starbucks cafe’ or a mall and exchange stories.

Everything you might ever need to live a comfortable life can be found in these two big cities, from fresh food and convenience stores of all kinds and recreational facilities and everything else in between.

Cebu, Subic Bay, Boracay, Puerto Princesa, and Siargao 

Filled with foreign tourists and expats thanks to being home to beautiful beaches, and being near airports, these destinations are some of the best places to retire in the Philippines.

Also, these provinces are filled with places to explore and activities to enjoy. These places are far from being perfect, of course, but are beautiful enough to be considered retiring to.

Baguio 

Baguio, the Summer Capital of the Philippines is one of those places that are frequented by a lot of foreign tourists. It is probably one of the coldest places in the Philippines, hence, many who prefer a colder climate tend to retire here.

With all the comforts and convenience of city life and the relaxing atmosphere of a province, you’ll get to enjoy the best of both worlds here!.

The Philippines on a Budget - What to Do in the Philippines
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Taal Volcano – Photo credit: therealbrute via Flickr.com

COST OF LIVING IN THE PHILIPPINES

The cost of living in the Philippines is about 50% lower than that in the US. The average cost per month in the country is about $300. A budget of $1000 per month will be more than enough in the big city and $600 a month will be comfortable in the provinces. Let’s have a closer look:

RELATED: Southeast Asia travel budget

Rent 

Renting instead of buying a condo will give you more flexibility and lesser commitment. If you see yourself jumping from one place to another in your retirement days, then renting is the ideal option for you. Here’s to give you an idea of the price of rentals in the Philippines:

  • 1 bedroom standard Filipino style: $200 – $250 per month
  • 1 studio standard Filipino style: $100 – $150 per month
  • 1 bedroom western-style (maybe half furnished, with shower, toilet seat, tiled floors): $300 – $400 per month
  • Entire house western style: $500 – $600 per month

Food 

retirement in the philippines
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Photo credit: Jose Nicdao via flickr.com

Filipinos are well-adapted to western tastes when it comes to food. Many restaurants serve American food, such as burgers, fries, spaghetti, and so on. Also, the Philippines has a lot of fast-food restaurants that typically exists in the US, such as Burger King, Taco Bell, and it is much cheaper in terms of price.

  • How much is per meal in a mid-range restaurant: $8 – $12 per meal; single person.
  • How much is per meal in eatery: $1 – $2 per meal; single person.
  • You can easily plan your daily budget if you buy groceries for the whole month and cook at home, and therefore, typically lowers your expenses.

Internet access 

Internet access in the Philippines typically costs around $25 to $60 depending on the package. Many establishments in the Philippines offer free access to Wi-Fi. You can also purchase a pocket Wi-Fi if you see yourself travelling a lot. It costs around $15 to $60 to get one, and the daily top-up costs around $1.00 per day.

  • Companies to choose from for mobile sim card: Globe, Smart, PLDT. The quality of speed depends on which place you are, but the big cities in the country generally have the best speeds
  • Cost/month: $25 – $60 depending on the package
  • Companies to choose from LAN internet provider: PLDT, Globe, and Converge
  • Cons: the internet speed has always been an issue in the Philippines and mostly the big cities and well-known tourists spots only have access to faster internet speed options

Transportation 

The price of transportation in the Philippines is relatively cheap in some places, and relatively pricey in some. A long-distance bus typically costs $5 – $10 depending on the distance. Then there’s the famous Filipino ride called the Jeepney which costs around $0.20 to $1.00 per ride, depending on the distance. Some cities in the Philippines have online ride-booking.

  • Online booking (Grab) which cities available: Bacolod, Baguio, Bataan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao City, Iloilo, Manila, Naga, Pampanga 
  • Motorbike: The price of buying your motorcycle in the Philippines ranges from $1200 to $5000 depending on the make and model.

Healthcare 

Healthcare in the Philippines is generally of a high standard, especially in its big cities, and most especially in Manila, where the latest and state-of-the-art facilities are available to its residents.

Though healthcare in the Philippines may be relatively expensive to many locals, foreign retirees will find it a lot cheaper than the healthcare in their own country.

However, if you possess the retirement visa or resident permit, you are allowed to subscribe to the government program for healthcare services called “PhilHealth”. You will pay annually and then enjoy the services of this program.

RENT VS BUYING A PROPERTY

Foreign retirees in the Philippines can buy a property but not own land. Therefore, it is much more practical to rent instead. However, if you have a local spouse, you may buy land provided that the title is under your spouse’s name. If your spouse passes away, you can either sell the property or transfer the ownership to your children or the spouse’s relatives.

FINAL THOUGHTS

With the Philippines’ highly-westernized culture, breath-taking destinations and affordable cost of living, it is an extremely viable country to live in. Whether you’re considering retiring early or you’re already past the retirement age, you might want to add the Philippines to the list of countries that you are considering to live in for the rest of your life.

Sure, the Philippines has its share of imperfections, like every other place in the world, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Considering its welcoming culture, its world-class tourist spots, and the warmth of its people, braving its high volume of traffic and weathering its storms during the rainy season is all worth it.

Which countries are you considering to be for the rest of your life? Would you consider to retire in the Philippines? As always, we’d love to know your thoughts! Leave your questions or comments below!

Planning where to retire? Check the reasons why you should consider to retire in the Philippines. Let's discuss the cost, retirement visa, best city to live in the Philippines. #philippinesculture #philippines #thephilippines #philippineshouse #philippinesislands #amazingdestinations #traveltheworld #asia via @amaryroad
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Retirement in the Philippines
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Stefan von Imhof is a travel writer and photographer. He loves going off the beaten path, exploring cities by foot and finding under-explored, hidden gems. After living in California for the past 15 years, he and his wife now live in Melbourne, Australia.

2 thoughts on “REASON WHY YOU SHOULD RETIRE IN THE PHILIPPINES: Cost, Visa, Best City, Healthcare”

  1. Hello Salah!

    Thank you for sending us a message 🙂

    The Philippines is a relatively safe country to live in 🙂

    But of course, like any other country, there are a few bad guys. But the majority of the Filipino people are very nice and welcoming 🙂

    When are you going to move here? We’d love to hear about your would-be experiences in the country!

    All the best,
    Rienz

    Reply
  2. Hi, you told a lot about the philippines and i thank you …but you didn’t talk about safety ..and i will be relocating single…:)

    Reply

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