Is retiring to the Philippines a good option?
To answer this question you need to look at one’s individual circumstances and also look at what you want from your retirement. There are many aspects of this to consider before you can even seriously consider retiring to the Philippines. There is no doubt the beauty and enchantment the Philippines has that draws people from all over the globe but the burning question is how do you make it work. I mean selling up where you are now and moving to a whole new Country does take some serious planning, well at least if you want it to succeed. I have heard stories of people just going there on a whim but rarely does that ever work out. So how do you make it work? Lets have a look at the key aspects here.
Why do you want to retire to a foreign country?
Examine closely the reason you want to retire far away from everything you know. If you are running away from something, or someone then this plan is unlikely to succeed. If you are unhappy in your life now then most likely you will be unhappy in the Philippines. It may be that you are ready to leave your Country and enjoy the lifestyle, people and beauty that the Philippines has to offer and of course the more simplistic way of life. After all this is very appealing aspect of moving to the Philippines.
The monetary exchange rate
This is a very attractive draw card when considering retirement. Not all people who retire will have enough money to last their twilight years, so a Country like the Philippines may be a very attractive proposition. The US dollar is holding around 50 pesos for every dollar (November 2017) so no doubt your money will go a lot further. You can buy a house or condominium (conditions apply for foreigners so research) for what westerners would consider a bargain price. Food and clothing all very cheap as are most services and electricity and transport costs are very low. So all in all you can get set up and live in the Philippines much cheaper than you will live in the west.
The people are very warm, welcoming and friendly and customer service is generally exceptional. But like any Country you need to be aware of securing your valuables and your own personal security. Research is key when deciding where you will live. Preferably you have been a regular visitor to the Philippines and have connections there and from this you can make a wise choice around the area you will settle in and if you have local support there via friends and or community. In the Philippines English is widely spoken and this makes the transition much easier.
This is what I believe most people who retire to the Philippines are looking for. The lifestyle in the Philippines is very simplistic and less stressful (more so away from the major cities). Many people from the west are looking for something far different to what they have been use to. For many they are fed up with working hard and long hours to try and pay their bills and only being able to save minimal amounts of money. People may look at what money they have to retire on in the west and realize that they don’t want to struggle to buy food and pay basic bills as they get older. retiring to the Philippines allows for a more comfortable and stress free retirement (provided you have researched).
The Drawbacks of Retiring in the Philippines
You can’t own a house in the Philippines unless you are married to a citizen of that Country. You can buy a condominium but cant buy the land.
You need to ensure you have a separate account for emergencies, so if you need to leave the Country in a hurry you can do so
Health Care in the Philippines is getting better but if you fall very ill you may get better and more up to date treatment in the west. Especially for serious health conditions
You will need to check which visas you will need to obtain and how often they need to be renewed or what foreign retirement visa you can obtain.
The key to success in anything is research, so do your homework thoroughly. Be very clear on your reasons why you want to move to the Philippies and do it for all the right reasons. No doubt the Philippines has many attractive qualities but they must fit with what your needs are now and what they will be in the future. Be sure to have visited several times and scouted various locations and talk to local people about security and safety aspects. Learning at least some of the basic language of the region you will reside is probably a great idea, although English is widely spoken in most regions. Have a emergency plan and easy access to large amount of money should you need it in a hurry. These are some key points but by no means everything you will need to consider when retiring to the Philippines. If you are making this exciting move I wish you all the very best in your retirement.