For everyone planning on retiring to the Philippines this year or within the next few years, they are really doing so at a great time. It is really an exciting time in the Philippines concerning their robust economy! For the past 27 years, I have remained up to date with the latest happenings in the Philippines and the Philippine economical situation has been no exception. Last year, I read the indicators that the Philippines was only a heartbeat away from taking off and becoming the shining star of Asian economics. When I spoke about this to my expat friends and acquaintances, I was scoffed at and I even received a few laughs! In my lifetime, I remember when only Japan was ranked higher economically in Asia than the Philippines. Yes, that was in the 1960s.
Last year, all the major financial experts were raving about the Philippines. Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, Moody’s, Barclays and the World Bank basically all agreed that the Philippine Economy was one among only 10 other nations in the entire world whose economy was not dismal or on shaky ground. Think about it! It is an honor of distinction in the world.
In June, 2012, Fitch Rating upgraded the Philippines credit rating to BB+ and during the same time, Standard & Poor’s did the very same. The Philippines is now on par with another Asian country, Indonesia, with their credit rating. For 2012, the Philippines growth was 6.6%. As we celebrated the New Year in 2013, the global economy is lackluster at best, however, the Philippines growth has not slowed down and is expected to hit 7% by year’s end. In January, 2013, the Philippines Stock Exchange hit a fabulous milestone in breaching the 6,000 level for the first time in history. Since January, the Philippine Stock Exchange continues to soar in its performance.
Advantage for Expats
The Philippines has reached a level of stability that it has not seen in many years and the world is taking notice. More foreign companies are investing and more jobs are being created for Filipinos. The inflation rate in the Philippines is not growing rapidly, as we see this everyday since we live here year round. There have been very little increases in commodities where we live over the past year and we know because we go shopping every week.
With this marvelous economic growth, expats living in the Philippines are seeing improvement in infrastructure, in the quality of education for their children, in stability and in overall growth and development. Some expats are concerned about the strengthening of the Philippine Peso and the weakening of the US Dollar, however, a balance is very possible. I remember living in the Philippines the first time, a time when both the Peso and the Dollar were strong and both complimented one other.
I am not encouraging anyone to invest in Philippines stocks, in the various money market strategies or engaging in small or large businesses but I am encouraging everyone to take and look and see that those with such interests can do a lot worse by investing in many other countries.
My wife and I are not economic wizards and we are not prophetic to predict the future but both us of agreed in 2009 that investing in the Philippines is not as risky as many thought at that time. Since then, we have not stopped investing and we have continued our trend on our own level, which is not big time by any means, yet it has paid off for us.