Thinking about retirement can be stressful, and overwhelming at times. It becomes even more overwhelming when thinking about retirement in another country. However, there is a reason people retire in other countries. It gives you the opportunity to live a life you wouldn’t otherwise be able to in your home country.
The Philippines is one of the easiest and most enjoyable places that many people decide to retire to, but making this decision can be challenging. Here is a guide to the Philippines to help get you started on your journey to retirement:
Cost of Living
The cost of living in the Philippines is incredibly low, making it an ideal spot to retire while still living large. It is completely reasonable to live comfortably with just $1,000 a month. Rent for a one bedroom apartment on average can range anywhere from 125 to 240 USD, depending on the location (of course prices are always changing). Compared to what you would be paying in many other parts of the world, this is an absolutely incredible deal.
Luckily the Philippines is one of the nicest, and sometimes easiest, places to get a visa. While some countries make it nearly impossible, the Philippines are particularly supportive in helping people have the opportunity to retire in the Philippines. The main requirements are having 20,000 USD in an approved Philippine bank, and be over the age of 35. You can find further information here on how this process works.
Communication and the Internet
Although the Philippines are incredibly affordable and easy to get to, not everything can be perfect. Unfortunately, strong internet connections can be harder to come by, making communicating with those back home a little challenging. Here are a few tips for beginners on how to best communicate and access the internet when living in the Philippines:
- Invest in long-term broadband internet: Thankfully, if you are planning on staying in the Philippines for a long period of time (over 6 months), you will have access to more and faster internet provider options. They still may not be as fast as you are used to, but they will be better than many of the portable Wi-Fi options.
- Use a VPN: You may not have access to certain websites in the Philippines, such as Netflix. If you encounter this problem, use a VPN to make it appear as if you are web browsing from a different country, allowing you to access those sites.
- Take advantage of free Wi-Fi: More and more coffee shops, and even some malls are starting to provide free Wi-Fi. You may have to purchase something at a café, but this can be very helpful when you first get to the Philippines and don’t yet have internet set up at your home.
Many countries claim to have the friendliest and kindest people, but the Philippines truly may win for the most amazing and welcoming people. You will find it easy here, to not only feel welcomed but to easily be able to get in touch and become friends with locals. One of the hardest parts about moving to a new country can be constantly feeling like an outsider, but here you will quickly find that it’s very easy to make caring lifelong friends that make you feel welcome.
The Philippines are a great place to be if you want to live large, without emptying the bank account. Food is relatively cheap (and delicious). However, there are a few things to know when eating out:
- Eat Local: Generally, establishments serving local Filipino food will be much cheaper than Western restaurants. Of course, even local restaurants can still vary greatly in price, depending on where and what you order.
- Splurge once in a while: Pricier meals in the Philippines are really not too bad. You can often find three-course meals and drinks for two people at $16 USD. You can enjoy life, and live big, without really spending too much in the end.
- Embrace the spoon and fork: Don’t be surprised to not see any knives in the Philippines. Most people just use a fork and spoon and in some cases their hands. This may take some getting used to, but generally, most food is easily eaten with simply a spoon and fork.
What to Do?
If you are considering traveling, moving or retiring to the Philippines, this may be one of the most important questions. Why should you come to the Philippines over any of the other many countries in the world? Here are a few of the amazing things you can do in the Philippines that will make your retirement everything you’ve ever dreamed of:
- Beautiful Beaches and Islands
The Philippines are covered in stunning tropical beaches. Its 7,107 islands offer something for everyone. You can find quiet, perfect beaches with little people, or beaches packed with people, life and culture. It is literally paradise.
- Nature and Wildlife
If you love nature or animals, this is your place. You can find hundreds of different types of plants, coral, animals, and reptiles. They are also home to one of the cutest monkeys, the Tarsier. There are also plenty of places to hike and explore throughout the country. You can find caves, rice terraces, lakes, waterfalls, and even volcanoes. You will be entertained for a lifetime discovering all of the natural beauty it has to offer.
If hiking and the outdoors are not your things, then try exploring the many shopping malls throughout the Philippines. Manila, in particular, is full of giant shopping malls to cater to any shopper’s desires.
The Philippines are gorgeous, full of culture, and home to some of the most amazing people in the world. Moving to the Philippines is, of course, a huge decision. If you are interested in further exploring this opportunity you can find more information, and ask any questions on Retiring to the Philippines forum.