This is the last installment in my 3 part series for those who are intending to retire in the Philippines. This series of articles gives specific information to all those who are about to follow that dream! By now, you have all the information you need to acquire the needed visa to retire in the Philippines and to make your dream come true.
The Philippines has three Regions and those are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Even though they are all in the Philippines, each Region has their own colorful and vibrant culture and languages, which differ one from the other. Everyone living in Luzon does not speak Tagalog as their native tongue. Everyone living in the Visayas does not speak Visayan as their native tongue and many people living in Mindanao speak Cebuano among the many different languages. The great news is, English is widely spoken in all three Regions and the major newspapers are all printed in English.
Where Will I Live When I Retire in the Philippines?
In my previous two articles in this series, I gave a few specific areas that are fabulous places to live when you retire in the Philippines. Now, you have to decide where you will live in any specific area. Will you rent, buy or build? Many expats are still not 100% decided as to where they actually want to live when they retire in the Philippines. The expats who have a Filipina wife or a Filipino husband wonder if living near relatives is a good idea. It can be a great idea because extended family members often give the much needed help on the ground when help is indeed needed. In my personal situation, my wife had not actually lived in the Philippines for almost 15 years and a lot had changed over time. Therefore, her family has been a great part of our success over the past 4 years. Some will tell you that if you live near your Filipino family, they will constantly bug you asking for money or will actually visit your home and take up permanent residence! Yes, these things have happened but only because the expat and their wife allowed it to happen! Since 2009, we have not encountered these problems.
There is certainly nothing wrong with taking your time when you retire in the Philippines. A great suggestion is to rent for the first 6-12 months and make sure that area is where you will call home permanently. People often ask me how much is rent in Bacolod City? If one can live in a Filipino style concrete house in an older subdivision, there are houses for rent for less than P5,000 per month. An average size house that is more upscale in one of the newer and modern subdivisions in the city rent for P5,000-P10,000 per month and yes, prices are sometimes negotiable. For a larger, sprawling house, expect to pay P15,000 upward to as much as P40,000 per month, depending on the location in the city and the specific subdivision.
Many house and apartment rentals require two months advance rent and and two months deposit. To keep it simple, if you rent a house that is P10,000 per month, it will cost you P40,000 to move in. Before moving in any rental, you will want to be absolutely sure that there are not any outstanding electric, gas or phone bills on the land line or you will not receive service until those past due bills are paid! The former tenant is long gone, so you could be responsible for the past due bills before you are connected to utility services. Renters Beware!
Why I Chose to Retire in the Philippines
When I decided to retire in the Philippines in 2009, my wife and I had already decided on the location we wanted and we began the process of building a new home on land that my wife already owned. For under $30,000 we were able to build and furnish a very nice and large home in the countryside, about 43 km outside Bacolod City.
We were not satisfied with the education our son was receiving in his private Christian school in the countryside, so in 2011, we found a great deal on a 90% completely built home in one of the newer Bacolod City subdivisions. The developer greatly discounted the price of the home because the previous buyer lost his overseas job and could not complete the construction on the home, which was still owned by the developer. Property tax is very inexpensive in the Philippines and costs us less than $100 per year on each home. Less than P4,000 per year! This is fabulous!
When you retire in the Philippines, it should be known that you as a foreigner cannot own land but you can own the home or you can buy a condominium and in some situations, a townhouse. Provided 60% of the other unit owners are Philippine citizens and no land is involved in the transaction.
Are you ready to follow that dream? To retire in the Philippines? It can happen quicker than you may think. You will be able to make your own daily schedule and set your own here pace. If you enjoy the beach, you can go everyday, year round! Once I decided to retire in the Philippines, my life has never been greater and I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life! I am loving it in the Philippines!