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The Pros and Cons of Retiring in the Philippines

Updated on December 17, 2012

In the last few years or so, I have noticed more and more foreigners coming to my country and choosing to retire here. In fact, some of the programs of our current government are geared towards enticing our overseas workers and foreigners to retire permanently in the Philippines.

Retiring anywhere, even in your own country, is quite a commitment. If you’ve visited Philippines and liked this country then you know what life (in general) is like here. But, on the other hand, visiting the country and retiring in it are two separate things and may yield quite different experiences.

As with any experiences in life, retiring in a foreign country such as the Philippines has its advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons). I’m not going to sugar-coat the matter and say that there are more pros and cons but I’ll leave you to judge for yourself. So let’s start and have a look at these pros and cons:

The Pros:

Low Cost of Living

Retiring and living in the Philippines is an inexpensive alternative than retiring in, let’s say, the U. S. In the U. S., $1,000 is well, still $1,000, and it doesn’t really take you too far. But here in the country, $1,000 is like P48,000 and with a low cost of living, this peso amount is already a substantial one for a retiree. Of course, this means that the retiree will not really splurge on the luxuries in life but it is enough for all the comforts of retirement living.

Availability of Outside Help

When I say outside help, I meant house helpers and drivers. They are available here in the country 24/7 and are not really that expensive (they can fit in your $1,000 budget). Plus, if the retiree gets lucky and hires somebody who’s really trustworthy, loyal and a gem, the retiree might find somebody who can really take care of him for the rest of his life. Having someone around who can help you out may be a luxury in other countries, but here, it is a way of life.

Good Climate

In general, the weather here in the country, all-year round, is warm (may get hot during the summer). So if you’re a retiree who loves to soak in the sun while lounging by the beach or in front of a swimming pool, then the Philippines is the country for you. Our weather here can be very kind to those who are already approaching their old age. On the other hand, if you want to go to a place where it is a little bit colder, you can always go up to Baguio City, our summer capital, or Tagaytay, another alternative to Baguio (and much nearer to the capital).

The People

I may be biased (but I honestly don’t think so) but I think we, Filipinos, are one of the friendliest and most hospitable in the world. We are citizens who love to smile and laugh about a lot of things (despite the many problems we encounter everyday) and we are always ready to welcome a foreigner in our midst. The Filipino community spirit is very much alive as well and you will never worry that nobody will look after you when you come here. Chances are, some Filipino families will adopt you (and your husband or wife) and see to your needs.

Communicating with us is also quite easy. We are a people who understand English and can speak the language. We also do not hesitate to teach a foreigner some Tagalog words that he or she can use every day. In fact, I have seen some foreigners here who have lived long enough to speak very good Tagalog (never mind the accent, they’re really good). But if you don’t want to learn the local language, that’s fine, we’ll do whatever we can to help you communicate well with the Filipino people.

Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenic Spots

We Filipinos love to eat and most certainly, you will not find yourself going hungry here. Wherever you will go, you will surely find different local foods that are delicious and you can enjoy. Plus we have a lot of beautiful scenic spots all over our 7,000 plus islands. So, if you’re the type to travel (and you have the means for it), you will never ran out of beautiful places to go to in the Philippines.

Why Philippines?

Why invest in Boracay Philippines?

the Sun Valley Estates - Antipolo City, Philippines

The Cons:

Different Culture

If you come from another country and culture and decide to live here, adjusting yourself to the culture here can be quite a chore. The pace of life here may also be slower than what you are used to. But then again, if you decide to live here, I reckon you already expect as much and are ready for it.

Lack of Infrastructure

This depends on where you decide to live in the country. In the capital and the nearby cities and provinces, the infrastructure (the transportation, the roads, the public utilities, communication, internet connection, etc.) is already vastly improved and readily available to anyone. But in other parts of the country, you may find that this is not always the case. Sure we have cellular phone coverage in almost all corners of the country, but this, unfortunately, cannot be said for internet connections, the roads and the public utilities. Some areas are better than the others when it comes to infrastructure. Others are more backward in this sense. In deciding to live your retirement here, you have to research well the place where you are actually going to live.

Health Care

When you are in your advanced years, you are very concerned about your health and your ability to stay healthy. Health care in the capital city of the Philippines is already at par with other countries in the world. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said in the other cities or provinces within the country. I’ve heard of foreigners who complain that they can’t get the right health care that they are accustomed to in their home countries. This is one of the cons that our government is trying to address. In the capital, much progress has been made but the same thing cannot be said for the provinces and the other cities. This is another matter that you have to research well before you decide to retire here.

There you have it. The pros and cons of retiring in the Philippines. Apparently, there are more pros than cons, but the cons are pretty heavy and serious. On a last note, if you decide to stay here, just make sure you really know this country. There are a lot of resources already in the Internet about this topic and gaining more knowledge about the Philippines is only a click away. It never hurts to do your own research. Good luck and have a happy retirement!

My second HubMob for Financing Your Retirement
My second HubMob for Financing Your Retirement

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    • profile image

      hulltork 

      2 years ago

      After travelling all around the Philippines,15 times in the last 20 yrs, I have to agree that this article is grossly understating the "cons" of living in the Phils.....it is an extrememly polluted country, its not that there may be no environmental regulations, Filipinos just don't give a damn, about anything it seems.Horrible air pollution in the cities, litter and trash everywhere, waterways filthy, deforestation, beautiful beaches, but coral reefs laying dead, blown to pieces by dynamite fishing.I have lived in nipa huts in small, remote fishing villages, and seen many of these things first hand.This article was clearly written by a filipino, who like all filipinos, refuse to see how their "bahala na" (let's put it in gods hands) attitude,absolutely removes themselves from any responsibility in their lives, and it shows.....I love the phils, and yes will return again, and perhaps retire there, but please writer, like the aforementioned doctor said, remove your head from your anus!!!

    • profile image

      Deke 

      3 years ago

      The weather is good. but most here will try to take advantage of you, they want to charge you more because your from an other country. Dating they expect you to support all their family. So you need to be very careful and never give or leaned any money to them. Here they consider it a gift not a loan You will pay for everything you want here but the cost of living is very good. I love it here and hope to become a sitizen but it is very corrupt here too.

    • profile image

      Croesus 

      4 years ago

      Hello.

      It's a great article you have here; thanks for summing it up the way you did. I am considering retirement options here (the Philippines), but was quite put back because of the natural disasters, and the electricity.

      Please could you provide more insights into this area?

    • profile image

      Yves 

      4 years ago

      If (Dr. Abrams), you don't like the Philippines; "STAY THE HELL OUT".

    • profile image

      DR. Joseph Abrams 

      4 years ago

      What a grossly incompetent ignorant false and misleading report. You complete idiot! You left out ever singly negative about living in the Philippines! You must have been born with your head up your anus rectum! Tell the world about the real truth about the Philippines!

      There are NO functional Public Safety laws, there are NO Health laws, there are NO ecology laws, there are no pedestrian laws, there are NO traffic laws! Every river, every stream, every bay is full of human sewage, garbage & trash! There are no litter, trash or garbage laws!

      The entire Philippines is controlled by satanic evil catholic laws! There is

      catholic super over populations, poverty and crime every where in the Philippines! The Philippines will have another 50 million people in the next 30 years! The Philippines is the largest satanic evil catholic public sewer in Asia!

    • profile image

      Steve 

      5 years ago

      Hi - Really enjoyed your article and would like to talk to you about possibly putting a link to your hub page on our site http://retiringtothephilippines.com

      If you'd like to chat about it please visit the site and use the 'contact us' page and I'll get right back to you.

      Steve

    • profile image

      Mike 

      5 years ago

      I'd like to retire in the Alaminos, Pangasinan area with my Filipina wife. I have visited there several times over the past but do you consider it a safe area to retire?

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      No question Phillipinos are some of the friendliest people. I have many friends from there. Nice hub. I want to know more. Pls write a sequel.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Brenda. Unfortunately I don't live in Cebu so I can't really give you any comment on that area. But I'm hoping one of the readers of this hub could help you about this. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      Brenda 

      6 years ago

      I plan to retire in Cebu in 2014 with approx $1,400US dollars monthly. My daughter and I would like to rent a house close to the beach with a swimming pool and one that allows pets. Can this be done for around $600 monthly rent, possibly furnished 2br in nice safe area? Would love to correspond with some of you who have info on this beautiful country!

    • profile image

      Roy 

      6 years ago

      You are right about the warmth of the Filipino. One, a very lovely lady, introduced me to my wife. I have worked with about 15 or 16 here who came to teach in a local school district, all very nice, caring, and great teachers. That's one of the main reasons I am considering retiring there, I already know some folks. My wife and I are really sun bunnies and love tropical weather. I've lived in a small town most of my life so a slow pace is welcomed. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      Charles Harman 

      6 years ago

      Would you be interested is setting up some back-links to each others website to boost traffic, I receive around 300 page views per day and would like to increase that.

      Charles_Harman@rocketmail.com

      http://retiringphilippines.org/

    • profile image

      Vincet 

      6 years ago

      Retiring in the Philippines is fine as long as your are not put in a situation like emergency health needs, accidents, legal or police. The crime rate is also to consider, when you are in involved in that situation only two scenario outcome you be dead or alive.

    • profile image

      Tonyha 

      6 years ago

      Whilst I agree retirement in the Philippine is a great option those thinking about it should be aware of a few things...1.. As a foreigner you WILL be overcharged for many items, easy answer is to get a local to shop for you 2.. If you need to purchase a car on credit... forget it! you will meet numerous hurdles and never get approval, need a car pay cash if you can. Life here is good BUT if you suffer with any chest ailment forget it , the pollution in the centre of cities is bad and will eventually affect you

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 

      6 years ago

      Emie

      Retiring in a country whose's currency is weaker than your own, topped up with lower cost of living can be heavenly if you play your cards right. Your insight into the pros and cons of retiring in Philippines is like sound advice for anyone who wants to retire on that side of the globe. Awesome hub!

      Princesswithapen

    • profile image

      JOHN GRAY 

      6 years ago

      Where Can I find out about living in the Philippines in legal terms? Do I have to leave the country every 90 days like I do here in Costa Rica? What are the immigration laws for a USA citizen? Do I need to prove any certain amount of available monies either from my Social Security Check or savings to stay there? thank you, John Gray jgray1950@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      FallenAngel 

      7 years ago

      My husband wants to retire there. I just want a house and a nice savings account.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      May I ask where your wife is from in the Philippines?

    • profile image

      jrp 

      7 years ago

      hi, i want to retire to the pi. i am an american, wife is filapina . i want to buy a home for 50,000 usd. where can i buy in a quiet neighborhood?

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi sdy53. Congrats on your wife getting her green card :).

      Uhm, the payola unfortunately is still a big problem here. Whether it's just perceived or a reality, it really depends on the city and the chief of the police in that area. Hope that helps.

    • sdy53 profile image

      sdy53 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for taking time to compose a well researched informative article. My wife is a lovely Filipina! We just got her Green Card :)

      Are there any problems with the police pulling people over and demanding some payola? Just want to know if there are adequate checks and balances on law enforcement officials before I consider retiring there.

    • profile image

      Michael Stanley 

      7 years ago

      I am very interested in retiring in the Philippines

    • kennynext profile image

      kennynext 

      8 years ago from Everywhere

      The Philippines is a great place ant the people are awesome.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hey De Greek, thank you. It's always nice to hear great words from other people about my country. No plans to return here? :)

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Cindy. Safe meaning from terrorist? If yes, I would recommend Metro Manila, certain parts of Laguna and Batangas and Subic, also cities in Visayas like Cebu and Iloilo.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      This is a wonderful idea of yours. I maintained an office in Manila for 18 years and I lived there physically with my family for two and I can never forget the kindness and the sweetness of the people. It's a wonderful place to retire to :-)

    • profile image

      cindy 

      8 years ago

      my husband wants to retire in our country but I am really concern about his safety... I just want to ask you guys if you can give me some places that are really safe to retire in our country.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Ms. Lita.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Emie,

      This is a great hub, encouraging would-be retirees even from foreign lands to embrace our country's offer of great life once adjusted to it. Very nationalistic, very Filipino. Mabuhay ka!

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Don't regret not being fluent. You've already learned so much and you're writing like a pro. Thanks for your wonderful opinion on our language and our people. Mabuhay ka!

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 

      9 years ago from Canada

      My Filipino friends (in Toronto, Ontario) taught me a little Tagalog. I regret not having become fluent. The language is as beautiful as the people are gracious. Tingin ko ng lahat ng mga tao na Filipino bilang aking kaibigan.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Wow! I did a double take on your comment. I thought you're a Filipino! Thanks for your wonderful comments, they really made my day. Hope you come over here some time in the future. =)

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Emievil, ang aking mabuting kaibigan, I have known many wonderful Filipino people in my day. There is one thing about your country that makes it preferable to all others: ang lahat ng mga magagandang babae! I'll be moving down there just as soon as I retrieve my youth!

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Hey Dolores. That's a good idea. Thanks for bringing that up =).

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      emievil maybe you could add or write another hub abut home values, how much, say, a beach front condo costs in relation to dollars. It sure looks beautiful there and I know that the Filipino people have a reputation for being friendly and kind where ever they are. Cool hub.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      I wish I can also say I'm retired =(. I'd love to retire early and just earn online. =)

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      I just retired and I am having fun here! And of course I'm a Filipino.

      Thanks for this very informative hub.

    • emievil profile imageAUTHOR

      emievil 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks SweetiePie. You're still a long way to go from retiring but feel free to visit my country anytime. =)

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Retiring in the Philippines does seem to have some good pluses. The nice people and climate are definitely things to consider :).

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