Want to spend your retirement surrounded by beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine? Then you will definitely love the Philippines!
Famous for its tropical weather, amazing vacation spots, and lower cost of living, you can find a lot of seniors considering the Philippines as their retirement destination.
But wait: What retirement villages should you consider when planning to live in the Philippines? Before packing your bags, check out what to prepare to spend your days in peace and relaxation.
Why Retire In the Philippines?
The Philippines boasts of many more unique attractions and retirement advantages, such as:
The Philippines is a popular destination for its natural beauty and tropical weather.
You can find so many things to do and visit, whether you want to be around lush mountains or dive down to view colorful coral reefs. More of the city life? Living in the central business districts has you smack-dab in the middle of bars, gyms, malls, and more!
But it’s places like Palawan and Boracay that hit the spot, especially for retirees who want something more laidback. With white sand and crystal clear waters, it’s somewhere you can imagine living in for the rest of your days.
Let’s also not forget the vast and scrumptious cuisines the Philippines offers! With over 7,000 islands separated in regions and cities, each area has its own twist to Filipino dishes.
From a hot bowl of sour soup called sinigang down to the infamous sisig, a Kampampangan dish of pig head and chicken liver, let your tastebuds explore. If not, you can still find your comfort foods with many restaurants catering to the Western palette. That’s how diverse the country can be!
It isn’t only the places that attract many young and foreign senior travelers, though. The Philippines also boasts of the most hospitable citizens, welcoming you with open arms.
With English as the second language here, you won’t have a difficult time adjusting and communicating with people in the area. Filipinos are some of the nicest and accommodating people, ready to tour you around and show you the best of what their country has to offer.
From breathtaking sceneries to heartwarming people, it’s easy to settle down and adjust to the retirement life.
Receive Expat Incentives
Did you know that the Philippine government has its own special section in the tourism department for retirees? The Philippine Retirement Authority can help when settling as a retiree, offering help for your stay.
Retirees can receive various financial benefits, such as:
• Senior discounts
• Duty-free imports
• Exemptions from any airport travel taxes!
Furthermore, expat residents, no matter the age, can still work or start businesses. This is great for retirees who still want to earn a bit of income even after entering their next stage in life.
The Philippine tax code is also friendly to expats and foreign retirees, with resident aliens taxed on income from sources within the country. The rates will vary, depending on the type of income received, ranging between 20-35% of your income. You won’t pay tax for income received from pensions or other retirement plans!
Another advantage of retiring here is that once you’re granted permanent residency, you’re allowed to stay in the country for as long as you’d like. The retiree visa won’t expire, you can leave or return without having to apply for residency again.
Whether you’re here for 3 months, a year, or for good, the Philippines will always be welcoming.
Cost of Living
While it may not boast of the cheapest cost of living (that’s Cambodia), it’s still considered as a low-cost country.
According to InternationalLiving.com, you can live well for around $1,200 a month. Note that the cost of living in the Philippines about 47.57% lower than in the United States!
Here’s a breakdown of the usual expenses when living in the Philippines, according to Numbeo:
⁃ Renting a 3-bedroom apartment in the city center is $700 to $800 monthly
⁃ Basic utility bills can cost between $100 to $150 monthly
⁃ The average grocery bill for two people is less than $200 monthly
⁃ Gasoline is $1 per liter
⁃ A 3-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant can cost less than $20
If your Social Security benefit is about $1,400 monthly (the average amount for retired US citizens), then you can live well with this alone.
Access to Healthcare
Hospitals in the Philippines do not accept traditional Medicare. It may also be a bit difficult to get healthcare, depending on where you plan to stay.
When living in the National Capital Region, you can get healthcare without issues. Unfortunately, other areas may lack the necessary healthcare facilities retirees need.
But for areas that have easier access to hospitals, you’ll be glad to know that healthcare costs lower than in the United States.
You can sign up and pay for local health insurance plans or apply for their government’s healthcare program, PhilHealth. For military retirees, you may access local VA clinics.
Top Retirement Villages In the Philippines
Here are the top three retirement villages in the Philippines anyone would love to visit:
1. Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island, Cebu
Cebu is the business hub in Visayas, offering a combination of urban and rural lifestyles. You can find world-class restaurants and tons of entertainment in the city, then head to their white sand beaches with clear water nearby!
Beyond beautiful attractions, they also boast great private medical facilities, focusing on healthcare. They also have an international airport with direct flights to most Southeast Asian countries.
While still on the works, the Philippine BXT Corporation is planning to build a retirement facility on a 100-hectare property. They will build these into condominium units with facilities catered to seniors. Expect island-inspired pools and gardens for leisure walking.
2. Chateau Royale Sports & Country Club in Nagusgbu, Batangas
This facility caters to local and foreign tourists, a great choice for retirees! It has 140 log cabins, condo units, and villas to live in, designed with comfort in mind for seniors and families.
The luxurious country club boasts of having a floating restaurant, greenhouses, a golf course, even its own tertiary hospital and nursing home.
Because it’s only less than three hours away from NCR, this is a good option for those who want the beach and countryside resort life without being completely away from the busy city.
3. 24 Canyon Woods in Tagaytay, Cavite
This is a residential area located in Tagaytay, which is a popular weekend destination for its colder temperatures. In here, you can find nearby beaches and fantastic views of Taal Lake, along with delicious eats unique to the city!
Tagaytay is becoming an urban area with more malls and facilities built, giving retirees the balance of convenience and peace.
In any of these places, you have access to airports for local and international travel. This makes it easy for your families to visit you after retirement to enjoy the beauty of the Philippines with you.
How to Arrange Your Retirement In Philippines
If you plan to retire in the Philippines, the first step is to get a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa, or an SRRV. You will need to meet the following requirements:
⁃ You’re at least 50 years old
⁃ Deposit at least $10,000 to a Philippine bank for those who have a guaranteed monthly income of at least $20,000. This will cover you and two more dependents
⁃ Deposit $15,000 for every additional dependent
⁃ Proof of pension paying at least $800 monthly, or $1,000 for a couple
Prepare a one-time visa application fee, which is $1,400 for the household head and $300 for every additional family member. There is an annual fee of $360 for renewing the visas, covering you, your spouse, and one child. You’ll need to pay an extra $100 for every additional child.
Besides the SRRV, you need to get an Alien Certificate of Registration card. This has a microchip containing your biometric data and fingerprints, serving as a re-entry permit with your passport and visa stamp. This costs $50 and will need annual renewal.
Afterward, you can start securing housing or renting accommodation in retirement villages. There are short-term and long-term rentals or permanent residencies you can avail of.
But you will need to be wary, as you are unable to invest in real properties unless you are a Filipino citizen. That’s why it’s much better to rent in retirement villages or invest in condos and townhouses to avoid the hassle.
Wrapping It Up
Retiring in the Philippines is a great option for its low cost of living and expat benefits. While there may be some minor issues and limitations, the advantages surpass it.
Be sure to check its pros and cons, ybe visit the country to explore if it’s a suitable place to live in. If you see yourself living here, take the right steps to get a visa and accommodation.