Planning to Retire Soon!

If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reasons for Retiring in the Philippines

View of Mt Malindig from Torrijos,Marinduque
I recently discovered this article from the San Francisco Chronicle by Jose G. Caedo It was written in 2006, so the dollar figures quoted maybe 10% less, but the reasons why the Philippines is a retirement heaven for Americans and Europeans remain the same. Here is the article with my personal comments in bold. I found it timely in spite of the fact it was written three years ago. I hope you found the article informative.

Considering retirement? For many Americans, retirement time is just around the corner. The prospect of trying to live on a pension, in old age is a daunting one. For some, moving to retire in another country such as Mexico (for North Americans) or Portugal and Spain (for Northern Europeans) is an option which has been successful. But why not consider retiring in the Philippines?

Over the last decade, the Philippines has become a retirement haven for thousands of foreigners, particularly the Japanese, Korean, and Northern Europeans. Along with Thailand and Malaysia, the Philippines developed communications, infrastructure, and service delivery systems specifically geared to meet the needs of foreign retirees.
The principal appeal for retirement in the Philippines is the lower cost of living. At present, the Philippine Peso ( PhP) exchange rate is approximately PhP 53/40 to $1.00 (As of today the rate exchange is about 49 to 1) Housing, food, and labor costs are quite reasonable. A two bedroom condominium in one of the posh " villages" in Makati City costs about $400 per month ( my guess today is $550).
One can dine out on average at a three star restaurant for less than $10.00, including tax and tip. If you plan to hire domestic help, a private driver's salary is approximately $200.- per month, while a trained housekeeper will earn approximately $100. These salaries are lower if you live in the provinces.( Today,in my province of Marinduque a couple could live like a King and Queen for about $1500 a month).This includes services of maids, a gardener and a personal driver and all the fresh fruits and seafood you can eat every day, if you desire.

Watching a film in a first-run movie theater there costs only 25 cents, with a good light meal called " merienda") afterwards for about $2.00. One can hire an air-conditioned taxicab for eight hours for less than $25.00. Or take the MRT monorail from end to end for less than $1.00.-And a pair of locally made blue jeans costs less than $ 10.- IN a country where a provincial Governor's salary is PHP 28,000 per month, and a Presidential Cabinet Under-Secretary earns PhP35,000, your pension can go a long way. So, if you have an individual retirement income
of approximately $1,500 to $2,000 per month ( Ph 80,000 to 100,000.-)you can live quite well there.( I agree especially in the provinces). Incidentally, Peso-denominated Time Deposit interest rate now is 4.5% for forty-five days.

AS for health care, most U.S. Health Management Organizations pay for medical expenses incurred in the Philippines. Check with your HMO. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs presently has a task force headed by former Secretary Roberto Romulo working to have the U.S. government accredit a number of first class Philippine hospitals for Medicare reimbursement. The Makati Medical Center, one of the nation's best already has such accreditation. Unbeknown st to many is that for years, citizens of nearby countries such As Thailand, Nauru, Tonga, Indonesia, and Malaysia have flocked to the Philippines for medical care, particularly sensitive surgical procedures. The quality of medical care at the better Manila hospitals such as the Asian, St. Luke's, Medical City, Cardinal Santos, Philippine Heart Center
for Asia, National Kidney Institute, and Makati Medical Center meets international standards. I have been treated by American Surgeons in San Francisco who have been to the Philippines where they performed surgical procedures. These surgeons have a high opinion of the Philippine doctors, nurses, and facilities they worked with.

Heart, Liver, Kidney, Pancreatic, and Cornea transplants are done routinely in the better Manila hospitals.

A Japanese company will be building a medical facility in Tagaytay City exclusively for Japanese nationals within the year. There are now close to 10,000 Japanese retirees in the country, and the number is growing annually. The British government recently acquired a large tract of land in Fort Bonifacio to build a large Embassy. The British ambassador explained that larger facility is meant to help serve the growing number of British nationals retiring there as well. There are also Japanese and Korean investment groups buying homes and condominiums in Manila, and tracts of provincial land for retirees. This has caused a mini-Real Estate boom in the country. A retirement village exclusively for Japanese nationals already exists in Tagaytay, and more are planned.

These are strong indicators of what is on the horizon.

English is the Philippines' official business language. Most of the people you will meet, from hotel workers, taxi drivers, sales or service people, government employees, speak English, or have a working understanding of it. The middle class speak English, without exception.

All the major newspapers, and major broadcast companies use English. An English speaking visitor will never get lost in the Philippines. It is the universal use of that language that has been a strong incentive to foreigners. As well, communications links within the country and to other countries via the various commercial gateways is up to international standards. For example, the use of cell phones and text messaging is so common that housemaids, street vendors and sidewalk food hawkers can be seen using their cell phones incessantly. And for just Php1.00 per message, why not? Are you thinking of bringing household goods over? Your electrical appliances will work using the local electrical outlets, which provide either 220V, or 110V sources. Just ask.

One will never want for adventure and sights to experience in the Philippines. There is always a colorful Fiesta, pageants, street festivals, and open public events going on.(for information on Fiestas see Lush with bountiful natural resources, one can enjoy the numerous beaches, resorts, golf courses, and play just about any sport, except skiing. There is an ice skating rink in Manila, though. Scuba diving and fishing are among the sports which draw the most number of foreigners to the rich aquatic offerings. Shopping is the Filipinos' second most popular activity, the first is eating. Manila is Asia's undiscovered shopping Mecca. You will love the golden purple sunsets, the fragrance of the flowers at dusk, and the wonderful array of fruit and food. I used to enjoy watching the sunset from the bar at the Philippine Cultural Center.There,you can listen to the Symphony,check out a play,or enjoy Grand Opera. There is just so much to explore and discover, specially in terms of nature, culture, and history.

If you're a betting man, there's horse racing, the Jai Alai, numerous first class casinos, and of course, cock-fighting. Manila is well known for its exciting night life.

Strategically located, the Philippines is an airline hub. Hong Kong, HoChi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei are just an hour and a half flight away. With Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Jakarta approximately five hours. There are regular flights to those destinations from Manila's three international terminals.

Philippine Real Estate, medical/ social service, and Employment agencies are now working together under the aegis of the government's Philippine Retirement Authority ( PRA) to set up standards and make the retirement industry truly world class.

The PRA website is main..Under the direction of Gen. Edgar B.Aglipay, chairman of the Philippine Retirement Authority, plans have been operationalized to ensure that the growing demand for housing and ancillary services for the retirees are met.

The objective is to turn the country into the retirement haven in Asia. This will also help employ more local Filipinos at higher wages so that they need not leave the country to seek work.

Visit the land of fun, flowers, food, fruit, and friendly people.
You might not want to leave it anymore. Mabuhay!


Anthony said...

Hi. How much do Americans receive after they retire.

I'm also starting a blog to promote the Philippines.

And I'm wondering if the expats are receiving enough that they can retire here.

David B Katague said...

Hi Anthony:Most American retirees depends on their social social security pension in retiring in the Philippines. The SS pension varies from around $600 to around $2000 depending on your age and salary when you retire. Based on my experience, if you retire in the provinces, a pension of around $1000 to $1200 is adequate. If you retire in big cities such as Manila, Cebu or Iloilo, my estimate will be around $1,500 per month. What is the name of your blog promoting the Philippines. I love to read it. Cheers!

Anthony said...


Thanks you very much for answering my question.

I received your comment but I had to reupdate my article to give it a more appropriate title.

Thanks for visiting also.

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