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Cost of Retirement in the Philippines

There's a lot of great information out there about retiring abroad.  As the world continues to get smaller and smaller, retiring overseas is becoming a reality for many.  Weather you're interested in Mexico, Portugal, or any other retirement destination, it's never been easier to consider retiring overseas.

Retirement in the Philippines

retirement in the Philippines

Investopedia recently ran a story entitled What Does it Cost to Retire in the Philippines?  It's a great little guide on special retirement considerations for this island oasis.  Did you know that the Philippines boasts more than 6,500 islands to visit?  All told, the Philippines offer an incredibly affordable tropical retirement if you do your homework.

Here's what Investopedia's Sean Ross had to say about retirement in the Philippines:  “If you like the sight of beautiful beaches and the taste of fresh seafood, all at unbelievably low costs, then consider the Philippines as a potential retirement destination. The small island nation – there are actually more than 6,500 islands in the Philippines, all told – is famous for its tropical weather, oceanfront property and easy access to the rest of Southeast Asia.”

Perhaps most attractive is the low cost of living; one U.S. dollar is worth roughly 47 Philippine pesos. By comparison, an American living a $3,500-a-month lifestyle in Chicago could live just as comfortably for between $700 and $1,200 a month in the Philippines. Of course, a lot depends on how you plan your retirement, too. – Sean Ross, Investopedia, 7/27/16

Crime in the Philippines

The Philippines isn't all sunny beaches and fun-in-the-sun… There is a crime element to be aware of. Organized crime can be something of a problem in the Philippines.  Crimes such as prostitution, human trafficking and police corruption are also known crime commodities. For those reasons, it's better to stick to the nicer areas if you can afford to do so.

retirement in the PhilippinesCost of Living in the Philippines

Housing and transportation costs are relatively inexpensive in the Philippines.  Author Sean Ross says in Makati, a comfortable three-bedroom home can cost anywhere between $75,000 to $200,000.  Local intercity busses offer really inexpensive travel throughout town, but expect them to be really busy (as in – people hanging off the sides of the busses). 🙂

RELATED:  Retirement Living In Lisbon, Portugal

Food and clothing aren't particularly inexpensive, but beer and cigarettes are super cheap. There are many activities happening at night as entertainment options are plentiful.  Healthcare is also inexpensive but naturally, the quality of those services can vary.

Top 5 Places to Live in the Philippines

For the right area, the Philippines is a great retirement option.  Persquare.com.ph published a nice little list of The Top 5 Places to Live in the Philippines for Peace and Quiet.  That list includes the following cities:

  1. BATANGAS
  2. PALAWAN
  3. DAVAO
  4. CEBU
  5. BOHOL

If you're a frequent traveler to the Philippines, or if you're considering the Philippines as a retirement option, we want to hear about it!

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8 Comments

  1. I plan on retiring in the Philippines early next year, I am a military retiree with a pension and disability check total around $3100. I don’t want to live close to a city, prefer the country side or close to a beach. I plan on buying a car so traveling to Manila to visit the VA clinic won’t be a problem. Any recommendations on location? I hear Batangas is really nice, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
  2. WHAT IS THE COST OF LIVING IN THE PHILIPPINES?? DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH, AND IS IT EXPENSIVE TO GET HELP IN SHOPPING AND OTHER ACTIVITIES?? I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, WHAT IS THE MAIN ATTRACTION OF RETIRING IN THE PHILIPPINES??
    1. Largely depends on your preference – quite/active versus active/active. Regardless, US$1,000-$$1,500 is more than sufficient if you live outside Manila, specifically in one of the bigger islands in the Visayas i.e. Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu (mini Manila). Other islands, although fairly inexpensive, are too rustic, which makes it difficult for some expats to be connected to the online world. The same amount will get you a less than sanitary condominium unit, in one of the noisier, congested, plus commuting/driving in perennial traffic in Metro Manila. However, MM offers a broader choice of gastronomic and night life and ‘other’ possibilities. The main attraction really is all year round warm weather, inexpensive food, and lots of unique places to enjoy (not just beaches) and most importantly, a population which embraces other cultures without hassles.
  3. There are two places I know would be best for an expat to retire in the Philippines. As a local, I see expats would be better off at these two locations. It would certainly be for their best interest.
  4. Hi- My intention is retiring to Philippines, December, 2018 and utilizing early SSI retirement benefits at age 62. Other than a few thousand cash, SSI will be sole income. Is Makati a real option? I enjoy large cities with culture and walkable in a safe environment. Thank you
    1. Makati is really expensive and in Manila. Traffic, noise, high cost of living, crime and everything. There are two places that’s been the choice of expats ever since.

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