Why you SHOULD move to the Philippines

Why You SHOULD Move to the Philippines.

 

In my humble opinion, when balancing out the pros and cons of living or retiring in the Philippines, the positives FAR outweigh the negatives.  Then again, at this point I don’t think it’s actually what the Philippines has (or fails) to deliver that determines whether or not it would be an appropriate place for one to move to – I think it’s actually the mindset and the ability to adapt on the foreigner’s part that truly makes or breaks the Philippines as a living, working, or retirement destination.  Confused?  That’s OK – just check out a video we did on The Most Important Thing to Bring to the Philippines!

We did a posting a while back on why someone SHOULDN’T consider retiring or living in the Philippines.  In this post, we will look at some of the reasons why someone SHOULD consider our sunny island republic as a possible long-term work, travel or retirement destination.

The Weather:  Toss out your snow shovels, rubber boots and bag up your North Face parka collection to drop off at Goodwill.  Temperatures here are typical around 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and only go down to about 78 degrees at night.  Most of the year is sunny and the sky is clear.  Yeah, there is rainy season, but here in Negros is just more of random shower season, and after the heat of Summer (when it’s REALLY hot!), you don’t mind it so much.  Got aches and pains from cold, dry weather?  Watch them fade to a distant memory in the Philippines.

Another warm, sunny day....

Another warm, sunny day….

Visas: Tourist Visas are easy to get and run around $370 a year.  The law just changed on when you have to leave the country to let your visa reset – it used to be 16 months, now it’s every 3 years.  And then most folks just hop up to Honk Kong, Singapore or Malaysia for a few days of shopping and then come right back.

Vacation Destination:  The Republic is a place where other people come to holiday!  When chatting with these vacationers, you can usually pick up on the envy that they subconsciously express when they find our you are actually living or working here. Sailing, fishing, diving, ziplining, canopy walks, lagoon hunting, nature preserves, hiking, mountain (volcano!) climbing – it’s all right here.

Life's a beach.

Life’s a beach.

Margaritaville:  There are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, so you will pretty much have your fill of  white (and black and brown and gray!) sand beaches, Technicolor sunsets, palm trees and fluttering songbirds.  Don’t worry about bringing a hammock over with you, though – you can find them in just about any shop.

Economic Refugees:  Even with a small retirement fund, pension or salary, you can live quite well in the Philippines.  Rents, local restaurants, stores and most other things are geared towards Filipino consumers who tend to get paid much lower wages than in the West.  Us foreigners can take advantage of those savings and also help out the local economies at the same time by spending our money here.

Cheap, cheap organic fruits and veggies!

Cheap, cheap organic fruits and veggies!

The Women:  I would be a total hypocrite if I didn’t mention the fact that older guys have an opportunity here to relive their glory days by being in the company of younger, attractive women.  I mean, look at me – my wrinkly bald self would probably not be in a long term relationship with someone of Michell’s caliber (looks, smarts, wit, and charm) if I was still in the West.  It just goes to reason.  That said, if the ONLY reason you are deciding to live here is because of that – and you can’t adjust to some of the negatives of living here – you’re stay won’t be a long or pleasant one.

Yup.

Yup.

The People:  It’s an oft-stated stereotype, but you will generally find Filipinos to be much more friendly and outgoing than folks you might find in the West.  I actually had to work on my smile muscles when I first got here as coming from cold, impersonal New England, it quite the adjustment.  Most Filipinos also speak English well (in addition to Tagalog and a few other local dialects), so communication isn’t an issue.  In my time here, I have had nothing but positive experiences with Filipinos – some have even gone out of their way to help me when my bumbling self invariably gets into trouble!

 

*Thinking of retirement possibilities?  Got a job you can work remotely so long as you have internet?  Subscribe to our site to get updates on the ins and outs of living in the Philippines!*

 

Dauin-beach-me-and-michell-henrys-camera

 

Comments 36

  1. I have been trying to learn about life in the philippians. I am talking to a girl in Talauera Nueva Ecija. I plan on going there to meet her in September.

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  2. I met a woman online ,she lives in Cebu. We been talking on skype for 3 month now. I’m disabled and a Army Veteran. But even so I can’t afford to live in the U.S.. I love my country but I think I will be making the move to the Philippines.

    Thanks for all your video’s. They have been a great help on top of my own research. .

    Wayne, G..

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  3. I first visited the Philippines in August and September of 2012 to meet an Ilocano woman in Baguio that I had met on the Internet. She has since come to the U.S. and we are now married. We are approaching retirement age and should have about 50 k a year in retirement. Our plan is to rent in Baguio for about a year to see if I am not miserable! There is no way I could be miserable with my beautiful wife, but we just wish to try out life in the Philippines together. My question is: we will need health insurance. Can you point me at articles, websites, recommendations? Thank you.

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      That sounds like a good plan, Gary. Rent, rent rent and see if you like it. I heard it actually gets COLD up there! And with 50K a year, you can really live well here.

      As for health insurance, check out this threat from the Living in Cebu forums: http://www.livingincebuforums.com/ipb/topic/86835-good-health-insurance-in-philippines/?hl=%2Bhealth+%2Binsurance

      And if you haven’t signed up/joined that forum, I recommend doing it – it’s a tough crew of Philippine expat pirates, but they know their stuff!

    2. Hello Gary, you will find what Baguio is like after visiting or moving there, but I have heard some less than positive things about Baguio. It is not as nice as it once was, as it is over-crowded, has dogs everywhere, is noisy, and relatively expensive. I heard also that the beautiful pine trees have been cut down, and then the city has many homeless who are camping out in open areas. Of course you will want to check this out for yourself. If you find it to be a less than ideal city, you will find many other cities which are nice. Good luck.

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  4. Hi Ned, thanks for the site I have really enjoyed it. I recently returned after spending the month of October there (my girlfriend lives in Bacoor, Cavite). She grew up in Nabunturan of the Davao region. Could you pass along any info regarding Davao?

    Thank you , and keep up great work.

    Greg

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      I have heard good things about Davao from folks who live there (past and present). The mayor is a pretty interesting guy, and there haven’t been too many terrorist events in and around the city. Clean and no smoking and one of the biggest cities (land wise) in the Philippines.

    2. i have been living in davao for the last seven years. it is one of the most peacefull places i know. it is also known as the fruit basket of the philippines. futhermore we have wonderfull beaches and if you want to live a european or american livestyle for an affordable price, this is the place. my wife is from nabunturan to. her last name is XXXX.
      want to know more. email me XXXXXXX@gmail.com

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  5. Hi Ned,
    Baz from the UK here… Thanks for the great insight in your video’s, am intending to move / retire to Lucena area in September 2016. My pension will be approx 60kphp p/m with a lump fund of (2.6m php savings). … my state pension will kick in 9 years later, approx (+30k p/m). I see from your workings on out goings, that i should be fine, especially as I don’t want to live like a “little englander” !! Please could you just help to disperse the last little doubts I have that this small amount of money will enable me to get by reasonably. Many Thanks and best wishes to you and Michelle

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      Michell and I are averaging a bit over $1,100 a month. When you first get here and are “setting up,” you will spend more than that, but once you are settled in, it will go down. You have enough monthly income, but have you spent a good amount of time here? It’s not for everyone….

  6. Hi Ned, Dan here from Canada, married to a filipina for 12 years this February, and we have a place in Moalboal. I have visited there 4 times now, 7 weeks at a stretch, and when I retire in a couple years, I’ll be spending more time there, 6 months to a year at a time. so what you said about the Visas, [ Tourist Visas are easy to get and run around $370 a year. The law just changed on when you have to leave the country to let your visa reset – it used to be 16 months, now it’s every 3 years. ] What I understand was that when you are married to a filipina your visa is good for one year, and before that year is up you can renew for one more year, then before that second year is up you need to leave the country for a few days, like you said. then come back and start again. When I go there they stamp my visa and write down 1year. We were there for Sinulog 2015. Now that’s something you should check out, if you haven’t already. I like the vids, your bang on with whats it’s like there, keep up the good work. Who knows we might run into each other someday there.

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      Thanks for that, Dan. Yes, the balikbayan visas are a good deal but you have to return every year together to get them “renewed.” The balikbayan thing is actually a “privilege” and not a visa. 🙂

      1. [The balikbayan thing is actually a “privilege” and not a visa.] Yep, you’re absolutely right, but for me it’s a good option at this time, as we will only be visiting 6 months at a time, mostly because of our Canadian government, reason being, we lose our medical and our OAS (Old Age Security). If things change, and we decide to move there full time, we’ll look at all the other options.
        Love the vids, keep up the good work there . I feel that you are giving a honest no BS look at life for an expat there in the Philippines.

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          Yes, I know a few Canadians here who are having to do the same thing. I imagine the United States will be following that policy before long as well. Thanks for positive feedback and thanks again for being the first person to donate to our GoPro fundraiser!

        2. Dan, I checked with the Canadian government service center a couple weeks ago to see if my Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits are payable to me if I move to the Philippines. They told me they are, and they also told me that when I turn 65 my Old Age Security benefits are also payable to me in the Philippines. At 65 my disability pension payments convert to regular retirement pension benefits, which I can also receive directly in a Philippine bank along with my OAS. I confirmed this information on the Canadian government’s website in the section on Canada Pension Plan.

          Your Canada medical insurance plan is almost certainly from a provincial government, not the federal government, and from what I can tell, all Canadian provinces have that 6 month limit for coverage when out of the country. If I move, I intend to purchase the best medical insurance I can get in the Philippines. My well-connected Filipino friends are helping me find employment in a university (I can earn up to C$500/month without losing my CPP disability benefits) and have offered to rent me their home. Still a lot of hurdles to over come, but I’m very excited about the possibility.

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  7. Thanks. I finally read all of those posts. Looks like we can easily get insurance. We are still in the planning stage, but we are getting our ducks in a row. Ha Ha! Now I’ll have to explain about the ducks! Take care and be safe.

  8. Great site Mr. Ned & Miss Michell! Keep up the great work! See our PM to you on FaceBook, as we have been watching all of your vids, especially the one vid on the Military Courtesy SRRV. With my retired military of 34 years & my SSDI pay, we want to retire there one day (Santa Rosa/Laguna area), but maintain a future USA address (possible on Maui Island, Hawaii). (My wife soon to draw her SSI). Never been to the P.I., but was stationed on active duty with the Air Force, Taipei, Taiwan for 2 years back in the mid ’70’s. I know what your saying about the climate there in the P.I.–wouldn’t mind it again (We currently live in Alexandria, Louisiana- a sort of “climate training ground” for retirement in the P.I. Congrats to you both on your engagement too! We hope to meet & greet y’alls one day in the future too! My wife (Married 30 years now) is from Luzon, La Paz, Abra area & has many family throughout Luzon. I have travelled extensively throughout the world, and very well know what “living abroad” means. Half of my active duty tours were living in many world areas, so I am “culturally aware” of the living standards (Eastern Turkey for example). Thanks again for both of your info vids (Michell is a GREAT Vid Journalist on screen)! Y’alls both ROCK!! P.S. Keep eating the 3 times daily rice Ned!! It’s great & cheap food! 😀

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      Thanks Benjamin and apologies for late reply. Yeah, the military courtesy SRRV is the best deal going, without a doubt. Just make sure to visit the Philippines first – I would be remiss not to mention that again. And I am working on the rice – still not a big fan and it tends to go right to my hips. 🙂 Ingat!!

  9. I have been married to my Philippina wife since July 28 2015 I spent 9 no. There from Aug 29 2014 to Sept 23 2015. I’m going through the visa process so she can come to U.S. and going to return to Philippines in march this year, in 8 days to be exact, I’d like to stay as expat if possible but still own property here.I’m av63 yr old disabled vet with Sof.Sec.disability / military pension but still low income what are my options

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      Whoops. Late reply, and I can only assume that you are now in the Philippines. As to your question, your options are only limited by your income, which seems to be pretty fixed. I know of some guys that spend half the year in the Philippines and half the year in the home countries (with their Filipina spouses), but that actually costs a good amount of money – not to mention flight costs every six months. I would simply take it slow, be frugal and give it some thought: I am not privy to your finances, so I can’t offer a real opinion. Sorry I couldn’t have been of more help! Ned

  10. Hi there I was wondering if it is possible could I ask for a contact details to talk to you a little but just if you could spare the time please. I am trying to start a plan to attempt a move to the taguig area in Philippines and I have done some research but it’s just I can’t seem to get a understand of what I’m looking at.

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  11. Alright, brother. Nice videos, great information. I have been checking back and forth between Thailand and the Philippines. Both offer great value for the money. LOTS to do PLUS the ability to meet up with other westerners. I have another 5 years to work here in Law-Enforcement and will start getting my retirement at 55 until Social Security kicks in at 62. I should be getting around $3,000/month once I retire at 55. I guess that can provide a comfortable living there, right? How is the medical care there though?

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      Hey Andreas. $3000.00 USD a month is pretty much overkill for the Philippines. You will probably be able to sock away or invest most of that. My experiences with medical care here have been very positive. It might not be first world quality everywhere, but the medical centers in the larger cities are pretty durn good.

  12. Hey Ned, I was watching Mike on ‘My Philippine Journey’ and he stated that there are some new rules being introduced regarding the initial issue of a Philippine driving license.

    Could you please make some inquires at the LTO and provide further information on this subject as I believe it could have quite an impact on anyone applying for a new license.

    Kind regards

    Rob

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      LTO here says it is OK. It is – however – the law for NEW Philippines license issuances. Again though, there are many laws here, but the enforcement is rather haphazard. If one office (or officer) says no, just go to another one. It is a stupid regulation, though – we are only allowed to drive on our Western license for 3 months – so what is someone supposed to do for rest of the time they are here?

  13. Hi! Seriously contemplating a move there. Retired early, income about $US 16,000 per month. Having been there, I think that is sufficient to live on reasonably well? Have located apartment costing P10,000 per month in Quezon, does that sound reasonable?

    Saw your email in an earlier post and have sent a mail. look for g4jgv….yah…oo. co.uk It would be interesting to have a discussion when you have time

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  14. My husband wants to retire early and move to the Philippines from California with our two grade schoolers. It’s our birth country. For me it is a big decision to make especially considering the kids. So I decided to read more about it. I am still processing it if this will be a smart move.

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