Clear blue waters, thousands of palm-fringed islands to choose from, stunning white sand beaches…the Philippines lives up entirely to its picture-perfect image as tropical paradise, but take a trip here and you’ll also find mountains, jungles and modern skyscraper-filled cities with all the amenities you could ever need.
You can pick your perfect lifestyle; there are bustling cities, small college towns, oodles of beaches and even mountainside retreats that you could call home. With over 7,000 islands to pick from, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding your dream retirement in the Philippines.
Looking to soak up the sun in a scuba diving paradise? Palawan, Boracay and Cebu islands are perfect. Want big city living? Cebu City and Manilla both fit the bill. How about cooler mountains to go hiking in? Baguio and Tagaytay check that box. With so much choice the hardest part could well be narrowing down your options. Are you a beach lover but know you’ll feel the need for a mountain getaway? Take full advantage of affordable local airlines, like Cebu Pacific, that fly domestically, making the other islands easy to explore.
All the first world amenities of home can be found in any of the Philippines major cities…large shopping centres…international grocery stores stocking imported goods…cinemas screening the latest blockbusters… There’s plenty of coffee shops to sit in and read a good book if you’re in the mood to relax or, if you fancy some action, you can try your luck in the casinos.
Over 200,000 expats have made their home in the Philippines and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s an easy transition because almost everyone has some English and is keen to practice what they’ve learnt. People are so often happy to drop everything and chat; for them it’s a chance to perfect their English skills, for you it’s an opportunity to make new friends.
In the Philippines, it seems like no matter where you go, the most common thread throughout the archipelago is the kind-heartedness of the people. It doesn’t matter if you’re in large cities, at the beach or even in remote little mountain towns, the people are warm and welcoming. Moving to a new country can be daunting, but thanks to the friendly locals and experienced expats you’re sure to meet, retiring in the Philippines, whichever island you choose, can be a smooth move.
Another huge bonus, of course, is the low the cost of living. In more rural areas, a couple can live well for $1,500 while in others, like the heart of a big city, that could rise to $3,000—but that’s to live a really good life, one where you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything. Since the cost of living is so affordable, you won’t feel guilty having that weekly massage ($7), or having a cleaning service or a gardener spruce up your home for $10 a day.
The Philippine government makes it very easy to retire there with their Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV). This visa allows multiple entries into the country which means you can travel as much as you’d like. Better yet, it offers the right to stay indefinitely without the need for constant renewals. There’s also visa options for working and studying in the Philippines…so if you feel like turning over a new leaf or even turning your hobby into a business, you can.