Thailand tourism for example expected a 14% downturn in tourism, retirees on the other hand may actually be more likely to wait and see how the economies go before making a decision to move half way round the world to another country. The Philippines isn’t as cheap as it once was but also its value for money that can be the issue. I find supermarket prices inflated compared to costs from source, which makes me wonder who is charging all this excess money onto goods? While avocadoes are P56 kilo in Cebu the next island of Negros where they grow its P9 a kg? The big problem like many things in the Philippines is a severe lack of legislation to keep things under control. Food is one thing that is often inflated well above what it should be.
The clarity and ease of visas is also an issue for expats and one of the things people are least appreciative of when the pricing can change without notice and even if you call they won’t give you a true figure over the phone. Add to this an ID card they charge you for that they don’t warn you of which you have to get on a second renewal I know of a lot of disgruntled expats complaining about it. This doesn’t include the exit fee you also have to pay to leave the country and generally visa processing just seems they are using you as a personal ATM.
In reality I think some people are realising its cheaper back in the home countries to live in many cases as well as the fact they know how much things cost. On the other hand there are cheaper alternatives out there and its difficult to do a comparison to see if one country has increased while the other declines but Americans I talk to who left or are leaving here talk about Panama and Costa Rica as more affordable. At the same time I think there are some better healthcare options and land ownership in those countries which would also make a huge difference to many retirees.
Land ownership is one of my gripes with the Philippines personally as I see land everywhere that is empty yet owners are abroad or nobody is farming it for one reason or another but we can’t buy it either. Many people would be interested in small holding for personal consumption for example as its as stable as you can get financially in this current climate learning to eat from the land and go as self sufficient as possible.
Exodus may not be happening here in the Philippines at the same time some people I know weren’t doing too well on their pensions before the U.S. economy collapsed so don’t know how they are bearing up these days. The “live in the Philippines for $500” may soon be a myth lost in time as although do able its not exactly comfortable. Also doesn’t leave much for emergencies.