Philippines Retirement paradise or nightmare location?

After spending a lot of time listening to Retirees from various parts of the globe you seem to see a pattern emerging with the majority of them. Many are ex-service men who have either gone through divorce or death of a partner and decided they needed a change of life and pace. Maybe looking back at fond memories when they were in the Philippines during military service at happier times when living was cheap and many women were available for recreational activities.

I’m not from that era and im not ready to retire. But the Philippines will become a bigger retirement location for expats as medical care is much cheaper than the U.S. , the climate is good, cheap dining, cheap staff, cheap housing, low taxation on existing (ie. if your just living here rather than owning a business its cheap to live). In fact there are very few bad points ive come across in the time ive been here. The age gap between many of the Expats living here can be 10s of years and amongst Expats the age difference doesn’t seem to matter as everyone seems content, most of the time. You can buy a house here for as little as $20,000 (owned by your wife as legally a foreigner can’t own the land it sits on).

So where does it go wrong?? The answer is very mixed because news reports of a foreigner being robbed and murdered or murdered after a break in rarely is followed up to find the truth behind what really goes on. There was a British Citizen who was reported as struggling with bag snatchers on a motorcycle that then left him with multiple gun shot wounds and died at the scene. Another with a family from Sweden that had been beaten, murdered then the bodies set fire to in a bid to hide the evidence. But the information i have placed here is as about as much as the media and police give. The investigations may go on but i doubt any new information will ever be printed. The biggest issue that face retirees here is most are on small pensions and although they seem rich here they are living a modest content lifestyle mainly within the general populace of the Philippines which in others eyes can be seen as you being a rich foreigner and maybe easy pickings to rob. Where as the wealthier people live in secure compounds or secure sub-divisions. Most Filipinos live as a family unit so safety in numbers can sometimes be a deterrent to crime. But either way crime does seem to be on the increase with Foreigners here but quite simply i am more likely to come to harm in the UK than i would in the Philippines. People are generally nice and keen to make you a friend.

If i was offering advice i would say to rent a 1 – 2 bedroom apartment and shop around for a location don’t buy something off the net they are inflated in price and may not be anywhere as good as it looks on the photos. Rental is cheap and if i wasnt so keen to do business here i would probably just rent a larger house to allow me to work on projects.  Dont wear expensive jewellery or clothing you don’t need it. You can get custom-made clothes made here at very low prices and have the benefit of picking your own materials not only will they fit better be to your own liking and lighter in this climate they will draw less attention. Never carry a lot of money or boast about your excess wealth everyone thinks your rich already and making such statements could be a risky but it’s also bad manners. But most importantly enjoy yourself, most of the population here and that of your new-found friends are going to show you more interest than you would in get in your own country. Being older is respected here, being a foreigner and most of the population not being outside of the islands they will love to know about your home country. Your biggest problem will be offers from people asking if you want to meet theyre sister. Just relax do the tourist trails for a few weeks and get to find some good people you can trust. If you ever need any advice or help just drop me an email.

MY goal and that of my wife is to promote the truth about the Philippines good and bad and the more people I can help enjoy life here or holiday visits the more it benefits these beautiful islands and its people.