For the retiree the Philippines offers a retirement that can be comfortable but not “rich”. The reason being the average retiree here has a very limited budget and the Philippines has rising inflation as well as a fake peso rate against the Dollar due to its inward economy from OFWs propping it up.
But what is the difference between here and elsewhere? for the first thing its the weather you notice as soon as the plane drops below the clouds and within an hour you start to realise your in a country with some of the most beautiful women on the planet and lots of them. Odd thing is they will say hello if you take the time to talk to them unlike in other countries where you may get told to “get lost jerk” or even worse a cry of rape.. Generally the population is friendly at the same caution is advised on anything monitery.
Now if you took somewhere in the U.S. a bit remote you can probably live cheaper and maybe even a better lifestyle depending on what you want. Realistically though I find as people get older they have less and less people around as kids become busy with work, friends stop visiting when you retire from work and generally people can become isolated. But if you retire in the Philippines people generally are interested in what your up to and very common for complete strangers to spark up conversations.
Food can be terrible here in the Philippines though compared to other countries especially if compared to European foods its very limited. Imports are expensive and generally the exchange rate is working against us right now making things a lot more than they were 3 years ago if your living on a foreign income pension. Locally prices haven’t changed much its just the exchange rates that seemed to have. Although the Philippines does offer some fantastic seafood and fresh fruits for example we have bananas and vegetables growing in the garden at the same time within walking distance a great seafood restaurant. If your a lover of pre-packed foods though your going to be in the wrong place!
Despair may be approaching fast if the kitchen is involved for some but eating out is still reasonably priced and at the same time hiring a cook on a daily basis wouldn’t break the bank or maybe a live in helper? The going rate currently in Cebu is around P2,000 per month in Makati P3,500 for a live in worker. We have staff ourselves on a regular basis nanny for the kids, laundry woman, gardener when needed etc. and none cost more than $5 for the day.
Rentals are also cheap and would advise moving clear of the cities to save on your budget as not only is rent cheaper but electric. Water for washing is often free via a deep well and if your not keen on that getting a city water supply is around P300 a month in Cebu. Rents from 1 bedroom apartments start from around P7,000 for what I would say is “comfortable” for a foreigner (you can find some on the rentals page) below that they can be run down to the point of it being a bunk in a boarding house which isn’t the way I would advise anyone to live unless travelling light.