Retire in the Philippines a reality

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.

4 comments for “Retire in the Philippines a reality

  1. dave
    March 16, 2011 at 5:14 am

    hi matt.
    one of the thng’s i told a friend of mine. was dont go. in the begining it was more of a feeling of your gonna get robbed. i was there in 2008. and it was an eye opener. since then . i have told him to watch. alot of blog’s. as they give good info and even thought there. is a lot of one sided opion’s. they do give lots of information. and boot’s on the ground is way better then. (watching a bunch of old guy’s . pissin on each other’s leg. and tell them it’ raining…..) in the end. i told him to watch your blog . as its not a happy go lucky blog. but an honest opion blog. (i in no way .agree with you on everything. but agree to disagree. on most anything). your doing good work and am looking foward to your blog on plants .

    • Tropicalpenpals
      March 16, 2011 at 7:17 am

      Thanks Dave for the feedback.. I do get stick for also posting the bad but the way I look at it is if I get a run of bad posts it life! things go wrong here and normally in runs. Today is a typical example Yaya hasn’t turned up so baby sitting and construction at the same time. Found a few problems with the new kitchen unit and the front lip fell off (wasn’t supposed to be one!) so will be later today doing concrete repairs on something that if I had done it myself would be a simple job. The rib cage is still giving me jip which is why I didn’t do it as I have to stop every 20mins which is impossible for me to hand mix and lay concrete in the same time frame.

      But we live and learn. The plants themselves aren’t doing so well on the propogator although the Tomato plants April grew in a plastic egg box believe it or not have got at least 15 – 20 plants all growing well and transplanted 9 of them into the hanging basket. The others are slowly getting into plastic buckets I will also be hanging (hanging up to keep out of reach of critters). The other thing is they want a lot of sun and would be an ideal plant for “roof gardening” here in containers.

  2. dave
    March 16, 2011 at 8:45 am

    one thing you might try is to. put your plants in a big terra cotta pot. 2 years ago i tr’ied one of those hang upside down plant grow’er’s. it worked great for small tomato’s. but last year i tried it for bigger tomato’s and fail . the only thing i can think of is it has to do with the heat. the one’s hanging upside down. never did as well as the one’s in the planter’s. (same kind. ) same plant food and care. the hanger one’s never did produce fruit. but the one’s in the planter . tiped over there wire hang’ers bearing until freeze up. the only thing i could figure out is root temp.

    • Tropicalpenpals
      March 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Will give it a go.. I will also grab a pot made from an old tyre. The original idea of the growing at home was to help develop roof gardens for people to help themselves. You look at any shanty and all you can see is a sea of empty metal roofs where these gardens could be built very cheaply. Its odd when I look at the 3 level planter as the top ones have now reached around 1.5 – 2ft while the lower level are currently less than 6″ in height. All get the same amount of sun but must be the intensity and direction.