Currently a very good question and one many are asking who are already here. Exchange rates aren’t doing great compared to when many arrived beers gone up by around 20% and on top of that there is talk of capping the internet speeds. Why retire here at all? In reality the number one reason people are here is for women there is no getting away from it. The local drunk in their home town in Kansas wouldn’t even get a woman stand on the same side of the street as them but here they are Brad Pitt the man of their dreams… well if your dreams constitute Dollars and the chance of a widows pension in many cases I suppose it will have to do but if you like feeling Brad Pitt go ahead there will be plenty of others telling you that its because local girls like fat guys because it shows they are taken care of and wealthy as well as the white skin due to the obsession with being pale in the Philippines. But in reality? many girls are purely after money its more of a financial arrangement than any marriage. But the point is if your aware of it and she is would that be a problem? your living out your last years in a setting you can afford where beer is still 1/4 of what I would pay in the UK if not cheaper and sunshine everyday (near enough). Truth is a pension can last a lifetime currently based on what people are arriving with the same amount though in the next couple of years is going to drop many into poverty purely because they haven’t adapted to the local surroundings, the dollar hasn’t recovered and on top of that fuel,food and other resources are going to still increase in price.
Hang on you said why retire in the Philippines? This is the odd thing its possible to do it on a small budget but its not as easy as going to play golf on a Saturday and enjoying the malls and condo living if your living on less than $1000 a month. But as one of my tenants said to me “I would rather be here in the sunshine poor than poor in the U.S.” which I can agree with as its possible to make small incomes here to stay afloat without too much difficulty. The internet cafe we had is now the apartment and although we had 7 open up initially when they realized it was a good idea with many now gone including the one on the main road we still don’t make enough to justify someone sitting there all day. But it does pay enough for me to buy beer every day if I wanted a bit more than I could drink simply I have stuck a couple of PCs outside on wireless instead. Our biggest problem is Peso-peso machines appeared everywhere and no doubt these will disappear eventually as well as most are on 50/50 profit share with owners. Not a bad investment though if you have internet anyway as you can shove it outside and bolt it to the house to stop it being stolen. Gives kids somewhere to play and you gain a couple of hundred pesos a day. Its these mini ventures that pay off long-term as there is always a demand for basics.
Anyway getting back to why retire here the thing is with the changes currently underway worldwide with invasions by Western forces in the middle east, continued unrest and the problems in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. we are looking at things getting worse not better, the Philippines in general is an odd place politically as it doesn’t seem to want to stop anything at the same time won’t escalate it which means its unlikely to change its habits for some time yet due to the money flooding in from abroad. Making it a stable place for retirement for those on a medium to low pension plan.