To get a sight how foreigners living in Philippines I have asked several expats about their experience of retiring in Philippines and have made survey too and the most common answers they give are the following:
What are the reasons why foreigners have decided to live in the Philippines?
The answer was: It is because the cost of living in Philippines is certainly less than the cost of living back home. One example is rent or owning a house, cost of public utilities, clothes, food, health care facilities and transportation cost.
- Living in the Philippines is just like an extended vacation in a paradise island.
- Tropical weather.
- As a gateway to other Asian countries.
- The Filipinos are friendly and genuine caring people.
- Filipina women are beautiful.
- English speaking country.
Are they comfortable with living?
Answer: They are happy and contented. There are things that they have to adjust to and be careful with but with time they were able to adjust and understand Filipino way of life. As one of the expats says, no matter how long they have stayed here, they are still like visitors here thus have to understand and adjust to Filipino culture. Although there are cases too that an expats were not able to adjust to the way of life here that he decided to go back home.
The usual Age gap and does it poses a problem? (eg. over 40, over 50, over 60 etc.)
Answer: Most foreigners are retirees and are in its fifties and sixties. So far age gap is no problem although their relationship is no bed of roses yet they claimed they were able to adjust to one another despite the big difference in age and culture.
Are they retired or do they run some business or have job??
Answer: Most of them live in the Philippines a good life comfortably in their pension and some of them doing business in Philippines, own a resort and some of them have open up their own Bar/Restaurant.
Do they live in own house/condo or rented house/condo?
Answer: Most of them have their own house in some high end subdivisions while some are just renting a house. Most of them live outside the city and they come to the city when they have to buy groceries and of course these group of expats always meet once a week.
Do they own car or motorbike, if no what their preferred choice of transportation?
Answer: They own a car as well as a motorbike but they still prefer to ride a taxi so they do not have to drive at all. Some even preferred for getting around to ride a Jeepney but most foreigners here prefer to drive their motorbike where they can easily maneuver through the streets and most of all from traffics.
Communication: Do they Internet by DSL or cell phone?
Answer: So far they are all satisfied with their internet connection and the most preferred connection is the Globe Taboo DSL plan. Price is about 1,299.00 php every month with up to speed of 2 Mbps. The connection is stable and fast and they are satisfied with it.
What is their approximately monthly budget in Pesos, if in $US then the exchange rate should be mentioned?
Answer: The following figure I have gathered is for average living expenses of expats every month:
- Cost for home (outside the city) – 7,000 php
- Cost for home within the city – 10,000 php
- Utility Bills (electricity/water) – 1,500 php
- Food and Drinks – 10,000 php
- Transportation Cost – 1,000 php
- Health Care Cost – 1,500 php
- Communication/Internet/TV Cost – 2,000 php
- Maid Salary – 1,800 php
- Miscellaneous expense – 2,500 php
The total monthly budget for an average expats is about 27,300 php for those who live outside the city and around 30,300 php for those living within the city.
How many persons live in their household?
Answer: Most couple has no children and several have children. The above cost quoted is for a household of four which comprise the couple, its one kid and a housekeeper.
Are they single/married and/or have life partner?
Answer: Most of them are married to a Filipina and only a few of this couple has children.
Their wife or life partner has job or do housekeeping?
Answer: Those couple who have kids usually employs a housekeeper because their partner is working or running their business. Some do not have a work at all thus they do the housekeeping at home.
What is their lifestyle?
Answer: They regularly come together once a week with other expats in the area. They always come together every Wednesday. It is there way of meeting new expats in the area and even helping other foreigners who are in dire need. Aside from such socialization, they prefer to stay at home and do their own cooking. They also plan to go out for a vacation once a year and they usually spend it within the country. There are still a lot of beautiful places in the Philippines that they can explore. As one said, living in here is just like an extended vacation in paradise.
What are their shopping habits? Do they prefer to shop in malls or local markets?
Answer: Most of them love the comfort of shopping in malls. They avoid going to the local markets to be safe. Although there are some who really tried to go shop in local markets for experience. They have fun but still they prefer to go shop in malls. They do it just for fun.
What is about their health situation? Do they consult doctor or hospital regularly? Do they need home nursing?
Answer: They certainly do not need a nursing home at all but most of them have their own doctor and they do consult their doctor when the need arise. They are amaze at how cheap consultation fees are here but they all have praises with Philippine doctors.
Do they have health insurance in their home country or in Philippines?
Answer: They have health insurance here. They enrolled in PhilHealth. Many foreigners may not know this but PhilHealth is not for Filipinos only but its also for foreign nationals. They can enroll as individual paying member. They only pay 100.00 php a month to get covered. PhilHealth usually covers fifty percent of your hospital bills if ever.
Are they comfortable with health care here?
Answer: They are satisfied with health care in Philippines. It might not be of high quality in some provinces but health care facilities in major cities is certainly at par excellence.
Do they find health care is affordable here?
Answer: What amazes them more is they get all these services at such a cheap price. Health care in the Philippine is indeed affordable.
What are things they miss in comparison with their home country or they would like it might be better?
Answer: They miss their family, friends and relatives back home and what they miss most is paying bills online! Unlike here where they have to do over the counter payment for utility bills, cable, internet and more. Although latest technology is introducing online payments slowly. That is a big relief for them.
But there are a lot of things they like in the Philippines and one of that is the cheap cost of living. Another is the cheap cost of dental services as well as its health care services. Philippine doctors and Dentists deliver the best service at a lesser cost compared to its cost back home.
Do they get all things (foods, appliances, medicine etc.) they need or is there something they need from their home country?
Answer: Appliances is their number one answer. They prefer their appliances back home but it is very expensive to bring it here so what they do is they find a brand that comes close to what they have back home.
Would they recommend to others to relocate to Philippines for retirement?
Answer: Philippines for them is a safe haven and the best place to retire and they recommend it to others who are planning to retire abroad. One thing they say though, have an open mind and get ready for the changes that you are about to undergo. The only thing that is important is you are financially ready because no matter how cheap the Philippines is, you still have to spend and money is quite hard to earn for expats here.
Their decision to relocate to Philippines, would they do it again?
Answer: If they are to go back in time and decide which place to retire, they still would choose the Philippines again. Despite the problems that they encounter still the beauty of the place and the people are something that they cannot ignore. All in all Philippines is a great place to retire, life is easy and relaxed here as long as you know how to manage your money and of course your lifestyle. Live a lifestyle that fits your budget.
What is their residence permit status, what kind of visa do they have?
Answer: They all have permanent residency since they are married to a Filipina. By the way they are just a few of happy and contented couples who decided to live in Philippines a good life.
How Expats live in Philippines