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For many people, retirement is a part of life that can be savoured and enjoyed. Though the majority of people will spend their golden years in the place they have lived all their life, for some of us, the prospect of moving to a warmer climate or a more picturesque location is very appealing.
The Philippines is fast becoming one of the most popular places for older people to settle after they have completed their journey through working life. The lure of the beautifully warm weather and the breathtaking scenery are just two of the reasons that so many people decide to move here, but there are many other factors that bring people from across the globe to this magical part of the world. This is our guide on retiring in the Philippines.
You will obviously need to organise a visa that is suitable for retirees. This is known as a special resident retiree’s visa or SRRV. The application fee is $1400, plus an annual renewal fee of $360 dollars. There are a number of criteria that must be satisfied before you can qualify, which are as follows:
Applicants must be at least 50 years of age or older.
They must also provide documents that show they are in receipt of a pension that is worth at least $8000 per month. (This figure is lower for couples at $1000 per month) The meaning of the word “pension” in this instance, is actually slightly ambiguous as this can include social security payments, meaning this option might not be as out of reach as it may seem to those on a lower income.
Anybody who is planning on moving to the Philippines to retire must also deposit at least $10000 into a bank account that is based in the country. This figure is based on those who are in receipt of a regular, guaranteed income each month. It rises to $20000 if the income you receive is irregular.
Also known as an ACRI card, this is essential for everybody who plans to move to the Philippines in order to retire. It is used for the purposes of identification as well as for re-entry if you happen to travel to other countries after you have moved. It costs $50 and must be renewed every year. Like many documents of this type, it contains details of your fingerprints and other biometric data.
Aside from the beautiful weather and incredible food, there are many other benefits to spending the latter part of your life in this wonderful location.
In general, the cost of living is considerably cheaper than it is in the United States. This means your money goes a lot further each month and even those with smaller salaries could be able to afford a very comfortable lifestyle. Most people should be able to enjoy a good standard of living on as little as $800 to $1200 dollars per month. Compare that to the current situation in the U.S and other parts of the world and you will no doubt be very pleasantly surprised. The cost of rent is significantly lower than you might expect and is almost 80% cheaper than you would expect to pay in most parts of America. Similarly, if you decided to eat out in a restaurant instead of cooking at home, you can expect to enjoy prices that are more than 70% cheaper than at home. Even when it comes to the average day to day spending you will be doing, groceries and other consumer goods are usually around half the price you would expect to pay in a U.S supermarket.
The Philippines really is a paradise and though it can experience storms occasionally, it also enjoys warm temperatures most of the year round. Even in January, you can expect lows of no less than around 21 degrees c, which is similar to British summer time. The majestic Luzon rainforest and other areas of stunning natural beauty make this part of the world a haven for those who appreciate nature. Tours of areas like this are available and there are also some incredible beaches to enjoy.
Some considerations before moving
Though the Philippines is developing quickly, some areas of the country are still without any kind of comprehensive health care. This means that if you suffer from an ongoing medical condition that requires regular treatment, you will need to consider which part of the country you are going to choose quite carefully. As a general rule, larger cities and towns have no problems with providing adequate health services for their residents and Manilla, in particular, has a good provision. More remote areas may not be able to provide ex-pats with the same level of care they are used to, however.
Similarly, housing in the cities and towns are generally connected to a well-maintained infrastructure, but more rural or remote areas can experience severe blackouts or even water shortages. This is something that should be researched in great detail before making a choice on which part of the country you want to move to. With an SRRV visa, you are permitted to buy a townhouse or condo but are not allowed to own a fully detached property. Many ex-pats find it is easier to rent, especially in cities where they can enjoy access to a wider range of services such as health care, banking and entertainment.
Providing you spend enough time researching the essentials such as housing, healthcare and any other major concerns you have, it is possible for even those with a moderate to low income to retire in the Philippines quite comfortably. If you enjoy warm weather, beautiful scenery and a different pace of life, this could be an option for you and your loved ones as you come to the end of your journey through working life.