Retiring to the Philippines: Your Best Move

After spending a great number of years in the corporate world and raising a family, it’s time to wear a new hat as a retiree. If you live in a country where the temperature is below 0°C it’s a welcome respite to feel the heat in your new country of destination. Throw in the extremely reasonable cost of living where your money will be stretched to its limit in your golden years.

Perhaps you’ve heard it from acquaintances, made a research and everything points to the Philippines as your home overseas to enjoy an expatriate’s life in retirement. At the onset, we are adding a note about security issues with the much-publicized campaign on drugs and travel warnings.

Find out for yourself about what the real score is, connect with people who have retired here at MAG-ANAK or The World of Filipinas. If you are still not satisfied, spend some time in the Philippines and experience what the country has to offer. International Living 2018 Global Retirement Index included the Philippines as one of the best 25 countries to retire. Great news for those with a tight budget, the cost of living in the Philippines is one of the lowest in the world.

Cost of Living

We used the figures from Numbeo and considered a retiring couple with the necessities of living in a city center. Clothing was not considered since expatriates are expected to plane in a wide collection of wardrobes, it’ll take some time before they purchase. The projected monthly expense for an expat couple is USD 929 broken down as follows:

A) Food
Lunch and Dinner meal for 2 in a budget restaurant PHP 600
Soft drink for 2 for 2 meals PHP 104
Budget Breakfast for 2 at home consists of coffee, bread, stuffing PHP   60
Snacks PHP   60
Daily expense PHP 824
Monthly expense (Daily expense x 30 days) PHP 24,720
Dollar conversion (Exchange rate: USD 1 = PHP 50) USD 495
B) Rent (Monthly)
1 bedroom apartment PHP 13,604
Dollar conversion (Exchange rate: USD 1 = PHP 50) USD 273
C) Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) PHP 3,895

Internet with cable channels

*Prepaid load for the cell phone was not considered it was assumed that the user will use Skype and other social media


PHP 2,111
Monthly utilities expense PHP 6,006
Dollar conversion (Exchange rate: USD 1 = PHP 50) USD 121
D) Transportation (Monthly)

The couple will utilize local transport (jeep, bus, tricycle) and

the taxi in going to the different locations in the city.

PHP 2,000
USD 40
E) Total projected monthly expenses PHP 46,330
  USD 929


Getting a Retiree’s Visa

Once you train your sights in the Philippines as your retirement destination, apply for a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) issued by the Bureau of Immigration under the retirement program of the Philippine Retirement Authority that is offered to foreigners and overseas Filipinos.

If you are 50 years or older you are required to open a time deposit of USD 10,000 into a Philippine bank if you are a pensioner.

For those without a pension the required time deposit is as follows:

• USD 50,000 for 35-49 years old
• USD 20,000 for 50 years old and over
• USD 1,500.for former Filipino citizens who are at least 35 years old, all dependents can be brought
• USD 1,500 for ambassadors of foreign countries who worked in the Philippines, staff members of international organizations including ADB who are at least 50 years old

The retiree can bring his spouse and a child or 2 children if the spouse is not coming, children should be under 21 years of age and unmarried. A deposit of USD 15,000 per dependent is required for additional children of the same qualification.

Mabuhay, we hope to see you soon in the Philippines and enjoy planning your dream retirement.


Sources and citations:

Expats in the Philipppines

Expats in the Philipppines is a platform that aims to help Expats living and working in the Philippines and expats-to-be. It provides free information and also encourages them to share their experiences. Let's help making life in Philippines that much more fun!

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