Making the Most Out of Retiring in the Philippines

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71 comments

  1. After 21 years as an engineering tech for a medical device company, I left that to start my own PC Repair business. Did that for about six years before moving out here.

  2. I have seen several of your videos and really enjoy listening to your advice. My wife is a pinay. She is an RN and I’m a Surgical Tech. We live in Houston Texas, and also have a home in Bay Laguna, near Manila. Keep up the great videos!! woud love to chat sometime.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement. There’s a link in the About section to my main site. Use the ASK HENRY link at the site and we can chat sometime via Skype or Facebook. Look forward to hearing about your own experiences with the PH.

  4. Hi Henry – Steve from retiringtothephilippinesDOTcom here again! Very good video mate and some sound advice for guys thinking of coming over here. I consider myself ‘semi retired’ too and it certainly beats the 9-5 I used to do back in the West… I LOVE it!

  5. Absolutely. I was walking through the jungle road in the dark last night.. stars, fireflies, balmy and clean air.. beats working myself ragged back home. 🙂 I’ll drop in on your site later today.

  6. Thanks for the video..I’m trying to do the same thing. I’m from the philippines but been living here in chicago for 17 years now..i’m only 35 and my goal to go back home for good is 45.. so how did you find out about philippines?

  7. thanks for the info.. wish you luck being there…my dad did the same thing worked here for almost 30 years and when he turns 54 sold the house and moved there..

  8. I will add a link to the ‘About’ section to an article I did that covers expenses here in more detail. But for where I am here in Bohol, for Single man (no wife/kids) and a moderate lifestyle.. I’d say that if you have a solid $900 to $1,000 a month (total budget) you’ll be fine. Housing is about $250. Of course, an emergency cushion for hospital or a plane ticket out would be a good idea. Also figure about $35/month for immigration extended Visa fees.

  9. I met a Filipina waitress in a restaurant (in California) 3 years ago, we become friends and two years later.. I was on a plane here to check it out. Been here ever since. The full story is at the main site ( LifeBeyondTheSea-dot-com ), under the “How It All Started” menu at the top.

  10. thanks once again Mr Henry.. I applied for my dual citizenship so i dont have to pay the $35 monthly fee lol..and house wise i built a 2 bedroom house back in 2003 .. O by the way my place is called SAN JOSE OCCIDENTAL MINDORO when you get a chance check it out..Thanks…

  11. These videos are awesome.
    I live here in chicago and my dream/vision is to live in the philippines one day
    My wife is filipina and im american with korean/italian descent
    I have visited the philippines a few times and love the country
    Im 38 and want a change in life
    Working a job everyday is slavery.it really is ,so your videos are a real inspiration to me they give me hope
    Im a late bloomer and im trying to figure a way out to make money online.
    My email is jlang6161@yahoo.com for any advice

  12. In fact, this video is talking about what i call freedom.
    The freedom to get up in the morning, and do exactly the things that you like to do!
    Mountainbiking, kiting, fishing, riding a small boat etc.
    Just beeing free without too much worries about money, work and all the things that hold us back when in the usual workflow…

  13. Henry, so what happened with the woman that you fell for? Do you still see her? Is that woman Kristine or different?
    I think as living there the best thing is eat local food (if you can eat it) or go to the markets. Heck you can eat expensive fish dirt cheap if you can cook. I found the malls and supermarkets very high , too high for me anyway. LOcally grown things are cheap and you can eat daily meals really chealpy.

  14. Things went really ‘south’ with the original woman I came here for. As they say, “it’s complicated”. We recently decided to just part ways. I still care for her but, I think the strain has been more than she can bear due to our circumstances. As for Kristine, she knows I care for her and she’s a good friend.. but we’re good just being buddies. We’re both happy to just enjoy that and hang out when we can.

  15. That’s cool. Growing up in SoCal I eventually took a stab at acting. I tried to get in as an extra on some martial arts films and that led to me doing a one-hour infomercial for Playboy years ago. I did acting in high school and loved it but never did really ‘pursue’ it as my chief goal. So, check out Bigfoot Studios on Mactan since it’s just a ferry-ride from here on Bohol. 🙂

  16. Yah, got no time for that. I’ve met some pretty cool expats though who do enjoy life here and we have a great time. Always uplifting and we both find ourselves counting our lucky stars that we somehow stumbled onto a life here.

  17. I did a video of me hacking open a coconut for the first time, but I didn’t get around to the benefits other than how great it tastes. 🙂 But that sounds like a good idea.

  18. Will be in Caloocan and Cebu in Jan and Feb. So Great to find your site and videos. I have been following JC (Retire Cheap Asia) in Thailand and was looking for a similar in Philippines. Well done !! Hope to meet you when we are there!!

  19. We have a great expat group here in Iloilo. Mostly married – and good attitudes. We meet twice a month and it is a very positive group. So far I am doing what I always wanted – loafing around ha ha! Only been 7 months so far. Time to get busy… later 🙂 I’m 49, and enjoying my nipa hut. But 3 vacations already. Palawan, Bacolod, and Boracay.

    1. The only snakes I’ve seen have been gopher snakes (non-poisonous), and they were dead in the road.  I’ve heard Gamarais has lots of cobras but haven’t confirmed that.   As for life in general, I love it.  It’s not for everyone since every individual wants something different.  For me, it’s perfect.

  20. Thank you for your response. I’m planning a trip over there around September, what type of season is that over there, and is that a good time of the year. I enjoy reading your web page, you’re such a good writer.

  21. Uhmmm…I’m having difficulty trying to figure out what his ideas of retirement have to do with whether or not retiring in the Philippines is a better idea than “any other place in the world”. Furthermore, i’d point out that hooking up with a young, gorgeous pinay would be the best exercise of all for a 50+ dude.

    1. whats and expat? ex patriot? thats a peculiar title to adopt. I’ve visited Ph many times, and i do like it.. Im interested to know what makes it “click” for you as a permanent residence?

    2. I’d be the first to say that the PH isn’t for everybody.  But for me and a lot of other Expats.. there’s just no place like the PH.  I know guys who have been to over 85 countries and they chose the PH for the duration.  But not everybody clicks with it.

  22. Henry I can see you really do love it there,like myself,I have been there 5 times and didn’t want to leave at all.I am retired now so me and my Filipina wife will leave here in USA 1st of May and celebrate my birthday in Leon Postigo with her family.We will stay for 2 and a half months,but the next time we come there will be forever to live,hoping that will be before the end of this year 2014.Keep up the great vids.///Scott

    1. Philippines is not for everybody like you said,but it is surely for me I love it there ,and so many things and places I want to see when we are living there.I really love the province life,thanks for the great vids and info.I will keep watching @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines

    2. That is awesome.  I don’t even want to begin thinking about having to leave the PH again.  But I do try to stay in touch with my family back home.

  23. You mentioned a couple of guys you know who are on S.S. disability from the states? I thought you couldn’t live overseas on disability unless you are talking about a different situation. 

  24. Here’s the thing – I’ve got more qualifications than I can shake a stick at. I’ve published the novel – some okay reviews. I’ve published some academic articles, proved what I felt I had to prove in a couple of other areas, I’m financially independent……….but I’m not sure there’s anything I want to do.

    I think I’ve got a reasonable ability to act, and people have suggested drama, but I think I know I can do it and I don’t see the value. Kids provide a lot of people with focus, but you think of yourself as absolutely an individual, ergo your parents did not establish their identity through having you and you (therefore) cannot establish your identity by having kids. I fancied myself as a lawyer at one point, had the chance to present a case in court – party litigant – was patted on the head by the judge – “ingenious” – and realised that this was a load of pants as well. Let’s face facts. Julian Barnes in “A History of the World in 10 and a half chapters” has people living in heaven, but they all opt for oblivion finally because existence is…………………………………..samey! The only people who can hack existence into a sixth decade manage it because they see experiences the way a dog sees a rubber ball. 

    1. I started in Mactan/Cebu in 2012.. then moved to Bohol/Panglao for 2013 and recently made my way to Dumaguete where I will be keeping an apartment while I travel around from here.  🙂

  25. If you’re gonna retire live in Asia especially the Philippines, you will live like a King, make real friends left and right, wake up excited everyday and just relaxed overall.

  26. Much cheaper than Thailand to retire where I live. In Thailand you have to put a million baht in the bank for a retirement visa (only have to leave 1 time a year instead of every 3 months) how much do you have to bank in the Phil to get a retirement visa?. Just have to weather the typhoons in the Philippines.. I drop in the Phil once in awhile as the Spanish Asian mix makes for the prettiest girls in S.E. Asia.

  27. Also kinda helps Henry if you have some very good marketable skills that you can take with you. Would love to retire overseas in 10 years but I feel in the age of the Internet this won’t be possible since so many people look for somewhere that’s affordable to live. Look at Latin American countries like Panama, Costa Rica, and now Ecuador that has been ruined by retirees that have brought up the cost of living and have made it hard for others who would want to move to such places and of course the people who live in these countries that pay the price by not being able to afford the thing they once enjoyed or being displaced by foreigners who want to settle in some tropical locale.

  28. What I want, can;’t be had anywhere but the US. cheap, easy hunting and shooting, concealed carry of a pistol,  But I’ve figured out how to do things in ways that cost almost nothing, and how to get paid serious money for doing almost nothing.

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines What a wonderful life you have there Henry !! 🙂 You dont have idea how my hubby so jealous about your life style he really did enjoyed your videos too. We already shipped half of our belongings . when i’m settled my mind I’m going to retire there soon and enjoy my simple life in the province. For now , im fears of moving to the ph. alone . Thank you and Good luck !!! :)

    2. @Lawrence Jones i agree.  it’s such a huge difference, many expats (including myself) deal with a bit of depression when having to return to our home-country for long visits.

    3. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines Henry when I came to Philippines for the first time, it seem like time stood still. Life there is so simple and stress free. I realized what is important in life. America is way to stressful!!!!

  29. I am looking to retire to the Philippines with my Filipina Wife. I have a problem though…. in my past I have a Felony conviction ( Non Violent, not sex or drug related. I owned something the Government didn’t want me to own ) So based on this I don’t believe I will qualify for a 13A Marriage Visa or a Retirement Visa, SRRV etc. I will have a monthly income of $2,400 so I know we can live comfortably except for maybe having to deal with Immigrations. Any thoughts on this? I know you are not an immigrations lawyer but probably know something about the Visas over there and how they work for Expats. Thanks ahead of time 🙂 Have a great Day.

    1. +LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines Just came across this post. Do you know how long one has to be OUT of the Philippines at the end of that three years in order to repeat? I have NO intentions of going back to Vietnam or Cambodia for ANY reason should you tell me months instead of days. Maybe could endure Thailand for a while. Thanks in advance Henry…

    2. @14wordsforlife i’m not very familiar with the 13A visa, only the extended Tourist Visa, which is what i use (good for 3 years of renewals, then leave and repeat.)  but maybe someone here knows of a good link on it.

  30. Being in the SS bracket for 6 years now, I will say that the dollar exchange rate is a big factor. It has been all positive the past year since peso prices have stayed the same here in Mexico but the peso has gone down 15%. Dollars go a lot farther for expats. But you have to imagine the pain of the flip side and it will come.

  31. alright. I heard once you’ve been in the Philippines for sometime, it is hard to get a visa to leave and come back to the STATES. Is that true?

    1. +John Wagner Jr no, not true at all. you can stay indefinitely overseas and your citizenship to return to the usa remains intact for life. there was a case last year of a PH vlogger who stayed in the PH 2 years beyond the allowed 3 year maximum stay, and he was blacklisted from returning to the PH, but he was able to return to the usa without problem. (after 3 years in the PH, an expat on a Tourist visa renewal must leave the PH for 24 hours, then re-start his tourist stay again.)

  32. I have two typed pages of qualifications in the building trades including master plumber, yet I don’t think they are marketable in the Philippines. Having lived there before in ’81 I am aware of the difficulties in finding work. I have seen others make the mistake of not having a constant income as opposed to a sizable savings. I look forward to moving there soon but not until I have a secure income and savings.

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