I was invited by Charles to guest post as I am the admin over at RetirePhilippines.com and I just wanted to say thanks to Charles for the invite and will now continue into the post “is the Philippines the place to retire?”
I have been here 4 years already and arrived ahead of the economic collapse of the West in time to get money out of the UK and slowly see it lose its currency value by around 30% on the exchange rates and local prices rise in line with inflation. What has happened since then though is adjustments to things here which many people forget or don’t realise as things start to come from one perspective.
What do I mean? well we notice the price of food going up here in the Philippines but have we been badly affected by fuel price hikes? answer is generally no because most retirees and expats here are either on two wheels or using public transport. The Philippines is also capable of supplying a lot of its own food and due to cheaper rents you can even get a place with a lot big enough for growing your own food. All in all the life is less complicated here which also makes it a lot cheaper. In reality be it the U.S. or UK we are used to travelling miles to get our food from the supermarket and don’t take that price into account. The Philippines on the other hand generally has supermarkets within walking distance or a quick ride which means even if the food sometimes seems more expensive in comparison if you way up all the costs involved with a vehicle in another country your probably getting things on par or cheaper.
Add to that the other things like cheaper medical care for the Americans, can’t beat that on the Brits because its free there are a lot of good reasons to retire in the Philippines. From a British perspective where my gas bill in the winter costs P9,000 a month in comparison here in the Philippines my gas for cooking (no heating here!), air conditioning, rent and all bills except for food comes in at less than P8,000 a month in reality the Philippines offers me a good lifestyle and the ability to live at around one third of the cost of the UK.
I will say though the term Philippines is over 7,000 islands! so if you head into one location and don’t like it travel around first as so many people I know settled for a few years in a location they weren’t happy with to take a day trip out or a visit to a friend to find less than a few hours away a place they really love. In all honesty the further you are from the cities the cheaper life gets so if your looking for that picture postcard image you have in your head it can be a reality because most Filipino’s are heading to the cities for work leaving the provinces in many cases more and more desolate as the populations drop. I recommend taking a trip to Negros if you come to Cebu and you can see the stark contrast between two islands and two cities.
Another big thanks to Charles for the invite to guest post.