Looking for the best place to retire? Yet, the cost of living in other countries may hinder you from retiring and living there. Luckily, here in the Philippines, the cost of living is fairly good and affordable for both locals and expats. Moreover, to make the retiring stage of the expat more comfortable here in the country, we have here the list of the expat communities in the Philippines. Check them out here.
Is retiring in the Philippines a good idea for expats?
Actually, retiring in the Philippines entails various perks which include the affordable cost of living, incentives for expats, and numbers of attractive places to explore. On the other hand, also expect downsides once you decide to retire here. Be prepared to see the drawbacks in terms of safety, healthcare facilities, and infrastructures.
Moreover, the plan to retire in the Philippines will generally have lots of advantages for others. During 2018, the Philippines positioned at the 5th place for having the cheapest level in terms of cost of living. In addition, the country also got a 96 score for the “Fitting In” category. This means that the English language is spoken in the country, locals are very welcoming, and there is a number of expat communities in the Philippines.
Generally, many people decide to retire abroad but they tend to have difficulty especially in choosing the best place to settle down. However, here in the Philippines, one must deal with the progressing issues of safety. One of the best examples for this is the anti-drug violence act within the country.
So, to help you in getting more ideas, below are some of the perks and drawbacks of choosing the Philippines as your retirement destination.
The Perks of Retiring in the Expat Communities in the Philippines
✔ COST OF LIVING
Basically, the main reason why others plan to retire abroad is that they are looking for a living that is generally cost lower. Well, that’s one of the things that the Philippines can boast for. In fact, many expats are able to live in expats communities in the Philippines with great comfort. For only about $800 to $1200 per month, expats can already have a decent living which includes dining out and travelling within the country.
Moreover, an estimated amount of around $1,500 per month is the average Social Security benefit of retired US workers. This indicates that the expat’s monthly benefit can be sufficient to shoulder the basic living expenses within the country. In addition, in case you want to get help with your household activities, the rate is very affordable. So, even if you are on a tight budget, you are still able to hire someone to do the house cleaning and cooking for you.
✔ INCENTIVES FOR EXPATS
Expats are generally welcome here in the Philippines. In fact, there is a designated government agency in the country that serves to attract retirees of other countries. Usually, expats living in the expats communities in the Philippines get lots of benefits in terms of the financial aspect. This includes the discounts intended for 60 years old and above retirees, duty-free importation of household items amounting to $7,000, and being exempted for taxes in airport travel.
Aside from that, expats living in communities in the Philippines are also able to work here in the country. Or, they also have the option to start their own business here. Another good thing for expats is that they can stay in the country the moment they receive permanent residency. Additionally, an expat visa does not have an expiry which means that they can leave and return to the Philippines without the need to reapply for residency.
✔ BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDING
The Philippine is a country rich with beautiful natural resources and embraced by the tropical climate. Amazing mountains, abundant seas full of coral reefs, and attracting land structures, anyone can usually be in love with this country. To add to the Philippines astounding features are the beaches where the sun kisses the ocean waters. Moreover, you can also find beaches with fine, white sands among Boracay and El Nido where they also cradle rich bio-diversities.
The Drawbacks of Retiring in the Expat Communities in the Philippines
✖ ISSUES ON INFRASTRUCTURE
Actually, the main reason why the Philippines is withdrawn from being one of the fastest-growing economies within Asia is its infrastructure issues. Sad to say, this issue belongs to the primary economic obstacles faced by a country. How does this country’s issue affect the retiring expats?
Basically, it varies on the expat communities in the Philippines where you live. There are still power outages, water shortages, telecommunication systems signal interruptions, and damaged roads and bridges.
✖ HEALTHCARE CONCERNS
Unfortunately, there are areas within the country where the healthcare system does not have the same level as that of Manila, the capital of the country. Luckily, expats living in communities in the Philippines may have the opportunity to access affordable and quality healthcare in Manila. Yet, this could also be a problem for expats who experience chronic diseases that require immediate medical attention and regular treatment.
When President Rodrigo Duterte was elected as the country’s president, the campaign against drugs became very dominant. This is primarily linked to the violence issues within the country which has an outcome of thousands of deaths. The Senate of the country is trying to investigate the issues but the President has a directive not to interfere with this problem.
Moreover, another concern that also affects even the locals is the terrorism act within the island of Mindanao. With this, citizens are primarily urged to stay away from the City of Marawi. In addition, other issues concerning the safety of the citizens and the country include kidnappings and bombing attacks in different parts of the country.
There are actually reports regarding terrorist groups attacking tourist spots, markets, schools, and malls. Because of this, the government of the country imposed a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao”.
Initially, these attacks from the terrorists opened for launching the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or STEP under the Department of State. This program primarily encouraged US citizens travelling or living here in the expat communities in the Philippines to enrol under this program for the purpose of security updates. Moreover, this program offers an easy way for the US embassy to inform your family in case of an emergency.
The List of the Expat Communities in the Philippines
Filipinos are well-known for being hospitable and accommodating to foreign visitors. Actually, this Filipino attitude makes foreigners feel at home while being here in the Philippines. However, it is really normal for expats to find a certain community that they can reside and truly identify their real home.
Luckily, below are the expat communities in the Philippines where fellow expats also reside. Living in these communities within Manila can help expats to easily relate to the Philippine environment and culture.
1. American Association of the Philippines
Basically, helping out fellow Americans and Filipinos is the main reason for the birth of the American Association of the Philippines. This expat community in the Philippines assists foreigners and locals by providing scholarships, assistance programs, blood donation projects. The good thing about this group is that American expats may have the chance to meet other expat volunteers during charity drives.
In case you are an American expat and you are interested to join this community, you can contact them through their hotline number (02) 892-5198. Or, you may also visit their website at americanassociation.org.ph or reach them through email via email@example.com. They also have a Facebook account in which you are able to message them through facebook.com/AAPevents.
2. British Women’s Association
British Women’s Association or the BWA is another expat community in the Philippines. You can basically meet other foreigners from Great Britain here. Like the first expat community, the BWA also offers outreach programs together with the help of local organizations. Usually, this is a supportive expat group for those who are beginning to settle in the Philippines.
If you want to join this British community in the Philippines, reach them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via their website at http://www.bwamanila.com. You can also message them at their Facebook account naming BWAManila.
3. Dutch Club Philippines
Way back in 2006, the Dutch Club Philippines launched its community with a goal of gathering and organizing events for Dutch nationals living here in the country. This expat community in the Philippines makes fun social gatherings such as cultural nights, Sinterklaas celebrations, free markets, barbeque parties, and New Year’s drinks. The Dutch Club Philippines welcomes all Dutch expats, even the newborns and retired individuals. Visit them at their Facebook page Dutch Club Philippines.
4. German Club Manila
Basically, if you are looking for expat communities in the Philippines, finding the German Club Manila can offer you a home. This organization offers comfortable and welcoming gatherings for multinational members and guests. During their events, they have palatable foods and beverages as they treat business colleagues, friends, and family.
Moreover, this gathering provides a casual ambience for all foreigners. Aside from that, the club has their very own bar, resto, and library. Event accommodations, charity programs, and various fun drives are the activities conducted under the German Club Manila.
They can be reached primarily through their contact number at (02) 817 3552 or via their email address, the email@example.com. Or you can also visit their website at https://www.germanclub.ph and their Facebook account at facebook.com/german.club.manila.philippines.
5. Singapore Philippine Association Inc.
This expat community in the Philippines acts as a comfortable home shelter for Singaporean nationals in the country. The Singapore Philippine Association Inc. promotes friendship and camaraderie between Singapore and the Philippines community. Joining them can be available through contacting their number at (632) 899-7101 or sending an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you may visit their www.singphil.org website or the Facebook account at facebook.com/SingaporePhilippinesAssociationInc.
6. The Philippine-Japan Society
Another expat community in the Philippines that also promotes friendly relationships among locals and other nationals is the Philippine-Japan Society. If you want to join this group visit their website via www.philippinesjapansociety.com or call them at their hotline number (02) 892-4916 to 19.
7. Alabang Ladies International Group
This expat community in the Philippines is also a social network between expat women who want to make friends from other nationals. The Alabang Ladies International Group or also called as ALIG have social events on a regular basis. They also offer charity drive and fun activities sharing various interests.
The ALIG email address is email@example.com and their website is https://aligmanila.com. Moreover, they also have a Facebook account naming facebook.com/ALIGMANILA. All of these can be a way for you to contact them.
8. Club de Damas Latinas of the Philippines
One of the non-profit organizations and an expat community in the Philippines is the Club de Damas Latinas of the Philippines. It basically aims to serve Latin American women residing here in the country. They have a goal to give support and friendship among members and locals. Usually, they always have lunches, outings, fundraising events, and partings every month.
You may typically reach them by sending them an email at info@DamasLatinasManila.org or message them privately at their Facebook account with name facebook.com/DamasLatinas. There also have an available website at http://www.damaslatinasmanila.org.
Generally, the InterNations is considered as the biggest expat communities in the Philippines and globally. Joining this community opens an opportunity for expats living in the country to connect with their fellowmen online. Monthly events and gatherings are also held every month within this community. Visit them via their website at https://www.internations.org/manila-expats and through their Facebook account name facebook.com/InterNations.org.
Another international expat community in the Philippines that aims to help individuals to practice leadership and speaking in public is the Toastmasters. If you are an expat who tends to practice English communication skills, then this community is perfect for you. Follow them on their Facebook page at facebook.com/toastmastersph or visit their website at www.toastmasters.org/find-a-club.
The Philippines is one of the best expat destinations during their retirement stage. The country offers a good climate, beautiful sceneries, amazing cultures, and low cost of living for many expats. Aside from that, the best thing that expats enjoy living here in the country is the hospitality of the locals in welcoming them in their new homeland through the various expat communities in the Philippines.
Moreover, the Philippine country entails perks and drawbacks in terms of retiring and living here in the country. Since, there are already a number of expat communities within the country, retiring here and adapting to the Filipino culture could be fun, comfortable and easy.