How Much Does it Cost to Retire in the Philippines?
A lot of Americans contemplate on retiring overseas for various reasons – better climate, new adventures, or a lower cost of living. The Philippines is slowly rising as a retirement country of choice because of its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and of course, the low cost of living.
Planning for a budget for retiring in the Philippines actually depends on you. What kind of lifestyle do you actually want?
The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, and you can expect that the country has a diverse culture and lifestyle. Do you prefer the big city living and reside in Manila, where you have instant access to large shopping malls, nightlife, commercial establishments and offices, and heavy traffic jams? Or would you rather live in a quieter and mid-sized urban city like Cebu or Davao? Do you want a more rural lifestyle, such as in Subic, Dumaguete, or Bacolod? Or would you like to live in a tropical paradise such as Boracay and Palawan, which has the best beaches in the world?
Regardless of the location that you choose, living in the Philippines will cost you about a quarter of what it would cost you for the same lifestyle in the U.S. or in Europe. A modest budget of $1,000 to $2,000 a month can already go a long way. Just find an area that fits your budget and you can retire twice as wealthy and a lot happier, enjoy a warm, tropical weather all year round, have a house helper and a driver, and live healthier with less stress. You can even travel, have your own business, and be financially free.
As in most places, the biggest expense that you will have in the Philippines is housing, and it depends on which location and type of dwelling you choose to live. You can opt for a townhouse, high rise condominium, studio apartment, or a detached house. If you choose to live in Manila, expect to pay more. Although there is a great range of housing costs in the city, in general it ranges from $500 to $1500 per month. It costs a little more than $1500 if you choose to live in upscale areas such as Makati or Ortigas area.
If you chose to live in cities located in provinces like Cebu City in the Visayas or Davao City in Mindanao, housing would cost from $300 to $900 a month. In the more rural cities like Tacloban, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, or Butuan, you would pay around $200 to $700.
For the utility and other household expenses like electricity, telephone, internet, cable TV, medical and dental expenses, groceries, dining out and entertainment, and other miscellaneous expenses are pretty much the same in all the areas in the Philippines. Public transportation and taxis are readily available and inexpensive, and there is actually no need to purchase your own vehicle. But if you opt to have your own car and driver, it would cost you around $60 to $100 a month for fuel, repairs, and the driver.
The best thing about retiring in the Philippines is that you can adjust your lifestyle to your pension or budget. A lot of happy expat retirees in the country are living on an income of $800 to $1,000 per month. Because of the low cost of living, some chose to open their own business and are living opulent lives on a $2,000 to $2,500 income range.
If you are planning to retire in the Philippines, set your budget depending on the lifestyle that you want as well as your everyday needs, and do your own research to prepare you in the big move that you are about to make.