Living and Retiring in the Philippines – Consider this Haven as a New Home or Retirement Destination
“Cebu among best in the world to retire”
You can live in the Philippines for a fraction of the cost of living in a western country and at the same time feel like you are on a continuous vacation. You can be part of a culture that is warm, loving and filled with people who are willing to go the extra mile; people who support one another.
In the Philippines you will enjoy a beautiful tropical island nation with seemingly endless new territory to explore and a much more relaxed lifestyle with a cost of living index a fraction of the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand or any other western county. Sure, there are cultural differences and some aspect that take time getting used to, but, after some adjustment, you will eventually wonder what took you so long to make the move.
ENGLISH IS WELL UNDERSTOOD IN THIS ASIAN NATION
The Philippines has the distinction of being the only English speaking country in Asia. Even though some of the people here may not be totally fluent in English, the majority of individuals listens to you and understands most of what you say. They may respond in a heavy accent or sometimes have a hard time responding back to you, but most are able to communicate effectively enough in English to get along and many college graduates are outright fluent in the language. This places the “home of endless beaches” head and heals above many other Asian countries and is the reason so many foreign large corporations choose the Philippines as their outsourcing and manufacturing country of choice.
FAMILY AND RESPECT FOR ELDERS – FOREIGNERS FEEL LIKE FAMILY
The Philippines, consists of 7107 wonderfully diverse and unique islands. This “nation surrounded by water” is still a place where children show their respect by bowing and placing their foreheads on their elder’s hands in an act called “blessing.” In fact family, is of primary importance in the Philippines with the respect and honor shown to each family member.
Older individuals in the Philippines are given a large degree of honor rather than labeled as someone whose life seems to no longer have significance or
usefulness. Retired individuals generally feel more accepted as there is a sense of being needed here rather than feeling like an old wore-out tire or a
horse put out to pasture as is the feeling many times when citizens in fully developed countries move past their useful working years.
This is a country where almost everyone has a family member or an extended family member working abroad, and the people here many-times feel that because you are from abroad you may possibly know their relatives, or somehow have a connection with them as a result of this foreign association.
These islands offer an overarching sense that everyone seems somehow connected, where conversation and friendship are more valued and appreciated than zoning-out in front of the television set.
Many times psychologists are unnecessary in this country as there is always a friendly and welcome ear to listen to your problems. The Philippines is home to men and women who know how to live life simply yet have a great time in the process.
There is no place on earth where a total stranger is welcomed more warmly. Foreigners from around the world are welcome and accepted and are embraced in traditional “Filipino Hospitality”.
WHAT AWAITS YOU IN THE PHILIPPINES
Awaiting you in the Philippines are some of the most beautiful, clear and clean beaches in the world, wonderfully diverse mountain ranges, incredible rice terraces, white-sand beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling, kite/wind surfing, cave exploration, eco-tourism, adventure-tourism, five star hotels, stunning aqua-blue, white-sand beach resorts, world-class golf courses, spas and masseuses equal to anywhere else in the world, non-stop nightlife, great Asian-style food and a remarkable low cost of living. In the Philippines, you can experience a unique and high quality standard of living all at a very low cost factor.
All the conveniences of modern life exist here such as cable-TV, high speed Internet, fast food establishments, divided highways, skyscrapers, massive malls and more. These proofs of a developing country have proliferated the Philippines over the last couple of decades, but there still remains a special old world charm and culture difficult to find anywhere else on earth.
YOU CAN ACTUALLY AFFORD A HOUSE, MAID, PERSONAL DRIVER OR CAREGIVER
The Philippines is a place where you can afford loyal live-in maids, drivers and helpers, cheap taxis, fine rental homes in quality neighborhoods with rents or monthly payments so low you will think you are making your car payment rather than a house payment. For less than you pay for your utilities in the states, you can afford to have a maid and a cook in the Philippines. These workers are happy to receive wages of $40 a month with food and shelter provided by you. Workers are normally considerate, compassionate and very happy just to have the job, food and a roof over their heads. If the Philippines roads scare you, you can always hire a professional Filipino driver for similar rates who is an expert at negotiating the free-spirited Philippine roadways.
If you have disabilities or physical issues, there are many registered and vocational nurses, physical therapists and other caregivers here who can help you along with your issues and challenges. You can also find these available at similar rates.
MEDICAL CONCERNS AND FACILITIES IN THE PHILIPPINES
Over the last several years, the Philippines has been growing as a preferred tourist destination for medical tourism due to the world class physicians,
modern technology, and uniquely Filipino brand of caring and compassion. Currently, the most common medical procedures performed in the
Philippines for medical tourism-based recipients are cosmetic and plastic surgery, dermatology, weight
loss surgery, ophthalmology, and dentistry, but as facilities are built and equipment purchased, the country is seeing more standard medical procedures taking root.
Filipino doctors are some of the best on the Pacific Rim studying not only in some of Asia’s best medical schools but also obtaining additional and ongoing training in the U.S. and Japan. The Philippines is home to some of the best hospitals and stand alone specialty clinics in the world, offering world-class expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and that ever-present distinct warmth of Filipino hospitality.
Founded in 1903, one of the most prestigious hospitals with the longest history in the Philippines is Saint Luke’s Hospital in the Metro Manila area. This highly credible and world renowned facility has 650 beds and is home to nine Institutes, 13 Departments, and 19 centers. With plans to build another high-standard facility in Makati, Philippines, this hospital is poised to be one of the top medical centers in all of Asia. Saint Luke’s credibility helps it gather patients from not only the Philippines, but from all of Asia, Micronesia, the Middle East, Europe and even the United States. Saint Luke’s has a very aggressive equipment acquisition budget, providing it state-of-the-art medical equipment found in few other places in most of Asia. While it may seem difficult to believe, this facility is actually better equipped than 95% of the hospitals in the United States.
To add to your assurance of the skill levels of medical professionals here, the Philippines has long been exporting to other countries, some of the world’s favorite nurses and medical professionals for many decades now. These medical professional have been the favorite choice for the U.S. and Europe for numerous honorable reasons, including the facts that graduates typically speak good English and have superior medical school backgrounds.
Needless to say, sometimes, depending on the location, finding high-quality medical services can be a challenge in a developing country. If you choose to live close to a large metropolitan area such as Cebu or Metro Manila, you have better access to higher standard facilities such as Saint Luke’s described above. Many times, the facilities in the remote provinces are less than up to western standards so you have to be careful in choosing your location.
THE SPECIAL RESIDENT RETIREE VISA (SRRV) – BEST CHOICE VISA
Many foreigners in the Philippines are retired or semi-retired, remaining indefinitely on the Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV) offered by the Philippine government to would-be retirees who want to live-out their golden years enjoying sun, sea and the world-renowned Filipino hospitality. This visa, by far, offers the greatest benefits and perks for those willing to retire in this country. Check-out all the advantages listed below:
• Indefinite stay
• Multiple entry
• Exemption from exit/re-entry clearance and permit
• Exemption from travel tax
• Exemption from duties, customs and taxes from the importation of personal effects
• Guaranteed repatriation of deposits and investments, including profits
• Conversion of foreign Currency into Philippine Pesos
• Conversion of Deposits into investments
• Tax-exempt on purchase of goods for personal consumption in government-owned Duty Free Shops E.O 250
• Eligibility to obtain an Alien Employment Permit
• Covers spouse and dependents below 21
• Entitlement to tax exemption under P.D. 1217
• Exemption from student’s visa/special study permit
• Tax-exempt inward remittance of pensions and annuities
• Membership in the exclusive PLRA Executive Club
• May avail of PLRA “24/7-Call Home” and Service Center
• Entitlement to incentives and benefits under the Omnibus Investment Code (E.O. 226),
• May Avail of services of PLRA Travel Agency
• Avail of discounts at PLRA – authorized establishments and shops
• Use PLRA memberships at various golf, sports and country clubs
• Tourism Incentives program (P.D. 535), and investments
Promotion Act (B.P. 44)
Eligibility Requirements for the Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV)
• At least 35 years old
• Without criminal record
• Meet medical standards
• Meet the investment requirement
SRRV Retirement Options and Required Time Deposit Amounts
• With Pension:
• 50 years. Old and above – the required time deposit is US$10, 000.00 plus a monthly pension of US$800.00 for a single applicant and US$1,000.00 for couple
• Without Pension:
• 35 to 49 years old – US$50, 000.00 time deposit
• 50 years old and above – US$20, 000.00 time deposit
• Former Filipino Citizens (at least 35 years old, regardless of the number of dependents – US$1,500.00)
• Ambassadors of foreign countries who served and retired in the Philippines, current and former staff members of international organizations including ADB (at least 50 years old) – US$1,500.00
Additional Considerations: A resident retiree can bring with him, without additional deposit, his spouse and a child who is unmarried and below 21 years old or if the spouse is not joining, two (2) children (provided they are unmarried and under 21 years of age.) Additional children with the same qualifications may also be allowed to join the principal retiree provided there is an additional deposit of US$15,000.00 per child. The said time deposit however, is subject the same and conditions with that of the principal deposit. This does not apply to former Filipino Citizens.
OTHER TYPES OF VISAS OFFERED IN THE PHILIPPINES
• Temporary Visitors – those coming for business, pleasure, medical treatment, training, attendance in conferences, meetings or workshop/ seminars; visitors aboard private yacht/sailboat; persons visiting for the purpose of making a movie or film documentary; journalists, athletes and performing artists;
• Aliens in Transit;
• Alien Seafarer/Seaman;
• Treaty Traders/Investors;
• Accredited Officials of Foreign Governments, their families and attendants/helpers;
• Alien Students;
• Aliens with Pre-Arranged Employment in the Philippines;
• Special non-immigrants granted admission by the Philippine President;
• Refugees granted temporary admission by the Philippine President.
- OTHER NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS ALLOWED UNDER SPECIAL LAWS
• Offshore Banking System Visa under P.D. 1034;
• Special Investors Residents Visa (SIRV) under E.O. 226;
• Special Resident Retiree’s Visa under E.O. 226 (Philippine Retirement Authority);
• Subic Special Investor’s Resident Visa under R.A. 7227;
• Subic Special Resident Retiree’s Visa under R.A. 7227;
• Subic Special Working Visa under R.A. 7227.
- OTHER NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS ALLOWED UNDER SPECIAL LAWS
• Quota Immigrants;
• Preferred Quota Immigrants – Parents of Filipino citizens aged 21 years or over, and spouses & unmarried minor children of Permanent Resident aliens;
• Non-Preferred Quota Immigrants.
- NON-QUOTA IMMIGRANTS
• Spouse or unmarried minor children of Philippine citizens;
• Child of alien parents born during a visit abroad of Permanent Resident mother;
• Child born subsequent to the issuance of Immigrant Visa to accompanying parent, whose visa has not expired;
• Filipino women who lost their citizenship by marriage;
• Returning residents;
• Spouse or unmarried minor child of foreigner admitted to the Philippines for permanent residence;
• Returning natural-born Filipinos who were naturalized as citizens of foreign countries.
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