Living and Retiring in the Philippines
The Philippines is among the top 25 countries to retire based on the 2018 Annual Global Retirement Index by the International Living primarily because of the low cost of living, an accommodating and fitting culture that speaks English well, entertainment and availability of world-class amenities including healthcare and educational institutions.
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 as the country is blessed with over 7,000 islands with beautiful beaches, rich marine life, tropical rainforests, volcanoes, mountains, waterfalls and more.
You can be part of a culture that is warm, loving and filled with people who are willing to go the extra mile to support one another.
Among the best places to retire in the Philippines is Cebu, the Queen City of the South.
The province in Cebu, which is strategically located in the center of the Philippines, has everything needed to cater to the retirees – an international airport, world-class hospitals and healthcare facilities manned by top caliber professionals, world-class educational institutions, English-speaking population, beautiful beaches, rich marine life, beautiful mountains that’s blessed with water falls, world-class resorts, a rich culture and heritage and of course communities specially developed for retirees.
Communication is not a problem
The Philippines, including Cebu, 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 listensand 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 puts the “home of endless beaches” ahead of many other Asian countries and is the reason so many foreign large corporations choose the Philippines as their outsourcing and manufacturing country of choice.
Filipinos are respectful and treats others like family
The Philippines is home to 100 million respectful people who show their respect by bowing and taking the hand of an elder to their forehead in a gesture referred to as “blessing”. Filipinos also have strong family bonds which does not limit to direct family members only, sometimes it extends to very distant relatives or even very close friends.
The elders in the Philippines are given a large degree of honor and respect and often are taken care of by family member. This is also a country where almost everyone has a family member or an extended family member working abroad and friends of their family members, no matter the nationality, are then also considered as family.
Because of this closeness, one can often feel a welcoming air in the Philippines where there is always someone who makes himself or herself available to listen and spend time with you.
Foreign nationals who visits the country are always welcomed warmly by the Filipinos. This is often attributed to the Filipinos’ very accommodating culture where we always make it a point that our visitors are comfortable and well taken care of. There is no place else on Earth where a total stranger is welcomed more warmly, that is what tourists often would refer to as the “Filipino Hospitality”.
Philippines is simply beautiful
With over 7,000 islands, the Philippines don’t run out of places and adventures that is waiting for you to explore.
Also known as one of the most visited countries in the world, Philippines is blessed with some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches with the whitest and finest sand, wonderfully diverse mountain ranges, incredible rice terraces, rich marine life that makes scuba diving more enjoyable.
Here you can do a lot over a weekend. You can go snorkeling, kite/wind surfing, cave exploration, eco-tourism, adventure-tourism, relax in five-star hotels that serves one of the best dishes, enjoy a game at world-class golf courses, get pampered in spas with well-trained masseuses, and an active nightlife to name some.
While the Philippines poses that laid-back charm, it also has everything you can find in a fast-developing country like cable-TV, high speed Internet, good infrastructureand malls where you can find a lot of the best global brands.
Everything is affordable
As retirees, one would always look for a place where he could do much with his retirement money and Philippines is the best place for you as cost of living in the Philippines is very low that your $100,000 can spread about ten years for a budget of $800 a month in a comfortable living that includes live-in maids, drivers, and quality neighborhood.
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 you can hire to help you.
World class medical facilities and professionals
Over the last several years, the Philippines’ reputation for offering world-class medical services has been growing and it has attracted many tourists to come and have the procedures done in any of the country’s top medical institutions.
The Philippines is now 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. These facilities are also manned by Filipino doctors who, also, are known as among the best in the region. These medical professionals have finished degrees and specialization in the best medical schools in Asia, the US and Japan.
However, it’s not just about the world-class facility or the world-class professionals that we have here but also that uniquely Filipino brand of caring and compassion for their patients that helped make this service ever more popular in the global medical tourism industry.
Currently, the most common medical procedures performed in the country are cosmetic and plastic surgery, dermatology, weightloss surgery, ophthalmology, and dentistry, but as facilities are built and equipment purchased, the country is seeing more standard medical procedures taking root.
The Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV)
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.
For more information on the SRRV go to this website: http://www.pra.gov.ph/
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.
- 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.