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Philippines: The Next Big Retirement Destination in Asia

Friday, July 19th, 2013   7:00 pm |  Category:   Retirement locations, Travel   |   11 Comments  
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Now that you have reached the peak of your life or accomplished the things you want to do, the next step is to find that perfect spot where you can spend the rest of your days enjoying peace and quiet, picking up a new hobby, engaging with other people, or bonding with your family.


The big question is “Where should you retire?” You are now faced with the daunting task of choosing the ideal retirement destination for you. In order to do that, you have to take in consideration things like your budget, your preferred location, etc.


Looking at several options, you will surely find this small tropical island located in the South East Asia region – the Philippines. It has been cited as one of the world’s retirement haven in a recent survey conducted by the International Living publication. According to the result, the primary advantages of living here include affordable cost of living, ease of integration, medical facilities and availability of retirement infrastructure. Cebu, one of the country’s provinces, has also been recognized as a top retirement destination in several articles.


There is a wide selection available to retirees. From dynamic urban living to idyllic rural lifestyle, the Philippines has a lot to offer. Listed are some of the places deemed to be the quintessential retirement destinations as well as those offering high potential.


LUZON: The Largest Philippine Island Group


Identified as the largest among the Philippine islands, Luzon is home to majority of the top retirement destinations in the country. There are many options to choose from. If you’re used to the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, there are several key areas in the country that will offer you a great place. However, there are also interesting locations if you are looking to get away from all the hassles of city living.


METRO MANILA. Urban living is very appealing to some foreign retirees because of the advantages it offers. The diverse forms of entertainment, more advanced facilities, and close proximity to embassies and other key government agencies make this a popular choice for most foreign retirees. Aside from that, expats find it is easier to adapt in the city life because of its cosmopolitan culture and English speaking residents.


The first choice for foreign retirees would be Makati City. In 2012, it was recognized by the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) as the “Most Retirement- and Ageing-Friendly City” and became the first ever city awarded the “Best of RADAR (Retirement Areas Deemed as Retiree-Friendly) 2012.”


With its state-of-the-art amenities and innovative developments, Taguig City comes in second place as one of the most favored cities for retirement. This is followed by cities like Manila, Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Muntinlupa.


The catch, however, is that city living can be quite expensive. Since this is where prominent health care facilities and major establishments are found, prices are high – from housing to food and other basic necessities.


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  1. Carl Aug 14th 2013  3:59 am

    Your analysis was accurate except for one point,… The Air Pollution is really getting bad in Baguio these days and the infrastructure is not keeping up especially the roads for vehicles,… The streets are often very crowded and the air quality is often worse than Manila,… The burning restrictions are not enforced either adding to the air pollution. It was my expat home for nearly 6 years. I love the city but it is hard on your lungs and sinus. Just saying!

  2. J.J. Reyes Sep 11th 2013  4:58 pm

    The Philippines is too far as a retirement destination to attract independent seniors from the United States. Besides, the country lacks the supporting infrastructure. The future is assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care facilities. The competitive advantage is an overabundance of healthcare workers estimated at 400,000 unemployed and underemployed nurses.

  3. Edwin Dec 8th 2013  7:03 pm

    Any reference on how a retired Californian can pay for medical care if retired in the Philippines? Does medical or medicaid support retirees in the Philippines? Thank you.

  4. Larry Dec 9th 2013  4:07 am

    Edwin as far as I can tell neither Medicare nor Medicaid will pay for services in the Philippines.

  5. Freddie Dec 30th 2013  2:33 pm

    How about law and order in these areas? Retiree wants to know the crime rate and break ins to elderly apartment and/or house. Thanks, Freddie

  6. lynda connolly Jun 17th 2014  8:48 am

    hi – thinking of retiring with my husband in about 5 years time – coming from edinburgh scotland. would like to make friends/advice before then. Is there anyone who would like to chat maybe on facebook or skype? lyn

  7. Amy Jul 13th 2014  5:02 am

    Wanting to retire here within the next few years as well. Need advice. Looking for a quiet little 2-3.bedroom house on or next to ocean, beautiful scenery. We are in our 40s and 50. Want to rent for 500 a month usd is that possible?

  8. Louise Baterna Jul 30th 2014  9:14 pm

    Hello Lyn, Hello Amy. My name is Louise, a former Filipina journalist married to a Belgian journalist, living in Belgium. I go home on a regular basis (almost every year). We own a small island, and have began talking to people who are considering retiring in the Philippines. We also help people choose itineraries when they want to visit the Philippines as tourists. I wonder if you have already visited the Philippines and why do you think that this might be the best country for you. If you want to have a chat, do not hesitate to get in touch. I’m on facebook (Louise Baterna) or via email,

  9. Cecilia Aug 21st 2014  7:32 am

    Hi, Amy & Lyn! I am licensed real estate broker here who can offer you the type of property you want, from farm to luxury condominiums. It will be my pleasure to help you settle here. My email address is Thank you!

  10. wayne Oct 17th 2014  11:14 pm

    too far from the USA ???? 300,000 us citizens already call the Philippines home….it must be well worth it to make the travel…how many of us will drive across town for our favourite hamburger bypassing other hamburger joints on the way ? same for retirement

  11. Andrew Mar 9th 2015  5:45 am

    Choosing between Cebu or Metro Manila as one of the best places to retire in the Philippines I’ll probably choose Cebu. Living in Cebu will give you a balance of having facilities without enduring dirty pollution of Metro Manila.

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