Expat retirees are genuinely welcome in the Philippines

Expat retirees are genuinely welcome in the Philippines

Expat retirees are genuinely welcome in the Philippines

If you’re attracted to Southeast Asia but are unsure about which country is your best fit, the Philippines is as good as it gets.

The benefits of Southeast Asia as a destination for retirees, digital nomads and SME entrepreneurs vary country to country as regards essentials such as visa requirements, expat-friendly governments and issues of politics-related safety and security. Overall strengths include the weather, low costs of living and housing, English language provisions and, generally speaking, the friendliness of local people.

For those with less than generous pensions, one country beats out the rest for these essentials – the Philippines. This archipelago of over 7,000 islands has previously been a well-kept secret as regards its attractions for long-stay expats, and has the most lenient and least expensive visa requirements. It’s also relatively stable, although the southern islands including Mindanao are best avoided.

The islands’ beauty is well-known, and its ultra-friendly people speak far more English than their counterparts elsewhere in the region. For retirees, it ticks all the boxes, especially as regards affordability and settling in. Recent surveys regard the Philippines as one of the best in Asia for a genuine welcome combined with incentives ensuring a smooth transition without any unreasonable requirements or unpleasant demands.

There’s even a government agency tasked with attracting foreign retirees, and financial benefits include discounts for those over 60 years of age, duty free importation of personal goods to the value of $7,000 and exemptions from travel taxes. Importantly, expat arrivals are permitted to work or start their own businesses. For those deciding to stay on a permanent basis, permanent residency is easily obtained.

For older expats, Manila’s healthcare provisions are affordable and of a high standard, but in further flung areas the sector lacks investment and infrastructure. However, affordable air and sea transportation to the capital can be had, and some expats travel to Bangkok to take advantage of the higher standards.

One aspect of retirement in the Philippines is famous – the genuinely warm welcome and friendship of the people. For locals, it’s all about regarding new arrivals as family, thus ensuring no-one’s ever lonely or alone.

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