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retirement in Philippines

borntorock55 :

This is my first post on this forum having just moved here from the UK with the intention of permanently retiring here. I'm taking nothing for granted though and have made sure I have a financial escape route in place in case it's needed. For anyone considering doing this, do your research thoroughly first. Surprised to see a post from an Aussie I think who didn't know whether he could receive his pension here direct. No offence, but if you're thinking of retiring here isn't that a basic question to answer unless you've got capital to burn ? For any other Brits considering this move you also need to investigate and understand your tax position before you arrive instead of trying to unravel it once you are here. My tax position in the U.K. wasn't overly complex and it took weeks of research and toing and froing with HMRC before I left to get it straight.  Trust me, trying to have conversations with them once you're here is difficult and expensive. For any Brits you can have your state pension paid to you if you are living here and even directly into a PH bank account if you have one in PHP if you wish. Also, courtesy of the UK/PH double tax treaty once you achieve PH rather than UK tax residency, any payment from a UK private or corporate pension scheme and also your state pension are free of both UK and PH income tax. Different rules apply for U.K. government pensions I believe.For me its early days and all work in progress and we'll see how it works out. Having worked in Manila on and off over the past 8 years, first impressions of Iloilo are positive. It's far cleaner, way less intimidating than Manila and the traffic moves most of the time !! Of course people's choices as to where they live are often dictated by their financial position but I for one wouldn't want to live in the hell hole that is Manila even if I could afford the relatively luxury of McKinley/BGC/Makati.  I'm living in the Lapaz area of Iloilo with my Filipina partner. We have rented a nice 2 bed duplex in a quiet area (apart from the almost constant barking of dogs) for PHP 25k a month. I expect to be able to negotiate this down a chunk if we commit for a longer period. We get all our perishables, fruit, veg, fish and meat at the local markets where it is at least half the price of supermarkets. Electricity is of course very expensive so we made sure the place we rented is fairly shaded and we are sparing with the aircon. As others have noted, real estate advertising here is work of pure fiction. You have to get on your bike, look at places and deal face to face. Don't accept anything at face value and if it's something you want be prepared to haggle. On another topic I'm  endlessly fascinated as to why any expat would want to own a car and drive here unless you are living in a rural area. The roads and standard of driving are atrocious so why use your hard earned capital on an asset that is going to depreciate at the speed of light after it's been scraped and knocked a few times by jeepneys and taxis. In western terms even living on a pension, cabs are dirt cheap so why not let them take the strain ? Other than that greetings to all (especially the Brits amongst you) and would be pleased to hear from any Iloilo Golf & Country Club members.

Welcome aboard mate, I just arrived yesterday from USA, living with wife and family in Santa, Ilocos Sur, an 8 hour bus ride from the Manila airport.  Sounds like you have a good head start and know what you are dealing with in the Philippines.  Best of luck on iloilo, sounds like you made a wise decision.

Thanks mugtech. Good to hear from you buddy and good luck to you too. It's a brave new world but I'm sure we'll both make the most of it. I haven't sampled the delights of an 8 hr Philippine bus journey yet but we will head to Boracay fairly soon and I think that's about 4 hours or so from here. Anyway good luck again and keep in touch !!

We are probably going to be snowbirds for a while, coming to the Philippines October to April, then returning to Bethlehem, PA, for the rest of spring and summer.  Do you like to take cruise vacations?  We are checking out a 10 day out of Singapore this February, perhaps in the future we could meet there or in Hong Kong for such a trip.  On the Royal Caribbean Anthem we saw the show We Will Rock You, featuring the music of Queen.  As a rocking Brit I would think it would be to your liking.

Sounds like the best of both worlds. For tax reasons I can only spend very limited time in the UK over the next couple of years. Haven't been on a cruise for many years. Our immediate travel priority is to get to Perth, Australia where my son lives and also a close aunt of my partner. My son has a 9 month old daughter so need to get some quality grandad time in ! Haven't seen her since she was 2 weeks old. Keep me posted on your plans though and maybe we'll get round to it at some point in the future. Saw We Will Rock You twice when it was on stage in London. Brilliant!!

We have friends in Australia retired there, we plan to visit them some time in the next couple of years and also cruise home from Sidney to Seattle in April of 2019.  They live a few hours outside of Sydney, perhaps we could visit Oz at the same time.

Expat IFA :

IMHO it is NOT realistic to retire anywhere in Asia with savings of only £35K. Living off of the Basic State Pension is 'doable' but remember - if you become an expat you will in all likelihood relinquish your rights to FREE NHS Care should you need to repatriate to the UK for health reasons. The UK is getting very hot on this subject and £35K would soon disappear in an emergency. You do not seem to have enough money to buy a Condo/House (via Company setup) so people talking about his here is stupid. You can rent without the capital outlay quite cheaply (circa 15,000 Peso pm - Upwards) dependent upon the area you wish to live. Any safe/expat orientated place in Metro Manila - Forget it, you CANNOT afford it. Rental prices are astronomical - and will remain that way for a long time. In the provinces/retirement islands of .PH yes you can rent for less, which would be within your budget. Upon retirement you would have to be crazy to actually WANT to live in Manila.
Your Basic State Pension will be enough to live modestly on most islands here (I know - I actually live here) and yes you can extend your visa and 'play the system' to live here longer term without issue. You will of course receive an extremely warm welcome in .PH and find it easy to get to know the locals.  If you wish to know more - send me a message. Best of luck.

Best post i have seen here for UK retirees in the Philippines. I myself have been doing the sums on retiring to the Philippines and my conclusion is its a NO GO.  Considering that I get 80% housing and council tax benefit here (so near rent free for a 45 SqM 1 bed apartment), free bus travel, winter fuel allowance  and local knowledge keeping food etc stuffs prices down, leaving my state pension and small private pension to live on. In Philippines I would have to pay full housing costs and hugely expensive health insurance (age, diabetic and COPD -  quotes would take all my monthly pension). SO I would be broke in the Philippines unless I skipped health insurance and suffered the consequences.

Would love to retire to a sunny paradise , but old blighty does try to look after its elderly (even though state pensions are the lowest in the western world- but the benefits compensate).

For me its paradise lost in my retirement - but I still have top class football and cricket to watch for entertainment.

I am not sure about the rest of the guys here, but the way I see it, the Brits have same system as in Australia, do to been a Commonwealth Country, and for me too it will be batter to retirement in Australia then it is here, Australia will give you cheap accomodation, free health care, free bus rides anyway in country, medication hevely reduced, benefits of Power and gas, rego, insurances and lots more, I do not get when Australian try to say the retirement is better here, I personaly do not see it, I live here, my income is from the rents I get from Australia, but when my time comes to retire well I will have to chose Australia, if some think this is Paradise then some of you have not seen Australia, we have one of the best places in the world, and trust me if anyone of you can make it down under will see what i mean, and moist likely you never want to leave again, so to all my Australian friends, what are you doing here ?? you much batter of there 110%.

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