With old age comes the peaceful years of moving to other, more exotic parts of the world. But the best places to retire probably aren’t in your home country.

The selection of which country to move to is not an easy one. Retirees have a lot of information to make an informed choice with so that they will not regret their decision later on. According to International Living’s Global Retirement Index, some of the top criteria that retirees base their decisions on are the ease of buying and renting property, cost of living, infrastructure, and healthcare.

Competing for the best place to retire in Asia are three Southeast Asian countries, namely Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Thailand and Malaysia have been on the list for many years. The Philippines, however, is becoming a strong contender as the government attracts East Asian retirees with great weather and a welcoming environment.


Philippines to Double Number of Retirees by 2020

Recognizing that the other two countries are quite far ahead, the Filipino authorities are taking steps to make sure that the country can catch up to them through a well thought out plan.

Somewhat following the footsteps of Thailand and Malaysia, the Philippines is looking to target wealthy East Asian retirees by offering ample sunshine, low costs of living, soft wealth barriers, low pension retirements, and a young minimum age of just 35 to apply for a retirement visa.

The majority of the retirees in the Philippines come from East Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan with the intentions of finding a more welcoming environment to live on their pensions. Though the population of retirees is still quite small, it is growing fast and the government is taking steps to make sure that the number will double in less than 5 years.

In the national retirement plan program, there are just a little more than 42,000 foreigners – less than a tenth of a percent of the total population. The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) is looking to expand its workforce to double the number of foreign retirees by 2020.


Economic Impacts to be Realized

One of the main reasons that people retire overseas is because of a lower cost of living. This means that a country popular with foreign retirees has an influx of people with more spending power than the average local. Logically, this would benefit the economy, some sectors more than others.

Two of the top sectors to be reaping benefits from the arrival of retirees are the healthcare and property sectors. Many of the largest healthcare providers in the Philippines are upgrading their facilities and training employees in order to capture the fast growing market of East Asian retirees.

Likewise, property developers in the Philippines are trying to get in on the opportunity. A couple of real estate developers in the Philippines are already moving forward with projects on many peaceful beaches, which include amenities familiar to foreign retirees from East Asia such as Japanese toilets. The move to build beach homes which are up to the standards of expats directly corresponds to retirees’ desire for a slow life.

The Philippines will continue to climb the ranks of the best place to retire in Asia because of its rapid economic development. This will improve the quality of life for not just for foreigners who choose to retire in the Philippines, but for locals too.

About Reid Kirchenbauer

Reid Kirchenbauer is the Founder of InvestAsian. He's experienced with trading stocks and buying property in Thailand, Cambodia, and elsewhere. He's been featured in publications such as Forbes, Nomad Capitalist, Property Report, and Seeking Alpha. Download his free investment guide by clicking here.

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