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 retire in isn’t an easy one. Expats have tons of information to make an informed choice so they won’t regret their decision later.

According to International Living’s Global Retirement Index, some of the top criteria which 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 just recently becoming a strong contender. The government is attracting East Asian retirees with its great weather and welcoming environment.

 

Philippines to Double Number of Retirees by 2020

Recognizing that other places are ahead, authorities are taking steps to ensure the Philippines catches up to them.

Following the footsteps of Thailand and Malaysia, the Philippines is targeting wealthy Asian retirees. The nation offers them ample sunshine, low costs of living, soft wealth barriers, low pension requirements, along with minimum age of just 35 to apply for a retirement visa.

A majority of retirees in the Philippines come from East Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. They have intentions of finding a more welcoming environment to live on their pensions.

While the population of those retiring in the Philippines is still small, it’s growing fast. The government’s goal is for their number to double in less than five years.

There are only a little more than 42,000 foreigners enrolled in the national retirement plan – less than a tenth of a percent of the total population. The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) wants to expand their workforce and double the number of foreign retirees by 2020.

 

Economic Impacts Will be Realized

One of the main reasons people retire overseas is because of lower costs.

As such, this means a nation popular with foreign retirees has an influx of people with more spending power than the average local. This logically benefits the economy, some sectors more than others.

Two top industries reaping benefits from more retirees are the healthcare and real estate sectors. Many large healthcare providers in the Philippines are upgrading facilities and training employees to capture the fast growing market of East Asian retirees.

Likewise, property developers in the Philippines are getting in on the opportunity. Projects are often on peaceful beaches and have amenities familiar to foreign retirees from East Asia, such as Japanese toilets.

A move to build beach homes which are up to expat standards directly corresponds to retirees’ desire for a slow life.

The Philippines will continue climbing the ranks of the best place to retire in Asia because of its rapid economic development. Further progress will improve quality of life for not just foreigners retiring in the Philippines, but also among locals.

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About Reid Kirchenbauer

Reid Kirchenbauer is the Founder of InvestAsian. He's an accomplished stock trader and property investor in Thailand, Cambodia, and many other places. 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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