Last updated September 23rd, 2018.
With old age often comes peaceful years of traveling the world. But the best places to retire probably aren’t in your home country.
Selecting which country to retire abroad isn’t always easy. Thankfully, 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, the top criteria retirees base decisions on include ease of buying/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, among other places, have been on the list for many years. The Philippines just recently became a contender though. East Asian retirees are especially attracted by a warm climate 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 and Western retirees. They offer ample sunshine, a low cost of living, 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. Most intend on finding a better environment to live on their pensions.
The population of retirees in the Philippines is small. Yet it’s growing fast with numbers expected to double in under five years.
Barely over 42,000 foreigners are enrolled in the national retirement plan right now – less than a tenth of a percent of the total population.
Numbers are rising quickly though. The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) wants to expand their workforce and double the number of foreign retirees by 2020.
Retirees Benefit from Economic Boom
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 industries that benefit from more retirees are the healthcare and real estate sectors. Large providers of healthcare in the Philippines are upgrading facilities and training employees to capture the fast growing market of East Asian retirees.
Property developers in the Philippines are getting in on the business too. Projects are often on peaceful beachfront and have amenities familiar to foreign retirees from East Asia such as Japanese toilets.
A move to build beach homes that meet expat standards directly corresponds to retirees’ desire for a slow life.
Is Philippine Retirement Right for You?
The Philippines will continue climbing the ranks of the best place to retire in Asia because of its rapid economic development. Progress will improve quality of life for not just foreigners retiring in the Philippines, but also among locals.
Not everything is 100% positive. For example, medical care in the Philippines lags behind Thailand’s standards while accessibility for disabled people leaves much to be desired.
Great strides are being made though. While certainly not Asia’s best place to retire right now, the Philippines is moving up the ranks faster than any of its neighbors.
Consider retiring in the Philippines if living somewhere affordable yet up-and-coming is important to you.
A low retirement age of just 35 along with plentiful business opportunities also makes retiring in the Philippines great if you either want to retire early or work part-time.
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