Chances are if you’re reading this article, there’s a strong possibility you’re considering retiring to the Philippines. What’s your plan for moving to the Philippines? I hope you have one. Moving to this archipelago of 7,107 islands without a detailed strategy once your boots hit the ground is about as smart as tugging on Superman’s cape. If you believe you can find a job in the Philippines, even though you might have a skill such as a carpenter or a plumber, I want whatever you’re smoking. Moving here with unrealistic expectations and no guaranteed source of monthly income is a gargantuan mistake. Frankly, you can save yourself a lot of grief and stay put.
My asawa of almost 15 years and I had a plan over five years ago after I retired at age 57 with almost 30 years of service with telecommunications giant, AT&T. Without the generous lump sum payment I received from Ma Bell in lieu of a pension and invested in a IRA which we have drawing from for the past five years, my wife and I would still be living in Central Illinois. I would have missed out on the adventure of my life, where now, at age 62, we are finally reaping the benefits of our own five year plan.
Five years? Seems like a long time, right? At times, especially during financially tight times and three kidney stone attacks, the five years have dragged on. But with the construction of our new home and the upcoming purchase of our new vehicle, the wait is almost over.
But what can you do in planning your retirement and firming up your own plan for moving to the Philippines? The fact that you’re checking out this website is a good start. I read expat blogs about living in the Philippines on an almost daily basis once the decision to move here was made. Two websites provided me with the bulk of my information: Don Herrington’s “Living in the Philippines,” the first Philippines Expat site on the Net, since 1989, and Bob Martin’s “Live in the Philippines.”
I’ve gleaned a ton of useful information from both of these sites and have had the pleasure of exchanging emails with each of the aforementioned expats. I would strongly advise you to read all you can online about the Philippines but don’t believe everything you read. The Philippines is neither a paradise nor a hellhole. Somewhere in between, depending entirely on the following:
WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT!
Not what “The Kano” has made of it. Not what other expats living in the Philippines have made of it, but what YOU, personally make of it. I would venture to guess that if you’re not happy and always complaining in your present location you’ll probably do the same if you move to the Philippines. It’s easy to find imperfections anywhere you live. It’s all about your attitude.
If you can embrace change and accept the fact that you are a VISITOR with absolutely no rights (despite what you might hear otherwise) and don’t mind living in one of the least expensive countries in the world, you might make it here. If you don’t mind being surrounded by some of the most beautiful women on the face of the planet and be treated like a celebrity, you will do fine.
But, please, for your own sake, have a plan. The U.S. Embassy in Manila is NOT, I repeat, NOT, going to bail you out of trouble or help you if you run out of money. So having a guaranteed source of income and doing your homework can help you immensely in formulating your own plan for moving to the Philippines. Books like my “Philippines Expat Advisor” can help in your planning and I encourage you to keep checking out this website along with the ones I have mentioned. Getting different points of views from other expats can greatly benefit you.
With COMMON SENSE, CAREFUL PLANNING AND A GUARANTEED SOURCE OF INCOME, you can successfully make your own move to the Philippines and live out your retirement years comfortably. Again, it’s what you make of it.