Retire in the Philippines — Can You?
So you want to Retire in the Philippines? Your homework assignment for today is to go and read this excellent article. Go ahead, I’ll wait, but do come back, because I have some very specific Retire in the Philippines comments and clarification that you might find interesting.
by: Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
It’s a wakeup call. These days unpredictability is the theme of the marketplace, and hordes of would-be retirees have lost solid gains in their portfolios and home values. Seemingly, there is no place to turn for financial solace, with dread and anxiety running rampant. But perhaps there is value in being disillusioned.
Just as the people in the Gulf will be forced to reconstruct their lives or those who have lost assets in other natural disasters will need to rebuild their homes, perhaps your retirement dreams are calling for a major makeover. … (go ahead, read the rest, it’s well worth the time …
You’re back? Good, great article isn’t it? I put a link to their great book here too, in case you want to read it … I’m not making any money of it, by the way, it’s just something so many of us need I can’t resist
Here’s my take on Billy and Akaisha’s “Practical Steps”
Retire in the Philippines — Practical Steps
1. Cut fear down to manageable bites: Fear corrodes your life. The best way to deal with anxiety is to take action. If your current lifestyle is not sustainable and your retirement ambitions are whimsical, what can you do to gain traction?
- Get a grip on your spending
- Debt management and
The number of folks who contact me and tell me “they can’t” cut spending and save money just astounds me.
I guess, after a lifetime of being taught that the consumptive, phony Hollywood dream American lifestyle is a normal way to live, these people truly believe that they can’t. News flash. “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” aren’t really what life is all about.
Sadly, shows like this are popular in the Philippines … “celebrity” and “glamor and glitz” are a big part of life here, but the advantage of retiring in the Philippines is, you can live much, much cheaper than you can back in the USA, or in any other retirement venue I can think of.
I you read the article, you know that Billy and Akaisha are big on Thailand. That’s cool, because Thailand is also a great retirement destination. But unlike Billy and Akaisha, and a lot of other writers on this subject, I have lived, long-term in both Thailand, and the Philippines. My Filipino born/American citizen wife lived and worked in Thailand too, so I don’t speak from theory here, or regurgitate what “they” say. we speak from practical experience.
Thailand is a great destination … the Philippines, for American retirees, is a significantly better retirement destination, though.
If Thailand was better for our retirement, you can bet your channel clicker my wife and I would be there, rather than saving money and enjoying life in the here in the Philippines.
2. Evaluate other options for health care: “We receive letters from our readers enumerating concerns over their ability to access health care in retirement. For these people, it is their number one priority, and their entire future hinges on this one expense. As health insurance premiums rise, no amount of savings seems to relieve the emotional pressure they feel. They live in a state of constant threat, which is not good for their health!”… truer words never spoken.
Heath care in the Philippines is not the same as health care in the US. In some cases it may not be as good, in many cases it’s better (in my opinion, based, again, on actual experience). On the World Heath Organization rankings, the Philippines ranks a pretty dismal 76th place (out of about 200 countries). However, the USA ranks as nearly as dismal 37th. That’s right. The only place the USA is in number one in the health care world is COST.
So stop worrying so much and start living. Your US health insurance may continue to cover you here in the Philippines (check directly with your provider, please, don’t ask me, I don’t know). You may be able to use TRICARE or VA benefits. You might buy commercial Philippine health insurance (I’ve written before about Health Insurance Quotes — Philippines.
Or you might just click on the banner to your left (I do get a commission if you buy from Medex). They offer a pretty comprehensive plan for as low as $1.22 a day on an annual basis. Is a little over a buck a day really worth the worry and agony which Fox news has filled your head with? Relax. De-stress. You’ll live longer. You’ll certainly live happier.
3. Think out of the box – consider relocating: “While many of you may not have contemplated leaving your hometown for your retirement years, you may find yourself in a different frame of mind lately. There are dozens of countries and hundreds of cities in the world to live that won’t put a financial stress on your savings …”.
Exactly. That’s what this is all about. In many cases, retirement advice always seems to center around the idea that staying right where you are is the only, or at least the best overall alternative.
For some people, it might be. For a great many of you, though, I think you owe it to yourself to really explore other options. Americans are just to sedentary and self-centered. We believe our own press releases too often. The USA is not the center of the known universe. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to like about retiring in a new country.
There are things you won’t like, either … you note this is not one of those blogs about the Philippines that rambles on about “tropical paradise” … paradise it is not.
But if you don’t get off your spreading backside, make a move and try things out for yourself .. you will die without knowing. We are all running out of marbles you know, wherever we chose to live.
4. Don’t let peer pressure decide for you: “ Change often brings stress with it and many times we turn to loved ones for comfort and input. If one of the solutions to your retirement future means moving out of state or country, this can intimidate those whom we hold dear. Family and friends may try to keep you close by pointing out the struggles involved in your plan, and instead of helping, you could have more doubt than before. Remember, this is your life…” Indeed. I think, sometimes, this is the number one obstacle to people being able to retire in the Philippines.
It’s common for people to talk to me first about money, but after we find a solution to that issue, we tend to get to the meat of the matter. People are just afraid because their mom or the Aunt Tilly, or the guys down at the Legion Home all tell them they are crazy to think about making such a move.
Time to think this through and stand on your own two feet. Even your mom, precious as she is in your life, does not live your life for you.
A related issue is, many US citizens have some vague idea that you need some sort of special permission to live overseas, or that there is a ‘time limit’; of some sort about how long you can live outside the USA.
The a simple answer is, absolutely not. An American citizen can live outside the USA just as long as he or she chooses to. You can renew your passport, pay your taxes (yeah, you still have to do that, although there may be some huge tax advantages for some folks), vote, have a USA address, watch US TV, have a US phone number, maintain a US Internet IP address … in short, do just about anyhting a US citizen can do with feet on US soil. For as long as you want to.
If you have children overseas, they will still be 100% US citizens as well.
5. Dealing with the general fear of the unknown: “There are great emotional components to retirement. Studies we have read point out that it’s not always finances preventing people from leaving the world of work. Fear can come on many levels. If you have been hard driving, productive, loyal to a savings plan, the ‘Go-to’ person at work, the actual act of retirement could leave you without a sense of direction or feel like a letdown. You could be scrambling for a self-definition that you can live with, anything that doesn’t make you appear to be soft or lacking ambition. Or your biggest fear might be that you could find yourself bored, without a schedule, and wondering what you will do all day..”
Again, very true words and sound advice. Whatever your other plans about moving to or retiring in the Philippines might be, I strongly you have a plan for “doing something” and especially, “being someone”.
As many of you know, I not only write often about making a living in the Philippines, but earning online in general … my ‘flagship site’ on the earn while retired issue … empowering your life as a baby boomer might interest you.
There’s money to be made, but way, way more important than making money itself is the idea of having a purpose and something to work at.
Too many people have a sad retirement. not because of where they live, but because they don’t have a plan for doing something. Playing golf every day is not really doing something and being somebody … and it gets old.
Are You Going To Retire in the Philippines?
So, what do you think? Will you Retire in the Philippines.