How To Retire in the Philippines With No Money — Part 2

How To Retire in the Philippines With No Money

How To Retire in the Philippines With No Money. Part 2

(Updated 8 August 2019)

Shameless “clickbait” title?  Well maybe it is to some people, but read on and you’ll see why I chose it.



You might just find what you have been looking for … a way to retire (or semi-retire) now, to stop “working for the man” … wasting your life away from an hour or more every day commuting … and even to live in a “tropical paradise” … if you want to.

I published another article on this subject recently:

How To Retire in the Philippines With No Money

If you haven’t read it, you should, so we are both on the same page.

Go Ahead, I’ll wait for you right here.

Now Once You Have Read That Article Youll Know You Really Must Have Some Source of Income

So that’s what we are going to start exploring in this series.

Many Of You Are Going To Rely On a Pension or Annuity Plan

Social Security Retirement Benefits

How To Retire in the Philippines With No MoneyThis, of course, is the most common source of income for those of you ready to retire.  Most Americans who have worked 10 or more years are entitled to Social Security Retirement … these days starting at 66 or 67 years old, depending upon your birth date.

In 2019, the maximum SS Retirement payout can hit $2,788 USD per month, which will be a handsome figure to fund your retirement. years.

However, most of us will never see anything close to that amount.  The average monthly Social Security payment to retired workers is $1,461 in 2019 for single folks and the typical couple will collect an average $2,448 per month if both people are collecting Social Security benefits.

Can You Live On That In The Philippines?

I say yes you can, based on current prices.  With one important problem area which we’ll discuss later in the article … medical costs and insurance to cover them.  Stay tuned.

One of my frustrations in running this site all these years are the people who write in and say “I’m not worried about health care, I’m in good health”. Really?  It may interest you who currently feel that way to consider this … everyone currently in very poor health was “in good health” … until they weren’t.

Health care costs are the most unpredictable and most important considerations when it comes to planning your retirement.  Don’t just “breeze past” this subject.

Social Security Disability

I get a lot of questions on this subject because while Social Security Disability payments are quite common, and they are supposed to cover the expenses of folks who are permanently disabled, they are very, very hard to live on on the USA.

The average disability monthly payment will support most people who live in the Philippines.  But there are some major factors to consider:

  1.  Will your disability be [ayable in the Philippines?  There are typically two categories of disability payments from the SSA (Social Security Administration)  — Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
  2. SSDI _IS_ payable in the Philippines.
  3. SSI is _NOT_ payable in the Philippines.

So before you make your plans to move to the Philippines and live off your disability payments, you better check very closely to make sure your payments will continue should you move here.

Be very careful on this because there are many folks on SSDI who also receive a monthy SSI supplement.  If you leave the USA for more than 30 days, your SSI supplementary payments will stop, and they can’t ever be restarted until you have been back in the USA for 30 days or more.

US Military Retirement Pay

One of the really great things about choosing to live in the Philippines if you are a military retiree is that you can likely live well on your military retired pay alone.

It’s often impossible for a retiree, likely in his or her 40’s when retirement rolls around, to live decently and support a family on their military pension alone.

In the States. many military retirees have no choice but to go back to work immediately upon their military retirement.

But in the Philippines, even, say, a retired E-7, getting about$2000 a month, can live comfortably and afford to send his or her children to decent schools … if they budget smartly.

On the negative side, you have to plan for the fact that there are no active military bases in the Philippines and thus no retiree support that most retirees take for granted in the USA.

On the plus side, though,

Retired military veterans and their families are entitled to TRICARE, the Department of Defense lifetime health scare program, which is basically free to all retirees (subject to typical copays and other costs like most commercial health insurance).

TRICAREhas had problems in the Philippines in the past, but if you chose to live near a major city, current reports that I get indicate it seems to work quite well in the Philippines now.

Another Military Benefit

We haven’t yet gotten into discussing the various visa programs available which allow retirees to live the rest o their lives in the Philippines.

But I can’t leave the subject of military retirees in the Philippines without mentioning one of the special categories of the STTV (Special Resident Retirement Visa) program that is applicable to all US and other allied military who have served and been honorably discharged,

Note that this program does not require the applicant to be retired from the military, just that they be an honorably discharged vet.

The program is quite cheap and unlike many other “flavors” of the SRRV, requires only a $1500 USD investment and can cover a veterans spouse and minor children too … for life.

(Note: no other visa program I know of has this benefit … your children can still come and stay with you after they are adults, without getting their own visas)

Comment below if you want to know more about this program because I could easily spend pages and pages of writing on the SRRV.

US Veterans Affairs Pensions

First of all, remember that I am not a disabled veteran and I have had no dealings with the VA at all since I left the military many years ago.

But I do know there are many vets here in the Philippines who get medical care and in some cases pensions from the US VA.  A few facts to consider:

There Is No VA Hospital in the Philippines

This is a very common issue I hear about often.  Many US vets who live near VA hospitals in the USA plan to come to the Philippines and have the mistaken belief that there us a VA hospital here.

This misstatement of fact likely comes often from the Philippine government Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City (Metro Manila). This hospital was established to serve Filipino veterans of World War II.  It is administered and owned by the national government of the Philippines and does not have any connection to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  The hospital serves Filipino citizen veterans only.

US Veterans do have a US facility that serves them in the Philippines.  It is a VA Clinic, not a hospital, and thus has limited services.  See their homepage here: Manila VA Clinic

VA Disability Pensions

I’m not very familiar with VA Disability Pensions, but according to the listings here, a single man might be able to do alright living here in the Philippines. Veterans Pension Rate Table

For both pension benefits and information on medical care, I strongly advise fellow veterans to contact the Manila VA office directly.  The Manila VA office is the _only_ VA office located outside the USA and many procedures and rules here are different than rules and procedures within the USA.

So, Great For Those Who Are In These Programs But What AboutMe, I Have Nothing

I knew there were going to be some of you left behind with none of these common income sources.  I didn’t forget about you.

Also, there are many folks thinking about moving here who do fall under one or more of these programs who might feel that only one source of income is rather shaky and they might be a little close to the edge of poverty.



Well tune in tomorrow and I’ll cover a number of methods to Increase Your Retirement Income

What else can I tell you about How To Retire in the Philippines With No Money.

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