Metro Manila · Expats & Retirees

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Looking to live in a tropical paradise? The Philippines is a popular destination for retirees. Find out why. 

The Philippine archipelago made it in’s list of top retirement destinations for 2015. Today, the country is still among the top choices for retirees looking to live in a tropical paradise. International Living's 2015 Global Retirement Index is based on a number of factors. This includes climate, fitting in, benefits, discounts, cost of living, and healthcare.

The nation of 7, 107 islands scored well in the Cost of Living category as well as in the Fitting In category, according to the Global Retirement Index.

Unlike the retirees you see on pictures at the beaches of Thailand or the Philippines, expats living in the Megacity Manila are a different category. Most, if not all of them, started out as interns, volunteers, trainees, experts or professionals who decided to either start or continue their career here. For one reason or the other they kept coming back for different assignments or never left Manila again – apart from some visits to other countries and to wrap things up in their former homes.

We regard Expats as those who have spent several years in the Megacity already and have had different position or jobs over the time. As Manila is an English-speaking city, Expats do not need to speak Tagalog/ Filipino (Philippine language) but should have already acquired a bit of tan from various stays at one of the pristine tropical beaches in the country. Most Expats & Retirees are very connected to the Philippine culture and society and most of time, this is due to being married to or in a relationship with a Philippine man or woman.

Megacity Manila HotDots or HotSpots such as Tomas Morato are much more likely to be favourite places for expats so going to these areas is a great way to meet like minded people. If you meet other expats, invite them for a cold beer and some pulutan (Philippine food that goes good with beer) and ask them to share some stories about their favorite places.

Cost of Living

The country scored 92 out of 100 placing the tropical destination in the top 10 for the Cost of Living category in the InternationalLiving. It has the same score as Guatemala, Thailand, Ecuador, Cambodia, and Belize. According to the report, only Vietnam and Nicaragua scored higher than the countries mentioned above.

Expats and retirees who choose to spend their retirement years in the Philippines can live comfortably with a budget of 800 to 1.200 USD a month. Household help is also quite affordable making it possible to hire someone to do the cooking and cleaning even when you’re on a tight budget.

Fitting In

Since English is widely spoken in the Philippines, the country scored well in the Fitting In category too. With a score of 92, it was highlighted that locals are welcoming and that there is already an established expat community.

Incentives For Expats

The Philippine government welcomes expats into the tropical nation and even has an agency specific for attracting retirees from other parts of the world. There are various financial benefits for foreign retirees who move to the Philippines. This includes discounts for seniors 60 and above, duty-free import of household goods worth 7,000 USD, and exclusion from airport travel taxes.

Expats who are residents of the Philippines can start a business in the country or work if they wish. Those who already have permanent residency can stay in the country for as many years as they want and can even leave the Philippines and come back without applying for residency again.

The Philippines is also home to a large community of foreign retirees and expats who have come here in search of new social and cultural experiences, warmer climate, and more affordable cost of living.


While Megacity Manila is a very busy place, the Philippine countryside is beautiful and peaceful. The tropical country is known for its scenic beaches, its coral reefs, and its lush mountains.

Government Procedures

We strongly recommend that you visit the Philippines first before you apply for residency. To apply, you can take a look at this link from the Philippine Retirement Authority.