Are you thinking about retirement? Well maybe the Philippines could be an idyllic option with all of it's beautiful islands and friendly and hospitable culture.
Over the last few decades many countries have looked to boost their economies by attracting those looking to retire in a warm sunny & friendly country.
In Europe after the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ the likes of Spain & Portugal as well as others offered a path to citizenship for those prepared to spend over €500,000 on a property.
These campaigns have been reasonably successful in restoring some of the economies in Europe but the cost of entry is high.
In Asia Malaysia has been one of the leaders in deliberately targeting this market and in the early days was fairly successful. It is now expensive compared with other countries now offering similar schemes in Asia. Malaysia has also gone backwards recently due to the scandal caused by the 1MDB scandal and the poor running of the country which is affecting the economy.
Thailand is currently the leader in Asia for this market and for good reason. They have a fairly easy to understand ‘retirement visa’ which is less expensive than Malaysia. Thailand offers all the usual benefits of an Asian country for those looking for a relaxing and friendly retirement. It is also very popular so if you move there it will not be difficult to make new friends.
Other Asian economies where it is possible to live but as yet don’t have a proper retirement visa include places like Vietnam which is growing in popularity as it develops. There are also many people who spend their time traveling from one country to another without ever formally choosing to retire anywhere.
For those looking for a permanent solution the Philippines is a late entry into this market but has come up with a very affordable package. The Philippines offer retirement visa’s from age 35 but the best value is for those who are over 50.
So, why choose the Philippines?
The Philippines is gaining in appeal due to the fact it is one of the most cost effective solutions currently on the market.
The process to obtain the visa is reasonably easy and straight forward.
The language of business is English which makes dealing with life simpler and English is widely spoken even when traveling to remote islands.
Like the rest of Asia the Philippines represents good value and as it continues to develop. The country is already advanced enough to offer access to all the goods and food types you are likely to crave when being away from home.
The government in the Philippines has also made it attractive for those who retire with regard to taxation as pension and annuity income is not taxed. This may mean that depending on
where you get your income or pension you could potentially retire in the Philippines and pay no tax.
As governments around the world tax people more and also tax benefits on your estate, restricting the amount you can leave to your family or beneficiaries, retirement destinations like the Philippines become very attractive.
With most of these countries including the Philippines there is also no obligation to spend a specific amount of time in the country. This means you can spend a week or the whole year in the Philippines once you have the ‘retirement visa’ and only be taxed in the Philippines. [This assumes you do not spend so much time in another country that you become tax resident there]
The Philippines has no plan to tax retirement income that people on this program bring into the country. This makes it a very interesting option for those looking for a retirement location with an attractive tax regime.
BUT, these are the things you MUST consider
Like with most retirement locations, a key consideration is medical insurance and access to good hospitals and staff.
You undoubtedly will be more likely to enjoy where you retire if you have done your research. It is good to have a trial period of maybe six months or more living where you intend to retire so you are comfortable with the culture, customs and people.
The internet also enables you to do research and meet similar people before you move so when you arrive you already have friends to discuss any problems or issues once you make the move.
The Philippines allows foreigners to also buy apartments which can make your retirement that little bit more secure and permanent.
So, The Philippines offers everything you would expect from a tropical Asian country in terms of great beaches, cheap golf, friendly people and at a reasonable price.
Under Duterte, the security situation for foreigners is getting better and it is hoped money will be spent on infrastructure to improve the airports and roads.
English is the language of business which makes it an easier place to live than other Asian countries.
The favourable tax treatment for those who take the ‘retirement visa’ makes it very appealing.
The Philippine Retirement Visa probably offers the best value of all these types of visa in Asia.
So if you're considering retiring in the Philippines, keep in mind that moving is a process. Get in touch with us now to ensure that you're best prepared.