Philippines Fast Facts


Population: 102,624,209

Capital City: Manila

Climate: Tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)

Time Zone: UTC +8

Language: English (Official) Filipino

Country Code: 63

Coastline: 36,289km

Live in Luxury in The Philippines

When imagining the Philippines, picturesque, crystal-blue waters with white-sand beaches are what usually come to mind. And rightfully so. The Philippines are made up of 7,107 tropical islands and many of them are exactly as you imagine. That picture-perfect postcard…that image of water so clear it hardly seems real…that is the Philippines. But so too are the massive skyscraper filled cities that have all the amenities of any downtown district in the world. The Philippines can be whatever you want them to be– you really can choose your dream lifestyle.

Do you love exotic islands? Check out Boracay. Cooler mountains towns? Go to Baguio and Tagaytay. Adventure? Palawan could be your perfect paradise. Big cosmopolitan cities? Cebu City has it all! The possibilities are endless; the Philippines might just be your dream retirement haven.

Not only do you have your choice of islands to explore, but you also have your choice of climates as well. The majority of the islands have tropical, hot and humid weather. But if that isn’t for you, there are mountain towns with cooler temperatures and less humidity. Even the locals, who are used to the heat, flock to these spots to cool off whenever possible.

English is one of the official languages of the country, so it’s easy to communicate with most everyone you meet, which makes the transition all the more effortless. In fact, it seems like no matter where you go, the most common thread throughout the archipelago is the kind-heartedness of the people. It doesn’t matter if you are in one of the major cities, at the beach or in a remote little mountain town, the people are always warm, welcoming, and willing to chat.

The government also makes is easy to retire here. If you apply for an expat retiree Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV), you can live there permanently with non-immigrant status plus you can travel all you’d like with multiple-entry privileges.

There are 11 international airports which means travel, near and far, is easy.

Great private hospitals are peppered throughout the islands, and many are JCI accredited so you can feel at ease regarding healthcare.

No matter where you choose to live, the cost of living is so much lower than in the U.S. In some places, you can rent a three-bedroom, modern, furnished townhouse for only $325 a month. In the bigger cities, in a fancy new high-rise with all the amenities, prices start from $1,140, but that is still less than you’d pay at home for an equivalent property. Prices are so low that a cleaner, a gardener, and weekly massages will become a part of your lifestyle. A round of golf can be as little as $7. You can live like royalty on a budget.

The Philippines’ big cosmopolitan cities, like Cebu City and Manila, are just like any big city in the U.S. There are large shopping centers featuring well-known stores like Mango, Topshop, The Body Shop, and Gucci. There is even an S&R, which is their version of Costco, not to mention dozens of Starbucks. If you’re a film fan, you’ll find several modern cinemas showing the latest box-office hits.

This won’t be a rocking chair retirement unless you want it to be. With so much variety to choose from, it’s easy to understand why so many expats call the Philippines their home.

From the Archives of Philippines

City Living, White-Sand Beaches and Low Costs in Cebu City, Philippines

City Living, White-Sand Beaches and Low Costs in Cebu City, Philippines

Sailing into the sunset to start a new life in a tropical paradise is the stuff of many retirees' dreams. However, sometimes the fear that they'll also be leaving behind First World amenities holds them back. But there's a place where you can forget those worries...Cebu City, on the island of Cebu in the Philippines, is that place.

Infographic—Your Social Security Payments Overseas

Infographic—Your Social Security Payments Overseas

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According to the latest figures from the U.S. Social Security Administration, U.S. retirees overseas received more than $3 billion in social security payments in 2013. That number shows an increase of $160 million since 2012—and has nearly doubled since 2013. In total, 373,224 U.S. retirees received their social security payments as residents of a foreign country in 2013. Europe is home to the most U.S. retirees drawing their social security payments abroad (154,238), followed by Canada and Mexico (95,767), and Asia (70,586).

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