The Philippines is considered by many to be one of the top retirement destinations in the world. You can take a dollar much further than anywhere else, and still experience comfort and convenience. There are of course pros and cons to retiring in any foreign country. Things are not always as you expect them to be, or as you have become accustomed to growing up. We will discuss a few different things you might need to know about retiring in the Philippines. 

Cost of living 

The cost of living in the Philippines is amazingly low. Although of course how low depends on how native you want to get. Most people that decide to retire to the Philippines can manage to do it on their minimum Social Security check and live quite well. Of course if you decide to live in an expat area, it may be a little more expensive to live among your peers. Housing can range from local rooms running about $100 a month, too full size luxury houses that rent for thousands. You can figure that you can get a very nice place to live for $400 a month in a nice area. Wherever you live, you can still decorate it and make it look like you want it to be. Housing is definitely affordable. If you wish to live out in the province more, away from the city, you can get bigger and nicer places for much less. We tend to like to be near the city. 


Overall the Philippines is fairly safe. We have traveled all over and have never had a problem. Of course you must also use common sense and logic. You can get robbed anywhere in the world, even back home, if you don’t pay attention. In major cities like Cebu or Manila you are very safe. Just remember that you’re a bigger target than you normally would be. You’re a foreigner, and most Filipinos think all foreigners are rich. So just use your brain and be careful.

There has been a large crack down on crime recently, especially drugs and corruption, so things are getting even safer. Just use your head 


Healthcare in the Philippines is fine, though it may not be the same as you experience back home. In the main cities, and the main hospitals, you can receive first class care. However out in the provinces, don’t expect too much. The system is very different in the Philippines, but the expenses are also much less. We went to a local doctor and the cost for the doctor’s visit was about $10. A CAT scan is about $200, compared to $5,000 in Los Angeles. You may get last year’s model machine, but it still does the job. We advise getting travel insurance however, as that will cover any larger and more critical injuries. A good travel insurance will also stick you on a plane back home for things that cannot be dealt with in the Philippines. It’s quite a shock sometimes to realize that the cost of everything including a hospital visit is still less than the deductible you would pay back in the USA.

Traffic and Roads 

Probably one of the worst things to deal with in the Philippines is the traffic. The infrastructure is completely different than you would experience back home. You just have to settle down and get used to it. It is not uncommon to take a taxi 10 miles and have it take over an hour. Sometimes you wonder if you could walk faster. Taxis can also be expensive, but as a foreigner they are still your best bet. You might have to get used to the occasional power outage, or water shortage, but with a little bit of preparation it’s not so bad. 

Retiring in the Philippines is definitely a possibility. Even with a minimum Social Security payment, there is still enough room to hire a maid, or a cook. So while in the United States you might have a hard time making ends meet with a minimum Social Security payment, in the Philippines you can live quite well and even have domestic help. In all of our travels, it is the one we would choose for retirement. As an added bonus, almost everybody in the Philippines speaks English. Good luck on your retirement.


In many ways dating in the Philippines is the same as dating anywhere else in the world. Although as in anywhere in the world, there are many cultural differences. Knowing what these differences are, and accepting them, can keep you out of a world of problems and heartache. We have listed a few here, some of them are common sense, and some of them are things you might not consider. 

Family first 

Unlike most of the United States, and many other European countries, the family is the first concern in the Philippines. Understand if you date a Filipina, you will essentially be dating her family. A large amount of things that are done in the Philippines are done for the family. This includes things like sending nephews and nieces to school, sending money to a cousin in the province to help to buy a house, or a hundred other different things. So when you are dating a Filipina realize that you will be spending money on their family. One of the best things to learn in the beginning of a relationship, especially if you get married, is setting a hard budget for how much money you give their family. Meeting a Filipinas family though, does not mean that you’re going to get married, but they do want to see you to know that you’re a good guy.

Be a gentleman 

This is a common sense advice. This works anywhere in the world where you date somebody. Be a gentleman. If you do not know what it means to be a gentleman, look it up online. It means you are always respectful and polite. You do not take advantage or pressure anyone into doing something they do not wish to do. If you are dating for a future relationship, such as marriage, then being a gentleman is very important. 

Good girls and bad girls 

Sometimes it’s a little hard to tell the difference, but after you’ve talked to a few you will get the hang of it fairly quickly. There are many scammers in the Philippines. You can usually find them out very fast, within the first few minutes or days you are talking to them. They will ask you for money. It might be a wonderful story about how their grandmother needs it for some life-saving operation, but it is probably not true. If you really want to make sure, you can always do your due diligence and have it checked. If they try and make you feel guilty for asking? They are definitely a scammer. There are many beautiful and wonderful girls in the Philippines that would love to be the one in your life. So pick a good one and not a bad one. Good girls are very conservative and very often will not even hold hands. Depending on the family they might even request a chaperone for the first date. Though as the Philippines becomes more westernized, it is changing. 

Respect the culture 

The Philippines culture is very different from Western culture. Some things may not seem to make any sense at all, but regardless if they make sense or not, you must respect them. The Filipinos are very proud of their culture. So do not make fun of it and respect it, it will take you a very long way. We believe that when you travel anywhere you should experience the local culture. We also believe that you should do this whether you are dating or not. 

Respect the religion 

The Philippines is a very religious country. Many of the girls you will date will be highly religious and go to church every week. Be respectful of this and it will keep you in good standing with their family. 

Hard to get 

Conservative Filipinas by nature are hard to get. You need to take a lot more effort than you normally would. It may take you a lot longer to gain her trust and her love, but when she gives it to you she will give it unreserved. Of course once you have a Filipina, you must always keep wooing her. As long as she knows that you love her and that you care, it will stop her from looking around. 


There is a difference between scammers asking for money and being generous. If you take your girlfriend out to eat and the family comes along, there will be no fighting for the bill; you will be expected to pay it. If you travel and come back to the Philippines you will be expected to bring gifts. These things are assumed. The Philippines has a very low cost of living, so even being a little generosity will go a long way. 

Don’t assume 

Don’t assume that Philippines women are the same as the women back from where you come from. You are learning a completely new set of rules. In the Philippines the rules from home do not apply. You will have to be more observant than you would back home as to what is happening. If you take advantage of a conservative Filipina, you might have a large group of brothers and male cousins to contend with. Fair warning. 

Really it just boils down to a simple set of rules. Do be a gentleman, and don’t assume. Remember that family is priority, and watch out for scammers asking you for money. As it is anywhere in the world, if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true. Filipinos are very loyal, loving and family oriented, so if you find a good one what more can you ask for. Good luck.