Skip to content

Retirement & Living In Makati For Foreigners

    Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

    Retirement & Living In Makati For Foreigners: Today, we’re going to be diving into the world of living in Makati as a foreigner by exploring a beginner’s guide of the pros and cons of living in Makati and, ultimately, what it is like to retire in Makati city in the Philippines as a foreigner.

    Pros And Cons Of Living In Makati

    Like every city in the Philippines, the beautiful area of Makati has its pros and cons. Many characteristics of living in Makati City as a foreigner will depend on your overall lifestyle. Nevertheless, we shall break down a few of these important areas to know into distinctive categories.

    Pros Of Living In Makati

    Makati Is A Modern City

    Makati is a modern and upbeat area of the Philippines. Over the years, there have been several developments in the area, including business development and infrastructure expansion. As time passed, Makati City grew and has become a hotspot for those looking to live a modern lifestyle in the Philippines.


    Accessibility is a huge pro of living in Makati as a foreigner. This is because you will find many suitable options wherever you need to travel somewhere or have something delivered. If you are an entrepreneur or a wealthy individual, you will find many helipads on top of buildings in Makati City.

    High Levels Of English

    Due to the expansion of business and the high levels of English in other parts of Manila, it’s no surprise that Makati has incredibly high levels of English. Overall the Philippines has a naturally high level of English (statistically second in Asia, only behind Singapore). However, the pros of living in Makati as a foreigner is that communication is much easier even if you have a strong accent.

    Makati Has Beautiful Scenery

    When looking at the pros and cons of living in Makati as a foreigner, the city has a lot of green scenery. This is sometimes a surprise for first-time travelers because the city of Makati usually has minimal scenery; however, you will find lots of green areas and beautiful parks around the city.

    Cleaner Than Other Cities

    Foreigners and Filipinos have often commented on the cleanness of major cities across the Philippines. And even though some areas such as Makati are not spotless, they are much cleaner on average than other major cities, making it a much more pleasurable experience for locals and foreigners.

    Cons Of Living In Makati

    Makati Can Be Expensive

    Below we will be addressing the cost of living in Makati for retirees and expats so we won’t go into too much detail here. Nonetheless, Makati can be one of the most expensive living areas in the Philippines, depending on your lifestyle. Therefore you may be more suited outside of Manila if you are looking for a cheaper lifestyle.

    Can Become Very Busy

    One con of living in Makati City as a foreigner is that it can be very busy during certain times. With the recent pandemic, naturally, this city and certain areas have not been as busy as they once were; however, as we look to the future, the city’s busyness will likely return.

    Traffic Can Be A Problem

    Manila traffic, including in Makati City, has been known to be the worst traffic in the world. In fact, it has even won some unofficial awards for its horrendous traffic over the years. However, local officials are fighting back against this, and there are even traffic updates live from their Twitter feed for the latest traffic updates on Makati.

    Louder Lifestyle For Retirees

    The last con of living in Makati as a foreigner is that the lifestyle is much louder for retirees than in other cities such as Davao. When looking at the pros and cons of Makati for expats, the louder lifestyle may be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on your lifestyle needs.

    What Is Living In Makati Like For Foreigners

    In my experience and speaking to locals, I found that overall those who lived long term in Makati tend to be seeking a slightly different lifestyle to other expats who live elsewhere in the Philippines.

    When living in Makati City, you will find that the city is very modern and upbeat. This offers a busier lifestyle that suits some individuals, such as those who are entrepreneurs. Those who seek a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere tend to be situated in other cities such as Iloilo, Davao, and so on.

    Being a foreigner in Makati City is also more normalized than in other areas. For example, if you are situated in a smaller city or a province, then it is likely that you will be a somewhat rarity; however, as many foreigners are living in Makati City, you may not turn heads so much (excuse my word choice here Ha-Ha) compared to other areas.

    Additionally, costs in Makati city can be high depending on what area you live in. The financial center is one of the city’s hotspots, and where many large corporations are based. Therefore accommodation around this area is in high demand, and prices reflect the need.

    In summary, Makati has an enjoyable lifestyle depending on your lifestyle needs. The cost of living and traffic may be a disadvantage for some expats. However, there are many pros to living in Makati City, which makes it one of the most enjoyable areas in the Philippines for some expats.

    Cost Of Living In Makati

    Typically to live comfortably in the Philippines, you will need a budget of $1500; however, to live comfortably In Makati as a foreigner, an overall budget of $2000 is recommended. You may wish to increase your budget to $2500 if you plan to live in high-demand areas around the financial center of Makati.

    Several areas offer a higher cost of living. Two well-known common areas are Greenbelt (mall) and the financial center. However, it does sometimes pay to live in a more expensive area if you are looking to save time due to the traffic.

    There are some cheaper studios to rent between the 15K-20K pesos range in Makati City; however, the majority of these for this price is without any furniture and are not in the best locations, so this is one consideration if you plan to live in Makati for business or work.

    Condominiums in the prime areas tend to start around 25K pesos a month. However, at this price, these units tend to be unfurnished. If you are looking for a small condominium furnished in a prime area, prices will start around the 35K-40K pesos mark.

    These prices are based on today’s availability; even though there are some bargains to be had when looking at the accommodation costs in Makati, there is also high demand, so it may be wise to build early connections with real estate agents to get the best deals.

    The cost to rent a small house in Makati starts at around 40K Pesos; however, due to the high living costs of Makati City, small houses are in high demand, and availability is low. Most available houses are at least two or three bedrooms and have a starting cost of around 60K pesos, but this will depend on the location.

    Makati’s food costs are slightly more expensive than other cities in the Philippines but only slightly. Most street food costs are almost identical; however, certain restaurants are slightly more expensive than in other cities in the Philippines.

    Utility prices in Makati cost anywhere between $150 – $200 per month, including electricity, high-speed Internet, cell phone bills, etc. Gym prices range around $40. Also, depending on the gym chain, there are some cheaper and premium gyms available within the city.

    Is Makati A Good Place To Live For Retirees

    Retiring in Makati City in the Philippines is a popular topic, and there are several considerations to make before moving to Makati as a retiree.

    Makati is a fantastic city and offers retirees many opportunities for new beginnings and new experiences. With the city’s developments, life and accessibility are fantastic. Nevertheless, due to the city’s developments, the busyness and higher cost of living may be a disadvantage for retirees.

    It is possible to experience a similar lifestyle that Makati offers in other less expensive and less busy parts of the Philippines; however, if you are looking for entertainment, investment, or business opportunities during your retirement, there is no place better than Makati City.

    Makati is also very westernized, so if you are looking for a very similar city to your home country, then Makati may be perfect for you.

    Living In Makati