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Best Place To Retire Philippines 2024

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    Today, we will look at where is the best place to retire in the Philippines and explore the Philippines’ retirement visa requirements, common retirement problems in the Philippines, and explain how you can live cheaply as a retiree in the Philippines. If you are wondering how much money you will need to retire in the Philippines, you can check out this article.

    Where Is The Best Place To Retire In The Philippines


    Cebu is a highly urbanized city. However, it is a wonderful place to live and retire in the Philippines. One of the reasons Cebu has made our list of where is the best place to retire in the Philippines is because Cebu has a lifestyle for everybody.

    If you like to be in the hustle and bustle of a city, then Cebu city is a perfect area as it’s close to many well-known attractions and popular places such as Cebu IT Business park. But, on the other hand, Mandaue City is close to Cebu city and is slightly cheaper, perfect for cheap retirement in the Philippines.

    Cebu is a growing island, and more people are starting to look into the wonders of retiring in Cebu as a foreigner. Two benefits of retiring in Cebu are that the city is within a few hours’ reach of golden white sands and the majestic whale sharks of Oslob. Therefore This is why many retirees see Cebu as the best place to retire in the Philippines.


    Davao is such a beautiful area in the Philippines, and it seems to be a hotspot for those looking to retire in the Philippines. One of the charms of Davao is that it is a slower-paced way of life on average. This lifestyle is often very appealing to retirees; thus, when looking at where is the best place to retire in the Philippines, Davao city may be suitable for you.

    One of the benefits of living in Davao as a foreigner is that it is one of the cheapest areas in the Philippines. Accommodation can be a significant expense, but retirees can often find excellently priced accommodation in Davao.

    If you are a beach lover and you are deciding where to retire in the Philippines, Davao City is accessible to Samal island. A short ferry can take you to the island, which has many activities and experiences for retirees.

    Siargao Island

    This beautiful island is close to Davao & Cebu. Over the years, the island has won many awards but most often due to its stunning scenery and beautiful beaches. If you wonder where is the best place to retire in the Philippines and looking for access to a beach, then Siargao Island could be perfect.

    Island life is always very different from city life and is often a difficult decision for retirees to make as both island and city offer a unique experience for retirees in the Philippines. However, the great thing about being on a retirement visa in the Philippines (more on this later) is that you have access to the whole country! Meaning that some retirees choose to live in different parts of the country throughout their retirement.

    Costs can be relatively high, and this is one of the drawbacks of island life. Many products are imported and come over on a boat; therefore, it’s often much more expensive for business owners living on the island. In addition, many nearby islands are often very popular with retirees, which may increase costs slightly.


    This treasure can be found slightly South of Cebu island and is well known to the expat community due to its beautiful landmarks and friendly locals.

    From personal experience, it seems that Dumaguete is one of the best places to retire in the Philippines on the premise that there is always a high level of retirees traveling and living in this area.

    Dumaguete offers a slightly slower-paced way of life than Cebu city but has kept its unique charm and tradition from speaking to retirees. In addition, many also stated that one of the benefits of living in this area is that the residents are some of the most welcoming and delightful locals, which makes it a homely place for retirees in the Philippines.


    If you are looking for beauty, you will most definitely find it in the area of Palawan. Palawan is well known to digital nomads, expats, and retirees in the Philippines due to some popular areas such as El Nido. However, the island of Palawan offers so much more than just beautiful beaches.

    Puerto Princesa is accessible to some unique experiences search as the underground river and limestone caves. Moreover, as it’s a coastal city, you will find many beautiful spots close to the city and on the island of Palawan itself.

    The living costs for retirees in the Philippines range depending on a few significant factors, but one of these factors is where a retiree is living. Palawan can be a little volatile in prices depending on the season and area, but the cost of living generally remains relatively low for retirees.

    What Are The Requirements To Retire In The Philippines

    Over the last 12 months, visas and immigration across the Philippines have been transformed due to the upcoming Bureau Of Immigration Modernization Act. At the time of writing, this is a proposal of modernized services that will affect visas and immigration in the Philippines, but this does not impact retirement users.

    The modernization act has been due for some time now, and this is because certain areas of immigration law in the Philippines have not been updated for many years. Thus, the immigration department aimed to urbanize their service, but again this does not impact the current requirements for those looking to retire in the Philippines.

    The special resident retirees visa (SRRV) is the official name of a non-immigration visa for foreigners who wish to retire in the Philippines. Below are the requirements to retire in the Philippines.

    Each retirement option (more on retirement options below) has different levels of requirements. The requirements tend to focus on 3 major areas: retirees’ age, financial status, and history. Depending on the type of retirement visa in the Philippines you are applying for, you may need to submit some additional details (such as proof of pension, available funds, etc.); nonetheless, all retirement visas in the Philippines fall under some basic requirements such as…

    • Applicants Must Be At Least 35 Years Of Age
    • (If Applicable) Dependent Spouses Must Be Legally Married To The Applicant Retiree
    • (If Applicable) Children Must Be Legally Adopted By The Applicant Retiree, Unmarried, And Below The Age Of 21
    • Valid And Up To Date Passport/Current Visa
    • Completion Of The PRA Application Form
    • Original And Valid Medical Clearance
    • Authentic And Valid Police Clearance
    • Photos (Total Of 8 – 2×2 In Size)
    • Proof Of Available Funds/Pension
    • Payment Of Retirement Fees (More Information)
    • (If Applicable) Marriage Certificate

    As mentioned above, there may be some additional checks depending on the type of visa.

    Retiree Options In The Philippines

    There are currently a few different options for retirement in the Philippines. In addition, each retirement option in the Philippines has different types of entry levels. These entry levels tend to focus on age, financial status, and history. Below is a breakdown of different retirement options available in the Philippines.

    SRRV Classic:

    • Healthy retirees
    • Use their SRRV deposit into n active investment (such as purchasing a condominium unit > more than $50,000 USD in value) or long-term lease of house/lot
    • 50 years of age or older = $10,000 USD (with pension – required pension amount is at least $800 PCM) / $20,000 USD (without pension)
    • 35 -49 years of age = $50,000 USD

    SRRV Courtesy:

    • Designed for former Filipinos (35 years of age or older), foreign nationals (50 years of age or older), and retired officers of international organizations that the department of foreign affairs recognizes. The retirement deposit needed for this type of retirement visa is $1,500 USD

    SRRV Expanded Courtesy:

    • Designed for foreign nationals (50 years of age or older) who are retired armed forces officers of foreign countries with existing military ties or agreements with the Philippines government. This visa includes applicants with 2 dependents. Conditions apply.
    • Retirees must have a monthly pension of at least $1,000 USD
    • Retirees must have a visa deposit of $1,500 USD

    SRRV Human Touch:

    • For retirees (25 years of age or older) who require medical and/or clinical care.
    • Retirees must have a monthly pension of at least $1,500 USD
    • Retirees must have health insurance (and must be accepted in the Philippines)
    • Retirees must have a visa deposit of at least $10,000 USD

    SRRV Smile:

    • For healthy retirees
    • Retirees must have a visa deposit of at least $20,000 USD in a PRA accredited Bank.

    Retirement In The Philippines Problems

    I always take an open mind when writing an article here at Owl of Asia HQ. Even though I have a large amount of experience living in the Philippines, it’s always wise to listen to the community and retirees who have been retired in the Philippines for some time now.

    Looking through the complaints and worries of retirees in the Philippines, the information indicates that problems stem from two main areas of retirement in the Philippines. These areas are 1. Financial & 2. Relationships.

    Money: One of the most common retirement problems in the Philippines is the lack of available funds. In general, the Philippines can be a super cheap country if you can budget wisely, but as so many things are cheap, a retiree can start to spend more and be unaware of it, thus finding themselves a little short at the end of the month.

    In addition, there have been reports of retirement Philippines problems that discuss emergencies and situations that are out of the blue. Some of these situations involved relationships (more on this in a moment), but most are around a bad situation and just plain bad luck. An example of an out-of-the-blue situation includes being taken to a hospital only to find out the insurance is invalid.

    Also, regarding money, the place where you choose to retire in the Philippines matters as it could be a high cost for retirees in the Philippines. Therefore, it’s a good idea to think very carefully about the location and compare this to the lifestyle you are looking for. In addition, we always recommend having a retiree’s emergency fund hidden away that only you know about to avoid any unpleasantness.

    Relationships: This is such a large category and a popular topic. We have spoken about dating in the Philippines and even covered the subject of finding a Filipino wife! But today, we will be addressing relationships in terms of retirement.

    There have been reports of many types of retirement problems in the Philippines due to the breakdown of relationships. These relationships tend to be wives and girlfriends and involve many different situations. This is tide into cultural differences, which seemed to also flame retirement problems in the Philippines.

    Some retirees report situations where their partners wish to move to another country, back into their house with their mum and dad, or to more expensive property. These can cause divides in a relationship and problems for retirees. There are countless stories and examples of these kinds of situations online.

    These two areas, money and relationships, are two of the primary areas that indicate problems for retirees in the Philippines. There are also a few other categories, but these tend to be much rarer.

    In addition, these problems can often be easily avoidable. For example, some of the most common problems for retirees in the Philippines can be avoided through careful planning, communication, and strategic action.

    How To Retire In The Philippines With No Money

    What a great question! There is no feasible way a retiree can live in the Philippines with no money. However, many things can be done to lower the overall retirement cost of living in the Philippines.

    In recent articles, we spoke about Thailand versus the Philippines and other retirement options, which shed some useful tips and tricks on how to retire in the Philippines cheaply.

    Nonetheless, for those looking for the information, I have summarised some important areas that retirees will need to focus on to reduce the overall cost of living in the Philippines. These include;

    • Retiring In A Low Cost Of Living City Such As Davao City
    • Renting A Small Apartment Instead Of A Condominium
    • Eating Local Filipino Cuisine
    • Shop At The Market For All Fruits And Vegetables
    • Do Not Purchase From Malls, Instead Order From Lazada
    • Ride Public Transportation Such As Jeepneys

    The above examples are just a few areas we have discussed in different articles on retiring cheaply in the Philippines. Nonetheless, if you can complete only 2 of these on the list, you will find that your overall cost of living for retirement in the Philippines is much lower.

    Where Is The Best Place To Retire In The Philippines