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Retiring in the Phillipines

Retiring in the Phillipines

Old Jun 27th 2014, 2:24 pm
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Default Retiring in the Phillipines

Hi All,

I have just reached retirement age and have considered retiring in the Phillipines for some time now. I have 3 pensions which after UK tax will provide an income of about £10K per year. Also, would be the proceeds of a house sale in due course. I believe this income would not be subject to any further Phillipine tax. I believe I could apply for a special visa for retirement purposes but understand this involves a deposit of 10,000 USD into a Phillipino bank. I am thinking instead of extending the normal 3 week visa which I believe can be extended every 60 days or so until I believe the 15 month point in which I would have to leave the country and re-start the process again. Whilst in the country, I would like under-take unpaid charity/community work on a part-time basis to keep myself active.

I have met a Phillipino lady on a dating site and have been in daily contact every day for about one month. She was one of many I met, but is the one I would like to visit initially for 3 weeks prior to final retirement. She is admittedly a bit young for me (28) and has an adorable 5 yr old daughter and lives in the Guindulman area of Bohol. I would mitigate this by saying I am a reasonably young looking 65 year old and physically in good health. She is happy to live and be supported by me. She is a maid and supports herself on 200 peso per day and lives with her parents and siblings. She would like to be married in due course.

I have posted this for your comments and advice. I believe my income would be ok for a reasonable retirement but I have heard stories of Pinays who once they are married would leave the relationship for financial gain.

I hope to visit in July/Aug and then after returning back to the UK retire in the Phillipines Sep/Oct of this year.

Thanks in advance for any comments/advice.

Pete
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Old Jun 27th 2014, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines and am now happily married to a Brit. You are asking for advice.

Retiring in the Philippines has its ups and downs. It all depends on what kind of life you want. Many Brits who marry Filipinos are very happy and settled in the country. Financially, if you will be living in what we would term as "the provinces", or outside the big cities of Metro Manila and you will be content eating and living as locals do, you will be fine.

But if you would like to have a bit of your British comfort foods or what you would look for in UK, you may be for a rude awakening.

Another matter of concern is your intended partner. I have met many westerners who have heard that Filipinas make the best wives as they are very caring. So they find girlfriends thru the Internet. Be prepared! You will be regarded as the rich white foreigner who has loads of money. You will be expected to arrive in the Philippines bearing lots of gifts for every member of what will most probably be an entire village in Bohol. You may even receive a list of what your intended partner deems "acceptable."

Should you buy a house in Bohol, it will be cheap compared to UK prices. You will be tempted to get a large house with many bedrooms. Be aware that it is common for families in provinces to live with together. So you may find your home turned into the village inn, with free board and lodging. Your girlfriend will definitely want her parents or perhaps a member of the family living there, to help her take care of the household and her 5-year old.

Then again, are you prepared for a social life in a rural environment. You should try to learn the local dialect, if so. Things you may take for granted in
UK like basic services, clean water, electricity, TV, Internet, may not be always available in the rural areas. In the country's capital city, power failures are still common, more do in the provinces.

Then there is your intended partner. Since you mentioned you communicate daily, would that be through emails? FaceTime?

I ask because the usual issue behind failed partnerships found thru the Internet is lack of communication between the Filipino partner and the westerner. Filipinos like to say yes when they really mean no because they do not wish to offend you. Have you learned everything you can about the culture?

What about a social life? Even if you would live in the big city, your social interaction would be mostly with Filipinos. Your intended partner is working as a maid, you say. Filipinos are very class-conscious. The upper and middle classes will not always be accepting of a foreigner and his Filipino partner, and believe me, Filipinos can immediately categorize each other's social and educational background in a snap!

What are your interests? Do you share the same values? Please, do your research and homework first before you sign on any dotted line. It would be tragic for either you or your intended partner to become a statistic. The huge age gap already tells me that much caution is needed here!!!
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Old Jun 27th 2014, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Thank you so much for your very informative reply. I will try to answer the very valid points you have raised.

I met her as previously stated through an Asian dating site and she was one of very many who I interacted with. For various reasons I took an instant liking to her and we chat daily via Yahoo Messenger sometimes with cam.

I understand about living the way of life out there and certainly wouldn't be looking for traditional western food etc. Having served in HM forces I have visited many countries including Africa and seem to adapt to their way of life. Also, she does constantly mention power cuts and the like and has given me a broad insight into what to expect. She will teach me enough basic Tagalog to hopefully get by.

I intend to retire out there but hopefully interact by carrying out part time charity/welfare work. She has said I would probably be treated like a "king" out there but have reminded her that I am a normal human being like them as wish to be treated as such.

I understand about the "rich foreigner" image but have advised her that I am not, and any financial hand outs to her immediate family will mean less for her and her lovely daughter.

The huge age gap is a concern I agree. Fortunately, I am young at heart and as fit as a lot of people half my age. But yes.....it is something I have to consider.

Finally, having coming from a failed marriage, I hope to seek a peaceful retirement with someone who I can care for and look after. I know Filipino ladies are renowned for their caring nature of their men.....something which she has already shown and made clear during our short relationship. With my voluntary community service, our relationship I hopefully look forward to do something worthwhile and enjoying my retirement.

Thank you once again for the time and effort you have put into your detailed and informative response.

Regards

Pete
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Old Jun 27th 2014, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

A few notes from my experiences

1. When you marry a Filipino you marry their family and are expected to look after them all, my wife lived in the UK for nearly 30 years and has narrowed the near family down from the nearest 300 to just a handful. If they come round for a free hand out I normally suggest a couple of days work as a fair exchange, that is normally the last time I see them. You must be strict.

2. I have traveled round the World for over 35 years and am pretty happy with anything, except okra, that ends up on my plate, Western food can be very expensive, my wife bought me a can of Heinz baked beans a while ago, Ph240 for one can. Local fresh food is relatively ( for foreigners ) cheap.

3. If you need something doing around the house, do not employ family and manage it yourself, if you don't you normally end up employing someone else to fix what was not done right/broken first time around.

4. Manila area can be expensive, I live in the provinces which are a lot cheaper but lack the amenities of a big city - for me that is OK, Boracay is only a couple of hours drive away.

5. Rules of the road are strictly adhered to - there are none!

6. Humidity can be oppressive and mosquitoes a bl**dy nuisance, but a good fan and citronella grass normally resolves both problems.

7. Pension you mention should do pretty well, depending on your expected life style and where you live. I shipped a 20' container which carefully packed took everything from a 4 bed UK house, cost was just over £4k. Door to door 6 weeks. No tax on any money you acquire overseas. Open a BPI bank account in the UK, this makes transferring money to the Philippines easy and cheap.

8. I have a SSRV and am very happy with it, no need to make yearly trips to BI, zero airport tax if you travel every 12 months and I get 4.5% tax free on the money I have to put in the time deposit plus a few other perks.

9. The above sounds a bit negative but I love living here, smashing people, relaxed lifestyle, good weather, the positives ( most days ) far outweigh the negatives.

10. Lastly, before I bore you to death, I have some American & Norwegian friends who live in Bohol area and think it is a lovely place to live.
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Old Jun 28th 2014, 5:13 am
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Completely agree with Stokkevn.
Re #7.
BPI have a UK office here:
https://www.bpieuropeplc.com/

They will open a STAR sterling account for you whilst in UK.
they can also open a peso account here but you have to go to a nominated branch to collect your ATM card- just choose one near where you will be staying.
If you then enrol in BPI online :
Welcome to Bank of the Philippine Islands

you can transfer from your UK BPI account to your peso account in seconds. Exchange rate is good and charges are low - a fiver for £1000 for example.
We put our house proceeds into our BPI Sterling account - just sent them copy of solicitors final bill to meet money laundering - and transfer funds as required with no problem. I transferred £10k last week for £8! Got 74.85 pesos per £. If you need any more info then please PM me.

Oh, we have an SRRV Classic as well. Info here:
http://www.pra.gov.ph/
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Old Jun 28th 2014, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Thank you guys for your pearls of wisdom. I have to smile when I read about not just having to support her but also her entire family tree! However, forewarned is forearmed. She has suggested to me that I adopted her daughter. Not sure that is necessary, but if it makes her happy.....then so be it. She also wants me to purchase a cow.... Hmmmmm. Not too keen on that! Thanks again all.
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

As CeciliaBS says, be very careful with your relationship.
You say she has already suggested you adopt her daughter - First warning sign.
you say she wants you to buy her a cow - Second warning sign.

you need to do some research on the implications of adoption as things like inheritance law are different here - there is no divorce for example, you can't own land so you put it in your wife's name - you may be lucky and find a lifelong partner and if so I wish you well, but statistically the odds are long against it.

There are many examples on this forum and others, of expats being taken for the proverbial ride, as there are examples of perfectly good relationships despite the age difference.
all I would say is tread very warily, don't be rushed into anything, and don't let the bottom end of your anatomy rule your brain.

hopefully things will work out for you and I wish you well for the future.
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 6:17 am
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

She may not leave you but she will probably get a lover as lets face it why would someone in their 20's fancy some one old enough to be their grand father other than the fact that you will me a meal ticket and she will do ok when you die. A young, educated Filipina would not consider you.

If you want Western creature comforts and a standard of living to match then live in Bonifacio Global City but as someone has said Filipinos and other Westerners are class aware more so than the British so learn enough Tagalog to understand their comments when they talk about you behind their smiles.

A SRRV visa has many options and depending on age/health can be free, other classes do require a deposit which is returnable on death or when you leave the scheme. Details can be found at the PRA website or you can approach consultancies who can handle all the paperwork.
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 7:29 am
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Having lived here for 12 years married two kids etc I concur with the sage advise you have been offered.

I do not wish to be a party pooper

no sooner have you bought the carabou it will have got sick and died so another is needed. this is common scam territory and you should be very much on your guard.

The best con attack is like a shark attack ....you never see it coming
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 10:37 am
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Thanks all for your comments. I appreciate all comments whether negative or positive which gives me a balanced view on what to expect.

She did mention during a conversation that it may be an idea to buy land or a house out there which I guess can be construed as a 3rd warning sign. I am aware that I cannot do this in my name but only in hers and obviously would not consider this in the short or medium term. The cow issue came about because her friend has one and she was considering the price of milk. I let her know that the price of milk is not an issue. I really do not want a cow lurking outside my house with all that involves. The adoption thing came about because I am not in a position to re-marry for a while ...even if I wanted to. But the point is taken.

I wish to add that this lady did mention an odd thing which I failed to understand. When she meets me at Bohol Airport, she would want to show me her id card and she would want to see my passport. Now whether this is a quaint Philippine custom I found it odd. She tried to justify it by saying photos and seeing each other on cam does not necessarily mean we are who we say we are. I thought travelling half way around the world to consolidate a relationship should not really start with proving who we are on first arrival. Maybe I am wrong. But the subject has not arisen since.

Another thing which I found surprising. She reckons that a large proportion of foreigners who arrive to set up permanent residence out there with a prospective partner disappear after a few months because they have found someone better. Coupled to this, she expressed disapproval when I mentioned the two us going into night clubs or bars etc. The reason being she would be jealous if someone looked at me. Maybe this is a character trait.

I will say this to perhaps try to justify this feeling of insecurity she seems to show. Last year, she was communicating with a guy for 5 months every night. He arranged to meet her and apparently arrived in Manila.... but never turned up at Bohol airport. She was obviously bitterly disappointed and assumed he met someone at Manila.

Anyway, I appreciate all comments whether negative or positive. I will be out there for an initial 3 weeks to see how it hangs. Then I will be in more informed position to see where it goes from there.

Regards

Pete

Last edited by Philosophical 11; Jun 29th 2014 at 10:40 am.
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Originally Posted by springsteen11 View Post
Another thing which I found surprising. She reckons that a large proportion of foreigners who arrive to set up permanent residence out there with a prospective partner disappear after a few months because they have found someone better. Coupled to this, she expressed disapproval when I mentioned the two us going into night clubs or bars etc. The reason being she would be jealous if someone looked at me. Maybe this is a character trait.

I will say this to perhaps try to justify this feeling of insecurity she seems to show
I see you have already met the jealous side of the Asians ( Koreans and Chinese are the same ). My wife spent over 30 years in the UK but still can't shake the green eyed monster bless her cotton socks. She will have a dream about me having an affair and I catch both barrels for actually having an affair before I get out of bed in the morning. Just get used to it, trying to explain that it was their dream does not normally help.
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Originally Posted by springsteen11 View Post
Thanks all for your comments. I appreciate all comments whether negative or positive which gives me a balanced view on what to expect.

She did mention during a conversation that it may be an idea to buy land or a house out there which I guess can be construed as a 3rd warning sign. I am aware that I cannot do this in my name but only in hers and obviously would not consider this in the short or medium term. Ok you are as far as I am concerned being groomed and NOT for a wedding The cow issue came about because her friend has one and she was considering the price of milk. I let her know that the price of milk is not an issue. Milk is not drunk here!! the unusually high incidence of lactose intolerance especially amongst the less well off is very high. you are I believe the one for a milking!! I really do not want a cow lurking outside my house with all that involves. The adoption thing came about because I am not in a position to re-marry for a while ...even if I wanted to. But the point is taken.

I wish to add that this lady did mention an odd thing which I failed to understand. When she meets me at Bohol Airport, she would want to show me her id card and she would want to see my passport. Now whether this is a quaint Philippine custom I found it odd. She tried to justify it by saying photos and seeing each other on cam does not necessarily mean we are who we say we are. I thought travelling half way around the world to consolidate a relationship should not really start with proving who we are on first arrival. Maybe I am wrong. Your gut instincts on this are the ones you should follow But the subject has not arisen since.

Another thing which I found surprising. She reckons that a large proportion of foreigners who arrive to set up permanent residence out there with a prospective partner disappear after a few months because they have found someone better. Read this as culture shock set in and they returned home, they never set up with an alternative Coupled to this, she expressed disapproval when I mentioned the two us going into night clubs or bars etc. The reason being she would be jealous if someone looked at me. Maybe this is a character trait. equally she works there and does not want to be outed Night clubs are not like in the west they are sex dens for pay as you go services especially in the provinces

I will say this to perhaps try to justify this feeling of insecurity she seems to show. Last year, she was communicating with a guy for 5 months every night. He arranged to meet her and apparently arrived in Manila.... but never turned up at Bohol airport. She was obviously bitterly disappointed and assumed he met someone at Manila. He probably never got on the flight from hiome

You mentioned about speaking Tagalog. Boholians speak Cebuano and will often refuse to communicate in Tagalog as it is regarded as an imposed tribal language from Imperial metro Manila

Anyway, I appreciate all comments whether negative or positive. I will be out there for an initial 3 weeks to see how it hangs. Then I will be in more informed position to see where it goes from there.

Regards

Pete
I have been here a long time and sometimes even I think I have been here too long!! cynicism and realism are not always that far apart.

Last edited by mikemike; Jun 29th 2014 at 12:31 pm.
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

If you are married or even just close friends with a Filipina she will regard you as her property so God help you if you decide to have an affair as she will cut your balls off, get someone else pregnant and either she will kill you or the relatives of the woman you got pregnant will kill you. Filipinos of either sex have hot tempers and with the amount of firearms freely available you don't want to get involved in an argument. There are plenty of cases of women marrying a foreigner then have him hire her lover as a driver/guard etc etc then at an opportune moment killing the husband. Oh and forget the police as laws over here protect the wealthy and well connected. You may consider yourself a rich foreigner but over here that counts for nothing as you are just a dumb gringo when compared against a local with the right family connections
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

The philippine culture is so different than what most westerners expect. Filipinas will guard their foreign partner jealously as they may consider that they have found the goldern goose, and who can blame them give some of there circumstances. I had heard that unlike in the west where a jilted girl will go for their partner for straying a filipina will go after the third party for stealing their man. Apparently the girls from Samar are the worst and a story I heard was that a cheating husband was caught by his wife who then stabbed the girl who was hiding behind a door by stabbing through the door.

If you are going to meet this girl it would be a good idea to meet on neutral ground, say in Cebu. And expect her to have a chaperone with her. The girls also hear dangerous stories about foreigners mistreating girls.
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Old Jun 29th 2014, 9:55 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in the Phillipines

Hi All,

Again thanks for all your responses. Although they have all in the main been negative since my last post, I value the opinions. I was surprised about the milk issue in that it is not normally drunk and will enquire delicately into that later on. The comments about how the Pinays regard their foreign partners is certainly true in my case. This demur young lady suddenly becomes alive with a hint of aggression if I do not respond to her "buzz" on YM within a nano-second accusing me of chatting to "others". WW3 nearly broke out when she caught me on cam when in fact I was chatting to my son!

In all seriousness, I was alarmed at some of the comments made and I may postpone my initial visit for a while to see if anything else manifests itself. I think my 3 week initial visit will tell all but I guess if that goes wrong, I may emigrate there anyway and find someone out there without using a dating site.

On the subject of dating sites, I now wonder how many of you guys met up with your partners on the internet..... is it a tiny majority?

Regards

Pete
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