What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Why did you choose to retire abroad?
I wanted to stretch my retirement income as far as possible and the US was/is too expensive.
Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?
Why did you choose the country you retired to?
I retired to the Philippines after many visits because it's a beautiful country, I love the people, and I can save a lot of money.
Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?
Yes. My previous employment required that I live in Germany (11 years) and South Korea (8 years).
How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?
3 years...all in the Philippines.
How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?
Only the Philippines
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What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?
1. Being away from family
2. Different ways of doing business in the Philippines (things move so slowly)
3. The poor image of Americans I see on tv
4. The incorreect impressions Americans have of Filipinos (and other lower income nations)
What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?
1 I have so many friends here
2. The people for the most part (overwhelmingly) are so nice
3. Foreigners, regardless of nationality, seem to stick together and support one another
What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?
I would do anything different. I studied long and hard before I made the final decision to retire to the Philippines.
What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)
Angeles City is the home of the former US Clark Air Force Base. There are many, many foreigners here and Americans are not in the majority. Angeles City is known as the Entertainment Capital of the Philippines and nightlife abounds. There are also very good golf facilities and other recreational opportunities.
What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)
I moved here on a tourist visa, but was able to obtain a Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV) with no problem after being here 6 months.
Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)
I bought a home and 2 townhouses. My Filipina friend signed foe the property since foreigners cannot own land. Foreigners can, however, own condominiums in there own name.
Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?
Having been here before I had a good idea of what to expect after retirement. My expectations have been met (and they were gracious).
What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?
Understanding the relative cost of living, cost of services, and financial expectations of various segments of the community.
How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?
That's a difficult question. It all depends on the retiree's needs and his ability to live within his means. I believe that one can make it work at almost any income level if they are willing to make the appropriate sacrifices.
Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)
Yes. My regular physician is US trained and services most of the expats I know. His referrals for special services have been spot on. Medical costs here are exceptionally low compared to costs in the US and I have not yet needed to use my US health insurance.
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Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)
No. Less crime than most places. There is crime, but if you don't look for it you probably won't find it.
Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?
Public transportation is a hassle (in my view), but many of my expat friends use it. I have a car, but most places I go on a daily basis are within walking distance.
Is there high-speed internet access where you live?
Yes. I recently had fiber internet installed. It is good as long as the power is on. It serves my needs.
Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?
I would recommend it for anyone who like to explore the world and is not bound by family or finances to stay in their home country. Retiring abroad is not for everyone. But it has been a Blessing to me.