Condo Hotels and Retirement - A Winning Combination
Considering retirement in a Tropical Climate? For many British, Australians and Americans, retirement time is just around the corner. At home, with low interest rates and high cost of living, the prospect of trying to live on a pension, in old age, is a daunting one unless you are prepared to substantially downscale your lifestyle. For some, moving to retire in another country is an option which has been successful in the past with Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Puerto Rico being among some of the more popular destinations. But why not consider retiring in the Philippines?
Over the past decade, the Philippines has become a retirement haven for thousands of foreigners, particularly the Japanese, Korean, and Northern Europeans. Along with Thailand and Malaysia, the Philippines developed communications, infrastructure, and service delivery systems specifically geared to meet the needs of foreign retirees. Better yet, unlike most European Countries and South America, nearly everyone speaks ENGLISH in the Philippines.
The Philippines offers a significantly lower cost of living. The Philippine Peso (PhP) exchange rate is approximately PhP 45 to $ 1.00 or PhP 92 to 1 Pound [Sterling (GBP)]. Housing, food, and labor costs are quite reasonable. A One bedroom condominium can be purchased for around $ 72,000 or GBP 37,000 or a Studio for only $ 45,000 or GBP 22,800 and one can dine out on average at a three star restaurant for less than PhP 500. If you hire domestic help, a private driver's salary is approximately PhP 10,000/month, while trained housekeepers earn approximately -PhP 5,000/month. These salaries are lower if you live in the provinces.
Cable Television, Hi-Speed Internet and Satellite Communications are cheap. One can hire an air-conditioned taxicab for eight hours for less than $25.00. In a country where a provincial Governor's salary is only PhP 28,000 per month, and a Presidential Cabinet Under-Secretary earns PhP 35,000, your pension can go a long way. So, if you have a retirement income of approximately $1,500 to $2,000 per month ( PhP 80,000 to 100,000) you can live quite well in the Philippines.
As for health care, most U.S. Health Management Organizations pay for medical expenses incurred in the Philippines. Check with your HMO. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs presently has a task force headed by former Secretary Roberto Romulo working to have the U.S. government accredit a number of first class Philippine hospitals for Medicare reimbursement. The Makati Medical Center, one of the nation's best already has such accreditation. Unbeknown to many is that for years, citizens of nearby countries such as Thailand, Nauru, Tonga, Indonesia, and Malaysia have flocked to the Philippines for medical care, particularly sensitive surgical procedures. The quality of medical care at the better Manila hospitals such as the Asian, St. Luke's, Medical city, Cardinal Santos, Philippine Heart Center for Asia, National Kidney Institute, and Makati Medical Center meets international standards.
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