Europe-PH News

The View From the 19th Floor: A Checklist For Those Who Want To Retire In The PHL

June 06, 2012

Marc Daubenbuechel

Europe-PH News

The decision to relocate is not an easy one. A lot of factors come to play when retirees look for their winter escape destination or permanent place for retirement.

Retirees looking at the Philippines as a permanent place to relocate should keep in mind several considerations.

First, retirees should have a long-term plan. Decisions on whether to have their house leased or put up for sale should never be made on the last minute because it only exposes them to the headache of dealing with it from thousands of miles away.

Before retirees know it, they would have wished to be back in their old home dealing with expenses for notaries, inspections and repairs instead of enjoying time at their new home.

Retirees should also make sure their expenses and investment at home are stable and easy to deal with over the phone or through the Internet.

The View From The 19th Floor: Marc DaubenbuechelThey have to walk into their new life with as few financial obligations back home as possible. It is important that they can access their bank accounts online and be able to transfer funds to accounts in their new destination if needed.

Retirees should scan their bills for unnecessary services. One of the more common mistakes before leaving home is forgetting to check outstanding bills.

Pull out a year’s worth of bills and search for irregular and automatic expenses being charged. Over the years, most people do not notice and do not track the services they asked and are being automatically re-billed.

Some expenses like cable television, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, fitness club memberships, and Internet services are additional expenses retirees would not need when they are abroad.

Retirees must also not assume that their tastes will stay the same. Many of them think that when they arrive in their tropical paradise, they would enjoy the tranquil beach life.

Many of them soon find out that they are not used to the slow-paced beach life and would rather have the hustle and bustle that city life offers.

Retirees must first consider test living in the city for a few months, then test live in a preferred destination for another month and see if it is ideal for them.  This gives them a clear view of what they really want as opposed to what they thought they wanted. Retirees can always visit or test-live the Philippines through the Long Stay Visitor Program.

Retirees should also prepare to take language classes. Most retirees think that English is enough for them to survive in their dream destination although this may be true all the time.

Here in the Philippines, learning Visaya or Tagalog will pay handsomely down the road.  A good tutor is their ticket into the community.  The tutor takes them by the hand and introduces them to people, takes them to places, and helps them learn the ways of their new home alongside learning the language.

Once in the Philippines, retirees should explore their surroundings. Find their preferred hometown first and then start traveling to the surrounding areas.

The Retirement and Healthcare Coalition (RHC) and its partners offer a lot of places for retirees.  It can assist retirees to get the feel of each place and out of those places you have lived in.

Lastly, retirees should choose the right visa. If they are going to stay permanently in the Philippines most probably the right visa would be the Special Residents Retirement Visa. If they are only staying temporarily, they can opt for the Visitor’s Visa or the new Special Long Stay Visa.

We would like to invite retirees to the 2nd Philippine Retirement & Healthcare Summit on June 26 at the Dusit Thani Manila.  During the summit, they will learn more about the plans of the Department of Tourism, RHC and the Philippine Retirement Authority on what the Philippines can offer as retirement destination.

Marc Daubenbuechel is the executive director of the Retirement & Healthcare Coalition. He is also a project manager at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. For your comments, e-mail

Source: Business Mirror; Opinion; 7 June 2012

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