Where I Chose to Retire and Why
Why didn’t I just plan to retire in the US like most everyone else here? Good question I see people in my everyday life that are still working into their 60’s just to make enough to retire comfortably. Not because they like or want to work, just for the mere reason of money. Average lifespan in the USA is 70something that leaves only 10 years to relax and reflect on life, what kind of crap is that!! I’m 37 today and my 2 oldest children are either in college or on their way there in the next year. If people could retire in the USA at 40 or 50something don’t you think that most would? It is just that they can not. That is where a 3rd would country comes into play. I never had planned before meeting my wife to “retire” in the Philippines. I honestly never even considered retiring before, it came to me shortly after spending time there not as a tourist.
I actually think that out of all the countries in Asia that a westerner could decide to settle down in the Philippines is probably makes for the easiest transition. A good majority of the population speaks English and as in most Asian countries the people as a whole are enamored with Americans. That combined with the fact that western convinces, especially American, are well represented in the Philippines. From our fast food chains, to our clothing brands and practically everything in-between. When you get off the plane in Manila, one can definitely see Manila being just another city in the USA. (well except for the trikes and Jeepney
My wife being Visayan has pushed my decision towards the southern Philippines. I have been to the 3 major islands and I have to say I like Mindanao the best. I thinks its the combination of everyone being down to earth, Davao still being a large metropolis, and the fact that you can drive 1-3 hours and practically being in the middle of the jungle. I am very much looking forward to discovering Mindanao with my family. I thought long and hard about settling in Cebu or Mati (Davao Oriental). Manila never really entered my mind as a place to retire, just for the fact that it is sooooo crowded and much more expensive to retire modestly. I decided against Cebu just for the fact of the landscape and how it seems that the city is so crammed together between the mountains and the ocean, also the island itself is not that large. I then was very seriously considering settling in Mati, but in the end I could just not see myself so far, 2 1/2 – 3 hours drive from “civilization” . Couple this with the fact that I love to play golf, and imagine that I will play forever, the choice was suddenly narrowed.
Friends here at my age and a little older, that have reached a equal station as me in life, are all driving expensive cars living in big houses (with large mortgages and payments), not us, we are living very humble. I saw a new neighbor of mine yesterday drive home in a new BMW and I thought to myself, I could have one, sure I could make the payments, but what would that do to my time frame for retirement. I think that people here for the most part are expecting, whether consciously or subconsciously, to work into their 60’s. Of course it would be nice to be in a brand new SUV every couple years and a large house on a golf course, but what is the price? Choices I made earlier in life caused me to miss a great deal of my older children’s child hood. I will not do that with my younger ones. I have learned from my mistakes. But that is life, no?
For me …… I have decided that I can not afford the high price of luxury, both monetarily and family wise.