6 points to ponder before deciding to retire in the Philippines
THOSE hankering to retire in the Philippines may have their own reasons, foremost of which would be to be near or with their kin or loved ones during their sunset years. However, those are more for sentimental reasons. Property experts, however, remind future retirees that they should also consider the practical aspects of retiring anywhere in the country. Here are six important points to ponder:
- Your lifestyle and financial capacity. This should be considered particularly by young retirees.
Alejandro S. Mañalac, former National Real Estate Association chair and ThinkInvest chief adviser, said: “(Where they intend to retire) depends on their intended lifestyle and financial capacity. Those who are retiring young, with passive income and still socially active, will enjoy the comforts, convenience and entertainment options in the cities.
The good news is that being in cities is no longer limited to just Metro Manila. Cebu, Davao and CDO (Cagayan de Oro), other major cities can now also offer these same pleasures for these retirees.”
Monique Cornelio Pronove, CEO of Pronove Tai International Property Consultants, however, reminded future retirees: “City or suburban living has its pros and cons, especially if you’re used to a certain pace and lifestyle where you’re coming from.”
Enrique Soriano III, Ateneo program director for real estate and senior adviser for Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory, explained: “Deciding where to retire is both a personal and a business decision. It involves a variety of financial and lifestyle issues.
Taxes, cost of living, convenience to medical institutions, employment and community support are some of the important considerations a future retiree should look into as well as climate and real estate market in the area.”
- Your medical issues. “For more senior retirees (not necessarily those who are medically assisted), while a more peaceful and healthy environment in the countryside is advisable, it is also very important to consider the distance and immediate access to modern medical facilities, especially in case of emergencies,” stressed Mañalac.
“For assisted-living facilities, I can identify only a handful, and they’re based in Laguna and Cavite. These developments are targeted specifically for the Japanese and Korean retirees,” said Soriano in a 2012 interview.
- The overall quality of life. Claro dG Cordero Jr., Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines’ associate director and head for research, consulting and valuation, told Inquirer Property that “safety, access to health or medical services and leisure facilities” should be among the top considerations.
In 2012, Cordero observed that areas such as Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal, “enjoy the proximity to Metro Manila, to advanced health-related facilities, and to recreational facilities. Furthermore, there are properties that can be developed into sustainable communities. Access and assistance of local governments (to encourage locators and developers) is also a major advantage of the corridor.”
- If you’ve actually lived there for a time. Pronove said: “Just like any major decision we take, we have to make a checklist of our ‘must haves and good to have’; then we conduct our research both through primary means (‘eyeball’ or ocular of the place), then we interview friends for referrals and ask them their firsthand experiences of the place), and then do secondary research (searching for relevant information and feedback in the Internet).”
She advised: “Take a trip (to your target retirement place/s) for at least five days to experience firsthand the infrastructure (connectivity, power, roads) and support facilities (hospitals, country clubs and retail centers). The retirement age has decreased significantly over the decade, and retirees today are much younger, more agile and mobile. So, the availability of excellent digital (Internet) and transportation (local and international airport) connectivity has become a must-have for retirement destinations.”
Keeping these conditions in mind, Cordero then enumerates the top locations in the Philippines to retire in: Metro Manila, particularly in mixed-use communities simulating a first-world environment, then Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Batangas, Pampanga and Rizal; Metro Subic and Metro Clark.
Cordero added Baguio City, Puerto Princesa in Palawan; Naga City and surrounding cities, Boracay Island and its vicinity, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, Iloilo City and Bacolod City, Tagbilaran City in Bohol, and Cagayan de Oro City as ideal places to retire in.
Soriano added southern Tagalog corridors such as Tagaytay City in Cavite, Sta. Rosa City in Laguna, and Alabang in Muntinlupa City. In the north, Soriano noted Subic as a top northern destination for retirees “because of its proximity to Metro Manila and the excellent infrastructure.”
In a 2012 interview, Lui Matti, executive director for asset services, CBRE Philippines, said that a number of places in Laguna would be of interest, such as Pansol in Calamba. He reasoned that this area is easily accessible, and from there, it would be easy to travel further south or even go north to Manila when needed. “Again, the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) and Skyway make travel a breeze, and Laguna still has many charming places to visit,” he said.
- You might want to continue working. Cordero urged future retirees to “consider prospects for further job and business opportunities” when looking for the best places to retire.
- The climate. Matti said that with a rehabilitated SLEx and increasing developments nearby, Tagaytay City and its cool weather would be a great retirement option.
“An hour’s drive further south gives you the beaches of Batangas, while 40 minutes north gives you Sta. Rosa, with Filinvest or Alabang next, and Manila just 20 to 30 minutes after that. (There are) great golf areas around, as well as resorts, restaurants and casinos,” Matti enumerated.
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