Cost of Living in the Philippines

How Much Does it Cost?

Many times I see the same question asked – “How much does it cost to Retire in the Philippines?” The answer to that question in itself is not that complicated. One could conceivably live here on $400 per month. The majority of the Filipino population lives on less than $10 per day!  The real question then should be – “How well can I live in the Philippines?”

Now in order to answer that question, it must be broken down into smaller, more defined, personal questions such as:

Makati, The Financial Capital of the Philippines

Live in Makati (Manila)

1) Where do I want to live? Makati or in the provincial jungle?

2) How do I want to live? In a simple bahay kubo or a modern fully air-conditioned condo?

3) Do I want to continue working? Yes or No? Part-time or Full time?

4) Do I want to relax and do nothing?

5) Will I need healthcare? (Many variables here)

6) Will I be supporting a family? How big is the family?

7) Will I need transportation?

8) Will I …….?

9) Can I …….?

Live in a fishing village like me!

Live in a fishing village like me!

As you can see, the list of questions can go on forever, but all these questions hinge on one very important thing – what you can afford! It all comes down to one common denominator. Income. Without it, you could likely be homeless here, and that is not a good thing in a developing country. With a little income, you can assimilate into the population. With more of it, you can live comfortably. With a lot of it, you can live in luxury! In the right places, life in the Philippines costs a fraction of what it does at home…and the living can be much better. Only you know what you are willing to accept as your prescribed living standard, and with no two people being alike, it means there is no one sized answer that fits all.

With all that in mind…you simply can’t live anywhere for free.

What if You Could Have the Freedom to Earn from Anywhere… Create Your Own Schedule… and Travel Anytime You Wanted?

Many blog writers already living here in the Philippines are asked the question all the time. We also hear things like: “I’m ready for a new adventure” or ” I’ll just get a job when I get there.” Many of these individuals are dreamers and have little money to even get set up here, let alone survive from month to month after they get here.

How Much Do You Have?

Those of us that are already living here understand all the attractions of living in our chosen paradise. After all, we were all drawn here by the same exotic forces – I think. While some expats planned well to live out their retirement years here, others just came here with very few assets and somehow landed on their feet (but that is extremely rare). One thing is for certain…you should not expect to come here to find a job!  There are none. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And even on the slim chance you did land a job (legally), it would pay little to nothing. Filipino wage standards are not anything to get excited about.

Now would be a good time to take a look at a previous article I wrote about Expectations.

It’s Not All About the Cost of Living!

Although this article’s title eludes to the cost of living (or what it would cost to retire in the Philippines), it is actually more related to the income needed to live here…which directly relates to the cost of YOU living here. Anyone who might be thinking of quitting their job and moving here with the idea of creating an income AFTER they arrive better make an appointment with a psychic, psychologist, psychiatrist…or any one of those occupations that begin with the capital letter “P“. 

What if you had an income that went with you? One solution is to earn an income from back home while you live in the Philippines where the cost of living is much more affordable. You don’t need a local work permit since you’re not really working locally. That way you put dollars (or whatever currency you earn) in your pocket, but you spend it here where those dollars go farther.

Online and passive income opportunities really do exist, and you don’t need years of specialized training to get paid. You don’t need any one particular qualification to get started, and you don’t need lengthy experience to make them work. And that is a good thing because in reality, like I mentioned earlier, it’s nearly impossible to get an official work permit outside your home country. Generally speaking, you can’t “take a job” from a local in most countries, the Philippines being no exception.

This is the point I am trying to make: There may be many earning options you’ve never considered…active, or passive, and it all depends on whether you want to continue working in paradise. The opportunities that do exist (online) can work whether you’re looking to augment a modest retirement income and earn a little bit on the side, a few hours a week… or whether you’re looking for a full-time income. Before ever making concrete plans to settle here in the Philippines, you should completely research any potential earning options, and when you find one you feel good about, make the investment and create that income stream BEFORE you hop on the plane and fly into utopia.

Identifying ways and having that income established before you get here will leave you more time to do things like relaxing at the beach or eating out….reading a good book… taking an afternoon hike… or hanging out at the mall. And of course travel because everyone needs a break from paradise from time to time!

Give some research a try. There’s no obligation… No commitment… and best of all… No Cost. It is easy to search for opportunities, just enter search terms like: Passive Income Streams, or Online Income Opportunities, or Make Money From Home

You can also subscribe to online publications like International Living, Live and Invest Overseas, and Live Abroad who all provide ideas and insights into generating income while living overseas.

You can also sign up here for International Living’s Fund Your Life Overseas newsletter.

Other related articles on this blog:

Retire Early, You Will Need a Plan
Can You Retire in Paradise?
Cost of Living in the Philippines Update

This blog is not affiliated in any manner with any of the above suggested publications or subscriptions.