There are many reasons why someone wants to move to the Philippines and there are many I probably have not thought of. One of the main reasons is the cost of living here. Yes, in most areas, the cost of living here is cheaper such as foods, housing, public transportation and the other items needed to live.
Even though most items are less expensive here in the Philippines, not everything is cheaper. One rule of thumb I have noticed is if it is imported, it costs more. Also to create a lifestyle and have the comforts you are accustomed to having can cost more since it might not be easily available here.
Just like in other countries, cost of living varies by the location you decide to live. Manila is more expensive than Davao and the provinces are cheaper than the cities. With this choice of location you need to decide what you need and the accessibility’s you require.
Some areas have better hospitals than others. Travel to a doctor or hospital might be difficult, especially in the provinces. Do you need accessibility to an airport? Do you like upper scale restaurants, nightlife, culture? Housing, do you need a home, apartment, townhouse with special amenities?
There is also safety. Remember, you’re a foreigner and most Filipinos Look at you as rich. There is the criminal element, just like all over the world, which prey on others for an easy way to get things they want. Here a white or even Dark skinned person is obvious. I do not know if Filipinos can tell is someone a Korean from a Japanese person, or even from a Filipino but Europeans and Americans stand out. From my short experience here, most Filipinos like to talk and get to know foreigners, but some will not. Some can be jealous, here you are with nice clothes, car, home and just spending your money.
These are things to consider before making the plunge. There are many foreigners who have come here and are happy with the life here, and many who have given up and moved back, of continued their quest by trying other countries.
Back to some of the cost comparisons. I never lived in Europe so most of my thoughts are based on being an American. One item I can think of that is more expensive than the U.S. is electricity. I lived in S.E. Florida before moving here. I had a 2 story, 2 bedroom townhouse with all electric appliances approximately 1300 sq. Ft.(120.77 sq M) I would set a digital thermostat for the central air conditioning to daytime at 75F (24C) degrees and night at 73F (22C) degrees. Even in the heat that we had most of the year, I never paid more than $75 USD (3,543.51 Php). Here in the Philippines I have a 3 bedroom 120 sq M (1292 sq Ft) house and I only use a wall air conditioner in the master bedroom from bedtime to when I wake. The rest of the time we use electric fans and only when in that room. Here we pay about $100 USD (4,725 Php).
My friend Tom Martin put his thoughts in an earlier post very well in “Retiring and Moving Abroad”
I know some people will agree, and some will not. I hope you will comment with your thoughts. I welcome all thoughts, advice or additions. This site is my thoughts and opinions and I welcome others feelings.