*AUTHOR’S NOTE – Many of us Americans did not save enough for retirement. It’s time for a reality check. If we did not save for retirement, it’s time to make a plan. It’s better to start looking for a retirement place that we can afford AND enjoy. The longer we put off finding the right retirement place for us, the more difficult it will be to retire comfortably…soon.
My husband and I will be retiring in a couple of years. We are doing this research in advance for our own benefit. We are unsure if we will be able to afford a quality retirement life here in the U.S. when the right time comes, so we searched overseas.
We were looking for a country where the cost of living is affordable, where the climate is mild (not too hot/not too cold), where living is safe and secure, where people will welcome us, and where there is no language barrier. Many of the best options for enjoying an enormously enriched retirement lifestyle on even a very modest budget can be found overseas, especially in Asia.
Well, what do you know? We’ve found the country that’s exactly just that – with affordable cost of living, a tropical climate, relatively peaceful, American-friendly, and English-speaking people! We have agreed – our choice for our retirement is the Philippines! This little country seemed to be the best place for American retirement!
Knowing that there are other retirees on the same boat as we are, I am sharing this research with you. With the help of a native, I am presenting the Philippines to you, so you can pick your own location. I am sure anywhere we choose, we will enjoy a quality retirement life that we so deserve!
My posts will help you decide exactly where in the Philippines you would like to retire. We have different outlooks in life – some prefer to retire near the beach, some in the farm, some in the city, some couldn’t care less! You can view my posts about the different places in the Philippines, and find an area that you feel has a certain connection to you. Have a tour of the Philippines and visit that place, and find the connection, before you retire there permanently. I hope I can be of help.
RETIRING IN MANILA
Since we have not made up our minds yet regarding the choice of place to retire in the Philippines, I will try to research on the different places that may be possible for us. How about we check city living first? Let us see if we are better off living in the city for our retirement in the Philippines. Let us start with the most popular city.
Map of City of Manila
Map of Metro Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is on Luzon Island’s western side along the shores of Manila Bay.
It is a vibrant metropolis, one of the liveliest cities on the planet. The influences of the Spanish, the Chinese and North Americans have contributed greatly to the city, together with its unique identity and atmosphere. There are interesting architectural structures all across Manila, serving as evidence to its multicultural past.
It is a cosmopolitan city, a hodgepodge of old and new buildings, the country’s economic, cultural, educational and industrial center. It is a city of great diversity where luxury and tourist attractions are mixed with signs of poverty. All these diversities make Manila such a fascinating tourist destination, and a city where things are rarely quiet and attractions are plentiful!
Manila was known for trading since the 13th century. Later it became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East linking Latin America and Asia. This caused Manila to be called the “Pearl of the Orient”.
The city was severely devastated in World War II. Manila was the site of the bloodiest battle in the Pacific theater during the war. It was the second most devastated city in the world after Warsaw during the Second World War. Before this, Manila was one of the most beautiful cities in the world, having been compared with London, Paris and other European cities. Manila was the capital of the Spanish East Indies for 3 centuries and Intramuros, the ruins of the original city founded by the Spaniards in 1571, still stands today despite bombings during WWII.
The Philippines has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: wet and dry. Rains usually occur from late May till early November. From March to May, temperatures heat up but as Manila is by the coast, it rarely goes beyond 99°F. Dry season starts from late November until late April. December to February is a pleasant time to visit the Philippines. Temperatures during this time range from 75-86°F at its peak.
Other Important Things to Know About Manila
METRO MANILA MAP
What is referred to as Metro Manila now, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines. It is composed of 16 cities namely City of Manila, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Pasig, Parañaque, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela and the Municipality of Pateros.
English and Filipino (Philippine National language) are the common languages in the northern mainland of Luzon, including Manila. English is widely used in educational and business institutions. Signs, posters, marks, etc are usually in English.
Buses and taxi cabs are the cheapest way of transportation. Private vehicles can also be rented on a daily or weekly basis at very reasonable rates.
Payphones are very common in the city center. The use of mobile phones is also very extensive. Lines of communications are always open.
Internet cafes have become a common sight in Metro Manila. Most malls would have at least one internet cafe. Most internet cafes provide broadband speeds. You can use these cafes to communicate with your friends and relatives back home. Internet use is charged on a per hour basis.
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