Presentation – Tanstaafl forum member

I wanted to introduce myself, I’m a long time member of the Expat forum but one who only visits the forum occasionally and it’s time for me to get moving and take action to reach out to all expats at once on the forum and I hope IRL.

On me; I am Canadian, 66 years old, former retired employee of an airline company (management of a small regional company). I have been retired for 10 years and currently live in rural Ottawa, own my own home, vehicle and a reasonable amount of savings. I am deferring my Canada Pension Plan at the moment and will probably take it at age 70 to benefit from the 42% increase over the basic amount. Nothing in particular keeps me in Canada, no ex or children, a brother who is an expatriate in the Caribbean and a retired sister in eastern Canada.

Why am I looking at the Philippines – never been there but now that Covid is easing I can’t wait to see the country. I hate winters, even the mildest ones in Ottawa, the cost of living keeps going up here, and I’m looking for something new. With house prices in Canada soaring, the time seems right to sell. The lower cost of living in the Philippines is attractive and I think I can budget PHP 2-3 million per year for living expenses without depleting my savings. Also, even though I’m in pretty good health, 66 isn’t young and I think if I’m going to make a move, it might as well be now. I’m single, never married but I’m definitely open to meeting a nice lady (of appropriate age) and settling down. I rarely drink and would prefer a quiet life. Yes, I’ve heard stories of loud neighbors and suspect that living in the Philippines will be anything but quiet. Since I plan to rent only if I can’t take the neighbors, I’ll just move out.

Of course, I have questions for expatriates who have already made the trip;

  • Would you do it again.
  • best things about living in the Philippines.
  • worst things about living in the Philippines.
  • did you do the SRRV paperwork yourself or did you go through a consultant. I think I could do it myself, but I’m also considering hiring a consultant. I’m not sure of the forum rules, so I won’t mention any company names at this time, but I wonder if you suggest using one or going it alone for the SRRV.
  • What are your recommendations for health insurance. I have a supplemental plan with one of Canada’s major life insurance companies for prescriptions, dental and anything not covered by our provincial health care and I know I would need a complete diet in the Philippines.

For Canadian expats in particular;

  • I have investments, an RRSP, a TFSA and a margin account, as well as a separate bank account that I use to pay bills, with two of the major Canadian banks. For those who still have investment accounts in Canada, do you have any issues with trading, remittance, taxes.
  • Always file Canadian income tax. I know there is a tax treaty between Canada and the Philippines, but I have no idea what that would mean. I would receive substantial dividend income, most likely capital gains from Canadian investments (mainly stocks).
  • What is your preferred method for transferring funds from a Canadian bank account to a Philippine bank account.

Finally, what do I not know that I should know before coming to the Philippines for the first time, especially since I consider this as a retirement option.

Thank you in advance for your comments and responses.


Melvin B. Baillie