Retire To Dumaguete, Philippines

Retire To This Land Of Gentle, Welcoming People For As Little As $700 Per Month

Located along a sheltered coast on the island of Negros, the city of Dumaguete is protected against most of the typhoons that periodically batter many of the Philippines’ other 7,000-plus islands. The weather is tropical and balmy—rarely too hot and occasionally cool enough to wear a light sweater or jacket in the evening.

Dumaguete offers excellent medical care, care that has been getting even better since the city was named one of the five top retirement destinations in the Philippines. The people here speak English, and the cost of living is among the most affordable anywhere in the world offering a comfortable standard of living.

Dumaguete is rich in natural beauty, with an abundance of outdoor activities, including international-standard golf courses. It is also a place where you can take advantage of one of the best and easiest residency programs in the world, helping to explain why several thousand foreigners have decided to make Dumaguete their permanent home.

The local tourism office describes Dumaguete as “bustling yet charming,” and this really does describe the city well. When you first arrive, you may be put off by the cacophony of loud motorbikes and a cityscape that looks a bit “well used,” but as you linger, the town grows on you. The longer you stay, the nicer Dumaguete becomes, and many foreigners who originally traveled here for a vacation have stuck around for years.

Dumaguete is a center of learning. There are universities and secondary schools scattered throughout the town, and roughly 25% of the total population attends some form of higher education, giving the town a distinctively collegiate ambiance.

One advantage of living in a university town is the abundance of inexpensive restaurants that cater to “starving” college students. Dining out is a popular and affordable pastime here. Whether you want Chinese, Japanese, European, American, or even Mexican food, you’ll find many restaurant options where you could enjoy a fine meal with drinks for about US$10. If you want to go local, you could pay less than half that amount.

Dumaguete is one of the top 10 most-visited destinations in the Philippines. As a result, the infrastructure is developed to a good standard. The health care infrastructure, especially, as I’ve mentioned, is excellent. It’s also almost unbelievably affordable. Dumaguete’s Silliman Medical Center is considered one of the best hospitals in the Philippines outside Manila and Cebu and is affiliated with the prestigious St. Luke’s Medical Center in Manila. To give you an idea of the cost of care here, specialists charge just 500 pesos for a consultation—slightly more than US$10.

Medical care isn’t the only thing that is an extraordinary bargain in Dumaguete. The overall cost of living here is extremely low and one of the biggest advantages for the would-be retiree on a budget. A couple could live comfortably here for well less than US$1,000 per month…even as little as US$700 per month.

Wendy Justice

Continue reading: Expat Retirement Life On Roatan, Honduras

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