I Have Seen the Future and it is EXPATS!!!

I was thinking about the future of the Philippines in regard to Expat retirees and the consequences are turning frightening and it is only the beginning.

When I moved here in 2005, the Philippines was a relatively quiet place relative to the number of foreigners that were here or let’s say “I perceived to be here” On any given day in any city (Manila to an extent, Davao, Cebu, Dumaguete) I could literally count on one hand if that, the number of foreigners I would see in that day.

philippines_retirementSeven years later that is a distant memory and now takes multiples of hands and feet and then some to do the counting. Frankly, what is evolving is fast becoming a nightmare that could spell disaster for the CULTURE of this Country. The expression “Be Careful What You Wish For” could soon become a reality (within three to five years) and many will probably regret it happening!!!

Now a lot of what I am about to write is conjecture on my part based on my good common sense, some logic and statistics that cannot be argued with!!!

Most of the guys I have been meeting over the past 7 years are retirees of the “Baby Boomer” generation. I too am a Baby Boomer but at the tail end of the time frame. For those of you not familiar with this, let me clear it up for you

From 1946 to 1964, more than 76 million babies were born in the U.S.A., part of the generation known as the “Baby Boomers.” On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers turned 65 and beginning on that day and every single day since, more than 10,000/day of these Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65. This is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years until ……are you ready mathematicians 2030!!! And this does not include “Baby Boomers” from Europe ( ? ) Australia(5 million), Canada(8 million), Japan(7.7 million) and other Asian countries. HELLO!!!

Now as I alluded to earlier, only seven years ago the Philippines was a relatively quiet place expat population wise. That is now changing on such a drastic level that in my opinion, the Country can and in fact Will Be totally overwhelmed and overrun by foreigners within the next three to five years. But it’s such a large country many would argue. True but not true. There are many rural areas of the country that are technically habitable by westerners but in reality most foreigners will end up as they are now, settling within comfortable driving distance of the more popular towns and cities. I could name many of these places out of my head as they don’t really amount to as many as you might think. Therein lays a problem. Overcrowding

Right now in Dumaguete I am starting to feel like the Filipino are the visitors and the expats are the permanent residents. I see so many here and on recent trips to Cebu and have no doubt the same condition exists in Davao and other cities as well.

Let’s look at some of the logical reasoning behind this;

1. 10,000/day turning 65 (just from U.S.A. alone);

2. Too expensive to live in the States for many on fixed income (Philipines is very affordable offering a nice life for the typical SS income); In fact 40% of retirees are dependent on fixed income and to live and countries like the Philippines are attractive living options;

3. Beautiful young and attractive women (or not – all types available) here for the taking even if you have leprosy and weigh 500 lbs. you can still pick and choose;

4. Nice Weather (very attractive for all those guys from Michigan lol);

5. English widely spoken;

6. Friendliness of the people;

7. Did I mention about the very hot women and cheap living costs;

8. Great medical facilities;

9. Affordable housing;

10. Malls

You get the picture!!!

I mean where are these retirees going to go? Yes there is Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and parts of Central and South America and they too are starting to experience an expat population explosion but the Philippines is the only one of the bunch that has a fairly good English speaking population.

So what exactly will be the Negative and Positive consequences of all this.

Negatives

1. Inflation from increased demand for goods and services from a growing middle class much of it occurring from increased foreign investment in local call centers and other domestic opportunities for the Filipinos here and OFW incomes being sent home. Also from increased demand from foreigners for housing, food, etc…;

2. Overcrowding from both Filipinos and Retirees;

3. More road traffic (from more affluent Filipinos and Foreigners alike)

4. Lack of infrastructure to keep up with this;

5. Lack of resources to keep up with this;

6. Loss of identity for the Country;

7. More crime and scams of foreigners by foreigners to each other and from Filipinos;

8. More violence against foreigners from locals much of it nationalistic from our taking too many of their women in such a short time frame

9. A less than desirable demographic of expat retirees coming here many representing the lower levels of American Society: The uncultured, uneducated, mentally challenged (from Vietnam and other PTSD causing events), with addictions such as alcoholism and drugs, some with tendencies toward violence against women, pedophilia and many other less than desirable factors.

Yes I realize I am making some broad (wide stroke) insinuations but, I believe them to be credible!!! Remember I have lived here for seven year and run into people like this all the time. I didn’t invent them.

Positives
1. Better availability of various westernized and other foreign products;

2. More private housing for rent and sale;

3. More restaurant options.

The writing is on the wall. 10,000 Americans a day RETIRING!!! And many of them looking to Countries like this to live

About the only thing that can change this trend is a stronger peso as this will force many fixed income expats to move to other countries like perhaps Cambodia and Vietnam to name just two right now. I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish “just a little bit” for this to happen. I actually like and would prefer the tranquility of things now and really dread the idea of it continuing on its current expat growth path despite my writing a blog aimed toward that growing market.

Regards: Corey -  http://mylifeinthephilippines.com

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44 Comments on “I Have Seen the Future and it is EXPATS!!!”

    1. I wonder what the percentage of dollars they contribute to the economy in comparison to the other 92 million Filipinos. Better yet, take all the members of those 63 controlling dynasty families money out of the equation and then show me that statistic. Also OFW money plays a huge role and that is foreign money right!!! I know that in this town of Dumaguete foreigners contribute a ton.

      1. Both my partner and I visited Dumaguete City but only for 24 hours (literally) or so. Actually I enjoyed it very much especially Rizal Boulevard (opposite Bethel) and my very first visit to Shakey’s.

        I didnt like the boat journey from Cebu to Negros. Too cramped and it didnt look safe to me if in case something would happen. No escape routes. For sure I would end up drowning. Going back to Cebu as much better on a Ro-Ro ship.

        1. I’m a local from Dumaguete! Glad to read comments like this. Yap I too am afraid and apprehensive to ride the “Pump Boat” for trips going to Cebu. But I there are fastcrafts that serves daily trips.

          – Sharon

      2. Money being sent by OFWs are several orders of magnitude higher than expat retirement income. As far as the overall economy is concerned it is pretty insignificant to the point where our country won’t really feel any ill-effects if it was non-existent in the first place. You cannot classify OFW incomes as foreign relative to the Philippines because an equal exchange of labor for capital had already taken place in the host countries which is the basis for the transfer of value and ownership in favor of our countrymen. You’ve been educated in a Western country where the foundation of modern economics was largely developed. You of all people should know that.

  1. Corey, the solution to this is to establish your own terrorist organization to scare them all away. You can rival the MILF down south. Call yourselves the MILF Hunters.

  2. Nonsense. Lots of vague statistics, but not one that reflects an official figure of immigrants/retirees from the Philippines Dept of Immigration (and obvious source for credible substantiation no?).

    Huge conclusions leapt towards in relation to the ‘nature’ of expats in the Philippines. Not all are sex tourists, drug addicts and undesirables… It’s a shameful generalization and shows a very limited mindset by the author.

    Likewise, a very one-sided portrayal of the ‘attractions’ of the Philippines. It’s relatively (by Asia standards) expensive to live here if you desire any western (imported) comforts. Likewise, visas, fees and the un-ending ‘skin tax’ makes the country undesirable as a retirement location for many.

    Corey (the author) also fails to identify the single biggest benefit to the Philippines – that being the massive influx of investment, spending and financial capital that expats bring to the country. All those pensions and retirement payments being spent in the Philippines, rather than the USA, Canada, Australia or Europe.

    1. There is nothing vague about the statistics. The baby boomer stuff is real. Google it yourself. Based on what I see, quite a few more retirees are showing up daily. I don’t need a calculator or bureau of statistics to see the impact it is already having. As for what I say about Expats I am sorry to disagree but the MAJORITY of the retirees are here for the women, sex, putang, AND not for scuba diving.

      BTW, I do make a point up front of the article saying

      “Now a lot of what I am about to write is conjecture on my part based on my good common sense, some logic and statistics that cannot be argued with!!!”

      Andy, I really have no clue about the rest you wrote. Of course they bring money in to live to spend, etc….

      yes I am an opinionated SOB but 8 years here gives me that right!!! LOL

    2. Andy, I agree with your observations 100%. I have travelled all over Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, etc) and that is my observation as well. Some parts of China actually offers a lot better value for your money; it would be expat paradise if they spoke a bit of Mandarin.

  3. Corey,

    I wonder in what statistic do you yourself fall under?
    Secondly, we – the dutch – are dealing with same problems here. (Too) many imports from countries like Turkey and Morocco (both non-EU-members).
    I suggest the dutch government would set new rules for others to permanently reside here by imposing a law of education. YOu are only allowed in the country if you have graduated from at least a specific level of scholing. At this moment the only thing a non-EU individual has to do is an integration exam and a language exam. The latter is only to prevent/avoid illiterates to enter the country. So not much hope there that newcomers will have any positive contribution to the economy of the Dutch.

    In short: only allow those people to enter who have exceptional skills and/or at least graduated from (a prestigious) university.

  4. Initially, I fell under the sex statistic. But I got a major heart attack literally one month after I moved here, so I had to change my original motivation which was to try and break sexual encounter records. Instead, I met a great woman and we settled down and had a beautiful daughter. I still have lots of sex, but with my partner LOL Oh darn Sorry, now its called “making love”

  5. I agree that most americans here are uncultured and loners who also seem to be losers in life, with more chips on their shoulders than a branch of mcdonalds, ( i see them everywhere and understand why US gets little respect in the world), usually too fat, old, and ugly to get a decent woman in their homeland, and always with an anger about their own country, so they boost their low self-esteem by getting a desperate, low educated young girl here to try and impress ( akin to legal paedophilia), but thats americans for you – not the sharpest tools in the box. No 1st world country respects them, just tolerates their naivete, and laughs at their stupidity. If i remember only 3% of americans actually have a passport, so they are a big island with a little island mentality. Like cheap wine, they do not travel well.
    The principle is take their dollars, ignore their values. They are more of a liability than an asset, and if the flotsam and jetsam of US armed forces, rednecks, and working class with their small pensions ends up going to cambodia etc then no great loss in the scheme of things.

    1. Could not have said it better in terms of the demographic you just described. There are some exceptions ME Lol and a few others. But not entirely fair. Say your 68 years of age and you can be with a 20 year old. What is there to think about????? Libertas, with all due respect no one I have seen in my lifetime traveling all over the World is more ignorant and sheltered than Filipinos.

    2. @Libertas: What was that movie’s title… Whatever works?

      There is a supply for a clear demand. Filipinos go overseas to be caretakers to the same retirees. What’s the difference if said retirees instead come to the islands to be cared for? Wasn’t that the same point surrounding all the kudos being given to the BPO and call centre industries? These industries are being touted as the great Pinoy alternative to OFWism.

      Perhaps Da Pinas as resort world for the West’s older people is a better notion to pitch than the export of warm bodies to the West to work in their retirement homes.

  6. on a serious note i agree that there is a missed opportunity to provide a holistic retirement plan to foreigners – i even discussed it with a senator a couple of years ago.
    specific locations, retirement villages with care, facilities etc. the models exist elsewhere and particularly when nurses cannot get jobs here and the health care system is generally good. reciprocal tax agreements. panama is the model and always comes out as top retirement destination in the world, and even no tax there for retirees.
    when i lived in cyprus i realised why so many filipinas were employed there – the govt doesnt pay elderly health care so families employ filipina in house for peanuts to provide 24 hour care.
    1 retiree spends 30 times as much as each tourist ( annual) – approx. guaranteed income stream and local employment
    i pay 5% tax which is a big difference to the 40% i was paying in UK

  7. I know two gentlemen that are planning on doing just this here in Dumaguete. One man is a super rich foreigner that is doing a kind of time share/condo unit medical tourism facility. You invest in a unit that would house a patient and receive a percentage of his or her room rental. Another guy is planning a hotel for sick people. Come and stay and get oxygen as well type of thing. I think if we waited for anyone in government to do anything unless it was self serving we would be waiting a long time. One great things about US LOSER foreigners especially those of us from the USA is that we tend to act and not talk BS!!!. This is why this Country should allow us to own property, own businesses 100% and just see how many of those 92 million start to benefit from it LOTS!!!!

    1. @ Corey

      I think most of what you said are fair assumptions that expats are in the Philippines because of those young girls
      in the provinces. Everything else is secondary. My cousin went on vacation in 2006 and never came back. He’s hooked up with a 20 year old girl from the north.

    2. I disagree with your point saying that loser foreigners act instead of talking BS. The smart foreigners have already acted and figured out how to own 100% of their businesses in the Philippines a long time ago. They employ a lot of Filipinos. If you don’t know how they did this, then ask the hundreds of Korean owned establishments in The Philippines how they did it. The foreigners who haven’t figured this out are, as you stated, losers. They were losers when they arrived, and they will continue to be losers if they haven’t figured it out after all these years. I know it’s not every white foreigner in the PI, but the old man dating his granddaughter, oops, I mean a young lady most likely fits the category that libertas describes.

      I do think there is a lot of opportunity to tap into that baby boomer market. You can really see a real difference in the demographics of Cebu. So many different languages can be heard!

    3. On that point I agree with you. Precisely because our constitution disallows 100% foreign ownership of land or businesses is one of the main reasons our country was left behind by more affluent neighbors in ASEAN which get 10 to 15x more Foreign Direct Investments yearly.

      I don’t really get the xenophobia surrounding land ownership other than to see it as an excuse to maintain the local elite’s already well entrenched stranglehold on the local real estate market. This over-concentration of wealth and few if ever domestic competition is what makes prices in the Philippines absurdly high relative to salaries and when gauged against countries with the same level of development. There’s a lot of Pinoys who own real estate property in other countries the least the government can do is to reciprocate the privilege. And for an asset that will change hands over the years, it’s not like the foreigners can pack up and bring the property back to their homeland.

      On the downside, if ever the government opens up the economy, the peso would surely appreciate at a much more accelerated pace against Western currencies which would eventually erode the purchasing power of retirees.

      1. …….On the downside, if ever the government opens up the economy, the peso would surely appreciate at a much more accelerated pace against Western currencies which would eventually erode the purchasing power of retirees.

        The peso is already undervalued, but Bangko Sentral Pilipinas works hard to keep the exchange in a range that keeps Philipines exports cheap enough overseas. That plus the fact that, if the Philippine economy really takes off, businesses would bid up the price of the dollar in order to pay for the imports necessary to fuel production. There’s a strong probability that inflation vice currency rate changes would be the real problem for expat buying power.

  8. This article is close to being rubbish.. Consider this:
    1. Of the 10,000 retirees a day, how many of them would be willing to up roots and come here..yes, I’m Filipino and travelled around. The level of quality available in Thailand and Malaysia does not even compare to the Philippines.
    2. Your description of foreigners who would want to retire here seems very judgemental! I’m sure there are people like that but by and large, everyone should stop perpetuating that foreigners (specifically white men above the age of 40) is only here for some flesh. It is very offensive to those who are not.

  9. 3. You also cited loss of identity – what is there to lose? If anything, the Filipinos are so insulated. It would be good for them to be exposed to outside thinking and be influenced by good habits.

    I can name some more. The most important thing is this: the possible investment boom that come from the baby boomers (if they do choose to live here) is positive. I see no point as to why you would want Filipinos not to welcome THIS HUGE OPPORTUNITY. It should be embraced by every Filipino citizen because it will give them job opportunities and alleviate poverty in their communities.

    1. I like your POV on the issue and the viability of such things happening is there. I don’t mind worrying about the culture. The Filipino culture in itself is so adaptive, it will be up to a substantial part of the population on what to integrate, is it the “good ones”? or the “stupid ones”? It saddens me, that a good chunk do choose the stupid ones(something unproductive).

  10. Most countries have a large expat contingent and many of them contribute to culture. A fine example, I was looking for a filipino novel in the amazon book store. I chose the Filipino best seller dan brown’s hell is home to heroes and angels. I really enjoyed it. I like reading a chapter a night in bed. But imagine my surprise, the author is a foreigner.
    In our town the small shops benefit from expat pensioners. Overseas pensions help our town and the old folk are quiet people. We have construction, resorts, one factory all financed with foreign money.
    what I really like is that they build attractive houses, so do locals, but not all.
    Our country could take on more expats and never end up like england or america. The expats here all have Filipina wives and willingly support extended families.

    Mabuhay expats LEONARDITA DOMAGTOY

  11. Overpopulation? Count the number of children born to Filipinos because of lack of contraception, this is whats causing overpopulation, you goof.

    Hot women? Hot women come at a price and if foreigners choose to pay for it whats wrong with that which ever way it goes the Pinoy economy is benefiting with influx of western money.

    Prices going up? Thats not the foreigner fault, tht the fault of GREEDY CHINEESE COMPANIES LIKE ‘ROBINSONS’ CHARGING HIGH PRICES SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY CAN.

    More foreigners are leaving the Philippines than arriving because they are being screwed here in every department. They have no rights cant own a bloody thing. IN EQUADOR A FOREIGNER IS ALLOWED TO OWN LAND and House and even gets 50% discount on taxi fares, flights and hotels amongst other many benefits. In the Philippines they get milked for all they are worth. Once the Philippines wakes up and grows up and gives the foreigners a better deal they will continue to leave. In my country Australia Filipinos are allowed all the privledges the locals have they can own their own land, house, have a business and everything else.

    The real problem is the greedy and racist laws that make life for foreigners very very hard.

    I hope Aquino takles this problem.

  12. I have mixed feelings about this posting. First, I agree with feeling greatly offended that all of us Kano in the Philippines are here for the 17 year olds! I am married to the same wonderful Ilocana x 25 years and live the Philippines for itself, not to “try to break sexual records.” Can’t tell you how offensive I found that sentence. At least you seem to have grown up some since then.
    However, I also agree with many of the sentiments. Americans do tend to act badly overseas AND the Philippine government tends to treat foreigners badly also. Fine line between resentment and envy. It would be a much better place if we could change both.

  13. If you want to see the future of the Philippines, you can probably look to Thailand, where retirees, expats and shorter and longer term visitors have reached very high levels.

    Personally I think this have had a huge impact, not on Thai culture or the Thais, but on the perception of foreigners and living costs.

    Violent crime against foreigners have increased in places like Phuket, living costs in Bangkok in particular have skyrocketed and there is a general sense of Thais being fed up and annoyed by the large number of foreigners. For that reason, I don’t think Thailand is an attractive proposition as it used to be.

  14. I am a 40yo man who lives with his mom. I was a kept man in my 20s and early 30s, then I got old and my luck ran out. I’m sort of lazy and have been well taken care of by boyfriends of the past and my family. I finally want to be on my own but I don’t have a degree or great work history. I don’t have much money. I dropped out of college. There’s not much I can do in The US. I applied for govt services, but I’m more well-spoken than the caseworker and I don’t “look” poor. Since Cambodia doesn’t require a TEFL to teach English & getting a Visa is easy, I’ve chosen to go there. I even did drugs for a few years, many years ago. Technically, I am a loser. I’m not a perv as I like guys my age and I don’t find many Cambodians to be attractive. Actually, Cambodia doesn’t seem to be the prettiest country but Thailand requires a TEFL and/or degree now & you need a work Visa. I don’t hate The US but Cambodia is easier for losers. Losers better act now because, as other places get more popular and selective, Cambodia will start to attract the “less loser” of the expat crowd, thereby pushing the old school loser aside.

  15. Hello Keyboard warrior….
    Trott off and do a short course in global economics in order to work out the major positive benefits of your little, almost never heard of before town, attracting expats.
    God forbid, you might end up with a job as the local journo, but you need to pick up your game when it comes to research!

  16. Well I don’t see much balance in the article and as the author stated, there are no real facts here just conjecture, xenophobia, prejudice, etc.

    I am in Colombia and you can find a steady stream of similiar postings by some frustrated local guys who speak enough english to post in the expat forums claiming same things…foreigners stealing their women and driving up the price of real estate. I recall looking into the statistics, not easy to nail down, that in the city of Medellin with like 4 million Cololmbians where there are like 8000 permanent foreign residents. Yea that’s like .2% or .002 of the local population.

    But all that aside, the sheer lack of understanding of the value of foreign investment by the author is staggering to me having some education and business knowledge. In fact of the three (3) positives the author listed foreign investment was not included….wow that speaks encyclopedias of the author’s opinions.

    In these days I see a lot of attitudes short-shirting foreign investment. People just take it for granted that foreign money arrives in their country because I grows on trees in the originating countries. LOL

    I will make a prediction, within 3 more years countries like the PI will be running international ad campaigns in these other richer, high tax countries begging boomers and other retirees to consider the PI or whatever country as their retirement home country. NOT because I am arrogant, but because I understand economics, business and I know where the global economy is going in an acellerated fashion very soon.

    When the Chinese and North Americans can no longer drown the world in cheap debt the will be the biggest contraction in the world economy in history and all that easy foreign investment will dry up like the Chilean desert.

  17. So an expat complaining of expats. Brilliant. What an idiot hypocrite. Name any country and you can find groups you don’t like. I got an idea, if you don’t like where you live, move. Good day.

  18. Any girl that stays with an old fat foreign guy is essentially a hooker. Can pick up any multitude of those type of girls all around the world. White man days in asia are coming to an end as the call centres improve the life of the filipinos.

    No need to be screwing a fat old and ugly kano anymore except for the lazy ugly filipina

  19. Thanks for this post! My husband and I will be moving there in less than two years and it helps to hear the pros and cons. I look forward to reading more of your posts and getting your input.

  20. actually, not all expats here in the country are sex-addicts or anything. some just go here to enjoy the beautiful things here in the philippines. just like my friend Tim, he always wanna spend his vacation here with us ‘cos he finds our place warm and nice. so last year, I convinced him to settle here for good and luckily, he agreed! he bought a very affordale house in this site http://www.propertyasia.ph ( as far as I remember). and now we are more than happy.

  21. I am a local here in Dumaguete and many women here in dumaguete (specially those who cannot go to college or has not earned a degree) depends in expats now. It is quite alarming not because the available women for natives are decreasing but many of them are becoming arrogant and too materialistic.

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