Looking to Retire?

Have you ever thought of just packing up and moving to paradise, wherever that may be?  Of course you have!

At some point in people’s lives (usually later in life), priorities tend to shift, with updated thoughts of how to improve one’s quality of life. And when these thoughts become vivid and dominating, one eventually begins to focus on the things that are most important. When we think of our Golden Years, we tend to dream of places that may be warmer and where our retirement income might go farther. Regardless of where one hails from, we all tend to long for the “good life” when that last chapter in our working life draws to an end.

For many retirees,  the idea of moving to a paradise they have always envisioned will amount to nothing more than a collection of passive thoughts. Just another dream. Helen Keller once said “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”  There are many places in this blog where I refer to the research and planning of it all, and how paramount those steps are in reaching the dream.

For many folks, life abroad can be rewarding and for those who do a little planning, it can make all the difference between working-to-live and total relaxation.  Many hard working people look forward to their “Golden Years,” and some dream of living like a king. Can you imagine a comfortable and relaxed life filled with warm and friendly people, coconut trees, blue lagoons, beautiful beaches and warm tropical weather – all without paying an arm and a leg for it? Well, it’s all very attainable to anyone who has the determination to look in the right places, and to those who take the time to prepare for it all.

 Paradise – it’s what you make of it!

Where is Your Paradise?

There are many Expat and Travel Blogs that provide all the information one could possibly need to make a decision about where to retire, and there are those blogs that tell you how to reach those goals. Altogether, it takes reading a good many of them before one can settle on their chosen paradise. Many blogs also point readers in the direction of the lowest cost of living destinations, some that might be cheaper than the Philippines, but this blog will mostly focus on the Philippines, because that is where my experience lies. And because I married a filipina some 30+ years ago, it was a no-brainer that I’d better look toward the Philippines for our retirement destination… for my own well being!

The Philippines province of Samar is the location where my wife and I have chosen to build our retirement ‘mecca.’ The biggest factor that determined our Philippines location was because it’s where she grew up and is where most of her family is located (family will play a huge, if not a deciding role in determining where one settles).

Samar is the third largest Island in the Philippines archipelago. The retirement home we built is located near Calbayog City and the surrounding area offers an abundance of unspoiled natural beauty, beaches, waterfalls and caves, with a variety of other outdoor leisure activities.

Several years after we settled in the Philippines, our retirement living expanded to include a second domicile on the island of Guam, USA., because of its close proximity to the Philippines. I first disclosed in this blog the reasons for the decision to set up a temporary home there and since then, we have accustomed ourselves to living out our retirement in both places. We have learned to share the best of both worlds and take what both of these paradises have to to offer. If the shoe fits… !

The Province or the City?

If you have ever given any thought to living in the Philippines, you have probably tossed around the idea of which island would be right for you. The choices are many but if you are looking for less congestion and more serenity, then provincial living should be on your list of places to visit. If you prefer the more modern convenience of city life, then look at the major metropolitan and surrounding areas of Manila, Cebu City, or Davao.

Or, if you are already here in the Philippines, plan a trek on over to the Eastern Visayas and check it out.  It’s easier to get here than you think – by air from Clark or Cebu, or by ferry service from Cebu. You can also get there by ground transportation from all points North via ferry from Matnog, Luzon or via the southern route from Leyte. Remember though that while the Philippines might seem like a small country, it can be very diverse in demographics, topography, weather, lifestyles and language.

The Eastern Visayas – Samar and Leyte.

One of the least traveled islands, Samar is said to provide more unspoiled natural beauty than any place in the Philippines. Made up of steep to rolling hills, fertile valleys, and coastal plains, it is home to many natural wonders like rivers and rapids, waterfalls, and beautiful rock formations. Samar is also a cavers (spelunkers) paradise with hundreds of caves to explore, with many who claim there are more caves here than anywhere else in the Philippines. With beautiful unpopulated beaches and great diving locations, there is much to see and experience in Samar and the island should definitely be considered for a visit and a look around.

                                   Rainbows, but no unicorns!

On this site, you will find  information gathered from multiple sources including news articles and videos, with helpful hints, official information, and even personal opinions and accounts of everyday real life (from this expat’s perspective of course) – all with the goal of providing a better understanding of it all – helping you make a choice… a choice of living the “good life” anywhere in the Philippines, around the Western Pacific, or right here on the island of Samar.

Please feel free to ask questions or share your thoughts or your own personal experiences with us, regardless of where you live – for the benefit of all our readers – and everyone who holds a desire to discover their own paradise.