PRA urges biz owners: Serve needs of retirees

GLOBAL aging is another market opportunity that Filipinos must take advantage of.

Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA)-Cebu officer-in-charge Elma Corbeta encouraged Cebuanos to venture into industries or businesses that serve the retiree market, citing their growing needs and high-spending capacity.

These businesses include wellness, food and beverage, real estate, retail and tourism.

Compared with Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, which are also aggressive in attracting retirees around the globe, Corbeta said the Philippines stands out because its visa program is the most affordable and easier to get compared to these countries.

The Philippines gives out a special resident retiree visa (SSRV) for foreigners and balikbayans aged 35 years and above who wish to retire or stay longer in the Philippines.

A principal retiree applicant aged 35 to 49 years old only needs a visa deposit of $50,000 while those 50 years old and above with pension is pay $10,000. Those without pension need a deposit of $20,000 to secure an SSRV.

The visa deposit may be converted into an active investment such as the purchase of a ready-for-occupancy condominium unit or a long-term lease of house or house-and- lot.

Cebu, according to Corbeta, is a popular destination among retirees because of its numerous tourism attractions, English-speaking population and presence of tertiary medical facilities with international accreditation.

As of August, PRA recorded 57,590 SSRV holders, of whom 3,322 were living in Cebu.

Top nationalities are led by Chinese with 21,503 holders, Koreans (12,007), Indian (4,913), Taiwanese (4,414) and Japanese (3,643).

Most or 81 percent of these retirees living in the country are married. Almost 40 percent are aged between 50 and 64 years old.

Corbeta said they are eyeing Russians to retire in Cebu because of their high-end lifestyle and high purchasing power.

She said retirees contribute to economic activities by bringing capital into the area that may be invested locally by local banks. Some also start their own businesses using their own money while other retirees help finance joint ventures with local business owners.

Retirees also pay taxes that support public goods and services. They also contribute to consumption activities.

The continuous cycle of consumption and investment creates jobs and stimulates local businesses, said Corbeta.

Source: Local News

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