Ten Common Concerns about OFW Retirement Planning: How to Overcome Them and Secure Your Future
April 27, 2023 | Mike Togle

Retirement planning can be a daunting task for anyone. But, it can be even more challenging for OFWs. Overseas Filipino Workers face unique challenges when it comes to retirement planning, as they need to  support their families back home while also saving for their future. Here, we’ll explore 10 common concerns of OFWs about retirement and provide tips and advice for addressing them.

Retirement Concern 1. Lack of retirement savings

One of the most common concerns of OFWs about retirement is not having enough savings to retire comfortably. Many OFWs send a large portion of their earnings back home to support their families, leaving little room for saving. However, it’s essential to start saving as early as possible. Even small amounts of savings can accumulate over time and grow significantly, especially if invested wisely.

There are various retirement savings plans available, such as Insurance Investments and the Pag-IBIG MP2 Fund, which offers various savings options for OFWs. Additionally, OFWs can consider investing in stocks, mutual funds, or real estate to grow their retirement savings. It’s crucial to start planning and saving early to ensure a comfortable retirement.

Retirement Concern 2. Uncertainty about their retirement years

OFWs often worry about what their retirement years will look like, especially if they plan to return to the Philippines after working overseas for many years. They may have concerns about adjusting to a different lifestyle or being away from their families.

“One thing that I was anxious about when I was about to retire is that I won’t have the same friends that I had while I was working abroad. It will be like building a new social circle at an old age.”
– Nonoy Togle, Dubai Retiree 

It’s essential to plan ahead for retirement and create a vision of what you want your retirement years to look like. Consider factors such as where you want to live, how you want to spend your time, and what kind of activities you want to pursue. Creating a plan and visualizing your retirement can help alleviate some of the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding this milestone.

Retirement Concern 3. Health care costs

Health care costs can be a significant concern for OFWs, especially as they age and require more medical care. We do have PhilHealth, which OFWs can contribute to and receive benefits from. However, it’s essential to also plan for additional health care costs that may not be covered by PhilHealth.

OFWs should consider purchasing health and critical illness insurance that can cover medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgeries, and prescription drugs. It’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take preventative measures to reduce the risk of health issues.

Retirement Concern 4. Investment risks

OFWs may worry about investing their retirement savings in the Philippines, especially if they’re unfamiliar with the local investment climate and strategy. However, investing in the Philippines can be a great way to grow retirement savings, as long as it’s done wisely.

It’s essential to research thoroughly before investing in any stocks, UITFs, mutual funds, real estate, or other investment vehicles. Consider consulting with a financial advisor or investment professional who can provide guidance on the best investment options for your goals and risk tolerance.

Retirement Concern 5. Inflation

Inflation can significantly impact the value of retirement savings over time, especially if not accounted for in OFW retirement planning. It needs to be carefully considered in building your retirement portfolio as it will determine the potential buying power if your money throughout your retirement years.

It’s essential to invest in assets that can keep pace with inflation, such as stocks or real estate. Additionally, creating a budget and regularly reviewing and adjusting it to account for inflation can help ensure retirement savings will last.

Retirement Concern 6. Lack of knowledge about OFW retirement planning

Many OFWs may not be aware of the different OFW retirement planning options available to them or how to create a retirement plan. It’s crucial to educate yourself about retirement planning and explore different options for saving and investing.

There are various resources available, such as financial advisors, retirement planning workshops, and online resources. Consider reaching out to these resources to gain a better understanding of retirement planning and how to create a plan that works for you.

Retirement Concern 7. Dependence on remittances

OFWs also worry about whether their remittances will be enough to support their families back home and save for their retirement at the same time. They may also be concerned about what will happen if they’re unable to continue sending money home.


OFW Retirement Planning should involve the family back home too

While remittances can be a significant source of income for families back home, it’s important to also prioritize saving for retirement. OFWs should create a budget that allows for both sending money home and saving for retirement. Additionally, consider exploring other income-generating opportunities, such as investing in rental properties or starting a small business, to supplement income and reduce reliance on remittances.

After all, such income-generating efforts have the potential to become businesses that can last even past the retirement age.

Retirement Concern 8. Social security benefits

OFWs may be unsure if they’re eligible for social security benefits in the Philippines or other countries where they’ve worked. It’s important to research and understand what social security benefits are available to you and how to qualify for them.

Additionally, consider exploring other retirement savings options, such as insurance investments and private retirement plans. While we don’t have Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) here in the Philippines, BSP launched the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) to provide Filipinos with additional retirement saving options. These options can provide additional retirement income and supplement social security benefits.

SSS pension will definitely not be enough.

Retirement Concern 9. Unexpected expenses

Unexpected expenses can significantly impact retirement savings and plans. OFWs do worry about unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies or home repairs, and how they’ll impact their retirement plans.

It’s essential to build an emergency fund that can cover unexpected expenses without impacting retirement savings. Aim to save at least six to nine months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund on top of any OFW retirement plans.

Retirement Concern 10. Family obligations

OFWs may feel pressure to support their families financially, which can make it challenging to save for retirement. Additionally, they may worry about how their retirement plans will impact their families and whether they’ll be able to provide for their loved ones in the future.

It is important to communicate with your family about your retirement plans and create a plan that balances both supporting your family and saving for retirement. Consider exploring opportunities to involve your family in retirement planning and educating them about the importance of saving for retirement.


In conclusion, OFW retirement planning can be a challenging and complex process. However, by addressing these common concerns and taking proactive steps to plan for retirement, OFWs can ensure a more comfortable and secure retirement.

It’s crucial to start planning and saving as early as possible, educate yourself about retirement planning options, and create a retirement plan that balances supporting your family and saving for the future. With the right planning and mindset, retirement can be a period of financial security and enjoyment for OFWs and their families.

Take it from someone who’s from an OFW family and with parents who were able to build a retirement saving that has helped them retire comfortably for more than 10 years to date.


“Retirement planning can be a challenging and complex process for OFWs. Even so, what remains true is the need to start early as possible.”

Mike Togle, Retirement Coach

10F Ayala North Exchange Tower 1
Ayala Avenue, Makati City, PH
[email protected]



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