Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Canada to Florida
Old 05-25-2009, 09:46 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
Canada to Florida

Hi: due to a few good decisions and lots of luck along the way, I am looking at early retirement to Florida, soon, very soon.

The pressure is off for a few months now that it is warm and the yard has reappeared from under 3 feet of snow.

Trying to figure out what we would do with ourselves and health care for expats.

We bought a new townhouse in a all-age gated community for much less than they cost to build which we are currently using as a vacation home.

There are some incredible deals on property in southwest florida, especially if you go inland a half hours drive from the coast. Just need to pick your neighbours and neighbourhoods carefully, watch those Home Ownership Association fees and taxes. SW Florida seems to be set up nicely for people with a small out of state income. $50K homesteader exemption on property tax. Not a place to raise kids unless you are rich enough to go private.

Randy
__________________

__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-25-2009, 09:57 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 654
I can't add anything much to your idea but look forward to post from those who live in the areas you mention. I might be interested in a similar move my self at retirement. Is the neighborhood thing super important? What about the small towns in the northern parts of the State? Would that be a better choice.
Tell us about the possibilities folks?
Steve
__________________

__________________
Stevewc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 09:59 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Welcome ,
I live in Southwest Florida on the border of Sarasota and Bradenton . Great deals on real estate right now .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevewc View Post
I can't add anything much to your idea but look forward to post from those who live in the areas you mention. I might be interested in a similar move my self at retirement. Is the neighborhood thing super important? I didn't realize there were really bad areas in the northern part of Florida.
Tell us about the possibilities folks?
Steve



There are some bad neighborhoods but they are easily recognized . The problem is during the real estate boom they were putting gated communities anywhere they could get land so you may live in a very nice community but be in an area that is iffy or isolated . A great very convenient community in Southwest Florida is Lakewood Ranch . It has every type of real estate imaginable plus it has many social clubs , a downtown , decent shopping , a hospital and an easy drive to the beach .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevewc View Post
I can't add anything much to your idea but look forward to post from those who live in the areas you mention. I might be interested in a similar move my self at retirement. Is the neighborhood thing super important? What about the small towns in the northern parts of the State? Would that be a better choice.
Tell us about the possibilities folks?
Steve
The impression I am starting to get is that Florida is not like anywhere else in the US, so you must not make the usual assumptions about certain things. HOA protects you against neighbours with different ideas about what is appropriate to leave in the front yard or doing yard work at all or against absentee snowbirds, but HOA fees can be expensive, and you have to check that your HOA is not in trouble or your builder is about to walk away from a half finished development.

I think Florida attracts a certain nomadic rough crowd, not to mention the immigrant population, which may have different ideas about how loud music should be at midnight or the treatment of dogs. Some of the rough crowd, and by this I mean guys that look like they would know how to handle themselves in the prison yard, are starting to move up to higher end accomodation as renters, as landlords are very desperate.

Personally, I would not do north florida. If I am going through the trouble of relocating from a cold climate, I do not want to see a snowflake in January or have to wear a jacket half the time in Dec-Feb. For me the belt from St. Petes past Orlando and to Coco is too cold, and because there is industry, much more expensive than SWF.

you can pick up short sale condos in my neighbourhood for $170K now, maybe you could offer less even.

Paseo Ft. Myers

We are also far enough inland that we are low risk flood zone, so no possibility of hurricane surge, and mortgagers don't require flood insurance..not to mention that you don't get evacuated unless there is a doozer coming.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 10:43 AM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
it has many social clubs .
for example, you can pick up a NICE house on stilts on a third acre in Lehigh Acres or Golden Gate, maybe for 50K, (check craigslist) but you may easily feel socially isolated unless you have an outside interest that brings you in contact with people.

gated communities are great for meeting people, and for feeling safe. Just need to verify that the HOA is healthy, financially as well as far as HOA politics, which can get very intense, or even corrupt/criminal.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
The builders usually keep the HOA dues artificially low until the project is built out and then they hand it over to the HOA association that is when the real costs show up and the more amenities the place has the higher the fees . As for being safer in a gated community that's a laugh if they have a gate house the guard is usually 90 years old . If those gated communities are on the edge of iffy areas what houses do you think they will hit ? The mobile homes with the rapid dog and the shotgun or the gated community while the residents play tennis ?
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 01:18 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
If those gated communities are on the edge of iffy areas what houses do you think they will hit ? The mobile homes with the rapid dog and the shotgun or the gated community while the residents play tennis ?
Hey, you seem to be describing my old homestead. And believe me, my pitbull was rapid! 0-25 fps in about one second.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroeran View Post

you can pick up short sale condos in my neighbourhood for $170K now, maybe you could offer less even.

Paseo Ft. Myers

We are also far enough inland that we are low risk flood zone, so no possibility of hurricane surge, and mortgagers don't require flood insurance..not to mention that you don't get evacuated unless there is a doozer coming.

Your development really looks nice by the way !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 03:35 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
The builders usually keep the HOA dues artificially low until the project is built out and then they hand it over to the HOA association that is when the real costs show up and the more amenities the place has the higher the fees . As for being safer in a gated community that's a laugh if they have a gate house the guard is usually 90 years old . If those gated communities are on the edge of iffy areas what houses do you think they will hit ? The mobile homes with the rapid dog and the shotgun or the gated community while the residents play tennis ?
for sure, and I can see them doing that at Paseo if you read the fine print. One should probably figure out what fits in your budget, then scale down a third to something you are sure you will be able to afford after surprises. Our approach is to scale down 50% from what we can afford.

I must confess though that the miser in me would be happier if we could find a place to be comfortable without the HOA fees and the politics that I expect once the builder moves on.

in Paseo, there are actually quite a few millionaires that just got fed up with living isolated in their 5000 square foot houses and liked the unique look and sociability of the place.

the gatehouse won't stop an armed gang, but very few property thieves are willing to "take out" the old guy at the gate for a chance to break into a condo and steal some wicker furniture, assuming they could break through the hurricane hardened windows.

If you are going to have a place attractive enough to break into, I still think gated is the way to go. As well, various females of the tribe that visit feel safe enough to walk around at night.

There is something to be said however for flying under the radar...I like to keep an old car that noone would bother to steal, and saves on insurance. You can pick up a genuine century home down by the river east of the 75 for maybe 75K, but the area is not yet gentrified and I would expect to get broken into regularly over there.

We can probably agree that every person is different, with different skillsets regarding coping with diverse cultures. The great thing about SW florida is there is something for every budget.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 03:50 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Your development really looks nice by the way !
sorry for sounding like a representative of the chamber of commerce or something...I am still in the emphatuation phase regarding Florida.

We basically spent our middle age exploring the Caribean and the US searching for our retirement base.

the islands are way too expensive and rural and boring and dangerous and you can't drive your car there. Forget about Mexico and Central America unless you are willing to live with looking over your shoulder constantly.

California is too far for us and we don't like the desert, and don't understand why anyone does, compared to the tropical wonderland of south florida. (sorry, slipping into chamber of commerce speak again!)

North and middle florida is just too cold and the east coast is just too spanish or urban or expensive or it was built up at a time of ugly architecture.

Naples is pretty pricy as well. The strip from South Fort Myers to Naples is the sweet spot with Daniel Blvd restaurants and shops or Coconut Point. Old fort myers by the river is pretty threadworn in the nice spots.

Paseo is built like a disney set of a mediterranean village and is for tennis types rather than golf people. The developer is building out as he sells, and they are selling, heavily discounted.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2009, 06:50 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Indialantic FL
Posts: 1,199
Kroeran,

Congrats on your plans, You may want to check on your Canadian Health Care Plan Rules when planning to retire to US/Florida. You may want to travel back to Canada as required to keep your benefits until you find a suitable replacement policy. Many Snowbirds do this, and some who live practically year round do it as well (from what I understand).

Jim
__________________
JimnJana
"The four most dangerous words in investing are 'This time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton
jimnjana is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2009, 01:56 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
yes, I am getting educated on how OHIP, my pensioners health plan, US private health care and resident alien medicare apply to my situation.

Interestingly, private health care is not that expensive if you go for a high deductible. Also, you can pay for medicare if you are over 65 and have lived in the US for five years.

One issue is that I see a pathway to US residency and lower tax rates but can't find a way to move my mom to the States should she require nursing care, as I can't get her on health insurance for any price. As long as she is healthy we can fly her back up to Toronto every 40 days to reset her pension travel health insurance.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2009, 02:23 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
jambo101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimnjana View Post
Kroeran,

Congrats on your plans, You may want to check on your Canadian Health Care Plan Rules when planning to retire to US/Florida. You may want to travel back to Canada as required to keep your benefits until you find a suitable replacement policy. Many Snowbirds do this, and some who live practically year round do it as well (from what I understand).

Jim
You have to return to Canada every 6 months to maintain Canadian health care status.
Leading up to retirement i thought that residence in Florida would be a good idea as my family is there and i have been visiting at least once a year since 1966 but a couple of things changed once i retired,
Over the years my tolerance for the relentless humidity wasnt what it was when i was younger,in fact doing anything outside has become downright uncomfortable.
I realized the value of all my friends up here in Canada and the thought of leaving them all behind so i could go live by myself or with wife down in Florida just didnt have the appeal that it once had.
The last couple of years i've been going to Fla. for 6 weeks in March/April and it seems to scratch that itch to escape winter, by the end of that 6 weeks i'm starting to get Florida burnout and i'm glad to be going home .
That said my brothers wife is a real estate agent in the New Port Richie to Homossassa area and prices everywhere in that area are very attractive,only problem i can see in that area is lack of beaches,but the fishing is great.
__________________
"Second star to the right and straight on till morning"
jambo101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2009, 11:50 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
You have to return to Canada every 6 months to maintain Canadian health care status.
Leading up to retirement i thought that residence in Florida would be a good idea as my family is there and i have been visiting at least once a year since 1966 but a couple of things changed once i retired,
Over the years my tolerance for the relentless humidity wasnt what it was when i was younger,in fact doing anything outside has become downright uncomfortable.
I realized the value of all my friends up here in Canada and the thought of leaving them all behind so i could go live by myself or with wife down in Florida just didnt have the appeal that it once had.
The last couple of years i've been going to Fla. for 6 weeks in March/April and it seems to scratch that itch to escape winter, by the end of that 6 weeks i'm starting to get Florida burnout and i'm glad to be going home .
That said my brothers wife is a real estate agent in the New Port Richie to Homossassa area and prices everywhere in that area are very attractive,only problem i can see in that area is lack of beaches,but the fishing is great.
For sure you have to experience the humidity directly to know your personal reaction, and we would likely go north for August/Sept anyway to escape hurricane peak season. For some reason the wife and I get an emotional high from humidity, no problem at all, especially with AC available everywhere and a pool out back. Can't imagine working in it without AC.

Part of the issue for us is that we find Americans and floridian transients easier to connect with than our home town crowd, and the thinking is that we need to get somewhere and start over sooner rather than later, with second carreers maybe, to avoid being a couple of old farts sitting alone by the pool.

We think a lot about "social infrastructure":

1) is the location easy for friends and family to get to
2) is the house big enough to accomdate many visitors
3) is the location attractive enough for young folks (beaches/clubs) as well as being friendly for older folks (safe, few stairs)
4) is it a community with organized events, social cohesion
5) does it follow new urbanist principles
6) is the areas culture in tune with your interests
7) is there work or a hobby that will get you out meeting people
8) is the location sustainable if one partner passes or requires a nursing home

for example, Bonita, just south of fort myers, has a dog park beach on lovers key. We see ourselves camping out there for hours on end with our dogs. Everyone talks to everyone, so it is like an endless "cocktail party", so to speak.

the dog track, in estero I think, has a genuine texas holdem poker room, which is one of my interests.

of course, one needs to go slow and try things out, then adjust. If we can, it would be nice to hold on to the northern house until after we try a full year down there, but we also realize that we need to resize the Ontario house anyway, should we opt back to snowbirding.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2009, 11:55 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Quote:
You have to return to Canada every 6 months to maintain Canadian health care status.
A clarification: You have to live in Canada (Ontario) 6 months + 1 day every year or lose your OHIP. You can't stay in FL all the time. And double-check the cost of your out-of-province coverage for the US.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2009, 12:12 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
yeah. more like triple check 5 times.

then there is the issue of the rules regarding OHIP vs enforcement and what people actually get away with.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2009, 03:06 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
Radiophilejapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 67
Congrats on RE. Kroeran. I've always seen lots of Canadians in Hollywood, on the east coast, near Fort Lauderdale. Trying to stay away from your home town crowd?
__________________
Radiophilejapan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2009, 08:11 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa and Fort Myers
Posts: 488
well, the hollywood french Canadians are virtually all from Quebec (22% of the Canadian population) which in American terms, think Miami/New Orleans as far as distinct culturally.

As a person of dour germanic heritage I have spent my life trying to get in touch with my inner latin, so I personally enjoy their company, and I like the casual feeling and old florida atmosphere of hollywood beach.

I guess there is the issue of the east coast. As a land lubber and river and lake guy all my life, the open ocean of the east coast scares the hell out of me as far as boating.

In SW florida you have the many navigable rivers, canals and lakes and the large inner bays and channels between the islands and mainland, then the gulf, which is much less scary than the ocean for boating.
__________________
Kroeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2009, 08:31 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
Radiophilejapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 67
I didn't know about the Quebec/Hollywood connection. You're right about the open water. Actually the cable is showing the homonym movie right now. I personally love the west coast, actually. Enjoy your RE there!
__________________

__________________
Radiophilejapan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hi - Greetings from Canada egssge Hi, I am... 5 07-04-2008 11:09 AM
Oh,Canada--how can this be? samclem Other topics 26 06-07-2006 05:48 PM
CANADA? LIPhotoMan Life after FIRE 31 05-19-2006 07:53 PM
Oh, Canada.... Danny FIRE and Money 18 04-07-2006 12:18 AM
Yo Canada JPatrick Other topics 3 01-23-2006 07:08 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:50 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.