Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Retiring to Canada
Old 10-11-2010, 07:24 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 109
Retiring to Canada

Hello All,

I don't know about you guys, but I got fed up with the American health care system. Unless you decide to be indentured to some corporation in order to get health coverage, it's unaffordable. In addition, it's an insurance industry rippoff ... copays, coinsurance, deductibles, etc. Denials of service by insurance bureaucrats and long appeals is sometimes part of the mix. And for early retirees, forget it these days unless you have FERS/CSRS FEHB, Tricare, VA, or some rare private affordable coverage.

Canada was my answer. Excellent universal health care system for all, including new residents (yours truly). No charge, or minimal depending on income. Fast and efficient, and not at all what the insurance lobby in the States would have you believe. And unlike some inexpensive medical systems in small third world countries that some ER's move to and use, Canada's health care system is first world, first class, and rated #1 by the UN.

I quite frankly don't know why more ER's here don't consider this option, instead of going without until Medicare, or suffering with the exorbitant ever-increasing private system that can be pulled out from under at any time.
__________________

__________________
Richard8655 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 10-11-2010, 07:32 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 195
Richard8655
Confused about dryer sheets


Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3


Amused. Though I'm considering Australia (better sailing and diving!)
__________________

__________________
seabourne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,074
Canada has great beer - stays cold all year round without refrigeration.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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: 5,292
Richard,

I have lived in, and work today in, Canada and have used the health care system for an emergency.

Everything isn't covered, so it isn't really free.

It can be fast and efficient. It can also be everything but. One big gotcha is that in general, you cannot get private care as an alternative. Of course, you can always jump across the border and get instant treatment, like the rich and the powerful do.

And you can't just go up and retire there. You have to get a job there, get permanent residency, THEN you can retire there. The first two steps are not readily available to all.

Your solution is not a general one for all of us. You are not telling us how you got there and how you got to stay.

I have many options for my future. I figure to work in Canada for the rest of my working days, but unless I win their lottery, I would not retire there. With limited means, I either stay here and hunker down or move to Latin America somewhere (or one or two possible places in Europe).
__________________
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 10-11-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
I quite frankly don't know why more ER's here don't consider this option, instead of going without until Medicare, or suffering with the exorbitant ever-increasing private system that can be pulled out from under at any time.
How does the costs shake out in total when you consider taxes, and overall cost in Canada Vs USA.

Heating costs alone must be a killer.

Discussion - HOW TO MOVE TO CANADA: A PRIMER FOR AMERICANS
However, there are some tax complications for dual citizens. As HOW TO MOVE TO CANADA states, "Anyone living in Canada must report all of their worldwide income on their Canadian income tax return. The same applies to U.S. citizens wherever they live. The two countries have a treaty aimed at preventing double taxation, but U.S. citizens living in Canada as permanent residents or dual citizens must file federal income tax returns in both countries."


+++++++
What this means is that if you think you will eventually want to retire to Canada as a permanent resident, you either have to start planning early or have a substantial amount of money. You could retire to Canada in the Investor category if you have a minimum net worth of $800,000.

Otherwise, you would probably have to come in as a Skilled Worker — and if you're 54 or older at the time you apply, you would get no points for age, which might lower your total score below the acceptable threshhold. (If you have arranged employment, that could compensate for your loss of points on age.)
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by seabourne View Post

Amused. Though I'm considering Australia (better sailing and diving!)
What part? I'm thinking of Australia for part of the year. I've visited Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Cairns.

Unfortunately, I didn't visit the Gold Coast. So, I don't know what that is like.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 07:55 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
Richard,

I have lived in, and work today in, Canada and have used the health care system for an emergency.

Everything isn't covered, so it isn't really free.

It can be fast and efficient. It can also be everything but. One big gotcha is that in general, you cannot get private care as an alternative. Of course, you can always jump across the border and get instant treatment, like the rich and the powerful do.

And you can't just go up and retire there. You have to get a job there, get permanent residency, THEN you can retire there. The first two steps are not readily available to all.

Your solution is not a general one for all of us. You are not telling us how you got there and how you got to stay.

I have many options for my future. I figure to work in Canada for the rest of my working days, but unless I win their lottery, I would not retire there. With limited means, I either stay here and hunker down or move to Latin America somewhere (or one or two possible places in Europe).
Ed,
I'm not understanding your rationale. You mention wanting to avoid Canada for unknown reasons, yet you're considering Europe. You'll find very few European countries are as generous in offering free medical care to new residents as Canada does.

You ask about my situation. I applied for and received residency status. You do not need to have a job to attain residency. It's not as hard as you think. One just has to research a bit and explore all options. And unlike moving to Europe, it's a short hop from the States.

It's not colder than Chicago, Detroit, and most northern US cities. That's pretty much a caricature for those who really don't know the country.
__________________
Richard8655 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
There are a fair number of Canadian participants in some CR cancer forums I follow, and I see there many positive comments about the Canadian healthcare system. But it's not all good. People complain about lack of uniformity of benefits, from province to province, for one thing.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 08:06 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
How does the costs shake out in total when you consider taxes, and overall cost in Canada Vs USA.

Heating costs alone must be a killer.

Discussion - HOW TO MOVE TO CANADA: A PRIMER FOR AMERICANS
However, there are some tax complications for dual citizens. As HOW TO MOVE TO CANADA states, "Anyone living in Canada must report all of their worldwide income on their Canadian income tax return. The same applies to U.S. citizens wherever they live. The two countries have a treaty aimed at preventing double taxation, but U.S. citizens living in Canada as permanent residents or dual citizens must file federal income tax returns in both countries."


+++++++
What this means is that if you think you will eventually want to retire to Canada as a permanent resident, you either have to start planning early or have a substantial amount of money. You could retire to Canada in the Investor category if you have a minimum net worth of $800,000.

Otherwise, you would probably have to come in as a Skilled Worker and if you're 54 or older at the time you apply, you would get no points for age, which might lower your total score below the acceptable threshhold. (If you have arranged employment, that could compensate for your loss of points on age.)
You make good and valid points. No one said it would be easy or a shoe-in for everyone. I applied as a skilled worker as I planned my ER. Cost of living is higher there, no doubt. But consider the huge cost of health care here, care that many can't even get let alone afford. Also consider that the #1 cause of bankruptcy here is because of medical costs... something that would never happen there.

It depends on what's important to you in planning ER. Health care has to be at the top of the list, especially in the US, unless you're independently wealthy.
__________________
Richard8655 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 08:54 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
But consider the huge cost of health care here, care that many can't even get let alone afford. Also consider that the #1 cause of bankruptcy here is because of medical costs... something that would never happen there.
To fully evaluate the two countries I think a person needs to add up the total cost of living in both countries under under similar living environments. A person might be able to afford a excellent health ins in the the USA considering to potential for a higher overall cost of living in Canada. For example, costs excluding health ins - Canada 50,000 - USA 35,000 - leaving 15K available in USA for health ins.

Another option would be to find a low cost place to live in the USA and use the savings for health ins with excellent coverage.





Without the total cost analysis it is difficult to determine if Canada does offer a cost savings.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 09:08 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
Hello All,

Fast and efficient, and not at all what the insurance lobby in the States would have you believe.
I'm a canadian citizen now living in the US (dual citizen) and from what i have seen the canadian system is very efficient yielding good outcomes for the majority of its citizens at relatively low costs.

However, in my experience it has NOT been fast and wait times can be long. If you have good health insurance in the US you can see a specialist rapidly and get tests done quickly. In contrast, wait times seem very long in canada.

That said, if you have a serious issue, you will get prioritized higher. I am still keeping my options open and considering returning to canada (with healthcare being an important reason)
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 09:26 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 61
And to analyze cost of living you need to figure out where you are moving to. There is a very large difference in COL between Toronto/Vancouver areas and middle of nowhere prairies or east coast. Food can be more expensive rurally but housing pretty much makes up for it IMO. Same with heating costs, etc. So many variations within the country.
__________________
Chelhxi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 09:41 PM   #13
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,079
Richard,

Have you decided where you're moving to yet. We just back from a 3 week vacation in Canada, mostly visiting with DW's relatives. Niagara-on-the-lake, Whitby (an hour from Toronto) and Georgian bay, at a place near to Midland. 3 years ago we had 2 weeks in Quebec City.

Absolutely loved all the locations, and the people we met were great, but I don't think we could take the winters, If Chicago is similar weather then you know what it's like.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 09:57 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Toronto itself is a huge city with a widely varying housing costs depending on where you live. I looked up my prior home condo building and similar units (3bedroom) were selling for only 150k or so (this is in a suburb). Which in my view is a bargain. Of course you can also get the million dollar plus homes if you chose.

For those wanting to try to work and live in Canada, you can enter the country on a NAFTA visa without much difficultly (much easier than the H1 visa in the US):

NAFTA Visas for Individuals :: Canada work visa and work permit :: Campbell Cohen - Canadian Immigration Law Firm

Basically if you are one of 63 professions (engineers included), it's very easy to get work permission. For example, on the US side all you have to do is show up with a letter from your employer and show up at the border.

I don't know if NAFTA is a residency visa in canada (it's not in the US) but you can at least you can try living/working in canada to see if you like it.
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 11:01 AM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
My Dream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 829
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
For example, costs excluding health ins - Canada 50,000 - USA 35,000 - leaving 15K available in USA for health ins.
I'm just curious where you arrived at that figure? We live approximately 20-30 minutes from downtown Toronto and own a 2400 sq. ft home. Our family of 4 can live on less then 30,k per year, mind you that doesn' leave any savings or vacation.

This thread has been an eye opener for me.
__________________
Newbie
My Dream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 11:13 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream View Post
I'm just curious where you arrived at that figure? We live approximately 20-30 minutes from downtown Toronto and own a 2400 sq. ft home. Our family of 4 can live on less then 30,k per year, mind you that doesn' leave any savings or vacation.

This thread has been an eye opener for me.
It is an example for illustrative purposes.

When you evaluated the two countries - the total cost of living in both countries under under similar living environments - excluding health costs; what numbers did you come up with?
See my previous post.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 12:13 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,705
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
I have lived in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Sarnia and London. The costs in the first 3 cities are comparable to NY, Illinois and California, while the latter 2 are cheaper, mostly lower housing costs.

I currently live in Vancouver and it is expensive but the health care is excellent. Access to specialists and the use of Vancouver General Hospital is fine and wait times are less than in other places. However you will need to get a GP and sometimes the wait for that can be a year. In the meantime you would use one of the many clinics that operate around the city.

We spend 6 months in PV and the prices there are cheaper than the US so we avoid the extra costs for half the year. We sublet our place in Vancouver and that helps too.

Tax rates are high but there are many tax credits for seniors, and the overall level of taxation is quite reasonable once you have retired. The first $30k of income is nearly tax free. After that, it ramps up.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 01:04 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
Ed,
I'm not understanding your rationale. You mention wanting to avoid Canada for unknown reasons, yet you're considering Europe. You'll find very few European countries are as generous in offering free medical care to new residents as Canada does.

You ask about my situation. I applied for and received residency status. You do not need to have a job to attain residency. It's not as hard as you think. One just has to research a bit and explore all options. And unlike moving to Europe, it's a short hop from the States.

It's not colder than Chicago, Detroit, and most northern US cities. That's pretty much a caricature for those who really don't know the country.
I had thought about doing this as well and even posted on here about it. I was told you can not "just move there" unless you have family or have a job lined up. Somebody posted a link to the guidelines on here and it seemed to back that point up. Can you clarify under what condition or clause you applied?

Also, would somebody still be able to get Social Security from the U.S. (once eligible) if you moved to Canda for early retirement?
__________________
skyvue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 02:03 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 129
I'm a dual citizen, living in the US for the past 30+ years or so, but have relatives in BC,Alberta and Manitoba..and visit several times a year. I spent my first 26 yrs there...the last of those in Toronto, but I was young and fortunately didn't have issues. Experiences I know of through relatives is that its true there are long waits to get simple tests and sometimes important ones done; its very hard to get a new gp, follow-up appts. for serious issues are scheduled much farther apart than in the US...my sister passed away waiting for a follow-up appt. for a heart issue...the follow up was 4 months from her initial appt. Specialists are few and far between and very busy. This was in Calgary..one of Canada's more prosperous cities that can attract doctors. There are more experiences like this. The odd time I've had the chance I ask them why wait...why not make an appt. at a clinic in the US to get checked sooner or second opinion (when its serious)...and universally they do not want to spend their 'own money'..surprising to me when I think your $ isn't worth anything when you are dead! Anyway, I know that BC now have private clinics that people are opting for when they don't want to wait....don't know details.
BTW, I've often considered moving back to Canada...only would consider BC...but not for the health care....but because the slower pace (on Vancouver Island) and pretty good weather is appealing. But lately the risk of tsunamis and rising water levels is making me think twice (LOL!)!!
__________________
itsmyparty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 02:31 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
My Dream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 829
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
It is an example for illustrative purposes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
When you evaluated the two countries - the total cost of living in both countries under similar living environments - excluding health costs; what numbers did you come up with?
See my previous post.
Dex, I was just curious as to how you arrived at that figure since it didn't make any sense to me personally. I have many relatives in many parts of the States and there expenses are much higher then ours and we live a stones throw from Toronto.

I have no issues with the health care system in Canada. Yes I have a gp and can get an appointment in less then an hour if needed. If I didn't have a gp, there are dozens of walk in clinics that I could been seen today also. If it were an emergency I can be at the hospital in a matter of minutes being checked out by doctors or specialist by a simple phone call. Remember 911 gets me an ambulance and my personal driver. I don't want to debate Canada or the States health care system, but I do know I've been well taken care and at a great price...if you know what I mean.

As mentioned by itsmyparty, if for some reason I needed something that our healthcare wasn't able to give me to my personal satisfaction, it's amazing what money can buy in a hurry. Where there's a will there's a way.

As for location....location....location, I'm lucky to be in a warmer setting like Toronto where the temperature last weekend was in the mid 70's.


Good luck with your decision Richard8655.
__________________

__________________
Newbie
My Dream 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
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
Advice for retiring in Canada from the US MikeK Life after FIRE 16 08-20-2004 09:22 PM
Retiring In Canada ShokWaveRider Life after FIRE 78 01-31-2004 09:43 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:34 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.