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Any Xpats here considering or have considered Moving home after FIRE?
Old 08-10-2016, 09:29 AM   #1
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Any Xpats here considering or have considered Moving home after FIRE?

We are FIREd and have toyed with the idea about moving back to Canada. I was curious if anyone else had or has and what their reasons & experiences were.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:58 AM   #2
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Dual citizen here (can/us) who's been moving around looking for a permanent FIRE city. Grew up in Canada and moved to the US for grad school. Stayed in US for work and got married to a US citizen.

Yes I considered moving back to canada and evaluated it just like any US city that we considered for FIRE. But on our criteria, Canadian cities (realistically only Toronto, Vancouver) just don't make the cut.

The main advantage of returning to canada would be healthcare and proximity to family/friends. However, ACA is working just fine for us right now and we spend 1-2 months in Canada every year anyway. In addition, my Canadian friends/family often travel a lot for conferences/vacations and it's been easy to meet up with them in the US. In contrast, our american family/friends are probably never going to visit us up north.

While healthcare is definitely cheaper, some of that advantage is eaten up by increased living costs for everything else: food, transportation, dealing with winter, and a terrible retail market. Housing in TO/vancouver is at California levels. I don't have data to support this claim (higher COL outside of healthcare) so I could be wrong, but that is my impression. It also depends on the exchange rate (which can fluctuate rapidly) as our portfolio is entirely in USD investments.

At this point, we'd only return to canada under a couple of conditions: (1) ACA changes and we lose guaranteed issue and/or medical premiums become unaffordable or (2) I need to return to help relatives.

Long term, I've thought about getting a condo as a second home in TO if we want to spend more time there (right now we don't). However, currently our portfolio isn't large enough to support this but it might be a possibility with a combined Canadian recession, housing crash, and CAD dollar drop.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:11 AM   #3
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Dual citizen here (can/us) who's been moving around looking for a permanent FIRE city. Grew up in Canada and moved to the US for grad school. Stayed in US for work and got married to a US citizen.

Yes I considered moving back to canada and evaluated it just like any US city that we considered for FIRE. But on our criteria, Canadian cities (realistically only Toronto, Vancouver) just don't make the cut.

The main advantage of returning to canada would be healthcare and proximity to family/friends. However, ACA is working just fine for us right now and we spend 1-2 months in Canada every year anyway. In addition, my Canadian friends/family often travel a lot for conferences/vacations and it's been easy to meet up with them in the US. In contrast, our american family/friends are probably never going to visit us up north.

While healthcare is definitely cheaper, some of that advantage is eaten up by increased living costs for everything else: food, transportation, dealing with winter, and a terrible retail market. Housing in TO/vancouver is at California levels. I don't have data to support this claim (higher COL outside of healthcare) so I could be wrong, but that is my impression. It also depends on the exchange rate (which can fluctuate rapidly) as our portfolio is entirely in USD investments.

At this point, we'd only return to canada under a couple of conditions: (1) ACA changes and we lose guaranteed issue and/or medical premiums become unaffordable or (2) I need to return to help relatives.

Long term, I've thought about getting a condo as a second home in TO if we want to spend more time there (right now we don't). However, currently our portfolio isn't large enough to support this but it might be a possibility with a combined Canadian recession, housing crash, and CAD dollar drop.
SNAP! We are in EXACTLY the same boat, other than we are interested in Vancouver Island, BC. For the most part our weather is perfect here in NE Florida.

In one really foolish moment we considered moving back to the SouthvWest of England; Devon, Cornwall or the IOW. But they get 500 hours less of sunshine per year than VanIsle.. BUT I just love the Architecture.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:28 AM   #4
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.....we are interested in Vancouver Island, BC.
Parksville seems to be very popular, (in some circles, not really my cup of hot flavored liquid though)........I spent a little over eight years on Salt Spring Island, (locally known as "An argument surrounded by water").......a friend, who relocated to Oregon, said about SSI "I'm glad I lived there, and I'm glad I don't"............I think she got it right.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:11 AM   #5
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We are FIREd and have toyed with the idea about moving back to Canada. I was curious if anyone else had or has and what their reasons & experiences were.
We are in the process of moving back to England. We RE'd 2010 and in 2011 we rented a house for 7 months in Yorkshire, the town where we were most happy, lived there 6 years, both of our children born there, lots of friends still there.

We loved it, felt like going home so we made plans to probably move back permanently. The next 4 years we spent getting lots of travel done in May we rented a house back in the same town for 6 months, but plan to renew when the lease ends in October. Again, we absolutely love it, so next year we will look to buy.

We also plan to continue to spend winters in our place in Texas for now, but plan to grow old in this place in Yorkshire. My sister with her husband and 18 year old son live here and I have direct ancestors going back into the 17th century. My 8-greats Grandfather was married in the church here, the same one our children were baptized in.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:36 AM   #6
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A quite wealthy retiree Xpat paid me a visit today (79 years old) and he is seriously considering a permanent move back to Florida. He owns places in both Thailand (small condo) and in Florida (home in retirement community). He has an SO in Thailand 30 years his junior and she has kept him there as he loves her. But he is having trouble pulling the marriage lever. She can't stay in the US unless they get married.

He has been spending 10 months per year abroad for a long time.

As for Thailand, his girl chasing days are over, and he said the tennis courts, roads, swimming, safety levels, shopping, etc. are all better in Florida. And his kids are in Florida. I don't think he ever really bought into Thai culture and doesn't even eat much Thai food (much to my amazement). And the health facilities are outstanding in the US. But he is afraid he will get bored in the US, too.

He is in good health, but the fact he is turning 80 is really what is 100% driving this decision.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:47 PM   #7
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Has he considered a prenup?
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:19 PM   #8
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He would definitely do a prenup and she has already spent several months in the USA on a fiance visa, including meeting the family. And actually she is 40 years his junior, not 30 like I stated

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Old 08-12-2016, 10:22 PM   #9
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I hope he has a Will left with his lawyer in FL, so that everything goes as he wants, when he goes.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:32 PM   #10
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As for Canada, for years I considered we might retire there, but finally realized we won't.
If you are poor and old, then Canada is great due to the social programs, but if you have a big income, the income tax rate is high with higher percentages and small transition levels.
Most provinces also have an income tax that is high compared to US rates.
Sales tax varies a lot across Provinces.

Much of what PhotoGuy said is true about the higher costs (food, fuel, booze, cars, etc).

It's a great place to visit, especially with the exchange rate.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:11 AM   #11
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As for Canada, for years I considered we might retire there, but finally realized we won't.
If you are poor and old, then Canada is great due to the social programs, but if you have a big income, the income tax rate is high with higher percentages and small transition levels.
Most provinces also have an income tax that is high compared to US rates.
Sales tax varies a lot across Provinces.

Much of what PhotoGuy said is true about the higher costs (food, fuel, booze, cars, etc).

It's a great place to visit, especially with the exchange rate.
We have family in Toronto (Where we would never move), but once you get your housing sorted out costs are actually quite comparable. We did a small comparison for our situation where we wanted to live, House taxes were more favorable, food was comparable, Gas & Booze more expensive of course. But the benefits for those not yet at FRA do outweigh the costs..... for us.


While we have established these estimates to be subjective, it does give you an idea. BUT does NOT includes the MASSIVE one Healthcare Costs.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...sonville%2C+FL
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:28 AM   #12
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As soon as my preferential tax status runs out here, I'll likely leave The Netherlands unless I have substantial income here.

Because I'll be expected to handover 1.3% of my net worth every year. Not gonna happen in the baseline scenario: no income and dependent on my smallish nest egg.

Reasons being also that I can have good healthcare back home with a cheaper cost of living, and closer to family.

That, or New Zealand (unlikely). Reason being: nature, good healthcare and acceptable fiscal climate + cost of living. Downside: too far away from my social support network.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:42 AM   #13
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Reasons being also that I can have good healthcare back home with a cheaper cost of living, and closer to family.
Where is Home?
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Old 08-13-2016, 12:53 PM   #14
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...
While we have established these estimates to be subjective, it does give you an idea. BUT does NOT includes the MASSIVE one Healthcare Costs.

Cost of Living Comparison Between Victoria, Canada And Jacksonville, FL, United States
They really are subjective, but lets ignore the little things and think about the massive one Healthcare.

I think, once you factor in the higher income tax in BC + the free healthcare it probably comes close to the US taxes + healthcare costs for most folks.
Especially compared to FL with zero State income tax rate.

Canadian income tax rates for individuals - current and previous years

British Columbia Provincial Tax
5.06% on the first $38,210 of taxable income, +
7.7% on the next $38,211, +
10.5% on the next $11,320, +
12.29% on the next $18,802, +
14.7% on the amount over $106,543


Canada Federal tax rates for 2016
  • 15% on the first $45,282 of taxable income, +
  • 20.5% on the next $45,281 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $45,282 up to $90,563), +
  • 26% on the next $49,825 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $90,563 up to $140,388), +
  • 29% on the next $59,612 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $140,388 up to $200,000), +
  • 33%of taxable income over $200,000.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:25 PM   #15
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I'd like to move back to Canada my wife (who isn't Canadian) no so much. Since I'm in California there is less of a delta between taxes though I think it's still a bit cheaper here than say BC (the only option my wife would even remotely consider everywhere else is too cold). I think the HC cost cancel that tax difference anyways since at our income level HC here is about 10-12% if we don't get sick

It could be much cheaper to live there if we lived where I would like (small town/or country living) but she's a big city girl and that is not going to fly either). I keep trying but doubt it is an argument I will win...as usual
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:09 PM   #16
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Where is Home?
Belgium.

In US terms, that's basically next door
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:55 PM   #17
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Belgium.

In US terms, that's basically next door
It is! It would be easy for you to visit the Netherlands from time to time, I'd think, since you wouldn't be very far away.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:56 PM   #18
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We've toured Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle. Then we toured British Columbia and Nova Scotia as far as the roads went.

We loved the places and especially loved the people. But with 15% sales taxes and $12.99 per six pack for the cheapest beer, we don't know how people can afford to live in Canada.

And that was before the Canadian dollar has gone so low--tanking.

I look at HGTV television shows about purchasing houses in Toronto area with entry level homes at $650K. I wouldn't be caught dead living in those run down homes, as we could buy a comparable home for $65K--no kidding.

We'll just remain where the life is simple--in our fish camp on the Tennessee River.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:24 PM   #19
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I've been in Hong Kong for most of my career and DW is from Hong Kong. While we have talked about moving to New Zealand where our children will go to boarding school (the oldest starts in early 2017), there are still more reasons to stay here in Hong Kong than move, the two biggest being the social networks we have built up and the moderate tax rate.

The likely outcome is that we will spend 2-3 months a year in New Zealand once we have both finished with working and university studies but retain Hong Kong as our permanent home.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:58 AM   #20
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I'd like to move back to Canada my wife (who isn't Canadian) no so much. Since I'm in California there is less of a delta between taxes though I think it's still a bit cheaper here than say BC (the only option my wife would even remotely consider everywhere else is too cold). I think the HC cost cancel that tax difference anyways since at our income level HC here is about 10-12% if we don't get sick

It could be much cheaper to live there if we lived where I would like (small town/or country living) but she's a big city girl and that is not going to fly either). I keep trying but doubt it is an argument I will win...as usual
Moving from CA to BC would probably not be much different in overall costs. Have you visited there, as perhaps your DW has false impressions about Canada.
Your Yankee dollars will go much farther up there right now 25%-30% more so it would be a cheap holiday to visit.
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