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Retiring In Canada
Old 09-29-2003, 08:21 AM   #1
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Retiring In Canada

Anyone out there contimplation this option, or have already done it recently?

If so what are you doing regarding the terrible exchange rate as opposed to a year or so ago?

Ian
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-03-2003, 02:31 AM   #2
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Re: Retiring In Canada

Not contemplating Canada any time soon, but the exchange rate issue seems overblown to me. If their currency was called zorks instead of dollars, we wouldn't try to compare them as though they ought to be close - we'd just accept that they are different currencies.

When we were there for a week in August, we found the beer expensive but the food, both locally grown and processed, pretty cheap compared to our expectations. We weren't there long enough to compare other costs.

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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-03-2003, 06:56 AM   #3
 
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Re: Retiring In Canada

I just returned from a trip in Canada. I found everything expensive, even in the rural areas. Food, Fuel and Booze was the stuff we bought on a regular basis. 40% higher and this was AFTER the exchange rate.

Nice place to visit, but I would'nt want to live there.
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-04-2003, 11:44 AM   #4
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Re: Retiring In Canada

British Columbia was expensive in the 1950's(vacation with parents) and the late 1960's when I was nightclubing in Vancouver - in contrast with Seattle which wasn't a low cost mecca either.
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-04-2003, 11:52 AM   #5
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Re: Retiring In Canada

Oh come on! It is not as bad as you all make out! Housing is far cheaper in desirable Areas. I live in Southern Cal. And have just sold a 2700sq home on a postage stamp lot for almost a million. A home twice the size on a ginormous lot in British Columbia with water and mountain views in all directions is only in the $300k - $500k mark and that is CAN Dollarettes. House taxes are reasonable. Healthcare is $200 a quarter in BC, free in Ontario. (Emergency Health care only though) Pre-existing Conditions don't enter into the equasion when getting health care there. Drugs are half the price because Canadians do not pay any of the advertising charges that we do here. And it is regulated by the government.

OK, so State and Local use taxes are high on most things you buy. (15% depending on the province) And income tax is brutal. But I am retired and do not intend on paying much income tax anyway.

Any Canadians out ther that can help with this topic?

Ian
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-07-2003, 05:07 AM   #6
 
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Re: Retiring In Canada

I thought that in order to live in Canana without a job, you had to post a rather large bond with the Governement? Something on the order of $600000 USD and they get to keep the interest.

I don't think they are going to let any and all who want to move up there take advantage of their medical system without putting up some additional cash. After all, the current residents have been paying into the system for years - why should a late arrival be able to take advantage of that without paying?
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-07-2003, 06:45 AM   #7
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Re: Retiring In Canada

The opposite. You can live income tax free for 5 years if you have income from abroad. If you are moving there and not a current Citizen. However, I am a Citizen of Canada, USA and European Community so there will not be an issue. (Tri Citizenship, Just call me "00-Ian")
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-08-2003, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: Retiring In Canada

ShokWaveRider, what about the health care system in Canada? Will you expand on your earlier post? Can people who aren't Canadian citizens access it? If so, at what cost and level? Thanks.
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-08-2003, 11:06 AM   #9
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Re: Retiring In Canada

As far as I know it is only available to Citizens. In fact it is free in Ontario. About $250 per quarter in other provinces. Perhaps some Canadians can elaborate a little more.

Ian
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-09-2003, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: Retiring In Canada

It's available to Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, and perhaps to those on valid work visas though I'm not 100% sure of the latter. It is possible to emigrate to Canada without job sponsorship (unlike the US). It is done on a point system with varying points based on skills, age, language ability, etc. Once you get above 40 or so in age the points assigned for that drop. It is also possible to qualify as an investor though that requires an amount in the millions and the creation of a certain number of jobs. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/index.html

For those that have access to the Canadian health system there are no "levels". All have equal access. Note that this does not include drugs unless they are given during a hospital stay.

As for taxes they are not that much different than those in a number of US states. During retirement where you are living off capital gains they can be very low. One trick is to make sure that you and your spouse have equal income from the assets as taxes are calculated on an individual basis and not on a couple basis.

One of my possible long term retirement sites is Canada (Toronto area) but there are others (maybe Osaka/Kobe area in Japan). This will only be after I have spent an as yet undetermined amount of time travelling full-time.

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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 10-09-2003, 03:31 PM   #11
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Re: Retiring In Canada

My retirement spot is Kelowna BC. But house prices have soared in the last 2 years. (Typical) And as interest rates are so low right now I am still in a quandary.

Ian
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-16-2004, 05:53 AM   #12
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Re: Retiring In Canada

Geez, I hate to drag up old subjects....

House prices: Well, if you want to live in a big city (and most do), it can be very expensive. Typical homes in Vancouver or Victoria go for CAD$300,000. But, if you want to live a bit further away, like say Oceanside or the Sunshine Coast, then housing can be almost half of that for the same house.

Taxes: First 5 years free to landed immigrants for assets help offshore (that'll be the DW). Capital gains taxes are taxed on the marginal rate but you only pay tax on half the gains.

Food: Local food is about the same as the US. If you live WAY out in the boonies, expect to pay a "transportation premium" on everything. Alcohol in BC is about 3 times what it is in Washington State because it is government controlled. (kaching!)

Gas: 2 times the US rate, but half of what I am currently paying in Scotland.

Healthcare:Read above posts.

I personally don't think that the current level on the CAD to the USD is sustainable for much longer. Most industries feel 70-75 cents is the equilibrium rate.

One downside is that it can be expensive to get to Mexico or the Caribbean from BC, but cheaper to Hawaii, I guess.
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-16-2004, 06:18 AM   #13
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Re: Retiring In Canada

From these posts, I still don't understand the legal requirements for moving to Canada and staying there.

It seems that Americans can buy real estate in Canada without any problem, and use it for vacationing. But is there a legal requirement that they leave the country for some fraction of the year, if they are not "on track" to become Canadian citizens? Could a person simply live there and pay taxes and/or healthcare costs without becoming a citizen?

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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-16-2004, 08:31 AM   #14
 
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Re: Retiring In Canada

Hello Ted! Excellent post as usual.

I don't know the answers to your questions, but I do have some observations (surprise surprise). I
have spent some time in Canada. Business and pleasure. When I was a much younger man, I considered the prospect of relocating there after
retirement. At this stage of my life, the weather alone
would rule it out. Plus, although I complain
continuously about the politics in this country, most other places are no better and some are a lot worse.
Truly, about the only thing I still see as a big draw in
Canada is the low population density.

John Galt
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-16-2004, 08:43 AM   #15
 
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Re: Retiring In Canada

And another thing. I just noticed an earlier
comparison of real estate costs in BC vs. California
and had to weigh in. This info is mostly for the amazement (amusement??) of you homeowners near the coasts, or in pricey upscale subdivisions. We live in the country, split level about 1000 SF total, good condition. Lot is about 100 X 200 with 100 feet of river frontage (very scenic area - big river with
state forest on opposite bank). If we sell in the near future I would list this place at under 100K. Actually
it is just about perfect for us except for the winters here
which I have grown to dislike almost as much as the
politics.

John Galt
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-16-2004, 08:47 AM   #16
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Re: Retiring In Canada

Well:

I am in Toronto at the Moment and it is pretty cold. However my plans are to spend the summer in Canada (6 months and 1 day) and for the next 2 years spend the rest of the time in the Caribbean. I will but a retirement home in Kelowna or Vancouver Island in the next 2 - 3 years.

The Big deal is HEALTH CARE. I am currently covered in Ontario and it is absolutely free. I am a citizen of Canada as well as the USA and the UK.

Canada is more civilized regarding litigation and law suits etc. But really has nothing to do with retirement but it does instill some peace of mind.

The real deal for me is health care. Free is Good for Now. When I move to the West, Kelowna only requires a $200 and change quarterly premium. In California at the Moment my health care is about $1000 per month!

Also Kelowna has the 3rd best ski hill in Canada and only 14 inches of Precipitation.

Costs are on par with California. Except house prices are half. Produce is cheaper. Wine is OK.

Ian
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-16-2004, 12:01 PM   #17
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Re: Retiring In Canada

I see the real cost savings to living in canada being that you only need to buy lower cost thermometers that dont include numbers over +10.
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-18-2004, 04:21 AM   #18
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Re: Retiring In Canada

Quote:
Costs are on par with California. Except house prices are half. Produce is cheaper. Wine is OK.
I have visited the west coast of British Columbia several times, and loved it so much that I even became engaged on a visit to Victoria in 1983. The parts of that area that are in the rain shadow of the mountains on Vancouver Island would certainly make a nice area to retire, as many Canadians do.

But Canadians should stick to brewing beer and smoking salmon. Their wine is horrible. :P


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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-18-2004, 10:34 AM   #19
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Re: Retiring In Canada

And I hear that salmon is terribly hard to keep lit.
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Re: Retiring In Canada
Old 01-19-2004, 12:37 AM   #20
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Re: Retiring In Canada

Quote:

But Canadians should stick to brewing beer and smoking salmon. *Their wine is horrible. * :P

Ha Ha!

That brings back some wonderful memories. 1983 was a great year for some classics such as Rich 'n Red and Thunderbird! In the Eighties, the wine produced in Canada was truly awful but very cheap for a poor student. I think my sergeant called it boot polish. Today it is not bad and a cheap substitute for Californian wine which is made expensive by the Liquor Board. You should try ice wine made by crushing grapes that have frozen on the vine. Very sweet and a good competitor to sauterne.

TH: maybe your trying to light the wrong end.
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