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Old 06-24-2004, 11:21 AM   #1
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Anybody out there from Canada and spends the winters down south? Do you have a part time residence in the US? How do you enjoy it? Any US residence know of any snowbirds like this? Is it expensive to do this or can you do it relatively cheaply? What do you end up doing with your time in the south as well as when you're up north? Any issues to be aware of (ie, taxes, medical expenses, property issues)? I'd like to hear about the lifestyle of you Snowbird folks out there. Many thanks!
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Re: Snowbirds
Old 06-24-2004, 11:32 AM   #2
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Re: Snowbirds

We have an RV and plan ( in 2-3 years ) to do the snowbird thing for a couple of months a year. Retirees I have known seem to do the snowbird thingfor 3 or 4 years then switch to something else as health/finances/whatever fail.


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Re: Snowbirds
Old 06-24-2004, 11:43 AM   #3
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Re: Snowbirds

Being from Minnesota, I am hating winter more each year. I have seen a lot of folks do the snowbird thing and it ends up like moving twice a year. - And if there is anything that I hate more than winter, it's moving

What we do and will do more of in the future - Is to take about 3-4 vacations during winter. Get sick of winter - Go to the Florida, repeat. The folks that I know of that maintain two residences actually spend more on Property taxes and Association fees than the multiple vacation route. Not to mention double furnishing both houses and maint on two.
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Re: Snowbirds
Old 06-24-2004, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: Snowbirds

Cut-Throat, I think I have solved all of your objections to the "snowbird" thing. First, it's not like moving twice
a year as our Texas condo is 100% furnished, and I mean everything but your clothes and groceries.
(I hate moving too).. Second, if things work out anywhere near my plans, virtually all costs of ownership
will be covered by my short term tenants in the off months
(taxes, inside repairs and maint, condo dues etc).
Being a condo, there is no outside maint. to worry
about. And, since my corporation owns it and leases
it out, we have tax deductions like depreciation etc.
On top of this, I am confident of fairly rapid
appreciation in value. To use one of my favorites,
it was a no-brainer.

John Galt
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Re: Snowbirds
Old 06-24-2004, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: Snowbirds

Cut-Throat's suggestions are good. Take a few vacations to the sun each year. We can drive to Ft. Lauderdale in a couple of days. Or fly to the Mayan Riviera or The Dominican for an all-inclusive.
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Re: Snowbirds
Old 06-24-2004, 10:29 PM   #6
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Re: Snowbirds

Or just live in an area thats nice almost all year round and call it even
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Re: Snowbirds
Old 06-26-2004, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: Snowbirds

Not yet a snowbird but likely to become one after spouse and I retire shortly (30-600 days depending on my mood at the time) and have to move back to Canada at least on part time basis to keep Canada health care and Canadian based taxes (especially if weighted towards capital gains and dividend income).

Any snowbird from Canada needs to investigate that before making the commitment. Health care is one of the most important, but won't affect me much due to the nature of annuitant health care benefits I will be receiving. Wills and estate situations need to be investigated too, probably a need for US codicils to protect validity of Canadian wills and avoid US estate taxes that are considerably more punitive than Canada.

We have scoured the Gulf Coast from the Atlantic Shores of Florida to South Padre Island next door to Mexico looking for an oceanfront (or oceanview) part time winter residence. The key requirement was a condo. Have to say that Mustang Island next to Corpus Christi is one of the attractive areas for us. Inexpensive and less than 30 minutes to a 300,000 urban area.

There some nice areas on Mississippi and Alabama sections of coastline too and Destin Florida is a destination as well (but expensive). We will try about 4-5 different ones for 2-3 months in different locations and see what we like best before we consider putting an oar into condo ownership.

Spend a bit of money with a tax accountant specializing in US/Canadian tax treaty and a lawyer on estate matters before you plunge into it.
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"The Border Guide"
Old 07-05-2004, 10:32 PM   #8
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"The Border Guide"

The June issue of Bloomberg's "Wealth Manager" magazine ( quotes a financial planner with Keats, Connelly & Associates. Apparently they specialize in the needs of Canadian snowbirds, and somehow they do it from Phoenix.

Bob Keats is a Canadian/U.S. citizen who's written "The Border Guide: A Canadian's Guide to Living, Working, and Investing in the United States". Maybe it has the final answers to these tax-hostile questions.

As an aside, "Wealth Manager" is an interesting window on the world of financial advisors. It's a free subscription if you fit their profile (of course we all can find a way to fit their profile) and it's intended for the CFPs wrestling with administering to their affluent clients. The articles on "How do you break the news to your clients?" are almost as funny as the ads... or maybe seeing how CFPs keep up with current events is like watching sausage being created.


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