Canadians retiring to Florida

by Debbie Webber
(Oshawa, Ontario, Canada)

MY husband and I are Canadians thinking of retirement in the next three years. We would like to retire in Florida, but dread the thought of travelling back to Canada for six months every year.

  • Is there any way around this without losing our benefits?

  • Can we still receive our pensions while living in Florida?

  • How can we protect ourselves from healthcare costs?

  • What would happen if one of us became an invalid?

  • Where is the safest place to live, with a view of the sea?

    I would like to here from other Canadians who have made the move and what they did.

    Debbie Webber

    Wendy: Good Questions Debbie, and none that I have answers to. I know lots of Canadians are snowbirds in Florida, and some totally move to the U.S. but -- I'll leave this for some Canadians to answer.

    p.s. One of my retiree friends moved to Canada a few years ago, bought a home, learned the metric system and then moved back to the U.S. when he learned how much of his pension was lost to Canadian taxes (since it was a US pension). He lost lots of money that year in the move and move back -- he had researched moving to Canada but the one thing he never considered were Taxes!

  • Comments for Canadians retiring to Florida

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    Florida & Houses / Sept 2011
    by: Darrell


    We bought a house in North Port FL 1 year ago and now were near 1.5 years to retirement.

    Pensions are of course no problem as you can have them sent to you as a cheque or deposited in your TD or RBC account and easily transfer to the respective bank in Florida. RBC is selling their bricks & mortar but there is and as I understand it -> still a cross boarder connection on-line that will continue. I user both with very good success.

    Our house is 20 min from a really nice beach. I actually like the idea of being not too too close to the Ocean and potential storm surge. Even still, in North Port were still only 27' above sea level.

    I've not got the health care thing fully thought out.

    Just now starting to work with the INS on a visa. We would like to more to North Port and stay for years - number of years is TBD.

    I'm a computer phone guy -> but that's another topic of cheap phones over the internet with Canadian phone numbers.

    The Villages FL
    by: Gary

    You should check out The Villages FL.

    The Villages is the largest active adult community in the country and is equidistant from both coasts.

    Most people can go ahead and test drive their retirement by renting a villa and vacationing while sampling the lifestyle. The best way to rent is to search by owner websites where a prospective renter can save money by cutting out the middleman.

    VillagesHomes4Rent.Com is just such a site that specializes in The Villages. There are many other sites that specialize in specific areas or communities.

    Me Too!!
    by: Susan Ramm

    Hi Debbie:

    My husband and I are also considering retiring to Florida within the next 3 years. My husband is on disability and not working but I am working fulltime still. You raised many questions that we have.

    I have a nephew in Florida and am going to be posing a lot of questions to him but he won't know alot of the answers regarding health care and collections pensions from Ontario.

    Would be willing to share information back and forth with you.

    Canadians in USA
    by: Anonymous

    No, there is no way around the 180 residence requirement for tax purposes, but you may want to take up permanent residence. It may be difficult to get a green card.

    Yes, you get your pensions regardless of where you live.

    There are cultural differences to consider. How are you with managing change?

    Insurance is not a problem, use Gold Visa and you are covered for most things until age 65. Do your research however.

    If one becomes an invalid, the problems are there no matter where you live, but medical costs vary by location. Do your research and get insurance for long term care no matter where you decide to live.

    Consider also what you will do if one of you dies in an accident - its not something you think of when you retire, and it may mean another relocation is necessary. Consider one of you becoming disabled and unable to live at home, will you be better off near your family? Can you budget for two residences?

    Be sure you know why you want to retire in Florida and what would be a deal breaker what would make it impossible?

    Your U.S. Move
    by: Anonymous

    Forget about shifting to the U.S. If you wish to find your heaven, come to South Australia!

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