If you’re thinking about spending the most rewarding part of your life in the Great White North, this 11 best places to retire in Canada list should come in handy. It might not be as sunny as Florida, for instance, but Canada has its advantages and plenty of them at that. English is the official language here (together with French), and cultural differences are more or less insignificant for American retirees. Moreover, Canadian healthcare system coupled with financial incentives is unmatched by any of America’s 50 states and wider. More liberal economic and social policies needn’t be mentioned as well, but there are some drawbacks too. For starters, it’s still a foreign country for American retirees, hence, residency might become an issue. Furthermore, Canadian immigration law has become somewhat more strict in recent years, especially for those short on money. While Canada isn’t among 10 cheapest countries to live like a king, it is more affordable than the US thanks to aforementioned social benefits.
US citizens wishing to retire abroad have to plan their move carefully. Canada is generally an easier place to move and live, but this doesn’t mean you can just walk right in and settle without fulfilling the requirements and finishing the paperwork. You can do that, however, if you’re planning on spending no more than 6 months in a year there. The rest of the time can be spent in Arizona, for instance. I’m stating this example because many people do exactly that. However, this is not the topic of our article here. Most important aspects to pay attention to when moving abroad are checking visa and residency requirements, and studying the local laws. Preparing your finances and medical care plan are also topping the list of things to do before moving away. You should note that the US Government health plan for people aged 65 and over does not cover healthcare abroad. Luckily, Canadian healthcare system is much more humane than that of the United States. Furthermore, don’t forget to file an annual report with the IRS. Although an agreement between the countries prevents double taxation, you are still required to file the form in both countries. Of course, you’ll only pay the Canadian tax.
But, what is it like actually getting to Canada as a senior citizen? It used to be much easier before since there was a special category for retirees. They only needed to state that they want to retire in Canada, prove that they are in good health, that they have no criminal record, and that they are financially independent. Right now, potential retirees are regarded like any other immigrant, and they can choose which category suits them best. The easiest way is to qualify as an immigrant investor, but you need $800,000 of net worth. Otherwise, it’s either family ties or skilled worker category. Be advised that you’ll likely fail in the latter of the two if you’re above the age of 54 since the lack of points based on age might severely damage your application’s chances to succeed.
With that out of the picture, let us focus on the actual methodology used to determine the 11 best places to retire in Canada. You’ll all agree that weather, a number of physicians and average property taxes play, probably the most important roles when choosing the place to retire. All this data has been pulled from Money Sense – who possess the largest database of Canadian cities’ statistics relevant for this research. For determining whether weather suits prospective retirees, we have used a number of days with daily minimum temperatures higher than 0 ºC or 32 ºF, and total rainfall depicted in mm per square meter during one hour. Instead of calculating the average property taxes we have shown them in percentages so that you can easily calculate them yourselves based on the market value of property in question. Finally, the number of physicians per 1,000 inhabitants is pretty much self-explanatory. All criteria will be assigned points from 1 to 10, and cities with best overall score will be inducted to the list of 10 best places to retire in Canada.