Retiring abroad: Should I keep my Canadian residency?

Taxation issues can be complex.

Gail Bebee 16 January, 2017 | 6:00PM
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Snowstorms, freezing temperatures, poor driving conditions, slips and falls and broken bones: there is much to dislike about a Canadian winter. Not surprisingly, the better weather and, in some cases, lower living costs of such destinations as Florida, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Thailand have enticed thousands of Canadians to relocate abroad once they retire. While the idea of living in a warmer clime is attractive, taking up residence in another country is a complex process. Before relocating, it is crucial to understand the full impact of moving abroad.

Will a prospective country provide the kind of life you envisage? Besides favourable climate, is the cost of living reasonable, and is it safe and politically stable? Can you access quality health care, suitable accommodation, decent transportation and reliable financial services? What about food availability and safety? Is there dependable Internet service? What is the culture like? Will you be able to communicate with the locals? What are the country's entry requirements and would you qualify to live there? Research is essential before deciding to live in another country.

An online search will yield many books and articles on retiring abroad. Ex-pat websites and blogs such as Future Expats Forum, Transitions Abroad and Expat Exchange are good sources of practical information on living in specific countries.

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About Author

Gail Bebee

Gail Bebee  Gail Bebee is an independent personal finance speaker, teacher and the author of No Hype--The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money. She can be reached at gbebee@gailbebee.com; her website is www.gailbebee.com.

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