Whilst Canada has certainly not been immune to the global financial crisis, it has weathered the storms on the real estate, economic and jobs front far better than either the UK or America…and this naturally has a knock on effect in terms of public feeling in the country. Proof of this has been delivered in the form of a survey conducted by the 6th largest bank in North America, which found that on the whole over 70% of those who have chosen to retire in Canada find that life is exactly how they planned it to be.
Monetary concerns are not uppermost in a retired Canadian’s mind it seems – and naturally enough, lack of such a significant worry can go a very long way towards happiness. So, could you be happier retiring in Canada?
If you’re looking for a decent standard of living for a fair price, a laid back yet sophisticated country, a place where you can grow old gracefully and with dignity, a nation with lively towns and cities and plenty of stunning natural attractions – then yes, Canada could be the right choice for you. In this report we explore all the things Canada has in its favour as an emigration destination for Britons.
The aforementioned survey into the wellbeing of Canada’s retirees and their attitude towards life in retirement revealed that the majority of retirees were able to afford their life in retirement; they were not forced to live beyond their means because the cost of living was within reach. What’s more, the fact that there is a government funded social health care scheme took away another potential stressor as Canadians realised that as a bottom line, they would always be looked after. The social system in Canada almost mirrors that in the UK – in that in times of trouble, there is a system available that will step in and step up and help you.
So, with all of these things in mind, a would-be British retiree thinking about settling down in Canada needs to ensure they will qualify for social assistance when they relocate so that they too have this bottom line covered. The good news is that if you emigrate to live in Canada and are perhaps sponsored by adult children living there already, you will qualify for the state healthcare system. The other way to move to live in Canada as you approach retirement is to invest via the Immigrant Investor Programme. A visa granted under this scheme also allows you access to state healthcare.
If you do want to invest to emigrate however, you will need to commit CAD 400,000 to the country for a period of about 5 years and 2 months, at which point you will get your capital back, minus any interest payment. You also have to have a net worth of CAD 800,000 that can be proven to have been legally sourced too! Your money is used to create opportunities in Canada, and in exchange, you’re granted a visa to live in Canada in retirement. To explore all the visa options, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
The cost of living in Canada from the taxes to utilities, from every day groceries to eating out is slightly cheaper than in the UK on the whole. Real estate prices are also more favourable as long as you don’t decide to buy prime real estate in a major city! You can make your money go far further in Canada if you step off the beaten track and out of ‘commuterville.’
Canada is a popular choice with British expats of all ages…which means you’ll have instant access to potential friends and likeminded people who can help you settle in and make the most of your new life. Explore expat forums to find friends ahead of a move, and consider joining in with pre-planned social activities in your new community to enable you to build social contact and develop the friendship links which are so critical to us at every stage of life.
Remember that whilst the dream of living in a log cabin in the wilds of Canada may always have been your ideal, such a home may be inaccessible for large parts of the year – and certainly not ideal for a retiree who may find they need increased access to services and facilities in the towns and cities as they age! Perhaps such a dream can be lived out every year on holiday instead?
In terms of accessibility – Canada is regularly serviced with direct flights from the major airports in the UK. Flight prices are slashed outside of school and public holidays, and if you want to keep in close touch, become a frequent flyer with your favoured airline and collect bonuses and airmiles that should reduce the overall cost burden of your travel.
Whether you could be happier living in Canada is a very personal choice – the fact of the matter is however, it’s a country with a lot stacked in its favour. So, as a consideration, it’s certainly worthy of your research and perhaps an extended visit to see if you really could settle in and call it home.
Tue, February 21, 2012 at 02:48 AM
If you’re a Brit seeking to retire to Canada be aware that any pension you may get from the UK will be frozen. That is the penalty for being a Commonwealth country as opposed to members of the EU.