Why choose Canada as a retirement destination?
When choosing a retirement destination, Canada has many things to offer when it comes to living out a comfortable retirement, like inexpensive housing in most cities, low crime rates, culture diversity, Universal Healthcare and much more. Here are 5 reasons to consider a move.
1. Universal Healthcare
While Canada's healthcare system is far from perfect (extended wait times for diagnostic tests is one of the main complaints up north), the taxpayer-funded system places far less of a monetary problem on individuals. People who immigrate to Canada become eligible to use the country's universal healthcare system once they apply for, and receive permanent resident status. (Permanent residents are citizens of other countries who reside most of the year in Canada.)
2. Cultural Similarities
An estimated 75% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border. You will find that many Canadians watch American television shows, may even cheer for American sports teams and definitely follow American politics. They also eat at American restaurants, such as McDonald's and Applebees, and shop at American chain stores – from Wal-Mart to Costco. Outside of the province of Quebec (and a few other areas), where French is the dominant language, everyone speaks English. Culturally speaking, Canadians recognize all ethnic groups within our society and celebrate every culture unique differences.
3. Low-cost Prescription Drugs
Although the working Canadians tend to pay high taxes in Canada, Seniors do not. In Ontario, Canada's most populous province, seniors age 65 and over qualify for the?Ontario Drug Benefit Program. Under its present program, seniors pay the first $100 of their prescription medication each year (known as a deductible. After that, they pay no more than $6.11 to have a prescription filled (known as a co-payment). Seniors who are considered "low income" typically have the costs of prescription drugs waived entirely. As with universal healthcare, permanent residents of Canada are eligible to participate in Canada's pharmacare programs.
4. Affordable Housing
While some major urban centers in Canada like Vancouver and Toronto, have high housing prices. You will find throughout the rest of the country, real estate is quite reasonable and among the most affordable housing prices in the country. The process to purchase property in Canada is relatively straightforward and the country has a stable banking system.
5. Close Proximity to the U.S.
As previously mentioned, 3/4 of Canada's population resides within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Look at a map of Canada, and you'll see that most major centers hug the U.S. border. This proximity helps to explain why many Canadians hop over the border to go shopping or fill their cars up with gas (depending on the fluctuating exchange rate, of course). The close proximity means that retirees who choose to settle in Canada can easily visit loved ones who may live the United States, and often without having to endure long flights or pay high air fares.
Retirees who are looking for a comfortable retirement, and to save money on some of the biggest expenses seniors face, should consider Canada as an option. From affordable healthcare to inexpensive housing, Canada has a lot to offer. While it is true that winters can be harsh north of the border, you can follow the examples of many older Canadians and spend December through April in the States such as Florida, Arizona, California or Mexico.