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Why Not Consider Retiring to Canada?

Retiring abroad is a lifelong dream for thousands of people from all around the world and from many different walks of life. The idea of living somewhere exotic or completely different from your home country and surrounded by beautiful countryside is certainly appealing. However the reality of moving abroad can often seem complicated and overwhelming; in fact, it is the sheer volume of red tape involved in retiring abroad that often puts many people off and stops them from following that dream. Canada is a beautiful country and ranked as one of the very best countries in the world to live: it’s no wonder that so many people choose it as their retirement destination. Canada is the country of glorious lush green summers and long snow filled winters, friendly people and an all-round fantastic way of life. Thinking of choosing Canada as your retirement destination? Here are a few hints and tips:

Timing is Everything

If you’ve decided that Canada is the country you’d like to live in during your retirement then planning ahead is key and choosing your timing carefully is everything.  Because Canada is so popular with relocating expats, and they receive thousands of applications every year, they tend to look more favorably on applicants that are still in the work force and able to active contribute to their society. Therefore, it may be worth applying for your visas and planning your relocation between five and ten years before you reach retirement age in order to increase your likelihood of having your application accepted. In fact, the applicants that are looked upon most favorably are those aged under 49. Bear in mind that the Canadian visa application process can be a lengthy one and in the most extreme cases it could take upwards of a year or two before your application is either accepted or declined.

living in canada

Think About The Money

Moving abroad is a huge financial decision and the financial implications of taking the plunge and going ahead with a move to Canada should be carefully considered. Aside from the obvious financial arrangements, such as opening a Canadian bank account, you will also need to consider what you will do with your savings; it is most sensible to transfer these to your Canadian bank account, and this may even be a condition of your visa approval, but many expats do prefer the security of leaving a nest egg in a UK based financial institution, as a form of backup plan should something go wrong in their new home country. Finally, the most important financial consideration if you are retiring to Canada is what will happen to your pension plans. You will be able to choose to have both your state and private pensions paid into your new Canadian bank account with no financial penalty. However you should note that your state pension won’t go up each year as it would if you stayed in the UK because effectively you won’t be increasing the amount that you are putting into the communal pension pot. This is particularly important to bear in mind if you decide to move to Canada before you retire in order to stand a better chance of receiving a visa, because it means that you will receive a smaller state pension benefit and it will be much more important to have a good level of private pension coverage.

Healthcare Considerations

Finally, it’s important to think about your health care provisions no matter where you choose to retire, as health problems tend to increase as we age and therefore we tend to require increased levels of medical assistance. Once of the main benefits of retiring to Canada then is that they have a free national healthcare system, similar to the UK’s NHS. Once you receive your visa you are able to apply for a health insurance card and be comfortable in the knowledge that your health care needs will be taken care of when you move.

Canada is a truly wonderful place to live and a beautiful place to spend your retirement. If you’re thinking of retiring abroad but can’t decide where you’d like to go then Canada is certainly a destination worth consideration.

This is a freelance article sent in by site reader Sally Harding