Let’s face it. Canadian winters can be long, hard and…cold! While winter is great when we’re young, it starts to wear us down a little as we get older. The endless shovelling, scraping ice off the car, hazardous driving, and frigid temperatures make winter seem like it’s never going to end. Many people take a week or two to escape to a sunny destination, but…what if you had months of sunshine and warmth to look forward to every year?!
Flocking to the south has been a widespread trend with retirees for many years. While Florida used to be the number one destination for snowbirds, other spots such as California, Arizona, Texas and South Carolina are also popular. In Canada, we’re allowed to live in the USA for up to 6 months each year (182 days maximum) without having to give up our health care or file income taxes in the States. Imagine having your own little space near the beach, playing golf, having a late-night swim in the pool, and meeting new people? Sounds pretty perfect, doesn’t it? If being a snowbird is a retirement dream of yours, let’s have a closer look at the key information you need to know about and what you need to start financially planning now to live your retirement dreams within ten years as a snowbird.
Beyond the cost of your new sunny accommodations, you’ll need to plan ahead for other expenses that can really impact your lifestyle and budget. These include:
Management and upkeep of your current home and bills during the months you are away
Medical/travel insurance – Whether you’re in great health or not, you’ll need medical coverage when you are down south
Vehicle(s) – will you drive your vehicle down, rent one, or buy one there?
Furnishing your new home – you’ll now have two homes that require furniture, appliances, etc.
The exchange rate – While some things in the US cost less than in Canada, it’s important to factor in money lost due to the exchange rate
Planning for emergency trips home – Life happens, so you may need to fly home to Canada for a family member in need, a funeral, issue with your home and so on
Learning what you’ll be up against long before you make your winter escape is an essential part of your retirement plan. The more you know and prepare, the more you’ll be able to breathe easier knowing you’ve got all your financial bases covered.
Turning that snowbird dream into reality
The best way to make your retirement goals come true is to start planning, ideally at least 10 years before you retire. You’ll need to assess your current finances including your business assets and your investment portfolio to see what type of income you’ll have down the road. You’ll also need to have a solid strategy to grow your wealth too.
Becoming a snowbird and enjoying warm, sunny winters down south doesn’t have to be just a fantasy – it can be your reality! Speak with me, Darryl Smith, and let’s chart out your best course of action. Call Synergy Life Financial today at (705)-424-0562; it’s my job to help you develop a custom retirement plan that works for you.
If you want to get started right away, be sure to find out if there are any gaps in your current retirement plan. To get a free financial snapshot and overall idea of what your existing retirement plan looks like, take 15 minutes to complete this quick questionnaire? It will help you identify areas of your plan that will need attention today to avoid any surprises from popping up unexpectantly during retirement.