Canada is fast becoming a top destination for expats to move to when retiring. The Great White North attracts many expats each year as it is well-known to be a very safe and friendly country, and well-suited to those who are looking for a relaxed lifestyle, lots of open space, and a relatively low cost of living in comparison to other developed countries.
Canada is a vast country, so of course living expenses do depend on whereabouts you decide to settle, but the average overall cost for living expenses is very attractive for expats who want to enjoy their retirement, and live well and comfortably. The Human Development Report consistently lists Canada among the top 10 countries in the world to live in, largely due to the fact that the balance between quality of life and the cost of living is excellent.
Finding a Home in Canada
Take, for example, housing. Houses are extremely affordable in Canada compared to other developed countries – the average house price is around seven times the average annual wage. This means that many retired folks moving to Canada are able to use the funds from selling their houses back in their home countries, to purchase a house in Canada with no mortgage. Much of the time, they’ll find themselves with excess funds to live on. Renting a house is also an easy process in Canada, and the rental market is well regulated.
Another reason Canada is so attractive to retirees is the country’s high standard of healthcare, which is very accessible and extremely well-run. Canada’s healthcare system is operated provincially, and funded with taxpayer’s money from residents, with extra funding from the federal government. However, expats thinking of settling in Canada for their retirement years should be aware that they may not have access to free healthcare for their first three months living in the country, and that private healthcare will be required for that time. Many retirees do choose to take out private health insurance anyway for their time in Canada, as this type of insurance is relatively affordable here – and it can help people beat long waiting times that sometimes occur in the public healthcare sector.
A final note of caution; if Canada sounds like a dream retirement destination, one thing that may be a potential setback is obtaining a visa. Right now, there are no formal retirement visas available for Canada, and the only guaranteed ways of moving there permanently are to gain sponsorship from a relative living in the country, or apply for an investment visa. Visa situations do change however, so if your dream is to make international removals to Canada keep an eye on the news!