Retiring in Canada

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Canada is one of the best places in the world for retirees. With so many spectacular landscapes, laid back culture and high quality of life, the country is an excellent choice for individuals to spend their last years of living.

Why Retire in Canada?
In 2014, Canada was recognized by Financial Post as the No.14 best country to retiree. Canada scored 7.9 out of 10 for the health system, 6.9 for finances and 8.3 for quality of life. The country offers liberal social and economic policies, affordable real estate, and generally high quality of life.

Who are Qualified
In order to live in the country for more than six months per year, individuals must apply for permanent resident status. The downside for retirees is that the government prefers individuals who can work and support themselves. Finances play a huge role here. However, the good news is that people with high educational degree have better chances to qualify. Retired professors with PhD are very much welcomed. Savings also play a function. If the candidate demonstrates an ability to support himself and takes core of his/her family, the government may give him an opportunity.

Different Types of Visas
Citizens of the US, UK, Japan, Korea, France, Italy, Australia, Spain and several other European and Caribbean countries can visit Canada and stay there for less than 6 months, no visa required. Others need to apply for a visa. However, to live permanently in the country, for more than 6 months per year, individuals need a resident status.

  • Parent and grandparent visa – Individuals who have a child or grandchild living in Canada, can apply for this type of visa. They are eligible for Super visa, which allows them to live in the country for two years.
  • Visitor visa – Visitors can apply for one / multiple entry visa for Canada. This is a good option for those who want to experience Canada, before deciding to retiree there. This visa grants permission for 6 months, within one year period.
  • Family sponsorship – Individuals who have family member living in Canada, can ask them for sponsorship. The sponsor must agree to provide financial support. This allows individuals to obtain permanent status in Canada
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When to Apply to Retire in Canada
Those who want to spend their retirement years in Canada should plan ahead. Younger people, working individuals, and individuals with huge savings are favored by the government. It is best that prospective retirees apply for their resident status even before they have retired. Spending time in Canada also helps. Individuals get bonus points on their application for resident, but they also get to know Canada more, and get grasp of the lifestyle.

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Finding a Home for Retirees
Individuals coming to Canada can purchase or rent space if they are not using it. Non residents are subject to income tax laws issued by the Canadian government. Some of the taxes are:

  • Property transfer tax ? 1% of the first $200,000 of property’s market value, and additional 2% of the remaining market value of the property;
  • Goods and services tax ? 5% to the purchase price of newly constructed and renovated homes;
  • Property tax – In a situation when the seller has paid the property taxes for the full year, the buyer has to reimburse them.

When living in Canada for more than 182 consecutive days, individuals are considered residents and are subject for income tax purposes. The government in Canada helps newcomers to settle in their new home. There are several programs, loans, credits and other financial considerations for newcomers.

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