SNOWBIRDS AND PERMANENT RESIDENCY
Moving to Florida from Canada
Understanding what’s involved…
In recent years, we’ve witnessed a marked change in seniors’ attitude towards retirement. Gone are the days when retirement life was associated with what one would call, the typical quiet lifestyle. Post retirement, today’s seniors want to live an active and enjoyable lifestyle and celebrate every moment of their golden year period.
Most 55+ adults hate the idea of submitting to the stereotypical local retirement community model. Shovelling snow and spending day after day watching television or playing card games just to pass the time is not high on their wish list. For most active retirees, travelling south, moving to Florida from Canada and settling here seems like a much better plan.
Many Canadians have adopted this new attitude towards retirement. There’s a substantial number of Canadian snowbirds that flock to Florida at the onset of autumn. As the temperature dips to zero degrees and winter becomes unbearable, the Sunshine State may be just what you’re looking for.
Being a snowbird in Florida is a good idea and happens to be quite practical for many Canadians, but considering long-term residency or permanent residency in Florida may turn out to be an even better move. The reasons are obvious, pleasant weather year round, wonderful retirement communities, marvellous golf courses, lush palm trees and pristine beaches are just some of the many benefits. Many Canadians like yourself have made Florida their permanent home and haven’t looked back since.
Additional Facts to Consider
Moving to Florida from Canada is a big step that needs proper planning and insight. There are a number of factors Canadians must consider before moving to Florida. Though it seems exciting at first, settling abroad is far more complex than simply planning a vacation holiday. The first thing to take into account when considering a move to another country is taxes. Different countries have different tax structures and may or may not have bilateral tax agreements with Canada. The United States has a specific system which you’ll need to adhere to, you’ll need to understand all of the implications pertaining to your personal taxes, your assets, real-estate, as well as current investments. Discuss your retirement destination options with a tax specialist who’s aware of the tax arrangements in the country you’re considering as a retirement destination.
Another important factor that retirees must consider is their TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) which is not bound to their income. If you become a non-resident, there’s a cap on the contributions you can make instead of the current maximum of $5,500 per year.
Besides tax issues, retirees need to consider health and medical services and associated costs, financial and political security and the culture of the intended country. Having considered every important issue before making such a move will likely entail fewer surprises later on. To get a better understanding of the implications at hand, we suggest talking with a financial advisor and discussing all of the important issues before making any decision. Receiving practical advice and guidance will help you make any move easier and more enjoyable in the process.
Also important is local U.S. agents who cater particularly to Canadians. These professionals can help you navigate cross-border financing and tax issues. Whether you’re planning to buy property in the U.S. or to help ease financial and tax-related issues, it’s a wise decision to consult professionals who understand every aspect you’ll need to address.
These are all important points that Canadians must take into account while considering a move to Florida. Once the important issues are resolved, you’ll get to live an exciting and fulfilling new life chapter in Florida.
Getting started, what comes next…
Once you’ve decided to move to our 55+ adult living and retirement community in West Palm Beach, Florida, it’s appropriate that you create a checklist, start listing what needs to be done right away.
Some of the most important things you’ll need to address as you move to to Palm Lake co-op will involve updating your vehicle registration, your drivers license and all that has to do with your home’s public services… Electrical, utility, cable and so on.
Palm Beach County offers various government services for its residents, which are made available through the Clerk & Comptroller. The Clerk & Comptroller delivers a number of services such as civil and criminal court information, bail bonds, boating and fishing citations, traffic citations, marriage licences, adoptions, jury service, parking, passports, and many other legal inquiries.
Register Your Vehicle
As you relocate to Florida, you are required to register your vehicle within ten days and get a Florida driver licence within 30 days. The Orange County Department of Motor Vehicles focuses on vehicle registration, licences and tags for all motor vehicles you drive, including cars, boats, motorcycles, trucks, RVs and more.
In case you have an out-of-state driver’s licence and it has not expired beyond 30 days, you can convert your current licence without taking a new written or road test.
If you need a driver’s licence for the first time, it is mandatory to complete a Florida DMV approved four-hour Drug and Alcohol (DATA) course and DMV test on road signs and road rules.
Before registering your vehicle, it is compulsory to get Florida Auto Insurance and have your vehicle’s VIN verified. The auto insurance must be purchased from an insurance company licensed by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
Public Services: Telephone, Internet, Gas and Electricity
When initially settling into your home at Palm Lake co-op, these services are provided by the Co-op. All you need to do is start living your new life and take advantage of the facilities offered by your new community.