Retiring Abroad

Q.1. What do I need to consider when thinking about retiring abroad?

There are permanent and seasonal international retirement concerns that you should be aware of when considering retiring abroad. You will be changing your social situation and lifestyle and may experience a sense of isolation and cultural shock. You will also need appropriate legal documents such as a passport and, in some cases, visa documents. Also, you will need to know what implications there are for such things as health care and taxes. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada offers advice and direction.

Q.2. What do I need to know about my residency status?

You are considered a factual resident of Canada for tax purposes if you keep residential ties with Canada while travelling or living abroad. Residential ties means keeping a home in Canada, having personal property in Canada such as a car or furniture or a spouse or dependents remain in Canada while you are abroad.

Q.3. How do I arrange for my pension to be paid to me?

You can arrange for direct bank deposit in the United States and a number of other countries overseas. You have to contact Service Canada to check the arrangements necessary.

Q.4. What tax implications are there when I choose to live abroad?

If you are considered a factual resident of Canada there are tax obligations that you still have in terms of paying taxes and claiming tax credits. Canada Revenue Agency has a pamphlet – T4131 that explains your obligations.

Q.5. What happens to my health care coverage?

If you seem to have left Canada permanently to live in another country full-time you will no longer have health insurance unless you have arranged for it in your new location. You should check with your appropriate provincial or territorial government to determine the details. If you are considering seasonal international retirement, you need to make sure that any existing health issues do not prevent you from travelling abroad. For example, you may need to wait a set period of time following surgery or some other medical intervention.