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Why 90% of retirees live close to home

Posted by on Oct 16, 2011 in Moneyville, Retirement | 0 comments

By Sheryl Smolkin

Read this article and comments at Moneyville.ca 

I must confess that when I read moneyville articles like Our 9-acre, 3 br, Florida home cost $360,000 andWe bought an Arizona dream home for 60 % off cashing in our chips and retiring somewhere warm is very alluring.

But we will probably be among the 90 per cent of Canadians who prefer spending their golden years close to home.

The BMO Retirement Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out where Canadians plan to spend their retirement. While many Canadians talk about living abroad during retirement, the reality is very different. Canadians prefer to stay close to home, with just over 10 per cent of survey respondents stating they would relocate outside of Canada.

For those planning to retire south of the border, Florida and Arizona are still the most popular choices. Of those who don’t plan to leave Canada, British Columbians are most likely to stay in their own province. Meanwhile, residents of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are more inclined to move, and many of them also view B.C. as a retirement mecca.

Survey respondents ranked housing costs, health care facilities in the community, proximity to family and taxes as the top considerations when deciding on a retirement location. Frequent costly travel to visit family and increasingly expensive health insurance are also important issues they factor into their relocation decisions.

In our case, family and community are definitely the deal breakers. My husband was born and bred in Toronto and with the exception of my brother and son in B.C., all of our families are in Ontario. We are also very involved in our wonderful synagogue and the Toronto arts scene.

However, as the days get shorter and the temperature plunges, I can’t wait for our annual winter vacation. And I’m sure that we will want to visit warmer places for longer periods of time each winter in the years to come. But I also know that home is where my heart is, and for the foreseeable future I can’t imagine it being anywhere but in Canada.

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