Q for Canadians in the US


Hey fellow Canadians in the US,

Curious to know if you’re planning on retiring here in the US or to go back to Canada at any point? I am having a hard time finding info on cross-border retirement planning.

I’m assuming from an exchange rate and health care perspective that there are benefits to retiring back home, but I haven’t scratched the surface on how that would work from an investment income/social security standpoint.

Has anyone looked into this? I’m broadly assuming that it would make sense to become a Canadian resident again once we retire and then just do the snowbird thing to avoid the winters.

Would love to dig into this if anyone has resources, blog posts or knowledge of any kind. I have zero ideas how to approach this.



Now here’s a post I’ll need to follow. Moved to the US in the past two years (I’m now 51). Left my RRSPs in place in Canada, and my wife and I both have some defined benefit pension money there.
The health care issue does make it look good to retire back there.


@SteveB, great to meet you! So many questions, not enough answers :slight_smile:
I think I’ll have to start doing my own research here and perhaps a blog series.

Ultimately, I see retirement in Canada is a better bet from a healthcare standpoint (and a bump in net worth with the dollar conversion), but I’m sure there’s a lot more to unpack there.


If you want to maintain your Canadian health insurance and retire in the US< then you have to reside in your province for four to six months depending on the province> Although your visitor visa to US as Canadian allows you to stay in the US for up to six months of the year you need to file taxes> From IRS perspective you a resident if you stay more than four months>
Hope this helps > https://wp.me/p9yqNy-3C


I’m not sure if I will return to Canada! Having spent the majority of my adult life in the US, it makes sense to stay here where I’ve built up my friends and life.

Interesting topic, though! I do know that as a US tax resident, you can withdraw from your RRSP without double taxation. The same is unfortunately not true for an RESP - I had to pay double taxes as a student in the US, simply because the US treats the RESP as a foreign trust and doesn’t recognize its special status. This basically wiped out the gains from contributing to the RESP :frowning:


the moment u become non resident of Canada, you’re better off cashing everything out because u have to pay departure tax anyway - that means IRS will charge capital gain tax on all your assets as if you sold them on the day of departure whether u sold it or not. This is excluded on your primary dwelling and registered accounts, but would apply on everything else - i.e. an investment property or your non registered security accounts.

So if you are older and have a lot of assets accumulated already, that’s like selling everything u have at once and is a big hit on you if you have a lot of unrealized capital gains. For older people with accumulated wealth, better to be a snow bird, or sell your assets gradually over a few years if u plan to move to US for good in the future. This way you won’t be hit capital gain taxes all at once which also pushes your taxable income up if you had a job that year.

Moving to the US is great when you’re young, broke, and have low opportunity cost for more career opportunities to work for start ups and Fortune 500. Why would you want to give up your universal health care in your older years vs paying $1000 a month out of pocket premiums in the US?



I wish we had this conversation 12 years ago when I first moved here! I have just over 100k in Rrsps and cash in Canada. It sounds like I’m better off leaving it up there.

As for your question about giving up healthcare… the sun and 75 degree weather in feb :ok_hand:


Just curious, how did u end up south and which city are you in now?
I am planning to retire in so cal.