In the second part of this two-part series on advising snowbird clients, Terry Ritchie of Cardinal Point looks at four important items that should be on a snowbird’s checklist as they prepare to head south for the winter. First, get familiar with the residency requirements for healthcare benefits in your jurisdiction; some require specific minimum periods to be eligible for publicly funded health care when in Canada. Second, snowbirds should travel with a “border kit” that serves as proof that you’re a Canadian tax resident (click on the article link for specific documents to include). Third, Ritchie warns against attempting to time the currency market when converting cash. If you plan to make the cross-border lifestyle a long-term situation, make sure you have U.S. dollars hedged for that purpose. Finally, review your estate planning situation, as Canadians who die owning more than $60K in U.S. real estate and securities held personally require the executor to file a U.S. estate tax return.
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