Best places to retire in Canada for low budget snowbirds
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Thread: Best places to retire in Canada for low budget snowbirds

  1. #1
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    Best places to retire in Canada for low budget snowbirds

    OK, let's get this over with - I am a uncommitted wandering middle-aged male who just happens to have been born in Canada, has had tenuous connections to Canada for over 25 years, and is reluctantly remaining until I am rich enough to permanently leave. Might never happen. My purpose here is not to get into a moral debate about nationalism, but to discuss practical solutions for others in the same situation as I am. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks and acts this way.

    Moving on...

    Where is the best place in Canada to live on a budget of under $1200 in passive State income? Better under $800. Even $650 (no GIS). Plus have few limitations to one operating a little unregulated business for extras. I won't just be watching the clock until I can leave. I intend to be economically productive if my health allows.

    Context - I am talking about only half the year in Canada -- obviously the warmest months. Could be a small city or even a town. I am not a wilderness kind of guy, though I have thought about being a lighthouse-keeper.

    Everybody is going to have their own wishlist, so tell me yours.

    For me it is, in order of priority...

    1. Cheap: None of this $900 a month for a bachelor apartment. Subsidized housing maybe (I am creating a whole thread on this). In GVRD transportation is expensive, although maybe at 65 I can get a senior's all-zone bus pass. Currently, I have to pay $91 in Vancouver for *one zone*. $170 for a three zoner! So I walk and when I have to take the bus I use my stored value Compass card so rides are $2.10 instead of cash of $2.75.

    2. Vegetarian-friendly: Able to grow my own veggies or lots of food banks with produce. Arctic would be good for a long growing season. Lower Mainland of BC has enough rain to grow greens but I do get tired of the slugs and wet shoes. Places like New Westminster with its Salvation Army have plenty of food banks. It's basically Hobo Paradise. This also means a lot of drug addicts and mentally ill. Trade offs, trade offs...

    3. Good weather: One summer each in Toronto and Manhattan taught me that that hot and sticky part of the world is not for me. Summers hot but not humid would be ideal. Some breeze would be nice. The thing that gets to me about GVRD is it drizzles for months. In Singapore and Malaysia it pours dramatically then dries out half an hour later. I prefer the rainy season of West Bengal or Sikkim (I was in Calcutta and Gangtok for their monsoon and dealt with the flooding better than eternal cloudy skies of depressing Vancouver). Calgary -- I loved the hail storms of summer, but it was actually too sunny. I was always squinting my blue eyes. Where is the 'sweet spot' in Canada for agreeable weather?

    4. Business friendly: Not a depressed economy, so I can operate a seasonal business or get a part-time job. Maybe a place catering to tourists. But that'll mean higher cost of living. Hmm, trade offs again. I know that the flavour of the decade is 'internet businesses that can be operated from anywhere'. I am not convinced. I like brick and mortar with human contact. I'd prefer to not live on handouts.

    5. College or university town: Can take courses and maybe meet some women not my own age (I don't like bars etc)

    6. Cultural: historic buildings, live theatre, film and music festivals, etc

    7. Cosmopolitan but English-speaking: Where I live in GVRD the languages I hear the most are about equally English plus Chinese, Korean, Farsi, Russian and increasingly Arabic. I'd like to live somewhere in Canada where the demographic is more native language English-speaking. I'll bet Quebec is more Anglo-friendly than GVRD!

    8. Religious: I prefer to be near a large Buddhist or Orthodox Christian population. I am actually secular but love religious festivals and parades. I have no problem with plenty of Hindu and Sikh Temples either. Lots of Catholic churches would be fine too.


  2. #2
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    Good thread. For me, which cities have 1,3,6 & 7 above.?...the other wants...eeeeeeh?

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    Context - I am talking about only half the year in Canada -- obviously the warmest months. Could be a small city or even a town
    Actually, it's my plans too , but my wife just partially agrees with me .
    1. IMHO, the best place to live cheap will be NB or NS. Those province also mostly "white", have pretty nice summer, English-speaking...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibor365 View Post
    Actually, it's my plans too , but my wife just partially agrees with me .
    1. IMHO, the best place to live cheap will be NB or NS. Those province also mostly "white", have pretty nice summer, English-speaking...
    Mr. Gibor,

    I couldn't care less about colour of skin. A town of Jamaicans would suit me fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HermesHermes View Post
    Mr. Gibor,

    I couldn't care less about colour of skin. A town of Jamaicans would suit me fine.
    Then maybe you better move to Jamaica , almost all you criteria will met

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibor365 View Post
    Actually, it's my plans too , but my wife just partially agrees with me .
    1. IMHO, the best place to live cheap will be NB or NS. Those province also mostly "white", have pretty nice summer, English-speaking...
    But have dreary, wet winters. There is no place in Canada that has as much agreeable weather that the OP wants.

    Not to appear biased, but the BC Okanagan Valley might be a best fit for climate. Winters not too cold (but often grey) with snow typically only from early Dec to end of Feb, summers hot (but semi-arid and not humid). There are little towns like Oliver and Osoyoos that would have the cheapest housing (than that further north). But no college girls (what does a middle aged guy want with college girls anyway....or better yet, why would they want you)? Maybe sunseeker/beachgoer tourists in the summer will do? Best I can tell, these towns are pretty much white and Engish too.

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    But have dreary, wet winters. There is no place in Canada that has as much agreeable weather that the OP wants.

    Not to appear biased, but the BC Okanagan Valley might be a best fit for climate.
    From what I understand , OP cares only about 6 months around summer . BC Okanagan has good mountains not too far, NB/NS - nice ocean (Bay of Fundy etc)... . If other 6 months OP is planning to go to Europe, NB/NS is more convenient.
    Are BC Okanagan Valley is cheaper then NB/NS?

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    You forgot to add access to good medical care. In some places the hospital emergency department is only open a few days a week (Nova Scotia's rural areas). What if you need cataract surgery? Will you need to drive 8 hours to a main city?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsPartridge View Post
    You forgot to add access to good medical care. In some places the hospital emergency department is only open a few days a week (Nova Scotia's rural areas). What if you need cataract surgery? Will you need to drive 8 hours to a main city?
    Actually just on Monday I had lens replacement surgery at Bochner with Raymond Stein . In case of such surgery, the best clinics are in Toronto, Bochner and Herzog, your waiting time is 2-4 months, so you can just fly to Toronto and stay in Hotel for couple of days.
    And why are you speaking about rural areas?! You may live in major cities like Moncton, St Johns or Fredericton . Also, all those cities have Universities

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    A friend who liked to 'smoke' and he liked other things too.. he had to speed with his motorcycle in downtown Kingston due to high crime. And I mean violent crime. I have never had any problem with Jamaicans in Canada. Very hard-working people. Remember the 'In Living Colour' skit of the stewardess having three jobs?

    I forgot about crime rate.


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