With thousands of Canadians heading south for the winter each year, many of these individuals, referred to as “snowbirds,” face unique and challenging U.S. tax and financial planning considerations. Crossing the border, spending time in the U.S., and engaging in various financial transactions have legal and tax implications both in Canada and the U.S.
The Canadian Snowbird in America covers the U.S. tax filing requirements based on seasonal residency in the U.S. and the U.S. tax issues related to the renting and sale of U.S. real estate. Information related to the acquisition and financing of U.S. real estate is also covered.
The Canadian Snowbird in America provides a comprehensive overview on financial management issues including the implications of opening U.S. bank and investment accounts, the management of Canadian investment and registered accounts, cross-border retirement planning and foreign exchanges issues. Readers will learn strategies to deal with a fluctuating loonie. Snowbirds will gain valuable insight into how and what their provincial health plans cover while they are in the U.S. Understanding what to look for in a travel insurance policy is covered as well.
Incorporating recent changes in the Canada–U.S. Income Tax Treaty and U.S. income and estate tax rules, this book is an invaluable resource for Canadians who spend time or invest in the United States. If you are a Canadian looking at adopting a temporary lifestyle in the U.S., you cannot afford to head south for the winter without this book.
About the authors
Terry F. Ritchie is a financial advisor well versed in addressing snowbird issues. A resident of Canada and the U.S., he is the only financial advisor to hold the Canadian Registered Financial Planner (RFP), U.S. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations and to be enrolled to practise before the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as an Enrolled Agent (EA). He is a partner in the firm of Transition Financial Advisors with offices in Canada and the U.S.
Excerpt: The Canadian Snowbird in America: Professional Tax and Financial Insights into Temporary Lifestyles in the U.S. (by (author) Terry F. Wruk & Brian D. Wruk)
Every year hundreds of thousands of Canadians cross into the U.S. seeking warmer climates during those cold Canadian winters. These individuals are collectively referred to as “snowbirds.” If you’ve purchased this book, it’s likely because you, or someone you know, is a snowbird. Some of you may already be familiar with some of the unique financial, income, and estate tax issues that you face in the U.S., and this book will prove to be a valuable resource for you. For others, this book will provide you with the detailed information you need to help you navigate the slippery slope of becoming a snowbird.
According to the Royal Bank of Canada, over 1.5 million Canadians head south for the winter for a minimum of at least two months. The Canadian Snowbird Association suggests that more than 750,000 Canadian snowbirds head to the southern United States each winter for an average of 4.7 months. Regardless of which number it is or for how long, that’s a lot of “birds flying south” for the winter.
While in the U.S., you will likely participate in financial transactions involving U.S. dollars. You might, for example, purchase a house or condominium in Arizona, Florida, California, Texas, or Hawaii. You might reside in it for a few months of the year, rent it out at other times, and hopefully sell it at a profit in the future — and in U.S. dollars! Some of you might get sick or suffer an accident while in the U.S. Unfortunately, some of you might pass away owning U.S. assets and have to pay the dreaded U.S. estate tax. It alone can compromise your retirement savings and in turn the future lifestyle of a surviving spouse. In addition, the confusion among family members that can arise in such circumstances can be mind-boggling and, in our experience, lead to hasty decisions with long-term effects.
Crossing the border, spending time in the U.S., and engaging in various financial transactions carry legal and tax implications both in Canada and in the U.S. The tax laws are distinctly different between the two countries. Becoming more aware of the financial, immigration, health care, tax planning, and estate planning issues that you will face allows you to make the most of your snowbird lifestyle.
Having practiced in the areas of Canada-U.S. financial and transition planning for many years and having written about the unique financial planning requirements of Canadians and Americans in both countries (see our companion books The Canadian in America: Real Life Tax and Financial Insights into Moving and Living in the U.S. and The American in Canada: Real Life Tax and Financial Insights into Moving and Living in Canada, both published by ECW Press), we thought a book specifically written for the needs of snowbirds was required.
It is not uncommon for us to work with snowbirds who ultimately decide to pursue their dream of permanent residence in the U.S. either through meeting and marrying a U.S. citizen or through potential U.S. immigration planning strategies. We hope this book is a good starting point for whatever type of lifestyle (temporary or permanent) you desire in the U.S. We have tried to cover the most common financial, immigration, tax, and estate planning issues that you will face as a snowbird.
“This book will definitely appeal to that segment of the Canadian population that travels south regularly. If you are among those people, consider The Canadian Snowbird in America to be required reading.” — Scene Magazine
“A valuable guide for Canadians who spend time or invest in the United States.” — StarPhoenix
“A good resource for financial planning advice on cross-border issues.” — Vancouver Sun
Other titles by Brian D. Wruk
The Canadian in America, Revised
Real-Life Tax and Financial Insights into Moving to and Living in the U.S.
The American in Canada, Revised
Real-Life Tax and Financial Insights into Moving to and Living in Canada — Updated and Revised Second Edition
The American in Canada
Real-Life Tax and Financial Insights into Moving and Living in Canada
The Canadian in America
Real-Life Tax and Financial Insights Into Moving and Living in the U.S.