Is it cheaper to retire in Canada or the United

I am resending this old question out again because of an unusual phone call today which asked the same question.
I am an American citizen and my wife is a Dual American/Canadian Citizen.  
  1.. She wants us to retire to Vancouver Island and I would like to know what our tax position will be.
Our income will be (in US dollars) 
My US Social Security will be about                                                              $14,000
My Wife's US social Security will be about                                                      $7,000
My wife's Canadian CPP and OAS will be about                                             $3,000 US 
I have a company pension which will be about                                                $10,000
we should have close to $12,000 US a year from Interest and Dividends        $12,000
There is rarely any capital gains 
We will therefore have a combined income of about $46,000 US                    $46,000 US
We live in Mendocino, California now  - I am 64 and my wife is 63.
david ingram replies:
My Canadian readers will not like this answer but here goes:
1.    From the figures you have given me, by filing a joint return and taking a standard deduction for you as if you were both 65, your US federal tx would be a mere $553.00 US dollars
2.    Your California tax would be Nil, Zero, Nothing
Canada does not have a joint tax return and the incomes have to be split as follows.
Your income (in Canadian Dollars at the 2003 exchange rate of 1.401462 rate is as follows:
Husband    Company pension     $10,000 US        $14,014.62 Cdn
                  Social security            $14,000            $19620.46 Cdn
            less 15% exempt                                        - 2943.07
                taxable social secutiry                             $16677.39 Cdn
                Interest                           $3,000             $ 4204.39
                Dividends                       $3,000                4204.39 Cdn
Total taxable  income for Canada  equals            $39,100.         
Total Tax payable in Canada  equals                     $6,934.39 Cdn or about $4,947 US
Wife         Canadian Pension plans about                    4,204.39
                US social Security 85% taxable                  8,338.69
                 Interest                           $3,000             $ 4,204.39 
                Dividends                       $3,000                  4,204.39 Cdn
Total Taxable in Canada equals                              $20,951.87
Total Tax payable in Canada equals about               $ 1,824.87 or about $1,302.12 US
In addition, you would have to pay about $1380 BC medical or                 $984.69 US
For a total of about                                                                                    $7,234.77 US
less the $553 which was owing to the US                                                    -   553.01
Extra Tax and Medicare paid to Canada equals about                                 $6,681.77
Of course, quality of life and cost of living also enter the picture.
You are in one of my favourite areas.  I would love to retire to Mendicino County and Mendocino itself in particular.
However, the cost of living in Mendicino is likely 25% higher than the cost of living in Vancouver, 50% higher than the cost of living in Sooke, BC and 75% higher (just my guess) than it would be in Port Alberni.
Good luck
david ingram
Answers to this and other similar  questions can be obtained free on Air every Sunday morning.
Every Sunday at 9:00 AM on 600AM in Vancouver, Fred Snyder of Cartier Partners and I will be hosting an INFOMERCIAL but LIVE talk show called "ITS YOUR MONEY"
Those outside of the Lower Mainland will be able to listen on the internet at 
Local phone calls to (604) 280-0600 - Long distance calls to 1-866-778-0600. 
Old shows are archived at the site.
This from ask an income tax immigration planning and bankruptcy expert consultant guru or preparer  from or or Canadian David Ingram deals daily with tax returns dealing with expatriate:
multi jurisdictional cross and trans border expatriate gambling refunds for the United States, Canada Mexico Great Britain the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, South Africa,  Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Antarctica,  Japan, China, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Bangkok, Greenland, Iceland, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada,, Virgin Islands, US, UK, GB, American and Canadian and Mexican and any of the 43 states with state tax returns, etc.
income tax wizard wizzard guru advisor advisors experts  specialist specialists  consultants taxmen taxman tax woman planner planning  
preparer of Alaska,  Alabama,  Arkansas,  Arizona, 
 California Denver  Colorado, Connecticut,  
Delaware District of Columbia Miami  Florida, 
Garland Georgia,  Honolulu Hawaii,  Idaho,  Illinois,
 Indiana Des Moines Iowa  Kansas  Kentucky, 
 Louisiana  Bangor Maine  Maryland  Boston, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,  
Mississippi,  Missouri,  Montana,  Nebraska,  
Nevada, New Hampshire,  New Jersey, 
New Mexico,New York, North Carolina,  
North Dakota,  Ohio,  Oklahoma,  Oregon. 
Paris,  Rome, Sydney, Australia Hilton
Pennsylvania,  Rhode Island,  Rockwall, 
South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee,  
Texas,  Utah, Vermont,  Virginia, 
West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, 
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, 
Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec City, 
New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, 
Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Yukon and 
Northwest and Nunavit Territories,  
Mount Vernon, Eumenclaw, Coos Bay 
and Dallas Houston Rockwall Garland 
Texas  Taxman and Tax Guru  and wizzard 
wizard -
 David Ingram's US/Canada Services
US/Canada/Mexico Tax Immigration & working Visa Specialists
US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
4466 Prospect Road (Personal residence by appointment only please)
North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
Calls accepted from 10 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week
Res (604) 980-3578 Cell (604) 657-8451
Bus (604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980- 0325
davidingram at
Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader & the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent financial, or real estate planner or advisor & appropriately qualified legal practitioner, tax or immigration specialist in connection with personal or business affairs such as at 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...


Trackback URL for this entry:

No trackback comments for this entry.