I pay American property tax. I depend on their health care system when I need it. I support U.S. charities. I shop in the U.S. I spur on the local economy as much as I can. I respect American ways, the flag, the veterans. I follow the rules and way of life every time I'm there. I am no longer a visitor to the USA. I am part of the national tapestry.
Last week, Canadian government plans for keeping better track of people coming and going from the U.S. were revealed. The driving purpose for the increased scrutiny will save the government millions of dollars in social benefits on those who shouldn't receive them because they are out of the country.
Under the FATCA rules, financial institutions are obligated to provide the IRS with information about accounts and holdings of U.S. citizens. Basically, the IRS is trying to make sure you are not hiding money overseas though Canada is hardly a tax haven. But there is more to this overreaching legislation that just tracking down deadbeat U.S. citizens.
Every year around this time, Canadian snowbirds flock south to Florida. With so many great things to do and places to see along the way (think Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia), we decided to take a week to make the journey at least as much fun as the destination. It's not hard to do.
In the coming month, close to a half million Canadian snowbirds, will seek out new homes in the southern United States. While the promise of a gentler environment is obvious, there are risks with the semi-annual migration. The lack of a freezing season means a number of pests thrive throughout the year including the ever annoying mosquito.
Those in the market for snowbird condominiums or other properties south of the border need to buy what it is they can afford and can make them happy, without their estate plans at the forefront of their mind. However, it's important not to be naïve in these cross-border property purchases, in order to ensure assets pass on in a meaningful way.
I have been living "the good life" in Mexico for just over six weeks now. I love it, and I am seriously considering moving here for good.We always hear that Canadians are the nicest people in the world, and although I believe that to be an accurate statement, the Mexican people sure give us a run for our money.