Snowbirds: financial checklist before you fly south
Are you heading south to escape our cold winter? Here’s a checklist to help ensure you enjoy a worry-free stay and a warm welcome home.
Bank on a smooth experience
- Check that your accounts are in order and renew any expiring credit cards.
- Ensure your U.S. dollar bank account is up to date and you know your access codes. Talk to me if you don’t have one. They can help you avoid potentially costly transaction fees.
- Set up auto-payments for things like property taxes or credit cards, and set up a regular investment plan for contributions to savings plans.
Stay healthy and covered while abroad
- Be sure you have an active health insurance policy before you travel. Order any prescriptions before you pack and keep your receipts to avoid complications at the border.
- Look into provincial guidelines for coverage and ensure you stay within the number of days you need to reside in-province to retain your health benefits.
- Make sure your power of attorney and will are up to date in the event something happens and you can no longer handle your affairs.
Keep your house in order while you’re away
- While snow may be a distant memory, don’t forget to arrange for its removal at home.
- Turn off water to avoid the possibility of burst pipes.
- If no one’s home while you’re gone, consider suspending cable and internet services to save costs.
- Ask a friend or family member to pick up your mail, or set up a re-direct through your local post office.
- Make sure a trusted neighbour, friend or relative can get a hold of you easily in case of an emergency.
- Keep duplicates of your documents at home in a safe place—including your passport, Nexus card, insurance documentation. And, travel with copies, in case you lose originals.
Consider U.S. taxes
- If you spend a substantial amount of time in the U.S., are U.S. citizen or green-card holder, or own certain U.S. property, you may have to file U.S. tax and reporting forms and pay tax in the U.S. Speak to a tax advisor to determine your obligations.
Heading south soon? Please call me so you can rest easy while away.
Clients are advised to seek advice regarding their particular circumstances from their personal tax and legal advisors.