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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after many trips to PV and after talking about it on and off for years now we are researching to see if it is something that is doable for us.

we are debating between doing it part time or moving down there full time.

Full time would make more sense from a financial perspective as we would have to see our condo in downtown Vancouver and then buy down there leaving us about 300,000 left from the sale in Vancouver after we purchased our place there.

Our situation is interesting as my partner has retirement pension as well as a
WCB disability pension. I am not sure if both would continue or not? I am ten years younger and won't have much of a pension if I was to leave my job today. So I would probably have to find something to do where I could work on line or create my own business or something.

If we were to keep our Canadian passports, and canadian bank accounts I am trying to figure out the tax implications if any if we were to move down there full time. Would we lose our Canadian citizenship?

I know the easiest way would be residing between both countries but I am not sure that is doable for us financially because I would not be able to continue working at my current job and we would really have to sell our home here to finance living there. Rents are also very expensive in Vancouver.

I am just in the early stages of trying to figure this all out...... I just don't want to be sitting here in 15 yeas saying why did we not do this?
 

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Depending how much equity you have in your Vancouver condo and monthly HOA dues you might consider leasing it furnished before selling. The main thing in doing this is if Puerto Vallarta doesn´t work out for you you can always go back. If you sell and buy in PV you might not gain, but loose money, and buying sometimes is more than renting in Mexico. Renting is also a good idea as you get to know the área well and might not want to buy in that área.

There are áreas in PV that have economical rentals if you are not looking for beachfront of Marina front residences. It is a big place and you actually could live there for less than you previously experienced visiting there or found out what other part timers from Canada/US were renting for etc..
 

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If we were to keep our Canadian passports, and canadian bank accounts I am trying to figure out the tax implications if any if we were to move down there full time. Would we lose our Canadian citizenship?…
Alan's advice about not burning all your bridges behind you, until you have some experience and are sure you are not going to change your mind, is good advice.

Regarding citizenship, you don't lose your citizenship by residing in another country. You will keep your Canadian passports. Bank accounts are up to you. Many people living in Mexico use bank accounts held north of the border and rely on ATMs for cash. I use both. I have US bank accounts and Mexican bank accounts. I use the Mexican ones for online or card purchases in pesos and the US ones for purchases in dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thoughts

actually we probably would be in the hill somewhere on the other side of the highway away from the beach where it is quiet but yet close enough to the beach.

It did cross our mind about renting out our place here but never really thought about renting a place a PV as I figured that would be more money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alan's advice about not burning all your bridges behind you, until you have some experience and are sure you are not going to change your mind, is good advice.

Regarding citizenship, you don't lose your citizenship by residing in another country. You will keep your Canadian passports. Bank accounts are up to you. Many people living in Mexico use bank accounts held north of the border and rely on ATMs for cash. I use both. I have US bank accounts and Mexican bank accounts. I use the Mexican ones for online or card purchases in pesos and the US ones for purchases in dollars.
ya I think that is important too about not burning all your bridges as you never know what the future holds as well. I just want to make sure that we figure all the factors out and all the what ifs...
 

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I don't know with certainty, but, typically, pension benefits will follow you no matter where you eventually reside ... in B.C., in a different Canadian Province or in a foreign country. Disability benefits may be treated differently.

I've read posts from Canadians whose concern, when moving to Mexico, is their health care insurance and maybe some other government-provided benefits. If one of you has a disability or chronic illness for which your current insurance provides valuable coverage and that coverage disappears (if it disappears) if you change your residency to Mexico ... then you will have to figure-in the cost of purchasing a good health insurance plan in Mexico ... if you can get it (for pre-existing conditions).

Since you've been to PV many times I'm going to assume you've explored the area enough to know you will like it, so selling your condo in Vancouver doesn't seem to me to be a stumbling-block/bad idea.

If this were my move I don't think I'd move all of my money into a Mexico-based bank account. However, if you do sell the condo and if you don't have another address with which to provide to the bank in Canada ... I don't know how your bank in B.C. will treat the change or if it will allow you to be an account-holder.

There are tax filing implications as well, in Canada (I'm assuming). No filing is required in Mexico if you're just receiving retirement account/pension income from abroad. And depending upon the Mexican visa you're granted it's possible, with government permission, to work in Mexico ... if you can find a job that pays what you think is fair. Many expats in Mexico engage in online business/work and never report to the Mexican government ... either because they just don't do it or they have the persons paying them send the money to an online/internet bank account or a home-country bank account.

If you haven't already seen it, "JR in PV", who has been an infrequent visitor here (as I'm recalling) maintains a pretty good website/forum for PV and you might want to cross-post your questions there. The broader the audience seeing your questions will, obviously, get you a larger number of responses. Here's a link to that website: The Puerto Vallarta Scene Forum.

Best of luck with your planning, and eventual move to PV!
 

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ya I think that is important too about not burning all your bridges as you never know what the future holds as well. I just want to make sure that we figure all the factors out and all the what ifs...
Another factor to consider if you plan to live here long term:

Immigration status for Residente Temporal or Permanente card qualifications for you both.

Which has to be applied for at a Mexican Consulate in your Country of Residence.


As others have implied I would rent long term a min 6-12 months before considering any purchase that way you will get a good feel for the difference between living and taking a vacation here.

Keep doing the homework and ask lots of questions!

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know with certainty, but, typically, pension benefits will follow you no matter where you eventually reside ... in B.C., in a different Canadian Province or in a foreign country. Disability benefits may be treated differently.

I've read posts from Canadians whose concern, when moving to Mexico, is their health care insurance and maybe some other government-provided benefits. If one of you has a disability or chronic illness for which your current insurance provides valuable coverage and that coverage disappears (if it disappears) if you change your residency to Mexico ... then you will have to figure-in the cost of purchasing a good health insurance plan in Mexico ... if you can get it (for pre-existing conditions).

Since you've been to PV many times I'm going to assume you've explored the area enough to know you will like it, so selling your condo in Vancouver doesn't seem to me to be a stumbling-block/bad idea.

If this were my move I don't think I'd move all of my money into a Mexico-based bank account. However, if you do sell the condo and if you don't have another address with which to provide to the bank in Canada ... I don't know how your bank in B.C. will treat the change or if it will allow you to be an account-holder.

There are tax filing implications as well, in Canada (I'm assuming). No filing is required in Mexico if you're just receiving retirement account/pension income from abroad. And depending upon the Mexican visa you're granted it's possible, with government permission, to work in Mexico ... if you can find a job that pays what you think is fair. Many expats in Mexico engage in online business/work and never report to the Mexican government ... either because they just don't do it or they have the persons paying them send the money to an online/internet bank account or a home-country bank account.

If you haven't already seen it, "JR in PV", who has been an infrequent visitor here (as I'm recalling) maintains a pretty good website/forum for PV and you might want to cross-post your questions there. The broader the audience seeing your questions will, obviously, get you a larger number of responses. Here's a link to that website:

Best of luck with your planning, and eventual move to PV!
the disability is an injury which does not required additional health benefits so that is not a concern. would have to research the pension part of that but my understanding is that is a settlement that is a pension for life which is not taxable.

I was thinking that I would have to find some sort of on line business to do or something to do even just part time. I have seen JR in PVs site before but did not know there was a forum portion so I will check that out.

I understand that Mexico has great health insurance plans
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another factor to consider if you plan to live here long term:

Immigration status for Residente Temporal or Permanente card qualifications for you both.

Which has to be applied for at a Mexican Consulate in your Country of Residence.


As others have implied I would rent long term a min 6-12 months before considering any purchase that way you will get a good feel for the difference between living and taking a vacation here.

Keep doing the homework and ask lots of questions!

Good Luck
I see the advantage of renting first as a trial run as I know vacation is different than living. I have talked to many expats I have met and they all have explained the pros and cons to moving and living there full time.
Humidity in the summer seems to be the biggest issue.
 

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Your tax status as a Canadian is linked to your residency, not your citizenship. After all, non-citizens have Canadian tax obligations, too, if they are residents of Canada. And Canadian citizens can become non-residents of Canada for tax purposes if they live abroad and maintain few or no financial ties to Canada. This page gives you the information about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your tax status as a Canadian is linked to your residency, not your citizenship. After all, non-citizens have Canadian tax obligations, too, if they are residents of Canada. And Canadian citizens can become non-residents of Canada for tax purposes if they live abroad and maintain few or no financial ties to Canada. This page gives you the information about it.
It is a bit hard to understand if we were to sell our condo in Step 1 we would not have significant residential ties but we might have secondary residential ties if we still held passport, licece, investments and bank accounts. It does not really indicate what exactly would qualify.

Also residency status is not fully clear there seems to be a lot of grey area and nothing is that clear cut from what I read.

I have only started looking at the tax implications and from what I can see if you are considered a non resident than you taxed 25% unless there is a tax treaty and from what I can see there is a tax treaty with Canada and Mexico.
 

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It is a bit hard to understand if we were to sell our condo in Step 1 we would not have significant residential ties but we might have secondary residential ties if we still held passport, licece, investments and bank accounts. It does not really indicate what exactly would qualify.

Also residency status is not fully clear there seems to be a lot of grey area and nothing is that clear cut from what I read.

I have only started looking at the tax implications and from what I can see if you are considered a non resident than you taxed 25% unless there is a tax treaty and from what I can see there is a tax treaty with Canada and Mexico.
If you read through the thread http://www.expatforum.com/expats/me.../748778-canadian-ex-pats-residing-mexico.html you will see many of these questions have already been addressed.

There is a tax treaty between Canada and Mexico so the flat rate on Canadian sources of income for non-residents is 15% instead of 25%. If you are deemed a non-resident for tax purposes, you can still file tax returns and claim the non-refundable tax credits, to bring your tax rate down to essentially where it would be if you were a resident. If the 15% deducted from Canadian sources of income (e.g. if you cash in an RRSP) is more than you owe once you file the tax return, then you are eligible for a refund.

The bottom line is that you have to submit a form and let Revenue Canada decide if you are considered resident or non-resident for tax purposes. This is done on a case by case basis.
 

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Renting is really good advice.

Take your time and compare properties, as well as neighborhoods while your renting.
Set a date, like one year to decide which will be your new home.

I feel the above would reduce regrets down the road = good thing :)

Regarding funds, I remember reading that if you have more then 10K in foreign banks (Mexican) you will pay a tax (at least for USA).
You might want to see if something similar exists for Canadian citizens/residents.
 

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Renting is really good advice.

Take your time and compare properties, as well as neighborhoods while your renting.
Set a date, like one year to decide which will be your new home.

I feel the above would reduce regrets down the road = good thing :)

Regarding funds, I remember reading that if you have more then 10K in foreign banks (Mexican) you will pay a tax (at least for USA).
You might want to see if something similar exists for Canadian citizens/residents.
This thread is about Canada, but just to clarify the last comment about $10K and foreign banks: For US citizens, there is a law that requires any US citizen with more than $10,000 usd in a foreign bank account to report that fact to the IRS every year in June. There is NO tax associated with it, it is merely a filing requirement. The acronym is FBAR. I believe it stands for Foreign Bank Account Reporting act, but I am not sure.
 

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Thanks for the clarification regarding the tax...or no tax :)

I believe my recommendation to Rent before you Buy still applies.

Good Luck :)
 

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I understand that Mexico has great health insurance plans
Depends on which "health insurance plans" you speak of.

There are government sponsored/provided/backed plans which some expats take advantage of which have plusses and minuses ... largely dependent on where you live and the facilities you visit. Many expats use the government-affiliates services for routine, minor things and also private doctors for the mostly minor chores because of the low cost (in comparison to the USA and maybe Canada). Some people have been bumped from the government-affiliated plans ... because of pre-existing conditions. And there may be age restrictions regarding coverage.

There are privately-offered plans from health insurance companies. Most expats I'm familiar with (they're from the USA and not Canada) leave Mexico for the USA when truly serious medical events occur. But I also know of persons, and read online forum postings from persons who've undergone serious procedures in Mexico and have been pleased.

My point is I wouldn't just accept a comment from anyone else that the (government) health care insurance plans in Mexico are "great" without further in-depth investigation pertaining to the personal/particular needs you expect may arise in the future.

Many expats who consider moving to Mexico, including many of those who actually do, don't do as much advance-research/thought as you're doing so I compliment you on your investigations. Many expats who've landed in Mexico and have been surprised by the unexpected have at some point turned around and returned 'home.'
 

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Depends on which "health insurance plans" you speak of.

There are government sponsored/provided/backed plans which some expats take advantage of which have plusses and minuses ... largely dependent on where you live and the facilities you visit. Many expats use the government-affiliates services for routine, minor things and also private doctors for the mostly minor chores because of the low cost (in comparison to the USA and maybe Canada). Some people have been bumped from the government-affiliated plans ... because of pre-existing conditions. And there may be age restrictions regarding coverage.

There are privately-offered plans from health insurance companies. Most expats I'm familiar with (they're from the USA and not Canada) leave Mexico for the USA when truly serious medical events occur. But I also know of persons, and read online forum postings from persons who've undergone serious procedures in Mexico and have been pleased.

My point is I wouldn't just accept a comment from anyone else that the (government) health care insurance plans in Mexico are "great" without further in-depth investigation pertaining to the personal/particular needs you expect may arise in the future.

Many expats who consider moving to Mexico, including many of those who actually do, don't do as much advance-research/thought as you're doing so I compliment you on your investigations. Many expats who've landed in Mexico and have been surprised by the unexpected have at some point turned around and returned 'home.'
The thing is if we are there more than half the year we will lose our health benefits in Canada.
 

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The amount varies depending on your province. For Ontario, for instance, you can be out of the country up to 212 days in any 12 month period. That’s almost 7 months.

If you stay in Canada long enough each year to remain eligible for your provincial health plan, you have definitely not cut your residential ties to Canada. I am sure that CRA would deem you still a resident of Canada for tax purposes. If you move to Mexico on a snowbird basis to keep your government health insurance active, there are some plusses and minuses. .

The positive side is obvious. Among the disadvantages are: you’d have to maintain a house or at least apartment in both countries, and make sure it’s taken care of when you’re away. You would have to travel back and forth every year. You couldn’t fully leverage your Canadian insurance while in Mexico. As far as I know, most (or all?) provincial health plans reimburse you for medical expenses abroad (up to what they would have cost in your province), but that means you have to pay up front first and apply for reimbursement later.
 

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The amount varies depending on your province. For Ontario, for instance, you can be out of the country up to 212 days in any 12 month period. That’s almost 7 months.

If you stay in Canada long enough each year to remain eligible for your provincial health plan, you have definitely not cut your residential ties to Canada. I am sure that CRA would deem you still a resident of Canada for tax purposes. If you move to Mexico on a snowbird basis to keep your government health insurance active, there are some plusses and minuses. .

The positive side is obvious. Among the disadvantages are: you’d have to maintain a house or at least apartment in both countries, and make sure it’s taken care of when you’re away. You would have to travel back and forth every year. You couldn’t fully leverage your Canadian insurance while in Mexico. As far as I know, most (or all?) provincial health plans reimburse you for medical expenses abroad (up to what they would have cost in your province), but that means you have to pay up front first and apply for reimbursement later.
We had heard rumours that British Columbia had extended the "out of Canada" period for coverage under their Medical Services Plan from 6 months to seven months.....so I contacted them last week, and they have confirmed that:

"As of January 1, 2013, eligible B.C. residents (citizens of Canada or individuals who are lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence) who are outside British Columbia for vacation purposes only, are allowed a total absence of up to seven months in a calendar year. The seven months may be taken all at once or split between separate absences in a calendar year, provided the total absence does not exceed seven months in a calendar year."

Note that it says "seven months"....not 210 or 212 days.

As an added noted, BC Medicare regulations require that a claim for out-of-Canada medical expenses be submittted within 90 days of the date of service. That can create a problem for those of us who spend 5 or 6 months in Mexico. A couple of years ago, I wrote to BC Medicare and explained that sending original medical receipts through the mail from Mexico isn't all that reliable - that I would much rather wait until our return to Canada before filing a claim.
They replied that they understood, that the 90 day figure was to encourage claims to be filed on a timely basis, and that if I was submitting a claim beyond the 90 days for reasons indicated, to simply add a note to that effect - and that there would be no problems processing that claim.
In fact, the very next year, I did exactly that.....filed a claim after returning to Canada, and well after the 90 days, attached a note explaining the delay....and my claim processed without problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We had heard rumours that British Columbia had extended the "out of Canada" period for coverage under their Medical Services Plan from 6 months to seven months.....so I contacted them last week, and they have confirmed that:

"As of January 1, 2013, eligible B.C. residents (citizens of Canada or individuals who are lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence) who are outside British Columbia for vacation purposes only, are allowed a total absence of up to seven months in a calendar year. The seven months may be taken all at once or split between separate absences in a calendar year, provided the total absence does not exceed seven months in a calendar year."

Note that it says "seven months"....not 210 or 212 days.

As an added noted, BC Medicare regulations require that a claim for out-of-Canada medical expenses be submittted within 90 days of the date of service. That can create a problem for those of us who spend 5 or 6 months in Mexico. A couple of years ago, I wrote to BC Medicare and explained that sending original medical receipts through the mail from Mexico isn't all that reliable - that I would much rather wait until our return to Canada before filing a claim.
They replied that they understood, that the 90 day figure was to encourage claims to be filed on a timely basis, and that if I was submitting a claim beyond the 90 days for reasons indicated, to simply add a note to that effect - and that there would be no problems processing that claim.
In fact, the very next year, I did exactly that.....filed a claim after returning to Canada, and well after the 90 days, attached a note explaining the delay....and my claim processed without problems.
wow this is news to me..... 7months that is much better.... make the part time thing a bit more appealing.
 
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