“Snowbird” Life Appealing, But Few Canadians Are Living It.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

tropical ocean viewEven though there may be an appeal to living the "snowbird" life in retirement - one where an escape to a warm climate is made in order to escape the cold - most retirees say that they fully intend to stay in Canada once they call it a career, according to newly released polling data.

In its "Retirement Myths and Realities Poll," the Royal Bank of Canada reported that just over 25 percent of soon-to-be retired Canadians expect to move to a destination that's warm year-round once they officially exit the workforce. Additionally, among respondents who had already retired, only 16 percent said that they could be accurately described as a snowbird, having moved away from Canada in order to take advantage of a location where the mercury level rarely to never drops below freezing.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that the vast majority of not-yet-retired Canadians - as well as those who have already left their jobs - won't or can't be described as snowbirds post-career, they have a lot on their plate in terms of what they would like to accomplish. For example, more than one in six said that they would at the very least like to travel during retirement, a sentiment shared by nearly three-quarters of pre-retirees. Furthermore, more than half of respondents in the dual phases of retirement said that they want to spend more time with their partner or spouse and devote more time to personal pursuits.

Where there was a considerable gap between retirees and pre-retirees was performing volunteer work. Approximately 40 percent of retirees said they had or expect to give up some of their time to a charitable cause versus more than 55 percent of pre-retirees who intend to work for something they're passionate about without being paid.

As for traveling, there was also a slight difference among men and women. For example the RBC poll found that seven in ten women said they intend to travel in retirement versus about  two-thirds of men who said the same.

Many Canadians who do travel - especially those who prefer warmth over cold - head south to the resort location of Orlando, Fla. In 2014, the city's official tourist information provider has released several reasons for why Canadians should at the very least visit the Sunshine's State's third largest metropolitan area.

  • Walt Disney World Resort is scheduled to complete "Fantasyland," which is a new part of the amusement park that has been under construction.
  • SeaWorld has Orlando's steepest waterslide called "Ihu's Breakaway Falls.
  • Go-cart enthusiasts can take advantage of a 805-meter track built exclusively for racing.
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando is not only centrally located, but is extremely spacious, with nearly 450 guest rooms and dozens of activities to do, such as golf, swim and enjoy fine dining at an assortment of restaurants.

Wherever and whatever Canadians intend to do in retirement or at any other time of the year, they will likely need a mode of transportation in order to get to various destinations. And the best way of going about this is typically by renting a car. Policyholders may want to consider getting in touch with their car insurance provider to see if their plan includes protection for rented vehicles. Some rental car companies offer insurance as part of a purchase, but travelers can save themselves some money if they already have it as part of their coverage. This can shave potentially hundreds of dollars off of a rental car bill, depending on how long the vehicle is being leased for.