In a recent blog post, we looked at important issues to consider when making a cross-border transition to Canada or the U.S. We touched upon the need to review risk exposure to ensure your current risk management strategies remain appropriate and new strategies are implemented as needed.
Risks are a part of everyday life, but some risks can have a devasting impact on what you’ve worked so hard to accumulate over your lifetime. Events such as a sudden illness, a car accident, or the death or disability of a working spouse can lead to a severe reduction of your assets. But what specific questions should you ask to help ensure you’re protected? Here are a few to consider:
- When making a transition to the United States or Canada, what coverage will your current healthcare insurance provide? Will you be out of network? Will you need that coverage?
- If you’re an American transitioning to Canada, will Medicare cover you or are you eligible for Canada’s universal healthcare system? If you’re a Canadian moving to the U.S., can you keep your Canadian coverage or will you be eligible for the U.S. healthcare system, including Medicare? How will recent changes to U.S. healthcare affect your specific situation?
- Your life insurance coverage may be sufficient prior to your move, but what effect could the exchange rate have on any death benefits you’re paid after your move? Will your life insurance needs be higher or lower after your cross-border transition?
- The same issues that apply to life insurance also apply to disability insurance. Will your policy still pay if you make a cross-border transition?
- How will a cross-border move to the U.S. or Canada impact your auto and homeowner insurance coverage? What are the differences between U.S. and Canadian auto and home policies?
- What are the cross-border ramifications if you can no longer perform certain daily living activities and require skilled nursing care?
- As these questions show, making a cross-border transition brings with it the potential for new risk exposures. Will you be prepared?
Whether you’re planning a work-related move to Canada or seeking to adopt a “snowbird” lifestyle in the U.S., it’s always prudent to do the requisite planning ahead of time. The cross-border specialists at Cardinal Point Wealth Management can help you work through the specific areas of risk exposure when making a move to the U.S. or Canada.
Terry Ritchie is the Director of Cross-Border Wealth Services at the Cardinal Point, a cross-border wealth management organization with offices in the United States and Canada. Terry has been providing Canada-U.S. cross-border financial, investment, tax, transition, and estate planning services to affluent families for over 25 years. He is active as an author, speaker and educator on international tax and financial planning matters. www.cardinalpointwealth.com