Geography of Life After Sixty: You Do Have A Choice



We haven’t talked about geography in a while. Have you ever thought about relocating to a better place?

Like, “If Congress is stupid enough to kill Medicare, I’m moving to Canada!”

If you’re retired and living on Social Security, you might actually have the freedom to make a considered decision about the best place for you, personally.

Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of the Commonwealth, must be doing something right. Public domain photo

Turns out, Canada’s not a bad choice. In Time’s list of the 10 Happiest Countries in the World, Canada comes in third, behind only Denmark and Sweden. Australia is fourth and New Zealand is eighth. These Commonwealth countries must have a secret. Could it be their health care systems? Ireland, my favorite place to consider living, is 10th. Come to think of it, I guess all the countries in the top  10 have universal health care. The U.S. does pretty well, at 12th place, considering we have health care that’s more expensive and less effective than many countries.

In a ranking of the Most Livable Cities in the World, Australia has four(!) in the top 10 and Canada has three. Vancouver, Canada (most livable city in the world four years in a row!), and Melbourne, Australia took first and second place. If you’re gazing north across the border, Calgary and Toronto also make the top 10. Pittsburgh(!) is the top-ranked U.S. city, at 28th.

Gazing south across the border? Dunno. People used to retire to Mexico for the low cost-of-living. But I hear they’ve got an out-of-control drug war going just now.

As always, these rankings of places are subjective. You have to consider what factors were considered in the rankings. What’s important to you? Health care? Cost of living? Climate?

— John Hayden

(Quick-take rating for this post: 342 words)

3 thoughts on “Geography of Life After Sixty: You Do Have A Choice

  1. I’ve never really thought about moving, it’s not that I’m all that enamored with ‘my’ country but….. I love New Zealand, having lived there for a year in 1982-82 and might consider it.
    I feel too tied down and think that getting a little less staid and settled would do me good? But, leave the country? Probably not, but if I did it would be for a place with universal health care, absolutely.


    • In general your OHIP coaverge should be fine for a vacation to BC. Be advised though that Ambulance rides in BC are paid for by the rider and not your health plan.My father-in-law visited BC from Ontario a couple of years ago, took sick and needed an ambulance to the ER. Cost $300 out of his pocket.There is also the possibility that the fee schedules between Ontario and BC are different and if BC is more expensive for a certain medical service OHIP may only cover up to whatever their schedule pays.As an example suppose a chest x-ray in Ontario is $100 and in BC it’s $150. If you needed a chest x-ray while in BC you might have to pay the extra $50.Call OHIP and talk to them just to make sure whether you’ll be fully covered in BC. Better safe than sorry.


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