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(Elaine Thompson)
(Elaine Thompson)

Earlier discussion

Thinking about a U.S. retirement? Add to ...

The U.S. recently signed into law the Affordable Care Act, creating a new program, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which made coverage available to those turned down by private health insurance companies because of an existing medical condition. The changes came into effect on July 1.

Robert Keats, author of The Border Guide, says the change will be a huge advantage for Canadians. As a specialist in cross-border financial planning, he has spent 30 years helping Canadians work around the gaps in the U.S. health insurance system.

How prepared are you for retirement? Share your story with Globe readers.

Mr. Keats joined us in an online discussion to answer your questions about retiring to the United States, from buying real estate to finding health insurance. Mr. Keats is a certified financial planner in both the U.S. and Canada.

You can replay the discussion below. To view a mobile-friendly version, click here.

Also, Mr. Keats offered some tips for Canadians thinking of retiring to the United States:

Start planning early. Right now is an incredible time to buy retirement property in the U.S. Even if you're not ready to retire, it can be a great source of rental income.

Have an immigration strategy. For business owners, your business can help you get a visa. So don't sell it before you decided to move to the U.S. You can sell a business in the U.S. at a much lower tax rate because of the Canada-U.S. Tax Treaty.

Get the best of both health care systems. For snowbirds, having dual health care coverage in both Canada and the U.S. opens up treatment options. Under the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, you have unlimited access to your choice of hospitals in the state in which you reside.

Try different states. Some people like Hawaii, some like Florida. Try vacationing in different states to see which one suits your lifestyle. If you have arthritis, a hot, dry state like Arizona can do wonders.

Consider the tax savings. For people in retirement, the U.S. offers a lot of options for tax-free investment income and lower taxes for seniors. Social security is not taxed if you income is under $40,000.

Book Excerpt:

<iframe src="http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php/option=com_altcaster/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=5d234b303d/height=650/width=600" scrolling="no" height="650px" width="600px" frameBorder ="0" allowTransparency="true" ><a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=5d234b303d" >Cross-border strategies with Bob Keats</a></iframe>

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