April Newsletter


The long and sometimes unbearable winters in Canada prompt many Canadians to head south for the winter.  Many own homes or property down south and like to spend as much time as possible shedding their winter boots in exchange for flip flops.  If they spend approximately 6 months in the US, they are often times labeled a Snowbird.  One important thing all Snowbirds need to keep in mind is how many days they intend on staying in the US?.  

Canadians become confused about how long they can stay in the US.  It is often thought that you can stay 6 months or 180 days.   Per Gerry Scott, a Portfolio Manager and Branch Manager with Raymond James Ltd., this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Gerry has spent over 23 years in the wealth management industry.  During that time, he has met thousands of Canadians that either spend 6 months in the US, otherwise known as Snowbirds, or living in the US full-time.  In his experience, most Snowbirds tend to avoid or not have a clear understanding of the US immigration and IRS tax rules that have changed in recent years.  

What Canadian snowbirds don’t realize is that they can be classified as a US resident and subject to IRS taxes if they stay too long.  This is not tracked on an annual basis, but over a 3 year period and thus can be very confusing.  

Gerry also noticed that questions about estate taxes, home ownership, travel insurance or private health care often came up in his conversations..  That is when he decided to create an app that could point his customers in the right direction to answer their questions.

The first version came out in the fall of 2015 and is called ‘Canadian Snowbirds US Stay Counter’.  The app provided connection to US Real Estate, Tax & Legal Services, Medical Tourism and more.  The thought was to have his current Snowbird customer base try it out and assist them with their US stay and answer other questions they might have.  The app quickly became popular bringing in close to 50,000 subscribers.  

Fast forward to present day….Gerry has developed a new and improved app re-named ‘Snowbirds US Day Tracker’ with even more to offer people who frequent the US.  The app came out last month and will have all of the useful information the previous app did and more.  There will also be a website where you can get up to date information on the app. 

One other helpful tool it provides is getting the most out of your CAD currency exchange.  Some banks will charge you fees as high as 3.1% on your conversion.  Gerry has long term relationships with a Foreign National service that can offer the the best CAD to USD exchange rate for as little as 0.25% in banking fees by utilizing the app.  That is a lot of money saved in the long run, especially if you are exchanging large sums.  

Be sure to download this free app in Google Play and the App Store. 

For more information or financial assistance, Gerry can be reached at 604-936-7529 or gerry.scott@snowbirdsapp.ca.  

If you are a Snowbird and are on a medical  wait list in Canada, we can also assist with arranging your procedure, diagnostic test or surgery in a private manner while you are in the US.  Contact Health Vantis for more details on this at info@healthvantis.com or 877-344-3544.



Water is the most important nutrient human body needs?, water is the most important nutrient our bodies need.   Approximately 60% of our body is made up of water, however,  we constantly lose it through sweat, urine and even breathing.  Humans can go weeks without food but can only survive 3-5 days without water.  Experts say you should have 8-8oz glasses of water a day to appropriately replenish what your body loses.

Many people don’t like to drink water or get bored of it because there is essentially no taste.  One way to change that is to flavor your water with fresh fruit.  Not only does it provide more benefits, the concoctions are endless so you never get bored!

Listed below are some items you can infuse your water with and the benefits you get from them:

Lemons – Support normal digestion, kidney and liver function and they are high in Vitamin C.  It is also a natural fat burner.

Citrus (ie. grapefruit or oranges) – Antioxidants and Vitamin C. It helps rid of toxins and waste from your cells.  Oranges have also been proven to reduce the risk of stroke.

Blueberries & Raspberries – Antioxidants and fiber which can help curb appetite.

Cucumbers – Several vitamins, components that fight inflammation, protect brain health and even freshen breath. *Tip – Keep the skins on as that is where most of the vitamins come from!

Mangos – Can boost metabolism, aid in digestion and increase memory and libido.

Cranberry Juice (no sugar added and in small amounts) – It is loaded with antioxidants that help flush toxins from your kidneys and intestines.

Apples – May reduce the risk of developing hypertension, diabetes and heart disease and provide iron to your diet.

Kiwi – Contains a cleansing enzyme called actinidin which can give your skin a healthy, natural glow.

Pears – They absorb glucose, which can give you more energy.

Including fresh herbs such as mint, thyme or lavender can also give a very nice finishing touch to your creation!

*Tip – Most fruit is not as tasty after being in water for hours.  Instead of tossing it, include it into a smoothie along with some fresh fruit and voila’!



World Health Day is celebrated on April 7th.   Each year the celebration highlights a specific theme that is a priority or area of concern for the World Health Organization (WHO).  This year’s (2019) focus is on Universal Health Care (UHC).  It is about the world coming together to ensure all people and communities have access to quality health care when they need it, without suffering financial hardship.  The collaboration to improve UHC is to include a full spectrum from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

The goal the campaign is to achieve a better understanding of what Universal Health Care means in terms of 

services and support that should be available.  The campaign also gives an opportunity for Ministers of Health and other governmental decisions makers a chance to showcase what progress they have made in the past years as well as address the gaps they have in their respective countries.  This would encompass all areas of Universal healthcare?  quality, efficiency, equity, accountability, sustainability and resilience.  

Take the time to talk to your Ministry of Health or elected officials this year about your concerns in the gaps the Canadian healthcare system presents.  Hearing from the people is where discussions start and change can happen.

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