Beautiful British Columbia (BC) — so read the vehicle license plates of cars in this Canadian province.
This westernmost province of Canada has earned a reputation for being one of the most livable places on earth. Without further ado, here are the top reasons why BC is one of the best places to live in during your golden years.
The benefits of living in BC
- British Columbia is beautiful. The residents of Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland in BC are treated daily to the majestic view of the mountains and the breeze of the sea. The city is designed such that nature can take centerstage and brighten up what could otherwise be a boring commute. Islands that are part of BC, such as Victoria and Nanaimo, also have a charming beauty of their own. Cities further from Vancouver, such as Kelowna, Kamloops, and even Prince George, have even more natural landscapes for the more adventurous retirees.
- The weather is milder. Spring usually starts in March, and the summer can extend until the end of September. Winters are usually mild, with very little snow in the winter. In the Lower Mainland, winter temperature average 4-6 degrees Celsius. Summer months can peak at 30 degrees Celsius but average in the mid-twenties. Watch out for the rain though: it helps to keep an umbrella on your person at all times if you live here! But seriously, milder weather means more time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, keep active, and explore new places.
- Speaking of exploring new places, there are lots to discover in BC. The province covers over 95 million hectares of land, majority of which are forests, islands, lakes, and rivers. This also means that there is interesting wildlife in the province, including grizzly bears and bald eagles. The variety of what to see and do in BC is astounding. As an example, Whistler is known for its ski mountain, and on the flip side, Osoyoos is Canada’s only desert (yes, with cactuses and rattlesnakes).
- Living up to its reputation, BC is the site of numerous film productions. Don’t be surprised if you get caught in the midst of a movie crew… and movie stars! BC is home to several celebrities, such as Ryan Reynolds and Michael J. Fox.
- BC is also the greenest province in Canada, what with majority of its energy coming from clean, renewable sources such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind power. The air and water quality in BC is excellent, and commercial companies based in BC are committed to producing green products. Because BC strives to be green, walkways and bikeways are easily available.
- The food is amazing, in terms of variety and produce. The farms in Okanagan and Fraser Valley produce a lot of fruits, such as apples and berries. Being close to the coast offers an opportunity for excellent seafood and sushi. Wine produced in BC is also popular worldwide. Finally, because Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland is very multicultural, there will always be an excellent restaurant that can cater to your taste buds’ cravings.
- As an aside (and a toast!) to the diversity of people’s cultures in the Lower Mainland, there are several festivities throughout the year.
- You may need a car to get to places in BC that are further out, but if you are planning to stay in Vancouver and the surrounding suburbs, there is already a good transport system in place. TransLink operates the Skytrain and Seabus (to get to the north shore), as well as local buses to help you reach your destination. And should you need to fly out, don’t worry! The large Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is convenient and accessible.
The downsides of living in BC
While living in BC can sound like a dream, there are some downsides of retiring in this province.
- Home ownership may be difficult. The cost of houses in Canada has skyrocketed over the last few years, hitting BC the hardest. Although there are some more rural areas that may be less expensive, Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, and even Kelowna and Kamloops, may be inaccessible due to cost.
- Finding a family doctor may be difficult. Granted, finding a family doctor is difficult in other provinces in Canada as well, but you need to consider that your health, given your age as a retiree, is of prime importance. It may help that there are walk-in clinics available for urgent concerns, and certainly the emergency department in hospitals is always open. For other health-related concerns, such as health management, companion and personal care, nursing and home care services are also available.
At Likas Nursing and Home Care Services, we can work with you, your loved ones, and a team of health professionals to develop a personalized care plan for you. We service Vancouver and the Lower Mainland in BC. Contact us today for your first consult with a registered nurse.
Choosing where to retire is a very personal decision. Aside from the location, health care, transit, and other factors discussed, other logistical concerns must be addressed. Will you be close to friends and family? Will you have an alternate support group? Also, depending on where you will be coming from, can you afford to move and have a home in BC? How will you manage your finances and investments?
We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful province of British Columbia. Should you decide to move to the Lower Mainland, which we call home, we hope to be of service to you in your golden years.