In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island is one of the three coastline provinces in Canada and one of the most beautiful places in the country. It consists of just two urban centres, lots of rural communities, rolling hills, and fantastic seafood. Its red sand beaches are among the most beautiful in Canada, and it is considered an affordable and comfortable place to retire.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a retirement destination. Prince Edward Island is often considered a great place for retirees because of its cost of living, gorgeous scenery, and low crime rate. If you’re considering retiring in PEI, or anywhere else for that matter, it’s important to think about all the pros and cons before making your decision.
1. Prince Edward Island is Ranked as one of the Top Places to Retire
According to a 2012 ranking by Moneysense Magazine, the island is one of the top 11 most affordable places in the world to retire. According to the magazine, a senior citizen can relocate and live comfortably in urban or rural centres for less than $40,000 a year.
2. Availability of Senior Housing and Comfortable Retirement Homes
One of the reasons why Prince Edward Island is considered an affordable place to retire is the availability of retirement homes and housing for seniors. In addition, the region’s government has invested in developing senior-friendly communities for people interested in active adult living, independent living, assisted living, and long-term care.
3. Close-Knit Communities
The communities of Prince Edward Island are close-knit due to the sparse population of the region (150,000), which are clustered. This clustered population means everyone knows each other somehow, and residents look out for each other. Therefore, joining one of these clusters as a resident of the island will be of immense benefit.
4. Incredible Food
Every person who has been to Prince Edward Island has complimented the excellent food in the province. Its access to the sea ensures a steady supply of pristine seafood, including lobsters, crabs, and different types of fish regarded as one of the best in Canada.
5. A Relaxed Lifestyle
A life of retirement should not be filled with the hustle and bustle of urban life. Prince Edward Island offers retirees a relaxed lifestyle. Residents are laid back and friendly and are always willing to lend a helping hand.
Most of the communities are planned so that everything an individual needs is often within walking distance of each other. For example, individuals within a community like Summerside can access all their daily needs within walking distance of each other. Harbourfront Theatre, College of Piping, Holland College, Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club, Coffee Shops, Bakeries, pubs, restaurants, and credit union place are all within walking distance of each other for easy access.
6. Affordable Cost of Living
Compared to other provinces in Canada, the cost of living in Prince Edward Island is cheap, especially in terms of housing, food, and utility. For example, to buy a decent family house on the island costs about $300,000 and above. Rent for a one-bedroom flat also hovers around $550, with a three-bedroom flat going for $800.
7. Beautiful Scenery
Prince Edward Island is filled with beautiful landscapes, serene beaches, and dozens of hiking trails that can encourage outdoor activities for retirees who still seek an active lifestyle. In addition, the parks and woods are filled with dozens of wildlife, including Canadian Geese, minks, and red foxes. Retirees can also take part in fishing or take up one of the numerous water sports in the area to maintain an active lifestyle in retirement.
8. Easy access to other places
The relatively small size of the entire island means people from other provinces can easily access the area and vice versa. It takes three hours to drive from the end of the island to the other, making it easy to explore by public transport or hiking. The island is also close to other significant parts of Canada, such as Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, two hours away from the island. The proximity of the island to other provinces means retirees can still keep in touch with loved ones in other parts of Canada while enjoying their retirement at Prince Edward Island.
9. There is a Culture of Academic Excellence
Despite consisting primarily of rural communities, the island population is highly educated and has a culture of academic excellence. The area has numerous elementary and secondary schools and about 62 public schools that offer education for residents from kindergarten to grade 12. In addition, there are five Universities on the island that attracts international students alongside highly-rated veterinary colleges. This Academic culture makes life interesting for the average retiree on the island, with enlightened and exciting people to interact with from all corners of the globe.
10. Regular Festivals and Celebration
The Islanders have a culture of festivals and communal celebrations with tons of excellent and mouthwatering food and unique wine grown on the island. Some of the festivals to look forward to on the island includes Lobster day, the festival of wines, family fishing weekend, and the PEI Ceilidh. Retirees can have activities to look forward to all year round.
11. Low Crime Rate
Prince Edward Island has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada and is ranked 20th out of 51 places to retire. This makes it a very safe place for retirees or those with young families who are looking for a low-crime area.
Prince Edward Island already sounds like a retiree utopia, but it is wise to cover all your bases when planning your retirement location or community. Therefore, retirees should consider these cons before picking the island as a retirement haven.
The weather on the island is wet most of the time. It’s either raining or snowing half of the time with a small mix of hailstones. The summers may also be colder than what obtains in other parts of Canada. The winters are reputed to be lonely and quiet primarily because the tourists and visitors go away along with the summer. As a retiree and a senior citizen, you should consider acquiring a strong healthcare insurance plan before moving to the island.
2. Inefficient Public Transport System
Although the island has a sparse population, there are always traffic jams due to the inefficiency of the public transport system. There are minor or no bus routes outside of the urban areas, making it necessary for residents to own their private transport. The result is the clogging of the roads and highways with nearly twice as many vehicles as residents.
3. Language Barrier
Most of the residents of the island speak French or English, which may prove to be a problem for retirees who are not bilingual or who cannot speak either language. The inability of a retiree to speak French is considered a disadvantage in communities that make up the island.