CSANews 84

Fall 2012 » Issue 84

Thank you for a great response to our survey. we received literally thousands of replies and your special comments will keep us busy for some time.

The primary shifts in snowbird habits were what you would expect with all the new technology which we are slowing adopting. eighty-five per cent of snowbirds are now online and using e-mail to communicate with friends and family. surprisingly, skype also has 30% of snowbirds as users; i will have to try it myself. the snowbirds completing our survey online had a 99% response to “are you online?” and I am wondering about the other 1%.

Your journey south takes a leisurely three to four days for 54% of you and about the same 50% spend six months at their winter destination, which is an increase over prior surveys. eighteen per cent plan to stay longer this year and it would be nice if our family can do that too. the border does not seem to present much of a problem and the economy and the dollar exchange rate are really not relevant to our plans. we simply adapt as best we can.

It was a bit disturbing to discover that 8% had crossed the border without insurance protection and i would like to reiterate how dangerous that can be. Please, please, buy something. More than 50% of snowbirds made a claim in the past 10 years. what pleased us at Medipac was that 92% of claimants had a satisfactory – or better – claim experience; 48% even said that it was excellent. when dealing with the complex and convoluted U.S. medical systems in emergency situations, these results are spectacular. we still have work to do in order to help that other 8%, however. sixty-eight per cent have family come to see them and you should ensure that they are properly covered for their visit. in our situation, it would probably be me that ended up paying for uninsured medical issues, as the kids are not rich. Just a word of caution for you.

Changing of currency by snowbirds is showing trends towards doing it just once, before they leave. this has increased from 14% to 26% and implies that people may be watching the exchange rates and buying when our canadian dollar is strong. the csa’s currency exchange Program is also showing a steady increase every year for regular monthly transfers, which helps spread the currency risk. Many snowbirds are changing money “as needed,” and “at the bank” is still the top choice at 63%. this must be the convenience factor at work because banks certainly do not have great exchange rates and their fees can add up too.

An incredible 95% of us state that we are in good to excellent health. but, hey, we are snowbirds; what else would we expect?

J. Ross Quigley



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