10 Best Places to Retire in British Columbia in 2024

Last Updated on

Written by SnappyRates Team

Snappy Rates is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the objectivity of our evaluations. Read our disclosure.

If you’re looking for a retirement destination that combines natural beauty, cultural richness, and a high standard of living, British Columbia (BC) is the perfect place for you.

Whether you’re looking to stay active through outdoor activities, like hiking and fishing, or prefer to relax and enjoy the scenery, British Columbia offers a variety of options for retirees.

The area has a strong and supportive retiree community, making it easy to forge friendships and connect with others who share your interests and lifestyle.

With relatively warm summers, mild winters, and gorgeous scenery, British Columbia is an attractive destination for retirees seeking to escape the cold.

The province is also home to several cities, like Vancouver and Victoria, that offer a high quality of life, excellent healthcare, and a variety of cultural and recreational activities.

Given all it offers, British Columbia may be the perfect retirement destination for you. It’s one of the best places to retire for Canadians.

Best Places to Retire in BC for Canadians

If you’re looking for a great place to retire in BC, you may want to consider one of the locations listed below.

1. Victoria

With a population of approximately 92,000, Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The city is known for its mild climate and beautiful gardens, which make it a popular destination for retirees looking for a relaxed and peaceful lifestyle.

The cost of living in Victoria is relatively high compared to other cities in the province, but it is still considered one of the best places to retire in BC for Canadians. On average, living in Victoria costs $2,2523.35 per month, but the crime rate is low, making it a safe place to live.

2. West Vancouver

With a population of approximately 45,000, West Vancouver is a wealthy and upscale community located across the Burrard Inlet from downtown Vancouver. The city is known for its stunning natural beauty, including beaches, parks, and mountains.

The cost of living in West Vancouver is 48% higher than the national average, but residents enjoy a high standard of living and a safe and secure community.

3. Nelson

The average cost of living is 28% lower than the BC average. With a population of approximately 11,000, Nelson is a small and charming city in British Columbia’s Kootenay region. Nelson is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, as well as its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The cost of living in Nelson is lower than many other cities in the province, making it a popular destination for retirees on a budget.

It does get a lot of snow there, so if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, it might be the perfect place for you. Nelson averages 172 cm of snow per year.

4. Vancouver

With over 650,000 residents, Vancouver is British Columbia’s largest city. It is located on the province’s western coast. At $2850.85 per month, the cost of living is high, but the city is known for its high standard of living, diverse culture, and natural beauty.

Vancouver gets lots of praise for its mild climate, outdoor recreation opportunities, and vibrant arts and culture scene. The crime rate in Vancouver is low, and the city is considered one of the safest in Canada.

5. Surrey

The city is known for its rapidly growing diverse culture, parks, and recreation opportunities.With over 568,000 people, Surrey is the second-largest city in British Columbia and is located just south of Vancouver.

The cost of living in Surrey is relatively low compared to other cities in the province, making it a popular destination for retirees on a budget. The average cost of living in Surrey is $1,905 per month.

While the crime rate in Surrey is higher than in many other cities in the province, it is still considered a safe place to live compared to Canada as a whole.

6. Burnaby

With over 249,000 residents, Burnaby is located just east of Vancouver. The city is known for its beautiful parks, lakes, and recreation opportunities, as well as its diverse culture and mild climate.

The cost of living in Burnaby is relatively high. The average cost of living for a single person who rents is $3,685 per month. With a very low crime rate, Burnaby is considered one of the safest cities in Canada.

7. Kelowna

With a population of over 139,000, Kelowna is in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. The cost of living in Kelowna is high, approximately $2,256 per month for a single person.

The crime rate in Kelowna is low, and it is considered quite safe. The city is known for its mild climate, beautiful lakes, parks, and many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

8. Langley

With about 29,000 people, Langley is located just southeast of Vancouver. The cost of living in Langley is relatively low compared to other cities in the province, which means it’s an attractive area for retirees on a budget.

The average cost of living is $1,862 per month. The crime rate in Langley is low, so the city is considered a safe place to live and retire.

9. Vernon

Located in the Okanagan region of British Columbia’s Southern Interior, Vernon is a charming city of about 44,500 people. The city has warm summers with highs around 26ºC and mild winters – by Canadian standards, anyway.

25% of Vernon’s residents are senior citizens, and it has a robust community of older Canadians within the city limits. 

10. Prince George

Once an industrial hub, Prince George is now a midsize city with around 77,000 residents. It’s diversified significantly since its humble beginnings, and it now offers families and retirees alike an excellent location to live on a budget.

The average monthly cost of living in Prince George is just $1,650. However, it is important to note that Prince George has a higher crime rate than some of the other cities on this list.

Best Retirement Communities in BC

There are many excellent retirement communities in British Columbia, each offering unique benefits and opportunities. We’ve collected information on some of the best retirement communities in the province, which include…

Amica Arbutus Manor: This luxurious retirement community in Vancouver offers a range of amenities, including on-site dining, a spa and wellness center, and a range of social activities.

Suncrest Retirement Community in Surrey: This well-regarded retirement community in Surrey offers a range of amenities, including two delicious chef-prepared meals per week, private suites with kitchenettes and a balcony or patio, and a variety of recreational and social activities to keep you mentally strong and interpersonally fulfilled.

Chartwell Chatsworth Retirement Community: This retirement community in Kelowna is like a serene oasis in the heart of Okanagan Valley. There are many amenities within walking distance – plus great customer service and a strong community among residents.

These are just a few examples of the many great retirement communities in British Columbia. When choosing a retirement community, you must consider your personal needs, budget, and your and your family’s preferences to find the one that is right for you.

How to Choose a Retirement Location in British Columbia

There are many factors to consider when choosing a retirement location in British Columbia. Here are some steps that can help you make an informed decision.

First, determine your budget. The cost of living in different cities and communities in British Columbia can vary greatly, so it’s important to determine your budget before you start your search.

For example, living in Vancouver may be very expensive, but you can likely find a nearby place in Surrey for much cheaper.

Next, evaluate your lifestyle needs. Consider what type of lifestyle you want in retirement. Do you prefer a more urban or rural setting? Do you want to be close to cultural attractions, outdoor recreation opportunities, or medical facilities? These are essential factors to consider when choosing a retirement location.

You should also research crime rates. Safety is an important factor to consider when choosing a retirement location.

Take some time to research crime rates in the cities and communities you are considering, and you could even speak with residents to get their perspectives on safety in the area.

Evaluate the healthcare options in the area to which you’re moving. Healthcare is an essential consideration for retirees, so be sure to research the quality and availability of healthcare facilities in the areas you are considering.

If you have specific medical concerns, you may want to ensure you are close to a hospital.

By taking the time to evaluate these factors, you can make an informed decision about the best retirement location in British Columbia for you.

It’s essential to take your time and research to find the place that best meets your needs and provides you with the retirement lifestyle you want.

Pros and Cons of Retiring in BC

Retiring in British Columbia has its own unique set of pros and cons. Here are some of the most notable that you may want to consider before moving there.

Pros

Natural Beauty: British Columbia is known for its stunning natural beauty, with a diverse range of landscapes, including mountains, lakes, forests, and coastline. This provides retirees with ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure.

Quality of Life: British Columbia is known for its high quality of life, with various cultural and recreational activities, excellent healthcare, and a supportive community of retirees.

Mild Climate: The province generally has a mild climate, with relatively warm summers and mild winters – especially in the south. That makes it an attractive destination for retirees seeking to escape harsh winter weather.

Cons

Cost of Living: The cost of living in some cities in British Columbia can be relatively high. Especially if you’re looking to retire in a more urban area, it’s important to ensure your budget aligns with that area’s pricing.

Healthcare Access: While British Columbia has an excellent healthcare system, some rural areas may need more access to healthcare facilities and services. If you have specific medical considerations, you’ll want to make sure specialists are available if need be.

Retiring in British Columbia can be an excellent choice for those looking for a high quality of life, stunning natural beauty, and a supportive community of retirees.

However, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons and to research the specific cities and communities you are considering to determine if they are the right fit for you.

FAQs

Where do most seniors live in BC?

Most seniors in British Columbia live in urban areas such as Vancouver, Victoria, and other major cities. However, many others live in smaller communities throughout the province, particularly in retirement or assisted living facilities.

What is the best small town to live in BC?

The best small town to live in BC will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Some of the popular small BC towns known for their natural beauty, cultural amenities, and quality of life include Nelson, Rossland, Fernie, Comox, and Cumberland.

Where is the most affordable place to live in BC?

The most affordable places in BC are generally found in smaller towns and cities outside the Greater Vancouver Area. Some examples include Prince George, Kamloops, and Quesnel, which have lower housing costs and a lower cost of living compared to larger urban centers.

Where is the safest place to live in BC?

British Columbia is generally a safe province with low crime rates. Some of the safest cities and communities in BC include Comox, Oak Bay, and North Saanich, which have very low crime rates and high quality of life.

Related:

Bonuses & Deals for July

Earn up to a 4.00% high-interest rate on your deposits and up to 5.25% on GICs!

Earn a standard 4.00% interest* on your deposits!

Earn up to 5% cashback with a free prepaid card, get 5% savings interest on your balance, plus a $20 bonus when you make your first purchase!

Unlimited transactions with free chequing account and $400 welcome bonus!

No current offers for this category.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to get the latest personal finance news, offers, and our weekly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Gravatar for SnappyRates Team

SnappyRates Team

The SnappyRates Team comprises personal finance writers who have reviewed and personally tested hundreds of financial products in the Canadian space. With over 20 years of combined experience to draw from and expertise in all things credit cards, banking, insurance, and mortgages, our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive guides and resources to help you on your financial journey.

Leave a comment