A Guide to Retirement Care & Senior Living in P.E.I

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Home to beautiful red sand beaches and iconic historical sites, Prince Edward Island draws many tourists and retirees to the island for its stunning landscapes and rich history. With great healthcare, beautiful scenery, and an affordable cost of living, the island makes for a perfect retirement destination for adults looking to live a vibrant, yet laid-back lifestyle during their retirement. If you’re considering settling down in Prince Edward Island, Cared Upon is here to help you find your perfect retirement community in the province.  

Lifestyle & Activities

With national parks, popular beaches, historical buildings, picturesque waterfront districts, and cities well-known for their seafood and shopping destinations, there's never a shortage of things to do in Prince Edward Island. Known as Canada’s “Garden Province”, the province is ideal for older adults who enjoy easy access to places like the beach, parks, trails, and hiking routes. If you enjoy visiting historical sites, Charlottetown’s Great George Street Historic District also features an abundance of notable historical sites with mid-1800’s style architecture to see.  

Weather and Climate

 P.E.I is a maritime province with a milder climate, especially in comparison to other Canadian maritime provinces. You can enjoy four distinct seasons in P.E.I, with drier summers and wet winters. Average temperatures during the wintertime range from -9 °C to a high of -2 °C (15°F-28°F), with summer temperatures averaging from around 17°C to 24°C (62°F-75°F). 

Housing options in Prince Edward Island: Finding the Right Fit for you

As you age, you will find that your care needs and retirement needs will change. From assisted living to retirement communities, Prince Edward Island offers older adults a variety of housing options to fit their lifestyle and healthcare needs. Although the location of your retirement community in P.E.I will directly affect the monthly cost, seniors in P.E.I can expect to pay approximately $3,237 per month for a senior housing or retirement community space.  

For seniors seeking long-term care in the province, the resident is expected to cover the cost of accommodation and personal expenses, while Health PEI covers the costs of healthcare. If you are unable to cover the cost of accommodation, you can apply for a subsidy after receiving a financial assessment showing that you are eligible. For more information on long-term care and your eligibility for a subsidy, visit the official Prince Edward Island website.  

When making the decision to move into a retirement community, it is important to consider not only the type of care you will need to receive, but also the proximity of your new home to surrounding areas such as shopping centres, health care institutions, parks, and even restaurants. To search for a care home provider in P.E.I that fits your budget and care needs, you can visit our search portal.  

Cost of Retiring in Prince Edward Island: Budgeting and Financing

Prince Edward Island often draws retirees for its affordable cost of living, especially in comparison to other Canadian provinces. Real estate in the province remains among some of the lowest in Canada, as well as heating costs - as approximately 24% of the province’s electrical needs are powered using wind.

You may find that factors such as the type of healthcare you need, the lifestyle you wish to have, and how much money you will receive from investments and pensions will all affect the cost of your retirement plan. However, for seniors still seeking support for finance and budgeting during retirement, there are government programs that offer benefits to those needing added aid.

Government Funding:

Seniors living on a modest income may be eligible for the Seniors Housing Program. Based on factors such as your assets, health, and income you may be eligible to receive placement in a home that suits your needs and desired location - costing only 25 percent of your income. 

Through the Seniors Independence Initiative, seniors living on a lower-income budget can receive aid on services such as light housekeeping, meal preparations, snow removal, and even transportation. For more information on eligibility, visit the official P.E.I website. 

When retiring in P.E.I, you may also access benefits funded by the government to help you prepare and pay for your retirement. If eligible, you may access funding through government programs such as the Canadian Pension Plan Retirement Pension (CPP), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and Old Age Security Pension (OAS). For more information on government contributions in Canada, visit our resource centre.  

Post-retirement Income Sources

In the case that you do not meet the eligibility criteria for receiving Government funding, you have several options for post-retirement income sources.  

Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs): Using a Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) or a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSAs), your post-retirement income is dependent on the amount you put into these accounts when you first began saving and the interest you received.  

 Investment accounts: More commonly, some may look to taxable investment accounts as a post-retirement income source. These can include investments from accounts such as stocks and bonds. 

Employer-sponsored pension plans: Under an employer-sponsored pension plan such as the Public Sector Pension Plan (PSPP), as a permanent employee you are provided with pension benefits.  

To learn more about your options for post-retirement income sources, visit our resource centre. 

Access to Healthcare

If you are a new resident looking to access healthcare through Medicare or PEI Hospital and Medical Service Insurance in the province, you may face a three-month waiting period before you are eligible for coverage. During this three-month waiting period, you will be covered by the former province you were living in.  

With a valid health card, you may be eligible for coverage on necessary hospital services, certain medical supplies, and certain home care programs for seniors. For more information on health care coverage in P.E.I, visit Canada Life here.  

P.E.I offers eligible seniors added health coverage on prescription drugs and medical supplies through PEI Pharmacare, a health care plan that aids seniors with either partial or full coverage on their medical costs. To find out more on the PEI Pharmacare plan, visit the P.E.I website.  

Additional Resources

Senior Residents Resource Center: The official Prince Edward Island website covers all-things senior living related in the province.  

Prince Edward Island Seniors’ Guide: A comprehensive Seniors’ booklet covering topics on programs, government services, community organizations, and contact information in the province.