Insurance Update – CSANews Spring 2016

Posted on March 31st, 2020 by Medipac

In mid-January, the peak snowbird season, the cost of one U.S. dollar was one dollar and 45 cents Canadian. Two and three years ago, we were getting rather used to a par dollar, but times change quickly in these uncertain days of volatility.

We expected quite a change in our snowbird lifestyle this year, with some of the costs being so high due to the dollar but, in reality, we made few changes to our normal patterns and appear to have financially survived quite well. Our costs for gasoline and energy were reduced substantially and the grocery bill seemed about the same. The one thing we occasionally missed were the signs saying, “We take Canadian dollars at par.” No one was doing that anymore.

The things we wanted to, or had to, buy were very reasonably priced, even in U.S. dollars. We made extensive use of (free delivery) and, to a lesser extent, Costco and Sam’s Club and I think that their low prices helped to save the day. We bought everything from dog food to novels to reading glasses and roast beef at less than half the price we would normally pay in Canada. Publix grocery stores also seemed to have unending specials on all of the things that we normally like to eat.

The girls in our family are addicted to Bealls so, on Tuesdays (Seniors’ Day), they would gather up all their coupons and march off to “war.” They never spent very much, but they always seemed to come home with extraordinary bargains. I will never understand how anyone could sell, or buy, an article of clothing for $3 but I am a man, so what would I know. I must say that they all dress very well.

At the gas station, I would fill up my large car for $30 and the automatic dollar calculator in my head would say that it really cost me $30 X 1.5, or $45 Canadian. I tend to be rather conservative with my money, so I overestimate the cost somewhat. That compares with the $75-80 per fill-up when we left Canada. Having two cars, that adds up to a lot of savings. I will be interested to see what the cost of a fill-up is when we return in a few days.

Recently, we bought an additional $2 million worth of U.S. dollars to pay some of this month’s claims and our cost was $1.30 Canadian for each U.S. dollar. That rate is a lot better than the January, February and March rates, so things are looking much more positive for the upcoming year.

Have a great Canadian summer!