- Living costs and pension plans…
More and more people among my friends, acquaintances but also on talk shows on TV are expressing their concerns regarding this situation.
Not only the inflation is getting worse and the cost of living is getting higher day after day (especially in Quebec and here in Ontario) but also more and more taxes are introduced (perhaps) to support the costs of the medical care that the government had to sustain during the Corona pandemic and that is still facing today to give welfare payments to unemployed citizens.
It is certain that, depending on where you decide to settle in Canada, your salary can vary widely and employers compensate for the cost of their own city so the salaries go accordingly to the place of residency but this is still not enough to live well in some places these days.
Up to a few years ago Canada was seen as the promised land: universal health care, a socially progressive government, a world emblem of kindness with a perfect landscapes for skiers, climbers, photographers and urban lovers.
It's not hard to guess why so many people around the world have thought about moving to Canada and many have, including myself.
But now more than ever, it's critically important to put your finances in the new context and save money if you can.
Like their US “cousins”, Canadians have a tendency to drive everywhere but, that said, cycling to work is an increasingly popular alternative. Some neighbourhoods in Halifax, Vancouver, and Quebec City have a big share of commuting cyclists, although this percentage drops significantly during the harsh winter months.
It is common for residents of major cities to use public transport, buses and trains, although cars continue to dominate. It should also be noted a certain prevalence of air travel, since Canada is a very large country and often cars and trains are in fact not sufficient for longer journeys, especially if from one coast to another.
Unfortunately, in recent months, the cost of public transport has greatly increased (perhaps because the capacity had to be reduced) and I have seen many of my friends struggle – literally struggle – to afford a monthly bus pass.
I drive to work but I must also admit that for people working downtown this is not a viable option as the parking lots and garages in the downtown areas are ridiculously pricy and you often need to be on a waiting list to get a parking spot there.
On a lighter and more positive note, it is also true that some people choose to move to Canada as retirees due to the excellent level of quality of life that this country can offer.
Canada has a rather interesting public pension plan consisting of two different typologies: a tax-funded old age security plan intended to cover basic needs which only Canadian citizens and residents who have lived and worked in Canada for a minimum of ten years can obtain and a Canada Pension Plan financed by contributions deriving from work (partially paid by the worker and partially by the employer) which gives the opportunity to obtain a quarter of the income received, which it can be supplemented by further company pension plans or by any private savings.
In this sense, since it is often very difficult to find work abroad after turning fifty years old, Canada offers an excellent opportunity even for older workers - precisely because of its dynamic economy and its invitation program in the country with very specialized or experienced staff - and then the possibility of joining a pension program in the country and retiring in Canada, taking advantage of a truly excellent standard of living and excellent health care in case of need.