|via Vancouver Sun|
And about one-fifth, or 19 per cent, come with no money at all, finds the study being released Wednesday.
“It can be incredibly stressful – financially and otherwise – to pick up, move to another country, and begin the process of creating a new life for yourself, so it’s great to see that new Canadians do have a bit of a nest egg remaining,” said Julie Barker-Merz, president of BMO InvestorLine.
After all the initial expenses associated with getting settled — including moving costs, flights, food, clothing and shelter for their family — immigrants are left with an average of $20,000, says the inaugural study Making the Financial Transition.
It found new Canadians spend their remaining money to save for various things, including retirement at 53 per cent, their children’s education at 49 per cent, large purchases like a home or a car at 44 per cent and a trip at 36 per cent.
Two-thirds send an average of $2,300 back home to friends or family, with 17 per cent doing so monthly and one quarter sending money a few times a year, says the report examining a variety of financial issues for those who have moved to Canada less than 10 years ago.
Immigrants face numerous challenges when arriving to their new country, including lack of familiarity with the financial system combined with language barriers, Barker-Merz said.
“What will be critical is to make sure they make their remaining money work for them by acquainting themselves with the basics of saving and investing in their new environment,” she noted.
Nearly half, or 46 per cent, of immigrants reported that they chose Canada because it is a safe place to live. Other reasons cited for moving here included living in a different country at 42 per cent, to get a better job at 38 per cent, to improve their education at 36 per cent and to have access to better government programs at 33 per cent.
Sixty-seven per cent of new Canadians reported that they feel their standard of living has improved since coming to Canada, with 27 per cent saying it has greatly improved.
“Compared to other G8 countries, Canada has the highest proportion of foreign-born residents. This is not a coincidence,” said Barker-Merz.
“People from around the world often choose Canada as a place to raise a family or start a career because of the opportunities available to newcomers,” she added.
The survey found that one-fifth of immigrants come to Canada with an older relative – 22 per cent with parents and 20 per cent with aunts or uncles – and 37 per cent arrive with at least one child.
The survey participants included 236 women and 244 men, with the vast majority between the ages of 25 and 54.
The top countries that respondents emigrated from include India at 30 per cent, China at 19 per cent, Iran at 3 per cent, and 2 per cent each from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Brazil and Colombia.
The online survey was conducted by Pollara between February 4 and 19. The margin of error for a sample this size is within 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.