(   )
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                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
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/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fri, 05 Jun 2015

Moving to Canada

Last year I discovered I was a Canadian citizen under their 'new' (2009) citizenship act. Although I was born in the US, my father was born and raised in Quebec. The new law allows citizenship by descent for the first generation born abroad to a Canadian parent. So my kids are not Canadian citizens, but I (and my siblings) are, retro-active to birth. I received my Canadian citizenship certificate in March of this year, and my passport in May.

So I've begun the process of emigrating my family to Canada, from the US Northeast. Something interesting I found when I started looking at tax rates - you commonly hear how high the taxes are in Canada. This is true, as far as income and sales tax, particularly in Quebec, which is where we are moving. Food, gas and certain types of clothing are also more expensive. However, when you consider other essential family expenses, they are quite a bit less than in my home state of Connecticut. In particular, property tax, electric (hydro in Canada), car insurance, childcare, higher education, and equivalent home values are much lower in Quebec. Add to that a single-payer healthcare system, and the savings mean that for an equivalent salary, I'll take home a bit more money each year than I do in Connecticut.

The tipping point turns out to be health insurance. Our insurance premiums have risen 10-15% per year for the past 10 years. Even with employer contributions, I still pay $800 per month for a 'family' plan, with a $5k deductible, and co-pays for doctor visits. Even without any additional healthcare expenses (which we have), that is about $10k per year. Sadly, the US had a chance to adopt a single-payer system and blew it. For us, this is a way to give our kids a decent future, one where they can afford to get healthcare for themselves and their future families and go to college without being in debt. I'd be interested in hearing from people who have moved to Canada and how it worked out for you, or from Canadian citizens in general about life in the Great White North.

posted at: 15:21 | path: / | permalink | canada, citizenship, emigrating, healthcare, immigration, quebec, taxes