On average, most immigrants arrive in Canada with about $47,000 in savings, finds a new BMO study—nearly a quarter (19%) come with no savings at all, however.
And, after paying initial expenses to get settled, those who do have money are often only left with an average of $20,000 to pay daily expenses and support their families.
What’s more, two thirds send a portion of their money back home to friends or family, with 17% doing so monthly, and 24% sending funds a few times a year.
That’s why financial professionals should help new Canadians manage their finances. Along with facing language barriers, says president of BMO InvestorLine Julie Barker-Merz, families may not be familiar with Canada’s financial system.
Many people choose to immigrate to Canada because they want:
- to ensure their personal safety (46%);
- to live in a different country (42%);
- to get a better jobs (38%);
- to improve their educations (36%); and/or
- to access better government programs (33%).
And after moving, more than two thirds of immigrants (67%) say their standard of living has improved, with 27% saying it’s improved greatly.
In fact, “compared to other G8 countries, Canada has the highest proportion of foreign-born residents,” says Barker-Merz. “People choose Canada as a place to raise a family or start a career because of the opportunities available to newcomers.”
The survey finds one-fifth of immigrants, on average, come to Canada with older relatives—22% with parents, and 20% with aunts or uncles—and that more than one-third arrive with at least one child (37%).
Breakdown of survey findings
|Region||Average $ amount brought to Canada||Average $ amount left after move||% saving for retirement||% who send money back to family/friends||% who moved to Canada to be safe|