4 ways to help immigrants

By Staff | October 1, 2014 | Last updated on October 1, 2014
2 min read

Between 2006 and 2011, about 1,162,900 people immigrated to Canada, according to Statistics Canada.

But these newcomers face a myriad of challenges. In fact, they have a tough time finding employment (46%), learning a new language (26%), and with financial constraints (11%), finds a BMO Wealth Institute survey.

“Immigration is important to Canada’s growth and future prosperity,” says Chris Buttigieg, senior manager, Wealth Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group. “Starting a new life in Canada can be an exciting experience, but there are many unknowns and challenges to adapting to a new country.”

The report examines the top financial priorities of two communities in particular: new Chinese-Canadians, and South Asian-Canadians. This includes:

  • having enough money to cover daily expenses (88% and 87%, respectively);
  • saving for children’s education (64% and 79%, respectively);
  • saving for illness (60% and 79%, respectively);
  • saving for retirement (61% and 67%, respectively); and
  • saving for parents’ retirement (55% and 73%, respectively).

Read: Cross-border tax tips

Here are four tips to help these newcomers.

1. Establish a credit history: Tell them to build a good credit history as early as possible. Start with a small line of credit or credit card, and then pay off balances as required.

2. Build a budget: Help them keep track of all expenses and cash flow.

3. Know your tax obligations: As new residents, these clients will be responsible for paying taxes on all of their worldwide income. Connect them with a tax professional to discuss the foreign property they own.

4. Develop a financial plan: One way to help clients achieve their financial goals is to minimize the amount of tax payable on income earned each year. TFSAs and RRSPs are key tools to consider.

Also read:

No more immigration trusts? No problem

6 ways to help immigrants

Why are more seniors living with their children?

Immigrants need help accessing credit

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.