Vancouver - no place for career professionals.

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)            
Subject: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.
  after having been here for 3 years now a few things about Canada and Vancouver specifically have become clear.

First of all I am in late 20´s, college degree, with 8 years experience with international MNC´s, worked in Sydney, Singapore and now Vancouver.

Vancouver is a great place to come if you are with a family, and have little to no professional qualifications. If you however are well qualified, and even if you have a family, Vancouver is not a good idea...economically and career wise.

The tax system here is crippling. It basically discourages any additional labor or effort. I figured out the difference between my income here and in Seattle (based on the same $ amount) and I would be about 15% better off in Seattle on income alone, add to that the ridiculous 13% GST and PST and my disposable income shrinks even further. Add to this fact the inflated overpriced cost of EVERYTHING in Vancouver as well as another fundamental issue of low wages. I am paid very well in my field by local standards, but again its dollar for dollar 20-30% less than what I would be getting paid in the US.

The first thing everyone talks about is medical...again as a professional working in the US, i would have a comprehensive medical plan for myself and my family, so I am really no better off here for all the government medical provisions. And dont get me started on car insurance, I could ensure 4 vehicles in the US for what I pay for insurance here.

We love Vancouver, but it´s just not worth it. And I am not talking about the cost of real estate, I am fine with the cost of real estate, infact I have done well in the last 3 years with real estate, (thank god).

Figuring in all of the above:

High income tax
High sales tax
High cost of goods
High cost of insurance
Relatively low professional wage levels.

My advice to ANYONE, who is a professional is this is not a good idea. If you have the option to go to the US, take it, by my calculations you are going to be at least 40-50% better off dollar for dollar. Seattle is a great option and it´s only 2.5 hrs away. You can have the best of both worlds.

Now for low income people with families, who aren´t professionals, no doubt vancouver is great. you dont have to worry so much about where you live, you dont have to worry about medical/school costs.

its going to be a problem for this place if they can´t figure out how to keep professionals here, aside from the geography there´s little to no incentive for young professionals, all we are doing is dumping our hard earned dollars into the social welfare basket.

(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
Interesting observations. I live in Vancouver and I visit Seattle from time to time.

my observations:

the 13% combined sales tax in BC is not much different than the 8.?% charged in Washington state.

Income tax for low and middle incomes is less in Canada than US. However, my friends living in the Seattle area say their medical insurance costs far outstrip any difference in taxes.

Yes, some things are more expensive in Canada - but it varies on the item. Restaurant meals and entertainment are far more expensive in the US.

Car insurance... yes, it is more expensive if you are not a high risk driver. We have a stupid system that makes it easier for high risk drivers (young and seniors) to afford insurance - which is mandatory.

Wages... 15% lower, maybe.

40-50% better off is highly over stated.

Then the question must be asked...if you go to the US... will you ever get that green card? Or will they suck the best years out of your career and then send you home.

Yes, we believe in social welfare, and we are not ashamed of that. That is why Canada is still ranked far about the US in terms of quality of life. What is that worth - obviously not much to you.

missed my point.. (in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
my post was about career professionals...i actually stated for lower income people they are probably better off in canada. for professionals, employers pay medical in the US...

Heres how it works based on an income of $100 000 per year.

Canada BC (CAD$) USA (US$)

SALARY $100000 $90 000
Tax(income) $28 736 $17 166

Gross $71 264(CAD$) $72 834 (US$)

Sales Tax $9264.32 (13% GST and PST) $4370 (6.5%)

Car Insurance $1800 (BMW 3 series) $600
Medical $0 $0 (paid)
Total disposable $60 200 CAD US$67 864
=CAD$75 404

SO based on an equal salary of CAD$100 000 , you would be more than $15 000 per year better off in Seattle. NOT factoring in 2 things: 1. Higher incomes in Seattle for the same jobs. 2. Much higher cost of goods, (food, electronics, cars, entertainment etc all).

(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
Wow--you got FREE health care in the US?! Really? Nothing paid out of pocket? No deductibles every paycheck? No co-payments when you go to the doctor? Every service covered 100%? Really? Well I´ve never heard of that, and when you think about it, you probably haven´t either. At any rate, if you did manage a deal like that, I guess you´d better pray to be employed there for life or you´d find out what it´s like for most other professionals and employed workers.

Regarding health care alone: We pay about $300 a month for the privilege of our family of 3 to have health care in the US. On top of that, we pay a $25 co pay for every doctor visit, plus the remainder of whatever our insurance carrier doesn´t feel like covering for services. I figured that for the amount of times my family goes to the doctor, the real price thus amounts to around $300-$400 a visit. We´re lucky; we have good insurance, providing we stay employed, and we´re healthy. Of course, too, this isn´t figuring in the real cost of health costs in this country, considering that some 25 million people here don´t have insurance at all and yet need the services, paid for by the rest of us in additional taxes and amounting to the fact that the US pays, in real dollars, nearly twice what Canada does for its medicare system. Now I´m not complaining about paying for services or paying my share of taxes, but when you compare the two countries, it´s pretty hard to see past the enormous difference in the way one system seems to work (Canada) and how one clearly doesn´t (US).

I won´t touch the other issues you brought up; this one alone was baffling enough.

(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
like I said - 15%

you don´t pay sales tax on your full salary... so the spread you illustrate is over stated.

nope... (in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
ummmm, you guys aren´t making any sense...

As mentioned at 100K after tax I´m 15K up in the US. Even if I were paying out of pocket for medical, (which I wouldn´t be, again I am talking about Managerial level position in international software co.) it wouldn´t be anywhere near 15K.

as for the people without health care, yeah sure it sucks for them. but from a purely selfish point of view, i´m better off down there...

and yes the 13% on top of everything i spend further compounds this, as does the inflated prices for the same items, as does the real wage gap difference...

40-50% is no exaggeration in a professional position.

(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
enjoy Seattle.
(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
After spending 6 years in the US and 1 year in Canada, I think comparing US and canada is like comparing apple and orange. It is purely a personal choice and is affected by several factors. For example if I was borne here and had all my friends and families here I would not even think about moving to US even when I would get a better pay. If I were a pure economic migrant and was in a position to choose between US and Canada, of course I would move to a country where I get paid more.

As professional pointed out, Canada is far far behind US when it comes to high paying managerial and science & engineering related jobs. In US Opportunity is endless and sky is the limit. US is an epitomy of capitalistic society and of course you would make way more money in US.

Canada on the other hand has to some extent socialistic approach. Of course you pay more taxes, but for some people money aint everything.

If you represent lower middle class in the lower income bracket, canada is a heaven.

where to go
(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
jeez...what a snob. Does not sound too ´professional´ to me at all...probably one of those ´software´ kind of people who are flying on wings nowadays but don´t realise that it´s not going to be the same forever once the market stabilizes.

All the figures quoted are exaggerations anyway. I know of so many so called ´professionals´ coming to Canada after years of working in U.S. and finally realising they have to settle somewhere sometime.

If you are the kind of person who´s sole purpose is to wake up, go to office and come home...then I guess you would be happy there.

Canada offers so much...a much less crime rate, less racial intolerance..beautiful country with a great ´outback´ to raise your kids with appreciation for nature, a medical system that treats a millionare and a pauper equally.

(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
Some people get agitated quickly on this forum without listening or reading. I think there are goods involved with every country as well there are bads.

Like I had once noted, there are issues of moral/social importance in Canada. Yes, Canada is expensive but life cannot be weighed with money all the time.

There is security, feeling of welcome and pride in Canada.
The space on this forum will not be enough to write the problems with America. So, I wont list them. There may be economic goods in the US which I dont care.

One should notice that Americans claim to be Canadians when they travel to foreign countries. What more shame could it be than to hide your country´s name because of fear of being hated?!

Just like I said before, I am prepared to pay extra tax to the government which makes me feel belonged than to a bully which has the record of forcing many to live away from their wives and family due to its ridiculous laws, while sucking off their professional talents.

Nevertheless, I think Canada should reform some of its systems to make it a little bit easier for its people to enjoy some luxuries in life. That includes not only new immigrants but also its citizens who were born or raised there so that there is harmony between the people. I think this will happen with more open discussions.

Professional, you are not wrong since I noticed you have actually calculated some numbers. Makes me think you have analyzed some monetary aspects but you may have left out other important non-monetary issues like ´where to go´ addressed.

Almost Perfect!!
(in reply to: Vancouver - no place for career professionals.)
Well if you think you will have a better life in US well, then move back. Money is not everything in life. I had live in the US for months, and I did not like my time there, people treat with no respect, there is no customer service at all, and if you don´t look like the steriotype white person, is even worse. I will stop here because if I continue this response will be too long. Good luck in Seattle