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Important Financial Steps for Canadian Immigrants to Consider

December 17, 2014

Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting prospect for families who view our culture, legal practices, and customs as foreign, with the amount of red-tape that needs to be navigated guaranteed to cause headaches even for an established Canadian native. Most immigrants are familiar with the major financial steps that must be taken to secure their successful immigration, which includes the acquisition of a bank account, social insurance number, health card, full-time job, and rental unit until home-ownership becomes possible. However, there are still a number of important financial steps that must be considered to ensure that the immigrants’ success is guaranteed over the long-term. Read on for a discussion of four commonly-overlooked financial must-haves for Canadian newcomers.


Private health insurance


Though Canada is often considered as a global icon for free healthcare services, many immigrants find that they are forced into waiting periods while their OHIP coverage is being processed. During this waiting period, it is important to seek out private health insurance options to ensure that you have coverage at all times.


Life insurance


Immigration is a difficult endeavour for even the most stable of family units, and having to deal with a loss of life in the middle of this high-pressure adjustment process can be crippling. The emotional impact of a death in the family is damaging enough without taking into account the added financial pressure that this loss burdens your loved ones with. Seeking out life insurance as soon as possible is an important step to protect your family if something happens to you. There are many forms of insurance available to suit different budgets and time periods.


Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs)


Seeking out a New-to-Canada Mortgage plan is imperative to securing your family’s present, but applying for an RESP is equally important for guaranteeing your children a bright future. Registered education savings plans offer a number of bonuses to families, sometimes even benefitting from a 20% government grant on anything parents contribute to their child’s education.


Retirement fund


Providing for your children with a RESP is likely your main priority, and neglecting your retirement fund may seem like a preferable alternative to short-changing your children. However, having low funds during retirement will likely only cost your children in the long-run as they look to support you through your Golden Years. For this reason, it is important to save for retirement early, preferably once you have the ability to open a tax-free savings account.