According to a new study, immigrants arrive in Canada with an average of $47,000 in savings but over half of that is used to get settled. Almost one-fifth of immigrants come with no savings whatsoever, the report by the Bank of Montreal says.
After all initial expenses related to making the transition to a new life in Canada, immigrants are left with an average of $20,000.
The study is the first of a series examining financial issues that face new Canadians – defined by BMO as those who have moved to Canada less than 10 years ago.
New Canadian residents use the money they still have after moving and related expenses to save for retirement (53 per cent), their children’s education (49 per cent), to make a major purchase such as a house or car (44 per cent) or to go on a trip, the survey indicates.
Two thirds of the respondents said they send an average of $2,300 back home to relatives or friends.
67 per cent of those polled feel their standard of living has improved since coming to Canada, with 27 per cent saying their lifestyle has improved greatly.
The survey found that immigrants to British Columbia have the highest average amount of savings at $86,270, while those settling in Alberta have the lowest at $28,784. Immigrants to Quebec have the lowest average amount of money left after the move: $7,388 compared with an average nest egg of $36,527 on arrival in that province.
The survey was conducted by Pollara between Feb. 4 and Feb. 19, 2015, based on an online sample of 507 people who have immigrated to Canada in the past 10 years.