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Decisions, decisions...

Really could do with some advise, please

Have I made the right choice? Homesickness etc.

Really could do with some advise, please

Postby The Rhodeys » Thu 19 Jul 2007 19:26 GMT


We are in a bit of a dilemma and it's causing us so much confusion and uncertainty...we would be grateful for anybody elses experience and viewpoint. This is how it is .... my husband and I wanted to emmigrate...the question was New Zealand or Canada??? Okay, well Canada won. We decided NZ was too far away as Bill still has a very elderly grandparent alive and my Dad suffers with Left Ventricular Heart Failure and is in his 70's . It had been hard to choose but the decision we thought was made! Our reason for moving from the UK?? Well, we basically wanted to have a better quality of life, less stress, easier going environment, beautful country, lower crime rate, better health services etc etc.

I went for an interview and was offered a job as a Unit Manager (Nursing) in the Edmonton region (Capital Health) it all seemed fine and dandy at interview but here is our dilemma.... Main reason to move...better quality of life and more together time:

Current job - Nurse Practitioner, I work 20 hours a week (2 nights) and have 7weeks annual leave a year.
Hubby has a good job in Middle Management, good wage, 6 1/2 weeks annual leave a year.

Current home_ New build 3 bed detached with decent land and a £60 000 mortgage and after our outgoings we have around £1300 at our disposal.

New job offer- £5 per hour less than I earn now, I have to work full time (37 1/2 per week) which defeats the object of being together more, and will get 3 weeks annual leave and 12 days for bank holidays.

Hubby from what we have read would get a job at a similiar wage and get only 2 weeks annual leave per year, possibly 3.

Housing- for a house similiar to what we have we are looking at around $40000 CAD to $575.000CAD and so would need a bigger mortgage.

We currently have the time for holidays and weekends away etc but hubby wants to leave the UK. We felt we could acheive a better standard of living.....Now I don't know...once the figures are on paper. The money isn't everything that's not our concern, but will we be working double the hours and spending more time apart to live in beautiful surroundings with nice people, and nice weather (we like snow!).

I guess what I am asking is does the lifestyle, environment, low taxes etc make up for financial loss in these circumstances? As lame as it sounds all we want is more time together but I am not convinced this will be the case. I have read in so many places that the cost of living is so high in Canada, will we be working every hour god sends to pay our bills?

Any thoughts would be appreciated, I guess you can never really judge things until you have made the move but we were initially under the impression that the cost of living in Canada would be cheaper and the standard of living higher.

Sorry for the LONG and rambling message but very stressed aboput this decision

Thanks so much for your time
Julie and Bill
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Postby Graeme » Thu 19 Jul 2007 22:06 GMT

Wow, do you have a tough decision to make!
There is no easy or simple answer to your 'rambling' question, there are so many variables involved. You should probably make a list of pros and cons and try to see if one outweighs the other. You didn't mention children and for me that was a huge reason to be in Canada so that they can grow up in the better environment here. If it comes down to money and lifestyle you seem to be on a good wage with good benefits in UK, you'd be starting at the bottom of the totem pole here and do you want to do that in middle age?
Have you ever been to Canada and had a look around at the lifestyles and opportunities? If not then perhaps that's where you should start before you make such a momentous decision, see exactly what you could be letting yourselves in for.
As I said no easy answers, just a lot of soul searching for you!
Good luck.
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Postby peter25 » Thu 19 Jul 2007 22:13 GMT

Hi guys...
I know what you are going through... we had similar thoughts, but just took the gamble anyway. We moved out here to Ontario in jan 07 and at first thought it was the biggest mistake ever as my hubby was the only one working at the time and his earnings were alot lower than he was earning in uk. We had a good wee nest egg from the sale of our home in uk and decided on renting a three bedroom property ($1600 per mth) before buying a house of our own. We bought a five bedroomed, four bathroom 6 yr old house in Barrie and managed to buy this for less than $260,000. House prices are quite cheap compared to back home and definitely cheaper than Alberta, as my friend moved there and told me how expensive they were. You definitely achieve more space in your properties here as you have the added advantage of the basement. As for time off, I went for a job as Receptionist for a local dentist's office and was offered only two weeks holidays per yr. Back in UK I had 4 weeks hols!! From the job issue, not as good as UK, but i speak from a personal point of view. I don't feel groceries are much cheaper here, also find it very difficult to find childrens shoe shops, like something similar to Clarks etc!!! Probably because, they only wear snowboots in wintertime and sandals/trainers in summer!! On the other side of the coin, my husband has been promoted since we arrived to Manager, I have myself a wee job, son has made many friends, and we are always getting invited to our neighbours for barbys and drinks, but I can only tell you to think very thoroughly about your move, think about what you are giving up and whether you are committed to your new life abroad... kids over here seem to give alot more respect, lower crime rate as you mentioned, very family orientated, friendly, which is fine but you need to weigh up the pros and cons of how it will improve YOUR own way of life. I wish you good luck in your decision and let me know if there is anything more we can help you with.
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Postby Cathpaul » Mon 20 Aug 2007 19:09 GMT

We are in the same position.Just had a fantastic holiday visiting friends in Maple Ridge.I am also a nurse am self employed and earn quite alot of money,hubby is police officer.I would have to work fulltime if we are on a PNP until hubby can get residency visa to apply for police, so we will be one wage down foe=r a you have a nice house etc etc BUT the lifestyle out there seems to far out weigh what we have here 746 murders it said tonight on telly ,you need to go and see for yourself,we all loved our trip my kids are 9 and 7 so would be fine at integrating my Mum is late 70s but she says we should do it,go and see for yourselves and then come back,and make the decision good luck.I am waiting for 2 phone calls from health authorities in Vancouver. : :
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Postby CanadianMom » Sun 16 Dec 2007 04:35 GMT

HI, an old discussion, I wonder what was decided?
Some points on the expense front. Many Brits focus on the biggest and most expensive cities/surrounds to relocate. Vancouver, Edmonton, TO/Greater TO Area? Good heavens of course, its pricey. Many of us do much better off financially away from those higher cost areas. There are alot of smaller cities , large towns to choose from besides the obvious- where housing is much cheaper. And many jobs start at 1 -2 weeks vacation and build up. I know many people who have built up 6-10 weeks vacation per year-and it is unexceptional/unimpressive jobs. So just wanted to add that to balance things.
May I advise folks to please consider "lesser" cities. I know in Kitchener Waterloo there are tons of shoe stores, as with most cities...even small towns. Cheap to expensive quality footwear. LOL So Please know you should not lack for that! :D
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