Question about comparing USA to Canada

Post here only if your question doesn't belong anywhere else. Don't post loads of questions all in one message - that would defeat the point of the forums and such posts will be deleted (don't feel embarrassed if you have 5 or 6 questions - you're welcome to ask them in separate posts in the appropriate place). (NB - if you want to post about something not Canada-specific, then use the main British Expat Forum.)

Postby Scotsgirl » Fri 21 Dec 2007 23:24

Merry Christmas to all.

I wanted to know if anyone here knew why Phoenix and Denver had such a high cost of living compared to most southern and southwestern cities?

Also, is it better to live in a place that has lower taxes (does that mean you get a lower income?) or does it not make a difference? The reason I ask is that in MS the wages are really poor and the taxes are really low compared to NY etc.

Personally i'd rather earn a good wage and be able to live on it with the increasing inflation too.

What kind of taxes do yous pay in Ontario compared to the US? (Heard Canada is more expensive to live in, is that good or bad?)

Thank you all
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Postby Graeme » Fri 21 Dec 2007 23:32

I moved this topic here as it took the string off topic and it asks about another country. It might be more appropriate to repost some of this on the USA board.
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Postby Scotsgirl » Sat 22 Dec 2007 21:30

No problem,

If users have some advice it would be great to hear it, thanks :)
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Postby Buddyboy » Tue 15 Jan 2008 02:59

Canada is not a cheap place to live, unless you compare it to the U.K. and then it's dirt cheap. The U.S. often appears cheaper than Canada but in reality there are many hidden costs. Nobody in Canada is without health care - it's paid for, in the main, by taxation. In the U.S. a very large segment of society has absolutely no health care. We have a much greater social security safety net here in Canada too. All things considered, we have it very good.
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Postby sawman » Thu 17 Jan 2008 01:19

Buddyboy wrote: then it's dirt cheap. .
I'd dispute dirt cheap, but you are right about the health care system, although if you are in receipt of regular medication you will probably need to buy into some additional insurance. I recently paid $140 for an asthma inhaler, as opposed to 7 quid in uk. Here in manitoba income tax is pretty high, and property tax (council tax equivalent) is roughly double the council tax on a similar property in the UK. That said alot of these costs feel worse because of the strong loonie,
put the DEET away, get out the snow shovel
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Postby Buddyboy » Thu 17 Jan 2008 14:40

Oops. When I referred to dirt cheap I forgot that not everyone lives in Atlantic Canada where we try to keep our low cost of living a secret. There I go again, letting the cat out of the bag. When my wife an I eat out at a restaurant, we sometimes keep track of the number of cups of coffee we drink with the meal then work out what the same amount of coffee would have cost in the U.K. It almost always turns out that, had we drank the same amount of coffee in the U.K., the cost of the coffee alone there would have been more than the cost of the whole meal here, including the coffee! Just one example. Of course, things become more expensive as you go west across Canada.

Your health care comments are valid, sawman. Most people here get coverage for prescriptions, etc, from their employment. However, if you are self employed, unemployed or simply don't have coverage, then your health care costs can be high. Many couples here have one wage earner, often the wife, getting all family benefits from their employer while the spouse is free to pursue other employment without having to be concerned about health coverage.
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Postby sawman » Thu 17 Jan 2008 16:09

Yes. I'm effectively self employed and hadnt yet dome the paperwork for my insurance through work - so I got stung,

I take your point about eating out - much cheaper -hence why there is so many restaurants available

s
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Postby CanadianMom » Thu 17 Jan 2008 16:20

also about eating out-gets cheaper the further you get away from the city. Instead of a big meal for $13-$18 bucks (depending on what) I can get it for $$7.95- $12 about 20-45 minutes outside of Kitchener Waterloo.
If one spouse works at a company with an excellent benefit plan, the family is well covered for meds/dental/eyewear. Even chiropractic/orthodics,etc. Maybe we pay $2 for a prescription or at the top end $15. But the prescription would have been very expensive otherwise. Sometimes those are the costs for 3 months worth of prescriptions....
If you are selfemployed I hear you pay a small fortune for coverage and that is for basic coverage.
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Postby carolinedraper » Fri 08 Aug 2008 23:21

Yes we are self employed and prescriptions are expensive. We looked at getting private insurance but in the end decided it was cheaper to "ring fence" the money we would have given to the insurance company and allow it to earn interest in our bank account as opposed to theirs. Also with my husband's condition which is hypersomnia he is not covered any way.... so kinda does not matter so he costs us around $300 per month for life.

The rest of us just try not to be ill or try natural remedies.
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