Student Loans Deferred Longer in Canada

Student loans grow out of control during those 4+ years of university. Then you’re expected to repay loans, starting the day after graduation. But with what?

Student-loan-debt1The result? Newly graduated, bottom-rung workers get themselves into serious financial strain.

Sure, some students get lucky with a job offer in their first year. But I think the majority (what, like 80-90%?) of students don’t walk into their first big job right after graduation. [if definitely over 80%, tell me; I’d love to know.] Instead, students take whatever job they can, to scrap by however they can. The first paycheck is not as big as they wanted, but the loan is still demanding payment.

Student Loans Deferred – Until You Can Pay

A new law just passed: students here in Canada can wait to pay back government loans until they are in a good position to do so. Instead of payments starting after graduation, loan repayment starts after you make the minimum salary. Starting November 1st, that minimum is $25,000. That might not seem like much, but it is an income. For most students, just having an income is a big deal.

If you read the article, you’ll see other benefits from this law, namely increased loan amounts. This is good, provided you need it.

Is There a Catch?

It’s not free deferment. There always seems to be a catch, right? The catch here is, interest continues to accumulate. You probably could have guessed that.

So, you don’t want to defer your loans forever.

Then again, you also don’t want to earn under $25,000 forever.

How to Take Advantage of This?

If you’re considering moving to a foreign country to have lower student loans, then Canada just rose in the ranks, didn’t it? I can help you move here. Either through the “Gone In One Year” program, or by phone consultation.

Do these work? Yes, very well. There are several of my clients now living, working abroad as a result.

Yes, I know… “my case is special”? Each one is, that’s where I’m most capable. I think outside the box, come up with the right way ‘out’ for you. Give me a call. Or check out the monthly program to be out in a year.

Moving Money Between Countries as an Expat

Well, it’s official. We sold our flat in Prague! (“Kafkaesque Paperwork” post coming)

Last month, I said we flew to Prague to sign papers to sell our flat. We did, we have, and it’s done. Yes, we no longer own property in the Czech Republic. (Yeah!)

Owning foreign property these past 9 years has been a good adventure for us. And selling it was a great move for us. To best understand why the timing was good, read the end of the last post.

The Problem: What To Do With This Money?

We now have a new “problem.” Lots of money in Czech Koruna. And this money sits in a bank account in Prague. But we want that money in the form of Canadian dollars, in our local (Canadian) bank account. How to get it there?

Continue reading Moving Money Between Countries as an Expat

Timeline to a New Life

Below is a post I first wrote in November 2009. (Whew, how time flies!) I figure it might help a few others with the same questions I had back then.

expat man jumping shipIf you’re thinking about starting over completely new, you may wonder “How long it will take?

Fair question – and here’s my answer: 3 months. Three months is all it takes to drastically change your life, self and all that’s around you. And that’s assuming you have a house, job, perhaps even family as we did. Even as “settled” as we were, it was just 3 months from wondering about getting work overseas to all moved and working overseas.

Continue reading Timeline to a New Life

Non-Verbal Communication

My wife is outstanding at knowing what I’m thinking. She’ll tell me what I’m thinking. In fact, sometimes I didn’t even know I was thinking that. (Sound familiar?)
She knows what I’m thinking because my face reveals a lot while we’re talking. My eyes, especially my eyebrows, how my mouth is formed, where I’m looking – all communicate my feelings at the time. And as I write this, I understand this is probably why my friends enjoy playing poker with me. They watch, they know – they win.
The value of recognizing and reading non-verbal communication is obvious. If you can “read” people’s non-verbal communication, you’ll win. Much more than at poker, of course.
What made me write this? I was writing messages to include in month 6 or 7 of the “Gone in 1 Year” program, and it hit me how non-verbal communication really affects home and poker life. So helpful to be aware of our own face and posture when speaking with others.
Have a great day everyone!

Gone to Canada in 10 Months – Trump edition

Thanks to Super Tuesday results, it’s pretty certain Trump will be the candidate.
And possibly the next President of the United States.

Your Next President? It's Looking that Way
Your Next President? It’s Looking that Way

Do you really want to be there when this happens? …I didn’t think so.

As of today, I’m tailoring my current Gone in One Year program. I’m building for one person: for the American who want to get out of the US, and move to Canada.

What’s the Gone in One Year program? It’s a 12-month (obviously) long set of e-mails, homework, videos and tailored help to get someone living abroad. I’ve lived abroad several times; now I teach others. It’s great.

Faster, Shorter, Uncut

Because moving to Canada for Americans is easier than say, moving to Costa Rica or Czech Republic, this program is faster. It’s 10-months, not 1 year.

It’s also “uncut” and less generalized. When I know you come from X country and want Y country, I can give clear-cut, direct help. In this case, it’s US —> Canada.

Read more on the “US—>Canada” and other 2 plans here.

 

Backpacker Tax – What You Need to Know

A fairly easy “gap year” option for university students is to get a Holiday Work Visa, fly down to Australia and do temp work. Common work is the restaurant/bar scene, farm work or other short-term work. If you’re extremely lucky, work might pop up somewhat related to your degree. The best part of working down in Australia is you earn your wages tax-free. Well, for now…

AUS money

Continue reading Backpacker Tax – What You Need to Know

I’m Calling It: Bernie vs Trump. But, Seriously?

Four years ago, I wrote about Romney vs. Obama, and international poll results for the 2012 candidates. Basically, The Whole World, save one country, overwhelmingly chose Obama. (Revisit the old post to see who chose Romney)

Fast forward four years and we’re at another election. It’s still early, long before the primaries are all done. Plus, I don’t inject myself with the media hype 24×7 (a mental health choice). But from what I gather, there are still a few viable candidates on either side.

That said, if Americans’ frustration is the deciding factor, then the final fight is between the only two anti-establishment candidates:

Bernie vs Trump

So, yeah, I’m calling the final fight. Good bye, good ‘ol girl, Hillary. Good bye, long list of Republican has-beens and never-will-bes. The final fight is between the Vermont Socialist and the Center of His Universe.

Contest: putting my money where my mouth is

If you think I’m wrong, throw in your pick for the final fight (comment below).

If it turns out you pick the correct two (and I’m wrong), then I’ll gift you a full year’s subscription to “Gone in One Year” — free.

Get your popcorn – the bet’s on! This gets decided when both conventions decide their pick.

Who is the Typical Expat (Client)?

There is no “typical” expat. But I can share who is the typical Expat Yourself client.

Since I created “Gone in One Year” program, I fell in love with building info graphics. Info graphics are those colourful pages of icons and one-liners that speak volumes. Well, here’s a quickie that illustrates my typical consulting client.