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.

Dubai a Magnet for Thousands of Expatriates

Maybe you’ve seen them in action on YouTube? The window cleaners of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest man-made structure. The iconic Dubai skyscraper stands more than 2,700 feet tall and its estimated 24,000 windows spread over 206 storeys take around three months to clean using nothing more than good old fashioned soap and water. Incredible. Frightening.

Dubai is a modern city like no other, a metropolis fringed by deserts and the deep blue seas of the Persian Gulf. It’s a magnet for both the tourist and expatriate alike and little wonder. You want to shop in the largest mall in the world? You got it. Or shop 124 floors up in the Burj Khalifa’s At the Top boutique? You got that, too. Want a choice of the best of personal banking from multinationals you already know and trust? And be able to apply for a credit card, loan or open a current account? You’ve got all of that and more.

If you can’t go there in person, YouTube is also the place to see Dubai’s spectacular dancing fountain. The fountain, which literally basks in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa, is one of the most spectacular water displays to be seen anywhere. Covering a distance of more than 300 metres and combining water, light and sound, the fountain sprays 22,000 gallons of water into the air at any one moment. Some 6,600 lights and 25 colour projectors create the variety of heart-stopping patterns for which the fountain has now become so famous.

Looking out across the vast expanse of the city, it’s not surprising visitors find it hard to believe there was only desert sand to be seen a few short decades before. No Burj Khalifa. No modern gleaming steel, concrete and glass structures. No man-made islands. No highways. No businesses or banks. No HSBC credit card or cash machines. No tourists or first class hotels. No homes or people to live in them. Oil changed everything and propelled the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into the modern world. The UAE has never looked back since.

If big banking has made a home in Dubai, then so has international business, encouraged by a government fully aware the country’s vast oil wealth cannot last forever. So diversification has been the watchword for quite a number of years now. And with diversification has come the development of a taxation and regulatory regime which has encouraged thousands of international companies both large and small to set up in the country.

And why wouldn’t they given that there are no direct taxes levied on corporate profits or personal income and full foreign ownership is allowed. Other benefits include low or zero customs duties; 100% repatriation of capital and profits; and no foreign exchange controls, trade quotas or barriers. Visa regulations are relaxed enough to allow expatriate workers to be hired with relative ease.

Add to all of that high quality infrastructure, low levels of crime, a clean environment, excellent weather, and a friendly, tolerant and cosmopolitan population. Is it a wonder then Dubai is such a popular destination for the thousands of expatriates from around the world? Hardly. Click here to see the window cleaners of the Burj Khalifa in action. Only those with a strong stomach should watch!

Foreign Mortgages – Ours: Approved. Yea!

Today is a banner day. I just got word that our mortgage refinance application was approved. Oh, man, that rocks!

…so, now we only owe two and a half million. Thankfully, that’s not dollars, but in Czech crowns. In fact, I’m real thankful that’s not in dollars, since I’d be jumping out of a window if I owed anybody a million dollars, let alone two mill.

(Of course, a couple million crowns ain’t exactly peanuts either, which is why I have a mortgage.)

You may be asking “Why do you have a mortgage? Why refinance when you should just sell it? Aren’t you moving in like…10 days?”
Continue reading Foreign Mortgages – Ours: Approved. Yea!

How to Transfer Money Internationally, Part II

This is the 2nd post about wiring money overseas. In the first post, I talked about words we come across

And what great timing for this post! Today I need to wire just under $3,000 to rent a RV for a month out of Germany.

Let’s use my case as an example scenario…

Continue reading How to Transfer Money Internationally, Part II

How to Transfer Money Internationally, Part I

For almost anyone, the idea of transferring money can be stressful. If you’re like me, you’re triple-checking it “went through” even if transferring money between accounts of the same bank.

But this article is not about accounts in the same bank, nor about banks in the same country. This is about international money transfers.

I’m talking about doing it across the ocean,

    when source and/or destination doesn’t speak English,
      and you’re not a financial guru anyway. …yup, stressful.

    Well, stress no more.

    Continue reading How to Transfer Money Internationally, Part I

    Hey- An ExpatYourself Forum!!

    I’m not just adventurous in real life (yeah, right), I’m adventurous in website administration.

    My dream of helping people live overseas suddenly found a glass ceiling – enough time to answer e-mails.
    So, one idea I came up with is to create a forum where people could ask questions (and I still answer them), but future people could see the same questions (& answers!).

    A central place for questions. Easy access to (everyone’s) answers. It’s a win-win idea.

    I present the world’s newest Expat’s Questions and Answers forum:


    You may think it’s light on the questions so far…you’re right. You need to ask them first.

    Please post your questions there and I will be very diligent about answering them.

    Why Be An Expat?

    runlogoNeed a reason to become an expat? Here are the most popular:
    • “I have no job. Now what?” – There are countries begging for English speaking workers.
    • “I want to retire cheaply.” – Go retire for cheap in a country with a low cost of living.
    • “Looking for adventure and whatever comes my way!” – Plenty of adventure abroad.
    • “Wanted by the Man.” – “I understand extradition from Rio is very complicated.” (Fletch, 1984)

    Other popular reasons for US citizens:
    • Broadening children with new cultures, new languages, new sights.
    • Making your first $92,000 tax-free from the US government (for 2009 tax year)
    • Speaking of taxes, you get an extra 2 months to file. April 15th – No. June 15th – Yes!
    • Finding that special someone.

    Hey, if these reasons aren’t quite enough, how about 100 reasons more? Enjoy!