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Expat Advice: Financial Issues in Ontario, Canada

Submitted by canuck747

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Ontario

Which banks do you use? If you have a local account, which bank do you use? How do you like it? Do you also have an account in your home country? Which bank? Do they charge for ATM withdrawals? Do they charge a lot for international wire transfers? How has it been working with them from abroad? Do you use a special international wire transfer service? Do you use an online bank? If so, tell us about them.

I have maintained my UK bank accounts and credit cards as it is useful when buying Christmas or birthday presents from web sites in the UK.

I opened an account in Canada at Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank, and they are both excellent banks.

What advice would you offer others about banking as an expat in your country? What do you wish you had known about banking when you first arrived?

Make sure that you apply for an American Express card well before you leave your home country, as when you move to Canada you will have no credit history. By getting an Amex card in the UK or wherever, you can get a card in Canada by using their "global transfer program".

What sort of challenges or frustrations have you encountered as an investor living overseas? Please describe.

Accounts over here are a lot different than the UK.

There is a lot to learn about RRSp's (registered retirement plans) and RRIFS ( Registered Retirement Income Funds).

BMO have great Financial Advisors.

What advice was particularly helpful to you in managing your finances? What advice would you give? Any other thoughts?

Just make sure that you pay your bills on time. Credit is everything here.

Do you do your own taxes, use a local firm, an expat-oriented firm or does your employer handle this for you (i.e. via an corporate tax firm)?

We use a cross border tax specialist to do our taxes.

What advice could you offer others about doing your taxes as an expat?

Get an expert!

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