Whelbourns in Canada

• Saturday 1 January 2011 - Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2011

Well out with the old and in with the new. I for one is glad to see the back of 2010. It has been a tough year financially, and work wise. My job last year consumed a lot of my time as we were establishing a new agency, and like many start ups there is never enough management capacity to go around, so you end up with three management jobs to do so that the operations of the business can run. Anyway the middle management layer is slowly being recruited and I am expecting to see are return to work life balance this coming year (one of the reasons for emigrating).

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I believe settling anyway takes about 5 years. After approximately five years you are familiar with the bills, the challenges of living in a place, and you can start to plan the next year with some degree of certainty.

Well this is our sixth year and we are ready to face it with a planned approach for the financial cycles, as well as the weather changes etc... For example we know the take home pay will drop by nearly $300 per month as the given takes out the payments for the Canada Pension Plan(4.95% or pensionable earnings) and the Employment Insurance (1.73% of insurable earning). This is the equivalent of the UK's national insurance, but here in canada is ring fenced for the purpose of Pensions and unemployment benefits. The strange thing is they want to collect it all by July, hence the pretty big drop in take home pay from January to May/June. On the upside both CPP and EU have maximum deductions which when combined are approximately $3000 for 2011 (unlike the UK).

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I also believe that many of the challenges we have faced would have been challenges whereever we were living. Our daughters are 20 and 23, car owning, and one in full time university, the other has moved out and living in her home (purchased and she is paying the mortgage). But of course they do not really earn enough and we are called upon to support them in their times of need. Sometimes we feel like we are supporting at least two households . I am not complaining because I believe it is one of those life stages the family goes through regardless of where they are (but I am looking forward to coming out the otherside).

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Last night (new years eve) we were invited round to our friends Wendy and Sean, for some drinks and to see in the new year. A very relaxing chat, some beers and a couple of glasses of champagne ..... But this led to a night of regret, I was awake every hour from 4am with a thumping headache and dry mouth (despite drinking a pint of water before going to bed) and ouch my head this morning.  I have a throbbing headache, and so does Jules (she had wine and champagne)

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Gemma is working today we are not having the traditional new years day roast dinner(thats planned for Monday). We will just take it easy all day.  The daytime temperature has warmed up to +8c so the snow is melting, we had a pleasant walk around the block (2.8km), however it is forecasted to start cooling again rapidly and it may just turn to ice..... nasty when that happens, it is like walking on an ice rink.

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Reading the Telegraph and BBC websites makes me worry about the UK's outlook for 2011. There is talk of 3 million on the dole, another recession or a dip in the GDP putting growth at zero, also some have given the Euro 20% chance of succeeding to survive in 2011 (predictions of a two tier Euro seem pointless as the whole point of a single currency is to do away with the fluctuations between members of the Euro zone). Also will the Coalition hold together or split? That would mean that the Labour Party would be called on to form a government (not a general election as people think).  Oh well there isnt anything the Expats can do, but just watch

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Happy New Year to you all and best wishes for a prosperous 2011!

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• Sunday 2 January 2011 - Happy New Year

Posted by dippy
Dave, you didnt mention that this is your first year as citizens?

I look forward to your blog as the year unfolds.... keep up the good work as it is just great to get a slice of life from over there.
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• Sunday 2 January 2011 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Howefamily
the whole situation here is unnerving and there was talk today of petrol going up to £1.40 a litre! Cant leave fast enough!
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• Sunday 2 January 2011 - Citizenship

Posted by Dave+Jules
Yes LOL how silly of me to forget, We became Canadian Citizens in Oct..... cost of a Canadian 5 year Passport $87 CAD, cost of a UK 10 year Passport $218 USD + $12 USD
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free hit counter David, Julie, Kathryn and Gemma emigrated to Canada on Nov 5th 2005. Now living in Island View New Brunswick.

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