This post was written by Akinola Obiyemi and original appeared on his personal website and this is his immigration to Canada story. Akinola is a Senior Business Analyst and currently lives with his family in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Few weeks ago late, March 2020, I turned 43. Yeah, at heart I feel like a 25 year old but each time I comb my hair after my morning bath, I notice the grey hairs popping up here-and-there on different parts of my head. My parents are of the early hair greying type, and I am mentally aware (but not emotionally content) that I may also have grey hair in my early 40’s.
Immigration to Canada
It’s been four-and-half years since my family, made up of my lovely wife and two older sons, landed in Canada. To immigrate to this wonderful country that we proudly call home, we had to sell many of our belongings and start life all over again. Starting all over again mostly mean having to largely discount years of work experience, lower one’s financial status, learning new skills, and networking with people in your planned career sector.
For some others, it means the following
- obtaining new professional certifications,
- changing careers,
- going back to school,
- job hunting,
- working part-time job(s),
- relying on your ethnic community to assist in settling in your new nation,
- understanding a new societal culture,
- adapting to new work culture,
- learning a new language, and (painfully, but commonly)
- starting at the tail end of the economic and professional ladder.
I’m sure you can cite some other examples to add to this exhaustive list.
Regaining Financial Security after Becoming Canada PR
The most crucial restart in our immigration to Canada story is regaining financial security, where many of the financial concepts are new and often confusing. Some examples are RRSP, TFSA, RESP, annual tax filing, contribution room, mortgage, credit score, employment insurance, credit cards – yes, credit cards are major monsters breathing down the necks of newcomers and which can either financially cripple, ruin or lead to a lifetime of financial struggle and spiral debt.
With limited financial means and a challenge securing well-paying professional jobs, saving for retirement may have to wait a few couple years until fate and fortune shines on you, and you’re finally able to find that “dream job” that gets you back to where you left off professionally before landing in Canada. For some, it may involve working multiple job(s), while for others they may resort to starting a side hustle.
|Our kids playing a game of soccer on their game console|
Working In Canada
In my case, I was lucky enough to have gotten back into a IT consulting role within a year of landing in Canada. However, it was not same for my wife who had to go through the long and tortuous route of regulatory provincial licensing to get back into her nursing profession. It took three-and-half years for her to finally scale through the Manitoba licensing process for internationally educated nurses.
Between my wife going through the demands of her nurse licensing, adding 2 new kids to the family, and buying our first home, we were financially drained and had little room for savings for retirement or emergencies. I shared a brief introduction of myself, because I believe these are the kind of challenges people who immigrate, when they are close to their 40’s, to a new country face.
You are in a new country where life is good, your kids are happy for the wonderful opportunities provided, but deep down you feel a sense of uncertainty about your financial future. Even if you’ve lived all your life in a country like Canada, you can suddenly wake up in panic to realize that you’re in your 40’s and wondering if the dream of a fun-filled financially secure retirement can become a reality for you, since you’re still barely getting by in meeting everyday needs.
With this preview, my subsequent blog posts will kick off by walking you through the process I’m taking to achieve financial security for my family. I’m not a financial planner (but I may consider this in the future), neither do I claim to be one. I am just your everyday new Canadian who is dealing with the demands of settling in a new country, while trying to play catch up in a quest to achieve financial security for my family.
Among other things, this blog will chronicle my journey through evaluating my financial situation, planning for my financial future, eliminating debt, creating a working plan, and executing my plan. The goal is to show that with some financial knowledge, commitment, discipline, and focus, it is possible to achieve financial security when you’re deemed to have joined the financial freedom train late in the game.
The plan is simple: through dogged determination, planning, financial education and financial disciple, I want to convince you that it’s possible to create a million(s) dollar financial portfolio, despite starting late. So, if your financial situation is tough and giving you emotional grey hairs, you’re not alone. Be rest assured that you can turn this around and make a good success of it.
I promise to do the background work by reading books and doing web research to unearth every knowledge relevant to my posts, share key pointers of my research in simple and easy-to-use language, apply the knowledge to my analysis, share relevant free web resources that everyone can use to do similar analysis, review some books that I find useful towards achieving the goals, and occasionally getting insights from experts and everyday people.
Welcome, as we engage in this fruitful journey together. It promises to be an exciting ride!