cost of living NZ vs. Canada

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cost of living NZ vs. Canada


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Old 30th August 2007, 08:48 AM
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Default cost of living NZ vs. Canada

Does anyone know what the cost of living in New Zealand is relative to Canada. For instance...

If you were used to getting paid about $50000 CAD and would have to drop to $43000 NZD (approx $32000 CAD) could you do this and live in a comparable manner?

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Old 18th December 2007, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjohnson75 View Post
Does anyone know what the cost of living in New Zealand is relative to Canada. For instance...

If you were used to getting paid about $50000 CAD and would have to drop to $43000 NZD (approx $32000 CAD) could you do this and live in a comparable manner?
I would like to ask the same question. Can somebody be kind enough to give some info on this subject?
Thanks, Regards.

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Old 17th January 2008, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjohnson75 View Post
Does anyone know what the cost of living in New Zealand is relative to Canada. For instance...

If you were used to getting paid about $50000 CAD and would have to drop to $43000 NZD (approx $32000 CAD) could you do this and live in a comparable manner?
That depends on a lot of factors. So here are a few differences...

1) Cars very cheap and do NOT require insurance although, it is a good idea to get 3rd party, I pay $20 a month.

2) Gas was 1.86 /L this morning

3) Rent varies from area to area goggle "trademe" for ideas

4) Meat very expensive ie. bacon is $10 and I have seen $10 cantaloupes!!

5) If you have children child care is VERY expensive. And there are school fees etc.

6) Beaches are beautiful and free and I think most of the sharks have cleared out.

I could go on and on so, if there is anything specific you would like to know feel free to ask. However, there are a lot of variables.

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Old 23rd January 2008, 07:06 PM
 
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WOW. Then I say as a local Canadian it is cheaper in Canada on most counts!
When I read some immigrants experience in NZ, they sound really broke even after several years. Not in Canada generally. Yes I know it is frustrating that some perople's credentials are not easily recognized and people sometimes have to start again(Canadians don't understand why the gov't isn't changing that....), but I have seen friends move here from China with nothing/no english-work their way up from scratch(and spouse gets educated here)-and in 10 years they own 2 very expensive homes and have very impressive careers in technology and executive manufacturing roles. It is very possible here. It doesn't sound so promising in NZ-although scenery is great I know!

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Old 24th January 2008, 01:08 AM
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It's more expensive to live in NZ and you make a lot less in wages. Financially, we'd have been much better off by far to stay in Canada.

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Old 27th January 2008, 09:31 PM
 
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Do you feel it was still worth it? Even without the financial benefits? ie. lifestyle change, climate change etc.

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Old 28th January 2008, 12:14 AM
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Default I'm not sure-probably not

I think we probably lost more than we gained by moving here. In all respects, not just financially. I probably wouldn't do it again, but we were a lot younger then and I don't think we really understood what we were doing even though we thought we did and it wasn't a spur of the moment decision.

We had friends back in Canada who were immigrants to Canada and they tried to tell us what it was like to shift countries but until you've done it you just don't realize. It's not the money, it's the *culture*. And the little tiny not-even-consciously aware parts of the shared culture.

It begins to dawn on you a few years down the track when the first exploratory blush wears off that none of your new friends have had a similar child hood (even the games are different, netball, rugby, cricket). That your backgrounds are really very different even if interests and all else are similar. Plus you get rid of your support system too. All of my family (and we're all very close) are in Canada pretty much in the same areas where we grew up, they still get together to go camping etc.

It's too expensive to just go visit Canada as well. And if you've moved over here, then decide you don't like it you better do so in a short time period because it eventually just gets too expensive to change your mind. It isn't cheap to move countries twice and start over.

Then there's things in Canada you take totally for granted like health care. NZ covers accidents but there are long waiting lists for non emergency type operations, even ones where your health is at risk unless you have separate coverage. Plus I think the Canadian school system is better and much more organized though NZ's is adequate.

In comparison to Canada, NZ is a very small place and it feels like it. Living here feels like living in a small country town. Even the cities are small. It also isn't very cultural. There's just so much more of Canada, and such a bigger variety and diversity of everything from people to food to museums, to art to music. There were some spices we couldn't even find in NZ until just the last couple years!

NZ is a bit like a large, grassy park. If you're strictly into the outdoors it's nice. Horseback riding, swimming, hiking, mountain biking. (not skiing- skiiing down a volcano may sound romantic but isn't very pleasant in real life, it's just bare rock and it isn't very nice snow. You'd get better skiing in the colder South Island which has some mountains)

The weather is milder all year so you can be outdoors more. I never did like the snow. That's one thing I do really like better. Don't believe what you read about the fishing though, Canada is much better for fresh water fishing. NZ surf fishing is probably better. The Pacific sure is a lot warmer too. The beaches are excellent. However, NZ has a super high UV index and you can get burnt really easily so it's smart to cover up. Feels a bit like being in a microwave.

I miss Canadian animals, even squirrels. I miss moose and bears and otters and racoons and knowing there are wolves.

NZ has it's pros. The weather especially where I live is marvelous. But we're both professionals and money is still tight. I don't know how the average couple who makes less than us survives and we're not extravagant by any means. Our last car, for instance, was bought at auction second hand (and we got a great deal by NZ standards) before that we owned a 1980 something $3000 car and then a van which cost about $5000, we've been fixing up our own house for the last six years as we bought a do-er upper.

We live outside any major cities in a small town and we got the house pretty cheap by NZ standards luckily just before the housing boom when banks were still being pretty generous with loans. And yet with two professional incomes and no kids we still struggle month to month. But we do have a savings plan that is taking a chunk of our income. Up until just this year you had to organize your own savings plan as employers don't usually have them and there's no Canada pension plan type thing where part of your wages are put by although there is a gov. monthly cheque once you hit a certain age. Now they have just implemented a Kiwi saver plan with certain perks which IMHO was a good move on the government's part. You can opt out if you want to.

A Dutch couple I ran into on the street the other day was incredulous when I told them I moved to NZ from Canada. A lot of kiwis (NZ'ers) are only too anxious to move overseas and there is quite a continuous brain drain to Britain and Australia, where you make a lot more money. For that matter a lot of truck drivers and labourers head over to Aussie to work for the same reason. It's very common.

I mean, I do generally like my life here. I walk to work, it's just around the corner, I walk home, people aren't unfriendly, the weather is nice. If only it weren't so darn small and felt like it! Then the money issue. Also we've seen a big increase in crime by youths and there is a biker type gang problem in NZ as well and they'd better get that under control. It seems to be getting worse and the last few months there's been a lot of violence in the local papers. Attacks on citizens and tourists that didn't even know the attackers.

This site www dot stuff dot co dot nz New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz is a good one to read and covers the bulk of national news. The New Zealand Herald online is another good one.

There used to be quite a few young couples from Canada, most of them stayed a couple years then went back to Canada. I can only think of one who is still here.

If any relative of mine in Canada asked if they should move to any other country I'd say don't be bloody stupid. Canada is one of the wealthiest, fairest (no corruption), highly esteemed countries with one of the best standards of living in the world and even though you may not think so when you live there, pretty common sense politics. Stay there. That'd be my advice.
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Old 28th January 2008, 12:59 AM
 
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Wow! You sure gave me a lot to think about. I appreciate your honesty. I can see both sides. We are very fortunate being Canadian - yet I really feel that my quality of life is diminished somewhat because of our "god-forsaken" winters. I almost literally hibernate for 5-6 months. Maybe New Zealand is the answer, maybe not! Regardless I well consider your advice. Thanks!

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Old 28th January 2008, 03:34 AM
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Well, if you had to pick a place other than Canada to live, NZ isn't a bad one. But Canada is so big, I'd encourage Canadians just to move provinces instead for a total life style change. I lived in a few different provinces and they're all very different with their own flavour and even accents. Why not try Vancouver? It's a lot milder there.

Edit to add: I'd take NZ over just about any other country though. I do like to get up in the morning in winter and be able to go outside in my bare feet, lol. Plus there is something in bloom just about year round. I live in one of the sunniest parts of the country and I really love that. The pace is a lot slower here too and most of the time that suits me though my husband found it really hard to get used to.

Be aware that most older houses don't have central heating OR insulation and a lot of them still use wood fires for heating. Not the newest homes, of course, but the majority of them still! Or a lot of people use plug-in type heaters. And we don't have a clothes dryer either, most people I know don't. A lot of little things are quite different and take some getting used to.


Last edited by JulieD; 28th January 2008 at 03:41 AM. Reason: thought I'd add a couple things
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Old 28th January 2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Thanks Julie! You're second reply doesn't sound quite so depressing lol! We have lived in a few different places. Born and raise in Manitoba, brrrr. Spent a year in Arizona on a work visa - loved Arizona - hated my job- unfortunately the two were a package deal. Last several years we've been in central Alberta. Milder than Manitoba, but this am woke up to -30 temp and -45 with windchill. We're prairie people so we're used to "Small towns" and I mean that in size and mentality. I can't imagine living somewhere like Toronto, or Vancouver - well maybe I could, but hubby wouldn't make it. He's not a big fan of crowds. OUr families are pretty much all in Manitoba, and because of all the moving we've done in the last several years, our network of friends may be well spread out, but keeps growing! I've been researching about the housing, so am aware of the points you raised. If you don't mind me asking, what part of NZ are you in?

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