Vincent Heys: [00:00:00] From wealthstack.ca Welcome to the financial wellness podcast series, where we discuss all kinds of financial principles, concepts, and products. Our aim is to make money matters. Simple again.
Vincent Heys: Hey there. Are you a new immigrant to Canada, and are you stressed about all the [00:01:00] things that you don't know? Well, in the studio today, I have Duane Littler and we are unpacking the most important things that you need to do in the first three weeks, the first three months, and the first three years around your financial plan.
Vincent Heys: I hope you enjoy the podcast, Hey Duane.
Duane Littler: Hi. Good morning Vincent. Thank you for, for having me here today and I look forward to our chat.
Vincent Heys: Just before we start, Dwayne, can you maybe just kind of tell us a little bit in terms of why did you leave South Africa and why did the family choose Canada? Because everyone's got a story.
Vincent Heys: You know, every time that we talk to, um, clients and people, they all have stories. And what is your story?
Duane Littler: Yeah, sure. Uh, so our story actually goes back quite a long way. Um, we do have family here, so my, my wife's dad has been in Canada for the last 20 years. Mm-hmm. . And because of that we have visited him on a few occasions and I think, um, always.
Duane Littler: You know, the thought in the back of our head, [00:02:00] you know, we would like to maybe live here. Um, at that stage, we just couldn't get ourselves to leave South Africa. Um, we were young, we were basically getting married. We were starting out, and all the family was there. So it was a tough, tough decision to, to make.
Duane Littler: So we didn't make it initially, and then only when. Visited Canada with our kids. I think your perspective changes. Mm-hmm. , you know, you, you look at the country in a different light. You look at it from your kids' future point of view. You look at it from. Just a family point of view. And, um, that's, that was in 2015, end of 2015.
Duane Littler: And, uh, we came back and the first year after that trip we realized we had to make a plan. So we started our journey December, 2016 with our, um, we met with the immigration consultant and yeah. And our process really flew by, we were the lucky ones. It took about a year to get, uh, [00:03:00] PR status, so, . So that's kind of how the story unfolded.
Duane Littler: I think the second half of the story arriving is actually, uh, probably a, a longer story, more interesting one. But the reason we came is just looking for the opportunity, right? Mm-hmm. , we always with our mind on the future, and I think you have to live life that way. Always planning for the future, you know, whether it be life, whether it be financial side, whether it just be educational side.
Duane Littler: And that's kind of the main reason we came for that. Opportunities from a future. .
Vincent Heys: Thanks, Dwayne. That's great. I, I still need to find the, the person that's, that, uh, spent more time than us in terms of moving from one country to the other. My family is a bit like a mustard seat, you know, wherever you throw them, that's where they take rooted.
Vincent Heys: That's it. So it took, it took us like 10 years to find our way to Canada. So, so just for the listeners, Duane, uh, also joined Wealth Stack in December. Uh, set of business development. So, yeah, it's great going to have you on the team anyway. Oh, thank you. It's good [00:04:00] to be here. So what we wanna talk about today is really for those, uh, immigrants coming into, uh, Canada.
Vincent Heys: It doesn't have to be South Africans, obviously. Uh, the content is, um, for this podcast structured more for South Africans. Uh, so what we thought we wanna do is, um, just give the listeners a sense in terms. Uh, you know, what we think they need to do prior to leaving South Africa or their country. Um, what are the main things to do within the first three weeks and then the three months, and then the first three years of moving into Canada.
Vincent Heys: And so, you know, I just remember the, the, when we got here, like it was like super daunting, you know, moved to a, an Airbnb for the first two weeks, then moved. our rental property and the container arriving. And it was just like a nightmare, you know? And I, and I can still see people moving to Canada now that first, that first three weeks.
Vincent Heys: You know, they, they walk around with, um, [00:05:00] it's like a, a train coming in, you know, in front of the tunnel and , you know, like big eyes and, and not sure what's gonna happen, uh, going. , I don't know. Dwayne was, what was your experience like? I know definitely Vincent. I think it's, it's very overwhelming. I think you can easily take it for granted.
Vincent Heys: Um, just how difficult it is making that transition. Mm-hmm. , right? I think you do all the, I call it all the big ticket items you normally think of and you tick off your list, but you sometimes the smaller things that also make a big difference. And it's always important to kind of, I think, have a checklist.
Vincent Heys: So know what? getting yourself into, um, and make sure that you kind of cover everything. It takes a bit of work. Yeah. And discipline. But it's, it's important. It's critical. Yeah. And I think that just helps you to make that transition. a bit easier. So I think today's discussion around just giving some pointers for, for new immigrants coming to Canada to consider, I think does go [00:06:00] a long way.
Vincent Heys: And I think just both of us having an experience of seeing people come and settle and, uh, through our own experience, we know it's definitely important to look at these, these pointers. I think, uh, you know, when I also speak to clients, um, . I, I think it's just important for the listeners also just to hear that it is a tough thing to do.
Vincent Heys: Uh, you know, very often we, we share our best moments on social media, you know, on Facebook and LinkedIn, whatever. You know, we are seeing this thing and that thing kind of thing. But very often it's like really difficult, you know, especially just from a money perspective. You know, you take your cash in South Africa divided by, what is it now, 13 and a half, or.
Vincent Heys: you're coming to a new country. New job, um, new way of life. And it's just difficult, you know? So, uh, I just wanna put that on the table. You know that very often we look at other people's lives from a social media perspective and we think, ah, [00:07:00] they've got it . The, the thing is, we don't have it. You know, it's like, uh, it's, it is difficult and, and we just want to keep that perspective for the listeners to say that it's been tough for me and I.
Vincent Heys: Duane, it's been tough for you guys as well. Oh, definitely, definitely. Tough. I think, I think that's a very important point you make there is that, uh, don't get too carried away by the, uh, social media post necessarily because as human beings, we post only the positive. But I think that's why discussions like today is important to say, look, let's not sugarcoat it.
Vincent Heys: Let's be aware of it and let's make sure we can help each. Through it. So the reason for the way that we structure this thing is to make sure that, uh, what we often find is that if, if, um, if our clients know what they need to do, uh, in the future, it gives them a lot of more, you know, peace of mind kind of thing.
Vincent Heys: Yes, we are not gonna be able to do everything now, but just to know that there's a plan in place, um, going forward. And so these, that's why these pointers will, [00:08:00] will, um, will. , um, making that transition. Okay, so Dwayne, shall we dive, just dive into the first few points and, and here it's really about what we think the guys need to do before leaving South Africa.
Vincent Heys: So we have a few points here. Some of these ones we gonna dive in detail and some we're just gonna mention it. Yeah, thanks. Yeah, no, for sure. I think, you know what, it's just maybe upfront to say this is not an exhaustive list, but these are kind of the things that have come up, um, as common across most of us.
Vincent Heys: Uh, but it, you know, it's important to make sure that you get this part correct so that it sets you up nicely by the time you arrive in Canada. So maybe I'll mention the first one or two, I think. Because you're moving to a country, a new country, nothing is really set up. So you're not in the system. You don't have a credit card, you don't have a bank account, you have nothing pretty much, uh, before you arrive.
Vincent Heys: [00:09:00] So, Make sure that you have made plans to ensure a smooth transition. So one of the things you want to do is make sure that you can use your credit card, um, overseas. So make sure that the bank or the credit card issuer knows that you'll be making, uh, transactions, um, in a foreign country so that there's no block or no hold, because it's important you're gonna need access to cash, especially in the first few weeks.
Vincent Heys: So that's a very important one. And then maybe another one, I, I mentioned Vincent, that sometimes. People don't, um, necessarily think of because you just focused on moving, is that, don't forget you actually have to cancel your home and car insurance that you have. So chances are you probably would've sold your house, um, sold the car.
Vincent Heys: So make sure that you, uh, are not paying the insurance on that side. So I think again, with the currency, money is key and your affordability and your spending power is key. So make sure you don't spend necess. That's good. Okay, so then, uh, two things on [00:10:00] the financial, uh, pure financial side. The one is, uh, make sure that your life insurance and critical illness, and if you have disability cover through, let's say pps, then just keep it intact.
Vincent Heys: Uh, it's, um, don't cancel the things. If you leave the company, uh, that you're working for, then obviously some of those group benefits will disappear. But any private insurance, uh, just keep them for now. Um, don't cancel. because it does take some time and it does take a while for the underwriting in Canada to come through before, uh, we can issue coverage for you, uh, offshore.
Vincent Heys: So just make sure that that's in place. And then the other really important one is, uh, retirement funds. And so Dwayne, I mean, we've, we've seen quite a few clients. , um, that cashed in their preservation funds after leaving South Africa, settled India. That could be a problem for them. And so just in this sense, just make sure that when you want [00:11:00] to leave South Africa coming to Canada, uh, or like any other country, um, that if you decide, not we say that we don't say that you have to cash in your preservation funds, but if you decide to do that, then do that before leaving South Africa that you have.
Vincent Heys: The pay, the exit tax of those, um, retirement funds in South Africa. The money arrives in your bank and in South Africa before you become a tax resident in Canada. Because once you land here and start working, by default, you become a tax resident. And if you're a tax resident, then uh, you have to declare worldwide income.
Vincent Heys: And then that pension, uh, payments or that, uh, pension balance that was paid out to you in South Africa in the bank account in South Africa does form part of your tax filing. for that here in Canada. And so obviously you do get a tax credit for, for whatever you paid in South Africa, but, um, there could be a top up on this site if you, a high income earner.
Vincent Heys: So, uh, just, uh, that's kind of the, in my mind that's probably the one of the [00:12:00] biggest, um, money tickets that the client is didn't need to be aware of before, uh, becoming a tax resident. . So there are other nuances in terms of once you become a tax resident, um, bringing money in, there are, um, possibilities of moving that into your r RSP or your retirement fund in Canada and get the full tax benefit again.
Vincent Heys: Um, so there are few things that one can do in terms of moving that, that cash out once you cash it out in South Africa. Uh, but that's probably one of the big things just to be. Yeah, no, I think it's, I think it's very important and as South Africans, many of us have retirement annuities back home, and so I think if, if you ever in doubt, I think, you know, reach out to, to the financial experts and make sure that you are on, on top of that.
Vincent Heys: Okay. Then we have a few, um, smaller items. [00:13:00] Uh, driver's license. Man, I, you know how many times it took me to get my driver's license in Africa, , I was, I was there one of the, my birthday was in September, um, 1990. So just when k, what is it? K, K 53, I think. K 53, yeah. Came in. So I was like one of the first guys in.
Vincent Heys: in the free state to do it. And they failed me four times. , it took me five times to get my driver's license. So I was, I was a little bit nervous coming to Canada to get my driver's license. Yeah, but was it difficult Dwayne? Um, no. So I actually had a very positive experience. Um, but I think the one point where I slipped up was, um, , and I actually did this from Canada, but to save you a lot of hassle and stress, I would recommend make sure that you receive your confirmation of South African driver's license, right?
Vincent Heys: So you get that from the uh, road, uh, traffic organization in, [00:14:00] in South Africa. Make sure that it, the certificate says when you were first issued with a license, you are going to need that in Canada. You're going to have to present that. Uh, it does help. With obtaining your Canadian license. I was lucky to receive that in my first week when I arrived in Canada, so that did help.
Vincent Heys: If you do not have it, they treat you as a new, young, 18 year old coming to pass for their driver's license. So you gotta do everything from scratch and just a little. Uh, tips. So Canada has three levels of drivers testing, right? So, which is quite different to South Africa, and that's why it's important to have that confirmation cause it allows you to skip a level.
Vincent Heys: Um, but I had a positive experience, Vincent, thank goodness I didn't have to do it four times . And luckily I passed out when it was, there was no snow, so, so that wasn't also good. Uh, excellent. Okay, so, uh, passports and tickets. So this is a very common question. You know, how do I carry my important document?
Vincent Heys: uh, when I'm [00:15:00] leaving South Africa. And so basically make a copy of all the documents, put it in, uh, Dropbox or, or, um, Google Drive, and then you just carry your physical documents and your folder passports and any other immigration documents. I would, I would just like, you know, we've got a blue file that if the house burns down, we all scramble for the blue file, so, Um, our was suggesting is just to have one file in hand when you fly.
Vincent Heys: That's like the most important things that doesn't leave your site and, uh, you carried on your carryback and, and those are the important documents that you take with you. Yeah, I think that's important. I think maybe just an extra, but uh, you know, with today and cloud storage and access, it's also maybe good to make sure that you.
Vincent Heys: Have it stored in the cloud in some form, um, so that you could access it from anywhere. Uh, but I would just echo God that folder [00:16:00] with your life, uh, especially as you make your way through. Through customs and through, uh, immigration when you do land, uh, in Canada. Uh, as an extension of that, I think another point to consider, uh, is I would say travel insurance and, um, yeah, I would even go so far as say maybe health insurance.
Vincent Heys: So initially when you arrive, Uh, you will not be, uh, in the healthcare system just yet, right? So it's part of the, uh, process in your first few weeks. But to ensure that this, uh, that you're covered in the event of any medical emergencies, make sure that you've got travel insurance, health insurance. Um, there'll probably be a waiting.
Vincent Heys: As well. So I know from an Ontario province point of view, there was usually a three month waiting period. Um, however, when I arrived during Covid, they, uh, they did away with the waiting period, so I was fortunate, but as far as I know, that's been reinstated, so it's back to three months. [00:17:00] So just make sure that you covered for those three months, you know, um, if, if you need any, any health, uh, health, uh, assistance that you, that you can obviously get it out of your extended.
Vincent Heys: I. So I think that's also very important. Set it up before you come, and then that's one listen thing to worry about.
Vincent Heys: Okay, Dwayne, let's talk about the first three weeks of arriving in Canada. You know, that's obviously a very stressful time. and, uh, we all sit with our own, own stories again, in terms of what happened that that first three weeks, very, um, uh, you know, there's a lot of stress in the family. Uh, yes, there are some really good experiences in terms of new place and all these kind of things, uh, but just practically, you know, quite a few things that, um, can trip us up if, if we don't know about the things.[00:18:00]
Vincent Heys: Okay, so let's talk about, uh, those points. The first one is, uh, bank account. Obviously you wanna erase to the bank to make sure that, um, you get that bank account set up as quickly as possible, and, um, and that will, uh, help open the doors for you on the next step. . Yeah, I think that that's a very important point.
Vincent Heys: The bank account is critical. Uh, you, you're going to need that. Um, so make sure that you get to the bank. It'll obviously make it easier to pay bills, receive salary if you are employed, um, to transfer money. Uh, just makes it so much easier, obviously one of. Link to that, I would argue one of the most important things you're going to do upfront and first and foremost is get your social insurance number.
Vincent Heys: So again, you need to go to a Service Canada location. Uh, that's a very important number in Canada, so that allows you to obviously be employed to pay your taxes. Um, so that's a number you don't share with anybody. It's important that you keep it safe, [00:19:00] but you're gonna need that. to basically enter the, the financial system, I would say, put it that way.
Vincent Heys: So it's important that you get that. Um, as, as make that your number one priority. I would argue that in your bank account goes together. I would say, um, once you've done that, um, I think you want to then, You want to build credit. So in Canada, and Vincent can elaborate on this, he knows he's seen this.
Vincent Heys: Credit is very important. Uh, if they look at your credit score, um, to determine quite a few things, uh, that you apply for in Canada. So the sooner you get a credit card, the better because it then starts your credit score history. Uh, and, and that is. , you want to get a credit card and use it, obviously responsible.
Vincent Heys: So make sure you understand how the credit score system works so that you can obviously stay, um, above board in terms of, of the rules they apply when calculating your, your credit score. So I would say, Vincent, those three points go together, you know, get you [00:20:00] insurance number. In Canada, they call it a sin number.
Vincent Heys: You'll hear that flying around, open a bank account and get a, get a clearer. . Uh, yes, and I think just, uh, uh, one other takeaway here is that for South Africans, other banks in Canada is not similar to those in South Africa, so it's not as, uh, efficient. Uh, so invest take, um, F and B, um, r and b, they're all lot better than the banks that we find in Canada.
Vincent Heys: So we've, you know, testimony, I've been more in banks in the last five years than my previous 45 years in ca, in South Africa. So just. And yes, um, checks are still used in Canada, which is kind of a bit strange. Uh, but I think it's, it just, what, what I also just wanna say is I don't look always the negative.
Vincent Heys: You know, I did read an article a few years ago on the plane, um, that even though we sit with a banking system that we think in Canada is archaic, uh, the amount of fraud that happens in Canada is way less than the fraud in South Africa per capita. [00:21:00] Um, even with all the software and all the efficient tools that we have in South Africa.
Vincent Heys: There is, um, this might be a benefit to that as well. One other thing just on the credit card, um, when you, when you open your credit card, um, normally, you know, let's say RBC or Scotia, whatever, they have a newcomers package and they normally start around $2,000 overdraft facility. Um, you know, I would suggest just take as much as you.
Vincent Heys: Uh, and just back to Dwayne's point, from a, from a credit score perspective, it took me a while to realize how it's calculated, but effectively, if you get a $2,000, um, loan, you don't wanna spend more than 30% on that. So let's say 600 bucks, and then you paid off for money in your debit card again. So you would use your credit card for most of the purchases, don't spend more than 30% on your facility, and then you pay it back.
Vincent Heys: So what. Uh, the credit formula kind of work is that they wanna make sure that yes, [00:22:00] you have credit first step. Second step is yes, you are using the credit. Third step is you using it responsible. So not more than 30 or 40%, and first one that you can actually pay it back. Okay? So if you do that, you are good to go.
Vincent Heys: One credit card is fine, you don't have to have other, um, credit cards and loans, whatever. So that one is fine. , Dwayne, there is some other points here for the first three weeks. Yeah, so I'll, I'll go with the, the next two. I think it's all, it's, it's practical tips and advice just to help you integrate into life in Canada with better.
Vincent Heys: And then the third one we can, uh, maybe you can jump on Vincent, but I would say, obviously depending on. The, the status of your move, you, you obviously want to know where to live, right? So if you're coming on a work permit, you probably want to live close to. the, your employment, right? If you don't have work yet, you might [00:23:00] have broader options in terms of where you wanna live.
Vincent Heys: So you wanna research housing options, uh, get in touch with a, a realtor that can help you. Um, you probably wanna do a bit of that research anyway before you come. Uh, to Canada so you can know where you wanna settle. Um, so many options, uh, rentals in terms of apartments, condos, or house houses and homes.
Vincent Heys: So, so do that. That's a very important thing to do. And then the second point I wanna say is, Get a local cell phone, uh, again, as soon as you can. Again, it's just gonna make life easier. Um, the earlier you get a phone, the the better for you. Cause it allows you to basically put an end to your South African contract, uh, if you don't need it anymore, for any practical reasons, because those could become quite costly in terms of roaming charges.
Vincent Heys: So I think, um, again, just from a practical integration settling point of. , make sure that you've covered the housing options for, for where you wanna live and, uh, get a local cell phone. So, I mean, there are, there are [00:24:00] many providers in options, so it shouldn't be too difficult, um, at this point in time. Then the other thing I think you want to do is then this is, very important.
Vincent Heys: You might not see the impact from your day-to-day life immediately, but it's important to set yourself up correctly. Vincent, and I think, um, maybe you can elaborate, but group benefits. So if you are coming over on a work permit, you immediately are entitled to to, to group benefits in most cases. But just how do we go about, we mentioned earlier about keeping your South African insurance, uh, products intact until you are settled in Canada, but we do re.
Vincent Heys: Review the group insurance, uh, benefits that you have and, um, ideally we say, look at Wells Stack. We, we say, do your dashboard. You know, get a, get a global view. But maybe you can just explain what we've done with. With previous, uh, yes. South Africans moving over. Yeah. So that's a, that's a tricky one because they [00:25:00] need to make a decision pretty quickly.
Vincent Heys: Yeah. You know, if they have a soft landing from an employment perspective, so they have to decide which group of interests I'm gonna choose. And very often, yeah. There's no support from the company perspective. They, they will throw you with a PDF or with a booklet, uh, in terms of the decisions to make.
Vincent Heys: And it's different, you know, so the group benefits are set up differently, um, compared to South Africa. And, and I think we'll touch on that also a little bit. . Um, so normally we would kind of just say that if there's, uh, basic life insurance, it normally gives you a basic life insurance where you don't have an option.
Vincent Heys: You know, just like one times or two times salary or a disability cover. The intake it. , you know, because it's just part of your package. You don't have a choice to take it. And if they offer any, um, matching on the retirement side, then obviously you just want to take that, you know, sometimes there's a waiting period.
Vincent Heys: I think the bigger confusion really is for people, um, on the medical side. Uh, it, it, that could be a little bit complicated to, to pick [00:26:00] that. The one thing that we would, uh, do say to people is just, we, we normally find that optional life cover, optional critical illness, and these kind of stuff is more expensive over time.
Vincent Heys: Uh, so that's why what, uh, what Duane alluded to is create a dashboard on Walt Stack. It takes you five to seven minutes to know what, uh, what level of goal you need to have with critical illness, disability, and, and life cover. . Um, it gives you a way to input all your existing products in there, and then you can see how much you have short, um, uh, you know, whether there's a gap in any of those goals.
Vincent Heys: So I would really encourage you to make contact with us or with someone else just to take you through those group benefits to make sure that you select the right ones. Um, yes, you can always deselect them later on, but it's just better if you, if you make the right decisions upfront. Um, and again, um, the, the biggest difference there is that [00:27:00] group benefits don't offer any critical illness coverage than what you have in South Africa, for example.
Vincent Heys: And the medical site here covers you, uh, for dental and optical and extended medical coverage, you know, what we call auxiliary benefits in South Africa, you know, so, um, sometimes they offer you a choice of those kind of things, and you're most welcome to make contact with us just to help you guide through.
Vincent Heys: Because they, there's no guidance normally from, from companies.
Vincent Heys: Okay, so let's talk about the first, uh, three months now. We've settled the first three weeks we getting into our cadence. Uh, we, um, we uh, we've got a car to drive, got a cell phone. We've got bank account, credit card, all those kind of stuff. A place. Now, Dwayne, that first three months is a interesting time period.
Vincent Heys: Yeah, definitely. By, by now you're probably feeling a little bit [00:28:00] more at home. Um, you pr you're getting used to the weather in Canada. You're probably, uh, picking up on, uh, On, on the accent side a little bit, but yeah. Now life's becoming a bit normal. Right? So now that you've done all that, those initial steps, it's important to start, I think really looking at life in general and planning for the future.
Vincent Heys: It's important, right? So I think one of the f the first things we, we like to encourage people to do is, uh, create a financial. You know, it's, it's very important that, you know, uh, how you stack up. You know, life has changed dramatically. You've moved from one country to another, and because of that, everything else has changed, right?
Vincent Heys: So it's important that now you wanna get a sense of how does my new world look? Right. And one of the best ways to do that is to create this financial plan and that, and then tie your, your goals into that. So we normally say here at Wells Stack, um, that, you know, to make it [00:29:00] easy and simple to understand, there's generally three categories that, uh, all people have in terms of financial goals or their financial planning.
Vincent Heys: and through our dashboard we help illustrate that for you and bring it to life. So, uh, we say, look, once you've completed the the dashboard, it allows you to obviously understand and track your goals. Uh, you can see, uh, where the gaps are and. , we know that it can be very stressful during this time. So a tool like this definitely helps.
Vincent Heys: Just to give you a sense of, you know, people always say, if I can see it, I'm black and white. I'm okay with it because now I know what is required of me, right? And I know what action steps, uh, typically need to be taken. So we want to try and do that as soon as possible. And that's why we say once the dust has settled, after your first.
Vincent Heys: Mm. Keep focus and attention to that financial plan. Um, at whilst Stack. Like I said, we've, we've done lots of good work developing this [00:30:00] dashboard and that's really a tool that we think can help you, uh, achieve this. Yeah. And so, and I think maybe just to add onto what Dwayne says there, is that, you know, I would say, um, 99% of the time, um, you know, people are stressed just because they don't know, you know, what's in the.
Vincent Heys: and when they look at that initial dashboard that Dwayne talks about, you know, it is tough to swallow , you know, because as we said, you know, you take your rent divide by 13 and a half and then you see what you have kind of thing. But there is a, there, there is an encouragement point, encouraging point there to, you know, to say that when we work with clients and what we've seen, Happening, you know, from that first three months and then after three years, and now five years or six years later, is that their score has definitely increased substantially.
Vincent Heys: You know, so you, you find yourself in one place now. [00:31:00] Um, and there are maybe two goals there that normally stands out. What people, uh, uh, you know, where their big gaps are. The one is life insurance, just because of you, you know, if you want to pay off your debt or future mortgage. And your living cost and your life insurance goal is opposed to re replicate that living cost for the next 10 or 20 years.
Vincent Heys: That's an enormous amount. If you translate that back to rents, you know, so I would say 99.9% of the time people don't have enough life coverage just because of the LI living cost. And then the second one is obviously retirement. It, that one falls completely out of the bus because you have to reset the values.
Vincent Heys: You have to reset the assumption. . And so we, we do wanna just encourage you, you know, that even if you look at your dashboard, you do the planning and you like 6% of reaching your target, , it's, don't, don't close it and don't close the computer. , there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Okay? That's, that's [00:32:00] what we see, you know, slowly, a hundred percent, right?
Vincent Heys: I mean, there's a saying, how do you eat an elephant, right? But by bit, so, uh, don't. don't be put off. Uh, you know what? The best time to start was probably yesterday, but the next best time to start is today. So the sooner you start, the better for you. And it's, again, if you don't know where you stand, you actually don't know where you should be headed.
Vincent Heys: So, um, and that's why the plan becomes so important, right? And, and I think it's, at the very least you should be doing a plan. Are you then implement. , it's up to you. Okay. But, but the plan, it starts with the plan. And I think once you have the plan, the next thing I want to say you should be looking at, or actually it goes hand in hand, is creating your budget because it's important on a monthly basis that you.
Vincent Heys: can keep track of your expenses, your income that you are living with in your means comfortably, but that you also have enough to [00:33:00] allocate to your, your wells stack goals on your plan, right? So your financial goals that you have in mind, uh, we wanna make sure that that's the bit by bit part that, that we refer to, that you can allocate to it, that you can work on the retirement.
Vincent Heys: So it's important that you then have a plan, but also a budget. The budget controls the day to day, and the plan is longer term. Together. The two definitely, uh, goes hand in hand. And I think especially coming to Canada where things are different, uh, you are not, you haven't yet found your, um, your groove, I would say when it comes to grocery shopping, what to pay, uh, in terms of gas, what to.
Vincent Heys: Or to pay for maybe sports membership or gym or what, whatever the case may be, you still need to kind of get a, a handle on that and that's where the budget really will, will, will stand you in good stead. And I think, Dwayne, what we need to do is we should maybe put together a few budgets. , you know, [00:34:00] for, let's say a family where a husband and wife is together, and then one with small kids.
Vincent Heys: Yeah. You know, one with older kids and single people. So just to kind of give them a sense in terms of, of that, um, budget. But that is like a, and you can really only establish that budget after three, four months of expenditure. You know, kind of see what exactly. Get through the water. Uh, what I do wanna just add onto that is just, you know, don't, um, if you have the means,
Vincent Heys: I just know that this is the time I spent, you know, we are going through different seasons in life, you know, in some seasons we save, uh, because it's more than enough. And then other seasons we just need to make use of the money, you know, that we have. And I always kind of think about the Israelites leaving Egypt, you know, and going through the desert and they were crying out to God, you know, please give us some meat to eat and God send them the.
Vincent Heys: is that right? Yeah. So, um, but you know, one thing is [00:35:00] they had like thousands of sheep. Why didn't they kill ? A few sheep to eat? You know, just becau I think just because they don't want to dip into their savings. . Yeah. You know, so, uh, um, you know, just, just know that this is a time that you are gonna spend more money than what you used to.
Vincent Heys: Um, but this is a season, you know. That will, that season will also pass and then you'll move into the new season. So just be, just be, uh, a little bit, uh, have enough grace for yourself in this time. Yeah. Establish, I think we talked about establishing credit. Uh, maybe just one last point there within the first three months is there are a few providers that you can sign up, uh, like, borrow Well, uh, or Credit Karma.
Vincent Heys: Uh, it's for free and they will send you then an email once a month or every second week to help you, um, to look at your credit score, uh, and some tips around that. So I think that's useful. [00:36:00] Um, Apply for driver's license. I think we've talked about that. We've talked about that. I think, uh, now it's obviously the time to, to make that appointment.
Vincent Heys: Mm-hmm. now that you know what to expect. And another thing, uh, your driver's license is typically considered your primary form of identification. . Yeah. So, so you want to kind of get that. Out of the way as soon as possible. Um, so don't forget to put that on your list for the first three months that you, you book your appointment.
Vincent Heys: I would even go so far as to say if you really are uncomfortable, because remember now you're driving on the other side of the road for South Africans. So what many South Africans have done, they, they, they sign up for one or two listens just to get the. Of what they're looking to evaluate nt. So that's maybe not a bad idea.
Vincent Heys: Um, but if you're comfortable and confident, you can go for it on your own if you're an experienced driver. But I would say don't forget the driver's license. It's your identification. So it's very important. And typically that's what you want to use. Cause you'll have it on your person all the time as [00:37:00] opposed to carry a passport around.
Vincent Heys: Yeah. And they normally, if you open any accounts, um, they would normally ask for two government issued. Uh, I. . And so you sit with your passport and that's it. And that's it. And now you're stuck. Now you're stuck. Yeah. Um, so you need, you definitely want to get a, your driver's license card for that, because even your health card is not accepted as a photo id.
Vincent Heys: You know? So that's, that's, that's important. Um, let's just jump back to the group benefit selection because some, some people had a soft landing in the first three, three weeks. They had to select some staff. Uh, what we do see is that, you know, , they select maybe a few things, learn a few other things, and then within the first three months realize, but oh, you know, I haven't made the right selection now again.
Vincent Heys: And so, um, we do think it's important just to kind of revisit your group benefits and having that in line. Now's the time to really start thinking about your, your South African insurance. Okay. So we, so you've [00:38:00] left it in South Africa, you still have some money there that pays the, um, the insurance premium.
Vincent Heys: but it's an ideal time now to, um, uh, apply for coverage in, in Canada. And then once that coverage is implemented in Canada, we then, um, apply to stop that. So we have a few articles separately on insurance in Canada, the differences between, uh, Canadian level cost and South African. , but Duane, maybe just quickly in terms of the differences, why do we say it's better, you know, to buy Canadian cover as opposed to leave this at 11 once?
Vincent Heys: Yeah, so I think firstly, I mean from a, it's cost effective, right? So in Canada, um, you have what we call term insurance, which is typically for a time period. And in south, as South Africans, we. [00:39:00] very well versed in, I would say the traditional permanent life insurance. You know, that's, that covers your, your whole life.
Vincent Heys: Now in Canada, it's, it's very important to understand that the equivalent of that in Canada is, is quite expensive. Um, and, but the nice thing is that the has, there's a different category called term insurance, which is, which is for a period only, but also. In Canada, uh, you know, in South Africa your premiums would increase every year in Canada, you, your certain products also have level premium, so it doesn't increase for the duration of the, of the, of the term.
Vincent Heys: So that's also, IM important to note. And obviously just, I mean, in simplest form, just the currency itself. Right? I mean that's, that it makes sense now that you in Canada, you know, you do have to do that conversion. Make sure that you are. Um, appropriately for where you are at this point in, in life. Um, and make sure that you're not kind of over insured and paying on, [00:40:00] on two sides.
Vincent Heys: And I think that's, that's why now's time to really start focusing you, you coming now probably to, you know, that three month mark, you wanna say, listen, we need to relook the, especially once you settled with employment and with your budget and everything, you kind of want to just close the loop and make sure that you.
Vincent Heys: I almost want to say, for lack of a better word, everything canadianized, you know? Mm-hmm. Um, but, and I think once you go through this step, you are closer to being fully settled. Mm-hmm. And I think, but again, and this is the part where you're going to need help, reach out to the people that are well-versed and experienced to the experts, um, and check to them and they can help you.
Vincent Heys: We can help you. You just gotta obviously, uh, reach. . So maybe just three practical things there as one is that, um, under insurance review, uh, or coverage? Those are the three pillars there. The one is critical illness that we normally, uh, encourage people to take all the way till the age of 75. You know, [00:41:00] that's, it's still a term from now till 75.
Vincent Heys: Your premium is, you know, it's flat. It's consistent throughout the time, so it doesn't go up or down. The second one is your disability insurance coverage. If you don't have that from the group, That normally runs till the age of 65, and that covers your loss of income if you are unable to work because of, uh, illness or disease.
Vincent Heys: And then the last one is obviously life insurance that, that Dwayne talked about. And you know, someone mentioned the other day, uh, this concept between owning insurance and renting insurance. And I thought that's quite a nice analogy. Owning insurance hurt your whole life. That, that's when you know it'll pay out.
Vincent Heys: Doesn't matter when you pass away either, you know, in two years from now or 80 years from now, it'll pay out whole life. So that's what you own, but because you own it, as expensive as Dwayne says. And then the other one is your term assurance. Which we normally encourage people to buy, to cover them for that liability for the next 10 or 20 years, you know, [00:42:00] for, for income that they need for the family, uh, or for the mortgage.
Vincent Heys: And that's what we call renting insurance. And that renting insurance is a normally a fraction of the value of the life. Uh, of the whole life. Okay? So, um, that first three months, we want to make sure that you guys are well covered. just because we don't have a lot of family, our support structure is not great in Canada.
Vincent Heys: So, uh, if something happens, we wanna make sure that there's enough money on the table. Um, especially this thing that we, uh, we do, you know, if death happens in the family or major illness, it's stressful anyway. So we want to make sure that, uh, our clients have enough cash and are not forced to go back to South Africa just because of money.
Vincent Heys: And so when you do your dashboard or your planning, don't, um, don't think, you know, I don't wanna put that assumption in or I don't wanna role [00:43:00] play correctly to define my goal just because I think it's gonna be expensive. Uh, that's not ideal. Um, when you do the dashboard or when you do your own plan, do the role play properly in terms of, if I die tonight and I'm.
Vincent Heys: Available for my family tomorrow. What are the actual consequences? And that's what we try to define in the, in the dashboard that we, when, uh, DWE talks about, is just to role play correctly. Yeah. Have the real numbers and , and then work backwards in terms of what do I have and number's gonna cost me.
Vincent Heys: Because once you know the number, you can more or less decide. Okay. You know, then you can have proper discussions in the. , you know? Yes. We can't afford it. So this means that if something happens, you probably need to go back to South Africa or move to a different town that's cheaper or whatever the story is, you know, so it is important that we just, uh, role play that correctly.
Vincent Heys: Okay. Dwayne? I think that covers the first three months. Yeah, I think that that's, but by now, I mean, if you've. If you hear [00:44:00] all, all the tips and you should be well in your way, uh, and I think things start becoming clearer and easier to understand in terms of that transition. And I think just to add, I Vincent mentioned it earlier, be kind to yourself, right?
Vincent Heys: It's, it's a, it's a process. It's a journey. It's not a flick the switch type of experience. So it does take time. . So I think it's important that you kind of look at it that way, that, you know, and I will go so far, break it up into these phases. So look at it as my three, uh, my three month, my three week mark type of thing.
Vincent Heys: And just be, be kind to yourself because it does take, take time to, to, to sort out everything, to focus, to, to chat through it. Um, but again, having this timeline does help. It helps you to manage and just, uh, progress yourself, uh, into a fully settled, uh, Canadian.
Vincent Heys: So when we talk about these, uh, the next phase here as the first three years, and, and one thing that just springs [00:45:00] to mind is, is, um, you know, sports are different for kids. Um, it took us a long time to get into the cadence of it's winter now, but we have to start planning for summer, you know, when summer's there.
Vincent Heys: Uh, at the end of summer, I should have signed my kids up for something for fall already. That's especially in the big cities like Vancouver and, and, um, In and Toronto. You know, the other towns are maybe better, but just because of the volume of people, you kind of have to budget and think about, you know, your life 3, 4, 5 months ahead in terms of what you want to sign up your kids, because it's gonna be full, you know?
Vincent Heys: So my wife this morning signed up for the tennis club, locally Tennis Club, which only starts it's March now. You know, they can open in. or end of May, hopefully, but it's, um, and if she misses it, it's full, you know, so half an hour later it's full. So it, and those kind of things you only learn, um, as you go through, um, life here.
Vincent Heys: But, but just know that that [00:46:00] kind of happens. And then I think the other one is just, uh, part of, partly connected to that as your kids grow up, now you wanna start looking at universities. Maybe for example, like my kids, they, we came over when they, uh, entering high. . Um, and you wanna do that applications for, for, uh, university, which is kind of different direction, uh, than for a lot of other South Africans coming in with smaller kids.
Vincent Heys: But just know that you are gonna go through different seasons and different steps and just reach out to people that have done it before. There's no reason why you have to bump. Yeah, no, definitely necessarily. Definitely. And, and I, maybe I just add a a point to, you know, I, I have two small kids, uh, that are in elementary school or primary school as we know it in South Africa.
Vincent Heys: So, so just be aware, um, in terms of the activities, they'll also be participating. Uh, camps are big. Big part of life for, for school-going kids in Canada, um, which you will find out. So you gotta wanna be on top of [00:47:00] that. Um, and also just be aware, just in terms of school in general. So, um, these lots of aftercare programs, um, as well that you should just be cognizant of.
Vincent Heys: Um, and especially if you're working, you wanna research that, make sure that. Can take care of the kids after the, the school day has ended. Um, but those are the things that you, you need to kind of consider once you've taken care of all those other critical things in the first three months. But you'll see, um, reach out.
Vincent Heys: You learn there's lots of support groups, lots of. South Africans, uh, that you can obviously, uh, ask and, and, and see what, what the experience has been. Then other things now that the three months mark has come and gone, you now start to look even further into the future. One of the things, the big decisions you're going to make again is, um, Considering to buy a home or to continue to rent again, if you plan to stay in Canada long term, and this is your new home, you, you want to [00:48:00] look at, at potentially buying your, your house here.
Vincent Heys: Make sure to research the real estate market. Determine what you can afford, determine the place you want to live and settle long term again, initially. Live in the city, but you might wanna move out to the suburbs or vice versa. Right. Depending, and there's lots of factors that will determine that decision.
Vincent Heys: Uh, in terms of employment schooling maybe, although, . If you use the public schools, it doesn't really matter where you go. Uh, we can truly say it's, it's a, it's a good system. Uh, but you want to, now that you've obviously employed, you wanna check your affordability with the banks and the mortgage brokers, um, and see exactly what is that next step in terms of buying a home, uh, in, in Canada.
Vincent Heys: Um, maybe just quickly on that. Yes, and most South Africans do come over as employed people as opposed to as self-employed. I, I was self. , so a different story. But if you employed, um, uh, it's a lot easier to get a mortgage than [00:49:00] self-employed. So, um, the banks and the lenders really look for consistency of income.
Vincent Heys: So if you self-employed and you open a corporation, uh, you have the option to pay yourself either dividend or a salary, uh, on a monthly basis. I would suggest rather just go for the salary, uh, in the. , it's maybe a, a little bit more tax, uh, payable than, than the dividend, but at least that gives you that steady income that comes in.
Vincent Heys: And, um, banks are just kind of look at, you know, steady income. They don't really care about assets that you have or savings. Um, so just to know that that story is there with the mortgage, obviously there's a difference between fixed and variable rates that you just need to consider. And there's pros and cons for both of them.
Vincent Heys: Yeah. From a savings perspective. There are a few things that we need to do from start building the life up now. Um, making sure that we can save for retirement, save for that home [00:50:00] deposit, uh, save for the kids education, . It's like saving for everything . But there are a few good products, Dwayne. Yeah, no, definitely.
Vincent Heys: And I mean in Canada, I mean, I think. Immediately. The first two that spring to mind are, are both registered accounts, uh, meaning that the, some tax advantage to them. Uh, so the, on the one end you've got a tax-free savings account, which as South African you should be familiar with as well, and that allows you to.
Vincent Heys: Um, to save and to basically grow your money tax free, um, over time. And there are obviously rules in terms of limitations per year and also lifetime limitation on what you can contribute. So again, you know, the earlier you start the better and give yourself more time to compound that growth into the future.
Vincent Heys: Then on specifically for retirement, we also have what we call a registered retirement savings plan, or more commonly known as an R R S P. And this also allows you to [00:51:00] save for your future. It's kind of the Canadian version of a retirement annuity. Uh, You know, just to give you some perspective on, on what it does, it does offer some tax advantages in the sense that your contributions can, uh, lower your, your taxable income.
Vincent Heys: But again, you are, there are certain limits to this, um, as. Is the case within a retirement annuity anyway, but it's, I think it's one of the, or it's two of the products you want to start as soon as you can. Mm-hmm. And again, just to tie it back to earlier comments we made so that it's, it as part of your budget, right, that you are allocating to your R S P and tax re savings account every month.
Vincent Heys: This link to that, um, is the R E S P, and that's your registered education savings. . Um, and again, we have a few articles on that, um, on our, uh, website, check it out, but it's really there for education purposes. And there's some tax benefits again, yeah. That you can [00:52:00] harvest from, from those kind of products.
Vincent Heys: Vincent, just on that, I almost wanna say, to encourage you to go check it out is also an added bonus of the government contributing some money towards your savings as well. So, uh, so go and have a look at, at this articles we've written, return it, it explains it in more detail there, but it's, it's a nice incentive to say for your children's education going forward.
Vincent Heys: Okay. So just one or two things we're gonna touch on very quickly. The one is, um, um, yes, you have your financial plan. Obviously just gonna review it in three years time. Again, you know, after, no, not three years time, but like every year. But just making sure that as your lifestyle changes, that you just wanna review, keep on reviewing your financial plan.
Vincent Heys: The other one is just, um, short term insurance coverage or general insurance. Is it known here? Auto in. . Uh, what is just interesting here from a product perspective, if you, if you're renting, you need to have tenant insurance. If you own the property, obviously have, uh, your own coverage for the home, [00:53:00] um, as well on the auto site, on the car insurance, um, all these policies normally run in 12 month cycle.
Vincent Heys: So again, the premium is fixed for 12 months and then they revisit the premium and then either go up or. . So I normally, uh, phone the insurance company like a month or two before and just see if I can reduce my premium. Um, so just, um, just for that cadence, just to make sure that, uh, you, you put that into your calendar just to phone them up into negotiate a better price for yourself.
Vincent Heys: Yeah. On the auto side, very important Duane, um, uh, changing jobs. So what we find is, People start the dashboard doesn't look great normally . But what we do find is that people change jobs after two, three years moving into a different company. Um, salaries are getting higher, [00:54:00] you know, selecting other benefits in the group plan.
Vincent Heys: And normally that's what we kind of see. Yeah. And again, and, and, and that's another reason why it's important to have a very easy to follow, uh, clear plan in place. Because again, when you change jobs, um, your, your dashboard's going to change. It goes without saying, right? So, um, typically you are getting your, your insurance cover either through your employer.
Vincent Heys: and or through private insurance. Right? And that will also then tend to fluctuate as you make certain job changes during life. You might even go self-employed and it'll. Might change again. So again, it's another important milestone and I think, um, that's why, you know, if you set up early enough with your, with your dashboard, with your plan in place and you've got, uh, people that you can talk to, it makes it easier to navigate when you do change shops.
Vincent Heys: Yeah. [00:55:00] Um, and I think it also then obviously allows you to, uh, to have a clear. and a better, um, view of your budget. Things become easier, as you say, typically people start earning more as they get more settled and they get, um, uh, better, better job titles. Yes. And as you also moving job, just remember that those, uh, group sps if you had with a previous company, you know, can follow you or transfer to a different provider that's there.
Vincent Heys: Um, and with any new group, ROSP that you belong in the company. Just make sure that the asset allocation on that is in line with the assumption that you had in your plan. So yes, remember we have a risk profile linked to your, um, through your goal for retirement. And if that risk profiles here is balanced, there's a certain assumption linked to that balanced portfolio, and you just wanna make sure that your group plan is invested into the portfolio that is what we call balanced [00:56:00] portfolio or an aggressive portfolio, conservative one.
Vincent Heys: Um, that is, uh, as you look at your, your life insurance, you obviously want to look at your investment portfolio at the company and just make sure that it's in line. Uh, with your assumptions that, that you've put out. Yeah. I think maybe just one final point on that is just to say, obviously we spoke in the context of changing jobs, but we obviously do encourage and recommend that you review at least annually, right?
Vincent Heys: Just to make sure that you're still on track and that, um, you don't wanna leave it too long. Uh, but at least every, every 12 months you're having that conversation, uh, with your financial advisor and making sure that you are on top of, of all your plans and actions to get to your. Then we've listed another point here, becoming non-tax residents in South Africa and financial immigration out of South Africa.
Vincent Heys: So we don't want to talk too much about this. Uh, just other than to say that there are, um, at least two articles, um, [00:57:00] on, in, on sax, uh, website. Go and check it out. We, um, we have made some other videos as. , uh, on YouTube talking about that. So we don't wanna spend more time on that, but this is the time, uh, this is like a really, really important time, uh, that you just need to make note of, that you become non-tax resident in South Africa and do the financial immigration.
Vincent Heys: Um, so go and check out all the resources there, read through it. Um, if you want to reach out to us and we can, we can guide you through that process. Um, Okay. I think that's mostly maybe just one. Or, uh, Dwayne, I've got maybe two other things, um, just here is that some people do get to say, listen, yes, thank you.
Vincent Heys: I've been working for a company now for a few years, but I'm gonna start my own business. Okay. Um, and just to know that there are some other planning, better planning that people can do within their own business [00:58:00] corporations as, as opposed to privately so. So there's a bit of a, a different, uh, direction there.
Vincent Heys: Different points to take note of if you decide, decide to start your own business, how to create that, uh, bank accounts with that. But also then obviously financial products within your corporation. It's a lot more tax beneficial than, um, than doing it, uh, privately or well, how, as opposed to being an employed.
Vincent Heys: So there's more tax benefits in the, in, in the corporation and, um, . Yeah, I think that's, I think that's mostly, yeah, that mostly it. Yeah. Thanks Vincent. I think that's pretty much it. I think, um, at this stage of your journey, you probably, once you've managed to put everything in place, you probably now looking ahead, um, depending again on your status, um, whether you are on PR already.
Vincent Heys: You might be thinking again about renewing those PR cards [00:59:00] again. Bearing in mind that's very important if you want to travel in and out of Canada. And, um, if you further along that, uh, uh, status, you might be looking at citizenship. So I think generally speaking, most people would probably have to renew PR card before citizenship arrive.
Vincent Heys: That's right. Anyway. Yeah. So again, have that on your radar that you don't forget about it. You gotta plan and. at the moment. We don't know turnaround times, you know, in the aftermath of covid, you know, things are taking a bit longer than they would normally. So make sure that you are obviously starting that process well in advance so that you don't find yourself in a position where you, where you're potentially stuck.
Vincent Heys: Um, so again, just another point to add to the radar. Yes. Yep. Yep. And, and, um, I think just one final, final point for me is that we also see a lot of immigrants, um, and South Africans bringing their parents. and uh, which is great from a family perspective, but obviously that could put some financial pressure on the family again.[01:00:00]
Vincent Heys: And so, um, just encourage you to plan out properly. There are obviously other visa applications and so on, but just plan out properly from the budget perspective and housing, um, and uh, so that you can just set up yourself for six success. Dwayne, thank you so. Great having you. Oh, thank you, Vincent. Thanks for the time.
Duane Littler: It was a great chat, uh, and I'm sure it'll bring much value and, and help those on the journey, and I wish those that are listening, uh, all the best. And, uh, please, uh, I, what I wanna say is please reach out, check out wealthstack.ca, and if you need any assistance, please reach out.
Vincent Heys: Hey, thank you so much for listening to our podcast today, you can find our content on wealthstack.ca or on LinkedIn. I'm Vincent Heys and you've been listening to the financial wellness podcast series.[01:01:00]