Want to have a big family? Move north!

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Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
I lived in the US for 17 years (TN/GA, FL, & DC). I can honestly say that the US has more police patrols, roadblocks, & general climate of a "police state" by an order od magnitude greater then Canada.

The police force any place I lived in the US would be 4 to 5 x's larger then the size of force in a Canadian city of the same size. Crime rates are of course many times higher in the US, but all of that manpower has to be kept busy. I recall DUI checkpoints as an almost weekly event.

So yes the laws on the books may be more restrictive, and I can no longer carry a handgun. But I can honestly say that at no point in the last 8 years have I ever felt afraid.

When my wife is asked by locals what is diferent about life here compared to her hometown of Atlanta, she always says that here she has never been afraid for her safety. She can ride the bus, walk alone at night, go downtown, and she has never encountered a situation here that made feel afraid.

So yes it is a trade-off. But I'll take it.
 

matt01

Puritan Board Senior
1) 3 week waits to get in to see the primary care doctor 2) unemployment benefits that make it pointless to look for work until 6 months after you lose your job and 3) getting a paid year off after having a baby.
I have never had to wait that long to see a GP, though there are long waits for specialists. We were on a waiting list for quite a time before getting a midwife.

The year of parental leave is certainly different. I only took a week for each of my children, but there are many men in my organization who have taken the full year a couple of times.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
But, to put forth a challenge, I believe that far too much of our decision making is made on the basis of living conditions and freedoms. I could tell you of challenging stories about life in Canada and the US. But how far do you carry the template of living conditions and/or freedom?
It is indeed. I don't think we can talk about 'poverty' and 'lack of freedom' in Canada without making a mockery of Third World poverty and hardship. But we only look at what we used to have here...
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
When my wife is asked by locals what is diferent about life here compared to her hometown of Atlanta, she always says that here she has never been afraid for her safety. She can ride the bus, walk alone at night, go downtown, and she has never encountered a situation here that made feel afraid.

So yes it is a trade-off. But I'll take it.
Dude, you're in New Brunswick.

Hamilton is only about 300,000 people, but you're asking for trouble (and a proposition or three from a curbside service provider) if you walk downtown at night. Atlanta has only ~250,000 people less than your entire province! I don't doubt Atlanta was unsafe in places, but the province of New Brunswick is pretty much a postcard anywhere you go. For pity's sake man, you could frame most of those real estate listings you showed! You don't live in Canada, you live in the Maritimes. Driving through them is a holiday on its own, just for the scenery. It's exquisite.

Welcome to Hamilton. We are known as Canada's Steel City.

Stelco:


Dofasco:


Slater Steel:


Among others. And Hamilton is pretty good compared to some. We do have beautiful areas too (some don't).

And here's New Brunswick: http://www.new-brunswick.net/new-brunswick/images.html

It's gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

-----Added 11/25/2009 at 06:41:04 EST-----

The year of parental leave is certainly different. I only took a week for each of my children, but there are many men in my organization who have taken the full year a couple of times.
This sounds awesome on the one hand, but I'm not sure I could handle a year of that. That being said, one of the assistants in the office is out for a year for that very thing.
 
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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
That's just the thing; Atlanta could be crime-free with free beer and it still wouldn't look like NB.

PS - your wife must have the coolest accent: Southern Belle meets Cape Breton. Whoa!
 

matt01

Puritan Board Senior
Dude, you're in New Brunswick.
When we were in Surrey (B.C.), we carried dog spray to go to the park during the day. There wasn't any real problem with dogs...I would only rarely walk outside at night. My wife never did.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
1) family tax credit. A large family with a modest income (10 kids 40k per year) would recieve aprox 40k per year tax free. To have the same spending power in the US would require more than $100,000 per year. (calculate your amount here Child and Family Benefits Online Calculator

2) No medical cost out of pocket, except for drugs.
Sorry, thought I could avoid this, but I must address it. Every time I read it, it bugs me.

This first point is simply not true (and feels a little pointed, to be honest). Though the online calculator may show this to be the case, I can tell you in practice that it does not ring true. We simply do not get this benefit to this extent - yes, we get some (and it helps a great deal), but not that much. We would not be living as we do if that were the case. I don't know that the $100,000 per year is accurate either. I'd like to see the math on that.

In addition, the medical costs are indeed covered once you are a permanent resident here, but becoming one (especially if you are a foreign wife or foreign child of a Canadian) is fraught with red tape. We have been here over a year and they tell me it will be at least six more months before my wife is able to access the medical system, never mind the children. In this time, we have spent thousands upon thousands in medical costs out of pocket, in addition to the cost of carrying international health insurance for the family for catastrophic issues (we all have the wrong bugs to be healthy here, though we are acquiring them slowly :rolleyes:).

Sorry, rant off.
 
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Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Have a big family, in only two steps:

Step 1: Get married.
Step 2: Have a lot of sex.

See? Problem solved. :lol:
Step one is of course a must, but step 2 isn't always neccessary. For example, a couple could have 10 children and have only been intimate 10 times. On the flip side, a couple could be intimate on a regular basis and yet the woman not get pregnant. The key factor would be whether or not God chooses for the woman to conceive, but then I guess we would be getting on a topic that was beaten to death previously. ..
 

BertMulder

Puritan Board Junior
Are there any parts of Canada that aren't cold? I hate when it gets below 50 degrees. :um: Besides that, Canada sounds very appealing. I really desire to be in ministry and have a large family. I didn't see the question answered yet--what about homosexuality? Can it safely be preached against?

My main reason to not like Canada is that I would like to do a lot in the US. Any insight on the difficultly/cost of traveling back and forth, both airliner and in automobile?
never had it get to below 50 yet....

minus 46 is my record... Celsius, of course, which is -50.8... just one time!

-----Added 11/26/2009 at 10:10:30 EST-----

When my wife is asked by locals what is diferent about life here compared to her hometown of Atlanta, she always says that here she has never been afraid for her safety. She can ride the bus, walk alone at night, go downtown, and she has never encountered a situation here that made feel afraid.

So yes it is a trade-off. But I'll take it.
Dude, you're in New Brunswick.

Hamilton is only about 300,000 people, but you're asking for trouble (and a proposition or three from a curbside service provider) if you walk downtown at night. Atlanta has only ~250,000 people less than your entire province! I don't doubt Atlanta was unsafe in places, but the province of New Brunswick is pretty much a postcard anywhere you go. For pity's sake man, you could frame most of those real estate listings you showed! You don't live in Canada, you live in the Maritimes. Driving through them is a holiday on its own, just for the scenery. It's exquisite.

Welcome to Hamilton. We are known as Canada's Steel City.

Stelco:


Dofasco:


Slater Steel:


Among others. And Hamilton is pretty good compared to some. We do have beautiful areas too (some don't).

And here's New Brunswick: Images from, New Brunswick, Canada

It's gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

-----Added 11/25/2009 at 06:41:04 EST-----

The year of parental leave is certainly different. I only took a week for each of my children, but there are many men in my organization who have taken the full year a couple of times.
This sounds awesome on the one hand, but I'm not sure I could handle a year of that. That being said, one of the assistants in the office is out for a year for that very thing.
That is just like my (office) front view, except substitute refinery row for the steel furnaces. But otherwise, exactly the same.

-----Added 11/26/2009 at 10:13:07 EST-----

Curling? :rofl:

This is one I've just never understood. What a odd sport!
Yeah, outside of curling, Canada would be almost perfect...

But, we have stranger sports yet...

In one, grown men on skates! chase a piece of rubber with sticks....

In another, grown men riding around in carts with a bag full of sticks hit little white balls...

-----Added 11/26/2009 at 10:19:46 EST-----

What are the homeschooling laws like? You can't have firearms right? That would be a big drawback for my husband.
Differs from province to province. Here in Alberta, we get about $2,000 grant per child for homeschooling... Of course we do pay the school taxes...

-----Added 11/26/2009 at 10:25:00 EST-----

Sorry, thought I could avoid this, but I must address it. Every time I read it, it bugs me.

This first point is simply not true (and feels a little pointed, to be honest). Though the online calculator may show this to be the case, I can tell you in practice that it does not ring true. We simply do not get this benefit to this extent - yes, we get some (and it helps a great deal), but not that much. We would not be living as we do if that were the case. I don't know that the $100,000 per year is accurate either. I'd like to see the math on that.
Beg to differ with you on this, my friend, but the $40,000 tax free is just about true, depending on the province of course... Of course the comparison with $100,000 US just does not fly.... And $40,000 does not take you very far with 10 kids.... especially as you consider the housing and energy needs in our admittedly colder climate...

Having emigrated to Canada from the Netherlands, I could add this, that compared to the Netherlands, Canada is a land where you have to work for a living. If you want social welfare, go to Holland.

Yes, freedom of speech is limited here. But, with the present US administration, how far is the US behind in that....
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Beg to differ with you on this, my friend, but the $40,000 tax free is just about true, depending on the province of course...
All I'm saying is that we don't get that much. I mean, I did the calculator thing a few times to try to get the figure quoted. It did say a few times that this was an estimate only, so that makes sense then, that the two don't match. But why on earth they would give you an estimate that is not accurate is beyond me.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
1) family tax credit. A large family with a modest income (10 kids 40k per year) would recieve aprox 40k per year tax free. To have the same spending power in the US would require more than $100,000 per year. (calculate your amount here Child and Family Benefits Online Calculator
Americans with 10 kids aren't taxed a cent on an income of 40K, except for business owners who have to pay self employment taxes, and that would be well under 10 percent with all the adjustments and child credits. When I had all 7 living at home I could make quite a bit more than 40K and not pay any regular income taxes. Others here with lots of kids will tell you the same. If you earn 50K per year the total taxes of any kind are under 10 percent when all is said and done.

I think the main financial difference was mentioned earlier, and that's Canada doesn't have troops in 177 countries and doesn't feel obligated to do everything that the Israeli lobby orders. So they have extra money that they choose to use for free health care and I assume much cheaper college.
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
OK, here goes. Now I am not a CA (CPA in the US) but an estimator by trade so her is my justification of the 40k in Canada is the equvalent of 100k (pre tax) in the US for a family of 10 or more kids under the age of 18

Base pay in Canada $40,000.

With exemptions actual "take home" aprox $36,000.

Value of medical insurance (based on what I paid in GA 8 years ago) aprox $20,000. Pre-tax dollars needed to purchase $20,000 policy $24,000.

Value of family tax benifit (incl provincal suppliment & $100 per month bonus for all under 6 yo) Aprox $40,000 per year. Pre-tax that you would need to earn to have 40k "tax free" aprox $48,000.

Total that a family of 10 kids (under 18) would need to earn pre-tax in the USA in order to have a similar lifestyle in Canada;

$112,000 per year. Depending on tax rate & exemptions (i.e. family biz, self-employed etc) a person in the USA could have the same lifestyle @ 75-85k if their employer provided health care. But in fact that would be a benifit in place of income.

Now I am not suggesting that a person with 75-100k per year in the USA, or 40-50k in Canada is "rich". Neither do I mean by lifestyle did I mean to imply that they are flying everybody to disney for Spring-break.

I just meant to point out that a family with 40k & 10 kids a year in the USA would be delivering those kids in a back bedroom with a half-trained midwife. Because the 14k that it costs to have a hospital birth is an unimagined luxury. Let alone the 2,000 bucks a month that insurance would cost. So this is not an issue of buying new vs used clothes for the kids, this is medical care, or not. This is owning vs renting. This is variety & quantity of food.

Now when I lived in TN I had a friend that had 13 kids & made 40k per year. He struggled to give them all clothes that fit and a balenced diet. Medical care & dental care was out of the question. There house was clean, but by Canadian standards was completely unsuitable.

So I know that it "can" be done. But that same brother, if he lived here would have medical care, a more suitable home, and plenty to eat with the same income.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
It still doesn't quite fit our situation, but thanks for showing that (I couldn't figure out how you arrived at those numbers).

OK, so here's another example (without any gov't assistance in any way).

When we lived in China with 5 children (that's seven of us total), I was making ~$1300 USD a month, for a total of ~$15,600 (in the last year of our time there, it was a bit higher). Take 20% off the top in income tax, and you have $12,480. To be fair, the school I was with gave a small stipend that covered a portion of our rent of about $600/month. Elizabeth taught one lesson of art per week at the local Christian school, for about $50/month.

Staples:
Pork (the main meat of the Chinese diet): ~$3/lb (and no such thing as a sale, ever). Some people we knew ate meat only once a week. It is only $.99/lb on sale here.
Health insurance: ~$3000/year for basic coverage, and personal augmentation out of pocket as needed (and it was frequently needed!)
Eggs: about $1/dozen (so, they're cheaper)
Bread, about $2/Canadian loaf (same price)
Fruit was cheaper.

This is in the last few years we lived there - inflation was incredible and burdensome to the locals.

You must add to this the idea that we had to save to go anywhere (you can't walk or drive to N America from there). I took the bus/taxi/biked to work as necessary to make it work - no car. A few judicious investments made years earlier augmented our income by, on average, $1000 a year. And we had a house helper. I did some tutoring on the side to make a little extra money and wrote a column in the local paper as well to help out. And it worked.

He always has provided. We could have worried about it and put the brakes on childbearing, etc. but we left it up to God's sovereignty. It worked.
 
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