Is it worth migrating to Canada even though you are earning a decent amount in India?

migrating to Canada

Throughout this article, we will discuss whether is it worth migrating to Canada while you are employed in India and having a decent amount of Indian Rupees per annum.

If you are earning a decent amount in India, you may have a better lifestyle in India. You can probably afford to send your children to good schools. Have a maid at home, most importantly India has great health care for those who can pay for it.

In Canada, personal servants are exceedingly rare, except for possibly a house cleaner coming in once a week for a few hours. Schools are both good and free and thus someone whose dad or mom makes $35,000 a year gets just as good an education as anyone else in the public system and the same for healthcare.

In India, competition for college and university is extreme. In Canada, everyone who wants to go can usually find a place somewhere

For simplicity of calculation, ₹150,000 per month, assuming it is after-tax and you are doing a regular 8-hour job can be around ₹900 per hour, considering your work Mon-Fri 8 hours each day.

Imagine if you migrate to Canada and get a job that pays you $100,000 per year which is around $6,000 per month after tax. Again, for simplicity of calculation, let’s denote it as $36 per hour.

[Edit 1: There is a lot of flak in the comments as I took the example of a $100K salary. By no means do I guarantee that OP gets a 100K job. If you think 60K is what you normally would get, reduce 40% from the numbers that I provided below. If the numbers for 60K prove that purchasing power is better in India, then you are better off in India. But if you believe you could manage to get a 100K+ job, then by all means, you should go to Canada.]

Now, let’s see what ₹900 and $36 can buy you in the respective countries.

Water: In Kitchener (where I live), a carton of 24 bottles of 500ml each costs $2. For $36 you can buy 24 x 36 / 2 = 432 bottles. In India, I believe a 500 ml bottle costs ₹10. With ₹900, you can buy just 90 bottles. What it basically means is that, in Canada, 1 hour of your work gives you enough money to buy 432 bottles of water whereas, in India, you get to buy only 90.

Fruits/Vegetables: I will take potatoes as an example that we commonly consume both in India and Canada. In Canada 4.5kg bag of potato costs around $3 and in India I believe it is ₹30/kilo (source: Bigbasket). Doing the same calculation as above, 1 hour of your work in Canada lets you buy 54 kg of potato whereas 1 hour of your work in India lets you buy just 30 kg.

Petrol/Gasolene: In my city, it is $1.1/Ltr and in India, it’s rough ₹75/Ltr. You can purchase around 32 Ltr by doing 1 hour of job in Canada whereas in India you can only get 12 Ltr.

Internet: For a 75 Mbps unlimited connection, I pay around $28 and when I was in India I paid around ₹1200 for almost the same speed. Around 45 minutes of my job is enough for me to pay my internet bill in Canada whereas I need more than an hour’s effort to pay the same in India.

Car: Toyota Corolla costs $20,000 in Canada (571 hours) and ₹20,00,000 in India (2200 hours).

House: A 3-bedroom house in my city in a decent neighbourhood costs around $600,000 and in India (Bengaluru) it costs ₹1,00,00,000. From an hour’s point of view, it is 16K hours worth of effort in Canada and 11K hours in India. Although it looks like India beats Canada here, when the interest rates of India are taken into consideration, it’s balanced on both sides. Moreover in Canada for this cost, we get an entire house with a small plot whereas in Bengaluru it would be just an apartment. [Edit: This is not applicable post-2020. The Canadian housing market shot up drastically after covid. These days you need at least a million to buy a decent house.]

Mobile: This is where India wins hands down. I pay $50/month for my mobile connection with unlimited calls and text with 5GB of data. In India, a similar plan may come to around ₹200–300. In Canada, you have to work 1.5 hours to pay this phone bill whereas, in India, you could pay it by working a few minutes.

Rent: A decent 2 BHK in my city costs around $1,400 a month. In India (Bengaluru) it would be around ₹25,000. Close to 40 hours of your work is needed to pay off your rent in Canada whereas in India, it’s just under 30 hours.

Car insurance: $2500/yr for me in Canada and I believe it comes to ₹40,000/yr in India. So, it’s around 70 hours in Canada and 44 hours in India.

So, this is just an example of what you can afford for $100,000 in Canada. Although, you have better purchasing power in India for a few things like car insurance, renting and your monthly phone bills. But Canada wins on other things like water, food, housing, car, petrol, etc. If you have kids, then Canada wins w.r.t to school fees too. The equation completely changes in favour of Canada if your spouse to earns the same as you.

It’s up to you to do some research and find what’s the normal pay for your skills. If it’s $100,000 or more, then I personally would say it’s better than ₹1,50,000. However, if you find that you could get only $50,000 in Canada, please do the calculation once again and I think you would be better off in India.

The bottom line is that you will have fewer luxuries in Canada, in a monetary sense, but a lot more of the amenities that come with living in a more developed nation. You’ll get peace and good government, at some personal cost.

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