Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#26 Post by confusedalot » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:29 pm

Don't know about Westjet, but as i said before, my buddies are doing great at big red, even to their surprise.

Once again, short term, do expat. Long term, well, I don't think that 250-275K would exactly qualify as shit pay. You won't get it right away, but you will get it.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#27 Post by confusedalot » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:20 pm

double post. removed
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#28 Post by complexintentions » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:11 am

Hmmmm...confuzedalot....I'm confused. Usually those hating on expat jobs use the "money isn't everything" argument, but now apparently it is, and the money is better at Air Canada? Agree to disagree. :mrgreen:

No disrespect intended, but three years in a contract isn't really enough to know what's possible in the expat world. Perhaps the problem is there are great expat jobs and there are terrible ones, just like in one's home country. But suggesting the top jobs in environments with advantages like tax-free status and zero-cost accommodation are less lucrative than working for Big Red is just factually incorrect, or perhaps belies an ignorance of just how much is taken from Canadians for the privilege of being one. Of course there are an enormous amount of variables, not the least being an individual's ability to actually MANAGE their money! I should hope the most senior AC guys are high-net-worth, but let's not pretend it didn't take far longer to get there. I've run the numbers for my own situation, and it's not even close. But that's the point - not everyone at AC is going to get rich, any more than every expat wannabe is going to.

Funny thing is, I actually do agree with the concept of money or equipment not being the main driving factor for a career - but I'd still never trade my path with an AC pilot. Not one of them, no matter how many "millions" they have. I honestly would get bored with a monoculture - and that applies to a country or a company. But that's just me. Most Canadians are far more conservative in outlook, and as such I understand the drive to get on with their home carrier.

I'd just hate for anyone to take your advice at face value and throw away a good opportunity outside the borders because they think they're guaranteed inside them.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#29 Post by confusedalot » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:56 pm

Hey, I'm not dissuading anyone from a long term expat career. As I had attempted to underscore apparently with no success, going expat is more that just a job change, it is an entire life change. There are pros and cons to every situation. It sure is not perfect here, I know that through bitter experience, but the expat life also brings it's own set of circumstances.

Get the best deal you can, remain vigilant to ''the grass is always greener'' syndrome.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#30 Post by Soar » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:29 pm

confusedalot wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:29 pm
Don't know about Westjet, but as i said before, my buddies are doing great at big red, even to their surprise.

Once again, short term, do expat. Long term, well, I don't think that 250-275K would exactly qualify as shit pay. You won't get it right away, but you will get it.
Problem is, by the time you get to that point, how long will you still be [legally] allowed to work before retiring? 5 years? 10 years? (interestingly, the wide body capt at AC I know makes a bit over 230k, not the 250-275k everyone seems to be quoting (airlinepilotcentral.com?). That's about a 20% difference. In addition, almost half of that goes to taxes, so 250k suddenly looks more like 130-140k. Pension? Well, you can get that overseas as well, except for that you can contribute more than legally allowed in Canada. In a hypothetical world, If person "A" made $100/year for 10 years, vs person "B" making 200/year for 2 years, who would of made more money?

Instead of just shooting some vague numbers back and forth between friends over the beverages of our choice, I took a more calculated approach to income analysis and actually made a spread sheet (based off of hard numbers from friends at AC - from joining to [almost] career's end) of what one's career income potential is at AC vs as an expat (at least the overseas airlines I have factual information on). Believe you me, the difference is shocking.

While this is obviously subjective - Canada is an amazing country with [mostly] amazing people, and I love it dearly. But, career wise, what is there to go back to? I guess at the end of the day, if you can't have your cake and eat it too, you might as well get the most of whatever side of the fence you find yourself on.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#31 Post by confusedalot » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:34 pm

I know what you are saying.

The people that I am referring to have between 10 and 20 years of useful life left, AND, they are not all widebody, but are still making significant (as I said, 250-275K) cash.

I understand the spreadsheet concept, but do not forget that the tax free pay pretty much equates to after tax pay for the ''senior'' guys. As I have indicated, your payout will not happen immediately, but like blue chip stock, it all pays off much later down the road. So patience and fortitude are required, for those who actually get the job.

Also, communist canada has at least SOME benefits; you don't have to pay for medical insurance, you live in a clean place, rent or real estate is cheaper (depending on where you are, not YVR or YYZ of course), you get a very modest state pension and old age security, and, for the big red guys, you get at least some sort of life pension for the newcomers, and, the old guys have that gold plated life pension that cannot be matched anywhere else. It ends up being a significant (multiple millions) amount.

When you are expat, you are a contractor as you know, and you need to forecast a big chunk of change for your retirement years, and that tab is paid by yourself in it's entirety.

I am looking at the long term in this scenario.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#32 Post by complexintentions » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:56 am

confusedalot wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:34 pm
I understand the spreadsheet concept, but do not forget that the tax free pay pretty much equates to after tax pay for the ''senior'' guys.
Well, except...no. I don't mean to be argumentative, and this is absolutely not meant to be a pissing contest. But that simply isn't factually correct. A typical widebody, experienced expat captain (since this is the comparison gig at AC) will normally pay in the vicinity of 18-20,000 month, CAD, either tax-free or net of tax. I've moved on to lower wages actually, but my salary before leaving EK was about 22k CAD/month, net. (I say "about" due to exchange rates and such). A 250-270k wage in Canada after tax is just not even near that. If you plug the numbers into a typical tax calculator such as here 2017 Personal tax calculator, you'll see that you'd have to gross closer to 400,000 CAD to net the same. This is not trying to disparage the very good wages at the top of the seniority at legacy carriers, I'm happy to admit they're very good, but you are trying to claim parity which just isn't the case. Of course there are many reasons for that, the biggest being that for the higher wage you don't "get" to live in Canada! But this "well it's all kinda the same in the end financially"...uh uh.

Any reputable expat job will also include comprehensive health coverage and a housing allowance, so those factors are a bit of a red herring. I found EK's private clinics to be far, far superior to Canadian health care in terms of availability and quality, to be honest. And it's a bit disingenuous to claim Canada is cheaper for housing "except for YYZ and YVR" when a huge percentage of the country lives in those two centres, and in the airline industry most live somewhat close to SOME major centre.

Pensions? With the inverted pyramid of Western demographics, and the sheer fiscal mismanagement of the present government I'd be surprised if even the pittance that one receives now for CPP will be around indefinitely. At the very least at some point they'll have to reverse their incredibly idiotic decision to roll the eligibility age back to 65. Perhaps a bit more personal responsibility for one's own finances in old age isn't the worst idea? This concept of hoping the government will save everyone just has to end. It will kill us all.

And I too, am also always considering the long game.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#33 Post by dumbbell daddy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:05 pm

complexintentions wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:56 am
confusedalot wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:34 pm
I understand the spreadsheet concept, but do not forget that the tax free pay pretty much equates to after tax pay for the ''senior'' guys.
Well, except...no. I don't mean to be argumentative, and this is absolutely not meant to be a pissing contest. But that simply isn't factually correct. A typical widebody, experienced expat captain (since this is the comparison gig at AC) will normally pay in the vicinity of 18-20,000 month, CAD, either tax-free or net of tax. I've moved on to lower wages actually, but my salary before leaving EK was about 22k CAD/month, net. (I say "about" due to exchange rates and such). A 250-270k wage in Canada after tax is just not even near that. If you plug the numbers into a typical tax calculator such as here 2017 Personal tax calculator, you'll see that you'd have to gross closer to 400,000 CAD to net the same. This is not trying to disparage the very good wages at the top of the seniority at legacy carriers, I'm happy to admit they're very good, but you are trying to claim parity which just isn't the case. Of course there are many reasons for that, the biggest being that for the higher wage you don't "get" to live in Canada! But this "well it's all kinda the same in the end financially"...uh uh.

Any reputable expat job will also include comprehensive health coverage and a housing allowance, so those factors are a bit of a red herring. I found EK's private clinics to be far, far superior to Canadian health care in terms of availability and quality, to be honest. And it's a bit disingenuous to claim Canada is cheaper for housing "except for YYZ and YVR" when a huge percentage of the country lives in those two centres, and in the airline industry most live somewhat close to SOME major centre.

Pensions? With the inverted pyramid of Western demographics, and the sheer fiscal mismanagement of the present government I'd be surprised if even the pittance that one receives now for CPP will be around indefinitely. At the very least at some point they'll have to reverse their incredibly idiotic decision to roll the eligibility age back to 65. Perhaps a bit more personal responsibility for one's own finances in old age isn't the worst idea? This concept of hoping the government will save everyone just has to end. It will kill us all.

And I too, am also always considering the long game.
complexintentions....your numbers seem kinda low. Most decent DEC widebody expat jobs I've looked at pay 18-20k USD (net) to start. In fact most narrowbody contracts pay in the mid 20's USD (net) range simply because there's more narrowbody airplanes.

P.S. WTF......you never answered my PM!
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#34 Post by confusedalot » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:30 pm

58000 dirams (and that includes the housing allowance) equals 16000 per month. does not equate 18-20K US. also, the company lifetime pension that big red pays out is not included in these figures. and that counts for a big chunk of change.

Hey, I am not saying expat is a bad gig, just saying that the alternatives are not all that bad, considering multiple issues.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#35 Post by dumbbell daddy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:52 am

Maybe working for Emirates or Ethiad but if you include contract jobs in Asia those numbers are kinda low.

Would you like me to post a few job links?

New hires are DC pension now. As good as the old DB pension may be, I would be very nervous going into retirement with "0" savings and solely relying on that pension.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#36 Post by confusedalot » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:13 pm

You are right about the DB pensions being out for new hires, which changes the numbers drastically.

But, they still do have a DC company match sort of arrangement, which, any way you look at it, is extra money in the kitty over and on top of pay.

Long term, as in 20 years+ expat is certainly a viable option, but how many truly want to live in the sandbox or asia for that time, or even for good. There will be takers of course, I know of a few who are doing it, but the majority stay for x amount of time and then pull the plug.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#37 Post by complexintentions » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:39 am

confusedalot wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:30 pm
58000 dirams (and that includes the housing allowance) equals 16000 per month. does not equate 18-20K US. also, the company lifetime pension that big red pays out is not included in these figures. and that counts for a big chunk of change.

Hey, I am not saying expat is a bad gig, just saying that the alternatives are not all that bad, considering multiple issues.
My wage at the end was over 60000AED/month, most months closer to 65000AED including housing allowance. So as I said, about 22,000CAD or around 17,300USD. Net. To net 264,000CAD (22K x12) after tax in Canada, you would have to gross approximately 450,000CAD, depending on the province, and only according to the Ernst & Young link I provided. All I know about AC wages is what you've mentioned about them being in the 240-270k range, which by my math, isn't really comparable. More like about half. I may enjoy my job, but given the choice of working 10 years or 20, I know which one I'd choose. And that's assuming you've gotten to the top of the AC wage scale after X number of years already.

I used EK numbers as an example because a) they're not speculation for me, they're actual figures I'm familiar with and b) ME wages are pretty middle of the road for expat gigs. The highest-paying contracts are generally in China, and there are lower, but still well-paying ones in Africa in Europe. I deliberately didn't try and cherry-pick the very highest contracts, there are some wild ones at the moment on the A350, for example, due to lack of typed captains, quoted in the 30-40K USD/month range. But excluding the outliers at either end of the spectrum, the median is still...very much better than domestic wages. That was the only point I was trying to illustrate. Money is not everything, but if it's what you're after, there it is. Trying to claim "it's pretty much the same" at AC is deliberately misleading.

As far as viable, your comment about 20+ years is totally subjective. If you are poor at managing your money, 20 years probably won't be long enough anywhere. I do know a decade in the "sandbox" as you call it, was plenty long enough for me to build enough savings/investments such that I work now at my own pleasure. I do not worry whatsoever about pensions, as that decade has provided a sufficient income stream such that if I do ever claim CPP it will be simply a bonus. I would retire now, if the boredom wouldn't kill me. My biggest challenge is finding the right fit for a job to do until I officially retire. But then, I lived modestly and within my means, and continue to do so. I know plenty of guys at AC and EK who are working until they die to pay for the toys, the wives, and the choices. Nothing to do with where they work. And it was eye-opening to observe just how immensely powerful forces like taxation and inflation are working either for or against you. Again, I know which side of those I'd choose to be on. It's far harder to see when you're IN the bubble, but an extremely high price is extracted for the esteemed privilege of living in Canuckistan. One of many reasons why I will never return to a high-taxation, low-wage, high-cost environment ever again (as a tax-paying worker, that is). I consider my time too valuable and life too short. Which alas, rules out Canada, beautiful as it is. But it's a conceit to think that there aren't many places just as beautiful or *gasp* even more so.

As I've said before, to each their own. But it's hard to make good decisions with bad information.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#38 Post by confusedalot » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:56 pm

I think it all depends on how you want to live, and there is nothing wrong with that. Did do a hit and run long haul expat gig for a short time with a 6 on 2 off roster( I would not have taken anything else due to family responsabilities) and spent lots of time in Dubai, and pretty much all over the place due to the nature of the operation. Nice place no doubt, Dubai, but, I had to ask myself, would I want to live here permanently? You can guess my answer, all I am trying to say is that some will be happy with a total net worth of 3 million and live close to family and friends, others, well, who are uniquely driven by money and need to be worth 6 million or more, certainly have their opportunities.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#39 Post by M. Essaie » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:29 pm

An AC pilot retires after 25 years to a monthly dribble of cash which evaporates upon his death. A Canadian expat retires after a 25 year career with $3,000,000 in liquid assets (ask me how I know) for him and his family to enjoy indefinitely even if he personally chokes on his pizza at his retirement party.

People who cannot understand the difference between these two outcomes are people who - well, you know who you are.

Complex my friend, come on home to Canada. The taxes are negligible because most of your income will be return of capital and if you are so fortunate as to have a wife with whom to split the income your average tax rate will be about 15%. Canada is worth it.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#40 Post by confusedalot » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:33 pm

I must stress once again, I have no dog in this race......and I never worked for big red.

At a minimum, DC pension after 25 years is going to pay a very low balled estimate of 75000 per year. After a measly 20 years of life expectancy, again low balled, equals 1.5 million. The fund keeps paying if you live longer, and you will live longer than 20 years. So think 1.8-2.0 million total payout.

Real payouts will be much higher, even with the shitty DC new pension. More like 100000 with 30 years of service, or 2.5 million. .

Simple arithmetic really.

Not rich and famous figures, but far from being something to be totally discounted.

Once again, it really depends on lifestyle choices.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#41 Post by complexintentions » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:05 pm

confusedalot wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:33 pm
Once again, it really depends on lifestyle choices.
Agree completely. Choice of lifestyle is completely subjective.

My only point really, was to try and correct a rather significant error in your "simple arithmetic" regarding pay parity.

@M. Essaie,

Appreciate your comments about taxation, you're right, they would be fairly minimal if one was not earning much, or retired. Return of capital, income-splitting, dividend tax credits, etc. But unfortunately there are other aspects of returning I find more disagreeable than the financial issues as time goes on. The weather, for one. But mostly the general cultural climate of being told more and more what to think and say, and then accused of being every type of -phobe under the sun if one voices disagreement. It's a troubling, uhealthy direction and as long as I have options I'm perfectly content to limit my time in Canada to visits with family and friends. A cheap Canadian dollar is just a nice bonus.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#42 Post by dumbbell daddy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:02 am

@confusedalot

I really do get where you're coming from and your points are valid. There's one key difference. TAX. That shitty DC pension becomes even shittier because it will be taxed. If he or she is smart, an expats offshore savings WILL NOT. Also an expat Captain can probably save what a person at AC will in half the amount of time.
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Re: Coming home after working overseas (ATPL)

#43 Post by confusedalot » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:53 pm

complexintentions wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:05 pm
confusedalot wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:33 pm
Once again, it really depends on lifestyle choices.
Agree completely. Choice of lifestyle is completely subjective.

My only point really, was to try and correct a rather significant error in your "simple arithmetic" regarding pay parity.

@M. Essaie,

Appreciate your comments about taxation, you're right, they would be fairly minimal if one was not earning much, or retired. Return of capital, income-splitting, dividend tax credits, etc. But unfortunately there are other aspects of returning I find more disagreeable than the financial issues as time goes on. The weather, for one. But mostly the general cultural climate of being told more and more what to think and say, and then accused of being every type of -phobe under the sun if one voices disagreement. It's a troubling, uhealthy direction and as long as I have options I'm perfectly content to limit my time in Canada to visits with family and friends. A cheap Canadian dollar is just a nice bonus.
Gotta agree with you on the attempted mind control of the canadastan government. That is one huge pain in the you know where. 1984 in 2017 is what I see here. Having said that, nobody gives a hoot and nobody listens to that crap, and they go on with their lives.....
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