For wealthy global families seeking new passports, Canada is the world’s best kept secret. Although top marginal tax rates are a bit higher than the U.S., there are significant planning opportunities for wealthy immigrants. In some cases, wealthy families can legally acquire and, generation after generation, maintain Canadian citizenship without any substantial tax exposure. A summary of Canada’s advantages:
CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE
Canadians (at least English-speaking ones) and Americans share a common language and popular culture. Nonetheless there are important differences.
While generally having enormous respect for the stunning economic, cultural, social, technological and even military achievements of our American brothers, Canadians are a bit smug about having declined to participate in many of the seriously odd chapters in U.S. history (eg. slavery, Civil War, prohibition, McCarthyism, the Vietnam war, S&L insolvencies, the Iraq War, sub-prime mortgage lending, massive taxpayer funded bailouts of well-connected financial institutions). Canadians are cautious and conservative. The upshot is that Canada now has the strongest economy and likely best prospects of all OECD countries. It has the best banking system in the world. It is in a strong fiscal position. It is geographically isolated from the world’s trouble spots. And it is a resource and energy superpower (the leading exporter of oil, natural gas, uranium and hydroelectric power to the USA) in a world that is running out of energy and resources.
As for lifestyle, three of Canada’s cities (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) are among the most cosmopolitan urban centers anywhere. Vancouver is often rated (see, for example, the Economist Intelligence Unit) as the number one city in the world in terms of lifestyle.
In conclusion, wealthy global families are increasingly aware of their need for a carefully crafted citizenship and residency strategy to protect family assets and enhance mobility in what may be a troubled future. In this context Canadian citizenship should be given serious consideration.
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