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Everything posted by MARYROSE02

  1. Well, both Benidorm and Surfers have got plenty going on beyond the beach. They all have their "hinterlands" where you can explore, using your beachside hotel as a base. I have hired cars for the weeks I was in Fuengirola, Mallorca and Menorca. On the other hand, since coming to Surfers, I rarely go out in the car with my brother, preferring to walk around Surfers or sometimes get the tram. In Perth, I went out every afternoon in my hire car, always somewhere interesting to go. I'm happy to go to a different suburb every day, walk around, look at the homes, have a coffee or a drink. Then again, I found driving in Perth largely a pleasure, unlike in Sydney or the Gold Coast.

    Pension remittance from UK

    I do pay some tax in the UK, but most is to the ATO. I still have to submit a tax return to HMRC. Is 31st January the cut-off date? I am suddenly unable to access the internet site, possibly because I don't have a valid UK passport. I've asked them to send me a paper form.
  3. A few weeks ago I spoke to a couple on the promenade at Surfers Paradise (QLD). I offered to take a photo of them with their daughter and it turned out they are from Hampshire not far from my home. They had only recently arrived, gone through their two weeks of quarantine and said they were very happy.

    Hopefully moving back to uk this year

    I would have thought that after fourteen years here, another year would not be too onerous, especially as the UK has been in lock down for a number of months whilst Queensland, (touch wood) has been almost untouched. If you are not already citizens, it would be an excellent time to apply for it now. If we get through the pandemic and return to "normality" then you might be able to go to and from the UK without restrictions. Going back to "live", as opposed to on holiday, is sometimes a difficult experience. I've gone through it three times, UK to OZ, OZ to UK, UK to OZ, and each time it's take me a few months to settle in. But that was during "normal" times. Now, it seems like voluntarily going into prison. Is that too harsh?
  5. I suppose I was a kind of "Ping Pong Pom" in that I made relatively frequent trips back to England when my parents were alive culminating in a holiday that lasted for twelve years in 1996. But then I came back and I've not been back to England since. I'm an Aussie citizen so no problems about visas running out. One of my brothers has never taken out Aussie citizenship and he's been here over forty years, not there is much chance of him going to England for any length of time. I was happy enough in my twelve year stint in England and if my brothers had both been there I probably would still be there now. You sound happy enough, Covid permitting. I suppose you have to tell yourself there is no right or wrong decision but two right decisions. Some people miss their families, some miss the "place" and maybe for some it is a mixture of both. If for some reason I was told I HAD to go back to England I would no doubt get used to it but I have no particular desire or reason to do so. So, why do you want to come back to Australia?! There is no right or wrong answer. I came back to Australia because my parents died and although I was still happy enough there, my brothers were living in Australia, I was interested enough after seeing the word "dilemma" in another post (with the same theme - UK or Australia) to do some research: https://thehappinesstrap.com/dealingwithdilemmas/
  6. Thanks Marisa. I suppose I was pondering, "should I sell Surry Hills and buy in Surfers Paradise?" or "rent out Surry Hills and rent in Surfers Paradise?" I did wonder if my super counted as "easily accessible?" This is basically the super which I accrued partly before I went back to England in 1996 which I did not take as part of my redundancy package, and partly from work I've done in OZ since I returned to Sydney in 2008 My job pre 1996 changed from Commonwealth Public Service to private company so I stopped paying into ComSup and joined Aussie Super. When I was retrenched my ComSuper provided an immediate pension which I still get. I figured that the money in Aussie Super would be useful for any unexpected bills, e.g. I may need a hernia op and there is a few grand if I go private. The super becomes my health fund? I suppose I can see the rent from my U K house as another kind of pension to go with the UK state pension, Royal Mail pension and ComSup pension, which all sounds like a lot but it isn't. Another, say $500 a week if my Surry Hills flat was rented out would probably boost my income above the threshold at which I would have to start paying HECS!
  7. I do have a debit card from my UK bank account but I'v'e not used ti for a long time to make cash withdrawals or pay for goods and services. Perhaps I shall do a test run and see what, if anything I get charged. I stuffed around with so many things and/or dithered/been overly sentimental about bricks and mortar. I'm not going back to live in the house in England and my parents are in the churchyard. It's the same with my flat in Sydney though perhaps there's a case for renting it out not selling it. Perhaps I need to start a new thread on the subject of: What did you do with your "baggage" in the UK, both physical and mental when you came to OZ? Are you dragging it around with you like Marley's ghost (in A Christmas Carol) or have you disencumbered yourself? I am better at replying to other people's posts than starting my own!
  8. So, like me coming to Surfers Paradise, it's like coming to Benidorm* for your fortnight in June/July/August/September and never having to to home?! *Or wherever your favourite part of Spain was (if it IS Spain?)
  9. The odd thing is that, comparing Sydney to Perth, in Sydney you can basically drive north, south or west, and in Perth you can drive north, south or east. I suppose there are more towns to visit in NSW and I like going to country towns and equally to different suburbs, and never get bored. I prefer not to have to drive anywhere if I can help it so in Surfers Paradise I rarely to anywhere by car and if do go with my brother I usually regret it. In Surry Hills (Sydney) I lived without a car other than hiring Go Get cars for two or three hours to go to the beach. In Perth or rather South Perth, not unlike Surry Hills in its nearness to the city, I had a hire car and I liked driving there because there was less traffic. It was the same in England and although i had a car I preferred to walk or cycle so I guess I have a "village" mentality if that is the right word. I've not driven a car since I left Sydney in July.
  10. But that "tyranny of distance" must also be true of the USA and Canada where people who live on either coast who want to get to the other side have to endure a five hour flight over the "fly over states" (and provinces, if they use the same term in Canada?) The fact that there are other cities between the two coasts is irrelevant if have you no desire to stop over in them. If you iive in Australia and crave constant trips to Europe then the tyranny of distance is far worse if you live in the "Eastern States" because it's a near 24 hour flight with at least one stop compared to a direct, 17 hour flight from Perth (to LHR). And it's not as if you need to travel from Perth to Sydney or Melbourne for specialist medical services, universities or schools, so all that leaves is the desire which SOME people have to be able to constantly travel between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, for whatever reason - theatre and concerts perhaps. Would life in WA be improved if there was a string of "Perths" up and down the coast from Perth itself - a la San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver? That is a subjective judgement? Is life in WA better or worse than in California, Oregon, Washington or British Columbia? (Cue the USA haters who say it would be better than WA if there were no Americans there. On the other hand, they are Democratic states?!)
  11. It looks like we will have have to put up with living in OZ, regardless of how boring it is, as i read in the Daily Mail, "no overseas travel till 2022?" Surfers is a strange place in that, for example, there is a plethora of restaurants and bars, with plenty more in Broadbeach, but perhaps little in the way of "cultural" activities. It's like a country town in some respects but the traffic is as bad or worse than Sydney. Perhaps it's the opposite of places like Sydney and, as soon as the school holidays end, the traffic will decrease not increase?! There is little in the way of "history" here, at least in the sense of measuring it in centuries, although it's just as interesting to study modern history. I still regret not choosing 20th century Australia when I first went to UNSW in 1982, preferring European history from 16th to 18th centuries. There's a street I like to walk down to look at two "houses" as opposed to tower blocks. You rarely see homes here, now that most have been redeveloped. For all that I enjoy walking around as much as anywhere else I've been to.
  12. Or Perth is nothing like Sydney! I never really enjoyed driving anywhere in Sydney but in Perth, outside of what they laughingly refer to as "rush hour"* driving was a pleasure and I re-discovered the concept of just going out "for a drive." I did have to get used to the idea of pubs closing before midnight but that is probably a good thing. * Perhaps that is patronising of me because commuting is rarely a pleasure, but in Perth, every arvo, I used to go out for a drive somewhere, which I would rarely do in Sydney.
  13. MARYROSE02

    Five days of Quarantine

    It sounds like you are settling in better than the world's top tennis players are in Melbourne! I did do two week's quarantine in my own home last March when I overreacted to a probably allergy (not even a cold). I did have the advantage of both balcony and a small courtyard in my flat in Sydney. I was going to suggest listening to Adelaide radio (if you are not already doing it) as a way of helping get into the swing of Australia but I just put on ABC Adelaide - https://www.abc.net.au/radio/adelaide/live/ and turned it back off again (too leftie for me!) But you might like it. This might be better: (Sorry, it's the sports show at the moment but usually it's talk back radio like I guess Five Live? (I've not been back to UK in 12 years). As an imperative, you need to pick one of the two Adelaide Aussie rules teams - Adelaide or Port Adelaide! https://www.fiveaa.com.au/ Just by chance I still had the page up for the rivalry between the two Adelaide clubs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showdown_(AFL) If they let you get the papers read the Advertiser each day. You could subscribe on line but I think you may have to pay for it. https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/ Welcome to Australia!
  14. I wonder what is is that makes a place "boring?" I know that "boring" is a subjective value. I have spent most of my time in Australia living in Sydney although I did start in Perth. Nearly forty years later I went back to Perth and spent about three months there spread over two trips three months apart. I suppose I would describe Perth to someone who knows Sydney as a smaller, less crowded, easier to drive in, version of Sydney. But that might imply to someone bored with Perth that Sydney is like Perth but more boring!? But now I have spent the last six months in Surfers Paradise, somewhere I had only spent brief holidays on before, and it is the closest I have been to "living the (fabled) dream." Now how could I describe Surfers Paradise to anybody who knows Sydney? Like living in Bondi Beach or Manly with warmer winters perhaps?
  15. I thought you just took "pot luck" with the FX rates, unless you are lucky enough to have a nice sum at precisely the optimum FX rate. When were the glory years when we all sniggered as Aussies complained about $3 to a quid?! I got $1.45 for a pound when I first came to OZ in 1978. I'm also sure that when I took my mortgage out in 1987 the interest rate was 18 per cent? It sounds impossible now? Does that mean you got a similar rate on your savings at that time?
  16. Unless things have changed, I think there is a charge every time you use the ATM? Is it free of charge? It took long enough for the "big four" banks in OZ to stop charging to use each other's ATMs? There was a time when I did use my English debit card regularly to withdraw cash in OZ but I'm sure it wasn't free? If it is free of charge I might start doing it again. For the last six months I've not touched the UK bank account and having to transfer it by going online stops me from spending it too freely. I've got some debts to pay now however, ATO as usual wanting their cut.
  17. MARYROSE02

    Pension remittance from UK

    I use Transferwise because they are cheaper than using my UK bank. I transfer the amount from my UK bank account to Transferwise's account and they pay it into my Aussie bank account, either the same day if I do it early enough or the next day.
  18. MARYROSE02

    Pension remittance from UK

    This is exactly what I do, with both UK state and my Royal Mail pensions, with both their international bankers paying my pensions into my Aussie bank account once a month, at whatever the FX rate is. My rental income for my house in England is still paid into my UK bank account and I transfer that as and when I need it to my Aussie bank account using Transferwise. I could not doubt ask my estate agent to pay it direct to my Aussie bank account like my pensions but so far it has suited me to continue paying into the UK bank account. I would have thought that for the amounts involved it is not really worth worrying about the FX rates?
  19. MARYROSE02

    Introduction of Covid PCR Tests

    I'm no longer working but I did do a couple of months work in Oct and Nov last year so I contributed some super. Also, there is another potential problem with the ATO which I'd rather not go into but it prevents me logging into My Gov.
  20. MARYROSE02

    Would you move to the UK now?

    Twenty four years ago my mother walked down our drive in the UK and a dog that had slipped its lead in a neighbour's house jumped up at her. Result? Major burden on the NHS - seventeen days in Southampton General Hospital. What was her mistake? She knew that the posties often dropped rubber bands on the road when they opened their bundles of letters and she needed one. She died without ever leaving the hospital. Was she irresponsible leaving her home knowing the potential dangers of walking down the drive of her home? Last week a young bloke missed a step going into the swimming pool at our apartment block. A friend in England also missed her step going down the stairs. Possibly both of them regret not holding onto the banister? You can slip on anything. I stepped on a fruit of some sort once - 180 degree swirl through the air, luckily doing no damage. Was it my fault for not noticing the bit of fruit? I did it again walking into a cafe slipping on a wet floor. There was no warning sign that the floor had been washed recently so I suppose I could deflect the blame. On the beach at Surfers Paradise today I heard and saw the warnings - "Stay on your feet, stay between the flags, marine stingers", etc. I did not swim but there were plenty who did under the eyes of the lifeguards. Were those swimmers foolish and negligent just the same? Imagine the extra burden on the Queensland hospital service especially during the Covid emergency? Come to think of it why didn't the lifeguards ban swimmers from people even going into the sea given the potential dangers? Plus the dangers of sunburn and sunstroke of course.
  21. MARYROSE02

    Introduction of Covid PCR Tests

    I started the applilcation using my latest Tax Return. Straight away encountered problems. My ITR puts my total income including foreign income but the Centrelink app asks for total income first then foreign income which immediately increased my total income by adding the two amounts together. So, take foreign income away from my total income. Next, "How much did I pay in super contributions?" Not included on my ITR so I had to pause the application to get those details if I can log on to my super website. At the moment I am blocked by the ATO from accessing MYGOV. (I have access to MY GOV for Centrelink and Medicare but not the ATO - ongoing problem I thought was sorted out.) It is probably easier to ring Scott Morrison than it is to ring the ATO department concerned with the query. They will not give out a direct number and the generic one means hanging on forever, then speaking to someone, then going on hold again. I waited for over an hour last time I did get through. When they call it is not listed on my phone as "ATO.".
  22. MARYROSE02

    Anyone watching the cricket ?

    I can multi task - Test cricket, BBL, EPL, AFL, NRL! England fans in particular at any Test cricket match in OZ all turn up in their footie team shirts, and the Barmy Army have adapted football sledging and singing tactics?
  23. MARYROSE02

    Would you move to the UK now?

    Whatever it is I have no idea why anybody (other for some kind of emergency) would want to return to the UK right now. A few months time, certainly. Even a complete lock down in spring/summer would be preferable to winter time.
  24. MARYROSE02

    Introduction of Covid PCR Tests

    Thanks Paul. Following Marisa's advice I have commenced an application for a HBC today. My income stream is similar to yours - UK state pension, Royal Mail pension. Com Super pension (from job at Garden Island for Dept of Defence), rent on my home in England, a few dividends. I have not started to draw on my Aussie super yet though. It's not a huge amount but I was thinking of keeping it as a buffer for emergencies.
  25. MARYROSE02

    Introduction of Covid PCR Tests

    I started my application off this arvo after I read your message. For some reason I could not access the right page via the desktop site but no problem using my Centrelink app on my phone. Naturally, there is information I lack but some of my details were still current from my aborted pension appllication. Thanks again.