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family5

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About family5

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  1. family5

    What are your plans B & C?

    Mandy, your plan B is similar to ours. We too have done more than our fair share of rambling, ranting and grumbling at the way things have turned through no fault of our own believe me. We have subscribed in the past to the fatalistic mindset 'if its meant to be etc etc' or 'I dont care how much it costs to get out of here' but such thought processes are deeply flawed and devoid of the harsh reality of the times we live in. It seems that if you are ambitious, play by the rules, strive and work hard to continuously improve your 'family lot' the more you are penalised and imposed upon by the state. You almost become a hostage in the UK for reasons beyond your control. Its so frustrating I often scream to myself at the UK situation. I have been in nursing for 22 yrs OH is just about to retire from Public Service. We are lucky that we both have pensions but, for example, when the Oz exchange rate and tax is taken into account they are worth approx 20%less than they were 2 yrs ago. Just seems another reason not to make the move. Like you, we have been to Oz a few times and have family there. We loved the weather, the place, as you say, is interestingly different. The big BUT is - normal life outside the holiday feeling has to kick in at some stage wherever we settled and we would need stability and security to be able to forward plan and positively develop family life therafter. For the extortionate costs we would incur to make the move, life would have to be significantly better than our 'good' lifestyle here and we both know that it would not be the case. We are realistic to understand that the better weather alone is not sufficient value or importance to compensate!. Indeed with the outlay, pension value loss and the disparity between the value of the £ v AUD the outcome certainly is not worth the outlay. We have three children at home who have yet to finish school and start University. Costs for all three to go to university are small beer compared to the current costs of just achieving a move - and then we would have to pay. That said, if things were different we would move out of the UK as we think things have gone badly wrong and theres a long way to go before they improve - if they ever do. If we were youngsters, with few assets, just setting out our life plans we would have little to lose by making the move in my opinion. However, we are not youngsters, all our assets are valued in GBP which effectively no one in the world wants, thus worth a lot less when you attempt to change/finance your newlife to fit that of another nation. I guess there are many more families like ours who are 'stranded' by the current economic, social and political circumstance. I dont feel we as a family have a choice other than to accept the way things are and try to find the positives. Then put all our energy, effort and focus on imaginative, innovative and cost effective ways of improving our lifestyles here in the UK or the EU. p.s. if we won big on the lottery, forget all of the above. :yes:
  2. family5

    What are your plans B & C?

    What are your 'alternative' plans if you pull the plug on your move to OZ? For us the Oz dream is over. The decison is made and based on the fact that the UK economy and financial world staus will not recover before we are in our late forties/early fifties - 5 to 10 years. Reasons, we would 'lose' significant assets in house devaluation, exchange rates and all other costs in quitting the UK plus the known and hidden costs of setting up a new life in a country that hasnt been in recession and thus has continued to grow, prosper and get more expensive. Brilliant if we had moved out 3 years ago but now we just cannot afford to 'give away' so much of our life savings. The more in assets that you have, the more it costs! For what it would cost us to get our feet on the ground in Oz we could have a three month holiday in Oz every year for the next 10 to 15 years My question is directed to those who are in the same position as us. Do you have a plan B or C or even D? We have had to think 'outside the box'. Maybe a move to a more pleasant part of the UK (We live in the Midlands). Maybe stay where we are and buy a (small) place in France, Spain, Italy but remained domiciled in the UK until things improve and stabilise with a long term aspiration to leave the UK altogether. Maybe wait for 10 years and hope one of our children settles in Oz and enables us to go the contributory parent visa route. Im interested in how the creative/problem solving skills of similarly affected PIO members are dealing with the issues outlined with a view to growing the list of options and alternative plans. I do realise that our analysis and decisions are based on facts and devoid of the utopia/romantic aspirational elements but the above applies to our specific circumstances which Im sure you understand. Thanks for reading.
  3. family5

    So scared and confused !

    I submit this post with a view to trying to help the great 'mental debate' that continually fills our heads as we consider our plans to emigrate. I have posted a few times recently in response to the subject of those who have had to seriously re-examine their plans to emigrate because of the state of the UK economy, society, culture and infrastructure. Things are not positive in the UK and will I am sure get worse as the spending cuts and higher taxes start to bite and thereafter the associated negative impacts on crime, health, education social cohesion etc etc. On that basis alone it would be very easy to say sod it and emigrate to Oz at whatever cost. The trouble is when the ‘honeymoon period is over’ and normal day to day activities and challenges become the most permanent and persistent features of your normal day it could give rise to some serious reflection on decisions made, costs incurred, perhaps in haste and based more on emotion and imagination. I recently found a useful article on the internet which I reproduce below. It has helped me (us) to rationalise and put our thoughts and decision making processes into some sort of perspective. I hope it helps some of you in your deliberations. Notwithstanding, we as a family would love to follow our dream of emigrating, but not at a totally unquantified human and financial cost. ‘To emigrate or not? By Louis Fourie* You may have compelling personal reasons for wanting to leave the UK, and as they are probably intellectually and emotionally well recited, it will be difficult for another person to convince you of alternatives. My advice is, therefore, limited to five simple, yet honest considerations - considerations that normally only surface as practicalities after settling on the other side of the world. It is in fact advice that is relevant to any global citizen who considers emigration. Make sure the underlying motivation for moving to another country doesn't move with you. Many fundamentally disgruntled people with ‘unhappy' mindsets or relationships end up in other countries, to start their search for personal fulfilment afresh. If anything, emigration puts pressure on your level of personal happiness - it doesn't necessarily enhance it. Understand that you inherit a cultural barrier for as long as you live. It may seem like a trivial consideration from a distance, but you leave the associations and images of your roots behind forever. You may not be able to express the same sophistication, sincerity and humour in the nuances of your mother tongue. These will not be replaced by those of the new culture, as the smells and colours of our origin are established when we intellectually develop as children. Research shows that most expats have to eventually go as far as to simplify their thinking to contain the gap between their outward personality and their self image. You will have to make peace that most of the friendships of your youth will stay behind in the UK. You will meet many new associates and make new friends - but most unconditional friendships are established in the first 25 years of your life. Distance is not good for close relationships. Your family will, therefore, become your closest personal relationship domain in your new world of being an ‘ex-pat’. You will be subject to unforeseen strain. Overcoming your minority status implies becoming closer as a family. Make sure you leave the UK with a strong family - and a personal commitment to keep it strong. Be careful when you ask ex-pats for advice. Although there are many people who have embraced their new futures with a pioneer spirit, focusing on their futures and not dwelling on the past, there are even more who couldn't come to terms with the fact that the UK was, at best, just a part of their problem. As it is often impossible for them to turn their decision around without dire consequences, they have become cynical, serious people and can be dangerous advisers. You are about to make a decision of great magnitude. Emigration is about much more than moving to another address. It is about deciding upon a new home - a place where you will raise your kids. It's fine to be emotional when you make the call, but be equally pragmatic and open-minded in all your considerations.
  4. family5

    Worried about financial security

    I think you are very very wise to consider the financial elements of such a move. We had been planning for years to emigrate to OZ 2010 -2011 but thanks to the way things have gone in the UK we have had to postpone, maybe cancel our plans. If you have next to no assets to take with you then you have little to lose financially. The trouble is most people do have assets which are the very means by which you commence and support the arduous task of building a new life from scratch in Australia - or elsewhere for the matter. The depressed housing market, poor exchange rates, costs of visas, medicals, IELTS, skills assessments, agents, police checks, removals, flights, rentals etc really need to be considered carefully. We have had to do this to balance our rather rose tinted view of what settled life in Oz would be like for us as a family of 5 and what 'value' we place on achieving same. The trouble is the current realistic costs of the above for us is in the £200k at the moment and unlikely to change for some time. We have had to let head rather than heart take the lead in our decision making. For £200K we could have an annual 2 month holiday in Oz for the next 20 years. A simple SWOT analysis of stay/go indicated to us that we would be paying a fortune to move to a place where basically the sunshines a lot more. Everything else, day to day living trials and tribulations would be present in Oz as in the UK. (Im sure I saw a post that summed it up as'same s**t, shinier bucket)We have also developed our own action plan to try and get more out of life where we are, to consider moving to a different area of the UK or maybe Europe from an historical/cultural perspective. Finally, we are 'gutted' at how things have gone in the UK and how it has affected our plans. If things were different - we be out of here like a shot - by teatime at the latest! ;-) Hope my personal views/opinions/research have helped in some way.
  5. family5

    Bring money back to UK

    You have my complete sympathy and understanding. I could have written the same post. So, so angry at the way the UK has been bankrupted, socially and culturally trashed as well as becoming a warmongering nation. - and some. Our dream is over for the short to medium term, no question about it and I hate every second I think about it. You are not on your own, Im sure there are many many others in the same position. Didnt transfer any money but dependent on when you went for AUD you might actually make a return on your change back to GBP at the mo.
  6. Thank you for all your excellent and thought provoking responses which in the main confirm and reinforce our thought processes to hold position for 18 months - 2 years. We have a comfortable lifestyle in the UK so in a sense there is no desperate rush to emigrate other than our childrens education and development and the state of the UK. Our finances in Oz would be based on the equity we get from the sale of our house plus other cash assets. We are of the opinion that we want all our assets close to us at all times given the state of the UK economy. Therefore we do not favour living frugally in Oz for however long it takes with the majority of our finances still in the UK. We also think it would keep things tidy and simple for tax and administration reasons to start with. Along with other posts we agree that the current position of the UK currency v the AUD will change. UK is currently on life support but maybe transferring to HDU soon. Economic commentators see the Oz economy as strong towards overheating, hence the interest rate rises, thus as has already been said, there maybe some readjustment due in the future. (I recently heard someone on the TV say the popularity of the UK Pound is 'pants' at the moment. Cant see Mr Darling or Brown using such language but 10 out of 10 for clarity) I had a discussion with a banking/investment friend of mine today. He was absolutely clear in saying that we should wait. He said that the more financial assets you have the more it will cost you to emigrate. Conversely, if you have little it will cost you very little accepting and understanding that there is an emotional, motivational and financial relativity issue within this argument. He said it was a 'gold rush' at the moment and a lose, lose situation for many (UK devalued house prices, poor exchange rates). Given time that situation would rotate more towards a win win once realistic currency values and general economic stability returns. We discussed an example of an Oz house costing 600,000AUD in March 2009 (1GBP = 2.3AUD) and the purchase of an Oz house of the same value today with the £ at 1.78 AUD. The difference is approx £70,000 more in just 12 months. If we thought these exchange rates would not alter/recover/adjust we could adopt a position where we may accept these costs as a necessity of achieving our emigration aspirations. However, the reality is that things will change as most economies follow a cyclic route. When they do we think we will be in a much better position to pursue the most financially efficient strategy to suit our individual needs in order to fund our new lives in Australia. Its not an easy decision to wait given the way things are and the direction they appear to be going. However we have made what we think is an informed, intelligence led decision thats suits our particular circumstances best. I do hope that this discussion has been of benefit to others. Thanks again, very much appreciated. :cute:
  7. We are a family of five and live in the Midlands. The children are 10, 9, and 6yrs. Mid 2007 we commenced plans to emigrate to Australia. Shortly afterwards a young close family member was taken seriously ill and we had to postpone our plans. The situation came to the saddest of conclusions in July last year. We recommenced our emigration plans late 2009. Our dilemma is in terms of the costs of achieving emigration now compared to 2007, as a direct result of the recession. So much so that we are seriously considering delaying our plans further. Our costs are roughly 1. Agents fees 1500.00 2. Visa 3000.00 3. Police checks 70.00 4. Medicals 1000.00 5. IELTS 150.00 6. Skills assmnt 400.00 7. Air Fares 3500.00 8. Container 5000.00 Additionally our house is currently worth £85,000 less than when it was valued two years ago Add to that the value of £500,000 at todays exchange rate 1.78 v 2007 rates @2.2 = >£100000. In total nearly £200,000. Has anyone else had to delay their plans for similar reasons? When does it just become too expensive to emigrate. OH says we could have a long holiday in Australia for the next 15 years for the monetary value we would need to sacrifice to pursue our plans at the moment.
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