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About Nikko

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  1. Nikko

    UK Pension Transfers Post 6 April 15 - Questions

    Hi Andy. I am a little worried I may be caught in this situation. The first I knew about the changes in the rules for QROPS transfers was when I reviewed the Poms in Oz monthly news letter this morning so thanks for that information. We have been in Oz for over 3 years and as we have settled in well and it looks like are are here to stay I thought it was time to transfer my small Prudential personal pension. Towards the end of last year I met with a financial advisor who was recommended by our mortgage broker and together we decided to start the transfer. I chose to go with the QROPS fund recommended by the advisor (IOOF) and I filled in all the required paperwork and sent the paperwork to Prudential. The Prudential eventually made the transfer (after many phone calls and letters). The funds hit the Austrilain fund around 9th June. So although the transfer was initiated well before the change in the rules (which no one knew about) the transfer was completed after the 6th April deadline. Do you have any thoughts on how these rules may affect me and others and do you think they maybe some leeway given for transfers which were initiated before the changes but finalised after the changes. many thanks, Nick.
  2. Why bother if the chance of you returning is 'not likely'
  3. Nikko

    Visa Validation Query

    Yes, it does not matter where you enter Australia you visa will be activated. Nick.
  4. Nikko

    What areas to live in Alice Springs?

    Good luck!!
  5. As far as i am aware (we also rent out our UK property) CGT is payable on the difference of the value of the property when you started renting it out and when you sold it, e.g. when we changed our mortgage to a buy to let we had a valuation done for the bank which was 175,000GBP, if we sell our property in the future, for instance, for 200,000GBP we would pay CGT on the difference of those two amounts (25,000GBP). I could be way off the mark and there may be a lot more to it than this, hence when we sell we will check with an accountant.
  6. Hi, we ended up Geelong (Leopold actually), we rented a holiday let on arrival for 4 weeks so did't have heaps of time to make a choice on where we wanted to be. We already knew about Highton and also Newton as being fairly 'nice' areas so started looking around those areas. We don't have any children so school catchment areas were not important to us, but my wife does not drive so we had to be on a bus route into Geelong for her work (nurse). There were some very nice houses and the rent was not as expensive as the Melbourne suburbs. The areas were fairly built up which (coming from a big city) we wanted to try something different. Whilst on a drive to Ocean Grove we passed through Leopold and decided to give it a look, long story short we have been in our rental in Leopold since July 2012 and we have just bought a house and land package also in Leopold. As you are already in Oz come down and visit the area (maybe stay overnight in a hotel) to get a feel of the different areas, check out the public transport links (most are not very good with 1 bus per hour, maybe 2 per hour at school times) my wife manages with the busses and we are about 10k outside Geelong). Geelong itself is a great place, sure it has it's down sides and bad areas but everywhere has those now. I can imagine it would be a great place to bring up children as the town is very children friendly, there is always something going on down on the sea front and we are just b20 mins away from the beaches at Torquay, Ocean grove and Barwon Heads. Good luck with the move. Nick.
  7. No it's not "very easy" for a Nurse to get a skilled independent or state sponsored visa. You need to have the relevant training and experience and a Degree and to be able to show transcripts of your training and degree modules to the ANMC before you can even apply for a visa (or at least you did a couple of years ago when we made the decision to apply for a visa). OP best thing to do is to speak to registered migration agent, they will tell you if you have the relevant qualifications and job experience to qualify for a visa.
  8. Nikko

    Opinions on Geelong

    We live in Leopold, about 10k outside Geelong. We came here 15 months ago on arriving in Australia and are in the process of buying a house and land package, we love the area, Geelong is big enough to have all the major stores, but is only a short drive from places like Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and Torquay which are great for the beach lifestyle. Plus the commute into Melbourne (which i do not do) is fairly easy, with the train to Melbourne starting at Marshal and going through South Geelong, Geelong and North Geelong. People who i work with say the drive is not worth the hassle at commuter time as once you get to Werrabee, Point Cook and Sanctuary Lakes the traffic grinds to a halt, although in non rush hour times the drive is nice. Good luck with the move. Nick.
  9. Nikko

    Possible move to torquay

    We are in Leopold which is about 12k's from Geelong CBD and a little further from Torquay, Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove. We think it is well placed for our needs, but we don't have children so schools zone's are not important. When we first arrived my wife fell in love with Torquay (and still is) but having visited MANY times over last summer there is no way we would live there. Far too much traffic, day trippers, tourists and surf dudes for our liking. I actually like Jan Juc which is 5 mins up the coast from Torquay but much quieter. We thought about buying there but decided it was too far out for the wife as she does not drive and has to rely on public transport if i am not able to give her a lift. We decided to stay in Leopold and are in the process of buying a house and land package about 10 mins walk from where our rental is. Good luck with the move. Nick.
  10. Hi, Can't really comment on the schools as we do not have children, i do know there is lots of choice and this could play a large part in where you choose to live (due to catchment areas). As for living in Geelong, we love it. We arrived here never having visited Geelong (but we had been to Australia) not knowing what to expect. We settled really quick, my wife found work easily (Nurse) but it took me a few weeks to find something (factory work). We have been here 14 months now and we feel well settled (to the point where we have just put a deposit on a house and land package and will hopefully be in by May/June next year). As i have said we don't have children but from what i see out and about everything is very family orientated, from the many open public spaces with swings and climbing frames (and free to use bbq's) to the very close by beaches at Torquay and Barwon Heads (my favourite place). We chose to live in Leopold which is abut 10 k's from the centre of Geelong and is one of the places where there is lots of building going on. The local shopping centre is trying to get planning permission to expand by about 4 times. We are also building in Leopold on one of the many sites in the area. The only problem with Leopold is that the public transport system is not the best (this is the case in all of Australia from what i understand). We only have one car as my wife does not drive, so if we did have children she would either have had to learn to drive or we would not have chosen Leopold as our base (don't know if you and you other half both drive but it something to think about). Anyway enough of my waffle, if you have any questions about Geelong or the area in general i would be pleased to try and answer them for you. Nick.
  11. Hi, we moved to Geelong in June 2012 and used http://www.stayz.com.au to find our short term rental. We had a 2 bedroom unit in Eastern Beach for 4 weeks and it cost us (if i remember correctly) GBP2200. We found a rental within 2 weeks and they held it for us until our time in the holiday let was up. Good luck, Nick.
  12. Nikko

    Dilemma of a car type thing

    Doors are fairly easy to fit, just bolt on and off. Takes a little bit of adjustment to line up properly. Front wing can be easy or nearly impossible without the correct tools, it all depends if it is bolt on-off or is spot welded, front bumper may also need to be removed to remove the wing. Hope this helps. Nick.
  13. Nikko

    Dilemma of a car type thing

    Get a second hand door from a breakers yard, if you are lucky you will find one in the same colour with a mirror fitted. Also some front wings are bolt on-off, if so you may find one in the same breakers yard (from same car). You could fit your self if you have the tools/skill or pay someone to fit for you. On the other hand, if you can live with the damage and are not to worried about the value when you com to sell, bank the money and leave the car as is. Nick.
  14. Dealers will sell the car with a roadworthy (i think they have to by law). Also if the car has less than a certain amount of kilometre's (i think it is 165000) they have to give 3 months warranty, this is why some dealers only sell high milage cars. The warranty is quite good (i had a new radiator fitted in our car because it developed a leak after about 9 weeks) but they might not mention the warranty if they think you don't know about it (being new in the country). They will offer to sell you an extended warranty and these are not so good, there is a lot of clauses in the extended warranty which they can use to get out of paying a claim, even if they do pay out it is usually only a percentage of the total amount. I did not get one (and never would in the future) but it is down to personal choice. As for the 'on-road costs' on a car of $10,000 it is not that much (thats what we paid for our car). Depending on what type of car you would like you will get a lot of car for between $10k and $15k. Bigger cars (Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore) are getting cheaper as most people who want a big car seem to buy a 4x4 (suv). We have a Commodore, it has a 3.8 litre v6 engine and is a little thirsty (i would not have been able to afford to run it in the UK), but fuel is much cheaper over here (especially when earning the Ozzie $). Calculator for on-roads (second of the three calculators). http://webapps.vicroads.vic.gov.au/vrne/VRCALC.NSF/fee?OpenForm#calc2 If we can be of any other help please ask. Nick.
  15. Also (forgot to say), one of the first things i did on arrival was get a Victorian driving license, it makes things a lot easier (including buying a car). It is an easy process, the only problem we had was that we did not have a permanent address to send it to but our holiday rental allowed us to use that address for important things (we were there for 4 weeks).