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Chortlepuss last won the day on July 8 2018

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About Chortlepuss

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  1. I came over after I got a job here In Brisbane. I was on a 457 Visa so a dodgy thing to uproot my family. After a few years, my company sponsored me for PR (lucky because by that time I was too old so ‘special’ case made). Hubby got a job he loved, kids got settled and they all grew to like it here. I always wanted to come here & feel really lucky to have got citizenship. I loved it at first with a passion! But it was never meant to be forever - I love my pubs, National Trust buildings, gardens, cathedrals, the countryside European travel and the quiet (despite not much to do in Brisbane it is never quiet!). I’m still close to my family and lifelong friends at home and chat often. And now I’m stuck here. Only myself to blame. I made us come! Unemployed - at 58 I’m probably never going to work in IT again as I’m ‘overqualified’. I’m so lucky cos investments & hubby’s work means that we can have an OK life here although we’re not rich . When I overthink it, I’m puzzled that I’ve allowed myself to get trapped in a place with no real friends, no work and not even able to be outside much cos it’s too hot! I don’t really like driving yet I have to drive every day to the pool, the gym, the shops, the GP etc. In my village in the UK in the South Downs most things I needed were just a short potter away, and I got to listen to birds and spend time in the countryside instead of constant traffic, DIY, or building noise.....I can’t imagine growing old here, it’s just crept up on me....I feel so daft for not having a proper exit plan - if we’d stayed out four years and returned, we’d have had nothing but brilliant memories of Australia....
  2. Chortlepuss

    Would you move to the UK now?

    If I was going back to the UK (and I would given the chance), I’d wait until the UK spring time. It is always a magical time of the year and the prospect of summer and lighter evenings makes everyone feel a bit more optimistic. Easier for you to ease back into the climate as well.
  3. Chortlepuss

    Is the UK’s weather massively underrated?

    When I moved to Brisbane 13 years ago, a primary motivation was the climate. I loved it at first and still enjoy the winters here. I have been back to SE UK a number of times, including once for a year. I was never really hampered by the weather in the UK (once too chicken to drive in light snow). A key reason for me to return to UK now would be climate. I dread the summer here and all the constraints it imposes (aircon, driving, staying inside). The idea of throwing on sturdy boots and a warm jacket to go for a brisk walk followed by some decent beer in a welcoming pub now seems like a distant fantasy. I never dreamed UK winters could be preferable to Qld summers! I think I needed to get my craving for heat out of my system and would love to retire back home but sadly trapped here by family commitments
  4. Chortlepuss


    The Christmas parties! We always knew we’d had a good one when we’d managed to get staff from across the bank (not just those from the IT department) permanently banned from ever visiting the venue again. We did have a lot of liaisons at work and it became pretty unprofessional at times. One of my colleagues (an excellent software developer) was so fed up at something once, he chucked his desk out the window. I can’t remember if he was disciplined but he certainly wasn’t sacked. I remember introduction of the smoking at work ban and the outrage that it caused. Different times indeed!
  5. Chortlepuss


    I do think people now in their 50’s and 60’s saw the best of workplaces. At American Express there was a fancy social club with subsidised drinks, plus an incredible cheap staff restaurant. Working for banks in the 1980’s and 90’s in IT, we had regular pay reviews, staff bonuses, luncheon vouchers, thriving staff & social including overseas subsidised trips. Six weeks holiday, final salary pensions. Down the pub Friday lunchtime and rarely returned. It wasn’t all fabulous - sexism thrived and we had to fight for parity of pay & opportunity but because skilled workers were in such high demand, it was very easy to jump ship. You had to put up with ‘personalities’ in the workplace! It really was a world away from today’s short term contracts, ‘self employment’ and fragile working conditions.
  6. Chortlepuss

    Buying house in Scotland before moving back

    Won’t you pay more stamp duty if you’ve not sold your previous house and you buy another? When we bought our UK house we had to state that we didn’t own another one anywhere in the world.
  7. Chortlepuss


    Yes, I suspect that part of it is the frustration of things not going to plan and not being in charge of the situation - if I’d had 2 years more I could have smashed our Aussie mortgage and been very comfortable. It’s a difficult time for many Work wise though, especially the very young and I need to count my blessings
  8. Chortlepuss


    If you enjoy it that’s fab! I must say I didn’t mind so much when I could travel home and visit friends and family. I did love my work, despite the stress and would love something part time. I’ve got the gym, classes and catch up with friends - I would probably have retired just after 60 anyhow - but feel at a bit of a loose end after so many years of working. Have income from rental property and have spent many years financially supporting others but find it strange without a decent income of my own. I do appreciate that I’m very lucky.
  9. Chortlepuss


    It’s interesting to read this - I have great skills in IT and never struggled to find a job anywhere until I hit my mid 50’s in Brisbane. I was able to travel back to UK for two extended periods where I was offered really interesting project work from my ex employer, but also approached for other roles whilst I was there. Now 58 and back in Brisbane I’m twiddling my thumbs and although I’m really lucky in that I can just about afford not to work, I miss the stimulation and it’s the first time in my life I’m financially dependent on my husband which sits uncomfortably. If I was single, I’d be heading back for a few years’ work but now facing a somewhat dull early retirement. Friends in the UK all seem to have no issue finding work. I’m relieved to know it’s not just me but not sure what to do about it!
  10. Chortlepuss

    Where to retire in Queensland

    Have you thought about Currumundi Lake/ Wurtulla? Very handy for Sunshine Coast hospital. My favourite place in Queensland and pretty quiet
  11. I’m really interested in this as hope to do similar. I’ve written off the idea of splitting time between Aus & UK properties - too difficult to leave one unoccupied - trouble is bulk of my income will come from UK and assets in Australia and UK. I want to visit the UK for at least 3 months of year. Living in Brisbane so choosing when to go in the year is tough - Spring UK is sublime but not sure how many more Brissie summers I can bear. Would Jan/Feb be better in UK or Brisbane (I never thought I’d have to ask myself that!) Current thinking is to sell UK house, upgrade my Aus house and try to get a house swap or house sitter and furnished rental in UK I would prefer to retire in UK but kids are in Australia and one in particular needs us around. It’s tough!
  12. Chortlepuss

    Aussie moving to UK permanently with British husband

    So if you’re resident in Australia and take a lump sum from a UK pension then this is counted as income For Australian tax purposes? I might need to have a year in the UK once I turn 60....
  13. Chortlepuss

    Been in Oz 8 months and struggling - advice please!

    Yes - I had a list of years where there were ‘gaps’ in my NI record from my statement. I paid the cheapest years. The pensions centre acknowledged payment but didn’t tell me that these wouldn’t make a jot of difference to increasing my state pension. The only years that could increase my pension were post 2017 gaps! So you have to call them and ask them ‘which payments will contribute to increasing my state pension’ and then pay those years only NOT just the cheapest years! (If you’re lucky these MAY be the same). After A lot of work, I got the non contributing years reallocated to contributing years. I found this out from talking to a financial journalist after wondering why my forecast wasn’t changing. I personally find it outrageous that they take payments for years that don’t count and don’t tell you! I remind people to chat to Pensions directly and not just rely on the statement so they don’t make the same mistake I did.
  14. Chortlepuss

    Been in Oz 8 months and struggling - advice please!

    Anyone topping up their NI contributions be sure to contact NI to ensure that any contributions/years made will count towards increasing their state pension. Some years count and some don’t. I paid the cheaper years, then found out these didn’t make a jot of difference to my state pension - they will not tell you if this is the case and they’ll just bank the money. I only found this out by chatting to a financial journalist! I’ve managed to get payments made re-allocated to years that will increase my pension but not without a huge amount of effort and complaint. Don’t just get an online statement like I did and pay off amounts but check first. I do wish they would tell people this - it seems almost fraudulent.