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Everything posted by Chortlepuss

  1. 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....
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Chortlepuss

    Moving back after 31 years

    I don’t think that the UK is particularly less ageist than Australia (although Queensland is a tough market). I found in the UK that there was more of a shortage of skilled workers and so they couldn’t necessarily be so picky - also change management/Project delivery was taken more seriously, so there was a preference for more experienced, resilient workers to get the job done. I lost out on an ICT change role in QLD last year to someone whose expertise was mostly busking, travelling and had previous role titles such as ‘inventor of things’. Sure, they were after a fun youngster rather than a person with 20 years solid ICT change experience - but that wasn’t how the role was advertised. In my experience, preference is always given to youth over experience in Queensland, even at the risk to delivering a successful project. I’ve been back to UK a couple of times in the last 13 years for contracts and my experience has always been a deciding factor for employers.
  5. Chortlepuss

    Moving back after 31 years

    Part of me wishes that age discrimination was still legal! I remember as a 32 year old being told by my recruiter that I was too old to apply for a website development role. At least they were honest with me despite it being ridiculous. Now it is illegal to discriminate on age, you get the run around ‘too experienced’ ‘too expensive’ ‘not a good cultural fit’ etc... if companies were honest about age discrimination we could boycott them, name and shame and target employers who claim to be diverse in their recruitment practice. QLD government don’t even monitor age discrimination - as a major employer in Brisbane ageism isn’t seriously considered in their diversity strategy - so disappointing
  6. Chortlepuss

    Moving back after 31 years

    Gosh I have never thought of 40’s as old! I’m sorry you’ve had that experience- tbh it doesn’t surprise me - in QLD the best person for the job doesn’t always matter. My last job finished in June last year and by then I was aware of how few people my age were in the office. When I see websites for IT companies or features on LinkedIn, it’s all trendy bearded blokes or young women in their 20’s. Then you have to read all the bollox about IT skills shortages! V frustrating
  7. Chortlepuss

    Moving back after 31 years

    Hi KateB I’m nearly 58 and making plans to retire at least part of the year in the UK. My friends and ex colleagues in the UK are still working some part time, some with new careers. I do miss working but as someone who has worked in IT since the late 1980’s I’m now seen as ‘too old’ to work in Queensland so although I apply for jobs and sometimes get interviews, I rarely get anywhere. it is hard - I’m not quite ready to embrace retirement and know I’d be better placed to get some work in the UK but my family are here and not in a position to move so stuck for the moment. I think you should be fine for work once you move, ageism is everywhere but maybe there is just so much more opportunity in the UK? Note Marisa’s comments on pensions though - super important to be able to receive pension once you finally retire. May be worth seeing a financial advisor re: existing super - if you reach preservation date before you leave you could withdraw it before you leave and invest it in UK. You will be taxed in UZ on Australian pension income if you are over tax free threshold
  8. Chortlepuss

    Decision Made...

    Hey Marisa - am I right to assume that once I reach preservation age in Australia and am retired I can take all the $ out of my super and put it in my account - and the UK tax man will not tax it as long as I am still resident in Australia? I am completing UK tax returns as I have a rental property... Thanks...
  9. Chortlepuss

    Moved back and confused!

    Hi Watsy Glad to hear things are picking up - it's great that you are giving it time. I will be facing a similar decision as to where to live in a few years once I'm retired - my hubby loves the heat in Qld but I am over it! We bought a house here 3 years ago and I am feeling more positive about Australia now I don''t have to struggle in the insecurity and frustration of a rental. We still have a house in the UK which we rent out and I am hoping to spend part year in both countries but it is complicated re: tax/super/UK pension etc... Plus grown up kids who have settled here .. I hope you have a lovely Spring and Summer and enjoy those long days that I miss so much!
  10. Chortlepuss

    Been in Oz 8 months and struggling - advice please!

    I say it because I know a couple in a similar position and her partner loved the UK to bits but for work reasons they had to return to Australia and he is now reluctant to go back to the UK due to family obligations. Also know a couple of Australian families from work who lived in (and loved) London for at long while but eventually couldn’t cope with the climate and returned. So just my observation of experience - the OP’s partner could well be different but her message seemed to suggest an attachment to work here.
  11. Chortlepuss

    Been in Oz 8 months and struggling - advice please!

    Some great advice here especially re: waiting till you’re settled to have kids. I’d be tempted to give it a little more time but beware that you could get yourself into a tricky situation. I came over to Brisbane in my 40’s over 12 years ago. If you’re used to the vibrancy of British cities it is very dull, albeit improving. My kids were young and personally I think if you have a young family, and are not so into the social side of things you can make it work. The flora and fauna are fantastic but like you, I find it wearing to drive for hours to get anywhere decent. My kids are grown up now and have had fabulous opportunities here (one is a nurse and about to buy her own house aged 25!). I now feel stuck. I have had a great time but never stopped missing the British countryside, European travel, the weather (!) that enables you to be outside most days of the year with correct clothing. I have met a lot of nice people here through work and activities but no close friends. If I retire here, it is likely to be just me and my husband and we get on well thankfully but I miss our friends and family and the company of others. I am so tired now of the heat and the climate has changed notably even in a decade here. I find solace in my trips home and the prospect of spending at least part of my retirement back home. If I was alone and child free I’d be on the plane tomorrow, grateful for the experience but excited about moving on with my life! Sorry to ramble - but you need to completely enthusiastic about making it work in Australia before you commit completely - and I suspect that moving your partner over with you to the UK may not be the best outcome for him.
  12. Chortlepuss

    Newcastle upon Tyne

    Just to say I absolutely loved it! A great vibrant city, beautiful coast, can see that it would be a brilliant place to live - especially near the sea
  13. Chortlepuss

    Almost There

    I shall enjoy following your adventures back to Australia Quoll - always entertaining x
  14. Chortlepuss

    Get on that plane!

    Yep! Sunshine Coast knocks spots off Gold Coast IMHO - with Currumundi Lake my favourite - when I’m loaded (ha ha..) I’ll get myself a lovely holiday cottage there....
  15. Chortlepuss

    Get on that plane!

    Golly! I think I’m in the minority when I say the Gold Coast beaches are not for me - Caloundra, Currumundi, Noosa, fabulous. Gold Coast hinterland is lovely I think. But much better beach experiences to be had!
  16. Chortlepuss

    3 months in the uk

    I’m from the south of England - I love it, I really do. But if I was young with kids and looking for work life balance, I’d go North unless I absolutely had to be based down south for work. In the UK at the moment as a tourist - Newcastle and Leeds have struck me as fabulous places which are liveable with a short commute and relatively manageable house prices/rents. Hear great things about Scotland - even my mate working in Edinburgh commutes to work in half an hour and doesn’t earn a fortune. Yet she’s an hour away on a flight to Gatwick! I’d explore your options closer to home before throwing in the towel. You want to be sure of your decision- ping ponging is jolly expensive!
  17. Chortlepuss

    Newcastle upon Tyne

    I’m going to Newcastle next week as a start of a two month touristy break around the UK. Never been and looking forward to it but just checked the weather forecast never mind, i’ll Pack my brolly!
  18. Chortlepuss

    Been here a while.

    So funny how experiences differ. Maybe it’s an Interstate thing? I love working for British bosses here when I get the chance (contract IT). They are so much clearer on expectations and honest in their conversations than Aussies with their tendency to passive aggression and bullying... QLD winters waaay better than UK winters - but QLD summers? Much nicer to be out and about in UK then cooped up in the Air-con. Weather in Brisbane now just perfect however! I’ve found Aussie males way ahead of British in the boasting stakes - I’m constantly reminded by my management consultant colleagues how fabulous and talented they are and how much they know about everything. They seem to be frightened of their Aussie women (one male colleague said he was ‘pussy whipped!’) I do admire the way that Australians celebrate success though, and their optimism even when punching above their weight.. Just my experiences though - I’m sure it’s different for everyone
  19. Chortlepuss

    Bacon, sausages and chocolate

    Living in a big Australian city will give you plenty of opportunities to buy decent meat - in Brisbane, my local organic butcher sells lovely bacon without all the nitrites and horrible dyes. Pretty excellent sausages too - all sourced from free range animals. I rarely eat meat, so buy good quality when I do - I won’t eat Danish bacon or non free range meat here or in the UK. Quality over quantity every time. I’ve no doubt there are many decent butchers in Sydney and Melbourne also - just avoid the crappy meat in the major supermarkets.
  20. Chortlepuss

    Brisbane here we come!

    You’ll hear many views about the best place to live and people arguing about the benefits of North of the river or South. Staying central and exploring once you get here is a good move - a lot of rentals near new farm and a great place to be based to explore. Advice I was given prior to coming here was live close to work and commute to beach etc at weekends and holidays. Great advice, as although distances can look small, driving is horrendous with rush hour starting about 6:30 am. Public transport (train, busway, citycat) the only way to get to work in the city unless you want to sit in traffic and pay some of the highest parking charges in the World! So many nice places to live but very quiet as you go further out with little to do bar a few early closing restaurants - people in Brisbane get up super early (gym classes start at 5am) and go to bed early (9pm not unusual) to take advantage of the climate (stinking hot by 9am for much of the year). Good luck with your move!
  21. Chortlepuss

    A few questions and a little background :)

    It’s difficult when you move back to build your credit rating up. When I moved back (for 16 months) I had to apply for one of those dodgy credit cards for high risk people! It had a horrendous interest rate but I put what I could on it, making sure it was paid off each month. My bank (been with them over 30 years) wouldn’t give me a low balance credit card despite me having lots of cash in my account. Good luck with your move home!
  22. Chortlepuss

    UK holiday- recommendations!

    Off to UK in August for two months! I’m going to be a proper tourist & visit places I haven’t been before that I’ve always wanted to get to. If you’ve got hints & tips on things not to miss in the following places (preferably accessible by public transport) please let me know! I like Nature, Gardens, Walking, Art, Comedy, Theatre, Pubs, Music (esp Folk), train trips & great food (I’m not very rich though). Love veggie/vegan food! Thanks for any suggestions! Stops include.... Newcastle Middlesbrough Leeds Oxford Bristol Cheers for suggestions! Caro
  23. Hi - Has anyone experience of transiting Singapore Airport with controlled drugs? We are heading back to UK from Australia for a holiday and will be stopping at Singapore - my son is on some pretty heavy medication due to bipolar/ADHD - some of which is not allowed into Singapore without permission. We are not leaving the airport and will get Dr's letter and ensure all medication is labelled - anything else we should be wary of? Many thanks for any advice
  24. Chortlepuss

    Transit through Singapore with controlled drugs

    Thanks everyone yes - think we will travel with it all in hand luggage - hopefully won’t be too much questioning as he gets stressed easily. Don’t fancy having to replace his meds in UK if luggage lost!
  25. Chortlepuss

    Last minute nerves and stress

    I'd say it's pretty normal - I was ready to turn back at Singapore when a cock up with hubby's visa app looked like Australia might not let him in! A very daunting and brave thing to do, and whilst many people dream of migrating, not everyone has the gumption to do it - would be strange if you weren't a little stressed