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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. Marisawright

    Sydney - TAX Agent Recommendations

    If you both work in ordinary jobs, then I'd just go to H&R Block or somewhere that offers a fixed price, cheap service. It's very unlikely you'll have many deductions. Australians always make me laugh with their "accountants", as if the tax system is horrendously complicated or something. I always did my own tax until I bought an investment property, then I got a tax agent because of the depreciation etc. He didn't find any extra deductions or perks that I hadn't previously claimed, so there was no benefit in using him apart from the property. These days you can do it online and it's not complicated.
  2. Marisawright

    What do you miss about the UK?

    I guess it depends what interests you. For me, one beach resort is pretty much like another! Because we enjoy rambling and history, there are so many interesting places in the UK before we even have to get on a plane. The range of different places you can reach for a weekend is far greater in Britain and Europe.
  3. Marisawright

    Australia - checklist

    Actually it can be the cheapest. If you make a mistake when you fill out the forms, your application will be rejected and you don't get a refund of your application fee. You will have to apply again and pay the fee again. In the long run it may actually work out cheaper to get an agent!
  4. Marisawright

    Migrating while not Skilled

    Since it's the last chance he's ever going to get, personally I'd rather risk the job than miss out on the experience.
  5. Marisawright

    uk just hot enough...shall I move to Oz!

    We are looking at moving back to the UK because of the weather! I cannot cope with humidity at all these days and my husband has had a serious skin cancer scare, so both of us have had enough of 30 degree summers and extreme UV (the UV index gets up to 13 in Australia whereas in the UK it rarely gets above 8, even on a bright sunny day in Cornwall!). However, if we weren't such big-city folk, we could just as easily move to Tasmania to get British-style weather but with better summers.
  6. Yes it is, but I don't see any reason why the same finding wouldn't apply to the UK and Australia.
  7. Marisawright

    Insurance Companies

    As I said, I think your best avenue would be to talk to your contacts in UK insurance companies and see if they can give you any contacts in their Australian branches, but I'm still doubtful whether such positions exist here. My husband worked as a commercial underwriter for 30 years in GIO and QBE and although admittedly he wasn't in claims, he has never heard of such a position. Their protocol requires them to get quotes from three builders for any such work and they don't retain a project manager to oversee the successful builder, even in complex cases. To provide such a service would be to take some liability for the project which they don't want to do. The payout is the payout, it's not the insurance company's job to worry about how the project turns out. If you hope to get into a management role then you definitely need to be in Sydney or Melbourne, with the possible exception of Suncorp which may still have some senior presence in Brisbane. But the best way to find out is to ask them - if you can't get any names from your UK contacts, just look up the insurance company websites and start sending emails. With such a specialist job, there will be only a handful of people in Australia interested in hiring you, so the best way to get a job is to do your research and contact them directly.
  8. Marisawright

    Migrating while not Skilled

    The sad fact is that if you're not on the list you're not on the list, so you've got no chance. My niece is in the same boat. In your shoes, I would grab the one year visa, get over here and enjoy a year of mixed holiday/work. You'll have an adventure you'll remember for life, and you'll find that Australia is nothing like you imagine. You may even decide you don't want to move here permanently - in which case you've satisfied your curiosity. On the other hand if you love it, you'll be able to make contacts while you're here and if it's possible to get employer sponsorship, that's the way to do it.
  9. Yes it does seem vastly unfair! I was totally unaware of this until I saw another thread about it the other day. Can you post a link to where on the ATO website it explains it?
  10. I've opened an account with Citibank for that precise reason. If you have an account in the UK and an account in Australia, you can transfer money between them for no charge. Plus their exchange rates are better than any of the big four Australian banks.
  11. No surprise really. At least if you're driving when drunk, you're looking at the road (usually with great intensity in case the kerb jumps up and hits you).
  12. Marisawright

    Australia - checklist

    I would recommend an agent, too. The main reason is your English. It is vital that all the forms are filled out perfectly. One mistake and your application may fail and you will lose your money. So it is better to get someone with excellent English to do the work for you.
  13. Marisawright

    Insurance Companies

    I think the first question you should be asking is, do insurance companies in Australia work on the same business model as they do in the UK? My impression is that insurance companies here just assess the damage, determine the payout due, then it's up to the insured to do their own reconstruction/repair. I may be wrong but that may be part of the reason there's a lack of jobs. As others have said, the headquarters of most insurance companies are in Sydney or Melbourne. Over the last ten years, they've all centralised their operations so no matter where the insured events are, it's likely the contracts are being awarded from Sydney or Melbourne. I'd suggest using your existing contacts to make contact with the Australian arm of those companies, to find out how they run things.
  14. Marisawright

    Ian Thorpe is Gay?

    I wonder, is he the only one who didn't already know?:confused: I suppose we'll find out more when we see the interview, but I feel sorry for the guy. No wonder he had depression, keeping it all secret for so long. It's sad he felt it necessary to hide it - I mean, if a lad from Sydney, of all places, can't be honest about his orientation, who can?
  15. Marisawright

    Do you save money?

    A young person's attitude for sure! What no one expects when they're young (I certainly didn't) is that when you get to fifty or sixty, you'll still have the same attitudes and desires that you had at twenty - you won't be content to sit in your cardigan and slippers watching the world go by. So that means you need money - and if you haven't put anything aside, then that means you have to go on and on and on working to earn it. Now that I'm sixty and am fed up of work but still fit and active enough to want to enjoy life, I'm very glad I did put some money aside so I can actually have a retirement.
  16. Marisawright

    Maximum GBP amount to transfer? Tax?

    So are you saying that if someone leaves money sitting in a UK bank account and it increases in value (in Australian dollar terms), they'd be liable to pay tax on that gain? Or is it only if they actually convert the money and bring it to Australia?
  17. Marisawright

    What are the perks of nursing in aus?

    I don't know what nursing is like in the UK but I do know the Australian nurses' union regularly runs TV ads urging the government to improve the nurse/patient ratio, improve pay, etc. However there is a very large private hospital sector and I assume they have better terms and conditions.
  18. Marisawright

    Who is wrong Israel or Palestine?

    All those Jews were legal residents of European countries. Why couldn't they return to their country of birth? I can understand the German or Austrian Jews being concerned - but surely, the whole idea was that Hitler and the Nazis were gone and more enlightened governments would now prevail, so why not?. Nobody was stateless. As Pumpkin says, that's like saying "where should all the Catholics live". Judaism is a faith not a nationality.
  19. Marisawright

    I would love to move back to the UK, but it is so hard.

    Of course, I'd say see if you can get some advice from an expert. I've been doing a lot of research so I'm starting to feel fairly confident of what I've learned, but I'm still not a tax expert by any means! The test for being domiciled in Britain is that you must spend more than six months of the year there, so bear that in mind.
  20. Marisawright


    The thing with Australian superannuation is that you don't have to convert it into a pension, and since you're not likely to have much in it, it probably won't be worth converting it to a pension anyway. You will be able to withdraw the whole amount as a lump sum on retirement, and that will likely be your best option. It will also simplify matters for you! Then if you also liquidate any investments in Australia, you'll be able to score Australian tax implications off your list entirely.
  21. Marisawright

    Who is wrong Israel or Palestine?

    You may call them black but the South Africans would call them coloured. They are not as dark as the Bantu peoples. When the Bantu came into South African they saw the Bushmen and Hottentots (whose land it was) as enemies and wiped most of them out.
  22. Marisawright

    Who is wrong Israel or Palestine?

    You are absolutely right. In fact, the Dutch were settled on the Cape long before the Bantu tribes started entering Southern Africa. However they stayed within the Cape area and by the time they started to venture further, the tribes had arrived. So one could argue that the Afrikaaners have more right to live in the Cape than any of the Bantu tribes. Things aren't always as straightforward as they seem.
  23. Yes, I think it is worth learning one language and preferably a language that has something in common with a few other languages (so, a language that's part of a family of languages). The thing is, once you've learned one foreign language, you will find the next one easier, and the next one even easier, and so on. So it does develop some kind of skill, and exercises your brain. Plus it helps you understand English much better.
  24. Marisawright

    Do you save money?

    I agree up to a point. I think you have to strike a balance, because over the years, governments all over the world have been steadily cutting back on state pensions. So although I'm hoping to die having enjoyed every cent of my money, I don't want to end up living in poverty if I live into my eighties. I guess I've been lucky to have good jobs so it's been easy for me to put something aside while also enjoying life, so I haven't ever had to make a choice, really - I've been able to do both. Considering people are living longer and longer, the chances are that most of us will live a long time after retirement. I suppose you could take the view that if you do live that long, your daughters can bloody well support you, but that seems a bit rough to me. On the other hand, I can't see the point of life insurance unless you have a family who wouldn't survive without it, so I've never had it. I did have income protection insurance while I was working, because if I'd become disabled I would've been a burden on my family - disability benefits are woefully inadequate.
  25. Marisawright


    Sorry I was referring to the state pension - I assumed that's what the OP meant when she referred to the "NHS pension" as neither she nor her husband has ever worked for the NHS.