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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. Marisawright

    Forget the G-string: The C-string is here

    This isn't really that new, it's just a variation on the little patch that burlesque dancers wear. I can't see the point really - after all, what are knickers for? To keep your clothes hygienic by shielding them from - er - bodily fluids. All this does is catch pee, if that.
  2. Marisawright

    Is it wise to move to Melbourne?

    My thoughts too. If people are young enough or rich enough to treat it as an adventure, then it's a great thing to do. But today, the difference in opportunity between the UK and Australia is nowhere near what it used to be, so people hoping to move to Australia and end up wealthier or more successful are likely to be disappointed.
  3. Marisawright

    457 Visa - A Warning

    Yes, if they're offering you a 457 and claiming it's for the long term, it is definitely a stitch-up, because that would be illegal - so they're lying to you and the government at the same time. Having said that, I wonder why anyone "in a stable situation and happy with their work" would even think of emigrating to Australia. I see people like that on these forums all the time and it scares me - do they think Australia is some kind of paradise?? Yes, Australia is a nice place to live, but it's not so fabulous that anyone should move halfway round the world (and spend thousands of dollars) to move here, unless they're seriously unhappy where they are.
  4. Marisawright

    Questions about backpacking

    Book into a backpackers hostel. Check the reviews on TripAdvisor.com first, though! It's worth looking for one that offers smaller (4 bed) dorms as you may be there a while. Flats in Sydney are horrendously expensive. Most permanent residents live way out in the burbs for that reason, but on a WHV you don't want to do that - you want to be where the action is. That means staying in or near the Eastern Suburbs beaches (Coogee, Bondi, Randwick, Bronte etc), or at a pinch, the Inner West (Glebe, Annandale etc). Your best bet will be to stay in the backpackers and hope to make connections with others who want to share.
  5. Marisawright

    Will I be on to a (Dar)winner?

    The summer weather is the big killer. It's HOT and it rains, all the time. Because it's so humid, the sweat won't evaporate from your skin so it's most unpleasant, unless you're either in air-conditioning or in the pool (you can't swim in the sea - stingers and crocs). Everything in your wardrobes will go mouldy. On the plus side, the dry season is glorious. Vivid clear blue skies, not a drop of rain, and as the waters recede the rangers will clear the crocs out so you can go swimming in the champagne waters at Litchfield national park, and you'll be close enough to visit some of the great outback areas that Australia is famous for.
  6. Marisawright

    Is it wise to move to Melbourne?

    It all depends where you live and what kind of job you have. There are big differences in cost of living between the capital cities. Sydney is by far the most expensive - people say it's comparable to moving to London - but it's mainly because the house prices are astronomical, so your mortgage will swallow a big chunk of your income. Next is Perth - house prices are still high though cheaper than Sydney, but they also suffer from higher transport costs (Perth is a very long way from everywhere else in Australia), so overall it's a bit more expensive to live there. Canberra is next for house prices - but as it's so small, you can buy in the country or outer suburb and still have a reasonable commute. Melbourne is next. Adelaide, Brisbane and especially Hobart are by far the best value for housing. Of course, house prices reflect where the jobs are, so moving to a cheaper location won't necessarily work if you can't get a job. http://www.domain.com.au/content/files/apm/reports/ap1400103_housingmarketreport_jan_apm.pdf As others have said - if you have a good job and a good lifestyle in the UK, then have a serious think about what you're hoping to get from Australia. If it's an adventure, then go for it. If it's a better life, think again. Australia isn't necessarily better than the UK, it's a completely different lifestyle which suits some and not others. Also, you will go backwards when you first arrive - you'll easily spend $50,000 moving, buying a car and household essentials before you even consider the cost of housing. Then if it doesn't work, you'll have to spend thousands more to get back home. You need to have strong reasons for moving to make that worthwhile.
  7. Marisawright

    Is it wise to move to Melbourne?

    Because Perth is further away, you don't get as many visiting performers - nothing to do with lack of demand in Perth, it's just that it's expensive to get there and the population is relatively small, so it's tough for performers to make a profit on a visit. Also being a smaller population, there is less choice of classes in the various arts - it 's just inevitable that a bigger city is going to offer more variety. For instance, I'm sure many suburbs in Perth have a dance school - and therefore the sheer fact that there are more suburbs in Sydney or Melbourne means there are more dance schools (or art schools or whatever) - and they often then specialise, to compete more effectively, which means you get more variety. Funnily enough, although they're not that different in size, Melbourne has more performance art and more arts activities than Sydney, so it's not just size that's a factor.
  8. Marisawright

    Is it wise to move to Melbourne?

    I'm used to big-city living so the smaller capitals seem unsophisticated to me - that's my personal opinion. On the other hand, I know people who love living in Perth or Adelaide and would hate the idea of living in a sprawled, traffic-jammed city like Sydney. We all have different likes and dislikes, and we all have different needs and expectations in life. It's good that there are opposing viewpoints in this thread because that will give the OP an idea of how different people see it.
  9. Marisawright

    Is it wise to move to Melbourne?

    I should have said they are LIKE big country towns, and I stand by that statement - I've spent a lot of time in both. It really depends what you're used to. If I was emigrating today I wouldn't even consider Brisbane or Perth are too parochial for me, even if they are more affordable. I like Adelaide's elegance but it's a bit quiet too. One of the big complaints I see time and again on these forums is the lack of cultural activities in Oz - and that's true in most places, even Sydney at times. Melbourne is the honourable exception.
  10. Marisawright

    Is it wise to move to Melbourne?

    I notice that a lot of people on these forums are tradesmen, and they do seem to have trouble breaking into the construction industry in Melbourne. As an accountant, your hubby is likely to have better and higher-paid opportunities in Melbourne or Sydney than elsewhere, because Melbourne and Sydney are where most of the senior roles are. As for expense - Melbourne is noticeably cheaper than Sydney, slightly cheaper than Canberra and I believe also cheaper than Perth. Adelaide and Brisbane/Gold Coast are much cheaper places to live, but job opportunities are fewer. It also depends what you want from life - Adelaide and Brisbane are like big country towns, which may be to sleepy for some. On the other hand if you're trying to escape the rat race, then Melbourne may be too sprawling. Having said that, why anyone would even consider migrating when they're "comfortable where they are" beats me. Emigrating is expensive, and very stressful. I love many things about living in Australia but I wouldn't say it offers greater opportunities or a better lifestyle than the UK, unless you are an outdoorsy person. Australian office workers work some of the longest hours in the world, and commuting times in Melbourne and Sydney can be just as bad as in the UK. What is driving your desire to move?
  11. Marisawright

    Where should I live in Sydney?

    Sydney is similar to London - it 's a sprawling city and most families live way out in the suburbs because it's cheaper. If you want to enjoy all Sydney has to offer, you don't want to do that! Go for Inner West (Leichhardt, Glebe, Annandale) or Eastern Suburbs (Coogee, Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Randwick, Waverley, Potts Point). They are all expensive but they are where you need to be. I don't fancy your chances of finding accommodation before you arrive. Book into a backpackers - try to find one with smaller rooms (4 people sharing) like the Blue Parrot, because I suspect you'll be staying there longer than a few days, and you'll be more comfortable than in a big dorm. Three months is a very awkward length of time. Minimum rentals on flats are 6 months, so even people looking for shares will prefer someone who can commit to that. However with a bit of luck you'll meet other people at the backpackers who also want to share.
  12. Marisawright

    Is OZ REALLY all that?

    In that case, I'd definitely say - agree to apply on condition your husband goes over first, and gets reliable work before you and the kids move. If he's reluctant to go without you, point out that he might not get work where he starts out. What if you all move to Melbourne then find that all the work is on the Gold Coast? He can pack up the car and relocate in a couple of days if he's on his own, but with the whole family in tow it will be too difficult. It will also reduce the stress of managing on no wage at first - you'll still be earning at home. Of course the real reason for making him go first is that once he gets here, struggles for six months to find a job at half the pay he expected, and realises how much it's going to cost to rent a house for the four of you, there's a good chance he will rethink his dream. In the unlikely event that he falls on his feet, gets a great job and you have to follow him, I know it won't be easy for you to pack up the house and move on your own - but it will be better than all moving together, finding his dream isn't all it's cracked up to be, and having to come home again.
  13. Marisawright

    Sending suitcases to UK

    I'm interested in this one too. Everything I've looked at seems expensive, and I'm thinking the best bet might be to bite the bullet, use the smallest Movecube and send back a bit more than we planned.
  14. Marisawright

    On a temporary partner visa and I'm loosing her

    All the best with it. Having a child totally changes the dynamic of a relationship, it's like you're starting again. You say the baby is your primary focus now, which struck me as that's usually the woman's reaction, and the husband feels left out because the wife transfers all her affections to the baby. Is there a chance your wife feels a bit like that, since you seem so good with the little one and she's struggling? Could she have a touch of post natal depression? Are you being too capable and leaving her feeling useless? Lots of possibilities, I do hope you sort it out.
  15. Marisawright

    Visa Rights for Aussie Hubby

    He gets nothing automatically, but he does have an advantage being married to you. You can apply for a spouse visa once you've been married long enough (I think it's two years). They have recently made it more difficult - you'll either need considerable savings, or at least one of you will need a job to go to. But it can be done! Since you've got to wait anyway, I would also advise waiting until you've got your citizenship before heading back, in case of future rule changes.
  16. Marisawright

    F1 legend Michael Schumacher 'out of coma'

    He's been out of the coma since April, so that's not news. When he came out of the coma in April, they said he was having "moments of consciousness". It's ominous that they've got no further progress to report. Knowing PR people, if there was the slightest positive sign they'd be making a big thing of it. Having lost my MIL to a stroke a couple of years ago, I know all too well that it's perfectly possible for a person to be fully conscious in the physical sense, yet have lost all trace of the person who formerly lived in their brain. When we were agonising whether to let her die peacefully or make herculean efforts to keep her alive, we met several people who had made the second decision - and found themselves caring for a parent who was even less capable and aware than a baby, a living breathing shell and nothing else. I fear that is what has happened to Schumacher.
  17. Marisawright

    On a temporary partner visa and I'm loosing her

    There is obviously something wrong which you can't see on your own. And it sounds like your wife isn't able to explain it to you either. Unless you can work out what the problem is and address it, there is no way you can save your marriage - it won't go away on its own. Being extra helpful or thoughtful isn't going to be enough. I'd say you urgently need to go to counselling, so a third party can help you identify the issue. Then you'll have an even chance.
  18. There are several other threads about older people returning to the UK. For older people, relocating their investments isn't always practical - but not doing so can result in losing money. This is how I understood it: TAX PENALTIES MOVING TO THE UK Any income you earn in Australia (e.g. interest payments, rent on property) is still taxed by Australia, not by the UK. The big snag is that you get NO TAX-FREE THRESHOLD. So where you could earn about $18,000 tax-free in Oz, now you'll pay tax on every dollar. If you have a self-managed superannuation fund, its profits will be taxed at 47% (by Australia). If you are receiving pensions from Australia (govt. or super), the British Government will tax them as income. Neither of those would be taxed if you were still in Australia, so you'll be worse off. The simple way to avoid (1) is to move all your investments to the UK. However that's going to cost in capital gains tax (which I believe is levied by the UK not Australia, which is confusing??). I have a rental unit which I'd rather not sell as it's in good condition and paying good income, plus the CGT will hurt! The simple way to avoid (2) and (3) is to cash out your super and take the lump sum to the UK. Perhaps put it in an equivalent in the UK (whatever that is). I have no idea how to avoid paying tax on the government pension. Anyone want to share ideas on how these issues can be handled? I saw someone mention that they were having their rental paid straight into superannuation to avoid tax? Is this information even right?
  19. Marisawright

    Minimising Australian Tax Liability - ideas?

    I'm coming around to the idea of selling my property - as someone rightly pointed out, it's not as if I'm planning to keep it forever and hand it on to my heirs, so I'm going to have to pay the CGT one day! So, the next thing is - what's the situation with money in bank accounts? It says on the ATO website, that the banks withhold 10% tax from non-resident bank accounts - and if that's the only investment you have in Australia, you don't have to fill out an Aussie tax return. But then it says non-residents are taxed 32.5% on every dollar. Contradiction?
  20. We live in Ashbury in a 2 bedroom flat and we think we're very lucky to pay only $525 a week. You're unlikely to get anything decent for that money in Concord, Concord West, Rhodes or Stanmore. North Strathfield and Homebush have some high rise flats at that price, but be warned, they are right next to either the train line or the motorway. You'll have a much better chance in Croydon, Marrickville, Lewisham, Dulwich Hill, so long as you're not expecting a palace! I may sound like a broken record, but if you're not into nightlife and just want a village atmosphere with cafes, a nice pub, cycle ways and parkland, consider Oatley. 40 minutes by train to the city, and a reasonable drive to Milperra. If you work in Finance you're most likely to be working in the city or North Shore anyway - I used to travel to St Leonards every day and it was well under an hour. There's a nice cycle/walk across the river to the Como Hotel - we used to make it our regular Sunday lunch, sitting on the balcony there watching the boats on the river. It's also within a short drive or train to Cronulla, which is a lively beach suburb with plenty of cafes and restaurants. We moved out of Oatley because we thought we missed the livelier vibe of the Inner West. We're regretting it now as it's much less friendly, the cafes are all over-priced and the pubs aren't as good as our Oatley local.
  21. Marisawright

    CO asking for divorce and separation papers

    I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as "legally separated" in Australia either, so I doubt he's asking for a court document. When you divorce in Australia, you can each be asked to provide a statutory declaration attesting that you separated on x date and have not lived together since then, and that you believe the marriage has irretrievably broken down. I'd say if you both filled out one of those, that would be a big help. You need to sign them, not some third party (though they need to be legally witnessed). If you made any kind of written agreement on separation of assets, that would probably help, too.
  22. Marisawright

    Is OZ REALLY all that?

    My first reaction to this, like Lady Rainicorn, is "it's all very well to say you'll regret it if you don't - but what if you regret it when you do?" Are you truly prepared to spend ALL your savings to embark on this adventure (because you will)? Does your husband understand that he'll be earning about half what he expects? The main thing that worries me is that you have another dream - the cattery. There is another thread on these forums by a couple who also dreamed of living in Cornwall, but decided to go for the "adventure" of Australia instead. When times were tough in Oz, they thought, "there's always Cornwall" and headed back there. Turns out Cornwall didn't live up to the dream either. So now they're out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars in relocation costs and wishing they'd stuck it out in Oz. In hindsight, they feel they should have tried Cornwall first, because that would've been cheaper, then they would've been able to commit to Australia. If you're really excited and want to go for it, I wish you the best of luck. But do, please, do your research on the cost of living, the cost of moving etc, so you go in with your eyes open.
  23. Marisawright

    Should I go to NZ?

    I speak Spanish and I can tell you, Portuguese is a totally separate language, though there are similarities. The Portuguese would be extremely insulted if they heard you refer to "Portuguese Spanish" - it's like calling a Scot English!
  24. Marisawright

    Is OZ REALLY all that?

    You will not live on a carpenter's wage. The only way he'll earn the rate he's thinking of is to become a FIFO (fly in, fly out) worker in the mines. That means leaving you to manage on your own during the week, every week, with no family or friends to help you out. Plus, of course, it means he'll only see the children on weekends. I'd bank on your 30 grand savings disappearing fast. Sit down and work out the cost your air fares, plus cost of shipping your stuff, a few weeks in a serviced apartment while you look for a home, a rental bond (a month's rent). You can find all that information here or on Google. I'll bet there's half of it gone already, and most of the rest will go on a car (you'll need at least $10,000 for a decent second-hand car). Even worse - if you're not happy, where will you get the money to get home to the UK and start again? You'll need to have the cost of your air fares, shipping your stuff, etc etc to do it all in reverse. As for starting a business - you need savings to start a business. If you're going to spend the savings you've got, and you're going to move to a more expensive part of the world, you're actually making it less likely you'll be able to afford to start a business. Plus consider the population is much smaller than the UK, so your customer base is always smaller. Start a country cattery and there will be hardly any customers close enough to use it. I agree with one poster - if your husband is really reluctant to give up the dream, say you'll do it on condition he moves first and gets a job, then you'll follow when he's proved he can earn what he promised. That way you don't burn all your bridges and you've only wasted one air fare and a bit of rent money. And I wouldn't recommend Perth - it's the centre of the mining industry so a good base if he's going to FIFO, but it's very expensive. Much better to start in Melbourne or Brisbane - bigger than Perth but cheaper, and easier to travel round the rest of Oz if he needs to. Australia has many good things about it - I love living here - but it's not heaven on earth. It's not better than the UK, just different.
  25. Marisawright

    New Pension rules

    It's worse than that. The 35 years is working life, which means up until the age of 65. Any years after the age of 65 don't count. So staying on for extra years after 65 won't get you any extra pension. You will get 26/35ths, assuming you don't leave before you reach pension age (you have to be in Australia to register at Centrelink to get the pension). The other alternative is to claim the full pension from the UK. If you're resident in the UK, you can use your years of work in Australia before 2001 to count towards your UK pension - in your case that would be about 14 years? Add the 7 you've already got, that makes 21 years. Write to the UK pensions people and ask for a pension forecast, they'll explain how you can pay for extra years to make up the difference. http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@over50/documents/digitalasset/dg_180219.pdf I'm assuming (though I don't know for sure) that if you use your Australian work record to claim a UK pension, then those years won't count towards your Aussie one. But I can't find anything which confirms that one way or the other.