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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. Marisawright

    Both kids returned to the Uk, now what?

    You sound a bit like me - brought up not to "make a scene". The trouble is, unless you can be assertive enough to say, "We need to discuss this and you're not leaving this table until we've resolved something" - and be prepared to yell at him to get results - this is just going to drift on until you have a breakdown or walk out. If you can't get him to sit down and actually pay attention to you, why not write him a letter? Don't hold back - tell him how desperately you want to be close to the children, how lonely you feel, how much you dislike the life. Make it clear that if things go on like this, one day you're going to walk out. Next time he's heading off to another job, put it in his hand and say, "read this when you get a minute". Seeing it in black and white will force him to face it. Alternatively, ask him about counselling again. If he says he's "not into it", tell him you're leaving. If he doesn't think it's worth making an effort to save your marriage, he obviously values it a lot less than you do.
  2. Marisawright

    winter in adelaide

    As others have said, the main problem is indoors not outdoors - old houses aren't properly insulated. However once you get your own place you can fix that easily (or buy a new build). Having said that, I lived in a similar climate in country Victoria and I didn't find the cold that much of an issue. But then I grew up in Scotland, used to getting up in the morning to frost on the inside of the windows! The heat in Adelaide is dry, which means it's more bearable than the heat in the Eastern States. I'm far more comfortable walking down Rundle Mall (in Adelaide) in 40 degrees, than walking down the mall in Sydney or Brisbane in 30 degrees. The humidity in Sydney or Brisbane means that at 30 deg, sweat doesn't evaporate, so your body can't shed heat, and your clothes will be sticking to you. In Adelaide at 40 deg, the dry heat means that sweat evaporates, which helps your body shed heat, and your clothes stay dry. You will acclimatise. I live in Sydney and the first two years, I didn't have a heater of any kind in my house. The third year I did, but rarely used it. After 30 years, I'm turning on my heater on winter evenings all the time! These days when I go back to visit family in Scotland, I'm wearing a jumper in July.
  3. Marisawright

    How much do you need to earn to live happily in Sydney?

    Very good point. You're not going to have 2 or 3 holidays a year in Australia. For one thing, you'll be hoarding your annual leave so you can have a 6-week visit back to see family in the UK once every two or three years. For another, holidays in Australia are very expensive. You can find a cheap deal in Asia or the Pacific Islands, but then you have air fares to pay. However, the whole idea is that you should have a lifestyle you don't want to escape. You don't feel the need to fly to a beach resort when you're on the beach every weekend. That's why it's important to pick a city where you can afford to live near the coast or whatever floats your boat.
  4. Marisawright

    Renting our house in uk any implications please help

    Profit is subject to tax in the country where it is made. So you'd be taxed by the UK not Australia, is my understanding.
  5. Marisawright

    Superannuation... Which One?

    Yes, they're registered.
  6. Marisawright

    Superannuation... Which One?

    The ONLY funds worth looking at are the big industry funds. The retail funds are all run by big banks who want to make a fat profit from you, so their fees are a disgrace. I'm with CBus, I've also heard good things about Australian Super. There's a fund for each industry, but it doesn't really matter which one you pick. All super funds must be transferable from job to job these days, it's the law! Don't get one with death benefit or income protection - it's more expensive to get that cover through your super fund. You don't always know it because the fees are hidden away in "admin charges'. Buy a separate policy and you'll pay half the premium. If you're tempted by a commercial super fund - and I strongly advise against it - ask for their full product disclosure statements and spend a couple of days digging through them. Retail funds can appear to be offering great returns, but after they deduct their fees it's not nearly as impressive - and it's hard to work out what those fees are going to be. Most funds are modular these days - i.e. they have a variety of sub-funds you can choose to invest in. The snag is that each of those sub-funds is run by a manager who charges another fee. The retail fund doesn't have to tell you what that is. Avoid any super fund run by the big four banks (they have various names but look for the small print to see who owns them). They only invest in their own products, even if other avenues might offer better returns. Avoid AXA - I was with them for a while, it's a shambles, and trying to transfer from them is a nightmare.
  7. Marisawright

    Renting our house in uk any implications please help

    Yes you will have to pay tax but think about it this way - you're being taxed because you're making a profit. Making money and losing a bit of it to tax, is better than not making money. Get a good agent and go for it!
  8. Marisawright

    WA to Brisbane Western suburbs

    I'm Scottish but have lived in Sydney for over 30 years. It does get humid in the Sydney summer and I find it hard to put up with, even after all this time. I found the humidity in Brisbane/Gold Coast far worse - I used to visit friends there every summer. To me, it doesn't feel like "fresh" air at all! The hinterland (Mount Tamborine) has lovely cool breezes but you have to be high up, and the commute to Brisbane would be unreasonable.
  9. Marisawright

    Hunters Hill

    Hunters Hill is a lovely area, good choice.
  10. I'm hesitant to throw cold water since it sounds like you're having fun with it even though you're obsessing - but there is a danger in getting too excited. I love many things about Australia (lived here over 30 years) but it's not the land of milk and honey. It's not better than the UK, it's just different. Depending on your personality and your situation, the lifestyle and job prospects in Australia may suit you far better than the UK - or it may not. The big risk is that you build it up into something it isn't, and that means you'll be disappointed when you arrive, even though things are pretty good. Then you'll get a syndrome called Culture Shock, where every little annoyance seems huge, homesickness will become intense,and you'll be so miserable you can't even attempt to get settled. If you don't recover, it can turn into permanent, unreasoning bitterness and hatred for everything about your new country - you'll be unable to see any of the positives which undoubtedly exist. I was lucky, because I spent some years working for the UK govt in Africa, and we were thoroughly briefed to be aware of Culture Shock, which helped us avoid it. So I didn't have any trouble when I got to Oz even though we had some setbacks at first. So, bottom line - get excited by all means, but please don't spend all your time dreaming. Spend it reading books/articles/blogs/forums by recent migrants. Don't close your eyes to the negative ones (but do remember, some of those people may be suffering from Culture Shock). If you're coming, come with your eyes wide open. It's the only way it will work.
  11. Marisawright

    I really don't like football!(women's thread only lol)

    do I guess you're in Victoria?
  12. Marisawright

    Update 10 months after returning to the Uk

    Absolutely true.
  13. Marisawright

    Update 10 months after returning to the Uk

    I was very lucky to spend a few years working in Africa before moving to Australia. That cured me of any illusions that any country is magically wonderful. Before I left, I was amazed at how people at my work viewed the move. You'd have thought I was moving to Paradise! I expected it to offer me better opportunities but I didn't expect miracles. I also did a fair bit of research, including finding a couple of books by migrants who spelled out the pros and cons very well. The information is all there if you want it, but unfortunately it's human nature to want to believe the dream is possible.
  14. Marisawright

    Still Struggling with Perth after 12 years

    Well that's a reason rather than a justification. Apparently there are fewer abductions and assaults now than there were 20 years ago, they're just publicising them more.
  15. Marisawright

    Cost of living

    To be fair, could you be more specific about where you are, rather than tarring every Australian with the same brush? I agree there are parts of Australia where eating out is expensive, but I've lived in Sydney for a long time, and every time I go back to the UK for a holiday I'm shocked at the cost of restaurant food. Whereas in the inner suburbs of Sydney, competition is intense and it's possible to eat out very cheaply and the variety is great - Thai, Italian, Indian, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Greek, the list goes on. It's one of the things I worry about if we go ahead with our plans to move back to the UK - we eat out a lot and that may have to stop. However I'm really encouraged by all the information about how cheap other stuff is. On holiday you don't get much idea of things like supermarket food or heating bills.
  16. Marisawright

    Is going home the right thing to do?

    As I posted on another thread, I think the "leap from acquaintance to friend" is much, much harder when you're older. For most people, their closest friends are people they went to school or uni with. If they have kids, it may be other mums they went through pregnancy with, etc. It's hard to make close friends of people you haven't shared significant experiences with. That's why you've been able to bond better with other Brits. Having lived in Scotland, England, Africa and Australia, I'm beginning to think that's pretty true anywhere. I've been travelling for 40 years and it's the one thing I regret - I lost touch with my school friends and have never managed to replace them with real friendships since. As others have said, it is tough when your aging parents are far away - but if you leave a good life to be with them, when they're gone you'll be stuck in a life you don't like. And as you say, it's likely you won't be able to afford to come back again, so you'll be stuck. Can your parents travel? Could you afford to bring them out for holidays (return fares for Brits are far, far cheaper than for us)? When I lived in Africa, my in-laws came out. My mother-in-law wasn't that mobile but the airline really looked after her - wheelchair waiting for her at the taxi, escorted to the plane, etc etc. She loved it.
  17. Marisawright

    Saving money moving back to the UK

    I hope you're also going to get citizenship before you go, so you (or your kids) have the freedom to come back in the future. You may not think you're likely to change your mind but you never know.
  18. Marisawright

    Still Struggling with Perth after 12 years

    Yes, Sydney can be brash and plastic sometimes! You won't see kids playing in the street here either - everyone is terrified to let their kids play outside for fear of 'stranger danger', they all get ferried about everywhere and locked in their backyards. There's no justification for it (rates of crime are lower than ever) but the media has stirred up a lot of hysteria. As for Sydneysiders being friendlier - yes people are sociable, but I've been here over 30 years and I'm sure that when I leave, I'll never hear from most of my Sydney "friends" ever again. Whereas I still correspond with friends I met living in the Victorian bush when I first arrived. I don't know whether the same applies to other Aussie cities or not. I know one woman who retired to Adelaide, and came back to Sydney a few years later because she found it impossible to make any friends at all.
  19. Marisawright

    Still Struggling with Perth after 12 years

    I've heard that too. I think it's hard to make real friends in any new country, because people's best friends are generally people they went to school or uni with. You come in as a mature adult and it's hard to break into those circles. Whereas Canberra has a large population of incomers so there are plenty of other people in the same boat.
  20. Marisawright

    Both kids returned to the Uk, now what?

    I think Melza makes a good point. There's always the chance the kids will get disillusioned with the UK and move back, and then where would you be if you'd moved back there? I second the idea of getting a job if you don't have one already. For one thing, if you do decide to go back on your own, you'll need money - moving countries is not cheap. Do it for six months to a year, then make your decision.
  21. Marisawright

    Still Struggling with Perth after 12 years

    I wondered about Tassie - the cooler the better for me, ex-Scot here from chilly Aberdeen, so I feel the heat. However I'm like the Perth poster - if it's too quiet I get bored. I'd need to be in Hobart if anywhere, and I worry folks might not be "worldly" enough, to borrow a phrase from the original poster.
  22. Dolls Point and areas round there are quite idyllic - bayside, lovely sea breezes, etc. However public transport from there is poor, even going to the city. It's definitely not commutable to the north side. I lived in Oatley which is in the St Georges area (north of Sutherland). A little gem of a village, 40 minutes train to the city, half an hour drive or train to the beach, close to the river, huge parklands, nice walks, good school, close to huge Hurstville shopping centre. I'd recommend it to anyone working in the city but only if you take the train - while it takes less than half an hour to reach the CBD in the evening, it can take three hours in the rush hour! Again, not practical to commute if you need to go beyond the city.
  23. Marisawright

    Still Struggling with Perth after 12 years

    What doesn't she like about the Sydney climate? I'm not good with humidity and have often thought about moving elsewhere in Oz to get away from it. I know Melbourne has more "weather" generally but isn't it just as hot and humid at times? I'm also looking for cheaper housing as we want to retire and can't afford to in Sydney, because unlike many Sydneysides we don't have a million-dollar home to downsize from!
  24. Marisawright

    Still Struggling with Perth after 12 years

    Whether humidity is or isn't a problem is very subjective. I used to visit my best friend up there at least twice a year. I found the humidity unbearable, and I'm used to Sydney weather so it's not like I'm not used to humid weather.
  25. Marisawright

    How much do you need to earn to live happily in Sydney?

    I've lived in Sydney for 30 years. Every time I go back to the UK for a holiday, I'm shocked at the price of a lot of everyday expenses - a cup of coffee, food in cafes, restaurants and pubs, and the cost of heating bills (air conditioning is needed here in summer if you live Out West, but it's not expensive if you run it properly and it certainly doesn't need to run all day every day). Also, of course, there's less need to pay for entertainment here because kids never get tired of the beach! So there are swings and roundabouts in general expenses, IMO. The big expense is house prices, both rental and purchase - and it's true that in itself can be a killer. Personally, if your motive is to make more money, I wouldn't come to Sydney. It's a beautiful city, but if you want to enjoy it, you'll want to live in the more expensive inner suburbs, and that will cost. You may not be worse off but you're going to be spending what you earn. Many young families live in the Hills District so if you see yourself as ready to settle down to family life, that might be worth considering - but if you still want the city vibe, or if you want to be able to go to the beach without a three hour drive, you need to stay much closer in. Don't let anyone fool you into buying private health insurance if you don't want to. My husband is 62 and has never had private insurance. You will never be turned away from an Australian hospital whether you've got insurance or not. You do have to pay for some medical treatment, but having private insurance won't necessarily reduce your bills, because there's always an "excess" to pay. To give you a couple of examples: - Two women at my work were having babies. One had private insurance, the other didn't. They were both delivered in the same hospital and in the same ward, as there were no private rooms available. The woman without insurance paid nothing. The woman with private insurance had to pay about $600. The reason? Because she was admitted as a private patient, therefore she was charged at private rates, and the insurance doesn't cover the whole cost -I have regular checkups for colon cancer. When I had my first checkup, I didn't have insurance. ;I was charged a special reduced rate for uninsured patients, $375. Two years later I had my next checkup, this time WITH private insurance. The bill was $750 of which my health fund paid $500.So having insurance saved me the princely sum of $100. Australians have health insurance because our tax system blackmails us into doing so. If we don't take out health insurance before age 30, we have to pay much higher premiums in old age (if my husband finally relents and gets insured, he'll be hit with a 70% surcharge on his premiums). If you're not planning to stay forever, that won't worry you. If you don't have private insurance, you have to pay an increased Medicare surcharge - but compare what that will cost to what you'll pay in premiums, as it may be less.