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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. Marisawright


    Yes, I did and it was very easy. If you have no kids you can DIY the whole thing apart from the property settlement, it's just a case of filling in a few forms. http://www.familylawcourts.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/FLC/Home/Forms/Do-it-yourself+kits/ Of course that assumes you're speaking to each other and are able to agree on who gets what - you can just split the money and belongings between you. If you own a house, then you do need to get a lawyer involved but if you get the divorce done first, you should be able to find someone who'll do JUST the property settlement. Ask them to give you a fixed fee in writing and if they want to charge more than $500, go somewhere else. Edit: I'm assuming it doesn't need saying,but you do the whole divorce proceeding in the Australian Family Court - you don't need to get the UK authorities involved at all.
  2. Marisawright

    Booked 1 way flights to uk! 186 PR visa questions

    I wouldn't be letting your entire future be decided by a 5 and 10 year old! At that age, even if they're a bit unsettled now, they will adapt - in a few years they'll have forgotten all about their concerns. Like Paul, I reckon they're both following the lead of their Big Brother. If schooling is all the older one is worried about, then is there any way he could switch schools?
  3. Marisawright

    Health Care Cover

    There isn't a norm, it's really up to you. I'm one of those who'd say, don't bother with hospital cover. I see it from both sides as my oh has never had health insurance, whereas I (like many Aussies) got scared into it by all the "but you'll be on a waiting list" hype. However, I'm not sure if any of the insurance companies will sell you Extras cover without hospital cover. The best place to start is to get comparisons at iselect.com.au and choosi.com.au Remember, on both those sites, they're not comparing every health insurance policy in Australia - only the ones that pay them commission! But they're a good starting point. If you have to take out hospital cover, look for minimum hospital cover that lets you set a high excess or co-payment (which will keep the cost down).
  4. Marisawright

    moving back...

    If I had a fifo job, I wouldn't like it either! As others have pointed out, the mortgage cost has nothing to do with Australia. It will be the same in the UK when interest rates go up again (and they will one day, they always do). House prices may be cheaper where you came from, but that also varies depending on where you are, in both countries.
  5. Marisawright

    Wollongong or Umina Beach

    I think you posted before and I doubt there would be many new members here to add to what was said previously. I'm like Rupert - I wouldn't contemplate that commute. What does your husband do? The Sydney office culture demands long hours - officially most companies have an 8.30 to 5.30 work day, but if you don't arrive early or stay back, you're considered "not pulling your weight", and your chances of promotion will be damaged. One of my colleagues (who also had a long commute and used to arrive and leave on the dot) even got a black mark on her performance review for it - even though she never failed to meet a deadline. If he's got a flexible job that allows telecommuting it may be a different matter, of course. As a city girl, I'd go for Wollongong because I like to be near amenities and activities. Wollongong has a reputation as a rough-and-ready, working-class city but I quite like it, and like any city, it's a case of picking the right suburbs. You could also consider one of the many railway stations along the route between Wollongong and Sydney - all pretty places and an easy train ride to either city. However (as I think some people said last time), I'd be looking somewhere like Engadine, which still provides reasonable house prices with a much less painful commute.
  6. Marisawright

    Does any other returnees feel like this?

    I'm not sure anyone thinks ping-ponging is "wrong" - but the financial consequences can be huge. I've moved a fair bit (from Scotland to various cities in England, to Africa, back to Scotland, to country Australia and finally to Sydney). I'm looking back now (at over 60) and though I don't regret the travelling, I'm conscious of the thousands and thousands of dollars it cost me. Not just in air fares and freight costs, but in disruptions to superannuation and pension, and in not having a family home building up equity. Not to mention all those myriad costs you incur, getting yourself set up again in every new country. As a result, I'm far less financially secure than stay-at-home friends my own age. If that's the result for me, travelling light, without kids and usually in well-paid jobs, what would be the impact for a family with children? It would be interesting to see how much the OP is out of pocket after moving his whole household to Australia and back. That's what makes moving again such a tough decision.
  7. Marisawright

    Help - costly flights home!

    This is a good tip. I save a fair bit by flying into Amsterdam instead of London, then booking a local flight from there to wherever I'm going (I sometimes visit family in Aberdeen first, other times family down south).
  8. Marisawright

    Ideas on where to live?

    I wouldn't recommend the CBD. Although things have improved in recent years, it can still be a bit dead in the CBD on weekends. I lived in Paddington (near Centennial Park) and it took me about 40 minutes to walk to work. Pyrmont and Glebe are possibilities, possibly slightly cheaper than Surry Hills - it looks longer by road, but you can walk across the Pyrmont Bridge.
  9. Marisawright

    Dilemma - should I go back?

    You should use the ticket. Yes, there's a risk you'll feel more unsettled when you come back, because you've been reminded of all those great friendships. BUT you'll also be reminded of all the things that caused you to leave in the first place! The longer you delay a trip home, the more rose-tinted your glasses are going to get - so head back there and remind yourself what it was really like, the bad as well as the good. A few things to check - try getting on a UK site to book a one-way fare to Oz, and see what the price is. It's much, much cheaper buying a flight in the UK than here. They're sneaky - they won't let you buy at that price from an Australian address, but you could get someone in the UK to book it for you. it's worth asking if there's any refund available on the other tickets, or if they can be exchanged for something else. Sometimes there is even though the ticket appears to be non-refundable.
  10. Marisawright

    Tax in Australia any info?

    You will be liable for tax in both countries, but that doesn't mean you'll pay more tax. There's a double taxation agreement which means you shouldn't be taxed twice on the same thing. On your Aussie tax return, you'll need to show the British tax you've paid on your rental property, and that should mean Australia won't tax it again.
  11. Marisawright

    Padstow/Picnic Point Area and Schools

    If he's worried about Padstow being safe, I certainly wouldn't recommend Doonside!!!
  12. Marisawright

    Booked 1 way flights to uk! 186 PR visa questions

    So you're saying, the employer knows your husband may not stay, and they're OK with it. That's good, because that means they're not going to complain to immigration. I still think you're taking a risk leaving Australia while the PR application is in - if immigration checks up and finds you've left with no intention of returning, it's bound to raise question marks in their mind. Can't you delay your trip until he's got the PR safely in the bag?
  13. Marisawright

    Abbot is flip-flopping slimy toad

    Hang on a minute, indeed. The new regulations mean that full details of the government budget was available to the Coalition before election day. So if it's in a mess now, it was in a mess then - why didn't they tell us all this at the time? That means they knew they couldn't keep any of the promises they were making.
  14. Marisawright

    Booked 1 way flights to uk! 186 PR visa questions

    The 186 is an Employer-Sponsored PR, right? So he's going to get his employer to jump through all the hoops to get him his PR, then he's going to hand in his notice? I can imagine the employer being pretty p***d off by that! In practice, I believe it's pretty rare for a PR to be cancelled if you leave the employer who sponsored you, because there are so many legal reasons for leaving a job. However, if you're found to have applied fraudulently - i.e. you had no intention of staying in the first place - then it will be cancelled. I'd be worried that if immigration looked into your situation and found you'd already gone back to the UK, it would be glaringly obvious your husband never intended to stay in the job. Some might say it's unlikely immigration would check up - but what if the employer got annoyed enough to report him?
  15. Marisawright

    Why do people leave Oz

    You called me narrow-minded and there was another snide remark which I forget. Also that long list of activities was not within 2 hours drive of Melbourne.
  16. Marisawright

    We moved back 4 years ago

    We're having a discussion about this on another thread, with some people insisting there's plenty to do in Oz - but I know exactly what you mean. A lot depends on what your interests are. For me, living in Sydney, the lack of choice didn't bother me when I was working. My main hobby is dancing and I was so involved with that, I didn't have much time for anything else anyway. Now I'm too old (who wants to watch a 60-year-old belly dancer?), I'm struggling to fill the void. If we go back to the UK it's going to hurt financially - not because of lower salaries (we're retired) but higher tax, which will savage our retirement nest egg. But I'm like you, I do value quality of living above standard of living, and we've been trying to assess whether it would be worth it anyway for that reason.
  17. Marisawright

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

    I guess this is the point I was questioning earlier. We have ONE investment property, enough money in the bank to buy an apartment mortgage-free, and our super (my super is not huge because I didn't arrive in Oz till I was over 30). We've used lots of retirement calculators and we're reasonably confident we've got enough to last our retirement, if we can access a part-pension when we get older. Have you ever sat down and worked out how long your money would last? Remember, you would gradually sell off each of the properties as you needed more money (yes, CGT would be payable but you're paying that tax because you just made a huge profit, so you'll still have plenty money in your pocket). So don't just count the rental income. I know it's not completely relevant as it sounds like you've made up your mind to stay, but I suspect if you add up the sale value of all your properties, you've got more than enough to fund your retirement. So you can't use affordability as another reason not to go.
  18. Marisawright

    Why do people leave Oz

    Several people have pointed out that we're not talking about things to do on holiday, we're talking about things to do within your own area on weekends. So your post is completely irrelevant because no one can afford to be constantly travelling around Australia. You'll also note that no one said ever said there was nothing to do in Australia. There are lots of interesting places to see in Australia, but different things interest different people. Personally, I can look at a map of the UK and fnid more interesting things on it than I can in Australia - by far. That's me. It won't be the case for someone else. Stop trying to score points, stop being insulting and try to have a civilised discussion.
  19. Marisawright

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

    Yes, I've benefited from that too in the past. However it applies only if you're genuinely moving countries. The OP (and others) would be keeping a home, car etc in both countries - so both governments would regard them as officially resident all year round, even if they weren't actually in the country.
  20. Marisawright

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

    I know things may change, but I'm reluctant to put up with our current situation in the hope it will. I already feel like I've wasted a year cooped up in the house! If we're not going overseas then we need to move to somewhere with a low UV index - which means Melbourne or Hobart. That would be a big move in itself so I'm not sure I'd be up for a further move to the UK even if the regs changed. As for the age pension - I stand corrected. I read the one-year thing on a pensioners' advice website, obviously it was out of date. One thing though - the two years doesn't have to be served before claiming. You can claim the day you return, provided you then stay for two years. Interest - here https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/International-tax-for-individuals/Investing-in-Australia/Receiving-interest,-unfranked-dividends-and-royalties/ One point I should have made is that if you have an investment property, you can still claim all your related expenses just as you do if you're a resident.
  21. Marisawright

    Why do people leave Oz

    Like what? It really comes down to what your interests are. I know people who love the challenge of bushwalking - and if they're hot, sweaty and covered in dust at the end of the trek, that just adds to the feeling of achievement. I know people who love fishing/surfing/swimming so much, they'll be happy to go to the same handful of places every day for the rest of their lives. I know people who are really into sport, and between training for it, playing it and watching it, they hardly have a spare minute. Good luck to all of them and they would probably be very happy anywhere in Australia. None of them is me! Everyone is different. Australia is a great place for people who enjoy the outdoor life. Some people have other interests which can't be as well satisfied in Australia. I love many things about Australia but I do know I can find more of interest in the UK than here.
  22. Marisawright

    return airfare needed for UK entry?

    What kind of longer-stay visa?
  23. Marisawright

    We moved back 4 years ago

    That's exactly the impression I got, actually. I doubt he'll ever get to the point of thinking "this is home", but right now he's not even opening the door to that possibility. And if he did, he might find himself getting to a halfway point where he could feel much more comfortable, even if not completely at home. I was using friendship as an analogy - he was saying he never fell in love with Australia, I'm saying just because you didn't fall in love, doesn't mean you should refuse to attempt to be friends.
  24. Marisawright

    Why do people leave Oz

    I almost added "except Victoria" to my post, because Victoria is much more densely populated, so there are more alternatives there than in most other states. But be honest, would you visit any heritage building more than once? I don't surf or go to water parks. I used to live in a Victorian country town - except for Ballarat and Daylesford, once you've seen an Australian country town there's no reason to see it again. You wouldn't reach many country towns on a day trip anyway, unless you live on the edge of Melbourne.
  25. Marisawright

    Decision made but .....

    It doesn't sound as though you're living the dream - are you? You're existing while your husband is living the dream. And let's face it, your husband's only there 4 months of the year, so you're barely together anyway. If you stayed, how could you change things so you could have a more fulfilling and enjoyable life in your own right? Would it help to move to another area/town?