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Marisawright

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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. Marisawright

    Corona Virus

    I didn't say they weren't linked. What is impossible to say, at this point, is whether the number of Covid-related deaths avoided is more or less than the number of deaths caused by the lockdown. It's a horrible balancing act and i don't know what the answer is. Lockdowns have worked well in Australia and New Zealand because they were done early enough, and now most states are back to living a normal life after a few months of pain. I get the feeling it's too late to do lockdowns in Europe or the UK because it's already too far out of control - but then, ask a doctor what they think and I'm pretty sure I know what they'd say.
  2. Marisawright

    The US Presidential Election Predictor

    Not really. The best explanation I've heard was this morning from a Republican senator. He said that the slow-coach states staffed the election as they normally would, instead of adjusting to allow for the massive increase in mail-in votes. Also, of course, it's a much higher number of votes than they expected - the highest ever seen. Then there's Covid, which is causing a lot more sick days than normal. Finally, following Trump's concerns about mail-in fraud, they have introduced extra scrutiny of each envelope, so each vote takes more time than it used to. So the bottom line - there aren't enough staff to do the counting.
  3. Marisawright

    The US Presidential Election Predictor

    I suggest you fact check all that from reputable sources rather than believing everything you read
  4. Marisawright

    Corona Virus

    Awful, but you have no evidence that these are just the tip of a larger iceberg. In an ideal world we'd have no covid deaths, no suicides and no domestic violence. Life's not like that.
  5. Marisawright

    The US Presidential Election Predictor

    Long before the election, he knew the Democrats would make a strong showing. He also knew the Democrats were encouraging all their supporters to use mail-in ballots, because of Covid. So he started spreading the idea that mail-in ballots are subject to fraud (even though he and most of his family voted by mail themselves) - so that after the election, he could try to get the Democrats' mail-in ballots disallowed. Simple explanation of numbers at rallies. Trump held large rallies. Joe Biden said he wouldn't, for fear of spreading Covid. He spoke to small groups or held online gatherings. Very simple explanation of the quick change in numbers. Rural areas and smaller towns finish counting quickly so their numbers were returned first. They all voted very strongly for Trump. Most large cities favour Biden. Counting there took longer because they're so big - and of course when they did report, Biden's numbers jumped. Finally, for reasons I don't understand, many states didn't even start counting the mail-in ballots until after the polls had closed. Trump warned his supporters not to vote by mail, so most mail-in ballots are votes for Biden. Hence why Biden's votes are all coming in late.
  6. Marisawright

    The US Presidential Election Predictor

    Not often we agree but I'm with you on this one. In a country the size of the US, the odds are that there is a bit of voter fraud happening here and there, but not on the scale Trump is alleging. I'm pleased to see Fox News coming out with sensible, reasoned coverage. The sad thing is that the most rabid Trump supporters, who would normally respect what they say, have simply decided Fox News has "gone lefty" and are now dismissing everything they say.
  7. Marisawright

    Talking Retirement

    ...and that's assuming you own your own home, mortgage-free. This is the best retirement calculator I've found, if you know your savings/super balance and just want to know how long it would last if you stopped work now: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/pubeducation/calculators/RetirementNestEggCalc.jsf We both retired at 55, for similar reasons to Toots. My husband was asked to falsify insurance records and was told that if he didn't do it, they'd find a way to sack him - so he resigned. I was a Facilities Manager for large corporates until they all decided to outsource - I tried working for the outsourcing companies for several years, but their mantra was always "provide the minimum services we can get away with for maximum fees". They even falsified or hid surveys which would have showed we were miles off achieving our KPA's. I used to love my job because I felt I was providing good service - without that satisfaction, I burnt out quickly. So when my contract expired, I didn't renew. We both regret that now. An extra five or ten years' income would've made a big difference to our comfort factor now. All the retirement calculators say our money will run out by the time we're 85 - and I mean everything, so we'll be homeless. The good news is that most people don't live that long, so it may not be a problem...
  8. Marisawright

    Singapore or Qatar

    How frustrating
  9. Marisawright

    Medicare

    You’re free to feel insulted by your misinterpretation of my words. I’m equally free to feel insulted by your insistence that I’m lying about my intentions.
  10. I agree, but it's surprising how many people stay in Australia because they say their family and friends will think they're failures - so many Brits think Australia is such a paradise, they can't conceive that someone might just prefer the UK! It's a pity that people let themselves be influenced by such things, but some people are very sensitive to what the neighbours think.
  11. Marisawright

    Medicare

    You're interpreting "in business for myself" to mean "in business to benefit myself". That is not what I meant. My own GP is in business for himself, by which I mean he runs his own practice. I can assure you I did not mean any negative connotations by it.
  12. Marisawright

    Premium Bonds

    There aren't any. The way to reduce tax is to salary-sacrifice into your superannuation (which gives you a tax-free lump sum or pension when you retire). The downside is that you can't get the money out of your super fund until you reach preservation age. A novated lease (leasing a car through your employer) is another very effective way to reduce tax, provided you expect to drive more than 10,000km a year. The car doesn't have to be for business use.
  13. Marisawright

    Premium Bonds

    That's true, it's just income like anything else. Go to a tax agent for your first tax return. If you don't have any overlap (i.e., you had income in the UK while you were there, then you moved, and you've had no income from the UK since you arrived in Australia) - then just go to a cheap local tax agent to do your Australian tax return. It won't cost much, it's tax deductible, you can see how they handle it, and then you'll know what to do in future. If you do have overlap, then you might want to contact someone like @Alan Collett who understands both tax systems and knows how they interact. It may well be that once you see what he does, you can DIY in future years, but it's good to have a professional sort it out first time.
  14. ...but that ignores the cost of doing so. For people with high-paying jobs or a lot of money behind them, it's a practical attitude. But I'm sure you've noticed here, how many families use all their savings, or a huge chunk of the equity in their UK home, to make the move. It would take them years to afford to return home - and many won't, because how could they stand the shame of moving back and having to buy a much smaller house? For people with children, it's also dangerous. We used to have a private section of the forums for those who wanted to go home and there was a very sad thread, full of women (and a few men) who yearned to go home, but were trapped in Australia, because they couldn't take their children with them. (I don't know if you're aware of the Hague Convention).
  15. Marisawright

    Medicare

    My first line was "one thing that may surprise you is that most doctors don't work for Medicare" and the "all" in the second sentence was referring back to those doctors. Badly worded, I agree. I don't see how it's offensive. The Australian system is set up so that if you want to be in general practice, you must run your own business. You seem to be implying that anyone who's in business for themselves is automatically fleecing their customers.
  16. Marisawright

    Would you move to the UK now?

    It sounds like you've already hit that problem, where one of the kids gets old enough to form relationships and then if you do move, you're faced with a split family. I think you said your husband was 50. Just be aware that if you leave it another ten years, you'll still be leaving before he can claim the Australian government pension - which means he'll never get it, but he also may not have enough years to get the UK pension. If you have a big superannuation pot that may not matter, but it's worth being aware of. It would be worth looking into paying NI contributions as you go along, to ensure you can get a full UK pension when you return. If you return, of course - if you wait that long, you'll likely have three settled Aussie kids whom you'll have to leave behind. You don't sound as though you're all that bothered about moving in the long term. How does your husband feel? Is he the one hankering for home?
  17. Marisawright

    Medicare

    I said "most" doctors are in business for themselves, NOT all. I think all GP's are, though, which are the doctors people will see most often. And the whole point of my second paragraph was to make people aware that public specialists do exist and are good - which a lot of people aren't aware of. It angers me when I see pensioners fretting about affording their specialist treatment, when a more thoughtful GP could easily have referred them to the public system in the first place. I agree that waiting lists are not necessarily long. In the example I gave, my friend's father waited less than 2 months for his op. However, when I've posted here to say that waiting lists aren't bad, I've been howled down. So now, I settle for saying "waiting lists are no worse than the NHS" rather than claiming they're better.
  18. Marisawright

    Transitioning to a New Life

    In that case, I hope your wife has always been as eager as you to move to Australia, because then, even if she's unhappy, it was her choice - and that will help her keep things in proportion. If you're the one who has always driven the idea of moving to Australia, be prepared to bend over backwards for her once you've arrived as she will need all your care and support. What happens is that the less-keen partner moves thinking, "It's better for our famly and I want to make him happy". But then when she (or he) arrives and is desperately lonely and homesick for family and friends, the thinking changes to, "This is all his fault for dragging me halfway round the world". Resentment kicks in, and she starts to hate everything about Australia - not because life is bad, but because it's the cause of her misery. It could be a paradise and she'd still hate it. You don't want that to happen because once it does, it's over. She'll eventually go home, with or without you. I do hope that's totally irrelevant to your situation, but I felt you need to be aware of the risk. Your daughter will be fine. At that age she's got time to build up her friendships at school/college/university.
  19. It's a very individual thing. I felt at home from the first day I arrived in Sydney. Once upon a time, if you'd told me about Brits migrating to Australia and struggling to settle, I'd have thought "they're not trying". But I've learned otherwise since being on PIO, and I think it's important for all migrants to appreciate that not everyone reacts the same. Some people have a deep, abiding attachment to their home country - which they're often not even aware of, until they try living somewhere else. Then, they feel a strange emptiness which they can't explain, and which gets worse and worse the longer they're away. They may be having a fabulous life in Australia but none of it satisfies. They feel obliged to offer explanations - not enough pubs, not enough history, missing family - but they're all nonsense. They just say them because it's too embarrassing to say, "I can't explain it, I just don't belong here". It's incurable. Then there are the people who have a deep, abiding attachment to their family and/or a close circle of friends. They're used to being constantly surrounded by people, and to suddenly have zero family and zero friends is a huge shock. The loneliness is awful, even if you have a partner - and while Aussies are friendly and you'll soon find people to chat to, they are acquaintances. Not people you could ring at 2 in the morning in a crisis, or close girlfriends you can confide your private troubles to. Some people can get over that if they can find a couple of real buddies, but some people never do. Good to hear you don't fall into either of those camps, and I hope your partner is equally happy to be here. Sounds like you've landed on your feet!
  20. Marisawright

    Would you move to the UK now?

    Just be careful about putting it off and putting it off and putting it off....because especially once your children are in their teens, it's very very easy to get to the point of no return. If you (or one of you) are horrified by the idea of spending the rest of your life in Australia, don't risk it by delaying.
  21. Marisawright

    Medicare

    @DavidIII, one thing that may surprise you is that most doctors don't work for Medicare. You pay them per consultation. They are all in business for themselves, so they can charge you whatever they like. In the old days, you had to pay the doctor in full, and then fill in a form to claim on Medicare. But you don't get all the money back - Medicare only pays the standard fees, which are less than what most doctors charge. Nowadays, the receptionist will often have an online system whereby you sign a form authorising the practice to collect the standard fee straight from Medicare, and you only have to pay the balance. There is also a bulk billing system. Under bulk billing, the GP agrees to charge the standard fees. You pay nothing, and the GP collects the fees direct from Medicare. That means the GP makes less money, but they are also allowed to "bulk bill" the government, which greatly reduces administration. They also don't need staff to handle or manage money. Bulk billing saves you money, but there's an incentive for GP's on bulk billing to churn through large numbers of patients quickly. If you need to see a specialist, most GPs will refer you to a private specialist. There are public specialist clinics, (and some of them are world class), but the waiting lists are long, and most Australians don't want to wait. However, the waiting lists for public specialists are no worse than you're used to in the NHS - so if you're happy with that and would prefer free treatment, speak up and ask about being seen in the public system. An example of the difference that can make - my spinal fusion cost $35,000 with a private specialist, whereas my friend's dad had the same op on the public system for absolutely no charge (before you swoon, I did get $25,000 back from my private health insurance).
  22. You are allowed to go on holiday. If you still have your home in the regional area, then your stay with your cousin is just you taking the opportunity for a holiday while you are out of work. So it should not matter at all.
  23. Marisawright

    Moving to the UK in Weeks – Questions!!!

    @marmitegirl, all the travel insurance websites say the same thing. However, it's not unusual (as AliQ found in the other direction) for insurance companies to do special deals. When you think about it, insurance companies are losing big money if they don't sell insurance policies. So it's in their interests to offer limited cover - at a price, of course. Here's a website where you can search for a travel insurance broker - they will know if anyone is willing to do a deal: http://www.needabroker.com.au/html/
  24. Marisawright

    The US Presidential Election Predictor

    My sentiments exactly.
  25. Marisawright

    Request for more information advice

    Did you attach proof that you jointly own or rent your home? Did you attach proof of shared finances? They will not just take your word for it.
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