Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Marisawright

  1. As you were a permanent resident when you contributed, you can't claim it until you reach preservation age or retire. 

    I'm not sure if you could withdraw what you contributed while on the 457 but frankly, they take so much of it in tax and fees, it wouldn't be worth it.

    As soon as you have a permanent address in the UK, write to the super fund with your new address and tell them to cancel all insurances (they're probably not valid once you're overseas anyway).  That will minimise your fees.   Your super balance will continue to earn interest and grow, so you should have a nice little nest egg by the time you retire.  

    One other thing - make sure you're in a superannuation fund that performs well. There are some awful ones (and some of the big retail funds are the worst).  It's very very easy to switch super funds, so do your research now and switch to a good one before you go.  Then you can just forget about it (other than keeping them up to date with your address and cancelling the insurances). Picking a good fund can make a world of difference to how much you get at the end.

    Finally, when the time eventually comes to get the money, make sure you get tax advice from someone who understands both Australian and UK tax, as otherwise, you can end up losing a huge whack of it to the taxman.

  2. 20 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

    We contacted Singapore airlines when we had a long stopover and they paid for the hotel. Might be worth asking Qatar airways.

    We tried the same thing with Qatar Airlines and were rejected, on the grounds that there was an earlier connecting flight we could have taken. 

    What was really annoying was that when we booked, that earlier connecting flight wasn't available.  However I had no way to prove that.

  3. It costs nothing to apply for a travel exemption.   If your application is rejected, there is no bar on the number of times you can reapply.  So the best plan is just to get going and apply.

    In general, though, you need to be on a permanent visa OR in a priority occupation (i.e. medical) to get an exemption.  If you are in a priority occupation, then you apply under the appropriate category.

  4. 18 minutes ago, Domo said:

    If you can't manage a 189 or 190, go for the skilled regional that leads to PR. You'll get that no problem, as you may be on the low end for immediate PR, you will however score very high for a skill regional PR pathway.

    In the OP's situation, I wouldn't risk it.   I don't know if there's an age limit for the transition to PR at the moment, but given the pattern of changes to most other visas, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they bring it into line at some point in the next few years (the others are 45 years of age).

  5. 11 minutes ago, ramot said:

    I was really picking up on Marisa’s point about Drs assuming you had insurance and referring you to a private specialist, as it implied you could only see one if you had private health.

    No, I didn't mean that at all.  But I've met pensioners who are worried sick about the cost of their specialist treatment, and their GP has never told them they could be seen in the public system.  If you don't want to pay for a private specialist, you have to let your doctor know.  

    Even when I didn't have private health insurance, I would usually pay for a private specialist.  In the case of the asthma clinic, I chose to go there because a nurse (who worked in that hospital) told me it had the best specialists.

  6. 4 hours ago, kimboslice said:
    Has anybody flew into doha lately on there way to australia. qatar airways are flying to australia with aconnection time of 19 hours, was wondering if we can book a room in the current climate. A long time to wait around the airport.

    Book into the airside hotel. It costs an arm and a leg, but there is NOTHING at Qatar airport.  Just a few snack bars with very limited, horrible food. 

    The airside hotel has a lovely pool and a nice spa and gym.  


    Book well ahead - their website says you can just walk in, but it gets booked out quickly.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  7. 34 minutes ago, rtritudr said:

    That's the theory.  In practice, unless you're willing to wait for months at a time to see the specialist in the public system, you just have to cough up the cash.  Of course the time to wait is highly dependent on where you live and what discipline the specialist practises.

    The urgency of an illness from the perspective of the Medicare system does not always align with the effect on your quality of life.

    But this is also true of the NHS system, isn't it?  And yet very few Brits take private health insurance or see private specialists.  They just put up with it, because that's the culture in the UK.  Whereas in Australia, we are used to the concept of paying to avoid the queue - so much so, most GP's just assume that's what you want. 

    One example - I lost my voice and was referred to a throat specialist.  After I'd been examined, the specialist told me I probably had throat cancer and he needed to book me in for an op. When I said I didn't have health insurance, he slapped his appointment book closed and said, "In that case, I'll have to refer you to a public specialist" and scribbled a note for me.   I was about to say "how dare you assume I can't afford it", but I didn't like his manner, so I accepted the referral.   Eight weeks later I saw the public specialist (at no cost) who diagnosed me with a fungal infection of the larynx. 

    At that time, I had no idea public specialists existed. Since then I've also seen an asthma specialist at no cost - the public asthma clinic is one of the most respected in the world.  Granted, I had to wait several months for an appointment, but that would have been exactly the same in the UK. 

    • Like 1

  8. 4 minutes ago, rtritudr said:

    For a new arrival you have to buy health insurance, but only for a maximum of five years.  

    There are copays, deductibles, etc., but that's no different to Australia if you use the private system (which you have to for many outpatient services, e.g., seeing a specialist).

    You don't need to pay to see  a specialist in Australia.  It's a misconception, because GP's still assume everyone has private health insurance and automatically refer you to a specialist in the private system. 

    There are specialists in the public system in Australia just like the NHS.   Just like the NHS, there are long waiting lists to see them, but those waiting lists are no worse than the NHS.   To give you an example, I had a double spinal fusion, privately, which cost about $35,000 all up (I was out of pocket around $10,000).   My friend's father had it all done on Medicare.   He waited longer than I did, but it didn't cost him a cent.  

  9. 2 hours ago, AJ said:

    Perth starting to become very popular these days. A year ago people moaned about it being isolated and boring! Wonder what changed?😀

    Panic due to Covid - isolation is suddenly attractive.  WA is Covid-free and it looks like the Premier is going to dig his heels in to keep it that way, which is attractive.

    Melbourne was vibrant because of all the social and cultural activities, which are all shut down, so it's now more boring than Perth.  In spite of the current reopening, many people feel it will never fully recover - so if life is going to be boring, they might as well live somewhere cheaper.  

    And let's not get into a discussion over whether Perth is boring.  Some people are blissfully happy with a reasonable variety of activities.  Some of us are greedy and are bored unless we have the plethora of choice offered by large cities (over 2 million people).  

  10. On 26/10/2020 at 22:13, MARYROSE02 said:

    I could be happily ensconced in either England or OZ then one day my partner says "I'm homesick for Bourke or Barrow and I want to go home RIGHT NOW!"

    If someone is "happily esconced" and oblivious to (or dismissive of) a partner who is becoming more and more miserable and depressed, then they only have themselves to blame when their partner finally snaps!

    • Like 2

  11. 4 hours ago, rtritudr said:

    The US does offer universal health care for older people, it's called Medicare:


    Not true. Even for citizens, the cover is far from 100%, and for recent arrivals with no work record, you have to pay.   https://www.medicareresources.org/faqs/can-recent-immigrants-to-the-united-states-get-health-coverage-if-theyre-over-65/#:~:text=If you're a U.S.,a premium for Part A.

  12. 22 minutes ago, Ollie1234 said:

    Not all parents are a drain on the system, they're not looking at the bigger picture. It actually helps keep talent in Australia, and provides childcare in many cases too. 

    All parents ARE a drain on the system, because they are all eligible for Medicare.

    Just have a read of the government research into the cost of aged parents. Also look at the recent NHS figures on how much elderly people cost in health care.  If, like the great majority of people over 65, your parents end up on blood pressure pills, cholesterol medication, blood thinners etc, they will cost the Australian taxpayer thousands every single year for the rest of their lives, just in medication and GP checkups.   If one of them needs a simple operation like a knee replacement, that costs the Australian taxpayer over $30,000. And I know you don't want to think of it right now, but they are both going to die in Australia - and most likely, it will be a long, slow decline, because these days, doctors are very good at prolonging life:  and that comes at a huge cost.  The statistics are very clear. 

    I'm well aware of all that because I'm a generally healthy person in my sixties, and looking at my friends, I can see that trajectory in front of me. Let's hope it's not for a good many years yet - but the fact is, the longer I live, the more I'm going to cost the taxpayer in medications and treatments to keep me going.  I've lived here since my early thirties, so at least I've paid something into the tax system.  

    Yes, if your parents can't be with you, you'll go home.  But most migrants wouldn't, at least not permanently.  In my observation, it's usually the parents who are far more desperate to join their children:  if the  children were really close to their parents, they wouldn't have gone off and left them behind in the first place.

    And even if you do go home, it's not as if Australia is desperately short of talent:  there's a very long queue of people keen to come to Australia to fill the gap you leave. So there's not a great incentive for the government to change its mind. 

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1

  13. 12 minutes ago, Canada2Australia said:

    It appears as though there is a decent-sized exodus happening out of Melbourne and Sydney into more remote and regional areas of the country. 

    Interesting times indeed 😬

    Plenty of media reports about it but I don't think people are going all that remote.   People in Melbourne are realising they can work from home and looking for places in Victorian country towns, but most seem to still want to be commutable to Melbourne for the occasional office meeting and cultural visits.  

    • Like 1

  14. 4 minutes ago, LindaH27 said:

    Immi  is at fault in not giving new applicants the proper waiting time. ....

    Yes some countries allow parent visas - but you’d have a much harder struggle to get one for UK!

    Very true, the way they show the waiting time (based on past performance not future projections) is grossly misleading.

    As you say, good luck to any Australian wanting to get a parent visa to the UK - almost impossible.  Perhaps a solution might be to negotiate some kind of reciprocal deal?


  15. 53 minutes ago, Arti said:

    USA has a 8 - 12 months processing time for parents of citizens. Nowhere near as expensive as contributory visa. 

    Canada - even lesser.

    The US offers parent visas to citizens only, not permanent residents. And we all know that the US doesn't have universal health care or other social benefits, so parents aren't going to be a cost to the state.

    Canada requires the sponsoring child to sign the following undertaking:

    • to financially support the sponsored for 20 years (starting when they become permanent residents); and
    • to repay any social assistance benefits paid to the sponsored family members  for a period of 20 years.

    Australia takes a different approach - once a parent arrives in Australia on a permanent visa, they're entitled to all the benefits and health care afforded to any permanent resident. That's why they cost the Australian taxpayer many times more than they contribute.   

    Maybe you should petition the government to amend the rules, so that parents have to be self-sufficient, as they are obliged to be for retirement visas in other countries.  Then Australia could afford to offer far more parent visas.

  16. 1 minute ago, Ollie1234 said:

    I think a lot of people won’t bother because they know there is zero chance the government will change their minds. The sad truth is that no government wants older migrants. It’s the same the world over

    • Like 1

  17. 43 minutes ago, Parley said:

    Not sure why anyone bothers with disposable masks unless required to by the nature of their job.

    I bought a 5 pack of cloth masks months ago and just wear one for a week usually and then it goes in the washing machine.

    I agree the cloth ones are easy to use and more comfortable but you need to wash th in hot water and soap after every wearing 

    • Like 1

  18. 9 hours ago, kairika said:

    Hello there. We have been in contact with DeVere Group to discuss transfering my husband’s pension which is in UK. He is 50 and not able to access it yet but DeVere suggests transferring it to Self Invested Personal Pension. They allow withdrawing 25 percent of funds when 55. Has onyone dealt with them at all and happy or should we avoid?

    Do you have a permanent visa in Australia and are planning to stay forever?  If so, then there's no point going for an "expat" type of pension.  If you're going to move your pension at all (and it's not always a good idea), move it to an Australian super fund (and deVere aren't the best people to help you there - Vista is). 

    However, do NOT move the pension to an Australian fund until you're 100% sure you won't be going back to the UK - because there's no way to transfer it back, and even if you wait until you can cash the whole thing out, there may be tax implications.


    • Like 1

  19. 5 hours ago, Collie said:

    Based on what you said you like, Melbourne is the best city in Australia for those interests.  4 seasons in 1 day though.

    Sydney next, both come with a price tag.

    Melbourne houses are about two-thirds of the price of Sydney.  

    My only concern (for the OP) about Melbourne is that they're going back to a climate that's closer to the south of England than Townsville!   S

    • Thanks 1

  20. No one knows what's likely to be the situation after Christmas, it will depend how infection numbers are going.  Currently everyone needs a "G2G pass" before they can enter WA.   You wouldn't get one as you are simply choosing to move to the state.  

    The categories of "exempt traveller" are set out in detail in the Directions. It is important that any person who is seeking to enter Western Australia reads and understands the categories of exempt traveller that are set out in the Directions. In summary, the categories include: 

    • any person performing a function under a Commonwealth law
    • truck drivers who deliver goods to Western Australia as part of their normal duties
    • FIFO workers, subject to requirements to isolate for 14 days at an approved location at their employer's expense 
    • emergency service workers 
    • compassionate grounds – including urgent and essential medical treatment, visiting a relative who has suffered a serious medical episode, or whose death is imminent, and to attend a funeral 
    • members of the House of Representatives and Senators of the Commonwealth Parliament
    • carers and relatives who need to care for a dependent person in Western Australia
    • dependent persons who need to enter Western Australia to be cared for by a carer or relative because they can no longer be cared for interstate 
    • people whose residential facility, such as a boarding school, has closed, who need to return to Western Australia to stay with family or a carer 
    • people who need to enter Western Australia to comply with a court order
    • specialists with skills not otherwise available in WA, who are required to undertake time-critical services required for industry or business continuity or maintenance of competitive operation. This does not include anyone who performs their duties according to an established work schedule.