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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. I wouldn't be offended if someone said (as I often do), "I'm a big-city person, so smaller cities/towns would not suit me." However, to dismiss them as nothing, nowhere, not deserving of any attention, is insulting to those who prefer the more relaxed lifestyle of a smaller city/town. And of course, referring to all their residents as "parochial" is equally dismissive.
  2. The source I looked at said 497,000 last year, but I know it varies depending what's included. Anyway, the population figures aren't that relevant. My point was that Ausvisitor said "anywhere outside Sydney or Melbourne" is "nowheresville". and "why would you move around the world to live in nowheresville?" I couldn't let that pass. There are many very liveable cities in Australia, and many would argue those other places are more liveable than Sydney or Melbourne, since they are so much more affordable. To dismiss practically the whole country as just "nowheresville" is just plain rude. Besides, just because the OP lives in a densely populated part of England doesn't mean they like it there. Perhaps they would prefer something different.
  3. Well, naturally they would. I don't know why anyone would think otherwise. That's not what we're talking about.
  4. Ah, if you'd said that, I wouldn't have disagreed with you (though I'd question whether London is the greatest city on the planet). However what you actually said that anywhere outside Sydney or Melbourne is 'nowheresville'. That's the equivalent of saying anywhere outside the Home Counties is 'nowheresville'. I suppose (hope) you were using exaggeration for humorous effect, but I couldn't let it go, because both those statements ignore the many reasonably-sized cities which exist in both countries, outside those areas. "Nowheresville" implies they are all Hicksville, which they certainly are not, in both countries. I couldn't let you get away with that.
  5. Really? Did you check or are you just making assumptions? Bristol, Edinburgh and Glasgow are only around half a million people. Similar in size to Canberra and Newcastle, for instance. Whereas Brisbane and Perth are over 2 million and Adelaide is 1.4 million. Only Darwin and Hobart could be classed as "small" capital cities and they're still a lot bigger than York. York is only about 150,000, as are many other cities in the UK. Plenty of non-capital cities in Australia of around that size.
  6. Marisawright

    What to do with Super When Return To UK.

    I assume you mean when it comes time to withdraw the money
  7. Marisawright

    What to do with Super When Return To UK.

    There's really only one way to do it. As you say, if you are returning to the UK to live, it's not worth contributing any more to super from now on. Before you go You're not stuck with the superannuation company you're currently in. Check to make sure it's the best you can get. There are some awful ones out there, particularly the ones run by the big banks and investment companies (which you'd think should be the best, but there you go). There's a few comparison tools which let you compare super fund performance. Try them out. Here's two: https://www.canstar.com.au/superannuation/compare/best-performing-super-funds/ https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/YourSuper-comparison-tool/ If you decide it's worth moving to another fund, make sure you do it before you move to the UK (and allow time for the whole thing to be completed before you leave). It's very easy, just contact the super fund you want to move to, and they'll organise it all. There's just a form to fill in. Once you've left Australia Write to your super fund with your new UK address (and remember to keep them updated when you move in future). Instruct them to cancel all insurance policies (because they're probably not valid in the UK anyway). That's it. If you've chosen a good super fund, your super balance will keep on growing even though you're not contributing any more. At retirement Be very careful when you reach retirement age and want to withdraw the money. If you take a lump sum, it's tax free in Australia, BUT the British taxman will grab a massive chunk of it. It's probably better to bring it over in dribs and drabs, or convert it to a pension ('income stream'). You'll still pay tax on it, but it's just treated like normal income.
  8. But would you also say the same of Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York....?
  9. Ah well, but Paul Keating was a died-in-the-wool snob, in spite of being a Labor politician. He was also a died-in-the-wool Sydneysider, and they are famous for being one-eyed about their fabulous city. I can say that, because I understand it to some extent. I started out in Sydney and for a very long time, I was convinced civilisation ended at Glebe (an inner-city suburb of Sydney). It took me a long time to discover there were attractive places to live elsewhere in Australia. I'm now in Melbourne, which most Sydneysiders regard as the pits: although it lacks Sydney's stunning setting, it's actually a much easier place to live (much to my surprise). However it's just silly to think everyone wants to live in a major city. Just as well there are people who don't, or half of England would be empty.
  10. Marisawright

    Australian and UK Covid Responses

    What has come out recently? The only research I've seen recently is that the risk of heart damage from Covid is much much greater than the risk from getting the vaccine.
  11. Marisawright

    Does Medicare cover all surgery.?

    Yes, that confirms what I said: "Anecdotally, we have been advised....there are no Medicare restrictions attaching to this card". That is still correct. However bearing in mind that you're going to be in Australia on the bridging visa till you die, and the Government is very concerned about what aged parents are costing the taxpayer, it may not remain true for the whole of your stay in Australia, so you should be prepared for that possibility.
  12. Marisawright

    Tourist visa while awaiting partner visa

    No, just applying for a visa doesn't cancel any other applications in progress AFAIK.
  13. I think there's a few Aussies who'll be offended at the suggestion the whole of the rest of Australia is "nowheresville". In reality, people choosing Sydney or Melbourne are getting an experience of a big modern city, which they could get anywhere else in the world. Why bother moving, in that case. The rest of Australia is where the real Australia is. I say that as someone who has chosen to live in both Sydney and Melbourne because I love big-city living. However, most migrants seem to be looking forward to a laidback lifestyle, and beachside living. Sydney and Melbourne are just as much of a rat-race as London, and beachside living is beyond most people's pockets in those cities. So I 'd say most migrants would find life outside those two cities more to their liking.
  14. Marisawright

    Does Medicare cover all surgery.?

    However in the OP's case, they won't be able to pick and choose because officially, they're not eligible to have elective surgery on Medicare. That's why the fund would exhaust faster, especially if they're at an age (like me) where elective surgeries become far more likely.
  15. Marisawright

    Carpenter Moving to NSW (which city?)

    The rental market is a good indicator of what you'll be facing as an ordinary person in Sydney. Sydney is becoming unaffordable for ordinary folk. I guess it might be nice to spend a month in Sydney being a tourist, but I wonder why you'd want to burn through so much money when you're going to need it later? I think I'd be hopping straight on the train (not bus) to Newcastle when you arrive and use that as your base. Buy a second-hand car and then you're well-placed to cruise up and down the coast, checking out the different places you might want to live. If you want to be a tourist for a month, Newcastle is a good place to be: on the doorstep of the Hunter Valley wineries, explore the sand dunes at Anna Bay, go dolphin-watching or surfing at Port Stephens or take a houseboat at Tea Gardens, sail on Lake Macquarie, just for a start.
  16. Marisawright

    Unsure whether to return to UK

    If it's really going to be that hard, then perhaps planning to retire to the UK is a more sensible option? That way, you can keep saving from your higher salary in Australia, while still affording holidays to visit your family. If you decide to do that, then I'd say paying your National Insurance contributions would be essential: you must be able to claim the maximum UK pension, since you won't be able to claim the Australian one from the UK. Also talk to Alan's people about whether you should be contributin extra to superannuation or not, if you plan to retire abroad. Fail to plan, and you'll find yourself like too many Brits who thought they'd retire home one day, then get to retirement age and find they can't afford it.
  17. Marisawright

    Does Medicare cover all surgery.?

    My husband has always self-insured. He works in the insurance industry and his view is, IF you start self-insuring while you're still young and healthy, it's the best solution. And by young, he means under 50. However, if you are already in your 60s, he feels it's probably too late to start self-insuring. For self-insurance to work, you need a "buffer" of several years where you don't need to use much, if any, of your slush fund. By age 60, there's a high risk that you won't have enough years before you need to start drawing substantially on the fund, and then it will quickly go negative.
  18. Marisawright

    Executive Recruitment Agency/Services Melbourne

    Do you have a visa?
  19. Marisawright

    Does Medicare cover all surgery.?

    @teejaybee, sorry for the multiple posts, but I thought of something else. Have you considered the cost of prescriptions? As a bridging visa holder, you will not be eligible for pensioner concessions or safety-net provisions, so you will pay the same for your prescriptions as a working adult. A single item can cost up to $40. For instance, my blood pressure tablets are $20 per packet of 30, and my asthma inhaler (which lasts one month) is $34. You can look up your own medications on the PBS (if you google the name of the medication and PBS Australia, you should find it).
  20. Marisawright

    Does Medicare cover all surgery.?

    You're welcome, @teejaybee, but I realise I missed a VERY important element from my post. As Quoll rightly points out, the official wording of the Reciprocal Agreement says that if treatment is not essential or urgent, you must go back to your home country to have it done. That's reasonable, because the reciprocal agreement was intended for use by short-term visitors, not people who'd be spending the rest of their lives here. The problem for you, is that you can't go back to the UK to have elective surgery. The NHS won't treat you, because you're no longer a legal resident (being a UK citizen makes no difference). So in theory, you'll be in big trouble. In practice, however, the story is different. Over the years, we've heard of many bridging visa holders who've had hip replacements and other elective surgery under Medicare without any problems. It seems that hospitals and doctors aren't sufficiently aware of the rules! So you could take a gamble and trust that the same will apply in your case. However, it would be wise to assume you will need to take out private health insurance at some point, and budget accordingly. Years ago, you could have flown back to the UK and the NHS would have treated you without question, in spite of the rules about residency. In recent years, realising the expense of visitors accessing healthcare, the NHS has tightened up, and are applying the rules strictly. I'd say it's very likely Medicare will eventually realise the same thing, and start making sure the rules are applied.
  21. Marisawright

    Does Medicare cover all surgery.?

    I'm not sure I agree. As you know, private health insurance does not usually cover everything. @teejaybee, I'm not sure if you're aware how private health insurance works in Australia. It does not cover all fees. Doctors, specialists and private hospitals can charge whatever they like, but the private insurance reimburses based on the fees they think are reasonable. You pay the difference (called "gap fees"). To give you an example, I had a spinal fusion. In total, it cost $35,000. My health insurer reimbursed only $25,000. Whereas my friend's father, who has no insurance, had the same operation done in a public hospital under Medicare, and it cost him nothing. It's true there are waiting lists. However, they are no worse than the NHS, so if you're happy with the NHS in the UK, you won't have an issue here with staying in the public system. If you'd like to take advantage of the easier access to private health here, and can afford it, go for the insurance. If you do want insurance, make sure you're getting a quote for the right thing. You cannot access the same policies as an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You can only take Overseas Health Cover. There used to be policies which would take into account your reciprocal status, so they were somewhat cheaper. I'm not sure if that's still the case. https://www.australianunity.com.au/health-insurance/overseas-visitor-cover/
  22. Marisawright

    Where to live around or a few hours from wagga wagga

    A Levels. Sorry, I don't know how old your eldest is.
  23. Marisawright

    Moving with older children

    Remember that Sydney covers a vast area. All of those suburbs I mentioned are nowhere near "dire areas". Most of the rough areas are much further west or much further south. The downside of Avalon Beach is transport. You'll have to drive everywhere, as there's only the bus, no trains. Go to Google Maps and see how long it takes to get from Avalon Beach to the city in rush hour. Consider where your work is likely to be and check the transport times, remembering you may be working shifts.
  24. Marisawright

    Moving with older children

    There are some lovely suburbs in Western Sydney too. A lot of it is prejudice, and based on outdated opinions. I was influenced by those when I first arrived too, and discovered most of them were wrong. People in Sydney are very tribal: they don't often travel outside their area, so they have no idea how much things have changed. For instance, when I first moved to Sydney, I lived in the Eastern Suburbs. For years, I thought anything West of Glebe or South of Randwick was a wilderness. Anything North of the Harbour Bridge was nothing but snobs and Sloane Rangers. Then I met my second husband. When we first moved in together, we had a flat in Five Dock -- way beyong my old Western limit! I discovered that I loved the trendy cafes in Majors Bay, the Bay Walk, the quaint streets of Balmain, the Italian atmosphere of Leichhardt and Haberfield. Then we started looking for a place to buy near his Mum in Gymea, and I discovered the joys of being a short drive to the ocean and the National Park, while still having my cafes and restaurants. As it happened, we couldn't find a place we liked in Gymea so we ended up in Oatley, with its clocktower, village green, lovely walks and fast trains to the city. I'll be honest, I wouldn't live further West than Five Dock/Lane Cove. The further west you go, the hotter and stickier it gets. High summer is bad enough without living somewhere hours from the beach!
  25. Marisawright

    Unsure whether to return to UK

    Definitely look into paying NI contributions, because if you don't, you may find you get little or no UK pension if you decide to retire there. Unlike the Aussie pension (which is based on residency), the UK pension is based on what you paid in. One worry, if you don't have a lot of savings, is that you won't ever get the Australian pension if you go back to the UK now. Your super will go on growing, but you won't get the govt pension.So you really need to have as much of the UK pension as you can get. I'd start with @Alan Collett