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    Australia after 8 years - the good, bad & the ugly!

    Actually seen some rain today, unfortunately it dried as it hit the ground, so the ground is still warm, good old Adelaide, a bit slow in getting most things, that's why we moved here.

    Moving Back to the UK from Australia - Positive Stories

    Totally agree with the comment about Switzerland, like Toots, we have lived and worked in many places, Switzerland before coming here, once the Swiss think they know all your business you are just the person living down the road, unfortunately for them I speak German and often they would talk about you in German thinking we are just dumb English, they turned a bit pale when they found out I could understand what they were saying.

    UK State Pension.

    Don't forget it is now frozen at the current rate, we have ours paid into a UK bank and draw it when we need it.

    What health insurance is best for us.

    I would be interested to know what companies you find, when we arrived we had to have "overseas visitor" health insurance to comply with visa requirements, we found BUPA with good cover at a cost of roughly 12000 AUD for the 2 of us per year, after 1 year the price went up to 22000AUD a year, (no claims or anything during the 1st year) and a lot less cover and only minimum benefit for a lot of problems that could occur. I shopped around and found HBF were prepared to cover us nearer the 12k we were paying, a lot of companies did not want to insure "overseas visitors" even though we are settled here. HBF are now removing some benefits and no doubt the premium will increase at renewal. I think you will find you are not entitled to any medicare benefits and have to pay all bills up front and reclaim a percentage from the insurer, which is not much in some cases.

    What health insurance is best for us.

    Afraid no decent private health insurance is cheap here, have a look at the comparison sites, even with insurance you will still have to pay quite a bit, and be careful that you are covered for what you may need, there are a lot of exclusions.

    Property in Mount Barker.

    Why not ask your daughter who lives there to have a look round and see what is available, not much for that sort of money.

    Keeping UK Bank account

    Just an added thought, if you have credit or debit cards remember to advise them also of the change of address, I forgot with one of ours and wondered why it wouldn't work, when I phoned them they said you have moved and hadn't told us, whoops, updated the address and all working now.

    Keeping UK Bank account

    We have regular UK accounts, one with NatWest and one with Halifax and had them for many years before we left the UK, We just notified them of the change of address and carried on as normal. It might be different if you want to open a new account whilst living abroad, but you would need to check.

    Keeping UK Bank account

    We have kept our UK accounts in the various countries we have lived in, just updated the address when we moved, credit and debit cards all continued as normal. Had a call from one of them a few weeks ago to see if we wanted to keep our credit cards as they hadn't been used for a while, when I said Christmas was coming and they would be, no problem was the answer.

    Converting your driving license

    We are in SA and just went into the local licence office with our old licences, filled in a form, paid a small fee, given a temporary licence and the new one arrived in the post in a few days. Like most things here it seemed a simple process with helpful staff.

    New build property.

    Actually drove through Mt. Barker yesterday whilst out for a drive, the new estates seem to be on the outskirts of the town and boy are the houses close together, I would suggest you get in touch with the developers and get a list of what is and is not included and the cost of the extras you want, could add up to a fair bit extra. Don't expect the houses to be constructed to European standards.
  12. I think not only is it the premiums charged, we could have had lower cover, but at our age you never know what might happen, it is the fact that you also end up paying a percentage of costs involved as well, such as around half the GP visit fees and quite a large percentage of hospital visit fees, so added to the annual premium it can add up to quite a sum. We are also very limited on the number of health providers that will cover us so not much competition for our business.
  13. Another 405 holder here not interested, actively looking at the pros and cons of returning to the chaos of the UK. Health costs here being one of the main reasons, an increase of 80% in premium from one year to the next is a back door way of reducing our numbers.

    New house add ons.

    I notice from the first post that all this is subject to visa approval, whilst it is good to do your homework, are you sure the visa will be granted?