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How much do you need to earn to live happily in Sydney?


Fishenka

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Hi All,

sorry it must feel like a very random question but I've been reading the forum for weeks, doing virtual online shops at Coles, checking rental prices etc but one thing that really sticks is all those constant comments about how ridiculously more expensive Sydney is over UK, London etc.... We are supposedly moving on a better salary but with higher cost of living, private medical, paying higher rent in Sydney over a mortgage in the UK + 10% of the package actually being superannuation I am getting paranoid that we would actually end up worth of...

 

so I guess the question is to those who lived/lives in Sydney: in your opinion how much money do you need to make to happily support wife, 1yo baby + 2 small dogs (wife's employability in Sydney is questionable so for the time being hubby is the bread winner and any job wife could get is a bonus)

 

thanks a lot in advance! :)

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Hi All,

sorry it must feel like a very random question but I've been reading the forum for weeks, doing virtual online shops at Coles, checking rental prices etc but one thing that really sticks is all those constant comments about how ridiculously more expensive Sydney is over UK, London etc.... We are supposedly moving on a better salary but with higher cost of living, private medical, paying higher rent in Sydney over a mortgage in the UK + 10% of the package actually being superannuation I am getting paranoid that we would actually end up worth of...

 

so I guess the question is to those who lived/lives in Sydney: in your opinion how much money do you need to make to happily support wife, 1yo baby + 2 small dogs (wife's employability in Sydney is questionable so for the time being hubby is the bread winner and any job wife could get is a bonus)

 

thanks a lot in advance! :)

 

This question is hugely subjective and I don't think anyone can answer it properly. There are many families who need a two million dollar house with pool and beach views to be happy- who are over-stretched. And many who are content with much less. It depends what your expectations are and how much you're going to be earning..

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How long is a piece of string?

 

there are too many variables to answer your question without you providing more information.

 

what visa?

where do you want to live

where did you live what do you like doing in your spare time

etc

etc

etc

 

saying all that I have lived in both Aus and the uk twice over the past 10 years and each time I have moved I have used 2.2-2.4 as a guide to salary conversion.

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Ok we are not looking for a pool and beach front house here :)

 

a rented 3 bedroom house somewhere green with parks and ideally a public pool for our 1yo in an area that it is commutable to central Sydney for work and to a beach at least on a weekend. 1 car would do and generally a normal standard of life, going out here and there, going on a holiday a few times a year, I don't know, just a normal comfortable lifestyle where you don't struggle with money :)

Edited by Fishenka
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We live in Hampton court with daily commute to central London for work. for entertainment ... Well since our sons arrival the only options we have are walks in parks, shopping malls and pub lunches as we don't have relatives around and that is not going to change in Sydney... So I guess more outdoor things to do there and weather are a huge advantage + we are planing second baby.

I think we woul look at Concord and Ryde first but it's hard to tell where we would like to live as we've never lived in Sydney before

 

 

hubby is from oz, so baby has oz passport and I would have a spouse visa. Hubby left uk 15 years ago and never lived in Sydney so he is not much help here...

 

your salary conversion is about same we are moving on but I am somehow still not convinced it is going to be like for like... For once we have a much smaller mortgage than we would be paying in rent in Sydney...

Edited by Fishenka
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I've lived in Sydney for 30 years. Every time I go back to the UK for a holiday, I'm shocked at the price of a lot of everyday expenses - a cup of coffee, food in cafes, restaurants and pubs, and the cost of heating bills (air conditioning is needed here in summer if you live Out West, but it's not expensive if you run it properly and it certainly doesn't need to run all day every day). Also, of course, there's less need to pay for entertainment here because kids never get tired of the beach! So there are swings and roundabouts in general expenses, IMO. The big expense is house prices, both rental and purchase - and it's true that in itself can be a killer.

 

Personally, if your motive is to make more money, I wouldn't come to Sydney. It's a beautiful city, but if you want to enjoy it, you'll want to live in the more expensive inner suburbs, and that will cost. You may not be worse off but you're going to be spending what you earn. Many young families live in the Hills District so if you see yourself as ready to settle down to family life, that might be worth considering - but if you still want the city vibe, or if you want to be able to go to the beach without a three hour drive, you need to stay much closer in.

 

Don't let anyone fool you into buying private health insurance if you don't want to. My husband is 62 and has never had private insurance. You will never be turned away from an Australian hospital whether you've got insurance or not. You do have to pay for some medical treatment, but having private insurance won't necessarily reduce your bills, because there's always an "excess" to pay.

 

To give you a couple of examples:

 

- Two women at my work were having babies.  One had private insurance, the other didn't. They were both delivered in the same hospital and in the same ward, as there were no private rooms available.  The woman without insurance paid nothing. The woman with private insurance had to pay about $600. The reason? Because she was admitted as a private patient, therefore she was charged at private rates, and the insurance doesn't cover the whole cost

 

-I have regular checkups for colon cancer. When I had my first checkup, I didn't have insurance. ;I was charged a special reduced rate for uninsured patients, $375. Two years later I had my next checkup, this time WITH private insurance. The bill was $750 of which my health fund paid $500.So having insurance saved me the princely sum of $100.

 

Australians have health insurance because our tax system blackmails us into doing so. If we don't take out health insurance before age 30, we have to pay much higher premiums in old age (if my husband finally relents and gets insured, he'll be hit with a 70% surcharge on his premiums). If you're not planning to stay forever, that won't worry you. If you don't have private insurance, you have to pay an increased Medicare surcharge - but compare what that will cost to what you'll pay in premiums, as it may be less.

Edited by Marisawright
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Very subjective. For Brisbane we have found that family of four (2 very expensive teens) about $120k is reasonable cost of living. But we don't own out house and $600 per week rental takes a big chunk out of take home. We choose to rent a nice house - if we were to move, lose a car and never go out/on holiday I reckon $80-$90k is survivable. More needed for Sydney of course. There will no doubt be lots of people saying they get by on less - If you have paid off your mortgage and/or live rent free that is the clincher!

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Please also consider holidays.Holiday prices are'nt the same here (UK) as they are in Australia.We usually manage 2 long hauls per year,and one week somewhere like a greek island or wherever,and we're quite fussy where we stay as well.Sometimes we do one long haul and 2 short hauls.We don't do Benidorm or large cheap hotels!

For flights/hotel comparisons,try this one....

http://www.harveyworld.com.au/

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Please also consider holidays.Holiday prices are'nt the same here (UK) as they are in Australia.We usually manage 2 long hauls per year,and one week somewhere like a greek island or wherever,and we're quite fussy where we stay as well.Sometimes we do one long haul and 2 short hauls.We don't do Benidorm or large cheap hotels!

For flights/hotel comparisons,try this one....

 

Very good point. You're not going to have 2 or 3 holidays a year in Australia. For one thing, you'll be hoarding your annual leave so you can have a 6-week visit back to see family in the UK once every two or three years. For another, holidays in Australia are very expensive. You can find a cheap deal in Asia or the Pacific Islands, but then you have air fares to pay.

 

However, the whole idea is that you should have a lifestyle you don't want to escape. You don't feel the need to fly to a beach resort when you're on the beach every weekend. That's why it's important to pick a city where you can afford to live near the coast or whatever floats your boat.

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For one thing, you'll be hoarding your annual leave so you can have a 6-week visit back to see family in the UK once every two or three years. For another, holidays in Australia are very expensive.

 

I've made my visit to the UK, now if people want to see me they can come here. When you compare the standard UK 25 days + Bank holidays to the Aussie 20 + public holidays there are only a few days in it. Couple that fact with the fact that accrued holidays commonly don't expire at the end of the year with the possibility of LSL and I'm very happy with with the overall leave package.

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Thank you all, cost of holidays is another good point.... Oh God, is the lifestyle really so much better in Sydney over London? :) it seems to be such a huge move! We loved living in London untill our sons arrival when long commutes, overcrowding and WEATHER actually became big issues... It's not like life here is terrible it's just the hope that in oz it is really great... :)))

Edited by Fishenka
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Every day feels like a holiday here! I earn about $1000 a week (net) and I live in a 4 bed house with own pool albeit rent is half my salary, the rest is for bills, food, insurances, eating out once a week, just for 2 adults, it's suffice for now with a little left over. No finance commitments.

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Don't let anyone fool you into buying private health insurance if you don't want to. My husband is 62 and has never had private insurance. You will never be turned away from an Australian hospital whether you've got insurance or not.

 

 

It is true you will not be turned away from an Australian public hospital for emergency or accident treatment. However, for treatment outside those parameters you will have to go on a waiting list for public hospitals - and just how long that waiting list is will depend on your location. In some areas it can be years.

 

My husband was in and out of (a private) hospital for the last 4 months of his life (he was 57). He had to spend one night in a public hospital for a special procedure and I can definitely say that the much more pleasant conditions of the private hospital were well worth all the private hospital insurance we had paid over the years.

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Thank you all, cost of holidays is another good point.... Oh God, is the lifestyle really so much better in Sydney over London? :) it seems to be such a huge move! We loved leaving in London untill our sons arrival when long commutes, overcrowding and WEATHER actually became big issues... It's not like life here is terrible it's just the hope that in oz it is really great... :)))

 

I returned to the UK for a holiday over Christmas and felt really claustrophobic, the weather was depressing and the roads made me want to kill someone! I live on the Gold Coast so will obviously have differences to Sidney

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