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mallan82450

$120k salary - Is this enough for a family of 4 in Sydney

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Hi,

My husband was approached by one of the Big 4 for a role at their Sydney office - He was made an offer this morning of $120K a year plus bonus (unknown currently) and relocation package (which we think is low) and we intend to try and negotiate.

We have been looking at living out of the CBD e.g. Kellyville, Baulkham Hills, Liverpool so hoping for lower rents but my question is do you think this salary is doable for a family of four? I don't intend to work for the first 3 months to get the kids settled (5 and 3 year old) and don't want to feel rushed into doing so either.

The recruitment agency in Sydney (who have been very good) keep saying that we shouldn't compare to the UK but it's hard as we both have a combined salary of £100K here in the UK (hubby on £55K) so have a comfortable life.

We have used salary calculators and budget planners and we do seem to have the a similar surplus to the UK but still unsure as we are not physically there.

Any advice would be greatly received.

Thanks

Marc.

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If I've read your post correctly you are hoping to go from two incomes to one? $120k is $3300 a fortnight takehome. Rent for a family home is likely to be $1200 per fortnight so that leaves $2100 for everything else. Its a bit tight but possible short term.

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what role/level is he being recruited at? - you could look at glassdoor.com.au for ideas of salary ranges for his 'band' or at least see if you expectations are being met.

It seems a little low - but a 2.2 multiplier - so not way off

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Does the $120k include or exclude super? if its included that annual salary will be 9.5% less = $108,600 per year.

 

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I reckon if you take your UK income, multiply by 3 and add a dollar symbol, it's roughly equivalent. So, 55k pounds UK would be $165k here. Your combined 100k pounds would be $300k. This formula works for us in terms of available disposable income. We are in Perth though, your mortgage will be larger.

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Honestly, it is a little bit low. Do-able, but it won't give you much wiggle room. Do you have any idea whether you will be able to work, and what your salary is likely to be? We moved back from Sydney just over a year ago, but it was insanely expensive in the last few years we were there. It would definitely be possible short-term, but long time it probably wouldn't leave much room for saving for holidays and things like that (of course bearing in mind that you're likely to want to take holidays to the UK and also explore Australia a bit).

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12 hours ago, DeeTowers said:

Does the $120k include or exclude super? if its included that annual salary will be 9.5% less = $108,600 per year.

 

Thanks - Yes I used an Australian salary calculator and ticked the 9.5% super annum box.

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4 hours ago, LKC said:

Honestly, it is a little bit low. Do-able, but it won't give you much wiggle room. Do you have any idea whether you will be able to work, and what your salary is likely to be? We moved back from Sydney just over a year ago, but it was insanely expensive in the last few years we were there. It would definitely be possible short-term, but long time it probably wouldn't leave much room for saving for holidays and things like that (of course bearing in mind that you're likely to want to take holidays to the UK and also explore Australia a bit).

Thanks for your response. We have been told that the visa we will have will allow me to work - The intention is for me to work after 3 months.

Do you think living a bit further out of the CBD would help?

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Are you permanent residents or is this going to be a temporary visa? If the latter then you’re going to have to pay $5k+ in school fees per school age child and if you decided to go back to work - bearing in mind that the dependents of temporary residents find it very hard to get meaningful career based work - you will get no support with child care which is going to set you back about $150 a day. Bear in mind, too, not all temporary residents are able to make a permanent move.

So, on balance, I think you’re going to struggle to have the same sort of lifestyle on that. If you’re citizens returning or PR then it’ll be better.

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30 minutes ago, mallan82450 said:

Thanks for your response. We have been told that the visa we will have will allow me to work - The intention is for me to work after 3 months.

Do you think living a bit further out of the CBD would help?

That would definitely help, but it's a bit of a balancing act. You don't want to find yourself living in a soulless suburb in the back of beyond but plenty of free cash, but neither do you want to find yourself in a beachside suburb with no money to spend. We lived in Sutherland Shire, which is one of the more affordable parts of Sydney, but even that was getting pricier as we were leaving. We lived around Engadine which is a really lovely family-friendly area. It is about 20-30 minutes drive to the beaches, but the schools are good, there are plenty of things going on, shops etc. It will depend quite a bit on where work will be though. If work is in the CBD, there is a train from Engadine which takes 45-60 minutes from memory (depending on the train you get). OH used to travel to Hurstville by train every day, and the service was generally good.

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2 hours ago, Quoll said:

Are you permanent residents or is this going to be a temporary visa? If the latter then you’re going to have to pay $5k+ in school fees per school age child and if you decided to go back to work - bearing in mind that the dependents of temporary residents find it very hard to get meaningful career based work - you will get no support with child care which is going to set you back about $150 a day. Bear in mind, too, not all temporary residents are able to make a permanent move.

So, on balance, I think you’re going to struggle to have the same sort of lifestyle on that. If you’re citizens returning or PR then it’ll be better.

Thank you for this - We would be temporary visa's for the time being. Could you expand on those temp residents who aren't able to make a permanent move? Thanks again.

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2 hours ago, LKC said:

That would definitely help, but it's a bit of a balancing act. You don't want to find yourself living in a soulless suburb in the back of beyond but plenty of free cash, but neither do you want to find yourself in a beachside suburb with no money to spend. We lived in Sutherland Shire, which is one of the more affordable parts of Sydney, but even that was getting pricier as we were leaving. We lived around Engadine which is a really lovely family-friendly area. It is about 20-30 minutes drive to the beaches, but the schools are good, there are plenty of things going on, shops etc. It will depend quite a bit on where work will be though. If work is in the CBD, there is a train from Engadine which takes 45-60 minutes from memory (depending on the train you get). OH used to travel to Hurstville by train every day, and the service was generally good.

Really helpful. Thank you!

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25 minutes ago, mallan82450 said:

Thank you for this - We would be temporary visa's for the time being. Could you expand on those temp residents who aren't able to make a permanent move? Thanks again.

If you are on a short term temporary visa then there is no pathway to permanent residence.  As for the medium term, they change the rules all the time, occupations drop off the list of skills in demand, he may fall out with his employer and have to leave or he may be made redundant, medical issues - lots of reasons, there is no cast iron guarantee.  If you have the skills to apply for permanent residence now, then that would be the thing to do.  Hard to believe that one of the big 4 can't attract local middle level personnel though that they need to import them from overseas - usual reason might be that people at that level locally aren't prepared to work for that salary because it is below the market level.

Do beware of the school fees/child care thing though, that catches a few people out when they think their kids will be getting free schooling/subsidised child care - it'll take quite a hefty chunk of your income.

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I have spent a lot of time looking at this scenario recently for a job that fell through.  I was expecting the role to pay $200k a year + Super + bonus.

Our conclusion was we would need to sell the house and dip into out equity to make it work, and we were willing to do that for a couple of years to enjoy Sydney lifestyle.

Yes you can rent for more like $800 a week in Kellyville or somewhere, but if your Husband is working in the Big4 offices (mostly) in Barangaroo, this is  long way out, and really are you moving to the otherside of the world to spend your life on your own while you husband is at work or on the train?

That kind of salary is a couple moving both working salary IMO, not a supporting my family in a 4 bed house salary.

 


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On 19/12/2018 at 00:03, mallan82450 said:

The recruitment agency in Sydney (who have been very good) keep saying that we shouldn't compare to the UK

I assume, when they say that, they're trying to suggest it's cheaper in Australia.  That was true 20 years ago, but it's not now!   

You can work out your budget fairly easily, because you can safely assume the day-to-day cost of living in Australia is the same as the UK.  If you try to break it down, you'll find some things are dearer and some are cheaper, but it balances out.

It's housing and childcare that you need to research carefully, because they will vary according to your needs and preferences.    I agree with Jon the Hat, I'd say if you want a comparable home to what you have now, you're looking at $800 a week.  People will point out cheaper houses in cheaper suburbs, and it's true they exist - but do you want to live in a tired house in a bogan (chav) suburb?   

I suggest thinking about why you're thinking of moving to Australia.  A lot of people seem to think that Australia offers a more laidback lifestyle with less stress.  Some parts of the country yes, but Sydney is not one of them. The corporate culture is the same (if not worse) than London.   The Big 4 expect their senior staff to work long hours.  I used to work 45 - 50 hours a week, (before I decided no bonus, however big, was worth it!)  Add a long commute to that, and consider whether it's better than what you have now.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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7 hours ago, mallan82450 said:

Thank you for this - We would be temporary visa's for the time being. Could you expand on those temp residents who aren't able to make a permanent move? Thanks again.

When you move to Australia on a temporary visa, that's all it is - temporary.  

With the most basic temp visa, that's it - you are not allowed to stay, under any circumstances, and you'll have to go home. 

There is another type of temp visa, which allows you to apply for a permanent visa at the end - but note, it only allows you to apply for PR, it's not a given.  People talk about a "transition" to PR which gives the impression it's easy, but it's not. You still have to jump through the same hoops as if you were applying for PR from the UK - qualifications, age, experience, etc.

Many people fail to get the permanent visa, often because the rules change during the 2 to 4 years of the temp visa, (their job is taken off the list or they can't meet the new criteria). That's why we always tell people, if you are coming on a temp visa, always plan on the basis that it's temporary, and if you do manage to get permanency at the end, regard it as a bonus.  

If you really want to move permanently to Australia then it's always safer to apply now, because they are raising the bar every year, making it harder and harder to get in.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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11 hours ago, Marisawright said:

When you move to Australia on a temporary visa, that's all it is - temporary.  

With the most basic temp visa, that's it - you are not allowed to stay, under any circumstances, and you'll have to go home. 

There is another type of temp visa, which allows you to apply for a permanent visa at the end - but note, it only allows you to apply for PR, it's not a given.  People talk about a "transition" to PR which gives the impression it's easy, but it's not. You still have to jump through the same hoops as if you were applying for PR from the UK - qualifications, age, experience, etc.

Many people fail to get the permanent visa, often because the rules change during the 2 to 4 years of the temp visa, (their job is taken off the list or they can't meet the new criteria). That's why we always tell people, if you are coming on a temp visa, always plan on the basis that it's temporary, and if you do manage to get permanency at the end, regard it as a bonus.  

If you really want to move permanently to Australia then it's always safer to apply now, because they are raising the bar every year, making it harder and harder to get in.

Thank you very much for your detailed replies - I appreciate your honesty.

The visa would be on the medium/long term 482  and he would be sponsored by them under 'management consultant'.

The intention would be not to return to the UK however I understand there is a risk . . . Just not sure that we could live with ourselves if we didn't make the leap and give it a go?

Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, mallan82450 said:

Thank you very much for your detailed replies - I appreciate your honesty.

The visa would be on the medium/long term 482  and he would be sponsored by them under 'management consultant'.

The intention would be not to return to the UK however I understand there is a risk . . . Just not sure that we could live with ourselves if we didn't make the leap and give it a go?

Thanks again.

Look upon it as an adventure and expect to return then you wont be disappointed.  Take a career break if you can, rent out your home and suck it and see.  Nothing wrong with an adventure from time to time.  Be aware of the Hague Convention though just in case one of you decides you love it to bits and the other cant wait to leave for whatever reason (forewarned is forearmed)

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Plenty of families in Sydney that aren’t earning $120k.  But they aren’t living in Rose Bay or the Northern Beaches

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13 hours ago, Bulya said:

Plenty of families in Sydney that aren’t earning $120k.  But they aren’t living in Rose Bay or the Northern Beaches

Or they have small mortgages on properties they bought years ago before prices soared. Sydney is becoming more and more unaffordable because of house prices.  People are having to move out if they don’t own as rental prices have been hiked to correspond.

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9 minutes ago, rammygirl said:

Or they have small mortgages on properties they bought years ago before prices soared. Sydney is becoming more and more unaffordable because of house prices.  People are having to move out if they don’t own as rental prices have been hiked to correspond.

Yep, it’s expensive, and best not to mention the ‘attitude’.   

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I moved here sixteen months ago to be near my daughter, and I'm  lucky because I'm retired and can live away from Sydney - I can vouch for that train through Sutherland, very reliable if crowded at peak times.  My point is about renting. We rented for a year, We were happy in our rental but found the landlord greedy and unscrupulous, which caused a lot of stress at the time. If you do come over  - and it is a fantastic adventure - be very careful to get everything agreed re:rental property in writing. Agents are pretty slippery too - be wary.     Personally - if the money works - I'd give it a go. We dithered about a job offer in  Luxembourg years ago and it turned out to be the best move we ever made.  Life's for living. Enjoy.

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