Jump to content

You're currently viewing the forum as a Guest
register-now-button_orig.png
and join in with discussions   
ask migration questions
message other members

..and much much more!

Jwoo

Go home to uk or build retirement in Melbourne?

Recommended Posts

Hi all, long time lurker first time poster and I really enjoy this forum. I'm looking for your excellent advice please to help crystallize my thoughts and come to some sort of decision. I was born in London, left very unhappily at 9 years old due to father's issues. That was 45 years ago. Lots of family sorrows later meant that leaving home has always been a bit of an open wound for me. Not unhappy with life in Australia at all but a weak sense of belonging, and then broken marriage, no kids, spent some years taking care of niece and nephew due to family problems there, so distracted for a time. But no real roots except mum and brother here now, and just drifting for several years, working hard but feeling unsure and stuck, and homesick for what i lost 45 years ago.

Now a very good job has come up in London which i know through past experience I'd be quite likely to win. A two year fixed term role in the very busy office of someone i think might be a bit of a bully.

What would you do if you were me?

I'm 54 and worked for myself for 8 years so super is average at best 175k, i don't own my home partly due to marriage breakdown but later this constant uncertainty about where i should be.

I am a UK/Aus citizen, 54 years old, not ambitious for a prestigious role for myself but this one would look good on my cv so would set me up if i wanted to stay, or indeed if i wanted to return. I'm worried I'd lose my financial security by going now though, when I could stay here, work steadily, buy a tiny place (I've quite a bit saved), and retire in ten years or so, then move back to the UK if i wanted to with a lot more security. But by then of course mum will likely need my care back here.

Also, here i have a very secure role, a good name in a large organisation, long service leave etc, and opportunities here for better paying work i am also looking at. I really can afford to go home for a holiday every year or so.

And of course i am pining for London c1974, so the whole thing might be a disaster anyway. Though when i do go home for a few weeks I do oddly feel that i belong under that sky and on that land. I have family there but the connection is really about the place now.

This had all been buzzing around in my head for too long so I'd be glad for any light you can help shed. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, thanks all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My immediate worry would be the risk of not getting a job when you return.  My experience is that Australia is ageist so once you're over 55, it's hard to get back into the workforce.   However if you reckon the London experience would be enough to offset that, then I think you'd be absolutely bonkers not to accept it. 

I say that because it sounds as though you might miss your opportunity altogether if you don't go now.   Waiting till you've retired and then going back to  the UK isn't as easy as you might think. For one thing, while your superannuation pension won't be taxed in Australia, it will be taxed in the UK.  So will your Australian government pension ( assuming you can even claim it, which is doubtful for various reasons).  You won't get any British pension to offset those losses.  And both will be subject to the vagaries of the exchange rate.

If, on the other hand, you go back now, there's every chance you could get a further job offer in London at the end of your contract, so if you're enjoying it, you could potentially stay in the UK right up until you're ready to retire. At that point, depending on how the finances work out, you might have to return to Australia - but you'll have your superannuation and you'll still be eligible for the Australian govt pension, so you've lost nothing.

As you say, you may have to return to Australia by that time anyway, because of your mum.  So I would grab the window while you have it.

Edited by Marisawright
  • Like 1

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much Marisa for your reply. Lots of food for thought there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if you hate it when you get to the uk at least you will know and it will have cured an itch. That being so, I think I would go but not permanently - keep your options open.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you get a sabbatical year from your current employer and suck it and see? I'd be inclined to take the opportunity - that's been my path through life, take the best opportunity that comes your way.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but it sure as hell makes life one big adventure!  Good luck!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mention buying a tiny place if you were to stay in Australia. Could you buy something before you go and rent it out? You could sell when you decide where home is and in the meantime be building equity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Starlight7 and Quoll thanks for your replies. Yes I agree the best option would be to take a sabbatical from my current employer and I would certainly look into that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melbpom yes those were my thoughts re. Ideally being able to buy a small place before I go. They have advertised the job now after all though, so looks as if I'll be competing with locals and all sorts, as I was a couple of years ago when I nearly won the job. I guess we'll see. Thanks for your thoughts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Jwoo said:

Melbpom yes those were my thoughts re. Ideally being able to buy a small place before I go. They have advertised the job now after all though, so looks as if I'll be competing with locals and all sorts, as I was a couple of years ago when I nearly won the job. I guess we'll see. Thanks for your thoughts!

The only thing I'd worry about is that the employer won't wait for you, if there's competition.  If you nearly got the job before and dithered, they may be worried that you'll dither again. They don't want someone who's going to muck them around!    

Therefore I'd say you need to tell them you're ready to jump now, all you need to do is give a month's notice and you can be there.  You certainly don't want to even hint at things like, "I'll need a bit more time because I want to buy a place before I go, and talk to my employer about getting a sabbatical, and ....." 


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

London 74 is a lot different to London now. In my opinion not in a good way. 

At your age I would be thinking about getting ready for retirement and what you need to plan for. If your Mum is here and any other family it gets harder as they get older. If you think the boss in the job is going to be a bully why stress yourself at your age? Not worth it.

If you like your job now, have your leave built up and fairly happy in your position relax and enjoy. 

Work is just something you have to do so you can have enjoyment when you're not there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Paul1Perth said:

London 74 is a lot different to London now. In my opinion not in a good way. 

At your age I would be thinking about getting ready for retirement and what you need to plan for. If your Mum is here and any other family it gets harder as they get older.

Precisely the reason why I think he needs to go for it.   

You're speaking from the perspective of someone who's happy with their life in Australia, like me.  I don't think it's reasonable to discount the deep longing some people have for the land of their birth, just because we haven't experienced it.  It may be psychological but it's very real to the people who suffer from it, and it can be very debilitating, even driving people to suicidal thoughts.

The OP clearly still thinks of the UK as "home" and says leaving it is still "an open wound".  You may be right, that he's going to have to settle for a retirement in Australia, but he's not there yet.  He's 54 not 64!    He's got time to go home and, if he's lucky, put those feelings to bed so he can return and actually enjoy his old age, instead of lying on his death bed wondering what might have been.

Edited by Marisawright
  • Like 2

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

He's got time to go home and, if he's lucky, put those feelings to bed so he can return and actually enjoy his old age, instead of lying on his death bed wondering what might have been.

I'd second that and if he/she returns to Australia they will know it was their choice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

Precisely the reason why I think he needs to go for it.   

You're speaking from the perspective of someone who's happy with their life in Australia, like me.  I don't think it's reasonable to discount the deep longing some people have for the land of their birth, just because we haven't experienced it.  It may be psychological but it's very real to the people who suffer from it, and it can be very debilitating, even driving people to suicidal thoughts.

The OP clearly still thinks of the UK as "home" and says leaving it is still "an open wound".  You may be right, that he's going to have to settle for a retirement in Australia, but he's not there yet.  He's 54 not 64!    He's got time to go home and, if he's lucky, put those feelings to bed so he can return and actually enjoy his old age, instead of lying on his death bed wondering what might have been.

I thought it was a bit strange that the OP said go home to the UK. I think of here as home and generally can't wait to get back if I've been to the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Paul1Perth said:

I thought it was a bit strange that the OP said go home to the UK. I think of here as home and generally can't wait to get back if I've been to the UK.

I think of here as 'home too, but I don't think the OP is unusual.     Before I joined these forums, I would've found it strange that the OP thinks of the UK as home.  Not now.  I've learned there are legions of Brits living in Australia who never ever settled, but stayed for whatever reason.   Their attitude has nothing to do with quality of life - Australia could be a paradise and they'd still feel the same way.   They just can't shake their homesickness, and it gets worse as they get older.  By that time it's much more difficult to move countries and they may feel trapped, which makes it feel much, much worse. 

 In fact I have a strong suspicion that we're the unusual ones. Those of us who migrate and settle completely in our new country, enough to call it "home", are in the minority.   I'm sure you know many happy migrants, but consider how many people either never feel the urge to leave their hometown, and how many migrants who try it but head home (said to be more than half). 

That's why I can come across as negative sometimes in my responses to newbies.  Australia has a lot to offer, but it's hard to predict who's going to feel that "connection to homeland" which could ruin the whole thing.  When I see people saying their husband/wife has talked them into it, or about being in floods of tears over leaving their family or their beloved home, alarm bells go off in my head!

Edited by Marisawright
  • Like 5

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your input, it's really helped me to see what I'm about and to see my options more clearly. I really don't want a hugely stressful, even if prestigious, new job at this stage in my life. It's only because the job is in London and keeps coming up, that makes me think perhaps the universe is telling me something. Apart from that I wouldn't look at it at all, especially after my earlier experience and what I've heard subsequently. In fact when they gave the job to someone local two years ago, I wondered if I'd dodged a bit of a bullet. And when it came up again a year ago I didn't apply at all.
I'm wondering if some of you are right that I should plan more carefully, buy a small place here and set myself up a bit better, take a sabbatical and do it in a way that suits me better and is healthier for my future.
Thanks again everybody for your very valuable input. This is really a great forum!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe that boss is the reason for the high turnover?

  • Like 2

So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/6/2019 at 02:53, Jwoo said:

 

Hi all, long time lurker first time poster and I really enjoy this forum. I'm looking for your excellent advice please to help crystallize my thoughts and come to some sort of decision. I was born in London, left very unhappily at 9 years old due to father's issues. That was 45 years ago. Lots of family sorrows later meant that leaving home has always been a bit of an open wound for me. Not unhappy with life in Australia at all but a weak sense of belonging, and then broken marriage, no kids, spent some years taking care of niece and nephew due to family problems there, so distracted for a time. But no real roots except mum and brother here now, and just drifting for several years, working hard but feeling unsure and stuck, and homesick for what i lost 45 years ago.

Now a very good job has come up in London which i know through past experience I'd be quite likely to win. A two year fixed term role in the very busy office of someone i think might be a bit of a bully.

What would you do if you were me?

I'm 54 and worked for myself for 8 years so super is average at best 175k, i don't own my home partly due to marriage breakdown but later this constant uncertainty about where i should be.

I am a UK/Aus citizen, 54 years old, not ambitious for a prestigious role for myself but this one would look good on my cv so would set me up if i wanted to stay, or indeed if i wanted to return. I'm worried I'd lose my financial security by going now though, when I could stay here, work steadily, buy a tiny place (I've quite a bit saved), and retire in ten years or so, then move back to the UK if i wanted to with a lot more security. But by then of course mum will likely need my care back here.

Also, here i have a very secure role, a good name in a large organisation, long service leave etc, and opportunities here for better paying work i am also looking at. I really can afford to go home for a holiday every year or so.

And of course i am pining for London c1974, so the whole thing might be a disaster anyway. Though when i do go home for a few weeks I do oddly feel that i belong under that sky and on that land. I have family there but the connection is really about the place now.

This had all been buzzing around in my head for too long so I'd be glad for any light you can help shed. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, thanks all.

My contribution would be that London is a very pressurised place to live and you need a very big salary to make it feel easy and companies expectations are commensurately as high as the salaries, also as it has already  been highlighted Australia is very ageist, leaving a good job at your age could make it very difficult to get anything at a comparable level were you to go back, this was confirmed by a visitor from QLD this week who reported on a couple of acquaintances who were still struggling 4 years after being made redundant in their 50's.

Legal protections for workers in the UK have been reduced significantly in the last 10 years and we seem to hear quite regularly of people in quite senior jobs having terrible times with bosses and downsizing and cost cutting and either having to leave or simply continue on trying to hold it together and sometimes failing and having quite severe health issues because of the stress.

I live in a rural town, when I go into Birmingham, my local city, I am immediately  aware of a feeling of stress just from attitudes to driving and I notice how degraded the environment feels.

I just highlight these as issues here and in Australia from our experience. 

After I posted  I reread your post and IMHO I would really want to do a risk analysis/cost benefit study of the options and the possible consequences of the courses of action open to you and I think that will make it clear.

Edited by BacktoDemocracy
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Jwoo said:

Thanks everyone for your input, it's really helped me to see what I'm about and to see my options more clearly. I really don't want a hugely stressful, even if prestigious, new job at this stage in my life. It's only because the job is in London and keeps coming up, that makes me think perhaps the universe is telling me something. Apart from that I wouldn't look at it at all, especially after my earlier experience and what I've heard subsequently. In fact when they gave the job to someone local two years ago, I wondered if I'd dodged a bit of a bullet. And when it came up again a year ago I didn't apply at all.
I'm wondering if some of you are right that I should plan more carefully, buy a small place here and set myself up a bit better, take a sabbatical and do it in a way that suits me better and is healthier for my future.
Thanks again everybody for your very valuable input. This is really a great forum!

If the jobs come up 3 times in 3 years I reckon you dodged a bullet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/06/2019 at 16:19, Marisawright said:

I think of here as 'home too, but I don't think the OP is unusual.     Before I joined these forums, I would've found it strange that the OP thinks of the UK as home.  Not now.  I've learned there are legions of Brits living in Australia who never ever settled, but stayed for whatever reason.   Their attitude has nothing to do with quality of life - Australia could be a paradise and they'd still feel the same way.   They just can't shake their homesickness, and it gets worse as they get older.  By that time it's much more difficult to move countries and they may feel trapped, which makes it feel much, much worse. 

 In fact I have a strong suspicion that we're the unusual ones. Those of us who migrate and settle completely in our new country, enough to call it "home", are in the minority.   I'm sure you know many happy migrants, but consider how many people either never feel the urge to leave their hometown, and how many migrants who try it but head home (said to be more than half). 

That's why I can come across as negative sometimes in my responses to newbies.  Australia has a lot to offer, but it's hard to predict who's going to feel that "connection to homeland" which could ruin the whole thing.  When I see people saying their husband/wife has talked them into it, or about being in floods of tears over leaving their family or their beloved home, alarm bells go off in my head!

The line I highlighted, is that how many Brits who reside in Australia for a time and then go home, or Brits who reside overseas generally, before returning? If it’s Brits leaving Australia then that would seem to be an extraordinarily high number to me. Over the 11 years I’ve been here I’ve read estimates that anything between 15-33% of Brits who move to Australia end up leaving, but that those estimates are further complicated by those who either return to try Australia again later, or who try another country. 

Based upon the Brits I’ve met here, and reading these forums (admittedly a very small sample group) I’d be astonished if the numbers leaving Australia were anything close to the 50% mark. If anything, I’d say that immigrants like Paul and yourself are very much the majority - British people who love it here and wouldn’t contemplate ever returning to their country of birth. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

The line I highlighted, is that how many Brits who reside in Australia for a time and then go home, or Brits who reside overseas generally, before returning? If it’s Brits leaving Australia then that would seem to be an extraordinarily high number to me. Over the 11 years I’ve been here I’ve read estimates that anything between 15-33% of Brits who move to Australia end up leaving, but that those estimates are further complicated by those who either return to try Australia again later, or who try another country. 

Based upon the Brits I’ve met here, and reading these forums (admittedly a very small sample group) I’d be astonished if the numbers leaving Australia were anything close to the 50% mark. If anything, I’d say that immigrants like Paul and yourself are very much the majority - British people who love it here and wouldn’t contemplate ever returning to their country of birth. 

I have met a lot of people here in Tasmania who are originally from the UK.  Quite a few of them have retired here from the mainland and some of them have lived here ever since they migrated.  None of them want to move back to the UK.  A number of them have sons and daughters who work overseas but will return one day   .............  so they say anyway.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

I’d be astonished if the numbers leaving Australia were anything close to the 50% mark. 

Yes, it is inaccurate.  When statistics were kept on permanent overseas departures the number of Brits leaving was about 28% of those arriving - but about a quarter of those leaving were not returning to the UK but to a third country (probably a high proportion were company transfers).  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

Based upon the Brits I’ve met here, and reading these forums (admittedly a very small sample group) I’d be astonished if the numbers leaving Australia were anything close to the 50% mark. If anything, I’d say that immigrants like Paul and yourself are very much the majority - British people who love it here and wouldn’t contemplate ever returning to their country of birth. 

The "half of all migrants" figure was often quoted on Wanted Down Under, so who knows where it came from.  But  I do wonder if everyone you meet who '" loves it here" is really as happy as you think.

I notice two different kinds of migrants.  There are people like me, who enjoy their life in Australia and feel settled. Then are migrants who LOVE it here and think it's AMAZING and life back in Britain is absolute SH!!* these days and don't you DARE criticise anything about their WONDERFUL NEW COUNTRY!!!   They're the ones that are lying to themselves.  That's why they can't let anyone mention the downsides of Australia, because they can't afford to question themselves - it might burst the bubble of denial they've created for themselves.  

  • Like 5

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

The "half of all migrants" figure was often quoted on Wanted Down Under, so who knows where it came from.  But  I do wonder if everyone you meet who '" loves it here" is really as happy as you think.

I notice two different kinds of migrants.  There are people like me, who enjoy their life in Australia and feel settled. Then are migrants who LOVE it here and think it's AMAZING and life back in Britain is absolute SH!!* these days and don't you DARE criticise anything about their WONDERFUL NEW COUNTRY!!!   They're the ones that are lying to themselves.  That's why they can't let anyone mention the downsides of Australia, because they can't afford to question themselves - it might burst the bubble of denial they've created for themselves.  

I think a lot that return do so quickly. It's hard to settle when you first get here. 

We didn't have any family here, a 2 year old, no support, no jobs to come to. A lot of people are way out of their comfort zone and some just look for negatives straight away.

It's pretty easy to give it a few weeks and then return as you remember the good bits from the UK.

Luckily we never relied on family to look after the youngster too much, we weren't super close to our families. My wife left home early to do her nurse training in the days where you moved into nurses residence. I had jobs where I worked away a lot and been to uni in digs. We were self sufficient and knew we could cope without family or friends support.

A lot that go back have relied on family to look after kids, catch up with them often, think the kids are missing out not being close to family, especially if they have cousins around the same age.

It does take time to settle and a lot of people can find it too hard.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Paul1Perth said:

I think a lot that return do so quickly. It's hard to settle when you first get here. 

We didn't have any family here, a 2 year old, no support, no jobs to come to. A lot of people are way out of their comfort zone and some just look for negatives straight away.

It's pretty easy to give it a few weeks and then return as you remember the good bits from the UK.

Luckily we never relied on family to look after the youngster too much, we weren't super close to our families. My wife left home early to do her nurse training in the days where you moved into nurses residence. I had jobs where I worked away a lot and been to uni in digs. We were self sufficient and knew we could cope without family or friends support.

A lot that go back have relied on family to look after kids, catch up with them often, think the kids are missing out not being close to family, especially if they have cousins around the same age.

It does take time to settle and a lot of people can find it too hard.

We were a bit like you.  We both left home at a young age and coped fine.  My brother and sister the same.  Had two children here with no help whatsoever and it never bothered me.  I was far closer to friends than I was to extended family.  I have always kept in touch with good friends from my teenage days in the UK and also friends I made in various other places later.  I moved overseas to work and many of my friends did too.  Apart from my oldest friend, all the others moved away from home for employment opportunities in UK cities and abroad.

We are a very small family.  My sons only have 2 cousins.  😯  One lives in Edinburgh and the other in New Zealand.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×