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DanO

Decided NOT to retire in UK

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After a few weeks of agonizing, I have decided to retire in Australia and make do with regular trips to UK and Europe for holidays.

Why? Well here are my reasons, as some food for thought for others in a similar situation:

Australian state pension for myself and my Aussie wife (nearly $40,000 per year eventually), and the stress security blanket that provides.

Zero UK pensions

UK inheritance taxes 

UK council tax rates 

Tax free Superannuation income stream  in Australia 

I think the Australian economy has a stronger long term outlook 

I am sure we could be happy in both countries, with swings and roundabouts for each, but for financial peace of mind after 26 years working in Australia, it's a no brainer overall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Makes a lot of sense. We came to the same conclusion.


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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UK council taxes probably the big one mentioned by OP. 

That and seemingly low personal allowance before means testing kicks in. 

The advantages to retire UK are 

 

NHS free at source

Free public transport in most perhaps all counties,

The ability not to be in need of a car (in ownership) depending on location

Far more ability to do interesting walks 

Closeness to everywhere

Cheap flights to warm destinations

More hobby based society

Less ageist 

Non means tested pension

 

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Plus free NHS hearing aids - had mine fitted today and they are so neat.  Also went to make a will on Monday and learnt that inheritance tax on a couple only kicks in when you reach £1 million of assets.  That’s a lot more generous than I thought.

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8 hours ago, DanO said:

After a few weeks of agonizing, I have decided to retire in Australia and make do with regular trips to UK and Europe for holidays.

Why? Well here are my reasons, as some food for thought for others in a similar situation:

Australian state pension for myself and my Aussie wife (nearly $40,000 per year eventually), and the stress security blanket that provides.

Zero UK pensions

UK inheritance taxes 

UK council tax rates 

Tax free Superannuation income stream  in Australia 

I think the Australian economy has a stronger long term outlook 

I am sure we could be happy in both countries, with swings and roundabouts for each, but for financial peace of mind after 26 years working in Australia, it's a no brainer overall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s such a personal thing. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Glad you have churned the idea around and made a decision, now you can crack on with life! 😀

I moved to the uk 3 years ago to allow myself time to build up assets/pension here so that I could retire here. I think it’s easier for me to be in the uk and move to Australia pension/finance wise should I choose to later on than the other way around. Or at least it feels like it would be easier. 😂

Happy retirement when it happens! 

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1 hour ago, Cup Final 1973 said:

Plus free NHS hearing aids - had mine fitted today and they are so neat.  Also went to make a will on Monday and learnt that inheritance tax on a couple only kicks in when you reach £1 million of assets.  That’s a lot more generous than I thought.

That’s right.  Many see inheritance tax as a nightmare but a huge amount of people don’t ever have to worry about it due to the threshold.  Those that have millions can do things to avoid it being payable.  

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5 hours ago, Amber Snowball said:

It’s such a personal thing. Everyone’s circumstances are different.

Agreed. It's unusual to see someone like @DanO here on the forums, who would feel equally  happy in either country.  It's far more common to see people who migrated to Australia and have been hankering to return to the UK.   For someone who feels the UK is "home",  I would say that they shouldn't let minor financial concerns hold them back.  Sure, if your finances are already tight, you'd have to think very carefully - but otherwise, life's too short -- especially in your old age -- to spend it in a country where you're not truly happy.  It's a pity that fear holds some people back.

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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, Amber Snowball said:

It’s such a personal thing. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Glad you have churned the idea around and made a decision, now you can crack on with life! 😀

I moved to the uk 3 years ago to allow myself time to build up assets/pension here so that I could retire here. I think it’s easier for me to be in the uk and move to Australia pension/finance wise should I choose to later on than the other way around. Or at least it feels like it would be easier. 😂

Happy retirement when it happens! 

No decision on country for retirement yet. But am aware of the quagmire of obstacles and pro and con's with regards to any one country. We deserve it to ourselves, to seek out the most interesting and engaging place to spend our later years. 

To line up those mythological ducks in a row is, I find, an exercise with great difficulty. The present world conditions with the virus still rather rampant in UK along with many countries, just increase the degree of difficulty. 

But thankyou for your sentiment. I hope for an interesting retirement among a stimulating group of people. 

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Agreed. It's unusual to see someone like @DanO here on the forums, who would feel equally  happy in either country.  It's far more common to see people who migrated to Australia and have been hankering to return to the UK.   For someone who feels the UK is "home",  I would say that they shouldn't let minor financial concerns hold them back.  Sure, if your finances are already tight, you'd have to think very carefully - but otherwise, life's too short -- especially in your old age -- to spend it in a country where you're not truly happy.  It's a pity that fear holds some people back.

Then there's the many countries that are neither country of birth, nor adopted country. That was always the way in my case, I thought the direction would be. 

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45 minutes ago, Blue Flu said:

Then there's the many countries that are neither country of birth, nor adopted country. That was always the way in my case, I thought the direction would be. 

It sounds to me as though you're paralysed by indecision.  The one thing you seem sure of, is that you don't want to spend the rest of your life in Australia. And yet you're still in the one country you don't want to be in.  

In your shoes, I would be selling everything up in Australia and moving overseas with the minimum of baggage, so you can trial a few places and see what works.  


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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1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

It sounds to me as though you're paralysed by indecision.  The one thing you seem sure of, is that you don't want to spend the rest of your life in Australia. And yet you're still in the one country you don't want to be in.  

In your shoes, I would be selling everything up in Australia and moving overseas with the minimum of baggage, so you can trial a few places and see what works.  

Well with the prevailing conditions of the past two years even holidaying overseas has not been possible. Not paralysed as such, just prefer not to make a wrong decision. It's a question of timing and other commitments did not make an end decision vitally important. Over the coming eighteen months this will change and a course of action will need to be acted on. Until then, am off the opinion to keep all options open which includes a host of possibilities. 

Selling all in Australia, while tempting, need not be the best way forward at this stage. One needs to be particularly wary of parting with assets and possessions with the probability of a very rocky road ahead. 

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After 37 years in Australia and going back home UK, since retiring for 3 months every year, I'd rather live in the UK. However since Covid we have not been able to for 2 years now.   I always feel more at home in the UK.  Here in Perth people are always sayign to me "how long have you been in Australia? "  When I say  ** years, the reply is always "you haven't lost your accent" . I have developed a variety of replies, you can imagine some of them.

However I dread the UK winter.  The summers can be good or bad, it can rain nearly every day.   I remember long ago waiting for the summers that never came, before the Autumn monsoons arrived.

 

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2 hours ago, friedparsley said:

However I dread the UK winter. 

I fondly (NOT) remember going to school in the dark, and walking home through icy sleet...in the dark!

I actually prefer a cooler climate overall hence I prefer Vic ( I would consider NZ or Tas weather-wise at least). In Australia, if I had to live year round in QLD, NT or WA...I'd probably move to the UK. NSW and QLD were fine when I was younger, but as I get older I just don't enjoy the heat and humidity there.

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3 hours ago, friedparsley said:

After 37 years in Australia and going back home UK, since retiring for 3 months every year, I'd rather live in the UK. However since Covid we have not been able to for 2 years now.   I always feel more at home in the UK.  Here in Perth people are always sayign to me "how long have you been in Australia? "  When I say  ** years, the reply is always "you haven't lost your accent" . I have developed a variety of replies, you can imagine some of them.

However I dread the UK winter.  The summers can be good or bad, it can rain nearly every day.   I remember long ago waiting for the summers that never came, before the Autumn monsoons arrived.

 

Weather, especially up north is a factor. Cold weather not so good health wise . I actually quite like the cold, but it increasingly doesn't like me. I find my knee for one things is great in the heat, but painful in winter. Cold not god for those with any sort of lung condition as well. 

Are you still asked that? So many UK accents here, I'd have thought it would be close to a norm.  But I know people who deliberately 'keep' their accent but prefer to live here. 

I've similar problems as you being unable to travel due to virus. I'd say   next year is lost as well. I'd rather live in UK as well. Although I've a few considerations in place, but UK would do fine for early years. 

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38 minutes ago, DanO said:

I fondly (NOT) remember going to school in the dark, and walking home through icy sleet...in the dark!

I actually prefer a cooler climate overall hence I prefer Vic ( I would consider NZ or Tas weather-wise at least). In Australia, if I had to live year round in QLD, NT or WA...I'd probably move to the UK. NSW and QLD were fine when I was younger, but as I get older I just don't enjoy the heat and humidity there.

Probably South Coast of WA would suit just as well. Not called The Rainbow Coast for nothing. It seems we go either way in the age. Some prefer the heat. There are literally thousands of Western retirees in Asia living in the tropics .Others like yourself and a friend of mine, once preferred the heat, now avoid and go for the cooler climes.

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Another measure of preferability of ideal fit /location at least in the personality sense (something seemingly overlooked on here) is being around people of that age . Often it's         not the place but the people. Done a few cruises with numerous older Aussies, Outcome a bit  scary to entertain the thought those could be representative of the people that would be forced to engage with in declining years.  

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33 minutes ago, Blue Flu said:

Another measure of preferability of ideal fit /location at least in the personality sense (something seemingly overlooked on here) is being around people of that age . Often it's         not the place but the people. Done a few cruises with numerous older Aussies, Outcome a bit  scary to entertain the thought those could be representative of the people that would be forced to engage with in declining years.  

I'm sure they speak very highly of you...

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44 minutes ago, Blue Flu said:

Another measure of preferability of ideal fit /location at least in the personality sense (something seemingly overlooked on here) is being around people of that age . Often it's         not the place but the people. Done a few cruises with numerous older Aussies, Outcome a bit  scary to entertain the thought those could be representative of the people that would be forced to engage with in declining years.  

Could that be because of the kind of person who was attracted to that kind of cruising, rather than Aussie elderly in general?  

I think you may be disappointed in the quality of the elderly in the UK, too.   The main reason i was desperate to return to Australia was that I felt old before my time in the UK.  Everyone my age seemed to have an insular approach to life and be content with grandkids, afternoon teas at John Lewis, TV and perhaps the pub.    In Southampton, I met just one couple who were on my wavelength.  I soon found out they'd spent most of their lives working overseas, mainly in Europe.  Similar experience on the cruise we went on - gelled with a few Brits, all of whom turned out to have worked or lived abroad at some point.  My sister, who travelled widely (married to an army man), is retired in Aberdeen, and has found exactly the same difficulty there.  Whereas in Melbourne, I've found it very easy to meet like-minded people in their 50's, 60's and 70's. 

Again I think it has far more to do with individual cities than countries. 

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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My mid-80s Aussie in-laws (until recent ill-health) ate out more often than me, knew more about Melbourne restaurants and recent films and had a wider social circle than me.

I would imagine they had a lot more about them than someone who grew up and lived in Scunthorpe (insert other parochial town here) all their life. 

I think it is a ridiculous generalisation to say older people of one nationality are ipso facto less worthy of being "engaged with" than another. 

Edited by DanO
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1 hour ago, Blue Flu said:

Another measure of preferability of ideal fit /location at least in the personality sense (something seemingly overlooked on here) is being around people of that age . Often it's         not the place but the people. Done a few cruises with numerous older Aussies, Outcome a bit  scary to entertain the thought those could be representative of the people that would be forced to engage with in declining years.  

Oh for hivvens sake Mr Flu  😂  Most  of us know by now you have no great affinity for your fellow West Australians   ............  Perth folk in particular but really   ........  all Australians!?  You make me laugh at times.  Goodness knows what sort of people you have had the misfortune to rub shoulders with to cause you such a feeling of (lets face it) intellectual superiority.  Loosen up a bit and enjoy life.  Stop taking everything so seriously.  Life is an adventure and that includes meeting people from all walks of life.

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Hi BF,  Are you still asked that? So many UK accents here, I'd have thought it would be close to a norm.  But I know people who deliberately 'keep' their accent but prefer to live here. 

I have a Scottish accent. Maybe harder to lose than some English accents.

But:   We learn to talk, and the way we talk on our Mothers knee.   I don't see any reason to change that to suit some Australians  who believe that to be one of them you have to adopt everything Australian.  Even then you will never be completely accepted.

I found West Australians to be more insular even xenophobic than those in the Eastern states.

We also spend time in at home in Buxton, Derbyshire.  My grandparents lived there, and i remember many happy school holidays spent there.    No one there ever comments on my Scottish accent...ever.    But then I am friendly with everyone I meet.

 

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1 hour ago, friedparsley said:

Hi BF,  Are you still asked that? So many UK accents here, I'd have thought it would be close to a norm.  But I know people who deliberately 'keep' their accent but prefer to live here. 

I have a Scottish accent. Maybe harder to lose than some English accents.

But:   We learn to talk, and the way we talk on our Mothers knee.   I don't see any reason to change that to suit some Australians  who believe that to be one of them you have to adopt everything Australian.  Even then you will never be completely accepted.

I found West Australians to be more insular even xenophobic than those in the Eastern states.

We also spend time in at home in Buxton, Derbyshire.  My grandparents lived there, and i remember many happy school holidays spent there.    No one there ever comments on my Scottish accent...ever.    But then I am friendly with everyone I meet.

 

BF is Australian.

I also have a Scottish accent.  Been in Australia 40 years this month.  We've lived in Perth WA, Sydney and now retired to Tasmania.  There were so many Scottish people in Perth (over 30 years ago) my accent certainly never stood out.  In Sydney you hear accents from all over the world.  Never felt I didn't "fit in".  Here in Tassie there are many folk from the UK who migrated to Australia and have chosen to retire to Tassie. I hear accents from all different areas of the UK here.  I lived in Norfolk for 4 months, London for a year and Liverpool for nearly 4 years.  My accent was hardly ever commented on.  

Like you, I am friendly with everyone I meet and that includes Australians.  😉  My husband of 46 years is Australian.

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3 hours ago, DanO said:

I'm sure they speak very highly of you...

Tongue tied I think the term is. 

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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Could that be because of the kind of person who was attracted to that kind of cruising, rather than Aussie elderly in general?  

I think you may be disappointed in the quality of the elderly in the UK, too.   The main reason i was desperate to return to Australia was that I felt old before my time in the UK.  Everyone my age seemed to have an insular approach to life and be content with grandkids, afternoon teas at John Lewis, TV and perhaps the pub.    In Southampton, I met just one couple who were on my wavelength.  I soon found out they'd spent most of their lives working overseas, mainly in Europe.  Similar experience on the cruise we went on - gelled with a few Brits, all of whom turned out to have worked or lived abroad at some point.  My sister, who travelled widely (married to an army man), is retired in Aberdeen, and has found exactly the same difficulty there.  Whereas in Melbourne, I've found it very easy to meet like-minded people in their 50's, 60's and 70's. 

Again I think it has far more to do with individual cities than countries. 

Which is why I'm increasingly of the belief,  a country where ex pats of various nationalities  have settled,  in retirement could be the best. Not a easy thing to arrive at a place but your description would knock years off my life I fear in UK. That's why search for place so very important to at least meet some criteria. 

That reminds me of a book written by Kinsley Amiss , back in the seventies of ageing old duffers of means and class seeing out their sunset days in an English retirement. Worth a read. Lost name at moment. 

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15 minutes ago, Blue Flu said:

Which is why I'm increasingly of the belief,  a country where ex pats of various nationalities  have settled,  in retirement could be the best. Not a easy thing to arrive at a place but your description would knock years off my life I fear in UK. That's why search for place so very important to at least meet some criteria. 

That reminds me of a book written by Kinsley Amiss , back in the seventies of ageing old duffers of means and class seeing out their sunset days in an English retirement. Worth a read. Lost name at moment. 

Is that the Amis book about people in Wales?  That one was about well off old duffers.  It was funny in parts but also made me feel a bit uncomfortable too.

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