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Guest loop

Australians moving back to Australia after a couple of decades?

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Guest loop

hello

i'm planning on moving back 'home' after 20 years living in england with my UK husband and half mancunian/half australian 4 year old daughter! i'm not moving back to perth where i'm from - hoping to go to sydney or melbourne.

 

we're finding it a pretty daunting prospect - and that's with me knowing the country fairly well, so I do empathise with all the other expats moving to a new place.

 

i just wondered whether anyone knew of a forum for expats returning to australia at all - or if anyone is in the same position to me. what i'm most worried about is settling in to australian society. australia has changed massively since i last lived there and i really have no idea what its like to live there now. i worry that i will be in a limbo - not really being australian or english anymore. anyone gone through the same doubting process?

 

cheers

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Guest siamsusie

Welcome to Poms In Oz Loop,

 

There are a good few Australian ex pats that have returned after many years in the UK or thereabouts, so I am sure you will be given loads of advice.

 

If you are thinking of Victoria our sister site is also available http://www.lifeinvictoria.com/

 

I hope you enjoy our forum

 

Susie

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G'day Loop

 

I'm an Aussie who has just returned home, I was only away 6 years and in all honesty not much has changed, they even have the same radio Dj's LOL. I understand you're a little different as you want to move to a new state and you've been away longer but in all honesty it should feel like a cumfy pair of slippers.

 

PIO is a great place that is open to more than just POMs, so any questions or fears you have just fire away as someone somewhere will be feeling like you!

 

All the best

 

Geoffrey


Kind Regards

 

Geoffrey (32, an aussie!!), Tracy (35), Jake (7), Jessica (2) & Joseph (1) :jiggy:

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hi Loop,

 

I moved back last July after living in London for 21 years. I am also an Aussie. I was born and bred in Sydney but on coming back, we decided to live in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast.

 

I wouldn't say it was a walk in the park, coming back. But worth it? Definitely, in our view.

 

I'm a project manager by trade and it was probably the biggest project I have embarked upon, as we sold our house in london, shipped a container load of stuff back (including two vespa scooters), sent our two cats over and then had to get ourselves over here and into somewhere where we could re-group, then buy a house and get jobs. With all that stuff involved, we were expecting lots of pitfalls and glitches - fortunately for us, it was actually fairly trouble free though.

 

Then on arrival, of course, we had to figure out all the processes here for getting drivers licences, tax file numbers, medicare cards, car registration, getting our scooters registered, etc etc. It was different for me being an Aussie than for my partner, who came over on a permanent visa and is British. Some of the rules for Aussies are different to those for immigrants.

 

Fortunately I had a medicare number back in the 80's but to get it re-activated I had to sign a stat dec for the Medicare Dept to say I would never leave Australia again - bizarre, I know, but there is it. Luckily my dad had kept some of my papers for all those years and so I could find my old tax file number.

 

Something to be aware of once you get back is to sort out your medicare and to also register with a private health fund within 12 months of doing so, esp if you are a high income earner, to reduce your tax and health costs in future. I've just been sorting all that out this week.

 

You need to get a Lifetime Health Cover letter from Medicare to confirm you've lived o/s. The letter gives you a date by which you need to join a private health fund to avoid paying a big excess. Otherwise, if you are over 30 (I think), you get slugged 2% for every year after age of 30 that you lived o/s (didn't pay into a health fund) once you do join. E.g. if you are 40 but don't join a fund for a few years after you get back, once you do join you would technically have to pay 2% extra for 10 + years. Its ferocious. Plus you have to pay 1% anyway if you earn above $77k and don't pay into a private health fund. (Two separate taxes.) I believe this 2% levy only applies to returning Aussies (ie. not immigrants). I'm no expert in this area and would suggest you make it a priority when you get back to sort it out. Any of the private funds can explain it to you (better than I did above!). It was the lady in MBF who told me to go to Medicare asap and get the above letter. I got it on the spot once I showed my medicare card, seems to be pretty standard thing to request (if you know about it!).

 

Beyond govt stuff, my general observations as a returning Aussie:

 

- British men are far more polite - on the whole, Aussie men don't tend to wait for ladies to enter or exit lifts (or trains) before them, hold doors open, do other courteous things that British men seemed to do as second nature. Its just something I've noticed.

 

- Food costs about the same, though the quality of fruit and veg and meat is far far better (stands to reason though, huh)

 

- internet, telephone and cable / satellite tv costs loads more on the whole than UK costs

 

- council tax here seems to be less, petrol / cinema / parking definitely is

 

- on the whole, my take home pay for a similar job in Brisbane to what I was doing in London is about 20% more and after setting aside money for mortgage, bills, food, etc we still have money for savings etc.

 

- So I would say that where the cost of living is concerned, its swings and roundabouts and depends on your lifestyle but for us, we are probably around 10% better off than we were in London

 

- Work can be hard to get as employers take no notice really of your non-Aust employers, cv, etc. Many seem to take people on as contractors / casual and then decide after a bit whether to offer you a permanent job. Probably sensible when you think about it, from their view. Depends what line of work you are in.

 

- Another thing I've observed is that Aussies tend to be far more into pommie bashing than Brits are into Aussie bashing. Living in London all those years never once did I hear of anyone bashing the Aussies apart from jokingly re sport. Yet here there sadly still seems to be a bit of an anti_Brit undertone among some people, its odd. My partner, a Brit, had a terrible time when she first started working here, almost bordering on xenophobia. It took a month or so before it died down a lot. Maybe its Aussies testing Brits out, don't know but it wasn't pleasant.

 

We've slowly settled into a lovely home, right near the beach and in a beautiful part of Australia (well, we think, anyway). We've almost been here for a year now and its only been in the past couple of months that we really do feel a lot more settled. Finding friends and meeting up with people - fellow ex pats especially - has helped loads. Going out to surf clubs and having picnics with them, etc. Also setting up routines and making our house a home.

 

But overall - if London in 2010 was the same as London in the early 90s, we probably wouldn't have left. The reasons for us moving back were mainly around the fact that London had become too overcrowded, too dirty, too violent and too over controlled (e.g., congestion charging). We wanted to move somewhere that gave us those freedoms and peace of mind again and Australia seemed like the logical choice as I am an Aussie.

 

But it wasn't about the heartstrings pulling me back,

 

best of luck, regards sg

 

-


Living at Alex Headland on the Sunshine Coast with my partner and our cats after 21 years in London, and working in ecommerce in Brisbane - living the dream

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Guest loop

thanks to everyone for your posts. great to hear that there are other errant aussies returning home.

 

in particular, sgperry - your post was so useful and really chimed with my thoughts.

thanks for all the tips and for the sense of perspective - its good to hear that its actually far easier in practice than when mapping it all out. i'm also a project manager and a bit daunted by the scale of this project, but i guess you just have to take a leap of faith at some point and get on with it.

 

i think the whole process is made far more complicated by having kids, as you just don't want to make a mistake which could end up with uprooting them because of lack of planning. i think the way we're going to do it is for me to go ahead to try and get a job and a place to rent and my husband and daughter will follow once i've got a base for us. although i have family in australia, i just don't want to live on the west coast but we can't decide upon sydney or melbourne which makes it very difficult to plan anything tangible.

 

thanks again, really helpful info and insights.

hope all goes well for you.

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I am returning home after 16 years, and must say I am daunted by it all! I will be going to SYdney, so not my home town.

Ah well 2 months to go!!!

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Guest jtrd

I'm going back in a couple of weeks after more than 10 years in the UK. I'm originally from Adelaide, and while it is still one of my favourite places in the world, my one stipulation for moving back to Aust was that we not go back to Adelaide! We're going to Sydney. We had trouble deciding too, but hubby got offered a job in Sydney and then I got offered what feels like it might just be my dream job in Sydney too - decision made. I am now really looking forward to the adventure as I've only been to Sydney a couple of times and so I think it will be great for us as a family to be in a somewhere that is new to us all, so that we can explore it together.

As for the kids, we have 2 - an 11 year old and a 3 year old, both are dual nationals. You're right, it's harder with them than without - our 3 year old is a real home girl and doesn't even like to go on holiday and our 11 year old is really upset about leaving all of his mates and starting over. The only thing I can say to you is the same thing I've said to my 11 year old - if, in my heart of hearts, I didn't believe this was the absolute right thing for him and his sister, we wouldn't be doing it.

Best of luck to you and if you need anything answered or just a sanity check - this is definately the right place.

Tracey :cute:

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I have returned to Oz having spent the past 20 years it he UK and ai feel as if I have just slotted straight back in! I was originally from Adelaide but we moved to Melbourne as I thought Adelaide would be too quite. Great decision and now have a great job and are living on the Mornington Peninsula which really offers you the best Australia has to offer.

 

my wife and 11 year old daughter are gradually getting there with regards to steeling in, but my 7 year old son is absolutely loving it and is never in the house!

 

I love the UK but having been here 10 months I am even more convinced that we made the right decision for 'us'!!!!

 

Good luck!!

 

;-)


Spencer (40 Aus), Lisa (36 Permanent Visa 100), Alexandra (11 Aus by Descent) & William (7 Aus by Descent)

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I'm an aussie who's returned home after 9 years (this time with a husband and, of course, the viscous attack-labrador).

 

And yes I really do mean viscous :)

 

It's a lot of work, and it's complicated. (I found it hilarious that it actually was easier for hubby to get a medicare card etc than it was for me to get a new one!!!)

Ok, it's not that complicated but I did find it funny :)

 

It's pricey, and you'll take a bit of a hit initially - but if your gut is telling you to do it - then go for it :)


Jo (Aussie), Jon (Pom on a 100 visa), Satch (the gorgeous viscous labrador) have now been joined by Siena Rose.

Does anyone have a spare instruction manual for a baby girl?

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Me me!

 

Im an Aussie and was in the UK 10 yrs and just moved back. From Newcastle NSW but we decided to move to Brisbane. My husband is British and my 2 kids were born in London but have Aussie citizenship by descent

Ive been home 2 mths and dropped $AUD51K. So money is flying out the account :goofy: That does include $18K on a car and my rent and bond and stuff

 

Its been a huge project getting us here and been stressful, but here we are. Its alot easier living here than London - less admin as its not such a **** fight to do the grocery shopping or find a park. Job hunting is frustrating. There is no sense of urgency and a permanent role can take months. brisbane also feels like a small town and you really get the sense the locals do all know each other!

 

In 2 mths I havent stopped spending, enrolling, enquiring...Im looking forward to when its all done....still getting there

 

In 10 yrs Australia has changed for me. Its alot more patriotic and it feels like there is alot of propaganda everywhere......lots of BS being spouted from all places "nows the BEST time to buy property [it isnt!]", and alot of "Australia ia the BEST place for X"...everyone sips from the 'australia is better than everywhere else' kool aid..that gets old. At least British people stop and question whether britian is good..Aussies just blindly bang on about being the best *yawn*

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I came back to Sydney in 2008 after twelve years in the UK. I woke up from my Sunday siesta thinking 'Dave, you idiot, you should have stayed with Royal Mail for a few more years.' It's been hard for me to get work since I came back, just the odd casual contract. I had no problems settling back in though as I'd never severed my links, - Medicare cards, bank accounts, etc. Just had to evict my tenant and move back into my old home in Surry Hills. It would be the same if I did go back to the UK again too, evict my tenant, move back into my home.

 

It's like emigrating all over again in some ways though, doesn't matter which country you are going to, so you might have some problems adjusting. Most people seem to cope after a few months but a few can't put down new roots. It might be worth renting your house out rather than selling and you'll get an income from it too.

 

I don't have any problems getting on with Aussies or Pommies. Most Aussies like drinking beer and watching footie, so that's not too onerous a chore to 'convert' other than learning the rules of a new code! Just try not to patronise them! They are not very courteous on the roads though. In the UK it's almost unheard of for a driver not to give you a wave if you give way to them.

 

It's just the problem with getting a job that has got me down a bit, although I also enjoy being a beach bludger - which is where I'm going now at 6.30pm. Stuff that Pommie snow and ice! It was fun when I was a kid but as an adult it terrified me!

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MaryROse miserable icy snow in South London today. Please save some beach weather for end of February!!

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MaryROse miserable icy snow in South London today. Please save some beach weather for end of February!!

 

You should be OK then as March is often nicer, not so humid. I intend to swim throughout the year again.

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Me me!

....In 10 yrs Australia has changed for me. Its alot more patriotic and it feels like there is alot of propaganda everywhere......lots of BS being spouted from all places "nows the BEST time to buy property [it isnt!]", and alot of "Australia ia the BEST place for X"...everyone sips from the 'australia is better than everywhere else' kool aid..that gets old. At least British people stop and question whether britian is good..Aussies just blindly bang on about being the best *yawn*

 

You may read real estate agents saying "now is the time to buy" but I think the assumption that everyone believes this stuff is not born out by the declining prices. Likewise the "Australia best" ads. If anything there is a lot more talk about it not being a good time to buy when weighing up how often I hear both views.

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I did not realize that 'patriotism' was a bad word? 'To love or defend one's country sound like noble sentiments to me.

 

Real estate agents have always been more than enthusiastic in promoting the buying and selling of property but then again Aussies LOVE their homes. Judging by the numbers of estate agents in the UK, it seems equally as popular there. The only differences I noticed in Britain was that selling by auction did not seem as popular and neither are 'open homes.'

 

Perhaps if more Britons HAD done more 'stopping and questioning' whether Britain was good, the GFC might not have hit so hard there. How many of the big four Aussie banks had to be propped up by the Aussie Government?

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Well clearly you are a hard man. Lol it is the northerner in you

 

I'm not a northerner! I'm a 'Mexican!' The only place further south than me was the Isle of Wight.

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On the other hand, I was born in South Shields, and my mother was a Geordie, so perhaps some of that northern grit rubbed off on me.

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great thread. I've been over this side of the world for nearly 12 years. I came over single & childless, and are heading back with hubby & two kids (5&3). Its all my idea to head home, so I'm very nervous that its the right decision for all of us. In my guts I know the kids will love it. I just hope my hubby does too! we're just at the beginning of the visa process, and am very excited. I've so missed the weather & the seasons of home, I'm sick of the wet summers & the cold dark winters... I feel now, staying home with the kids, that we're indoors most days over here. Its time to give them a taste of the outdoors! woohoo!

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My geography isn't terrible then! I remembered you being born oop norf!

 

I was only there for six weeks before my parents moved to Hants as my dad got a job at Fawley Refinery.

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I haven't posted on here in ages as we had a few financial set backs and hubby had a change of heart about the move to Aus.

 

But we've recently revisited the idea of a move down under and after 9 years away, the thought of going home both excites and terrifies me. I wonder if i will fit back into my old way of life and now that I have 2 small children.

 

I love reading other peoples stories of moving back "home" after so long and am glad I'm not the only one who is nervous.

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Hi all

Sorry, I'm a bit late on the uptake here.... Am an Aussie looking to return to Sydney after 18 years (and 2 kids) in London.

 

I have countless concerns and panic attacks about it all which I won't bore you with but what I really want to know is for those who live in Sydney - where have you chosen to live exactly? I can't quite put my finger on anywhere with the same feeling of village community that we have in our area in London. I don't want to be out in suburbia just yet!

 

Thanks!

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hi Loop,

 

I moved back last July after living in London for 21 years. I am also an Aussie. I was born and bred in Sydney but on coming back, we decided to live in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast.

 

I wouldn't say it was a walk in the park, coming back. But worth it? Definitely, in our view.

 

I'm a project manager by trade and it was probably the biggest project I have embarked upon, as we sold our house in london, shipped a container load of stuff back (including two vespa scooters), sent our two cats over and then had to get ourselves over here and into somewhere where we could re-group, then buy a house and get jobs. With all that stuff involved, we were expecting lots of pitfalls and glitches - fortunately for us, it was actually fairly trouble free though.

 

Then on arrival, of course, we had to figure out all the processes here for getting drivers licences, tax file numbers, medicare cards, car registration, getting our scooters registered, etc etc. It was different for me being an Aussie than for my partner, who came over on a permanent visa and is British. Some of the rules for Aussies are different to those for immigrants.

 

Fortunately I had a medicare number back in the 80's but to get it re-activated I had to sign a stat dec for the Medicare Dept to say I would never leave Australia again - bizarre, I know, but there is it. Luckily my dad had kept some of my papers for all those years and so I could find my old tax file number.

 

Something to be aware of once you get back is to sort out your medicare and to also register with a private health fund within 12 months of doing so, esp if you are a high income earner, to reduce your tax and health costs in future. I've just been sorting all that out this week.

 

You need to get a Lifetime Health Cover letter from Medicare to confirm you've lived o/s. The letter gives you a date by which you need to join a private health fund to avoid paying a big excess. Otherwise, if you are over 30 (I think), you get slugged 2% for every year after age of 30 that you lived o/s (didn't pay into a health fund) once you do join. E.g. if you are 40 but don't join a fund for a few years after you get back, once you do join you would technically have to pay 2% extra for 10 + years. Its ferocious. Plus you have to pay 1% anyway if you earn above $77k and don't pay into a private health fund. (Two separate taxes.) I believe this 2% levy only applies to returning Aussies (ie. not immigrants). I'm no expert in this area and would suggest you make it a priority when you get back to sort it out. Any of the private funds can explain it to you (better than I did above!). It was the lady in MBF who told me to go to Medicare asap and get the above letter. I got it on the spot once I showed my medicare card, seems to be pretty standard thing to request (if you know about it!).

 

Beyond govt stuff, my general observations as a returning Aussie:

 

- British men are far more polite - on the whole, Aussie men don't tend to wait for ladies to enter or exit lifts (or trains) before them, hold doors open, do other courteous things that British men seemed to do as second nature. Its just something I've noticed.

 

- Food costs about the same, though the quality of fruit and veg and meat is far far better (stands to reason though, huh)

 

- internet, telephone and cable / satellite tv costs loads more on the whole than UK costs

 

- council tax here seems to be less, petrol / cinema / parking definitely is

 

- on the whole, my take home pay for a similar job in Brisbane to what I was doing in London is about 20% more and after setting aside money for mortgage, bills, food, etc we still have money for savings etc.

 

- So I would say that where the cost of living is concerned, its swings and roundabouts and depends on your lifestyle but for us, we are probably around 10% better off than we were in London

 

- Work can be hard to get as employers take no notice really of your non-Aust employers, cv, etc. Many seem to take people on as contractors / casual and then decide after a bit whether to offer you a permanent job. Probably sensible when you think about it, from their view. Depends what line of work you are in.

 

- Another thing I've observed is that Aussies tend to be far more into pommie bashing than Brits are into Aussie bashing. Living in London all those years never once did I hear of anyone bashing the Aussies apart from jokingly re sport. Yet here there sadly still seems to be a bit of an anti_Brit undertone among some people, its odd. My partner, a Brit, had a terrible time when she first started working here, almost bordering on xenophobia. It took a month or so before it died down a lot. Maybe its Aussies testing Brits out, don't know but it wasn't pleasant.

 

We've slowly settled into a lovely home, right near the beach and in a beautiful part of Australia (well, we think, anyway). We've almost been here for a year now and its only been in the past couple of months that we really do feel a lot more settled. Finding friends and meeting up with people - fellow ex pats especially - has helped loads. Going out to surf clubs and having picnics with them, etc. Also setting up routines and making our house a home.

 

But overall - if London in 2010 was the same as London in the early 90s, we probably wouldn't have left. The reasons for us moving back were mainly around the fact that London had become too overcrowded, too dirty, too violent and too over controlled (e.g., congestion charging). We wanted to move somewhere that gave us those freedoms and peace of mind again and Australia seemed like the logical choice as I am an Aussie.

 

But it wasn't about the heartstrings pulling me back,

 

best of luck, regards sg

 

-

 

hello, good to read your post. My fiancé was born and brought up in Sydney and has just moved back (to Melbourne) after 25 yrs in the UK. Just a quick question on the private health insurance. Were you required to get a certificate of movement from immigration orwere they happy with just the letter from medicare to avoid the loading?

 

thanks


De facto Partner Visa lodged 11th June 2013 with London (front loaded with PCC), CO assigned 25th June 2013, Medical 11th Sept 2013, waiting for grant :wacko:

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