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Australia vs UK -- should I move?

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OFF-TOPIC:

 

Let's say someone offered me a job in Australia where I could earn 25%-30% more than here in the UK (at present exchange rates). The job is objectively seen better, a step up.

 

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of living in Australia?

 

+ more sun

+ Aussieland is a commodity based economy, i.e. more stable than the UK in the near/midterm future.

+ harder currency (because of commodities demand)

+ adventure/something new

+ less crowded

+ I can afford a house with a garden, and actually use the garden

 

- far away from everything (family, friends) / expensive visits

- I like my current job (risk of change)

- sometimes too hot to walk around outside

- Aussieland, more a car-based economy like the US [wife will get fat (her words)]

 

What about price levels (food etc.), healthcare, and taxes? What about 'child-friendliness'? In the UK nurseries and schools are a major rip-off IMO.

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GF

 

I have a similar dilemma with a move out to Dubai - I am in construction and I am just starting to notice a drop off in work.

 

I have a few friends who have gone over to Oz. They all absolutely love it! very laid back, lover their sport and very much a work hard / play hard attitude. I would imagine that oz will survive a global downtown better than Uk as they are more self sufficient with regard to food production etc.

 

bb

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OFF-TOPIC:

 

Let's say someone offered me a job in Australia where I could earn 25%-30% more than here in the UK (at present exchange rates). The job is objectively seen better, a step up.

 

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of living in Australia?

I'd be worried about water (lack thereof). Oh, and nasty creepy crawlies, poisonous snakes, etc.. but then I am a worrier!

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OFF-TOPIC:

- far away from everything (family, friends) / expensive visits

- I like my current job (risk of change)

- sometimes too hot to walk around outside

- Aussieland, more a car-based economy like the US [wife will get fat (her words)]

 

What about price levels (food etc.), healthcare, and taxes? What about 'child-friendliness'? In the UK nurseries and schools are a major rip-off IMO.

 

Choose carefully where you live. Look for:

+ A place where you dont need a car (you can still own one)

+ A city with like-minded people

 

Someone who lives there now might help you find that.

Consider NZ, where GEI has a "live expert", Steve Netwriter

 

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I'm quite eager to get out of the UK, but have no route out at the moment (but no debts either!. apart from the student loan..)

 

The two choices for me include both Australia and Canada, purley based on both countries having commodities to support there currency.

 

One thing that put me off Australia was the water crisis, and how this may develop in the future

 

For me the decision wouldnt be about job or money (per se), but providing the right environment for the family for which I am directly responsible for to live and grow up in.

 

I feel that if you are lucky enough not to be able to consider leaving the UK (i.e. being debt free) then it is worth serious consideration. If you can do it with funds to move in to a more 'stable' life, all the better! You can always move back once all this mess has begun to sort itself out.

 

Most important of all, try to live your life by not having regrets :)

 

edit:

P.S I'm interested into what people think of NZ, in my head I have them categorised as a 'mini-uk' in terms of its exposure to this credit crisis mess, how well do you think their agriculture/logging based economy fair during the credit crisis?

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GF

 

I have a similar dilemma with a move out to Dubai - I am in construction and I am just starting to notice a drop off in work.

 

I have a few friends who have gone over to Oz. They all absolutely love it! very laid back, lover their sport and very much a work hard / play hard attitude. I would imagine that oz will survive a global downtown better than Uk as they are more self sufficient with regard to food production etc.

 

bb

 

BB, thanks for the comments. I think Dubai is culturally and in terms of climate (weather) a more extreme step, but it is closer.

 

I'd be worried about water (lack thereof). Oh, and nasty creepy crawlies, poisonous snakes, etc.. but then I am a worrier!

Good point. I need to read up on this.

 

Choose carefully where you live. Look for:

+ A place where you dont need a car (you can still own one)

+ A city with like-minded people

 

Someone who lives there now might help you find that.

Consider NZ, where GEI has a "live expert", Steve Netwriter

Bubb, in my case I can not easily choose a location. I have to go where the jobs are. NZ is no option at the moment.

 

...

For me the decision wouldnt be about job or money (per se), but providing the right environment for the family for which I am directly responsible for to live and grow up in.

...

Yes. However, money might be able to buy you this environment. If you are very wealthy, it doesn't matter so much where you live. If you're poor, it matters more. E.g. compare education in Germany and the UK/England. In Germany, you have excellent unis virtually for free. Schools are in many states good as well - all free.

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OFF-TOPIC:

Let's say someone offered me a job in Australia where I could earn 25%-30% more than here in the UK (at present exchange rates). The job is objectively seen better, a step up.

 

For more money than in the UK I would rip their arm off, went through this a year or two ago and best offer I could get was about 50% of my regional UK salary and it would force me to live and work in a city in .au, and hey, their country code is gold :lol:

 

Even at that reduction I still thought long and hard about it, a good friend moved for a senior executive position at about equivalently salary to here with his family, the kids get on well at school and think the wife has gotten over the 'what have we done' shock at the start.

 

The only issue he has is the not forced but expected working hours, he is going in at 8am and leaving after 6pm passing guys that were there before him in the morning still at their desks on the way out. Guess that depends on your trade.

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GF,

I made the move from London, where I was born and raised, to Sydney 3 years ago. I had lived down here for a year before in '99 so knew what I was getting into and had a few mates down here.

For me it was a lifestyle decision - fishing, weather, outdoor cafes etc.- there is no comparison with London on those scores, but I have still considered going back - the only motivator being family really (parents getting on now in their 70's).

 

 

I'll address your pro's and cons one by one:

 

+ more sun up to a point, in Sydney at least - the last year has been a shocker for weather but at least the dams have filled up!

 

+ Aussieland is a commodity based economy, i.e. more stable than the UK in the near/midterm future.

+ harder currency (because of commodities demand)

yes but the Aussies are as indebted on a personal level as much as anywhere else in the anglophere

 

+ adventure/something new

you only live once. If you don't like it you can get on a plane and go home but at least you won't die wondering

 

+ less crowded

yep

 

+ I can afford a house with a garden, and actually use the garden

I can't, not in Sydney anywhere east of Strathfield without a crippling mortgage at least. I am hoping that will change within a few years :) Have a look on http://www.domain.com.au or http://www.realestate.com.au

 

 

- far away from everything (family, friends) / expensive visits

the biggest drawback by far, and flights home are getting prohibitively expensive. Skype/video messenger makes a big difference - I bought my parents the necessaries and it works very well

 

- I like my current job (risk of change)

 

- sometimes too hot to walk around outside

depends where you are, but rarely. 40 degree+ days happen more often in Melbourne and Adelaide than Sydney.

 

- Aussieland, more a car-based economy like the US [wife will get fat (her words)]

definately true, public transport is shocking in Sydney unless you are lucky enough to be on a ferry/train route - I drive, and its a 4 litre v6 because it has to tow a boat.

Its a different story in Melbourne with the trams etc - can't speak for the other capitals

 

If you need any more info feel free to ask

matt

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just read this - I take it all back, stay in the UK :lol:

I get your point. :lol: But thanks for your remarks anyway.

 

In Canberra I could rent a nice house with garden/patio in a local 'village', and still it would only take 30min or less by bike to work. So, my very own car usage could go down dramatically. Sidney is 'only' a 3h drive away, so, I could spend a weekend there (or on the coast) every now and then. My biggest fear is the distance to Europe/the US and the price explosion in fuel/oil. As you mention, skype etc. can help, but it is not the real thing. It's really my greatest worry there.

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...

If you need any more info feel free to ask

matt

Taxes and healthcare, how does it compare?

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GF I lived in Melbourne for 18 months (had 4 year visa) 5 years ago, I can honestly say it's very nearly 6 of 1 and half a dozen of another. We moved home because life in the UK is better (I know you won’t believe me!) We had a private white sand beach less than 50M from our house, it was nice, but not as nice as you think it would be weirdly. Whatever you have you will take for granted in which ever country you chose, personally I wouldn't go back but I would live somewhere else in the world for the experience. I would also add there are a lot of negatives that you will never know unless you go there and live the life, you won't see this if you go on holiday there, it isn't all about the sun and I did notice this was at the top of your list.

 

Here are a few positives for you:

New Years Eve at the height of summer is amazing, we went swimming in the sea fully clothed when we got home around 8am, wow!

Earning pounds at home (renting) and then turning them in to oz dollars is impressive, it gives you good purchasing power as I'm sure you know.

You could have a very big modern property on the sea front with huge open windows looking over the sea for £150,000 when we were there.

I have always said if I ever become single again I will go back because the ozzie girls are very forthcoming!

Didn't see any snakes

Fantastic coast line

 

Here are a few negatives for you:

Every property has a redback (not too bad) but white tails seemed to be everywhere, 2-3 a week in our house and they are a problem, worst case scenario amputation.

Oz has a massive hole in it's ozone layer, it is skin cancer city

The food is generally poor from supermarkets and not great from specialist shops, restaurants were fantastic.

You cannot speed there or park illegally, we had a ticket at 00:20 on a Sunday night in the CBD, they are on commission. I also had at least 1 speeding fine every week.

(Thankfully on an international licence they can't ban you, just earn enough to pay the fines. :) )

The Ozzies are very American, I much prefered the South Africans and the Kiwis.

Christmas in the middle of summer, WTF it's horrible.

The Ozzies seem to confuse being relaxed with laziness, I worked much harder than my colleagues.

 

I've had to stop myself I was starting to go in to one, but you can see the -'ives for me at least out weigh the +'ives. I would still think about it if the opportunity presented itself again, but I know my answer would be no in the long term. I took a £15K pay cut with diminished responsibility in my job to come back to England, I am still happy with my decision.

 

One final comment, I would say if you have young children don't go. Gang violence and white tails would be a real worry for me.

 

Good luck with your decision.

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One final comment, I would say if you have young children don't go. Gang violence and white tails would be a real worry for me.

 

must be a Melbourne thing :o - I think the chav sitch is markedly better down here, and I have only seen one redback and that was on holiday in Qld.

 

Seriously tho I do get what you are saying with a lot of your points - in particular the supermarket situation is a shocker, they are a decade behind in that and plenty of ther respects - much as I hate to say it but a tesco or similar setting up over here to give the local duopoly (Coles & Woolworths) a kick up the arse would not go amiss. I do miss the food back home - however strange that sounds as a Brit - in London you could get the best of anything, if you knew where to go and were willing to pay for it.

 

GF - health and taxes - I am 'working away from home' - which means I tax deduct all my rent and a statutory amount for food. Its a decent break, which I will lose if I go permie resident (4 year renewable business visa atm).

I didn't realise you were talking about rent vis housing affordibility - yes its great, negative gearing might be a pernicious tax break for the wealthy but it does produce cheap rentals. Our place is a house with large garden in the inner west of sydney - I calc'ed the gross yield based on the asking price of the house next door as < 2% :lol:

healthcare - its a funny system, sort of private/public mixed up. Higher earners all pay for private insurance as the tax incentive makes it a no brainer, but typically the insurance you get is next to useless - just inpatient coverage or whatever. Generally I like the system, you can rock up at any doctors and get seen, usually fairly swiftly in my experience, pay a fee and get reimbursed by medicare.

As an example I got referred for a ct scan on my nose (deviated septum) - I got the scan within a day with less than 5 minute wait at the place, but it cost me $350 up front, of which I will get $200 back from the government - I don't know why it works that way.

The good news as a UK citizen is that there is full reciprical health care so you will be looked after - just be careful if you need an ambulance without insurance as it is $600 - the gf found out the hard way a couple of months ago after fainting in Adelaide :(

 

matt

 

 

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gf found out the hard way a couple of months ago after fainting in Adelaide :(

 

Adelaide does that to people, I will never go there again!

 

Something else I forgot to mention, what ever you want, it is on a boat on it's way to Oz, you have to wait for ever for anything slightly out of the norm, really frustrating...

 

I would say the standard of living here is significantly better, we just don't have the weather. I would actually say the weather gets boring it's so hot so much of the time, a bit of rain is nice sometimes.

 

I also forgot to mention the wild life. When we first arrived my Boss asked me to look after his house out in the rainforest, wow. We woke up the first morning to find flocks of parakeets (correct collective noun?) flying over head with a couple of kangeroos hopping through the garden, very cool, I won't forget that in a hurry! Nor the redback nest he had in his house!

 

Oh and the racism and sexism.... Here I go again, I'll get my coat!

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Bubb, in my case I can not easily choose a location. I have to go where the jobs are. NZ is no option at the moment.

 

What do you do for a living, GF?

 

Have you looked into living in Hong Kong?

 

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GF,

I created a online test for people thinking of emigrating, so they could ask themselves all the questions I've found over the years that are relevant.

 

I suggest you try it, and see what score you get.

At least (I hope) it will give you some things to think about.

 

http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/neuralnetwrit...calculator.html

 

You'll see that the biggest factors may not be the ones you think they are.

Steve

 

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I'm quite eager to get out of the UK, but have no route out at the moment (but no debts either!. apart from the student loan..)

 

The two choices for me include both Australia and Canada, purley based on both countries having commodities to support there currency.

 

One thing that put me off Australia was the water crisis, and how this may develop in the future

 

For me the decision wouldnt be about job or money (per se), but providing the right environment for the family for which I am directly responsible for to live and grow up in.

 

I feel that if you are lucky enough not to be able to consider leaving the UK (i.e. being debt free) then it is worth serious consideration. If you can do it with funds to move in to a more 'stable' life, all the better! You can always move back once all this mess has begun to sort itself out.

 

Most important of all, try to live your life by not having regrets :)

 

edit:

P.S I'm interested into what people think of NZ, in my head I have them categorised as a 'mini-uk' in terms of its exposure to this credit crisis mess, how well do you think their agriculture/logging based economy fair during the credit crisis?

 

I am a kiwi living in Korea at the moment. Have kept up with things back there, and yes, like all Anglo countries, the housing market is starting to fall over. Not many have savings and most are in debt up to their eyeballs. I suspect if I survey was done on how all those giant flat screen TVs were paid for, 90% would have MEWed for them. It is like dominoes really; first the US, then UK, then Aussie and NZ.

 

Like most on this thread I think NZ and Australia may be able to weather the brewing economic storm a little better in sofar as we are commodity currencies. I certainly do not want to suggest the down under countries will have a walk in the park - rather there will be a lot of economic pain, with a lot of wealth wiped out - but that NZ may be able to fall back to and pick itself up again by relying on its commodity exports.

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OFF-TOPIC:

 

Let's say someone offered me a job in Australia...

 

Our family lived in Aus for a few years, went out on a business visa not long after the millennium and came back just under four years ago. I think that Australia is a great place but like Steve says the biggest factors may not be those that you think they are. Steve’s questions are very good and ask the right things, the things that you should be looking for on a fact finding trip.

 

Aus is like seventies UK in the attitude of the majority of people, very community friendly and if you do not join with Aussie community you are left with the ex-pats and you might as well have stayed here. They adore kids and everywhere is child friendly. The racism from the seventies is also prevalent and the gang culture is growing but the country still believes as a whole in a good chunk of punishment before any attempt at rehabilitation. The MP’s are also reachable as there has been very little terrorism and you can speak to them of an evening in the local RSL and the Aussies love to tell them when they have something wrong. There are problems in their society but they are better placed to resolve them. There are lots of other good things...and not so good

 

The school system curriculum is vastly different this can cause real problems in coming back from a business visa. You won’t need a garden, just a pool and patio, vegetation just hides the wildlife and if you are not inner city then there is a lot of it and the vast majority is more scared of you than you should be of it. Few Aussies go to the beach. Most Aussies hide, air-con house to air-con car to air-con office to air-con car to air-con RSL to air-con house. 95% live in a crowded city, if you don’t then there is little well paying work. Most are environmentalist until it comes to their house which gets bombed and barrier sprayed with insect toxin on a regular basis. If you have seen one acre of bush then you have seen it all, ditto the desert. Want a replacement part for something not Aussie made, wait for the next container. Don’t by Aussie made as it breaks in days. Does your wife like dressing up a little bit for a restaurant or a party, don’t bother. Taxes are about the same in the end as you have more things to pay for. Healthcare is very good but you pay a proportion, dental is all private and very expensive. Living expenses are roughly the same as the UK across a month, some things are cheaper some dearer. PM me if you have any specific questions.

 

And always remember that Neighbours and Home and Away are filmed on location in the more expensive parts of Melbourne and Sydney.

 

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I get your point. :lol: But thanks for your remarks anyway.

 

In Canberra I could rent a nice house with garden/patio in a local 'village', and still it would only take 30min or less by bike to work. So, my very own car usage could go down dramatically. Sidney is 'only' a 3h drive away, so, I could spend a weekend there (or on the coast) every now and then. My biggest fear is the distance to Europe/the US and the price explosion in fuel/oil. As you mention, skype etc. can help, but it is not the real thing. It's really my greatest worry there.

 

Great sailing culture in both Aussie and NZ. :rolleyes:

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I can't say I know much about Australia, but one big issue is water, as some of the others have said.

 

If it turns out that you don't like it, would you be able to move back quite easily, and, say, get a job you want back in the UK?

 

One new poster at hpc wrote a post on this topic today. He went to Perth and did not like it so much and says many expats are like that. Here's his post:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...p;#entry1173400

 

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Hey GF, I am from Australia originally, although now i live in the UK. So I've kind of done the opposite to what you are thinking. I've also lived in NZ for a while, nice place, but that's not an option for you right now, so I'll leave that alone.

 

So many topics to cover, but here's some things to consider:

 

Taxes: Much the same in the end as the UK, although the big difference is that in Australia your TV license is included in your income tax, the state schools are actually really good (most of them), so there's no need to go private, and the public health care system is usually enough to not need to go private. Also, landlords pay the council tax in Australia, which helps if you are renting.. And rented houses tend to come unfurnished, so be prepared to spend some hard time at your local ikea!

 

Family: Got family in Australia at all? Helps a lot to have some. I've none here in the uk anymore, and it can get lonely, especially around christmas, when london becomes like a ghost town. Less lonely if you have a family of your own..

 

Work: Personally, i find the UK is better for working conditions. The Australians work long hours and are expected to work a hard slog - at least in my industry. If you are in the public sector, its going to be completely different to my experience. The out-of-work quality of life is perhaps where australia pulls ahead.

 

Lifestyle: Each has it pluses and minuses. Depends what you are after. Australia is great if you are sporty and/or love the great outdoors. Canberra is handy to Australia's (admittedly rather pitiful and expensive, but still functional) ski resorts, and great wine country. Melbourne and Sydney are not too far away (by Australian standards), but you would not exactly be near the beach. Australia loses out on Culture and on travel. You are really stuck out in the middle of nowhere. But if a tropical island in the pacific is your ideal holiday, then its a handy place to be.

 

Canberra: Be aware Canberra can get quite cold in the winter. Might not be as cold as England in absolute terms, but as you are acclimatised to warmer weather in general, believe me, you feel it! Also, in Australia, Canberra is referred to as 'fat cat city'. Its where our politicians spend their time, so things like public transport are heavily subsidised unlike anywhere else in the country, so that's a nice bonus. Never lived there myself, but the place has a reputation of being a little soulless and boring, however the people make up for it by being a lively bunch.

 

My advice would be to dip your toes in slowly if you decide to go. Its pretty easy to reverse a decision and pick up your life where you left it in the uk if you decide its not for you, in the first 3 years or so.. Bit more complicated if you've got kids and schooling to consider, but they're kids - they manage. And a different experience of life is a great gift to give to your children - even if they don't appreciate it right away!

 

hope that helps.. any specific questions you want to ask?

 

 

 

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What are the main advantages and disadvantages of living in Australia?

 

I always dreamed to live in Australia or New Zealand, but then I found a problem (at least it is for me). The ozone hole at the south pole allows sun rays to get on people directly without any protection, so cancer cases in theese contries are much higher. If you are black or brown skin, maybe this not a problem, but with white skin (and worse if in your genetic code there is long living genes, i.e, people in your family live up to 80-90 years), then it is risky to live there for you.

Dont you like Hong Kong?

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I nearly moved to Oz in 2006 (Perth). Here’s my experience of "not emigrating":

 

I had a good friend who decided to quit her rat-race job in London and emigrate for the “lifestyle and climate” of Oz. I accompanied her to a recruitment fair at the Australian embassy one afternoon in 2005. The place was saturated with expensively-suited IT experts, of which my friend was one, all flashing their CVs and trying too hard to get attention at the employer and state government stalls.

 

I was a bit scruffily dressed, had no CV and had made no preparations; I was expecting to kick my heels all afternoon, just being there for moral support. Anyway, it turned out that my profession (clinical scientist) was near the top of the Oz government’s “highly in demand” list and I ended up having the stall representatives queuing up to speak to me, much to the irritation of my friend and other attendees.

 

Within a couple of months, I got three job offers from different hospitals with state-sponsored work visas, without even the request for an interview. The hospitals then started calling me up at work to enquire of my commitment, letting the cat out of the bag.

 

I chose Perth and was very close to signing up when an unusual job was advertised in the UK. It was novel, challenging, exciting and a real chance to do something meaningful with my skills, but a long shot. The long shot worked, I got the job and stayed in the UK.

 

What happened to me?

I moved for the job and I have now lived in Milton Keynes for two years. The job remains a real opportunity, but its very hard work and a career risk if I don’t make it deliver over the next year or so. The exciting aspect has worn off as it has taken over my work-life balance. Working long hours in Milton Keynes is not an exciting way to be a single young professional in the UK. I will probably re-apply for an emigration visa if the next year doesn’t work out.

 

My friend?

She moved to Sydney. She got a nice tan and went running everyday after work along the famous harbour. But the job was office-based IT, and she ended up socializing with the office crowd and commuting in from the suburbs. She said there was little difference to her life in the UK, except perhaps for holidays during her annual leave. She has since returned to the UK.

 

My message?

Give things a try; it’s always better to have ‘loved and lost’ than to never have ‘loved’ in the first place. You can come back if it isn’t what you hoped. But when you make a big change in your life, make sure that the lifestyle or career progression you crave is actually obtainable – the world is increasingly global and it may just be more of the same.

 

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