Where in the world have you moved to AND achieved a better standard of living?

(86 Posts)
suebfg Mon 24-Dec-12 22:17:16

DH and I would love to move abroad for a while, have an adventure and a nicer way of life. Where have you achieved this?

Thanks and Merry Christmas to you all.

HollyMadison Wed 26-Dec-12 06:01:52

We moved from London to Singapore and have a better standard of living. Nicer home, more facilities and activities for kids, easy public transport, fantastic healthcare, swimming all year round. We are still saving but hard to compare that aspect as our job situation has changed.

FellatioNelson Wed 26-Dec-12 06:50:08

Qatar here. Everything is very expensive compared to the UK, so the tax-free thing is a bit of a red herring. Also while the salaries are tax free they are not generally as generous as salaries at home. In terms of actual money earned we do not make any more here than we did in the UK. However, our outgoings are fewer and smaller, in spite of things being expensive here. Petrol is the one very cheap thing here, and we save about 6 or 7 hundred per month alone on that. DH's is commute is now a twenty minute drive which costs pennies, whereas his season ticket and parking in the UK used to cost 4 grand per year, and that was coming out of taxed net salary remember, so those things can make a huge impact.

We are in a rented house here, our UK properties are rented out and making us money which is our pension, basically. We don't have things like council tax (we were in the highest band) and buildings insurance here, and although utilities are expensive our old house in the UK used to eat oil like nothing on earth, and it cost a grand a time to fill the tank. Having said that, our rent here is extortionate, and much more than our old mortgage was.

Overall we will do well out of this, but only if we make a concerted effort to save, and keep reinvesting any spare money we accumulate. It can be tempting to live the life of Reilly and splurge everything on meals out and holidays etc, when you live here.

Having said all of that, we only really came for the lifestyle change and to have an adventure and some fun. And we are doing that.

FellatioNelson Wed 26-Dec-12 06:52:34

Incidentally, don't know what you and DH do career-wise but Qatar is booming at the moment and expats are arriving in droves every week. There is masses of opportunity here for people in certain sectors.

barnet Wed 26-Dec-12 06:55:05

Norway: great standard of living, although both need to work full time. Childcare cheap, lots of jobs, outdoor life, relatively equal society, great place to grow up.

bbface Wed 26-Dec-12 07:06:54

Mosman, anywhere nice up north is NOT just as expensive as London. Are you kidding me? London is a micro economy, separate from the rest of the Uk and certainly up north. I lived in zone. 2 West London where you could not, you absolutely could not, find a one bed flat for less that £450,000. And at that price it would be in need of extensive decoration. I also lived in zone 1 at another time, Chelsea, and you would be looking at an average of £550,000 for a one bed flat, nothing special at all, probably basement flat. A house? In Chelsea? Not for less that a million, and that will be a two to three bed, terraced, no garden.

Tell me, where up north would these kind of prices possibly apply?

Iheartpasties Wed 26-Dec-12 07:09:01

We moved from Cornwall, uk, to Sydney, Australia. Massively better life and standard of living. It's down to the fact that in Cornwall me and my DH had to work to live and scrape by, 2 cars a mortgage etc but over here DH works and earns loads more (due to him working in the city) and I am a sahm, he earns good money and we enjoy a lovely lifestyle. I feel very very lucky.

bbface Wed 26-Dec-12 07:10:25

Oh and Op we moved from central London to Kent. Absolutely love it. Transport fabulous, schools brilliant, wonderful selection of shops, delis cafe and restaurants, easy parking and sensational greenery. I text DH the other day whilst he was at work to say that I can not imagine a more liveable yet at the same time so naturally beautifully place, on earth.

MrsMushroom Wed 26-Dec-12 07:15:26

Mosman I'm amazed at how expensive Oz is right now. We're here for Christmas....I'm in the supermarket some days thinking TWENTY dollars for a large box of ice lollies??? I got a beautiful cushion for 30 dollars here the other day....how can lollies be almost as dear?

Other stuff that amazes me is clothes and books. My God!

MrsMushroom Wed 26-Dec-12 07:17:14

Really it depends what you value...my idea of a good life may not be the same as someone elses....so to me, swimming all year round isn't a good thing at all....to someone else it could be amazing!

ClaudiaSchiffer Wed 26-Dec-12 07:21:38

Iheartpasties, can I ask whereabouts in Sydney you live? My dh and I talk about moving there but the property prices in the suburbs I've looked at are insane. So it would be great job + nice house + massive commute for dh.

But I'd love to go there if we could afford it and dh didn't have to compromise on huge draining commute etc.

MrsMushroom, Australia is VERY expensive. You kind of get used to it (or cease to be daily shock about it) but I never buy books here anyore, fish is out of our price range, clothes tend to be shit anyway so I stock up on return visits to the UK.

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 07:24:53

bbface you're right but I'd say zone 1 and 2 are a different planet.
If you look at altringham, wilmslow, hale, west Kirby, Harrogate top too be honest the only places I'd move back to you could buy a house in London for a similar price and be less exposed in terms of employment.
We were in a nice area of Liverpool and when the recession hit it was like they pulled the plug out and switched off the lights. The north was abandoned.

Iheartpasties Wed 26-Dec-12 07:27:44

We live on the Northern beaches, used to live in Manly but moved to Manly Vale to get more bedrooms. We rent - we own a home in the UK and rent it out. My DH commutes ten mins down the road to an office block that's near a shopping mall. A commute to the city isnt too bad - the ferry is one option, its 30 mins from Manly to Circular quay, and there are 2 fast ferries (20 mins), we don;t have any trains over on the northern beaches but there are buses. There are some nice suburbs near us as well. I think the commute to the city can get complicated though the further you go from Manly.

hopefulgum Wed 26-Dec-12 07:28:37

MrsMushroom, what kind of Ice lollies were they? $20?!! I live in Oz and I don't recall ever seeing them for that much. Was it a box of 100? However,I agree it is not cheap to live here.

I'm reading this thread as I am curious about the cost of living elsewhere, though can't give any advice as I live in Australia and haven't lived in the UK. I do think the cost of living is quite high here. However I do live in a really beautiful place - 5 minutes from a white sand beach, with glorious views of the islands and ocean, but it has nothing to offer culturally like London would offer. Living in a place like this (buying a large house and land)would cost about 600K (pounds). I guess it really depends on what you want for yourself and family.

Dh and I are interested in working in the middle East to earn some big $ to pay off our mortgage. Does anyone know if teaching pays well there?

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 07:28:50

At the moment I'm ordering books and clothes online from M&S and JL but the food bill is killing me and that situation is only going to get worse as the kids grow.

MrsMushroom Wed 26-Dec-12 07:31:54

Hopeful they were mixed ...like a box of what looked like classic iced lollies...kids ones. About twenty in it I think. A tub od basic icecream was about 6 dollars...which is dear...in the UK I can get one for £1.99. There's a lot of choice in the UK though so you do compare.

lightrain Wed 26-Dec-12 07:39:05

Mosman, I came on to say the same as bbface. There are a lot of lovely, lovely places up north for peanuts compared to the south. The places you've mentioned are expensive, but still not London prices. However, there are loads and loads of places that are lovely up north for less - I live 30 mins from Manchester, 40 mins from Leeds in a little village in Peak District, 4 bed lovely house for less than £200k. I have lived in Australia and down south, the price difference is astonishing (even things like tradesman from north to south of uk). If you we're looking for a market town up north there are still other options that are not the towns you mentioned where you could have a beautiful, beautiful house for £300k. Down south that couldn't happen - nor in Aus cities, as I'm sure you know.

Australia was beautiful but v v expensive and for us, being closer to good friends and family was worth leaving the sunshine and gorgeous beaches. Up north uk is honestly a world away from busy, cramped towns I lived in down south in uk. I know all southern towns are it like that, but value for money is up north in more 'nice' places, for sure.

lightrain Wed 26-Dec-12 07:42:15

Mosman, the amount we saved when we moved back to the UK on shopping (clothes, food, books, etc.) was staggering. Also the amount if choice and quality was amazing compared to Aus. That's another thing that made me want to come back to the UK!

MrsMushroom Wed 26-Dec-12 07:51:11

I find it almost too clean here in Adelaide....it's too cold looking despite the warmth! There is some lovely architecture in the city but the suburbs look a bit like Florida retirement settlements.

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 07:53:43

Again it's the jobs issue though with the UK we only came out to Australia to find DH a job because he'd been out of work for nearly four years aside of the odd bit of consultancy work. Don't get me wrong if he was on £50,000 and living on the Wirral he'd be happy as pigs in muck. Given that my counter part was made redundant last week though I still think from that perspective we made the right decision to move out of the north west. I'd retire there at a push but is encourage my children not to live oop north.

Speedos Wed 26-Dec-12 08:23:41

I am Australian but live in Surrey and I think Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world now, we just got back from a visit. I think Sydney is more expensive than London for going out, Auckland, NZ is on par with London. The cost of food is astronomical in both places.

We love the UK, so much choice for everything, great supermarkets, cheap holidays and heating in houses and everywhere you go!

SucksToBeMe Wed 26-Dec-12 09:59:17

I live in Argentina for 6 months and UK for 6 months. In two years we will move permanently to Argentina. We love it there, it's sunny and people are lovely.
Here we struggle to have any money at the end of the month on a very frugal life style, (do not smoke,drink,eat meat, live in a caravan etc)
I used my meager saving to buy 2 v cheap houses over there that we rent out. So that will be our main income, and I have something to leave DS and DD in my will.
Here I could not save up for a deposit for a house. hmm
We live in a small coastal town there and the schools seem adequate. I will only miss Corrie,Emmerdale and 'Enders!

hopefulgum Wed 26-Dec-12 10:40:47

I am wondering how much you'd spend a week on groceries in the UK? I feed a family of five (sometimes 6, DS2 sometimes eats with us, but rarely as he's working), and I'm not extravagant - hardly buy packaged food, but do buy nice cuts of meat etc, and I spent between $300-$400 ( about 192 - 257 pounds). Is that comparable what you'd spend in the Uk. For some reason I always had the idea that food - especially fruit,vege and meat was expensive in the UK. Or is it just that it's quite expensive to eat out?

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 10:48:41

In my opinion you couldn't fit £250 of stuff into a tescos trolley it just couldn't hold that much. The only time we ever did a £300 shop was when we moved house and had to buy everything from cleaning materials to frozen veg, sauces the absolute lot and I think there were a few DVDs in there too. Ask me how often half a trolley at iga comes in at $400 dollars, it's usually more.

MrsMushroom I totally agree with the earlier statement that it's each persons individual choice of what makes a great standard of living.

For me Australia would be hell. I love seasonality in a year. I don't want a hot Christmas, slightly less hot and wet summers and I quite like being at the top of the food chain... grin

What I love here are the Med like summers - swimming in lakes and open air pools and the properly organized snowy winters (trains still run, runways clear,motorways safe).

I like the fact that I can be at the local airport in 15 minutes, can park right in it, and can be in the UK with family in an hour on an Easyjet flight should anything ever happen.

When dh was offered a job in Australia that was the biggest issue for me taking two days to get home and the cost of a second hand car.

Oh, and our satellite dish picks up UK channels so I get a Sunday Corrie fix if I feel like it!!!

I didn't want to like Switzerland, I never thought I would. The job moved me first and we just thought we'd try it for a few years. Perhaps it's the area we've moved to, the friends we've made and how straightforward life is here that makes it great.

That said, if I get a transfer to the Boston office I'd probably consider it, or Germany,which has really grown on me as a country.

fussychica Wed 26-Dec-12 15:35:33

I'm envy of you binfull Switzerland sounds fab. Retired so not a possibility for me. Spain was great while it lasted but isn't somewhere I want to be any longer.
UK offers so much choice of everything except the weather which is dire anywhere. I've lived in the Peak District & South East and now live in the South West, It's just the degree of wetness that variesgrin
bbface where in Kent are you? Sounds interesting - see I can't keep still.

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