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Potential move to sydney, advice needed please(6 Posts)
Rents are very pricey, and if you live far out enough to have lower rents, the commute is much longer. We settled for high rent and low commute so dh could spend more time with us, actually enjoying being here iyswim. But he earns way more than the average wage. We claim back a lot of the rent on the 'Living Away From Home Allowance' because we are on 457 visas rather than having permanent residency. And even so, I find I'm having to watch our expenditure.
It's also worth thinking about medical costs, especially if you are planning to have the baby over here. If you're on a 457 visa (temporary residency, sponsored by employer) the UK and Australia have a 'reciprocal agreement' which means you are eligible for a temporary Medicare card. This covers certain essential medical costs but not things like ambulance cover, dentistry, or an independent midwife, or birth in a private hospital (if you were thinking of either of those last two). If you take out travel insurance, that will end when you arrive in the country.
You can't take out hospital cover if on a 457, except something called 'overseas visitors cover' or something like that which basically covers the same things as Medicare (designed for people from countries without the 'reciprocal agreement') but costs about $5k for a family! I've only recently found out about this aspect of it - I was looking into it because since dh earns above a certain salary he is actually taxed for not having health insurance, even though we aren't eligible to get it! Some companies pay for health insurance for their employees, others require you to cover it, so it's worth finding out what your dh's company is offering.
Also check the company is prepared to pay a fair bit towards relocation costs. The amount dh's company offered at first probably wasn't even enough to cover our flights, let alone anything else. In the end they paid enough to cover flights, 'removalists' (moving all our possessions from our 4 bed house) and some of our accommodation in Sydney when we first arrived. I think we still ended up out of pocket as we spent 4 nights in Hong Kong to break the journey and none of that was covered, but that was our choice. It's a permanent job, even if he's only on a temporary visa at the moment, so if we do end up moving back we'll have to cover the costs of returning to the UK ourselves.
Thank you, lots to think about. I have said to him that I don't think what they are offering is enough to support us both (I'll have only just had the baby so won't be able to work). I've looked at rents and they seem quite pricey, and I live in quite an expensive commuter town now!
Might have to be something to do later in life I think.
Thanks for your replies.
We have family in Melbourne and Tasmania (husband is Australian)- so further south and not as hot! We wondered about moving but decided against it in the end.
There are quite a number of factors - are you likely to go for a fixed time of say 4 years or are you contemplating a long term move. Can you manage not seeing friends and family and them not seeing your little one grow up(although we find Skype helps)?
A huge factor imo would be income bracket. Sydney is a great place if you can afford good accommodaton, private schooling, etc but it is so very very very expensive. We were looking at Melbourne and although our income is fine in the UK it just wouldn't go far enough in Australia. Primary schools tend to be good in that they start formal schooling a year or two later (depending on area) and there is a lot of emphasis on outdoor play. However it can be very sport focused. I personally prefer our secondary system as exams are only validated by each state and as such there isn't anything equivalent to Gcse/A levels. There are some brilliant private schools though and as they are govt subsidized a lot more people are privately educated than here.
Would the job help with relocation expenses, accommodation etc? Do you both fancy it?
It would be an exciting adventure if you both fancy fancy it and a great experience but there are so many different variables that I think it would be hard to advise online. The crunch point for us was my family not seeing my daughter grow up but that can happen if you just move to the other side of the country!
Try looking at domain.com.au that's the biggest real estate website for the east coast and will give you an idea of housing costs (rental and purchase).
Petrol is cheaper in Australia, but Sydney has a lot of toll roads so it depends on the commute - you might be better off with PT since Alex is pretty central.
Food is more expensive - although, IMO, also better quality. Clothing also more expensive, and cars.
The average Australian income is, this year, $75K, I think a Sydney couple would really, really struggle to live on anything like that if they were one-income though.
Very general answer, can try and help with more specific questions though.
Any advice would be appreciated. My husband has been offered the possibility of a job in sydney, australia Is anyone familiar with living costs etc out there?
We are expecting our first baby so ideally a house in the suburbs. He would be based in alexandria Sorry for lack of capitals, writing on my phone.
Thank you in advance