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Hi from NZ/Auz
Old 04-06-2018, 10:35 PM   #1
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Hi from NZ/Auz

Hi everyone from the far far away (Australia/New Zealand). I am a 40 something family man on my journey towards terminating financial dependence & bad financial habits. I have been thinking of early retirement for over 10 years now but had no plan or knowledge of how to get there. I thought I was there on several occasions but something changed or we wanted more, so it never happened. I woke up in early 2018, started researching and am now on the path to FI in the next 1-2 years. My main driver is spending more quality time with my family, increasing my charity work and writing. I also have developed am increasing aversion to corporate life/culture over the years which has been great impetus to propel me on the FI path.

I would describe myself as a social introvert. I donít particularly enjoy attention or the limelight but I do enjoy interacting with interesting and pleasant people. Some people say I am an extrovert and love talking but I donít see that in myself. What I have discovered about myself recently though, is that I love writing. I also realized that there is little information on FI in the AU/NZ context. So I have recently started a blog to document my journey not only to help others but to clarify things in my own head.

I hope to contribute to this forum and learn more at the same time.
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:24 PM   #3
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Thanks. Its a whole new world that I have discovered...and I'm like a kid in a toy store!
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:28 PM   #4
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Hi everyone from the far far away (Australia/New Zealand). I am a 40 something family man on my journey towards terminating financial dependence & bad financial habits. I have been thinking of early retirement for over 10 years now but had no plan or knowledge of how to get there. I thought I was there on several occasions but something changed or we wanted more, so it never happened. I woke up in early 2018, started researching and am now on the path to FI in the next 1-2 years. My main driver is spending more quality time with my family, increasing my charity work and writing. I also have developed am increasing aversion to corporate life/culture over the years which has been great impetus to propel me on the FI path.

I would describe myself as a social introvert. I donít particularly enjoy attention or the limelight but I do enjoy interacting with interesting and pleasant people. Some people say I am an extrovert and love talking but I donít see that in myself. What I have discovered about myself recently though, is that I love writing. I also realized that there is little information on FI in the AU/NZ context. So I have recently started a blog to document my journey not only to help others but to clarify things in my own head.

I hope to contribute to this forum and learn more at the same time.
Welcome, Zorwarrior.

I think you'll enjoy this forum. Lots of knowledgeable people here who are willing to share what they know.

Like you, I dislike attention and the limelight but enjoy socializing with people I find interesting. I call myself an outgoing introvert.

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Old 04-07-2018, 06:47 PM   #5
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Thanks Omni. Love the Outgoing introvert...
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:28 PM   #6
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Hi Zor,

One of my dreams is to visit NZ. Not sure why I'm not extremely curious about Australia anymore, but I used to...maybe that curiosity will return.

Since you mention corporate life, I'm guessing you live in a city where housing is very expensive.
Tell us more about your family. Are you both parents working FT? Are your kids in daycare or school already? What's the annual budget for a family to live in NZ? I'm talking about a budget based on NEEDS, not wants. Of course, add a cushion to cover some WANTS as well. I'd be curious to hear.

Well, now I got something to dream about before I fall asleep today
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:27 PM   #7
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Hi Aida, always a pleasure to have more visitors in beautiful NZ. We only have 4m people but 70m sheep, so we need more people here to save mankind! Auz is also very interesting as it’s a vast beautiful country with a lot to see, assuming none of the poisonous animals get you while you are there (not talking about the humans).

We have moved around a bit between AU & NZ but mainly lived and worked in large expensive cities (Auckland, Sydney, Wellington, Brisbane & Melbourne). Both countries are surprisingly expensive, especially in these big cities. In Auckland for example, for $1m you will get a very average house in an average suburb. In Sydney, add about 30% more. Of course it gets much cheaper as you go outside of the big cities but the issue is getting work there. Because of small populations and visionary politicians, there is little business/industry outside of the main cities (except farming/dairy related of course). As I work with big corporates, I am stuck to big cities. At the moment I am the sole bread-winner, as we have a young child. I am hoping to swap that once I get to a level of FI as I don’t particularly like corporate life but my wife loves her industry.

I have done a few spreadsheets recently to work out basic expenses and have asked other FI’ers in the area. It feels like a range between $50-$70k a year is around the average basic NEEDS expenses (yes life here is expensive!). What many people do is work in the cities and then retire in the smaller towns.

Its this high cost of living that has really come home to roost when I started on my FI journey recently. I did not realise how much money goes out, so the quest is to cull this crazy exodus of financial warriors and get them working instead.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:30 PM   #8
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Don't keep us guessing, which is it, Oz or NZ? (Or do you have homes in both?) Distance between them is similar to San Diego and Guatemala City.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:47 PM   #9
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At the moment we are in NZ...its just a 2.5 hour flight between the countries so people often cross borders. AU is the big rich mini-USA and NZ the small poor cousin.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:54 PM   #10
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At the moment we are in NZ...its just a 2.5 hour flight between the countries so people often cross borders. AU is the big rich mini-USA and NZ the small poor cousin.
Old memories.....I seem to recall when NZ trained racehorses at high altitudes and then flew them to Oz the day of the race.......before the Aussies caught on.

Now the Australians say the Kiwis are exporting criminals:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/pol...offended-in-nz

Fun times Down Under.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:06 PM   #11
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The relationship between the two countries has always been similar to sibling/cousin boys relationship, a bit of bickering now and then. The article above is about the Auzzies exporting their finest back to NZ, if they were born in NZ (even if they hardly ever lived here).
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:48 AM   #12
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Hey Zorwarrior,

Have you benefited from the exponential real estate appreciation in Nz and Australia over past 5 or so years?

The kiwi line that migration from Nz to Australia increases the intelligence of both countries is a corker.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:09 PM   #13
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Thank you, Zor, for sharing. I read a few years ago about housing in NZ and yes, it sounded scary (financially).
Indeed it sounds expensive to live in NZ. We've never spent $70k/year for a family of four, but we also do not live in New York, Boston, Washington D.C. or any major city on the West Coast.

What about taxes and healthcare in your country?
These topics (especially the healthcare) are extremely politicized in the USA. Is your family's health/dental/vision insurance provided by the government thanks to high taxes or do you get it through your employer?

Could you provide a sample paycheck and how it breaks down from a gross salary to the net that is deposited to a banking account? Sure I probably could google it but since you joined here, I can learn from you
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:22 PM   #14
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Healthcare is taken care of through taxes Aida. However, as the population grows, the wait times increase. So realistically, you need health insurance to cover operations that you may need and cant wait (except for emergencies/accidents). This is self funded.

For people under 65, they started a voluntary saving scheme called Kiwisaver (10 yrs ago), where you put x% in yourself and the employer puts x%. Its ok for the very basic person who has never saved in their life (lots here in NZ).

For the over 65 yr olds, there is goverment superannuation which is about $300 a week per individual, enough for basic food & existence but far from enough if you dont have a paid off house. I think Kiwisaver will eventually dilute the superannuation, which most people know but dont want to accept.

Taxes are tiered up to 33%, effectively most average people will pay 20-25%. I have not had a paycheque for many years (as I am self employed) but after taxes & Kiwisaver, the rest goes into the one of the main bank (mainly Auzzie owned). Wages are quite low in caparison to cost of life, average of about $50k. Because of the low wage/high cost living, most people buy things on finance, hence we have a thriving loan shark industry.

Being a small country with low population, few exports & highly socialist views, finances are not the best in the world but we are fine. The key is quality of life though. Kiwis are very much about life over work and outdoors people. So you dont have to work 15 hrs a day, offices are usually empty by 4-5pm. Unfortunately, this is changing as more people come to the country & increase competition for the relatively small number of jobs.

Overall, I love it here but I am probably biased
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:51 PM   #15
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Thank you for sharing. It was nice to hear it from a real Kiwi
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:55 PM   #16
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Pleasure. Do visit this wonderful place when you can.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:08 AM   #17
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Pleasure. Do visit this wonderful place when you can.
We were there in 2013, and split time between AU and NZ. Someday we hope to go back. All of our time was spent circling the South Island in a camperwagon (not what you see. LOL). Definitely a place to go.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:21 PM   #18
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The south island is the best part of NZ. What makes it amazing is that its relatively untouched stunning natural beauty with low population. We have driven around the South Island too and you often for a 10-15 minutes without seeing a car on the road. You see deer, sheep (of course) and all kinds of birds including the Kea, a mischievous bird who will try to take out parts of your car (like the wipers) if presented with the opportunity.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:32 PM   #19
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....for a 10-15 minutes without seeing a car on the road. .
About 56 years ago three of us drove eastwards from Kununurra, WA, and went for about a week without seeing another vehicle........when we finally encountered one going in the other direction everybody waved like fools, 'cause they hadn't seen anybody either.
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The road goes ever on and on...
Old 04-12-2018, 03:35 PM   #20
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The road goes ever on and on...

Welcome, Zor. I expect you've lurked here for a bit prior to joining, so there's probably not much I can tell you about the forum you don't already know.

As you might infer from my avatar, one of my life goals upon retirement is visiting your island paradise and hiking all the magnificent scenery from the Peter Jackson movies!

I look forward to reading your posts in the future, and good luck to both of us on our parallel quests for FIRE.
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