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Australia, anyone?
Old 08-09-2007, 07:50 AM   #1
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Australia, anyone?

A little less expensive than the US. Numbers are in Australian dollars.

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Nationally, a comfortable lifestyle in retirement will cost a couple $918 a week or $47,766 a year if they plan to retire at 65.

A modest lifestyle in retirement will require $595 a week or $25,780 annually, the study says. It's slightly more in Brisbane, where it will cost $48,062 a year for a comfortable couple or $26,013 for a modest couple.
How much to retire on? | The Courier-Mail

That's about 22K USD for a modest lifestyle. Quite reasonable, I think.
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:32 AM   #2
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Sam:

Your vision of what comfortable and/or modest might be quite a bit different than what this article describes.

I am quite familiar with Australian prices and my impression is that you get about what you get in the US for the same number of Australian dollars. When the US dollar was quite a bit stronger Australia was a great value. Nowadays a US dollar buys about what an Australian dollar buys.

I'll bet that there are places in the US where an equivalent lifestyle would cost about the same as the article describes.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:24 PM   #3
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I've been to Austalia about 3 times - Brisbane, Sydney, Carines, Adalide, but not out to their west. I'm guessing it is what the USA was like in the 1950s. I don't think you would get any break on the cost of living there unless you are away from a big city. And then what is there to do?
I can see living in Sydney, Brisbane or Adalade - has a Mediteranian climate.
Unfortunately, Australia is a long trip from many other countries and the topology can be a bit boring.

I could do an extended visit there but not as a home base.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:27 PM   #4
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We lived near Melbourne for a year in 1978.
My favourite countries would be
1. Canada
2. Australia
3. U.S.A.
4. New Zealand
5. U.K.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:01 PM   #5
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There was a report coming out about 3 months (?) ago, claiming that Australia is a better place to live/retire than the US. I think Australia was ranked 3rd, and the US was 9th, or something like that.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:26 PM   #6
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Purely as a tourist, I think New Zealand was cheaper and more interesting than Australia. The landscape is incredibly varied and the people are awesome. I enjoyed Sydney a lot and diving in the reef was awesome, but I just like NZ more. Admittedly, I didn't get a chance to visit western Australia.

I'm not sure how Australia is like the US in the 50's. My OZ friends seem to think that whatever happens here seems to happen there in a short amount of time. Everything from politics and technology to obesity rates! They sure do know how to travel and party!
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
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Anyone who thinks Australia is like the US was in the 50s is totally clueless, but then again you probably believe that we all have pet kangaroos and you have to take your own food with you when you visit as well.

The major difference between Australia and US is probably attitude to life. It less about work in Oz and more about enjoyment.

There are some things that you could consider to be backwards compared to the US - that is there is not the selection when it comes to shopping nor does the mall stay open until 9.00 p.m. - so if you value things along those lines you would be extremely frustrated. It is a special treat if the shops open on a Sunday, as it is considered sacrilege to family time to have anyone having to put in the hard yards on a Sunday. If you are a sports fanatic Australia probably is a good location for you, once you get used to cricket and aussie rules footy.

As to cost of living I am not really certain 100% on which way this would fall. One thing I do know is international travel is a lot cheaper than it used to be. There were recently round trip airfares on Tiger Airwaysgoing to Vietnam and Hong Kong for $150 Aust each way which seems cheap enough to me.

As to what is there to do, like any country it's what you make of it. We live in San Diego and think it is one of the most boring places in the world yet I'll bet everyone else on this board would think it is one of the best. We don't even go in the ocean here as we consider it too cold. I would say that overall restaurants in Australia are better than what I have experienced in San Diego. If anything I think the restaurants and the quality of food in the US is behind that of Australia. I think it is because Australia is much more multicultural, it has come a long way in the last 20 years or so. Anyone who hasn't visited in the last 20 years might be surprised at the way things have changed. For things to do give me a European location any day of the week over any place in the world.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:51 PM   #8
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having discovered the restrictions of living in new zealand (never been but every picture i've seen is just stunning), i've been playing with the idea of a few years of triangular travel between southeast asia in winters and then alternating between new zealand and southern australia in summers. (seasons shown here as measured by northern hemisphere standards.)
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:16 PM   #9
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Details on the Australian retirement visa here:

Australia Immigration Services - Retirement Visa

The main gotcha is that a retirement visa only lasts 4 years. It is renewable, but that of course could change.

Having lived in Australia myself, I would be interested in moving back there, but not with the 4 year restriction.

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Old 08-09-2007, 08:29 PM   #10
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I also seem to remember that non-Australians cannot own property, so you would have to rent.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:31 PM   #11
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Anyone who thinks Australia is like the US was in the 50s is totally clueless, but then again you probably believe that we all have pet kangaroos and you have to take your own food with you when you visit as well.
Just to clarify, someone else said that, I don't think this is true at all.

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The major difference between Australia and US is probably attitude to life. It less about work in Oz and more about enjoyment.
Totally agree with this. But I think this is true of many other countries. We work way too hard here.

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I think it is because Australia is much more multicultural, it has come a long way in the last 20 years or so. Anyone who hasn't visited in the last 20 years might be surprised at the way things have changed. For things to do give me a European location any day of the week over any place in the world.
Australia is definitely pretty multicultural, but I don't think it's more multicultural than California for instance. I live in LA, and we have some of the largest communities of other cultures anywhere in the West (Persians, Vietnamese, Mexicans, Central Americans, Chinese, Indian, Afgani etc.). There are also all kinds of smaller enclaves of so many different cultures which is great. I love the fact that I can get good authentic ethnic food any day of the week.
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Anyone who thinks Australia is like the US was in the 50s is totally clueless, but then again you probably believe that we all have pet kangaroos and you have to take your own food with you when you visit as well.
Dude,
We all know ya'll have those cute Koala Bears as pets. And when I was there I did notice that Australia is more multicultural than the USA. There definately was a greater mix of people of color - there was translucent white to bright white. You might want to stop by Brooklyn, New York sometime and tell them they need to be more accepting of people from different parts of the world.


A few facts can be found here:
About.com: http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/Home/census
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bssc View Post
I also seem to remember that non-Australians cannot own property, so you would have to rent.
Not true, foreigners can own property, however before purchasing you have to get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board. The following link provides details of the restrictions. After the Japanese descended on Queensland in the 80s and purchased a lot of the prime real estate the government pushed the panic button to try to prevent a similar situation happening in the future.

FIRB: FAQ

Australia is multicultural, however that is not to say it is free of racism. Unfortunately I have never encountered a country that is. You are always going to encounter narrow minded people who live limited lives because of their inability to see past someone's skin colour.

With regards to the retirement visas having a time limitation, that would likely be due to our welfare system. As we have a national health system and a pension plan that would kick into effect one you gain citizenship, they are probably trying to limit the number of "aged" migrants to the country.

However there is likely to be an election later this year with a change of government expected after 12 rules of government by the same party, who knows what is likely to happen to the retirement visa. If the Republicans stay in power here and we have a change in power in Australia I would expect the relationship between the two countries to change dramatically.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:27 AM   #14
 
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Retirement to Australia

The Australia temporary residence program includes a category for those wanting to live in Australia in retirement.

A Retirement Visa allows retirees to spend some of their retirement years in Australia.

You may apply for an investor Retirement Visa if you meet the following criteria:
  • are 55 years of age or older
  • are sponsored by an Australian State or Territory Government agency
  • have no dependent children or other dependent family members other than a spouse
  • are married or in a de facto relationship, your partner has no dependent children or other dependent family members
  • have a minimum assets legally owned and lawfully acquired by yourself, or yourself and your spouse, capable of and available to transfer to Australia of:
    • A$500,000 if you have indicated to your sponsoring state or territory government agency that you intend to live in a regional/low growth area of Australia; OR
    • A$750,000 if you have indicated to your sponsoring state or territory government agency that you do not intend to live in a regional/low growth area of Australia
  • have a minimum net income stream (for example, pension rights) that can be accessed for yourself or yourself and your spouse of:
    • A$50,000 annually if you have indicated to your sponsoring state or territory government agency that you intend to live in regional/low growth area of Australia
    • A$65,000 annually if you have indicated to your sponsoring state or territory government agency that you do not intend to live in a regional/low growth area of Australia
  • are able to make a minimum designated investment of:
    • A$500,000 in your name or your name and your spouse name if you have indicated to your sponsoring state or territory government agency that you intend to live in regional/low growth area of Australia
    • A$750,000 in your name or your name and your spouse name if you have indicated to your sponsoring state or territory government agency that you do not intend to live in regional/low growth area of Australia
  • you must have held all of the assists listed above for 2 years prior to lodging your application, unless the assists are related to superannuation and/or inheritance
  • have evidence that you, and your spouse if applicable, hold a private health insurance package that meets Australian Department of Health and Ageing (DHA) guidelines during the period of the intended stay in Australia
  • have no intention of working full-time in Australia (you, and your spouse if applicable, will only be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while in Australia)
  • are of good health and character
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Anyone who thinks Australia is like the US was in the 50s is totally clueless, but then again you probably believe that we all have pet kangaroos
if i can't have a pet kangaroo then i really don't see the advantage of retiring there.
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:02 PM   #16
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But I think this is true of many other countries. We work way too hard here.
YOU (singular) may work way too hard here, but many of us don't. It's your choice to make freely on your own terms.

ER, I'm just lovin' it!
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:34 AM   #17
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It doesn't seem all that long ago the Australian government used to pay (bribe) you to immigrate there. When I was ready to immigrate in the mid 70's, they slammed the door in my face. The guy at the consulate said they were only allowing bricklayers and nurses in. Since I didn't fit either category, that was the end of that. I think at that time the unemployment rate in Australia had zoomed up from something like less than 1% to about 2%.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:45 PM   #18
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It's funny how things have turned out. In the 60s and 70s they had to bribe people to migrate to Australia because no-one wanted to go, thought it was the back of beyond because of it's location. However, now so many people want in they can afford to be fussy.

ForeignExchange not much has changed in the way of who they want - they are still after nurses and other tradies. Can you believe that hairdressing is one of the top 10 requirements for migrants to Australia?

If you are under 45 and have the right skills it is still relatively easy to get in.
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