Quick Guide for Expats Moving to Australia

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for those planning an international move. If you’re looking to move to Australia, continue reading to find out if it’s the right destination for you.

Expats move to Australia to enjoy all of the wonderful advantages of starting a new life “Down Under.” People are drawn by many factors, such as the laid-back lifestyle, the wonderful weather, and the many leisure opportunities available in Australia. However, it is worth taking the time to consider the ins and outs of everyday life. Here are some of the main draws and drawbacks expats should consider when moving overseas to Australia.

Pros

Work-Life Balance: Expats report a wonderful balance between work and home life. They report having a great social life and being able to make friends and meet new people easily, by enjoying activities like relaxing on the beach, barbecuing, and spending free time with family. Many others reported enjoying activities such as volunteering, attending sports games, or getting involved in local sports leagues.

Natural Wonders: Expats in Australia have the option during their holiday time to visit wonders such as The Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock, visit the Yarra Valley and Hunter Valley wine regions, and check out some of the world’s best beaches. Australia offers a diverse landscape and climate, with great options to do everything from skiing to scuba diving.

Family Friendly: Australia ranks highly as a destination to raise a family. Expats in Australia enjoy being in a country ranked highly in International Health & Safety scores and has lots of nature, wildlife, and clean air for children to enjoy. Australia can also offer great education, especially in the cities, with some fantastic schools and universities that attract students from all over the world.

Cons

Money: Even though wages are high, Australia is extremely expensive to live in and many expats feel like wages are not enough to cover inflated costs of living Down Under. Items like home furnishings and groceries are expensive, as are hotels and services like hairdressing. Eating out and drinking are very expensive in Australia, too, and leisure activities such as going to movie theaters and theme parks demand big bucks.

Remote Location: On top of Australia being expensive to live in, it can also be very expensive and time-consuming for expats to be able to return home and visit their family, friends, and loved ones. Plane tickets are often expensive and the cost tends to go up over holiday seasons, meaning expats may only have the luxury of seeing people they left back home once every few years.

Retiring

With fantastic weather and unbeatable social activities for expats who favor an outdoor lifestyle, Australian can’t be beaten.

The friendliness of the Aussies has proved a magnet for those folks in the autumn of their lives looking to retire. For those UK pensioners, some advice and a few words of caution:

Australia offers retirement visas for people aged 55 or older, but you must have no dependents (children or family members) apart from your partner. You should be self-supported and be able to prove your ability to make “a significant long-term financial investment in Australia.”

Australia requires you to have assets of at least AUD 750,000 (£460,000 at current rate of exchange), and these assets must be legally owned and lawfully acquired.

This could, of course, be a property purchase in Australia or available funds which can be transferred to your Australian bank account. As a retiree, you must also show proof that you have a minimum
income of AUD 65,000 (Approx. £40,000 per annum)

You may be required to pay tax on your state pension, as you will be classed as a UK resident for tax purposes. Please see the current UK advice on tax for foreign income.

Our advice would be to seek help from professional tax advisors, either in the UK or Australia, to get you through this particular minefield.

Still want to retire in Australia? Please note that your UK pension will effectively be “frozen” once you make the move, and you will not benefit from the annual increase given to UK pensioners.

You should also note that there is no NHS, and you should arrange appropriate medical coverage.

Author:

Jim Limerick

Decided Australia is for you? This article has been written by 1st Move International Removals who offer shipping services from the UK to Australia.