Emigration: Australia & New Zealand

cguy

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@GoB

So I went to the US (SF Bay Area), but when I left there were a few financial things I didn’t really grasp (both better and worse). Some of this may apply, some not:
1) I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a house for 5 years.
2) The 7% of the money taken from my pay could come back to me to some degree (social security).
3) I didn’t understand the compensation scheme very well at all (options, stocks, purchase plans, etc.). My income was about 50% higher than I thought it was.
4) The deferred nature of (3), meant that I would only see (and fully understand) these benefits after a few years.
5) My starting pay was super low by company standards because I was a foreigner on a visa with no comparable prior income, so I started at a much lower level than I should have.
6) Because of (5), my income tripled over my near decade at the company, through a combination of becoming a permanent resident and promotions.
7) After 5 years I bought a flat (worth a bit over $1m USD now) with a bond and 20% down.
8) When I moved to my second company in the US, it was another multiple of my prior income.
9) Although entry level jobs are advertised everywhere and compensation for these are well known, it is only with internal information and industry experience that I really got to realize that the compensation for very senior engineering (senior principal) and reasonably senior management (senior director) rolls were typically close to an 8x multiplier on an entry level “senior” engineer’s salary.
10) Once your home is paid for, your relative cost of living plummets and you have a ton of disposable income.
11) It took several years to recover my standard of living I had in SA (materially at least, from a culture and safety perspective, it was better right off the bat).
12) The journey itself had value. Sure, I could have continued working where I was in Cape Town for the next however long, and avoided a ton of hassle, but now I have the experience of moving to a new country, helping to take a household name tech company to the next level, etc.

Anyway, so the point is that it may be ok to rent for a bit. Also, you should tap any resources here and whoever you know to try get a sense of real pay when you are established. I got lucky here - I left SA for the company/type-of-work and was pretty oblivious to everything else.
 

GoB

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Thanks cguy... you see, just based on the quality of your response, I can't hope to match your success. :ROFL:

I understand all the points... 12) is a new perspective.
For a few points, I don't feel like I have the years remaining to catch up since I'm busy with my mid-life crisis here. :)
9) is the big unknown - knowing the possible ceiling as well as I do in Cape Town... but I'll plan based on the worst case for now
 

Mystic Twilight

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Guys... please chat I need something to occupy myself with other than work :p

So I had kind of made peace with the fact of going to Australia to be poorer.
But now after not pinpointing an achievable salary, I need to adjust my expectations even more.
I'm aiming for higher than what I am being told to aim for, and salaries look pretty low compared to South Africa.

In thousand ZAR assuming 10 ZAR/AUD, based on having R4m house deposit. House value includes transfer fees.
Already checked that likely no state age pension would be paid (this reduces from full to zero pension based on assets excl home at retirement... it's zero if you're worth $800k today).
Salaries inclusive of Super.
View attachment 809197

And a minimal expense comparison between current and Australia
Yes, in fact, free public schooling in Australia is more expensive when all expenses (voluntary fee, day trips, activities) are added up... there are plenty of articles highlighting the statistics.
This ignores that university costs will be a small fortune.
View attachment 809209

Currently in South Africa I am saving way more than any of these scenarios... what are your opinions on the financial side only?
Do I just have to either somehow work hard at getting massive salaries, or give up on trying to own a nice house?
Not sure where you're staying and how dependent you are on a car, in the major cities it's very livable without a private car and using public transport unless you're moving a lot of bulk around frequently or somehow live in transport dead zone with a bus that comes once every hour.
 

^^vampire^^

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The dynamic changes a bit when you get here and it's more the mindset of how things work. As an example in SA I had a good mechanic that my family knew for decades. I would take my car to him and he'd fix the problem generally for a grand or 2. In comparison here the equivalent is what you will pay just for someone to look at the car before they will even do repairs. Housing/renting takes a massive chunk of your salary here. When I landed and started renting my rent was 40% of my take home. I would never in a million years have paid so much in SA.

One thing is that when you move you will most likely get screwed on pay so what ever you think you can realistically earn, take 20% off that. Not sure your industry but if you can job hop it may be something you will have to do in the beginning. I was screwed on my first job and now I earn what I though would take me 10 years to get to.

I can only comment from a Melbourne perspective on pricing:
* Internet: You can get internet for $70 a month depending on the speed you're happy with. I have uncapped 100mb on NBN for $100 a month. I went with a slightly more expensive provider as they have the best customer support.
* Netflix: I have the cheaper account but $15 looks good for the premium
* Phones: depending on what you want. I have the base S20 on the cheapest contract i could find with a $5 discount for just under $80 a month with 10GB of data. The nice thing is the phone and contract pricing is separate so I pay the phone off for 3 years and the contract I can flip between each month to whatever I want. I can also pay off the device cost at anytime. I find they make these types of things really easy to do and you don't have to psych yourself up for the hell that you have to go through to get it done like you do in SA. You can look at Telstra, Optus or similar for their prices on their websites. Anyway if you're looking for more up to date contract pricing you are looking at $70-$80 per person per month.
Electricity: I use about $150 a month in summer and this can go up to about $300 in winter. We are 2 people in the household and I work from home. Even when I didn't work from home the cost was very similar.
Gas: We use gas for geyser (primary solar with gas), stove and for ducted heating. This is generally between $50-$100 a month. You may find that older houses don't have gas as an option.
NOTE: gas and electricity is paid every 3 months but I have elected to pay monthly. I just submit my gas reading monthly on the providers app. Also, there are many different gas and electricity suppliers so if you're bored or think you are being ripped off you can always compare and change to a different supplier. They are always giving incentives to people wanting to switch. I sometimes change my health cover just because they send me $100 or $200 gift card :D
* Water: water is only payable every 3 months. Mine comes to about $350 every 3 months. This includes using washing machine about 4 washes a week, a bath/shower for both me and GF every day, dish washer every night or every other night and front and back lawn watered every second day (very small though).
* Transport: Petrol does not have fixed pricing like SA. I use 91 unleaded and it is generally stable around the $1.35 - $1.50 per litre. The price can be as much as 40c difference per litre at 2 different petrol stations and the 2 places can be as little as 1 km apart. To use trams, trains and buses in Victoria you can get a myki card (or use google payments). A day of travel is capped at about $9 this year or you can get a myki pass which works out a bit cheaper. When I used public transport I usually got a 1 month pass as it was slighly cheaper than just loading money. Car repayments would depend on the cost of the cars you buy but you can always check repayment prices on the major bank websites or similar. You also need to include yearly car/bike registration cost which is just over $900 for current year.
* School Fees: public schools will generally ask about $100 or $200 for stationery etc for the year. I don't have kids so not sure about public schools asking for money for outtings etc. If you want the alternative is Catholic Education. They ask about $2000 a year for school fees (which most people just don't seem to pay as they plead poverty) but they are better equipped. Usually they have one to one devices (public schools are generally shared devices as they can't afford enough of them) and outtings are usually covered by the school. You also get smaller classes. It is essentially semi private education. One thing I will say is seeing the kids in these schools and the level of education in general, do yourself a favour and keep on top of what is supposed to be taught and what your kid should know for their age. They seem to have adopted the nice "airy fairy" stuff from the likes of Norway and Finland without the practicality of making them useful to society if they are not educationally inclined. I see a lot of kids falling through the cracks now which is great for keeping me employed but not good for the usefulness of my tax.
* Insurance: you didn't say what these were for. ** My car insurance on a 2004 holden barina is about $60 a month. Sometimes if you have a more up to date car this can be cheaper. My GF drives a 2011 hyundai getz and hers is about the same price. ** I have building and content insurance which is about $100 a month. ** My medical is about $220 a month. That is basically just a hospital plan. There is no medical aid here only medical insurance. This is split into "hospital" and "extras" and you can get one or the other or both. I had "hospital" and extras but the price you pay for "extras" is useless really. My "extras" cost me about $50-$80 a month and when I went to the dentist I got a bill of about $350 and the "Extras" paid $26 dollars. In Australia if you don't have a certain level of medical by the age of 30 then you get health cover loading. This is basically for every year over 30 that you don't have a complying medical they add 2% to the fee up to 10%. That means that if you are 33 and then only get medical it will be the premium + 6%. You need to get your medical sorted within the first 3 months of moving here for that not to apply if you are an immigrant. ** I have life insurance through my superannuation which winds up being cheaper than 3rd part insurance. For $1 mill cover, $7500 death and disability I pay $100 a month and that comes straight out of my super contributions.
* Groceries: I spend about $150 on groceries a week. I usually budget $750 a month and this is plenty. In the beginning you struggle while you adapt to price differences but once you've got it sorted then this is plenty for 2 of us. We now generally spend about $50-$80 a week on prepared delivered meals for lunchs and then cook or eat out for dinner. Eating out is where it gets expensive and having a meal with a drink on the cheap can easily be $50 to $60.
 

^^vampire^^

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... continued:

* Donations: this is obviously a personal thing but I would say do A LOT of research before donating money to first world charities. I used to do some work for a charity as they were a client and they amount of money mismanagement is astounding. You need to keep in mind that people are paid a decent wage in first world countries and so an executive earning $200k+ per year mean a lot of donations to cover their salary well before anything charitable actually happens. Then you see all the red tape and people being fired and new execs being hired often and basically the first $1-5 mill is wasted. I don't believe many of these charities come near to doing what they could if they didn't have nonsense internal politics. If you want to donate then give to smaller charities where you can get in contact personally with those at the top. These are usually the ones making real strides for change.
* Gym: most good gyms cost $15 to $20 a week. Look at something like Anytime fitness. They usually have an activation fee around $100 and most are 24hrs
* Entertainment: I budget about $1000 for entertainment. That's $500 for me and $500 for my mrs. She uses hers for brunches with friends and hair and nails. I use mine for buying games, guitars, or other tech and hardware stuff. It's a hell of a lot easier to get your hand on anything here so money for these things disappears super quick. I usually try hold out on spending until the last week of the month so I know next months coming around then can blow the cash on something cool.
* Building: renovations? not sure where these would be happening. Unless you are a licenced builder, electrician etc then you are not allowed to do these things. You'll find these types of things are heavily restricted and any tinkering, even with your own home is extremely prohibited. You have to pay sparkies to install ceiling fans etc and the list goes on.


Anyway pound for pound it's more expensive to live in Aus. I do see lots of prices have gone up massively in SA though so I'd say besides housing it's kind of equalling out. I've attached my current budget so you can see my real world costs. This is just my costs. My GF is a teacher and we use her money to pay back money her mom lent us for the house deposit which will come to an end end of this year. Then we'll have an extra $3000 a month to use for faster home repayment, holidays etc.


Weekly Groceries (150 x 5)
750​
Mortgage Repayment
2300​
Rates & Taxes
200​
Water
115​
Electricity / Gas
350​
Medical (Hostpital plan, cash for medical emergency, contact lenses)
350​
Cellphone Optus (S20, 10gb, unlimited calls and texts)
80​
Cellphone Virgin Mobile (S9, 16GB, unlimited calls and texts - upgrade soon)
70​
Allianz Car Insurance (comprehensive)
75​
Home & Content Insurance (Youi)
100​
Savings
1000​
Internet (100mbs uncapped $100, $10 device cost for TV streaming box FetchTV)
110​
Gym (unique comm center that has gym, 3 pools, super tubes, sauna, jacuzzi)
Old gym was anytime fitness at $15 a week
80​
Dog & Cat Food (5 pets - wet food and grain free)
180​
Rego (rego for 2 cars)
180​
Repairs & Expenses (put into savings incase ****)
80​
Dogs & Cats (yearly council reg fees for cats and dogs at $50 each as well as vet visits, flea treatment etc)
80​
Entertainment
1000​
Monthly Invest (trying not to retire broke)
630​
Netflix (and chill)
14​
Youtube Red (because I'm not poor and hate youtube ads)
12​
Amazon Prime (saved a fortune in shipping fees with this - usually get at least one thing delivered each week)
7​
Petrol and tolls
137​
 
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GoB

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Not sure where you're staying and how dependent you are on a car, in the major cities it's very livable without a private car and using public transport unless you're moving a lot of bulk around frequently or somehow live in transport dead zone with a bus that comes once every hour.
I'll go one car + 1 cheap motorcycle (seems to cost the same over there, about R40k) + public transport. Yep and I will move bulk around so probably an SUV with roof rack, plus will have in-laws visiting. With a family I think that's ok, just a pity the cost of vehicle licensing instead of a tax on use.

The dynamic changes a bit when you get here and it's more the mindset of how things work. As an example in SA I had a good mechanic that my family knew for decades. I would take my car to him and he'd fix the problem generally for a grand or 2. In comparison here the equivalent is what you will pay just for someone to look at the car before they will even do repairs. Housing/renting takes a massive chunk of your salary here. When I landed and started renting my rent was 40% of my take home. I would never in a million years have paid so much in SA.
Yep I am lucky in that I rarely pay anyone to do anything for me... it's the expenses/repayments on a $1m+ house which is the big deal.

* Insurance: you didn't say what these were for. **
I forgot but I think my insurance amount is purely based on home + contents insurance.. which again is high because of the relative house value.
$3.5k/month is too high of a guess.

* Building: renovations? not sure where these would be happening. Unless you are a licenced builder, electrician etc then you are not allowed to do these things. You'll find these types of things are heavily restricted and any tinkering, even with your own home is extremely prohibited. You have to pay sparkies to install ceiling fans etc and the list goes on.
I think I just left my current expense in there... with a super expensive house, there's sure to be expensive maintenance costs even if it is infrequent.
I'm definitely keeping in mind that I ideally find a place which won't require further work by certified professionals.

Anyway pound for pound it's more expensive to live in Aus. I do see lots of prices have gone up massively in SA though so I'd say besides housing it's kind of equalling out. I've attached my current budget so you can see my real world costs.
Guess it's not too different after excluding eating out and housing costs yes.
From what I've seen the average budget for a family excluding housing costs is $4.7k/month, so I estimated $4.5k ... but technically it seems that $3k/month is possible.
 

MrJacques

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Will be interesting to see how the pandemic affects visa grants going forward
I don't expect many invites to be sent out in the next few months. And the logistics of getting an invite and having to do the medicals and police clearance could be interesting. They'll probably ramp it up again after lockdowns ease. A friend reckons it's a nice income stream for them, so they might even invite more people for that reason. The economic landscape will have changed as well. We'll just have to wait and see.
 

reactor_sa

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I don't expect many invites to be sent out in the next few months. And the logistics of getting an invite and having to do the medicals and police clearance could be interesting. They'll probably ramp it up again after lockdowns ease. A friend reckons it's a nice income stream for them, so they might even invite more people for that reason. The economic landscape will have changed as well. We'll just have to wait and see.
While there are suddenly over a million unemployed from March alone, doesn't make a lot of sense to be adding more to the unemployed lines. Time will tell though.
 

ryanrich

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While there are suddenly over a million unemployed from March alone, doesn't make a lot of sense to be adding more to the unemployed lines. Time will tell though.
To be fair, most of those million unemployed aren’t the likes of skilled IT professionals, etc.

There have been some IT people stood down yeah, but we’re still doing well and hiring people, out latest recruit started this past Monday.

Datacom has also announced 200 new positions in Adelaide, brought on by their government support contracts, so this is creating some opportunities as well if you look. One of our biggest implementations at the moment is MS Teams and the greater 365 suite, which goes without saying with all the remote working.
 

alloytoo

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To be fair, most of those million unemployed aren’t the likes of skilled IT professionals, etc.
Since when has logic governed policy?

I expect our borders (NZ) to be kept shut, even to skilled professionals.

Our government is the very definition of professionally unskilled.
 

GoB

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It's the long waiting game now right?

I'm still busy preparing with the intent to move by year end, assuming we'll be able to fly then.

There will be lots of changes in exchange rate / Australian job prospects / local housing market / foreign housing market ... I'm leaning towards it being a bit harder overall. :D
 

MrJacques

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Yup, just have to wait and see now, still so much unknown. It will probably be more difficult. But you should probably be able to go by then.

They extended the ACS memberships by 6 months due to the CV-19 situation. I've sent them an email and I'm hoping that they will be kind enough to extend the validity of my Skills Assessment as well.

They are offering free certification (Skills Assessment?) to ACS members who don't have it atm, but only for those already living in Australia.

* Update: They won't be extending the expiration date of skills assessments. So if it expires before I get an invite I'll have to get a whole new one done, which sucks a bit as it's likely that I'll still be employed at the same place doing the same thing. It would have been nice if there was a way of just updating it rather than going through the entire process again. It seems like some criteria has changed as well, so for those who need to have skills assessments done always check the most recent version of their guideline documents.
 
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MrJacques

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"97 per cent drop in the number of invites in April compared to the previous month.
50 invites issued for subclass 189 visa.
Government trying to ensure migration does not displace job opportunities for Australians."

https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/massive-drop-in-number-of-invites-issued-for-permanent-residency-visa
Thought that might happen, at least that there would be less invites. it sucks a bit for me, but it's understandable why they are doing it. Hopefully it will pick up again later.

The US is temporarily doing the same - actually blocking it for 60 days for those seeking P.R.
 
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newjourno

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Does anyone know any portals which I could use where our CV's will be considered?

I've tried applying for international gigs but it does not really seem like my CV is even looked at. The only ones who looked at it and reverted was a Chinese company. They seem to value us for our English speaking ability.

It is probably not a good idea to go to China for the foreseeable future though even though the money may be good.
 

FlashSA

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Saw a newspaper article today stating that NZ has predicted unemployment could balloon to 13%. That'll slam the doors on us potential immigrants...
 

TEXTILE GUY

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The US is temporarily doing the same - actually blocking it for 60 days for those seeking P.R.
Honestly - I think emigration is going to be tough for the foreseeable future.

Unemployment will be a world problem, and already my future in a foreign land is busy seeing its gat because the government wants to reserve jobs for locals.

Doesnt mean I have to pick up and pack up just yet, but after if I dont get an extension from February next year, I am in the drink. And right now, all applications for future visas are on hold ......... dunno ......

Eish, being African is tough ......
 

Sinbad

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Saw a newspaper article today stating that NZ has predicted unemployment could balloon to 13%. That'll slam the doors on us potential immigrants...
Depends on whether the unemployed have skills in demand.
 

web

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Saw a newspaper article today stating that NZ has predicted unemployment could balloon to 13%. That'll slam the doors on us potential immigrants...
Unemployment will be high, but most of those will be from the Toursim, hospitality industry. Skilled people will still be in demand but it will take a while for that to pick up again as INZ is effectivaley closed now for new Visa's and it will also take a while for bussiness to get back up to speed.

I would be suprised if they open up the borders again this year, unless something drastic happens on the Vaccine/Virus front.
 
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