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Mike Honcho

The Expat Thread.

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Onwards from roxii suggestion about discussion of matters in the Sandbox, here is a thread.

 

Plenty of current and past people ply their trade outside of their home country now and in the past so I am sure there is some useful discussion to be had and probably questions those looking to do the same would like to ask.

 

Have at it and try to he civil......

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How many expats left with a job already lined up and how many just went on their way and hoped they would pick up a gig?

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How many expats left with a job already lined up and how many just went on their way and hoped they would pick up a gig?

 

 

I've done both. Lived in 4 separate countries, worked in 12 and visited 37, plus multiple moves back and forth from UK-Oz. Both have pros and cons, depending on economy.

 

There is a massive difference between being a genuine migrant vs a soft landing expat package where everything is taken care for you.

 

Be prepared to get very very good at filling out forms. Always have an exit strategy for living somewhere you are not prepared to grow old or die in.

 

Kids and their consideration complicate things massively, either culturally or academically.

 

Consider the balance of power shift if you are moving to a place where only one of you has family (don't underestimate this).

 

If you really like somewhere, hang out for citizenship (easier said than done some places, and check dual/triple regs).

 

Always make the absolute most of where you are living and the opportunities it affords.

 

Some places are better than Oz for some things, some are worse, truth is always somewhere in the middle but there are few places on earth that flat out do not offer something for those that are willing to seek it.

 

Don't listen to anyone's 'advice' that has never lived anywhere else, wherever you are.

 

In a relationship, there is nearly always one that wants the move more than the other, empathise and manage this.

Edited by FatPom

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I'm no expat, and I have no idea what my hecs debt is, but I know in over 20 years I haven't paid one cent of it.

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Me neither but not sure I could have done that in Aus

It takes an incredible level of mediocrity to do it here!

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There is one hell of an element of luck in it.

 

I went out on a 2 year nursing contract. I had not made much career progress previously. I did get a series of promotions and easily moved up. When I got married, 2nd marriage to a simple Sri Lankan, someone checked the by laws of my position, and found I was entitled to married contract status.

 

I educated 2 kids in top private schools, Kinder to Year 12. I ended up with a big salary but it did not matter much. I spent a vast amount of money on bikes and travel to events. My kids ended up as Masters level in the states, 2 girls both currently employed. And although I did pay the shortfalls, my kids got a $100k USD education for peanuts. EDIT: also on scholarship both kids.

 

1981-2006, but those kind of contracts not available today.

Edited by Kamal2

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How many expats left with a job already lined up and how many just went on their way and hoped they would pick up a gig?

Left a job in Aus with no work lined up overseas. Hoped to find work in France. Ended up working in Hertfordshire, UK and when the weather got the better of me, I took a position in Bahrain that I can hardly remember applying for. Met the love of my life within 2 weeks of arriving in BH. After 18 months of tax free work, looking to buy investment property in the French Alps or Bahrain. The Australian Gov seem to put every obstacle imaginable in your way of becoming wealthy and I doubt I'll be back there until after retirement.

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There is one hell of an element of luck in it.

 

I went out on a 2 year nursing contract. I had not made much career progress previously. I did get a series of promotions

and easily moved up. When I got married, 2nd marriage to a simple Sri Lankan, someone checked the by laws of my position, and found

I was entitled to married contract status.

 

I educated 2 kids in top private schools, Kinder to Year 12. I ended up with a big salary but it did not matter much. I spent a vast amount of money on bikes and travel to events. My kids ended up as Masters level in the states, 2 girls both currently employed. And although I did pay the shortfalls, my kids got a $100k USD education for peanuts. EDIT: also on scholarship both kids.

 

1981-2006, but those kind of contracts not available today.

 

My company still does those, and I'm considering / being considered for a role which will open similar doors to myself if it comes through (I currently have to manage the programs). Only catch is once I start I have 3 years between roles to in effect get my next promotion or else the benefits get turned off and I get localised.

 

Likely locations if I go will be Malaysia or China (Shangai - the more likely one) with travel throughout the region, India has also been mentioned but I have ruled that one out. Figure even if only for a few years the exposure to asian culture and language will be invaluable for my kids later in their lives. The biggest concern for me is how I would go at turning a blind eye to some of the govt sanctioned actions if China occurred.

 

Oh, and apologies to Kamal2, but knocked back a Manila position already, didn't think it was a great city to be raising a young family, would have jumped at it if kids hadn't been a consideration however

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My company still does those, and I'm considering / being considered for a role which will open similar doors to myself if it comes through (I currently have to manage the programs). Only catch is once I start I have 3 years between roles to in effect get my next promotion or else the benefits get turned off and I get localised.

 

Likely locations if I go will be Malaysia or China (Shangai - the more likely one) with travel throughout the region, India has also been mentioned but I have ruled that one out. Figure even if only for a few years the exposure to asian culture and language will be invaluable for my kids later in their lives. The biggest concern for me is how I would go at turning a blind eye to some of the govt sanctioned actions if China occurred.

 

Oh, and apologies to Kamal2, but knocked back a Manila position already, didn't think it was a great city to be raising a young family, would have jumped at it if kids hadn't been a consideration however

 

Confirms my findings. I would not live in Manila again nor would I live there with a young family. The Manila ex pat community, those who are sports minded have had to join some high level sports clubs. We got that free but without the social side in Riyadh

 

India/Sri Lanka does have some good schooling options, but the Indian Private Schools in the hills off Banglore are all English standard boarding schools, very much designed for rich Indian or British/American ex pats from the Middle East.

 

I will go with the private catholic school option this time. Not much choice, but that will be far below CIS or British School of Colombo. CIS had a 10th in the world ranking, my first daughter had a college scholarship off that. My 2nd girl had more time in Sri Lanka. She tested top 3% in SAT, US college entrance test. And had some amazing offers off that.

 

My mate in Manila, highly cashed up with his wife also having been management level OFW, found a unique way to circumvent Manila's educational shortfall. They got a gifted kids academy going as a business. Good plan, but they still use local teachers and it's below Sri Lankan standard but it's better.

 

Before my wife took the kids to Sri Lanka, they attended the British School of Riyadh, superb school very high standard. Funny story, we were called to a meeting with with the teacher re my daughter when she's in Grade 1 or 2. I was actually a bit worried because kids who don't mesasure up have been forced to leave or relegated to remedial classes.

 

"Mr Arrowsmith" she said. "Do you actually realize that you have an amazingly talented daughter here". I l looked at my wife and said "Yes, we know, thank you for calling us in to tell us that"

Edited by Kamal2

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How many expats left with a job already lined up and how many just went on their way and hoped they would pick up a gig?

 

I've done both - moved countries half a dozen times, I think I've done the Sydney to Heathrow plane ride about 30 times in the past decade (mixture of work flights and private).

 

There is this one memory that I have of the first time I went to work in the UK .... this wierd sort of sense of nothingness...

 

Sitting on a plane and I had no job, no home, no car, I didn't even have a key (didn't own anything). At that moment all I had was my wallet and passport..... All of my Austrailan life had been left behind and I literally had one suitcase, a backpack with a laptop and my guitar case...

 

It was a very surreal moment (having always been the sensible type that had a nice car, nice home, good job etc) to be sitting there with literally myself and my bags, not knowing where I would be sleeping or eating in 24 hours time!

 

Met my wife (she is English) and we've moved all over the place since. The last two moves we had done once I got a contract sorted and she found work once we arrived. Before that we often just quit our jobs and started again .... having said that, everything has always fallen into place. Its amazing once you quit one job and open your eyes to otehr work possibilities how quickly things pop up....

Edited by TryTriB4Forty
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And that's something to be proud of Niseko?

It's legal. It's the systems failure not his.

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Mainly just raised it because it's a topic relevant to expats now. Will pay it if I have to but not feeling guilty about not having to pay it.

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Another financial win is being able to get an FBT exemption on your house when or if you sell it. If it was your primary place of residence then you move out and rent it, as long as you sell it within 7 years you get an exemption.

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CGT Plazbot.

 

As for Nisekos comment, personally it's just not something I would be putting on the internet considering it is quite easy (especially from this website) to work out who he is.

 

All it then takes is a disgruntled ATO officer who paid their HECS and feels jealous to start digging (which is human nature unfortunately, abuse of process issues aside a lot of audits come from people being dobbed in, an ATO officer "not liking" something or data matching).

 

In today's world with many more people working overseas the ATO are very active in pursuing people who think they are non-residents by working overseas and the decisions in the tribunals show that it is very hard to lose your non-residency for tax purposes if you were born here. Often you can show it but often there is a lag between when you went overseas and when you became a non resident.

 

Australian residents are taxed on their worldwide income regardless of where it is derived or that jurisdictions tax rate.

 

If they did that you might be in for a rude shock as to exactly when they decided you became a non-resident, and what your tax liabilities (hecs included) would be.

Edited by Wronggenes

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Yeah CGT is what I meant. I don't understand you comments re being taxes world wide. That changed in 2009 with the simple tick of a box. I don't recall the exact wording but basically my specific status was I am leaving Australia and will return but I don't know when. My contract is permanent full time. No tax liability for income outside Australia.

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Non Resident tax eg on bank interest or stock trading on all Aussie assets, withheld automatically if the bank know you are overseas.....otherwise not sure.

 

But if I read what Wronggenes has written, it would be highly complicated if you did or did not

change your residency status.

Edited by Kamal2

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Its actually pretty simple. As long as you meet the test of an indeterminate return date, from the moment you leave you are a non resident for tax purposes. Income in Australia is taxed at the non resident rate which the most important thing to realize is that there is no tax free threshold.

 

There is a very simple calculator on the ATO web site to determine your residency status for tax purposes. I just visited it again and it reconfirmed the non resident status.

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Yeah CGT is what I meant. I don't understand you comments re being taxes world wide. That changed in 2009 with the simple tick of a box. I don't recall the exact wording but basically my specific status was I am leaving Australia and will return but I don't know when. My contract is permanent full time. No tax liability for income outside Australia.

I don't think this is correct anymore. My Australian accountant says I have to declare income earned overseas.... Some new deal between countries to stop people minimising tax by claiming tax free threshold in 2 countries etc. this is when changing between countries in middle of financial year, so may not apply if you don't work/earn income in 2 countries.

 

Similar to HECS debt.

 

My wife (British) has a student loan debt from the UK, but hasn't worked in the UK for 6 or 7 years. We checked a few years back and were told the debt would remain in the UK and overseas income would not count towards payment. So if she ever worked in the UK again she would start paying . however, she received a letter from UK authorities recently asking for details of her Australian salary - some new inter-country deal for governments to claim student debt for those that have moved countries..

Edited by TryTriB4Forty

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Its actually pretty simple. As long as you meet the test of an indeterminate return date, from the moment you leave you are a non resident for tax purposes. Income in Australia is taxed at the non resident rate which the most important thing to realize is that there is no tax free threshold.

 

There is a very simple calculator on the ATO web site to determine your residency status for tax purposes. I just visited it again and it reconfirmed the non resident status.

 

For clarity does this actually mean that you have to pay tax on the money you are currently earning in Japan, Middle East etc.?

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