Moving overseas

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

I feel like Australia is going to be massively affected by climate change. There has again been some nasty bush fires raging recently.

One of the reasons I haven't wanted to move there is that I can't handle the heat. I used to like visiting Australia but when I have visited in the last few years I have found the heat just way too intense. 41 degrees and high humidity etc. Some people like that heat, but personally its just way too much. I think on one day Sydney got to 47 degrees and high humidity and the road was melting.

Australia of the future makes me think of Mad Max.

chenda
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by chenda »

Yes Australia is definitely not where I'd want to be long term. It faces huge national security challenges as well. Too few people defending far too much land. The long feared 'invasion from the north' has already begun.

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

@chenda - highly topical item in the news today https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/a ... d=12290434

Solvent
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by Solvent »

The 'invasion from the north' has begun? Wow. I bet there's a real strong argument behind that. Or a pissweak definition of 'invasion'?

Also, I have trouble believing that people's assessments of where to live based on climate change are quite so serious. Yeah, I know climate change is happening, and living in Australia will become more challenging. But citing projections of what will happen in 2100 misses the mark for me. It's not that I don't care, but I'll be long dead by 2100. My kids will probably be getting close to their ends as well. I'm not basing my choice of where to live right now on projections of 2100.

chenda
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by chenda »

@thrifty++ interesting to read

@solvent - It was a historic term which has been used to reflect long standing national security concerns in Australia going back to WW2. Its tiny population of a few million people left it almost defenceless in the face of Japanese encroachment. 'Populate or perish' was the slogan after WW2, when it desperately sought to boost its population to a level where is could defend itself. People in Britain were given incentives to migrate out there. 200 million Indonesians to the north in a unstable dictatorship was always a concern. Not bashing Indonesia, its just a geo-political reality which Australia has had to live with. Per-capita, Australia is one of the worlds biggest defence spenders. And yes, there was also an openly racial policy to 'Keep Australia white' which feed into these fears. Don't know if you live there so maybe you already are aware of this history. But anyway, what I was referring to was more climate change refugees heading south and the long term threats of climate change to Australia, which is likely to be a ever growing issue.

MikeBalst1
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by MikeBalst1 »

thrifty++ wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:48 am
I consider that expenses are always reducing along with income. If in some of the countries it seems to you that the prices for all are very attractive, I can assure you that the income of the inhabitants of this country is also quite low) Of course, this is all figurative, but the principle is the same everywhere ;)

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

@mikebalst - I am not sure I agree with you. It doesn't seem to me like incomes and prices are always in sync. The focus point is affordability - income vs cost of living. Places of low affordability have incomes out of kilter with expenses, like New Zealand, where incomes are moderate and cost of living is very high. Then there are places with high income and low costs of living like USA.

chenda
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by chenda »

I was just reading of a Tasmanian survey which suggested the biggest reason for internal migration to Tasmania were Australians looking for a cooler climate. Although it hasn't escaped the recent inferno.

New Zealand has just banned foreigners buying property. Billionaires from Silcon valley and the like have apparently been snapping up estates in the South Island as a refuge in an unstable world. (I think Australians are exempt though)

NZ does give citizenship if one parent was a citizen at the time of your birth, although not grandparents.

chenda
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by chenda »

Maybe the one big disadvantage for NZ as a refuge is the risk of natural disasters. Volcanoes, earthquakes, Tsunami...its not great in that sense.

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

@cimorene - I come across statistical data on a regular basis regarding cost of living and incomes in USA which show how significantly more affordable it is. But I don't have them at my fingertips right now. But as one at example look at numbeo rankings of cities in the world by purchasing power - cost of living vs income. Every single one of the top 20 cities in the world (except one in Switzerland) is in the USA - having the highest income against living costs https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp

On an anecdotal type basis I regularly come across content on personal finance forums, blogs and podcasts hearing people talking incomes which are just impossible to imagine here, for professionals. And people buying houses with prices which don't exist in NZ.

I have browsed housing on Zillow. Even in the most expensive cities, like NYC and Los Angeles and can see homes cheaper than would be possible here. Averages are dragged up in those cities by immensely luxurious penthouse apartments and mansions. There do seem to be some ordinary homes for ordinary people. In NZ ordinary homes are for millionaires. I haven't bothered to look at San Fran to be honest.

Then I look at other cities in USa and the cost of buying property is just another world - Chicago, dallas, Austin, Cincinnati, Cleveland, pittsburg, New Orleans, Atlanta. Beautiful houses for like 250k. Its unbelievable. And then its a whole other level of amazement if I look at small cities or places like Detroit or Las Vegas. Its simply like another world in USA with how much cheaper it is and how high the pay is.

You can contrast this with NZ which has the most unaffordable housing in the developed world. And has done for the last three years. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/mapped ... 8fZxi6yCp8. From the economist https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/20 ... omist.html. These infographics - while showing how NZ is the most unaffordable country in the world - also show how affordable USA is in comparison to NZ and other countries.

Having been to NZ you must also be familiar how poor the quality of the housing is also compared to USA. While being excessively expensive you are also getting housing which often has some or all of these features: serious weathertightness/leaky building issues; a complete lack of insulation; cold and damp; cheap styling, small in size, cheap fixtures and fittings and central heating is almost unheard of.
Last edited by thrifty++ on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:16 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Jean
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by Jean »

Col is very dépendant on what matters to you. My col would bé higher in the USA than in switzerland.

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

@cimorene - In terms of NZ being a happier place I am not sure. I have some friends from USA here and they do like it better, but then they have chosen to stay here so it might be a biased sample. One common thing people from USA like here is the statutory minimum of 4 weeks leave. The climate is also nice and people are nice. The culture is nice.

But its hard to see it being a happier place when life is such a financial struggle here. In the USA I think its so much easier to accumulate substantial wealth and own a freehold home and just tell your employer you are taking 4 months off, forget reliance on legal minimums. Then do what you want. Come to NZ for 4 months lol. But who knows, as you say I might also have a case of the grass is always greener.

GOsh that's so weird to me that the hospitals are going bankrupt. Cant imagine that happening here. NZ is a mixed model. Both public and private. I don't trust public though personally, although other people do. I have had substandard experience. I think most middle class people under 50 pay for private medical insurance here. So I don't think that there is much of a saving in that sense, although I don't know the cost in USA for that. I pay $105 a month here because I am in my 30s. Once you hit your 50s it gets really expensive, like $400 a month. So most baby boomers have ditched it and either self insure and/or rely on public. I think they far better under public as I think baby boomer health problems are taken more seriously and addressed quickly under the public system, eg heart problems. Its the young people you tend to hear about getting bad problems from public health turning them away or putting them on a long waiting list.

I came across another data set recently showing housing costs. Unfortunately its confined to the anglosphere. But it shows the enormous number of USA places you can live affordably. By contrast every single city in NZ is under the extremely unaffordable category. There are a few cities in Aussie there too I notice. But kiwis still generally find Aussie much more affordable because its a bit cheaper and salaries are substantially higher. http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf?fbcl ... pdR5z975Yk

Inequality is atrocious in NZ. Its a real case of the haves and have nots. A lot of the baby boomers and their family funded kids are totally fucking owning it. Anyone who snapped up houses 20 or more years ago when they were cheap basically struck gold because houses are worth a fortune here now and many of them have just continually bought up more houses. Those people love it here. Young people who don't own a home are fucked. Low socio economic people here are super fucked. Apparently USA has higher inequality but that's kind of hard to believe. When you can drive to some town in the US, or even some cities, and buy a house for $30k. In NZ if you go to even the shittiest most depressing, damp cold, suicidal ideation creating, drug and alcohol riddled, remote little towns and buy a disgusting, run down, old, damp, cold little house or unit, its still going to set you back at the very least $300k. And will still need to be renovated. Then you might have meth using, criminal neighbours, and still have to pay a fortune in heating costs, as well as gas costs to get around that are three times what they are in USA and more expensive food costs, while only being able to get a really low paying job. What a depressing existence that would be. Especially for that amount of money. So its no surprise that NZ now has the highest rate of homelessness in the whole OECD. Its strange because when I was a kid, NZ was a bit of a paradise. I remember we would talk about how homelessness was such a USA problem. Now its much worse here. You see homeless people in every town. Well a lot of them at least as I travel for work and see them everywhere. NZ has been ruined by globalisation and I really hate that. Maybe inequality ranks higher in USA because there are a number of super rich entrepreneurs. We don't tend to have many of those people here. Except recently, who bought their citizenship.

Its quite depressing looking at USA personal finance material as it doesn't really represent any sort of applicable blue print for here. Its so much more difficult here. I remember some material about one person in USA buying a duplex in a major city for $20k as the beginning of their wealth creation. Well holy shit of course. That's a no brainer. Why wouldn't you. But its a whole different scenario when you are living in Wellington or Auckland on a $60k salary with a student loan and a duplex costs $2.5 million. Looking at personal finance materials in the USA is just like a whole other world. The salaries people get are like three times what they would get here for the same job and their living costs are just peanuts. Some of the stuff personal finance people in USA do isn't really all that frugal or extreme or innovative, and is basically how normal young kiwis live out of necessity, except in USA because of the high salaries and low living costs they progress to FI. That's why I like the ERE type stuff, as its more applicable here, except it will still take much longer to FI.

The current government is doing some things to try improve the situation but its too little too late and its not fixing the problems. They did some tinkering to make tenancies better for tenants. They also banned foreign buyers from buying property, except for Australians. But they haven't really gone far enough as they still allow foreigners to buy new property. NZ has had a really bad mix of left and right wing policies which has created the perfect conditions for these problems. On the left they created extremely restrictive land use laws. Any land use is really expensive and caught up in red tape as a result, hampering development. On the right they sold off all the state housing to private buyers. Also created zero capital gains tax. They also allowed negative gearing so that people overpay for properties betting on tax exempt capital gains and carry over a tax loss to their other incomes and get a huge tax rebate. So this has created a huge tax rort and the people getting rich on property have been tax payer funded. The existing govt just made negative gearing illegal thank god. Also add high rates of immigration to the mix. There is a lot of work needs to be done to fix all this mess. But the current govt recently had the opportunity to introduce capital gains tax just like everywhere else but chickened out. This could have helped reduce all the investors snapping up lots of property and could have cut income tax rates for everyone else to have more disposable income. But the govt failed. There needs to be significant work done on the supply of housing side of things as well as reduction of investor demand. I just don't see it happening.

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

@ cimorene. Wow ok so the medical and insurance costs are much higher in the USA. Yay finally something is cheap in NZ!

In terms of salaries I do regularly hear of salaries in the realm of 3 x NZ salaries. Mostly I get this from personal finance blogs and chat forums and podcasts etc, so it probably is biased upwards. But the median NZ salary isn't three times the median US salary because lower end jobs in NZ are pushed upwards more. Like unskilled and low skilled jobs are pushed more towards the middle. Minimum wage is much higher. But for skilled professionals and management, pay is definitely significantly higher in USA. So I am focussed more on the skilled professional jobs which is my camp.

You are very right I definitely do have competing priorities which is why this is frustrating. Higher income and very high living costs here vs no income and very low living costs in my other country. The no income is temporary. Average incomes are around the same. But I will need to work back up to a similar income which might take years, it wont be an easy transition. Retraining, new qualifications etc. If I had more capital it would be easier to work it out. So maybe I just need to stay here a while longer and grow some more, maybe another year and a half.

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Re: Moving overseas

Post by jacob »

Once again, the internations survey is very helpful in this regard. It bears out everything you're discussing in terms of NZ vs US.

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

I have to say I do think NZ medical system stacks up quite well through the combination of private and public sector mix, with it being semi privatised. This is how I feel in comparison to completely private systems like USA or completely public like UK. The caveat is that I think it works well for people who are at least middle class or for baby boomers of any class. Less so for younger poor people.

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Alice_AU
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by Alice_AU »

I was also jealous of US house prices some time ago. I was looking at North Carolina then - $250K-$350K, and so large and pretty! Then someone told me it probably costs another $250-$350 in property taxes over 20-30 years and I was less jealous straight away :-)

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

With all the pandemic stuff going on I have decided to stay in NZ another year, much of which because of the collapse of my stock portfolio = bad time to destroy my income.
But, a transfer opportunity is likely coming up with my work soon. To another city in NZ which is a fair amount more affordable. I am keen on it. Would be a significant financial boost. And a bit of an adventure. But, with all this virus stuff going on I am nervous about it. About shifting cities and being in a state of limbo etc and potentially getting really sick in the midst of needing to move city, house, being homeless etc.
Trying to decide what to do. If it wasn't for the virus I would be going for it. What would others do? Go for the new job and organise shifting - likely to be in about 2-3 months. Or batten down the hatches and stay in my current home and city until the virus has run its course which means this transfer opp will be gone by then?
Last edited by thrifty++ on Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chenda
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by chenda »

I think you have made a very wise decision and I hope it works out well for you...

thrifty++
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by thrifty++ »

Thanks Bigato and Chenda. Ideally what I would like to is to have both a modest little home in NZ and a nice place in my other country (since its so much cheaper). Then I can flit back and forth. I think moving to another city in NZ will help achieve that goal in the medium term. Its helpful for me to have something in NZ as a base as its much easier for me to earn money here and I have lots of friends here - in all the main cities. So its good to be able to come back when I need to and have somewhere to go

ertyu
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Re: Moving overseas

Post by ertyu »

I agree with @bigato, move within NZ. Don't hesitate to spend money if it makes the move sane and expedient. Savings will be made up in cost of living reductions later. I also agree with have the new place lined up before you need to move out of the old one. While getting sick is possible, the earlier you get the move done, the safer you are because the disease is less spread. Another thing that people don't necessarily realize is, corona is SLOW. It's what makes it a bitch to contain - positive people have enough energy to frolic and go out. For a person in their 30s-40s, for instance, it's about a week to get symptoms proper for most people, then a week of mild symptoms through which most people can work, and it's only then that the disease figures whether it's gonna resolve or take a turn for the worse. Even if the disease does take a turn for the worse, you'll have your new place lined up and someone would have moved your shit there. As I wager you'll likely survive this, the worst case scenario appears to be coming home from the hospital to a bunch of unpacked boxes.

That said, I get where you're coming from. There is so little actual information about what the disease is like for most people that the uncertainty almost makes it worse when it comes to anxiety. The progress of the disease that I have talked about above comes from something posted on r/coronavirus which tries to keep the information legit.

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