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What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Old Feb 26th 2007, 11:43 am
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Default What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Good morning all,

The company my husband works for has expressed their interest in transferring him to Sydney. They've mentioned the position, it's in a managerial role, but no salary details as yet.

Over here we live in a nice village setting in quite an afluent area (we just bought at the right time), my children go to good schools and we have a reasonable standard of living, as in we are not in major debt (just the mortgage) but still watch the pennies.

From the details I've read on Sydney it's very expensive. Other research has led us to believe the average managerial salary in the city to be around £120k per annum + car etc.

My question to those who know Sydney well, is what would we be able to afford? I've read the North Beach areas are very nice, but would we be able to afford the property prices?

I suppose what I'm really asking is what kind of salary do we need to be earning to afford a good standard of living in Sydney.

I'm currently training as a sign language interpreter and have been assured by the oz equivalent that I would get work in Sydney, so we could up our salaries.

The move is still 12 months away, if it happens, but we want to be prepared to be able to negotiate my husbands salary to a reasonable amount or ditch the idea.

Thanks ever so much for listening to my convoluted ramble. I trust you'll know where I'm coming from.

Cheryl
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Cheryl
My off the cuff answer would be that if your hubby's company pay him the equivalent wage to someone in the same position in the Uk ,then you will probably come out on top.Sydney is not a cheap place to live but if you are on about 120k aud, then you should have a reasonable standard of living.
A lot will depend on whether this is looked on as a permanent move by the company and what type of visa you arrive on. Initially there are tax advantages to not being on a permanent visa . However there are also extra expenses with this type of visa (school fees etc).
If you are renting a home, expect to budget for at least 500aud per week rent for a nice house on the north shore. The north shore in general is a great part of Sydney with good facilities (schools ,public transport, hospitals etc)
I am sure that if you like an outdoor life style are keen on sports and socializing in general then you will enjoy Sydney.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 9:33 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Woodring, thanks ever so much for your reply.

I think 120k would be the benchmark we would be looking for to ensure 'like for like' whilst not dismissing the beauty and lifestyle benefits of australia. I really appreciate your reply because it gives a sense of perspective we would only otherwise see written down in figures.

Any comments from others also welcome.

Thanks again.

Cheryl
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

I'm in Sydney and I don't live in the Northern Beaches. However I would be surprised if you couldn't live somewhere on the Northern Beaches or Sutherlandshire or other decent areas with an income of $120K plus anything you could contribute as an interpreter (in short supply over here). Would you be able to put down a fairly decent deposit?

Yes housing is expensive relative to the rest of Australia (which is catching up) but other costs such as transport, clothes, food are pretty much similar. It's actually a good time to buy a house right now as the Sydney market is stagnant.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Originally Posted by StevenChez View Post

From the details I've read on Sydney it's very expensive. Other research has led us to believe the average managerial salary in the city to be around £120k per annum + car etc.
Cheryl, can you clarify whether you mean:

120k GBP OR
$120k (AUD)

If your husband expects to earn the equivalent of 120k pounds per annum in Sydney, you really won't have many problems as the average salary is approximately the equivalent of about 25k pounds.

If however you mean $120k - austalian dollars - well, that salary won't go far in Sydney supporting a family if you are hoping to live in a mansion by the sea but if you are prepared to compromise you should find such a salary manageable.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Originally Posted by chels View Post
Cheryl, can you clarify whether you mean:

120k GBP OR
$120k (AUD)

If your husband expects to earn the equivalent of 120k pounds per annum in Sydney, you really won't have many problems as the average salary is approximately the equivalent of about 25k pounds.

If however you mean $120k - austalian dollars - well, that salary won't go far in Sydney supporting a family if you are hoping to live in a mansion by the sea but if you are prepared to compromise you should find such a salary manageable.
A mansion by the sea in Sydney you would need to be earning atleast $1.2 million not $120K.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

This is my opinion only and it will depend on your Visa. No temp visa has tax advantages look up 457 details JAJ posts here at the top.

I have lived on the Upper North Shore for five years. I can do the maths for a possible top end of the mid scale lifestyle in this place (I do not live it I just know about it )

Schools could prove very expensive, eg if you plan to send your children to a top private on a temp or PR visa, fee will be around $10K plus per child. Look for Barker College, Pymble Ladies College for more information. If you opt for public school on a temp visa you will be paying around $4500 per child. Free public on a PR but still have on costs for usual school trips/books/uniform. Catholic private can provide a cheaper alternative $3000 - $6000 range this area.

Out of school activities add money, and many children participate.

$120K will leave you around $7000 per month after tax, if paying school fees for two children at $2000 a month you are down to $5000. A nice (not top of the range) four bed rental near transport links will be around $2500 per month.

http://www.domain.com.au/

and check out St Ives/Wahroonga/Killara/Pymble for some of the upmarket burbs.

Check out average house prices in the areas you like and add on about 6% to cover all fees/stamp duty. I would estimate now a nice 4 bed will cost around the $1.1 Mil mark or more in the areas I have mentioned. There are other options but I am talking about the "lifestyle" house

Obviously there are lots of cheaper options and in my opinion $120K is low for some of the incomes around this area, but that is true the world over. Depends if you want to keep up with Jones and be top of the pile. We had fun looking over a $4 mil house and land for a laugh last weekend. There is lots and lots of money in Sydney in some places.

You could easily afford a good standard of living but may have to make compromises on where you live and what you spend money on, all this depends on your requirements and what sort of deposit you have if buying.

You need to say what some of your expectations are for a 'good standard of living'.

A question I was asked on moving to Sydney from Wokingham in Berskhire, was could I afford to move to decent part of London and have the same good standard of living straight away. The answer was no for me, so I could not expect to move to Sydney and do the same.

On a positive note, five years in we have built a fairly decent standard of living, a nice area, not a top of the range house but just right for us. You may find yourself taking a backward step in the first couple of years as you re establish yourselves. All of this will depend on what your personal choices are.

If you have any specific questions fire away.

Cheers Sandra
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Originally Posted by Lord Pom Percy View Post
A mansion by the sea in Sydney you would need to be earning atleast $1.2 million not $120K.
That may be why I suggested some kind of compromise

And on the australian dollar equivalent of 120k GBP, plus one other salary, although a mansion might not be possible, it would be possible to live very comfortably in Sydney. This is why I asked for clarification whether the OP's figure of 120k was AUD or GBP (seeing as how it had a POUND sign in front of it).

Am I the only person whose computer shows the OP's post included a GBP figure:

From the details I've read on Sydney it's very expensive. Other research has led us to believe the average managerial salary in the city to be around £120k per annum + car etc.

Last edited by chels; Feb 26th 2007 at 11:28 pm.
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 2:40 am
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Originally Posted by chels View Post
That may be why I suggested some kind of compromise

And on the australian dollar equivalent of 120k GBP, plus one other salary, although a mansion might not be possible, it would be possible to live very comfortably in Sydney. This is why I asked for clarification whether the OP's figure of 120k was AUD or GBP (seeing as how it had a POUND sign in front of it).

Am I the only person whose computer shows the OP's post included a GBP figure:

From the details I've read on Sydney it's very expensive. Other research has led us to believe the average managerial salary in the city to be around £120k per annum + car etc.
Hi Chels

Good for pointing this out! 120 GBP would be a much easier salary to afford that lifestyle $15K after tax per month.

http://yahoo.domain.com.au/Public/Ar...=1160246296032

is a good article I read but one the biggest difficulties as you also pointed out is the deposit you have to put down on housing. A median house price of say $850K with a deposit of 100 GBP will still leave you $600K plus 50K on costs.

A $650K mortage could be scary (abut 4.5K a month) .....I have a $510K one and had to take it over 30 yrs to make it affordable to start. I now plan to change that hopefully in the near future.

Ooooppps I made an error when I stated their where no tax advantages on a temp visa, there is of course the LAFHA, but this is an allowance supposedly to off set the cost of living in a country on a temp basis. In our case we had one year getting an extra $1000 a month which made it livable when my husband was not working. But the $1000 was offset by other costs like the $9000 school fees, running a mortgage in the UK etc.

I also believe that it has become a little more affordable in Sydney over the past five years because of the change of tax rates, when I first came over you had to pay top rate tax at $60K annual, that has now change to $150K which is a lot easier on the pocket. It really impacted our first years here.

Cheers Sandra
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 7:27 am
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Cheryl,

Just a note of caution. What is "reasonable" to one person is unacceptable to another. $120k per annum may seem like an outstanding salary to many folk but if you've come from a good quality of life in the UK then this may not be ok for you. It very much depends on your expectations and requirements.

Do you want a short commute ? A house with 3 or 4 bedrooms ? A pool or a garden ? 2 cars or 1 ? Do the kids need to go private ? Do you need Foxtel IQ, surround sound, plasma screen tv's, weekends away, nice holidays and some disposable income after all of that ? All of that will have a huge influence on your decision and what is affordable.

I was told by my P&C department that my Aus salary would "allow me to live like a king" in Melbourne. I had a great lifestyle in the UK though and it came as a bit of a shock when I found that we had little left after our outgoings when we tried to ensure we had the same sort of lifestyle !

For Melbourne I've found that a salary in aussie dollars about 1.5 times my UK GBP salary is about right.

Not sure if any of that has helped !

On the plus side, we took a considerable paycut initially but the improvement in lifestyle has more than compensated.

Good luck.


Originally Posted by StevenChez View Post
Good morning all,

The company my husband works for has expressed their interest in transferring him to Sydney. They've mentioned the position, it's in a managerial role, but no salary details as yet.

Over here we live in a nice village setting in quite an afluent area (we just bought at the right time), my children go to good schools and we have a reasonable standard of living, as in we are not in major debt (just the mortgage) but still watch the pennies.

From the details I've read on Sydney it's very expensive. Other research has led us to believe the average managerial salary in the city to be around £120k per annum + car etc.

My question to those who know Sydney well, is what would we be able to afford? I've read the North Beach areas are very nice, but would we be able to afford the property prices?

I suppose what I'm really asking is what kind of salary do we need to be earning to afford a good standard of living in Sydney.

I'm currently training as a sign language interpreter and have been assured by the oz equivalent that I would get work in Sydney, so we could up our salaries.

The move is still 12 months away, if it happens, but we want to be prepared to be able to negotiate my husbands salary to a reasonable amount or ditch the idea.

Thanks ever so much for listening to my convoluted ramble. I trust you'll know where I'm coming from.

Cheryl
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 9:32 am
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

I am a teacher and a mum, what age are your kids, I'll give you my take on bringing kids into this education system. How long will you stay, if not for ever, because you may fall in love and not leave. We moved 18 months ago and it has been a very traumatic and wonderful experience. We'll never go back for good hopefully.
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 11:52 am
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Smile Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

What a useful thread! We are in the same situation - we went on a recce in November and fell in love with the St. Ives area (mainly because of their public schools), but DH is currently waiting on the details of a job offer and I think it's only going to be around $120k. I know that's not a bad salary, but it's very low in comparison to London IT salaries. We've been thinking that we'd be much better off living in a less expensive area. Any opinions on suburbs and schools outside the St. Ives/Killara/Gordon are would be really appreciated. I'm looking for high/primary and pre-schools!!! Serves me right for having such big gaps between kids.
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 4:28 pm
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Smile Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Originally Posted by Sandra View Post
This is my opinion only and it will depend on your Visa. No temp visa has tax advantages look up 457 details JAJ posts here at the top.
What about the fact that those on temp visas don't get taxed on any overseas income? That's quite an advantage if you ask me!



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Old Feb 28th 2007, 12:24 am
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
What about the fact that those on temp visas don't get taxed on any overseas income? That's quite an advantage if you ask me!



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Fair enough, but coming from the UK what overseas income earned in the UK are you going to have that the UK will not tax you on?

I did not rent out my home (I let some people stay in it) because it would have affected my LAFHA directly and I am not sure of other income sources that would not have been taxed. I stand corrected though

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Old Feb 28th 2007, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: What kind of lifestyle can we expect - Sydney

Firstly apologies to all for my belated thanks and also for writing £ instead of $ - habit. Sorry for the confusion.

Tara :
Oliver and Millie will be 9 and 4 respectively when we travel next year. What age do children start school and would Oliver be level, behind or ahead of the school curriculum? Thanks for your offer of advice which is much appreciated.

Haggis :
It's so difficult to judge without being there and with so much to think about Thanks for your reply and putting my feet back on the ground

Sandra :
Your reply was like having you on the other end of the phone answering my questions. Thanks hun, it's so appreciated.

Chels : Sorry for the confusion, I need to brush up on my proof reading skills or maybe just preview my posts Thanks for pointing it out. Aah, a mansion by the sea, my ideal, but not my reality unfortunately. Will be compromising considerably

To everyone else, thanks ever so much.

We've just got to make this work now. The worse is the lack of further information from the head office. It's been a case of 'we'd like you to transfer to our Sydney office but not for another year/year and half.' Aarghh.

Cheryl
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