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Does anyone else think like this?

Does anyone else think like this?

Old Jan 15th 2009, 10:31 am
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Default Does anyone else think like this?

I'm staying off the threads at the moment because I'm weighing up some options and don't want to be influenced one way or the other by what's posted here but I do have a question and would be interested in what others think.

Instead of moving straight back to the UK and taking the normal route of renting a house, working and getting straight back into a routine, I'm asking myself how come we all follow the same old, same old of studying, qualifying, working, having children, working, sleeping, more work then along comes a crisis and bang, suddenly we're all on the hop looking down a deep black hole realising that all along we've been working, not for ourselves but for the bank, the government, family, etc, etc and then in the blink of an eye, some greedy financiers do the wrong thing and the whole global economy is in trouble.
Then we're all facing working even harder to repay even more money and to keep what we've achieved so far.

Does anyone else see the benefits of actually not owning anything instead of working to keep it? In other words, just working to survive?

I'm currently weighing up, not rushing back to UK as planned but renting out the house, or selling everything then just floating along but ready to accept opportunities as they arise.
I've noticed that while it's nice to own your home and have a steady business or job, you can end up equally trapped by them. For example, we can't sell the house in a flat market so we can't head back to the UK without being tied to here. That's not a huge problem but it's not total freedom either.

They are just my thoughts but in light of how people have worked hard and done the right thing all their lives and are now facing loss on a great scale of their supers and savings, I just wonder if it's better to live light, let your dog sleep guarding what's under your mattress and do a job for the love of it rather than the money.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

We are seriously thinking that mabey we are better off not committing to a mortgage.
Most of our married life we have had a large mortgage, never had the luxury of being able to buy a council house for a song like our parents, always have had to fork out big style for housing.
Mabey this is what we have been doing wrong all these years, we are stuck again now until we sell our home in NS, we never seem to learn, always hopeful of a happy ending...
The only thing that worries me for never owning a property outright, is when you are retired and cannot earn enough to rent somewhere decent.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 10:44 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Me, I feel like this. I've been reading your posts and actually we have followed quite similar career paths. That aside, we are leaving the UK to go to Canada.

I have said all the way along I'm not bothered if we never own a house again, I hope that one day my kids will but if we were to stay here in the UK, the house would no doubt be used against our healthcare as we get older or the government would take so much off us in inheratance tax, stamp duty, this tax and the other that barely anything would be left anyway.

I don't know if it is the same for Canada but right now I am very accepting of the fact that we have worked hard all these years to pay for a house that through no fault of our own is virtually worthless - we had plenty of equity but through the absolute abundance of properties in our area on the market (there are 7 of our style of house alone on our estate for sale and despite us being the cheapest we don't have the greatest position which means that it is difficult to sell), there was also a huge problem with kids from two neighbouring estates turning our estate into a battlefield, although in fairness it seems (touch wood a million times) that this may have been sorted out but that hasn't helped house prices here at all because who wants to move to an estate with a huge massive asb situation.

I'm fed up of working like a donkey for nothing - we have absolutely nothing to show, as an employer we are taxed to the hilt and it is getting even more expensive to employ staff, as business owners we are subjected to ridiculous amounts of tax, import duties, export duties and VAT etc.

Then if you think about your take home salary, we have to pay VAT on most purchases, tax on petrol, road tax, mots, council tax, our water bill was £750 and our gas and electricity were the same. If you take your disposable income and work out the portion of it which doesn't go into some tax or other it is actually a very frightening statistic - and that is before bank charges etc.

Then you add on how much you have to pay for a prescription, going to the dentist, glasses and so on!!

I just can't see how it pays to work anymore and it is going to get so much worse when we start having to pay back in taxes the money the goverment used to bail out the banks and so on.

I find it all very depressing actually.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

I'm going to talk to my husband tonight. We have several options which is nice but sometimes just one option helps making deciding a lot easier.
Basically, my husband and I have always done the same. Family first, worked harder than you can imagine, provided everything, then because we were working so hard and therefore not measuring up apparantly, we were both left. Our husband/wife met someone else, took off and obviously our hard earned asset pool diminished considerably.
My husband pays maximum child support to an ex wife who has stopped working to get the maximum amount, his children don't want to spend time with him because their mother is bitter for him not having her back. My adult children don't speak to me for not having my ex husband back. He took off when we moved to Australia and had a series of affairs, emptied the bank account, tricked me into coming here but then when it became clear he wasn't going to get as much as he thought from the asset pool, he wanted to come back! My kids won't speak to me now because I've remarried and they think I should have kept their inheritance in tact by staying with my ex husband.

So now, with no family commitments as such, we're left thinking we're still working flat out to pay the bills. But why??? OK, so we end up owning our own house but we work all these years to pay double in interest, then we die and someone else gets all our efforts.
There has to be a better way to live.

I think buying a house is OK if you rent it out and someone pays the mortgage. That's what we'll probably do with our house in Australia. But I never want to work just to live again so I have a different plan for living in the UK.
I love my work, it's my passion so I want to focus much more on this enjoyable part of my life and I want to fund this more than i want to pay the bills on owning a home.
I still love the idea of returning to the UK and buying a building plot, living in a static home on site and building a home mortgage free block by block as and when time and money permits. My husband loves this work and I do too so again, our focus would be on being free enough to do what we enjoy doing and not to follow the same old path of trapping ourselves in the idea that we MUST own a house to feel secure. I think this is where we perhaps place too much energy and emphasis and lose out on what really makes us feel happy.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

We always kept our mortgage small, big payments scared the heck out of me.
Smaller cheaper home in a more expensive neighborhood kind of thing, easier to unload (in theory) Most sought after school district.
I never bought into the work like a mad man just to keep up with the payments.
Dh refuses to buy on the never never as he still calls it. he's a save and buy for cash man.
So when/(please please please not if) we move home to UK we will have a house for cash and could survive on us working smaller less crazy jobs. and live nicely on his pension and our SSI (USA) in a home if we owned it. once we are of retirement age.
We've drummed into the kids, pick a career you love, you'll be at it a long time, no point in paying for an education only to change careers and pay all over again if you can help it.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

[QUOTE=tinytears;7174506

Then if you think about your take home salary, we have to pay VAT on most purchases, tax on petrol, road tax, mots, council tax, our water bill was £750 and our gas and electricity were the same. If you take your disposable income and work out the portion of it which doesn't go into some tax or other it is actually a very frightening statistic - and that is before bank charges etc.

Then you add on how much you have to pay for a prescription, going to the dentist, glasses and so on!!

I just can't see how it pays to work anymore and it is going to get so much worse when we start having to pay back in taxes the money the goverment used to bail out the banks and so on.

I find it all very depressing actually.[/QUOTE]

I don't know if you've worked it all out but you still pay all those things in US and Cananda.
We pay $2000 a year property tax (similar to council tax but we don't get much for it)
Tax is added to just about everything at the till (not food unless it's prepared or junk or something)
We pay for prescriptions, glasses, dentists are uber expensive
Garbage pick up is separate ($200 a year) as is water (approx $ 1200 a year)
Street lights don't exist in our neighborhood, the posher one down the road has them, at a fee ($1200 a year to include road repairs that haven't been done)
It's swings and roundabouts. You think you are getting away but its the same everywhere. Same sh*t different scenery, as someone on another post put it.
There's tax on the phone bill, the cable bill, the pest control bill, it never ends.
All these are making me so crazy I want to move BACK to UK.
Oh I'm in California (a cheaper part not San Francisco)
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Having lived abroad, I think you do get better value for money in the UK plus you can also downsize and have other living options. I find Australia expensive to live generally. I think the UK is cheaper.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Quote:
It's swings and roundabouts. You think you are getting away but its the same everywhere. Same sh*t different scenery, as someone on another post put it.
There's tax on the phone bill, the cable bill, the pest control bill, it never ends.
All these are making me so crazy I want to move BACK to UK.


I do agree on that and it took me a less than a year in BC, Canada to figure it out. I miss UK and want to go back. I hope it will happen sooner rather than later and I will learn my lessons.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Yes, I'm not sure, Tinytears, that you'll find things better here.

That's a good point about the tax. Anyone looking at prices here might think they're cheap, but the tax is added to the stated price at the till, both federal GST and provincial sales tax.(No PST in Alberta, but now the oil revenues are dropping, who knows.) It can really add up!

I was looking for a receipt, but I can only find one with GST not provincial. (The rules differ.) But it was $22 plus $1.18 GST. I think PST is the same, so it could have been $24.27. It really mounts up on a big ticket item.

Doctor's visits are free here, and hospital treatment, but if you don't have extra health insurance to cover them, everything else can be really expensive.

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Old Jan 15th 2009, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Yes, I do think like this... unfortunately I now once again have a mortgage! It was a huge adjustment after a year of renting and having a large balance in the savings account from the sale of the house in the US.

If you do a Google search for "voluntary simplicity" you will find a lot of information about people who have given up on the lifestyle of working just to keep what you have.

I heard a great analogy on a podcast that went something along the lines of you buy some books, then you have to buy a bookcase to keep them on, then you have to buy a house to keep the bookcase in, then you have to buy the insurance to protect the house, and so on. Obviously that's simplistic, but you know how to apply it to all the things we clutter our lives with.

Another point was how much we spend in order to have a job. You have to buy a car to drive to work, insure the car, pay the road tax, pay for the petrol, buy smart clothes to go to work... at what point does the cost of working make it become not worth it? Unfortunately I'm too afraid to chuck it all in and try to live without a job!

As for owning a house, I either heard or read another great point that "owning" a house is an illusion because after we're gone somebody else will get it. It's really just a glorified form of renting for the duration of our lives.

Fortunately we have a very small mortgage. I wasn't interested in taking on stupid amounts of debt just to own a house in the south east and that's why we moved to Wales and bought an affordable house. We wanted a life too.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Technically, buying is just paying your rent in a lump sum but you have more security of tenure. There are longterm landlords who would be happy to have longterm tenants, the UK tenancy laws are more short-termist.

I'm a big fan of the "Joy of not Working!" I've stopped lending it to people as they have been known to give up work after reading it. It's more about managing on less and finding more to your life than not actually working!
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

I would heartily recommend the books of Tom Hodgkinson, including "How To Be Free" and "How To Be Ilde".
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Well, you see the problem with this moving to another country lark is that in the main it's for discontented people that think that there's a whole big better world out there. I don't mean those with an adventuring spirit I mean those of us that think by swapping to a new country it will solve everything.

I thought that when we moved to Canada but of course all we did was replace one set of problems with another. That then leads to thinking that maybe the old country wasn't so bad after all and if you're really unlucky you move back and then instead of accepting the inevitable and making the best of it you up sticks again and try another move!

I see myself as a person who having spent most of my life thinking that there's probably something better on the horizon is finally appreciating that we have to make the best of what we have and accept that there's no where that is perfect.

We can change this and we can change that but it depends on us as individuals as to whether we can find contentment. My OH is great. She sees the best of every situation and can fit in anywhere. I so wish that I felt the same because it would save me a lot of deep stressful thinking and heartache at times.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Originally Posted by tinytears
Me, I feel like this. I've been reading your posts and actually we have followed quite similar career paths. That aside, we are leaving the UK to go to Canada.

I have said all the way along I'm not bothered if we never own a house again, I hope that one day my kids will but if we were to stay here in the UK, the house would no doubt be used against our healthcare as we get older or the government would take so much off us in inheratance tax, stamp duty, this tax and the other that barely anything would be left anyway.

I don't know if it is the same for Canada but right now I am very accepting of the fact that we have worked hard all these years to pay for a house that through no fault of our own is virtually worthless - we had plenty of equity but through the absolute abundance of properties in our area on the market (there are 7 of our style of house alone on our estate for sale and despite us being the cheapest we don't have the greatest position which means that it is difficult to sell), there was also a huge problem with kids from two neighbouring estates turning our estate into a battlefield, although in fairness it seems (touch wood a million times) that this may have been sorted out but that hasn't helped house prices here at all because who wants to move to an estate with a huge massive asb situation.

I'm fed up of working like a donkey for nothing - we have absolutely nothing to show, as an employer we are taxed to the hilt and it is getting even more expensive to employ staff, as business owners we are subjected to ridiculous amounts of tax, import duties, export duties and VAT etc.

Then if you think about your take home salary, we have to pay VAT on most purchases, tax on petrol, road tax, mots, council tax, our water bill was £750 and our gas and electricity were the same. If you take your disposable income and work out the portion of it which doesn't go into some tax or other it is actually a very frightening statistic - and that is before bank charges etc.

Then you add on how much you have to pay for a prescription, going to the dentist, glasses and so on!!

I just can't see how it pays to work anymore and it is going to get so much worse when we start having to pay back in taxes the money the goverment used to bail out the banks and so on.

I find it all very depressing actually.
Couldnt agree more !
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Does anyone else think like this?

Sorry I didn't mean it to sound as if we wouldn't have those expenses elsewhere because I know that we will of course. It was specifically the owning of a house that we probably won't do - if we were here (UK) we would have nothing left - have no idea about Canada but no doubt it is the same.

Fuel in Canada seems to be much cheaper (research and reccy), so much of the fuel charges here are taxes over actual price.

My main bugbear with being here is that it is people who work here are finding more and more they are paying for those that don't. One of the biggest differences here is the sink communities and the open door immigration policies of this government - not immigrants that come in and work and contribute to society, I have *no* problems with that at all, it is those that are taking but not contributing that is a different matter.
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