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Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Old Mar 5th 2010, 1:21 am
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Default Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

As retirement approaches, my wife and I have been considering the option of living half the year in the UK and the other half in Australia. We have lived in Australia for 30 years (mainly Brisbane), have dual citizenship, and maintain strong ties with the UK through annual visits during that time.

Adopting this lifestyle raises a number of issues including:

Do we own and maintain homes in both locations or rent in the UK for the months we are there? We would look to avoid living with family or friends as we would like to maintain some independence. If we own in one or both locations, do we look to rent out the property when not there?

Are serviced apartments an option? House Swaps?

Same with a car, Do we rent or own or a combination of both given issues of tax and insurance.

Health insurance, Taxation issues, other issues??

Has anyone done this, currently doing this, or have advice on any of the above issues? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
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Old Mar 5th 2010, 2:03 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by Veekay View Post
As retirement approaches, my wife and I have been considering the option of living half the year in the UK and the other half in Australia. We have lived in Australia for 30 years (mainly Brisbane), have dual citizenship, and maintain strong ties with the UK through annual visits during that time.

Adopting this lifestyle raises a number of issues including:

Do we own and maintain homes in both locations or rent in the UK for the months we are there? We would look to avoid living with family or friends as we would like to maintain some independence. If we own in one or both locations, do we look to rent out the property when not there?

Are serviced apartments an option? House Swaps?

Same with a car, Do we rent or own or a combination of both given issues of tax and insurance.

Health insurance, Taxation issues, other issues??

Has anyone done this, currently doing this, or have advice on any of the above issues? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
I know some people in Canada who actually do housesitting in Mexico during the Canadian winters and get paid a small amount for doing so. Maybe this is an option in the UK:

http://www.housesittersltd.co.uk/

I think owning and maintaining two properties is not only expensive but, if only for insurance reasons, you need someone to make regular visits.
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Old Mar 5th 2010, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

My parents did it for 15 years when they retired. They stopped when they turned 80 and decided they werent up for it any more. They say they were the best years of their lives, constant sunshine and golf and the chance to travel.

They had the capacity to build a granny flat on our block and so had their own place in Aus. They kept their UK home and usually shut it up (with wonderful neighbours keeping an eye on it) for the winter but occasionally they had house sitters - friends and family who needed a place to doss.

If we were to do the same, I think we would go for short lease flats in UK although with my folk being elderly we could stay with them, they could do with the assistance but we would need time out on a regular basis.
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Old Mar 5th 2010, 8:28 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by Veekay View Post
Do we own and maintain homes in both locations or rent in the UK for the months we are there? We would look to avoid living with family or friends as we would like to maintain some independence. If we own in one or both locations, do we look to rent out the property when not there?

Are serviced apartments an option? House Swaps?

Same with a car, Do we rent or own or a combination of both given issues of tax and insurance.

Health insurance, Taxation issues, other issues??
I know someone who does this the other way round: Her permanent home is in the UK, but she spends the UK winter here in Perth.

She always house-sits. If you don't mind a slightly nomadic life style ... Some house-sits can be for 6 weeks, others only for 3.

Another option is to rent a fully-furnished flat/house. (I am not talking about a serviced apartment.) Or to live in a static caravan. These can be really nice especially if you are in the UK in the summer.

As long as you are not working in the UK, there will be no tax issue.

And as for healthcare: You said you had dual nationality. That means you will have full access to the NHS. But you should always get health insurance for the flight itself. Imagine you fall ill en-route and end up in hospital in Singapore/Hong Kong/Dubai. Kuala Lumpur ... could be expensive.

Serviced apartments are expensive. And owning property in both countries can make your life complicated. But if you are absolutely loaded, go for it .

Enjoy your retirement.
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Old Mar 5th 2010, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by ozhappy981 View Post

And as for healthcare: You said you had dual nationality. That means you will have full access to the NHS. But you should always get health insurance for the flight itself. Imagine you fall ill en-route and end up in hospital in Singapore/Hong Kong/Dubai. Kuala Lumpur ... could be expensive.
You only qualify for free treatment under the NHS if you can prove that you are moving back to England permanently:

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1087.asp...CategoryID=162
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Old Mar 6th 2010, 2:34 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by johnh009 View Post
You only qualify for free treatment under the NHS if you can prove that you are moving back to England permanently:
Not true in the case of the OP! The OP said they had dual Australian and UK nationality. They are therefore covered under the UK/Aus reciprocal healthcare agreement. Therefore if they fall ill while in the UK, everything is covered. (They can't have elective treatment, i.e. they can't travel to the UK just for that hip replacement, but if they fall ill in the UK everything is covered.)
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Old Mar 6th 2010, 2:44 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by ozhappy981 View Post
Not true in the case of the OP! The OP said they had dual Australian and UK nationality. They are therefore covered under the UK/Aus reciprocal healthcare agreement. Therefore if they fall ill while in the UK, everything is covered. (They can't have elective treatment, i.e. they can't travel to the UK just for that hip replacement, but if they fall ill in the UK everything is covered.)
Interesting, yes, I am in Canada which according to this site does not, although Russia and what would seem unlikely countries do. It obviously has nothing to do with the Commonwealth:

http://www.studystay.com/htm/essenti...nt_health5.htm
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Old Mar 6th 2010, 4:33 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

One of the questions concerns tax residence ... would UK tax residence be acquired and/or Australian tax residence retained?
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Old Mar 6th 2010, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

I don't think that a UK tax residence can be obtained. If they fill in the (P?) 86 for they have to state their intentions which would be to leave in 6 months. So I think that there is a chance of tax on a remittance basis in the UK for living costs but probably not if funds are kept in the UK and taxed (subject to personal allowance to which they are entitled).

Interesting question JAJ - things are changing quickly in the Revenue's interpretation of residence, domicile and expat situations. When I came back this time I was challenged hard on my former ex-pat tax exempt status.
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Old Mar 6th 2010, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

I think basically you pay tax in the place where you spend more than 50% of the year. Leaving aside non domesciled people like Lord Ashcroft!

I know someone who does the OZ/England split and they bought a place here in a holiday home complex. I don't know all the details, but they aren't allowed to live there full time, which is why it's a holiday home. I think that means the developers don't have to think about providing schools and such.

Anyway, it's a bit like a condo arrangement with the complex taking care of the place when they're not there.

I have to say that because we have our sons in Canada we might consider something similar if the climate was so amenable. But it'd be a toss up whether to escape Canadian winter in Victoria for England or vice-versa. This year, Victoria would have won!

Bev
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Old Mar 7th 2010, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by Veekay View Post
As retirement approaches, my wife and I have been considering the option of living half the year in the UK and the other half in Australia. We have lived in Australia for 30 years (mainly Brisbane), have dual citizenship, and maintain strong ties with the UK through annual visits during that time.

Adopting this lifestyle raises a number of issues including:

Do we own and maintain homes in both locations or rent in the UK for the months we are there? We would look to avoid living with family or friends as we would like to maintain some independence. If we own in one or both locations, do we look to rent out the property when not there?

Are serviced apartments an option? House Swaps?

Same with a car, Do we rent or own or a combination of both given issues of tax and insurance.

Health insurance, Taxation issues, other issues??

Has anyone done this, currently doing this, or have advice on any of the above issues? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
Regarding health care, here is some news I came across that may work in your favour:

http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index...rning-uk-10769
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Old Mar 7th 2010, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by johnh009 View Post
Regarding health care, here is some news I came across that may work in your favour:

http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index...rning-uk-10769
As stated previously, the OP has dual UK/Australian nationality. Should they fall ill whilst visiting the UK (however short or long the visit is), they will have full free access to the NHS under the Australian/UK reciprocal healthcare agreement.
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Old Mar 9th 2010, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by Veekay View Post
As retirement approaches, my wife and I have been considering the option of living half the year in the UK and the other half in Australia. We have lived in Australia for 30 years (mainly Brisbane), have dual citizenship, and maintain strong ties with the UK through annual visits during that time.

Adopting this lifestyle raises a number of issues including:

Do we own and maintain homes in both locations or rent in the UK for the months we are there? We would look to avoid living with family or friends as we would like to maintain some independence. If we own in one or both locations, do we look to rent out the property when not there?

Are serviced apartments an option? House Swaps?

Same with a car, Do we rent or own or a combination of both given issues of tax and insurance.

Health insurance, Taxation issues, other issues??

Has anyone done this, currently doing this, or have advice on any of the above issues? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
VK thank you for this thread it is an option we are looking at as well. I want to keep our independence from family and friends, nice for short visits but not for longer stays. We would have to look for somewhere near a golf course though
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Old Mar 11th 2010, 4:06 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Originally Posted by ozhappy981 View Post
Not true in the case of the OP! The OP said they had dual Australian and UK nationality. They are therefore covered under the UK/Aus reciprocal healthcare agreement. Therefore if they fall ill while in the UK, everything is covered. (They can't have elective treatment, i.e. they can't travel to the UK just for that hip replacement, but if they fall ill in the UK everything is covered.)
As you say, the reciprocal agreement is really useful only for circumstances in which the person falls ill in the UK and needs treatment. Things such as ongoing medication for chronic conditions (e.g. hypertension, asthma) would be much more problematic.
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Old Mar 11th 2010, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Half the year in UK, Half in Australia

Does the reciprocal arrangement only work if you are a resident in Australia though. In the same way that you are not entitled to free health in the UK if you are out of the country for 6 months and a day - does a similar arrangement not apply to Australia. After all, you cannot spend 6 months and a day in each in any given year.

Incidentally I went to my local doctor to find that I had been de-registered - but sorted that out straight away and was referred and had to prove my residency status. Very specifically they did not allow financial records as proof. I said that I had been in the UK since Nov and intended to stay more than 6 months and emailed them a copy of my Council Tax bill which they were happy with. My treatment was not delayed at all by this.

They are getting serious about health tourism now.
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