British Expats

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-   -   Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad (https://britishexpats.com/forum/moving-back-uk-61/settling-back-uk-after-spending-most-your-life-abroad-893713/)

Celticprince_86 Mar 10th 2017 7:40 am

Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
Hi all,

I've been in New Zealand since '95, when my dad took me & my sister to live in New Zealand because he wanted a new start in life. Now naturally I have only dim recollections of life in Britain, as I was very young when I left. I know many people say the country has gone to pot, and may even be past fixing, and I'd be better off here in New Zealand. However in all my years here I've always had a yearning to return, and a lack of connection to NZ. I've talked about leaving several times and done nothing more than get my passport. I believe my indecisiveness on going or staying has been more a fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of what would happen if I left over the certainty of staying.

That said, has anyone else here settled back home after a childhood/early adulthood spend away? If so how hard is it to get used to different slang/accents, money and sometimes reversed seasons? Did locals consider you an outsider or constantly tell you that you should have stayed and/or should go back? Basically how hard is it to settle? From my own research it seems pretty tough to get banking, doctors etc set up when you have no records/past in the UK because you left as child when parents took care of that.

Editha Mar 10th 2017 8:34 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
I can't answer most of your questions, but I can reassure you that you won't be regarded as an outsider, or find it difficult to register with a doctor.

Spacecake799 Mar 10th 2017 7:13 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12201584)
Hi all,

I've been in New Zealand since '95, when my dad took me & my sister to live in New Zealand because he wanted a new start in life. Now naturally I have only dim recollections of life in Britain, as I was very young when I left. I know many people say the country has gone to pot, and may even be past fixing, and I'd be better off here in New Zealand. However in all my years here I've always had a yearning to return, and a lack of connection to NZ. I've talked about leaving several times and done nothing more than get my passport. I believe my indecisiveness on going or staying has been more a fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of what would happen if I left over the certainty of staying.

That said, has anyone else here settled back home after a childhood/early adulthood spend away? If so how hard is it to get used to different slang/accents, money and sometimes reversed seasons? Did locals consider you an outsider or constantly tell you that you should have stayed and/or should go back? Basically how hard is it to settle? From my own research it seems pretty tough to get banking, doctors etc set up when you have no records/past in the UK because you left as child when parents took care of that.


I also cant answer your questions but if i may just say. We took our family to NZ for 6 years, we had never been anywhere before when we sold up and took the plunge.
We are from the Midlands, its all we knew but my husband refused to go back there. So we started again in North Yorkshire. We had never even visited but took a chance and have never regretted it.
Just watch where you go, decide whether you want a large or small town etc. You will be embraced easier into a smaller town.
Go for it, its worth a go.

not2old Mar 10th 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
couple of points on the 'yearning to return'

In the time that you have been in NZ have you visited the UK, say in the past 10-15 years ?

Before you make the leap of faith & total break from NZ, have you considered a test run at it, say 3 months in the UK springtime to Autumn?

Have you any family still in the UK that you are in contact with who may offer temporary accommodation & help with settlement?

On the move itself as far as your rights - as a British citizen (British passport up to date) you have the same rights to live, work & play., come & go as you please

I wouldn't be too concerned about language/dialect or culture, you should be fine.

As a Brit back home & residing in the UK you are entitled to medical care, the NHS, Doctors, opening a bank account, looking for work, having a place to stay - is all part of the moving back & settling in which may take a while for you to get adjusted to

Good luck with it all

Pulaski Mar 10th 2017 9:06 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Editha (Post 12201613)
I can't answer most of your questions, but I can reassure you that you won't be regarded as an outsider, or find it difficult to register with a doctor.

And with an address and a passport, and your NI number (you probably don't have one, so will need to apply for one), you won't have any problem opening a bank account.

You might find a few who express surprise at you wanting to return, but I expect they'll be in a tiny minority.

So far as accents go, have you acquired a kiwi accent? Do you know if you're likely to pick up a local accent after you return, as that will, to some degree, affect how people see you. My accent hasn't changed a whole lot since I left Sheffield when I was eight years old, and has been one of the factors that has shaped my life. My accent stuck out like a sore thumb in Gloucester where I completed school, and then London where I went to uni and started my career. Now I have spent 15 years in the US and still get multiple comments on my accent most weeks, and talking with them people clearly think I have arrived recently! :lol: .... The diffence is that in the US comments are always positive, whereas in London my accent seemed to have the opposite effect on people. :(

Celticprince_86 Mar 10th 2017 9:34 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by not2old (Post 12201983)
couple of points on the 'yearning to return'

In the time that you have been in NZ have you visited the UK, say in the past 10-15 years ?

Before you make the leap of faith & total break from NZ, have you considered a test run at it, say 3 months in the UK springtime to Autumn?

Have you any family still in the UK that you are in contact with who may offer temporary accommodation & help with settlement?

On the move itself as far as your rights - as a British citizen (British passport up to date) you have the same rights to live, work & play., come & go as you please

I wouldn't be too concerned about language/dialect or culture, you should be fine.

As a Brit back home & residing in the UK you are entitled to medical care, the NHS, Doctors, opening a bank account, looking for work, having a place to stay - is all part of the moving back & settling in which may take a while for you to get adjusted to

Good luck with it all

No, I haven't been back since leaving, since getting back is expensive and I'm not exactly flush with cash. And yes, I do have relatives who might be glad of extra funds when the time comes.


Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12202000)
And with an address and a passport, and your NI number (you probably don't have one, so will need to apply for one), you won't have any problem opening a bank account.

You might find a few who express surprise at you wanting to return, but I expect they'll be in a tiny minority.

So far as accents go, have you acquired a kiwi accent? Do you know if you're likely to pick up a local accent after you return, as that will, to some degree, affect how people see you. My accent hasn't changed a whole lot since I left Sheffield when I was eight years old, and has been one of the factors that has shaped my lift. My accent stuck out like a sore thumb in Gloucester where I completed school, and then London where I went to uni and started my career. Now I have spent 15 years in the US and still get multiple comments on my accent most weeks, and talking with them people clearly think I have arrived recently! :lol:

I had forgot about the NI number, but I probably would have been told when talking to IRD or whatever the UK version is in preparing to move. As far as accents, I think mine is partway between my dad's more posh accent, a kiwi one and sometimes lapsing into the Chester accent on rare occassions. Several Brits I've met have said I sound un-mistakably British when I mentioned that I too was British. Though one has said that I didn't at all, but I think he was just pulling my leg to get a rise out of me.

BEVS Mar 11th 2017 12:13 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
Flight NZ to UK return are expensive aren't they. It's why so many of us are unable to visit family and friends as much as we would like.

I dunno Celticprince_86. I feel this is an itch that you simply must scratch.
So perhaps contact your rellies and think about taking a bar job or similar and look on this as a bit of a late-ish OE.

If you feel the fit , you stay. If you don't and it comes to you that NZ is your comfy slipper , then travel about a bit up there and come back to settle to an NZ life. It's what so many Kiwis do after all.

Celticprince_86 Mar 11th 2017 12:32 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
Yeah, even saving enough for a one way flight is a fair bit of money for anyone, let alone me who is not in full-time employment. Luckily through saving wages I have earned in the past fortnight, saving weekly from my benefit plus selling off a few things I already have $520. Not bad for about 2 weeks of getting serious about it. I hope to have a full-time job soon which will allow me to save at least $100 a week.

When I get back, I expect to feel part happy and settled with equal parts unhappy and unsettled. Basically I think it'll be like my first few years here. I'll eventually get used to pounds instead of dollars, summer in the middle of the year etc

My hope is that I can secure a job in my hometown's tourism industry, and help support my nan and auntie.

Celticprince_86 Apr 21st 2017 8:28 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
OK, bit of an update!
On Wednesday (19th) I had saved $900 through hard saving each week. I occasionally go on various websites to keep a tab on price fluctuations so I can see if there's a good time to buy in terms of reducing cost. I picked a random date of December 1st on Air New Zealands site and in the results I saw that the first was nearer to $1000 ($970, I think) but cheaper on the two days before. I clicked back until the price reached $840.

I mulled it over for a while, and then after encouragement from friends and family, I booked my flight. I leave on 23 November at 1:15am flying air New Zealand to Singapore, then on Singapore airlines (code share with Air NZ) on to London! I have six months to go, and I already have all my transport (bus/train) sorted, so it's just saving the spending money, sorting accommodation (hopefully an auntie will be willing to have me as a paying guest for a while) and selling pretty much all I own, which I either don't need (various fripperies) or are replaceable.

To those in NW England/NE Wales in particular, what is Nov/Dec like? sunset/rise, average temp etc? What sort of clothing should I dress in? By the end of May, I should have another $500 saved.

Also, is it better to get my NI number before or after arriving? I hope to have a job lined up before I arrive, so before may be best. I already have my new NHS number

Jerseygirl Apr 21st 2017 11:18 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
Congratulations on taking the plunge. Good luck to you Celticprince. :thumbsup:

ohwottodo Apr 21st 2017 1:36 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12234595)
OK, bit of an update!
On Wednesday (19th) I had saved $900 through hard saving each week. I occasionally go on various websites to keep a tab on price fluctuations so I can see if there's a good time to buy in terms of reducing cost. I picked a random date of December 1st on Air New Zealands site and in the results I saw that the first was nearer to $1000 ($970, I think) but cheaper on the two days before. I clicked back until the price reached $840.

I mulled it over for a while, and then after encouragement from friends and family, I booked my flight. I leave on 23 November at 1:15am flying air New Zealand to Singapore, then on Singapore airlines (code share with Air NZ) on to London! I have six months to go, and I already have all my transport (bus/train) sorted, so it's just saving the spending money, sorting accommodation (hopefully an auntie will be willing to have me as a paying guest for a while) and selling pretty much all I own, which I either don't need (various fripperies) or are replaceable.

To those in NW England/NE Wales in particular, what is Nov/Dec like? sunset/rise, average temp etc? What sort of clothing should I dress in? By the end of May, I should have another $500 saved.

Also, is it better to get my NI number before or after arriving? I hope to have a job lined up before I arrive, so before may be best. I already have my new NHS number


I think you have to have a permanent address in the UK to get a national Insurance number.
Weather will be Cold ! Coat, fleece, jeans.
best of luck to you - keep this thread updated as to what is going on and how you are doing!

Pulaski Apr 21st 2017 2:20 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12234595)
.... To those in NW England/NE Wales in particular, what is Nov/Dec like? sunset/rise, average temp etc? What sort of clothing should I dress in? ....

Congratulations on taking the plunge!

Expect it to be cool and damp, with possible overnight frosts, don't expect it to be warmer than around 10°-12°C - it could be warmer, but don't expect it to be. Needless to say it could rain at any time - that's not to say it will rain every day, but it could.

Sunset in late November/early December is going to be around 4.15pm, and will eventually recede further, back to before 4pm by December 21st. Sunrise won't be until around 8am. .... On days when there is heavy cloud, it will feel like the sun barely rises at all - in December it is only about 15° above the horizon!

geoff52 Apr 21st 2017 6:15 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
Isn't human nature wonderful. There are some people in UK desperate to immigrate and others who have immigrated desperate to return. I suppose the grass looks greener on the other side, until you get there and see it's AstroTurf.

HKG3 Apr 21st 2017 7:45 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12234595)
Also, is it better to get my NI number before or after arriving?

If the OP never had an NI number before he left the UK, then he will need to apply for one as soon as he is in the UK. Please see link below for details -

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

You can only apply for an NI number inside the UK.

Celticprince_86 Apr 21st 2017 7:52 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by HKG3 (Post 12235123)
If the OP never had an NI number before he left the UK, then he will need to apply for one as soon as he is in the UK. Please see link below for details -

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

You can only apply for an NI number inside the UK.

Cheers! I'll have to do that in the first week I'm back (once I get over the jetlag and temperature inversion. (going from late spring to late autumn!)

Jerseygirl Apr 21st 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by geoff52 (Post 12235034)
Isn't human nature wonderful. There are some people in UK desperate to immigrate and others who have immigrated desperate to return. I suppose the grass looks greener on the other side, until you get there and see it's AstroTurf.

Or as we say on BE...same sh*t, different bucket.

Celticprince_86 Apr 21st 2017 8:06 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 12235140)
Or as we say on BE...same sh*t, different bucket.

Oh, I know the UK isn't all castles, scenic little villages and endless tea and scones, but I feel so strongly that I have to go back to where I feel is "home" and try and make britain a better place. I know I'll probably complain about the cold, and the shops, and the food. I know for a while I'll compare everything unfavourably to what it's like in New Zealand. My dad did that (probably still does) for years after arriving. The drivers were bad, the summer was too hot, ad breaks too long etc, etc. But he eventually settled, and decided to become a citizen. It's just a matter of adjusting, and accepting the rough with the smooth.

Jerseygirl Apr 21st 2017 8:21 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12235150)
Oh, I know the UK isn't all castles, scenic little villages and endless tea and scones, but I feel so strongly that I have to go back to where I feel is "home" and try and make britain a better place. I know I'll probably complain about the cold, and the shops, and the food. I know for a while I'll compare everything unfavourably to what it's like in New Zealand. My dad did that (probably still does) for years after arriving. The drivers were bad, the summer was too hot, ad breaks too long etc, etc. But he eventually settled, and decided to become a citizen. It's just a matter of adjusting, and accepting the rough with the smooth.

It's meant mainly for people who think moving to a new country is going to solve their problems. It usually doesn't...you take them with you. ;)

You are young and seem to have the right attitude to make a go of it. As I said earlier...good luck to you.

Pulaski Apr 21st 2017 9:43 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 12235159)
It's meant mainly for people who think moving to a new country is going to solve their problems. It usually doesn't...you take them with you. ....

You are young and seem to have the right attitude to make a go of it. ......

I must be young and have the right attitude too then, because there ain't much §4!t in my bucket. :)

Celticprince_86 Apr 21st 2017 9:48 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 12235159)
It's meant mainly for people who think moving to a new country is going to solve their problems. It usually doesn't...you take them with you. ;)

You are young and seem to have the right attitude to make a go of it. As I said earlier...good luck to you.

Thanks! I just feel that all the things I want to see and do are in the UK. My hope is to be a tour guide, and show people how awesome my home city is! Plus I may even get to dress as a Roman!

Jerseygirl Apr 21st 2017 10:48 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12235205)
I must be young and have the right attitude too then, because there ain't much §4!t in my bucket. :)

Well I do call you 'young man'. :D


Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12235210)
Thanks! I just feel that all the things I want to see and do are in the UK. My hope is to be a tour guide, and show people how awesome my home city is! Plus I may even get to dress as a Roman!

If it doesn't work out you can always move back...richer for the experience.:thumbup:

Pulaski Apr 21st 2017 11:38 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 12235233)
Well I do call you 'young man'. :D ....

:wub:

Celticprince_86 Apr 22nd 2017 4:31 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by ohwottodo (Post 12234771)
I think you have to have a permanent address in the UK to get a national Insurance number.
Weather will be Cold ! Coat, fleece, jeans.
best of luck to you - keep this thread updated as to what is going on and how you are doing!

Thanks, that's good advice. I will keep everyone upto date as things progress.


Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12234822)
Congratulations on taking the plunge!

Expect it to be cool and damp, with possible overnight frosts, don't expect it to be warmer than around 10°-12°C - it could be warmer, but don't expect it to be. Needless to say it could rain at any time - that's not to say it will rain every day, but it could.

Sunset in late November/early December is going to be around 4.15pm, and will eventually recede further, back to before 4pm by December 21st. Sunrise won't be until around 8am. .... On days when there is heavy cloud, it will feel like the sun barely rises at all - in December it is only about 15° above the horizon!

That's pretty much what my auntie said. I remember the early sunsets in winter.

TheEmperorIsNaked Apr 22nd 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
I don't often visit here, but popped in for a squizz.
Your feelings about 'no connection' resonated with me. I am just a wee tad older than you...., but know that sentiment only too well.

I do not regret taking my childy out to Oz in '77. I regret staying so long though, but made a promise in '87 to a fretting grandchild and stayed another 25 years. It is nice to see that you have no illusions about what you may face and what you may feel.

There is little point in my following many here who have related their experience in Oz settlement, or UK resettlement. I am critical of both countries so there is little point. I have no illusions about either, and see the bureaucratic problems in both countries foisted upon their citizens by political ideology from all sides of the political spectrum;-as the same either side of the pond. The very people who feel the need to enter politics to influence the way a country is run-are the ones least suited to the job!

People here are much the same as Australia, with an overriding focus on immigration.
One bonus for me was coming back for places not people, who seem to be evolving into ever increasing self absorption and greed.

....................and it's the best thing I have ever done. My first two and a half years here were blistering, something I won't go into; but the minute I landed; still at the airport, that lack of connection vanished. I have gone through my baptism of fire and live peacefully in a beautiful part of the country. I have learned to appreciate this country (side) in a way that I never did before.

The Australian generally never criticizes his country, perhaps likewise the Kiwi? The UKer repeatedly does. That is why there is this 'I know it's going to be hard, but' thing for those who want to return. That's rap (with a silent c...). It is the same as as anywhere else. For me personally: a rich history, easy access to Europe, and the most stunning countryside you will see anywhere, with January giving masses of snowdrops, and Spring with daffodils growing on roadsides, gardens, everywhere, primroses, then woodland fields of bluebells.
How the hell did I never notice this before?

Bottom line? You are qualified to return. You are qualified because you are realistic. That is all you need as a background support, the rest will come with working at it and being undaunted.
And if it doesn't settle your soul, then you can go back.

All good wishes to you.

(I suppose I have now related my experience :cool:!)

Red_Wine_Fairy Apr 24th 2017 5:26 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
I suspect you have an NI number allocated at birth, although you only receive the plastic card once old enough to work - can your parents dig out any old family allowance letters or Post Office accounts with details on?
Same with your National Health Service number. If your father can remember your old GP surgery, they should be able to give you this information.

Novocastrian Apr 24th 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Red_Wine_Fairy (Post 12237240)
I suspect you have an NI number allocated at birth, although you only receive the plastic card once old enough to work - can your parents dig out any old family allowance letters or Post Office accounts with details on?
Same with your National Health Service number. If your father can remember your old GP surgery, they should be able to give you this information.

I suspect that you're wrong on both counts. NINO's weren't issued at birth but only when you applied for one after the age of 16 (back in the pre-1970's).

NHS numbers on the other hand, were issued the first time one accessed NHS services (probably at birth). These days, you only need your full name, date and place of birth (a city or a town) for any GP practice in the UK to find the number in a few seconds.

cdfergus Apr 24th 2017 7:27 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12235353)
Thanks, that's good advice. I will keep everyone upto date as things progress.



That's pretty much what my auntie said. I remember the early sunsets in winter.

I know how you feel Celtic Prince! I am going home after living in the US for 47 years! I am a wee bit scared but husband is on board and I think we will be fine. I have some cousins left in England but we are making the move to Scotland where I once lived for a few years. Did not want to go back to the rat race of SE England where I was from; just looking for a peaceful end to my days by the sea!

After much discussion with HMRC I find I do not have an NI number and will have to wait until I am living there to apply for one.

I wish you all the best in your journey!

Chris

Celticprince_86 Apr 25th 2017 4:34 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by cdfergus (Post 12237304)
I know how you feel Celtic Prince! I am going home after living in the US for 47 years! I am a wee bit scared but husband is on board and I think we will be fine. I have some cousins left in England but we are making the move to Scotland where I once lived for a few years. Did not want to go back to the rat race of SE England where I was from; just looking for a peaceful end to my days by the sea!

After much discussion with HMRC I find I do not have an NI number and will have to wait until I am living there to apply for one.

I wish you all the best in your journey!

Chris

Thanks! Hope everything goes well with you too!

While I'm here, what are some shops that sell afordable clothing in the UK. I always remembered M&S being good quality but reasonable prices, but now they seem really upmarket.

old.sparkles Apr 25th 2017 4:44 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Novocastrian (Post 12237276)
I suspect that you're wrong on both counts. NINO's weren't issued at birth but only when you applied for one after the age of 16 (back in the pre-1970's).

NHS numbers on the other hand, were issued the first time one accessed NHS services (probably at birth). These days, you only need your full name, date and place of birth (a city or a town) for any GP practice in the UK to find the number in a few seconds.

NINO's are issued before the age of 16. I knew young sparks NI since he was around a year old back in 1996, so possibly from birth as was posted.

Pulaski Apr 25th 2017 1:45 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12237569)
.... While I'm here, what are some shops that sell afordable clothing in the UK. I always remembered M&S being good quality but reasonable prices, but now they seem really upmarket.

That's an interesting perspective because M&S clothes are now, IMO/IME cheaper in both price and quality than they were upto the 1980's; until then most M&S clothes were manufactured in the UK.. That's not to say M&S isn't more expensive than other high street shops such as TK Maxx and Primark.

Jerseygirl Apr 25th 2017 1:49 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12237920)
That's an interesting perspective because M&S clothes are now, IMO/IME cheaper in both price and quality than they were upto the 1980's. That's not to say M&S isn't more expensive than other high street shops such as TK Maxx and Primark.

IMO some of the basics are around the same value as they were in the 80's...many are much more expensive...Per Uno etc. As for quality...I think it's about the same.

Celticprince_86 Apr 25th 2017 7:48 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 12237921)
IMO some of the basics are around the same value as they were in the 80's...many are much more expensive...Per Uno etc. As for quality...I think it's about the same.

So is there a clothing store/department store that is generally considered the store for those on a tighter budget? I could always buy them here and then post them overseas, but I'd rather just buy them once I arrive in the UK.

HKG3 Apr 25th 2017 8:21 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12238247)
So is there a clothing store/department store that is generally considered the store for those on a tighter budget? I could always buy them here and then post them overseas, but I'd rather just buy them once I arrive in the UK.

In the UK, if you are looking for cheap clothing, you can try Primark -

https://www.primark.com/en/homepage

Celticprince_86 Apr 25th 2017 8:25 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by HKG3 (Post 12238270)
In the UK, if you are looking for cheap clothing, you can try Primark -

https://www.primark.com/en/homepage

Cheers! Buying clothes in the UK will save me on shipping and baggage costs.

HKG3 Apr 25th 2017 8:33 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12234595)
I mulled it over for a while, and then after encouragement from friends and family, I booked my flight. I leave on 23 November at 1:15am flying air New Zealand to Singapore, then on Singapore airlines (code share with Air NZ) on to London! I have six months to go, and I already have all my transport (bus/train) sorted, so it's just saving the spending money, sorting accommodation (hopefully an auntie will be willing to have me as a paying guest for a while) and selling pretty much all I own, which I either don't need (various fripperies) or are replaceable.

If you are returning to the UK at the end of November, you may want to wait until the Christmas sales to shop for cloths from M&S.

Jerseygirl Apr 25th 2017 8:38 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 (Post 12238247)
So is there a clothing store/department store that is generally considered the store for those on a tighter budget? I could always buy them here and then post them overseas, but I'd rather just buy them once I arrive in the UK.

Already mentioned are Primark and TKMaxx. There are also plenty of small budget clothing shops that are part of a chain of stores...Peacocks, New Look. Most of the large supermarkets sell affordable clothing.

Englishmum Apr 25th 2017 10:30 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
As mentioned by Jerseygirl, try a large supermarket; 'Sainsburys' has their 'Tu' range and Tesco has their 'F&F' range and both inexpensive. Take a look at their websites.

Also try 'Matalan' - Http://www.matalan.co.uk

Also every city, town and suburb in the UK has a charity shop....some streets have half a dozen of them! The charities get a big discount on business rates and with the exception of the manager, are staffed by volunteers. They are hugely popular (I know in Oz they are called 'Op shops' but don't know if there is anything similar in NZ?). There is no shame in making purchases from a charity shop....TBH some have really nice items, usually in middle-class parts of towns and suburbs and other charity shops are grotty. However, you can pick up some basic things for next to nothing.

By the way, I used to live in Singapore (and miss it) and you won't go wrong on Singapore Airlines! Changi airport is wonderful, especially Terminal 3. How long is your layover in Singapore? If more than 4 hours you can get a free tour of the city (they will ensure you won't miss your connecting flight). OTOH there is a transit hotel in one of the terminals so you can put your head down and get a few hours sleep and a shower...or you could choose to have a swim.

We had a wonderful holiday in NZ many years ago, touring in a camper van and took it on the ferry from Wellington to Picton. However, we found that even the fish & chip shops seemed to close by 7pm and even in Christchurch the shops were closing fairly early on Saturdays. It's a beautiful country, but doesn't offer much excitement for young people and is sadly just too remote to take a cheap flight to see another country.

Best wishes for your 'homecoming'! It will be buzzing during December, but you might find it depressing in January and early February due to dreary weather and short hours of daylight....but it gets better, honest!

Celticprince_86 Apr 25th 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Englishmum (Post 12238351)
As mentioned by Jerseygirl, try a large supermarket; 'Sainsburys' has their 'Tu' range and Tesco has their 'F&F' range and both inexpensive. Take a look at their websites.

Also try 'Matalan' - Http://www.matalan.co.uk

Also every city, town and suburb in the UK has a charity shop....some streets have half a dozen of them! The charities get a big discount on business rates and with the exception of the manager, are staffed by volunteers. They are hugely popular (I know in Oz they are called 'Op shops' but don't know if there is anything similar in NZ?). There is no shame in making purchases from a charity shop....TBH some have really nice items, usually in middle-class parts of towns and suburbs and other charity shops are grotty. However, you can pick up some basic things for next to nothing.

By the way, I used to live in Singapore (and miss it) and you won't go wrong on Singapore Airlines! Changi airport is wonderful, especially Terminal 3. How long is your layover in Singapore? If more than 4 hours you can get a free tour of the city (they will ensure you won't miss your connecting flight). OTOH there is a transit hotel in one of the terminals so you can put your head down and get a few hours sleep and a shower...or you could choose to have a swim.

We had a wonderful holiday in NZ many years ago, touring in a camper van and took it on the ferry from Wellington to Picton. However, we found that even the fish & chip shops seemed to close by 7pm and even in Christchurch the shops were closing fairly early on Saturdays. It's a beautiful country, but doesn't offer much excitement for young people and is sadly just too remote to take a cheap flight to see another country.

Best wishes for your 'homecoming'! It will be buzzing during December, but you might find it depressing in January and early February due to dreary weather and short hours of daylight....but it gets better, honest!

Thanks! Those chains (primark etc) sound like what I'm going for, cheap clothes that will last until I can get better stuff. I'm limited to 1 23kg check in luggage unless I want to add another bag for $200 dollars.

I'm only in Singapore for 2 1/2 hours, so no time for any excitement really!
NZ is a great country, good people and lovely scenery. But it just isn't home. I know things will be tough back home but I'm ready for the challenge!

UKNZL Apr 30th 2017 10:17 pm

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 
Hello
I'm new to this site. Just reading through people's opinions is very informative. I to came to NZL 36 years ago. I on the other hand have been back to UK but never back to the place I was born, until last year. I was very aprehensive about seeing it again but when I arrived all my worries disappeared. Old friends and family rallied around.
So now I'm thinking of packing up and making the final last move back home. I've done lots of research regarding
Habitual residents test
Housing rentals
Already have HSBC account
Already have IN number
So now trying to find information on future pension.
Wrote to UK pension office
Their reply was;

The United Kingdom (UK) has a social security agreement with New Zealand.
The following information may help you understand how your UK State Pension may be affected while you live in New Zealand or if you now live in the UK and previously lived in New Zealand.

You may have previously lived in New Zealand, but now live in the UK. Any time you (or your spouse or civil partner if you are relying on their UK National Insurance (NI) contributions) lived in New Zealand before reaching your UK State Pension age can be treated as a period for which UK NI contributions were paid. This can include:

* up to 13 weeks for the journey between the UK and New Zealand; and
* periods of absence from New Zealand, provided that during the period of absence you were:
* employed and liable to pay New Zealand Income Tax on earnings arising from that employment; and
* not living in the UK.

If you are thinking about paying voluntary UK NI contributions for any non-qualifying years in your UK NI contribution record, it will be important for you to work out how many extra qualifying years your time in New Zealand may give you.

You should note that evidence of the time you lived in New Zealand might be required to help you qualify under the provisions of the agreement.
The time you lived in New Zealand could be confirmed by:
* tax certificates, employers' references, wage slips, travel documents, etc; or
* letters from two people, who can be friends or relatives.

Evidence of the time you lived in New Zealand should be kept until a claim for UK State Pension or UK benefits is made in the UK.

If the UK residence provisions do not allow you to get a full rate of UK State Pension, you may be entitled to get the full rate provided:
* you were getting New Zealand Superannuation when you were last living in New Zealand;
* it was awarded solely under the New Zealand scheme; and
* you are over your UK State Pension age.

If you move to live outside the UK, any UK State Pension awarded under the provisions of the agreement will no longer be payable. Your UK State Pension will be reduced to the amount payable when based solely on your UK NI contribution record.

Effect of the agreement on entitlement to New Zealand Superannuation

If you live in New Zealand, the agreement may help you to qualify for New Zealand Superannuation when you have reached pension age in New Zealand by allowing you to treat the time you lived in the UK as time in New Zealand
So I'm hoping I get a pension in later years. Has anyone gone through this and can clarify.
Thanks

Pulaski May 1st 2017 12:35 am

Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 12237921)
IMO some of the basics are around the same value as they were in the 80's...many are much more expensive...Per Uno etc. As for quality...I think it's about the same.

M&S are still definitely good value - nowhere in the US comes close for their value in socks and underwear.


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