Any regrets

Old Dec 16th 2009, 8:36 pm
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Default Any regrets

I hope this isn't considered a cheeky question by anyone but....

Is there anyone here who moved to NZ with a family of 4, on a salary of $60-70k, and is finding life so tough that they regret the move?
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

i am not in that situation
family of 4 soon to be 5.. but the kids were all born here.. so we have grown into the situation rather than just being thrown into it

but unless you are mortgage free.. you will struggle with a family income of less than say $80K to $90K

obviously it depends on your lifestyle choices.. but less than $80K and a mortgage is going to mean that there will be precious few cents in the bank.

regrets.. nope, none ..nadda

sure.. NZ isnt heaven on earth.. things will irritate once and a while.. but hey.. thats life.. but on the whole.. been the best thing we have done.. we might move to other places in the future.. but NZ feels like home.. so we will always be back
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 5:47 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

Is the 60-70k from one wage ?
If so why cant your other half get a job
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 6:00 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

Originally Posted by colandros View Post
Is the 60-70k from one wage ?
If so why cant your other half get a job
The 60-70k will be from my salary. Once our 2 year old is ready for school my OH will definitely be looking for work but that's probably going to be a few years away. That said, we are flexible and will do what ever we need to do.
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 6:49 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

Originally Posted by pacifica3000 View Post
I hope this isn't considered a cheeky question by anyone but....

Is there anyone here who moved to NZ with a family of 4, on a salary of $60-70k, and is finding life so tough that they regret the move?
hi when we were there, take home pay was about $700 a week and we were renting $360 a week, things were tight but we were okay although there were only two of us your be surprised how thrifty you can get
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 7:35 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

We moved here 4+ years ago with my salary on 55k and no 2nd income. Survived off UK savings bought land etc. Then we bought a franchise business between us and income increased a bit.
We're a family of 5 and do pretty well on a modest income working 3/4 time. I'd suggest something 70-100k joint income should be fine.
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Any regrets

Originally Posted by concretepump View Post
there were only two of us your be surprised how thrifty you can get
Thrifty? What you mean, don't switch the heating on, don't have life cover, don't insure your house contents, don't insure the car, never see a dentist unless in pain, ditto GP unless on death's door, never go away on holiday, never eat out - always take a picnic on trips, refuse to pay the 'voluntary' school contributions, cut your own hair....make no future pension provision...

that's one extreme of possible money-saving tips I have picked up from this forum..

or at the more reasonable end, I suppose there's stuff like: always buy what's on special at the supermarket, shop with a list, go round switching off the lights, don't leave electrical stuff on standby, buy value brands in the supermarket, buy washing powder in bulk, get your hair cut less often, have very little fun at all...the best things in life are free....

yeah we all need to cut our cloth to fit...but there are certain figures that are just not doable for most people who want to enjoy their lives and feel secure....
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Any regrets

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
Thrifty? What you mean, don't switch the heating on, don't have life cover, don't insure your house contents, don't insure the car, never see a dentist unless in pain, ditto GP unless on death's door, never go away on holiday, never eat out - always take a picnic on trips, refuse to pay the 'voluntary' school contributions, cut your own hair....make no future pension provision...

that's one extreme of possible money-saving tips I have picked up from this forum..

or at the more reasonable end, I suppose there's stuff like: always buy what's on special at the supermarket, shop with a list, go round switching off the lights, don't leave electrical stuff on standby, buy value brands in the supermarket, buy washing powder in bulk, get your hair cut less often, have very little fun at all...the best things in life are free....

yeah we all need to cut our cloth to fit...but there are certain figures that are just not doable for most people who want to enjoy their lives and feel secure....
eh??? no your the one one going a bit extreme, i mean things like washing powder no difference only in price, same as cleaning products and you dont need money two have fun, there are people on here who for what ever reason cant work out basic cost of liveing, you dont need to earn loads of money to be able to live and have a better life style in nz, less taxs for a start in nz compeared to uk , we used to run a 4x4 go out for meals but the reason of first post was to say life is better in nz but as prices keep riseing you will find how thirfty you can be
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Old Dec 17th 2009, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Any regrets

I have some regrets.

I regret we didn't come here when kids were younger - they'd have had a wonderful time and so much more freedom growing up here.

I regret not having been able to bring more money over with us initially but that's life I guess.

I regret not being brave enough, even if we could have afforded it straight off, to buy land and build.

We have constantly pondered the pros and cons and I love where I live and everything but there's still the nagging thought that we could potential buy 10 acres for $150k and either get a cheap 3-bed built for around $80k (as advertised by well established local firm) or with OH being in the building game, build ourselves. Once all the initial belt tightening to rent somewhere to live and building done, we'd actually be better off mortgage wise as we currently have way more than that on a mortgage, so on paper at least, it works out good.

Our total household net income is less than $70k. We have 2 teenagers (15 & 13). We struggle and juggle but manage to pay the bills. We have a huge mortgage (96%). As most of you know, we only buy what's on special, home bake, keep chooks for eggs, grow our own veg, enjoy lots of free and outdoors activities and manage to pay for the kids "private" school - nothing wrong with the local high school I just wanted them to go to the smaller local Christian school but that's a personal choice. Fortunately my OH is a whizz at DIY and can build/fix just about anything so that saves us a fortune.

I do get bored and frustrated at times not just being able to go out and buy whatever I like, especially like now with Christmas but on the whole we don't go without but are much less materialistic than the were in UK and it can be quite a satisfying challenge with all the "make do and mend" and seeing what we're capable of.
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Old Dec 18th 2009, 6:23 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

Hi Pacifica

your questions has made me join the forum and answer with my view on your question.

I don't have regrets for coming out (life is too short) - we made the decision and then made it right. It was something that we had to do. We are a 'mixed marriage' - kiwi and scot. So it was coming home in a way.

But I do have one regret. And that is not having left an escape plan.

NZ is an island. I know that this sounds obvious - but it means that it is much harder to leave if you find that it isn't the life out here isn't what one of you expected. And things aren't as cheap as you would expect. So there is less in the kitty at the end of the day.
And, I personally think, that you would never be sure that it is the right decision long term for you and your family until you are stuck here and living it. It is easy to dismiss the pull of family friends or whatever until you don't ahve access to them. My OH had to rush back to UK earlier this year and the cost is still sitting on the credit card today.

As I mentioned, I don't regret that we have had time here - but it turns out that it isn't for us (well, in all honesty it really isn't for me and my OH doesn't particularily mind one way or another where we live). We needed to try living out here - and that isn't to say that years down the line we wouldn't come back to live.

I guess what I have discovered over the years here where the things in life that we loved doing as a family and our lifestyle choices are suited across there.
We lived in a rural village back in the UK - fantastic place.
And we live in a similar situation here.
So there was no driving force in terms of unhappiness of our living situation pushing us here.

My advice would be to think what the driving force is for you looking into relocating to NZ
Is it something that would be corrected simply with a move to a different area? Wales or Scotland even?

My concern is that from your postings your finances may be tight and while you can scrimp and survive on the figures that you have given, there isn't much cash left at the end of the month. Good scenery is only lovely and exciting for so long (and I look out onto the Southern Alps every day - great view but thats all)

Our circumstances were similar - 3 kids, (when we arrived - 3.5yrs; 2yrs and 6wks) income of 75K - 3 years ago. And yes cash was tight - and the small savings that we had from the UK got rapidly eaten up with unexpected bills.


Just one other note to consider on education (as I see that is important to you) - and this is what I have personally found, now having just started my second child at school.
NZ has no national standards for Primary Schools as yet - it is hoping to impliment them (with some opposition it seems) next year.

I ended up moving my eldest 18 months into her education at our local village school as while they were happy with her achievement (on borderline for above average on this schools standards), I felt that they were spending far too much time dealing with the bored / naughty children in her class.
I visited the neighbouring school, and it is like chalk and cheese.
When my DS was due to start we moved them both to the new school and the difference in standards set is absolutely incredible.
In just over one term (12 weeks) she went from just on reading recovery level (standard at new school) to reading one year above her age. The new school is in a far poorer area on the rating thing (can't remember the name the govt use here sorry) But has the most amazing principal who has come in and turned the school around.

So I guess my other caution is if you do come here, investigate all school options and go for the one that you think works the best.
My other regret is not investigating all options properly before I started DD1


I guess what I am trying to say, is that I wish we had thought of the implications if (as it turns out) NZ is not to be a long term plan right now. I suspect that we still would have come out because of ties here but it has been a hard road to travel. With a lot of lifes lessons along the way.

One thing that I will take back to the UK with me, is a real appreciation for all that is on offer across there, which I took for granted and have found that I really miss.
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Old Dec 18th 2009, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

Originally Posted by colandros View Post
Is the 60-70k from one wage ?
If so why cant your other half get a job


Some people have strong views about sacrificing some material wealth for looking after their little kids entirely within the family, so unless you know the OP and his/her priorities you risk sounding quite rude by asking like that.
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Old Dec 18th 2009, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Any regrets

Originally Posted by ble View Post
Hi Pacifica

your questions has made me join the forum and answer with my view on your question.

I don't have regrets for coming out (life is too short) - we made the decision and then made it right. It was something that we had to do. We are a 'mixed marriage' - kiwi and scot. So it was coming home in a way.

But I do have one regret. And that is not having left an escape plan.

NZ is an island. I know that this sounds obvious - but it means that it is much harder to leave if you find that it isn't the life out here isn't what one of you expected. And things aren't as cheap as you would expect. So there is less in the kitty at the end of the day.
And, I personally think, that you would never be sure that it is the right decision long term for you and your family until you are stuck here and living it. It is easy to dismiss the pull of family friends or whatever until you don't ahve access to them. My OH had to rush back to UK earlier this year and the cost is still sitting on the credit card today.

As I mentioned, I don't regret that we have had time here - but it turns out that it isn't for us (well, in all honesty it really isn't for me and my OH doesn't particularily mind one way or another where we live). We needed to try living out here - and that isn't to say that years down the line we wouldn't come back to live.

I guess what I have discovered over the years here where the things in life that we loved doing as a family and our lifestyle choices are suited across there.
We lived in a rural village back in the UK - fantastic place.
And we live in a similar situation here.
So there was no driving force in terms of unhappiness of our living situation pushing us here.

My advice would be to think what the driving force is for you looking into relocating to NZ
Is it something that would be corrected simply with a move to a different area? Wales or Scotland even?

My concern is that from your postings your finances may be tight and while you can scrimp and survive on the figures that you have given, there isn't much cash left at the end of the month. Good scenery is only lovely and exciting for so long (and I look out onto the Southern Alps every day - great view but thats all)

Our circumstances were similar - 3 kids, (when we arrived - 3.5yrs; 2yrs and 6wks) income of 75K - 3 years ago. And yes cash was tight - and the small savings that we had from the UK got rapidly eaten up with unexpected bills.


Just one other note to consider on education (as I see that is important to you) - and this is what I have personally found, now having just started my second child at school.
NZ has no national standards for Primary Schools as yet - it is hoping to impliment them (with some opposition it seems) next year.

I ended up moving my eldest 18 months into her education at our local village school as while they were happy with her achievement (on borderline for above average on this schools standards), I felt that they were spending far too much time dealing with the bored / naughty children in her class.
I visited the neighbouring school, and it is like chalk and cheese.
When my DS was due to start we moved them both to the new school and the difference in standards set is absolutely incredible.
In just over one term (12 weeks) she went from just on reading recovery level (standard at new school) to reading one year above her age. The new school is in a far poorer area on the rating thing (can't remember the name the govt use here sorry) But has the most amazing principal who has come in and turned the school around.

So I guess my other caution is if you do come here, investigate all school options and go for the one that you think works the best.
My other regret is not investigating all options properly before I started DD1


I guess what I am trying to say, is that I wish we had thought of the implications if (as it turns out) NZ is not to be a long term plan right now. I suspect that we still would have come out because of ties here but it has been a hard road to travel. With a lot of lifes lessons along the way.

One thing that I will take back to the UK with me, is a real appreciation for all that is on offer across there, which I took for granted and have found that I really miss.
Welcome!
Great first post, I for one appreciate your views and honesty.
Good luck and best wishes for where ever you decide is home.
B x
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Old Dec 18th 2009, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Any regrets

Originally Posted by ble View Post
Hi Pacifica your questions has made me join the forum and answer with my view on your question. I don't have regrets for coming out (life is too short) - we made the decision and then made it right. It was something that we had to do. We are a 'mixed marriage' - kiwi and scot. So it was coming home in a way.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my posts. There are multiple driving forces behind our decision to move.
  • I'm the oldest son from a Sikh family so there have always been a lot of family responsibilities for me to deal with. However, I've always been a bit of a loner and I love my own space. I'm currently living with my parents, who although are very cool, still are very stifling and im just sick of having covert judgements held about how I raise my kids.
  • I work in education and I'm very disheartened with the poor national literacy standards. I'm about to go through an OFSTED and if you could see what they class as a priority for teachers you would be just as disheartened. My classes are full of students aged 16-19, who have a C in their English GCSE's but don't even understand how to use punctuation! I can honestly say that I don't want my kids to go to school in a country where schools are forced to prioritise ticking boxes over actual quality of education. I have seen first hand how schools and colleges manipulate data to make sure that they meet their targets, very often at the cost of quality. I could go on about my issues with education all day.
  • I have a daughter and I don't want her to grow up in the under 16 pregnancy capital of the western world. (I know not all young mums are irresponsible)
  • I live in a city and I'm sick of traffic, crime and hustle bustle. People in cities are very rude and there is no community as so to speak of. There were 2 shootings in my neighbourhood last year.
  • I'm fed up with being a part of the materialistic rat race, and I don't want my children to think happiness is index linked to the quantity of toys they have.
  • Celebrity culture and aspiration here is awful. I can't believe that footballers wives can actually be as famous as footballers for nothing other than getting married! I would hate to see my kids aspire to be famous for being on a reality program or marrying a footballer.
  • I want to live in a country with a good quality of outdoor living. I would love to see my kids playing outdoors over being stuck in on a computer because it's raining again. I want to take them camping, walking and just generally enjoy the outdoors whilst being fit and healthy.
I really don't mean to sound so cynical, but I'm just very disheartened with the future prospects for my kids. I know im probably taking the NHS, fabulous history, range of food/products, etc for granted. We did visit NZ before we had kids (5 years ago) and we loved it. I know it's a really big risk moving there, but I think it's one I have to take. I can't stay here wondering what would have happened if I moved.
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Old Dec 18th 2009, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Any regrets

Good post pacifica.. obviously in the UK. There may be a few who are going to tell you you are wrong about where you live and where you want to go but be quided by the sensible replies.
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Old Dec 18th 2009, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Any regrets

You've hit the nail on the head Pacifica and really answered your own question Yes, it is a big move! and as has been said before... for many of us it is a leap of faith and like you we don't want to be saying 'if only' when its too late, so we follow our dreams and do whatever it takes to realise them.

One of our biggest regrets (and we're not in NZ yet!) is that we didn't take our leap of faith earlier!!
Good luck with your plans & hope you realise your dream!
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