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Belated Introduction

Belated Introduction

Old Jan 16th 2016, 1:44 pm
  #1  
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Default Belated Introduction

Found this site and dived straight in

So, introductions (you may want to make a cuppa before reading all this tosh):

We are a retired couple living in Suffolk, daughter in NZ, son in Oz.
Long term love affair with NZ.

We tried to move out in 1987, but at the time jobs in IT with the big firms were all in Wellington, because that was where all the Government departments were. We didn't want to live in Wellington, we wanted to live in Auckland, and at the time there were no suitable jobs there. Probably just as well we didn't move then because IT crashed in NZ shortly after, including one of the firms prepare to offer a job in Wellington going bust. However if we had bought in Auckland at the time we would be well loaded now!

When the kids were finally more or less off our hands we decided that we deserved a gap year - both kids had one and we never did.
So we set off on a 7 month trip in 2010.

A month in Australia first - two weeks in Port Douglas (beautiful but hot and steamy) and two weeks in Sydney (loved it).

Then to Christchurch - arriving in early November just after the first big earthquake in September. Everything was still standing (more or less) although most houses had lost their chimney stacks. Aftershocks were "interesting" but not much more than a tube train in London going past.

We "tooled up" for our trip, buying a car at auction, and a load of camping gear in central Christchurch. [Just checked and the firm we bought most of our stuff from doesn't seem to be trading any more.] We thought we would spend a couple of hundred pounds on a UK style tent but were persuaded to buy a traditional big tent (Freedom) like you see at most beach camp-sites in the summer. Wise move, as we experienced some extreme weather but the tent handled it all. Everything was in the sales, which was good.

So, off on our tour. South Island until January 2011, then North Island.

High spots too numerous to mention, but including being amazed at all the lupins by the roadside on SH8 around Omarama, overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound for our 35th wedding anniversary (we were the only people booked that day so we had the boat to ourselves and the two crew), Akaroa. Wine tour of the Marlborough region.

Low spots: spending Christmas and New Year on a camp-site. Loads of drunken Hoons and the police couldn't shift them immediately because they were too drunk to drive. Decided to hide over the Xmas/NY in future. Yeah, we should maybe have joined in more but we older folk need our sleep occasionally.

North Island - again high spots too numerous to mention. We fell in love with Russel and spent the last 5-6 weeks there at the Top 10 camp site just chilling (or roasting) in the tent.

Low spots: three days in Rotorua of continuous heavy rain due to a tropical cyclone passing over. After the first day everything was damp because even though the tent was watertight there was nowhere for internal moisture to go. Had to stick some markers in the bank of the stream to measure how fast it was rising. Fortunately the rain stopped just before the stream overflowed.
Being at the camp site in Russel and seeing a mother and kids from Christchurch arrive after the big one - they had just dropped everything and run as far away as possible. [Revisiting Christchurch in 2012 was traumatic - we couldn't find anything we recognised in the city centre for a long time.]

We traded the tent and all the equipment to the camp site in return for a couple of free weeks at the end of our stay. Took the car to Turners Auctions on our way to the airport for them to sell whilst we boogied on.

A few weeks in Hawaii then on to the US, and six weeks in an RV touring the West Coast. It was too early in the year to do Yellowstone and we turned back at Portland, Oregon because it was just too damn cold. Went down to San Diego for the sun, and finished off at Long Beach before flying home. High spot had to be the Grand Canyon.

Ooops! Getting carried away. Anyway, saw a lot of NZ.

Back 2012/2013 for another couple of months. By this time our daughter was living and working in Auckland so we had a safe refuge over the holiday period. Did both islands again including Marlborough wine tour on Lady Wife's birthday. Same date, same firm. Tradition forming?

Four months 2015/2016. First to Sydney to cheer our son as he was awarded his PhD and then the Blue Mountains (fabulous), Tasmania (fabulous also and very under populated) and more Sydney.

Then two months in NZ spent on the North Island scouting possible locations to live. We are eagerly awaiting our daughter completing her 3 years before the mast so she can sponsor us as parents in need of care and attention (or at least as providers of holiday accommodation).

So - both retired. I am drawing an occupational pension and have just started drawing my State Pension. I have a small second pension in a SIPP. My wife is one of those caught in the trap of rapidly moving pension dates. She was expecting a pension at 60 but it has now gone out to 66!

We have two houses - one an unplanned rental because we couldn't sell it at the time of the housing crash - and one home with mortgage.

The plan (if we get accepted) is to sell the rental property and used the proceeds to buy somewhere in NZ. We will keep our current property and the mortgage but rent this out to provide some income and a foot in the UK property market.

Why are we looking to move? Well, we always fancied living in NZ but after the failed attempt to move out in 1987 the kids were growing up and we didn't want to disrupt their education. Also, much more choice of Universities in the UK. We weren't hurting - we live in a nice house in a nice town with a nice lifestyle. Still very good memories of NZ, though. By this time we were too old to qualify for immigration.

Our enthusiasm must have rubbed off on our daughter because she and her partner moved out in 2012 and the rules changed to allow sponsorship of parents so this seemed too good a chance to miss.
If we are sponsored and move out we can then spend at least a couple of years living in NZ full time including the winters to be sure that we could hack it here long term. Then get residency. We don't expect to have any problems but you don't know until you try, so we will retain a property in the UK up to the point when we decide to stay or go back. This could be quite some time. One major driver is that our son lives in Australia (for the moment). Assuming he manages to get a permanent job and residency then we can visit much more easily and without any visa issues if we are NZ resident.

Our main concerns (apart from the actual move) will be managing finances. Do I move my state pension to NZ? I lose indexing which is quite an important benefit. What is the best way to take the income from my final salary pension? Paid in the UK then transfer the money, or paid directly to an NZ bank? What is the best arrangement for income tax?

Currency risk is a big issue - which country do you keep your money in and when do you transfer it?

One way moves are also an issue. If we are keeping our options open then it doesn't seem wise to move pensions across to NZ unless they can be moved back again should we need to return to the UK.

At the moment the UK (and the most of Europe) is a depressing place and NZ looks very attractive. However who knows what the world will be like in say 5 years time. So flexibility is the key.

We most definitely do not want to tie ourselves to one location to be near the kids. Anyway they (as are most skilled workers these days) are highly mobile and their skills are in demand world wide. In 5 years time they could be anywhere. Not that we see ourselves chasing them round the world and wondering why they keep moving. However it would be nice to be mobile. Residency for NZ (and presumably Oz as well) gives us an extra degree of flexibility so that alone is worth the move to NZ. More options should Europe go seriously pear shaped long term. Meanwhile NZ is a lovely place to live.
In (say) 10-20 years time health care may become an issue at which point we may need to work out where we will get the best affordable care. Or as I put it at some point we need to decide where to die.

If you managed to read this far, I salute your endurance!
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Old Jan 16th 2016, 7:00 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: Belated Introduction

Recognise many of the points. We sold our 24 acre block in Golden Bay in 2009 to move back to the UK, less insular and nearer the kids - one promptly moved to Germany and the other to UAE :-) So we went barging in Europe for 6 years!

Just moved back to NZ; lifestyle, climate, healthcare.....

We have decided this move is permanent (my wife would kill me if I suggested leaving) which quickly clarifies all the questions ref finance, pension, tax. Note you lose your UK pension indexing unless your move is very 'informal'.

Having a foot in each camp so to speak, while superficially attractive, means you don't 'belong' anywhere which can be disruptive/unsettling. This from someone who moved home (barge) every 3-7 days for 6 years :-)

Best wishes
Peter
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Old Jan 17th 2016, 2:22 am
  #3  
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Default Re: Belated Introduction

Hello Little Grey Cat and welcome

We also had a love affair with NZ, although ours was a lot more short term. I suppose you could say love at first site! My partner and I first came out after road tripping around the South Island for 7 weeks. Decided this was the place we wanted to be and 3 years later still love the place.

Sounds like you are thinking the move through carefully and I hope it all goes well for you.
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