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Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Old Nov 28th 2005, 9:17 pm
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Default Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Hello everyone,

I would like to ask if anyone can tell me a cost of living index comparing Australia particularly Sydney to Seattle, Washington.
The reason is I heard that Seattle has a high cost of living compare to other states.
For example, if one is earning AUD$200,000 per year in Sydney, how much should this person earn in Seattle to live a "comparable " life. Family of four with 2 children , one in High school and one in elementary.
Also, what is usually the average income (cash component) of people working in IT ? And the tax rate?
Any further info is really appreciated.
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Old Nov 28th 2005, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Looking into a possible move are we?
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Old Nov 28th 2005, 10:34 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
Hello everyone,

I would like to ask if anyone can tell me a cost of living index comparing Australia particularly Sydney to Seattle, Washington.
The reason is I heard that Seattle has a high cost of living compare to other states.
For example, if one is earning AUD$200,000 per year in Sydney, how much should this person earn in Seattle to live a "comparable " life. Family of four with 2 children , one in High school and one in elementary.
Also, what is usually the average income (cash component) of people working in IT ? And the tax rate?
Any further info is really appreciated.
Are you moving over on a company transfer?

If so, ask your HR dept to provide you with a 'COLA' (cost of living abroad) comparison chart. You can't normally find this info free of charge on the internet as companies compile this info and sell it to MNC's. You might find some info though on the Michael Page international executive recruitment website or perhaps careerbuilder.com

Also see this:

http://www.robertwalters.com/salarysurvey/Default.jsp

The US arm of Michael Page does actually have a 'salary wizard' and a 'cost of living wizard':

http://michaelpage.salary.com/

Also the Chamber of Commerce for Seattle might be able to provide similar info.

Hope this helps!

(For what it's worth - I'm in the NYC metro area and have quite a few Aussie friends. They're all over here to make money and plan to return to Oz eventually. My best friend - from Baulkham Hills in Sydney is horrified at how expensive it is now to buy any property in Sydney and even the Gold Coast is fairly expensive. She is always horrified at how expensive clothes are for example in Oz - as was I when I've been on holidays there).

Last edited by Englishmum; Nov 28th 2005 at 10:42 pm.
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Old Nov 28th 2005, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Jabba1
Looking into a possible move are we?
Yes, hubby has been offered a job there, but still weighing the pros and cons between the two cities especially the cost of living. We are still negotiating the salary and benefits.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Can't help all that much, but there's been a few threads about the area already, even fairly recently which you might find with a search...but it ain't a cheap place to live unless your prepared to commute some distance...
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:04 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Englishmum
Are you moving over on a company transfer?

If so, ask your HR dept to provide you with a 'COLA' (cost of living abroad) comparison chart. You can't normally find this info free of charge on the internet as companies compile this info and sell it to MNC's. You might find some info though on the Michael Page international executive recruitment website or perhaps careerbuilder.com

Also see this:

http://www.robertwalters.com/salarysurvey/Default.jsp

The US arm of Michael Page does actually have a 'salary wizard' and a 'cost of living wizard':

http://michaelpage.salary.com/

Also the Chamber of Commerce for Seattle might be able to provide similar info.

Hope this helps!

(For what it's worth - I'm in the NYC metro area and have quite a few Aussie friends. They're all over here to make money and plan to return to Oz eventually. My best friend - from Baulkham Hills in Sydney is horrified at how expensive it is now to buy any property in Sydney and even the Gold Coast is fairly expensive. She is always horrified at how expensive clothes are for example in Oz - as was I when I've been on holidays there).


Thank you for your reply.

I will try to ask the COLA from HR dept. From what I read , it seems that Sydney has higher cost of living and fairly expensive in many things. But on the other hand , I have read somewhere in the forum that Seattle especially its real estate is also expensive.
Is NYC, New York City? I assume your friends move there to a higher salary and higher position than what they were in Australia?

I am in limbo right now whether to accept the offer because its not equal , The salary offered is 20% less than what I am earning in Australia.
Also, it will be a move from a senior management title in a subsidiary to a middle management in corporate headquarter.
Is it worth the move? Australia has a higher tax rate but it has a free medical and cheaper education.

Can anyone share their opinions please, good or bad are welcome.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:26 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
Thank you for your reply.

I will try to ask the COLA from HR dept. From what I read , it seems that Sydney has higher cost of living and fairly expensive in many things. But on the other hand , I have read somewhere in the forum that Seattle especially its real estate is also expensive.
Is NYC, New York City? I assume your friends move there to a higher salary and higher position than what they were in Australia?

I am in limbo right now whether to accept the offer because its not equal , The salary offered is 20% less than what I am earning in Australia.
Also, it will be a move from a senior management title in a subsidiary to a middle management in corporate headquarter.
Is it worth the move? Australia has a higher tax rate but it has a free medical and cheaper education.

Can anyone share their opinions please, good or bad are welcome.
Asking for opinions on BE? That's just asking for trouble!

My opinion is that I would never make such a major move for a cut in salary and/or job status. The fact that you're asking us (total strangers) at all means that you're not convinced that it's a good move. The only thing that would make it a good move in my opinion would be if you were confident that the job at Corporate would advance your career enough to quickly make up for the drop in salary and seniority. It doesn't sound to me like you're confident of that.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:29 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
I am in limbo right now whether to accept the offer because its not equal , The salary offered is 20% less than what I am earning in Australia.
Also, it will be a move from a senior management title in a subsidiary to a middle management in corporate headquarter.
Is it worth the move? Australia has a higher tax rate but it has a free medical and cheaper education.
Make what you will of the move, it's not an easy question to answer, but it sounds like your not very keen on the move, and if your not, then you probably won't be happy with it...and medical insurance is very expensive over here, and cover varies a lot, so really check what kind of cover and deductables they offer, especially as you have a family, could be the breaker right there to be honest...
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
...Can anyone share their opinions please, good or bad are welcome.
Since you asked for opinions, I'll add this:

In my opinion I'm an expert on Seattle, having visited for a 3-day business trip about 10 years ago.

Seattle is a cold and miserable place (or it was for 3 days in February a decade ago).

Seattlites are rude and slightly overweight, with a greasy complexion. They're mostly called Jim and work in research.

It rains for over 2/3 of the time in Seattle (according to my statistics)!

But far worse than all of this is the fact that Microsoft is nearly headquartered in Seattle.

Judging by these damning facts and statistics, it's clearly a place to stay well away from...

...in my opinion.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 2:06 am
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Post Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
Thank you for your reply.

I will try to ask the COLA from HR dept. From what I read , it seems that Sydney has higher cost of living and fairly expensive in many things. But on the other hand , I have read somewhere in the forum that Seattle especially its real estate is also expensive.
Is NYC, New York City? I assume your friends move there to a higher salary and higher position than what they were in Australia?

I am in limbo right now whether to accept the offer because its not equal , The salary offered is 20% less than what I am earning in Australia.
Also, it will be a move from a senior management title in a subsidiary to a middle management in corporate headquarter.
Is it worth the move? Australia has a higher tax rate but it has a free medical and cheaper education.

Can anyone share their opinions please, good or bad are welcome.

You might want to ask if there are any Aussies in the Seattle area on the forums here who might also give their 2 cents worth :

http://www.australiansabroad.com

Here's an article & photos an Aussie reported about Seattle (and you can contact her with your questions):

http://www.gumnut.com/writings/gypsy/onseattle.cfm

Remember that you are in the strongest position at the negotiating stage ie. NOW. If they really really want you then they will 'up' their offer to get you there. Of course you need to consider how far up the corporate ladder you want to go with this particular company/in this industry (my husband refused to consider a transfer to the Sydney office as he thought his career would hit a dead-end).

Is this likely to be a permanent move or can you just rent your property out in Oz, go on a three-year expat assignment to gain more of an international experience (good for long term career prospects) and then return to Oz?.

If you decide to take the posting in Seattle - get *everything in writing* or you will be left in the lurch....seen it happen to a lot of expats in Asia.

Last edited by Englishmum; Nov 29th 2005 at 2:09 am.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 2:14 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by dbj1000
Since you asked for opinions, I'll add this:

In my opinion I'm an expert on Seattle, having visited for a 3-day business trip about 10 years ago.

Seattle is a cold and miserable place (or it was for 3 days in February a decade ago).

Seattlites are rude and slightly overweight, with a greasy complexion. They're mostly called Jim and work in research.

It rains for over 2/3 of the time in Seattle (according to my statistics)!

But far worse than all of this is the fact that Microsoft is nearly headquartered in Seattle.




Judging by these damning facts and statistics, it's clearly a place to stay well away from...

...in my opinion.


lol, oh yes, I forgot to consider the weather too,from a sunny Sydney to a cold Seattle.
Microsoft and Jim ?? Anyway, I will be far away from them most of the time.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
lol, oh yes, I forgot to consider the weather too,from a sunny Sydney to a cold Seattle.
The weathers not to bad, though depends on where in state you move to, but overall, it's a bit more like blighty over there...
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 2:41 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
Yes, hubby has been offered a job there, but still weighing the pros and cons between the two cities especially the cost of living. We are still negotiating the salary and benefits.
Research the medical benefits VERY thoroughly. What's covered/ what's not, how much are the deductibles, costshares etc, what about pre-existing conditions. You can get excellent medical care here but without good insurance it can get extremely costly.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 4:03 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Originally Posted by Corelli
Thank you for your reply.

I will try to ask the COLA from HR dept. From what I read , it seems that Sydney has higher cost of living and fairly expensive in many things. But on the other hand , I have read somewhere in the forum that Seattle especially its real estate is also expensive.
Is NYC, New York City? I assume your friends move there to a higher salary and higher position than what they were in Australia?

I am in limbo right now whether to accept the offer because its not equal , The salary offered is 20% less than what I am earning in Australia.
Also, it will be a move from a senior management title in a subsidiary to a middle management in corporate headquarter.
Is it worth the move? Australia has a higher tax rate but it has a free medical and cheaper education.

Can anyone share their opinions please, good or bad are welcome.
I'd pick Australia over here any day of the week, but I'm biased. I'm an Aussie/Brit & have always liked Australia more than any other place I've ever been. My brother & sister have both moved back to Aussie & I was due to move back there, but met my American husband & fell in love with him. We've been together for 6 years, but lived in England for most of that time due to hubby being in the Air Force. We decided to give it a try here in Arizona (hubby is originally from here) for a few years, but if we want a change, we'll be moving to Melbourne.

For me, I love Australia due to it's laid back attitude, the nice weather, it's not too expensive, the free health care, the great food & it just feels like home to me.

The one major piece of advice I would give you is, make sure you get a great health care insurance plan with the job in Seattle. They'll let you die before they give you free treatment here!!!
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 4:05 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in Australia before moving to US?

Medical benefits and vacation time. Try to negotiate the same leave you have now or you'll be saddled with 2 weeks that you might not even be able to take back to back.
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