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Can you sell me on a financial level?


Basil1
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Good day, SAAustralia Family,

 

Let me begin by saying that we are already sold into the move to Australia for the sheer reasons of better opportunities for our two young boys and overall better safety for our family.

 

But, where I am having my doubts is in the financial sector!  My wife and I are both fairly young in the work-place and it all seems backward to save up all of this money to make the move and to not be putting the money away into RA's/long-term investments, only to have to start from scratch all over again in Aus.

 

I suppose my question/request is to hear of success stories where-by people can indicate that the move, financially, will be worth it and that we are not setting ourselves up for possible large-scale disappointment.   Is anyone able to settle my financial doubts?  Do you find yourselves better off at the end of the month in Aus compared to SA?  I know that t is hard to compare it so simply like that and I know that not everything's about the money, as I have already mentioned, we ARE already sold on the idea and we WILL be making the move - I am just having the initial doubts of " WOW! This is actually going to happen.  Is it actually feasible on a financial level?"

 

Obviously, all depends on what jobs we can secure.  My wife is a Physiotherapist and I am an Engineering Technologist.

 

I really look forward to hearing from you!  Thanks in advance.

 

BMDJ

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For us Australia has been fantastic,
This is the land of opportunity where you don't need to feel guilty for being successful, and if you make something of yourself it is because you work damn hard not because you were born with an advantage, you wouldn't believe what a difference this makes to your outlook on life, this is possibly the biggest drawcard for me in Auz

 

  • We arrived here 7 years ago with $700 in the bank and no stuff (457 visa)
  • I started on 50% more than my RSA salary & within the second year i was earning double my RSA salary, in RSA we were living month to month but here even with the substantially higher costs in Melbourne over 3 years we furnished a 3 bed house and saved enough to buy a flat in South Africa cash should we have wanted - Not that we ever would :P 
  • My wife got cancer and we spent all of the savings on private care (she is great now & I don't regret it in the least, you can always make more money)
  • We then hit the road as homeless with a 11 month old kid, we wanted to try something that wasn't the office grind,
  • We spent a year and a half in a camper trailer, then 6 months in a small caravan, traveling the east coast and working as a Microsoft trainer, when we got started there were many months that I couldn't make my car payment and we learnt to live healthily and easily off under $1k a month with no government help (Family of 3's Food, Rent, Petrol...everything included)
  • It started working well but we wanted another kid and indoor plumbing was a must, so about a year ago, I went into business with another bloke here in Sydney and we now have 9 Permanent staff (7 here in Australia) and about 8 Contractors around the world working for us, we have no debt and are working on savings again, 

 

Where i am heading with this is that this is a land of opportunity where you can work hard and make a success of yourself, I don't have a degree, college or a trade qualification, but if you are prepared to work really hard you will do really well and people don't look at your stuff and say that you need to give it to them because you don't deserve it.

 

Stop thinking about it and just get over here and start your new life, it is great

Edited by Nev
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On 1/17/2018 at 5:12 PM, Basil1 said:

where-by people can indicate that the move, financially, will be worth it

 

See this ^^ is your problem: none of us really did it for the financial gain. We almost all did it for safety, security, first world service, our children's future, better job prospects for those with a quota ceiling over their heads. Having a better financial future is just a happy by-product from living in a country with a stable economy overall.  

 

If you start counting the money that the move will cost as not saving for your retirement then you will drive yourself crazy.  It costs what it costs and years from now you won't specifically remember exactly each step and how much it costs, only that you didn't move when you should have. You have to get over this part and just think of it as the price of entry.

 

As relative youngsters in your early 30's with your whole working lives ahead of you, it would be virutally impossible to not have enough for retirement here in Australia (between superannuation and government pensions). You are starting out at the same point as any other fairly young worker.  Actually probably slightly ahead because you'll arrive with no debt.

 

As for being a success story yourselves in the future: that is up to you, your attitude to money and how you choose to live your lives.  A great book to help you get your head around how to do it in Australia is called The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. It is a step by step approach geared specifically for people trying to secure their financial future and buy a home.  Everything else is up to you...

Edited by RYLC
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I'm not going to go into too much detail but in RSA we struggled to survive on a doble income. In fact we didn't in the end, we were always at least one salary behind. We sold most of our stuff, put the rest in a container and have never looked back. 

 

My wife was unemployed for the first year and we survived on a single income which was minimum wage. She started working and life was great. We bought stuff we never could have afforded in RSA and saved heaps of money in the process and now I'm unemployed again and we are living on her salary which is also minimum wage and still doing fine.  We are goimg on a cruise in Feb and I've just boight my daughter's MacBook 12" 2017 Retina for school  (R25,000.00) worth of mac. Never in a million years back in RSA would this have happened.

Edited by HadEnoughofJuju
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A lot of nothing in Australia is by far better that a lot of something in RSA. And you get better interest here as well as at least 9.75% superannuation on top of you salary which is manditory in Aus for all employees over 18. Oh and $0.00 bank fees.

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@HadEnoughofJuju what a beautiful success story!  I'm so stoked to hear that things have turned around for you and your family.   I'm sorry to hear that you are unemployed at the moment but really happy that you are doing as well as you are.  Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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3 minutes ago, HadEnoughofJuju said:

A lot of nothing in Australia is by far better that a lot of something in RSA. And you get better interest here as well as at least 9.75% superannuation on top of you salary which is manditory in Aus for all employees over 18. Oh and $0.00 bank fees.

Thanks for including this.  From your messages alone I am feeling much more at ease. We have made the right decision to immigrate.

 

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@Basil1, no worries mate. It hasn't been easy but it has been worth every cent it cost to get here.

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Ah thanks for the replies - to be honest I was also worried about this and we are leaving for Australia at the end of November 2018. So we are now busy selling items and clearing out cupboards as we know the time is going to go super quick.

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@FingersCrossed all the best in gearing up to leave at the end of the year. You must be excited. We can't wait until we can say that our departure date is in sight! Where are you going to be based?

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@Basil1

 

We have been gone 24 years. We left at age 44 and cashed in everything we had. We left with our children, two sons, 23 and 17. We have never looked back. The wonderful retirement annuity that we had for R1 million each, is now a pittance, compared to what we have accumulated since we arrived. After all, that R1mil would only be around $100,000 in Australia. Our Super here well exceeds that. So do not look back on what you had, look forward and work to achieve that which is to come!

 

Our kids often thank us for taking the leap of faith!

Edited by Mara
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I would also like to add my 2cents here :)

 

My husband and I graduated from university in 2013 and worked in SA for two years before coming to Australia. We had one of the highest paying jobs for our age and occupation at the time (we worked at Medupi) and housing (and utilities) was paid for. We probably saved around R5000 a month. We are both working in Melbourne now and get the average salary for our occupations. We save around 10x more than what we saved in SA (as in around R50000 – 5000AUD) AND we pay rent this time (plus the utilities J ).  Others have also mentioned the banking fees which are much less here. Car insurance I find is also cheaper. You don't pay for extra security because the police actually do their jobs. If it's enough for you, Medicare is also free.

 

OH and we went to SA over December 2017 and found it much more expensive than we remembered. Clothes were basically the same price as here! The only real "cheap" stuff was eating out and booze J . Makes us wonder how SA people afford things and save? 

 

Just come over, you'll see you will be much better off financially, emotionally and physically! 

Edited by Odendaal
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You are too risk averse, I arrived here at the age of 46 with my family, we love this place. Safety, security, great outdoors more than outweighs any economic issues. Yes we had saved money before we came which was worth less when we arrived, but it made no difference to us. You are young, better for you to save in Oz rather than SA. You have it all at your feet being younger. Oz is a young country and therefore a lot of growth and opportunity for those who want to work hard.

 

Don't stress, just get the hell over here while it is available to you and while you are able. Most of us oldies have only one very common regret...........that we never came over when we were younger!

 

Do you have your visas sorted or do you still need to go through the process?

Edited by TakeItOnTheChin
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Thank you all for your input.  Believe me when I say that I feel much more at ease.  As previously stated, will be making the trip - that decision has been made already - I was just looking for some extra comfort - which you all so graciously provided!  The willingness of members on this forum has always impressed me.

 

@Mara a lovely post.  Thank you.  All the best for the future.

 

@Odendaal thanks for sharing.  Great to hear that you guys are doing well.

 

@TakeItOnTheChin my manager often states that we're in the game of risk aversion, That mentality has obviously overflowed into my private life! ;):P   With regards to the visas, we are still going through the process.  I will need to get my occupation assessed by Engineers Australia and then we can slowly get the ball rolling. My wife has just returned back to work after 4.5 months of unpaid maternity leave (we also have a 5 year old who has just started Grade R), hence our savings have been depleted.  My wife is a Physiotherapist, her assessment with AHPRA is a lengthy and costly process so we'll try and get over on my occupation and get her registered once in Aus and earning dollars.   That's the plan anyway, and we're prepared to work really hard to make it a reality ASAP.

 

We are really excited to begin getting things in order this year and want to make the move as soon as we can.  Your replies have really given me a sense of peace regarding this move.  We cannot wait to join you all in the land Downunder!

 

Kind regards,

 

BMDJ

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We arrived in our early 30’s and been in Oz 24 years and we’re comfortable and set for retirement whenever that will be.

 

We visited South Africa a year ago and found

(1) cost of groceries, electronics etc is the same

(2) housing and eating out much cheaper

(3) salaries in South Africa are half

(4) our contemporaries we left behind are battling now financially. This includes includes professionals and highly skilled people.

 

Forumites make a huge deal about moving out of South Africa. Goodbyes are so sad and friends and family are mortally wounded. In most first world countries it’s a rite of passage - you need international experience to progress. Treat this as an adventure and you can return if you want to. You won’t but you’ll be much happier until you become comfortable with your new environment.

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Hi, Basil1

 

Just wanted to chime in briefly to this interesting discussion and share our experience.  Like you, I too am an Engineering Technologist.

 

We left SA out of fear of violent crime and a very uncertain future.  We didn't think too much about an improved financial situation but it followed naturally.  We did notice very quickly (I'd say within a year) that our standard of living and ability to save for the future were easily on par with what we had in SA.  After about 4 years and following a promotion to a senior management job our situation was WAY BETTER than it was in SA.  In my line of work in SA, senior management jobs were becoming harder and harder to obtain. I imagine they still are.

 

Add to that the security and stability of living in the first world and the generally happy and positive place that is Australia and, in hindsight, it was the best thing we could've done from almost all perspectives except proximity to family.

 

A deliquent currency and huge inflation rates sink any real financial security in SA (IMHO).

 

As an additional comparison:  currently living in the EU on a stint with a good job (we're heading back next month - yay!), I can add too that our situation was/ is MUCH BETTER in Ozz financially than over here in Europe.

 

Good luck with your application!

 

Cheers, Safferblue 

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@SimpleSimon Thank you for sharing.  "A right of passage" - It's exactly that.  The fact that many South Africans stay-put in SA is mostly due to where we are situated as a country, our proximity to other countries and thus the large travel expenses we incur when wanting to leave SA in search for international experience.  Side Note:  I was watching a video whereby a gentleman made an interesting comment about how those from European descent, such as myself, are curious and how it is ingrained in us to travel and explore - I agree 100%.

 

@SafferBlue Thanks for sharing your story - Always good to see a fellow Engineering Technologist making waves Downunder!

 

53 minutes ago, SafferBlue said:

We left SA out of fear of violent crime and a very uncertain future. 

 

The above is the main reason why we, and most such as yourselves, are leaving SA.  The crippling economy is only going to become harder to escape from. 

 

Thanks for the additional comparison with the EU.  All the best whilst you are over there.

 

Thanks again for the responses.  We appreciate it.

 

BMDJ

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An interesting angle on moving over, and would be interested to know what some of the actual numbers translated to for those who've made the move, especially on the higher end of things - as this could naturally contribute to making the final decision a little less urgent.

 

So, depending on experience and industry, has anyone moved over in the R1m/year range and found a similar/better financial situation on the other side? 

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6 hours ago, mistermoose said:

An interesting angle on moving over, and would be interested to know what some of the actual numbers translated to for those who've made the move, especially on the higher end of things - as this could naturally contribute to making the final decision a little less urgent.

 

So, depending on experience and industry, has anyone moved over in the R1m/year range and found a similar/better financial situation on the other side? 

 

@mistermoose,

 

I think it's dangerous to play the "less urgent" card, nothing in life is certain (bar death and taxes). You might be able to enter Australia today, but tomorrow your occupation is off the SOL, you are no long eligible (points) or the laws change completely. 

 

Immigration is a privilege, not a right.

 

Both my wife and I have found better jobs way out earning our potential in South Africa. We are debt free bar a mortgage, have accumulated more in savings in 3-years than in the past 15-years in South Africa, in AUD.

 

While my wife landed her role straight away, I went through a period of interviewing, landing a part-time role before the one I have been in for the past 16-months.

 

We have been able to salary sacrifice one of our salaries to increase our Super contribution, able to take annual family holidays and have another one coming up in April. Something we weren't able to do in South Africa along with save.

 

We now both hold senior manager roles in multinationals that allow us to also play in a global arena, should we chose to move again, travel and see more of the world.

 

I/we did not have these opportunities in South Africa.

 

My only regret as others have shared is not coming soon.

 

Cheers

 

Matt

 

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22 hours ago, SafferBlue said:

As an additional comparison:  currently living in the EU on a stint with a good job (we're heading back next month - yay!), I can add too that our situation was/ is MUCH BETTER in Ozz financially than over here in Europe.

Could you please elaborate a bit...what specifically is cheaper in Oz than EU? Or is it just that your total package is better there? We are (still) thinking of moving accross from EU (we are in Germany).

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1 hour ago, ZADE1234 said:

Could you please elaborate a bit...what specifically is cheaper in Oz than EU? Or is it just that your total package is better there? We are (still) thinking of moving accross from EU (we are in Germany).

 

Nothing (other than booze!) is signficantly cheaper in Ozz, but, in my line of work, salaries are significantly higher Down Under. 

Edited by SafferBlue
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On 1/19/2018 at 1:24 AM, AFreshStart said:

 

@mistermoose,

 

I think it's dangerous to play the "less urgent" card, nothing in life is certain (bar death and taxes). You might be able to enter Australia today, but tomorrow your occupation is off the SOL, you are no long eligible (points) or the laws change completely. 

 

Immigration is a privilege, not a right.

 

 

Good to hear from you, @AFreshStart :) And yes, this has been on my mind - and remains on my mind - for the longest time now. After coming so close to a few great roles and being able to actually make the move but never clinching it, I've now found myself in a fantastic position heading up a digital business over the last year, with excellent earnings, profit sharing, and a lovely team to work with. Work is challenging as hell but fun and rewarding. The freedom to drive the business, and earn well while doing it, is something that puts off the need to move until tomorrow, next week, next month. What if I don't find a team, role and earning mix that matches this again, and land up in just another job? But I am well aware that my 2020 deadline is growing nearer. I bumped into a friend recently who had just appointed an agent a week earlier, and who - in unison with his wife next to him at the time - screamed: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" when I told them I've had a PR visa for a couple of years already. It's easy to answer, right now, but a question I ask myself at least a few times a week. 

 

On 1/19/2018 at 1:24 AM, AFreshStart said:

 

Both my wife and I have found better jobs way out earning our potential in South Africa. We are debt free bar a mortgage, have accumulated more in savings in 3-years than in the past 15-years in South Africa, in AUD.

 

 

That's quite an achievement. Definitely helps to know that the move could actually improve things financially. 

 

On 1/19/2018 at 1:24 AM, AFreshStart said:

We now both hold senior manager roles in multinationals that allow us to also play in a global arena, should we chose to move again, travel and see more of the world.

 

As far as career prospects go, I realise that there are very few (as in zero) opportunities for me to move on/up from my current role in SA. This is as good as it gets for me here, and though it could last for 10 more years, it could also swing in a different direction and leave me scrambling for what comes next, which isn't a great position for a middle-aged white guy to be in in SA, to be honest. This was a stark reality for me a couple of years ago, and if it wasn't for my current opportunity panning out so well, I think I would've still been applying to Aus roles every day of the week and interviewing 2-3 times a month.

 

Thanks again for the response. Helps to have more perspective on the decision!

 

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14 hours ago, mistermoose said:

if it wasn't for my current opportunity panning out so well, I think I would've still been applying to Aus roles every day of the week and interviewing 2-3 times a month

2020is only 2 years away: get on the ball while the going is good. If you are making a succes in SA,  you will be a success anywhere else. Its you, not the place.

 

On 1/17/2018 at 7:42 AM, Basil1 said:

My wife and I are both fairly young in the work-place and it all seems backward to save up all of this money to make the move and to not be putting the money away into RA's/long-term investments, only to have to start from scratch all over again in Aus.

 

Your Sa investmests will be worth much less by the time you retire, thanks to the exchange rate and inflation. THe sooner you start over, the sooner you can get on with earning real cash.

 

Disclsaimer: we moved 13 years ago to Germany, not Aus. 2 years ago I had a wobbly because germany is so...german.. I looked into moving everywhere else. We are still considering Aus, but Germany is (un?)fortunatly treating us very well. So we have the same question actually as @Basil1, whether its worth the money to move continents.

 

We looked into "going home" to CT last winter:  I cannot believe the cost of living there! We would have been poor if we stayed. I have a South Africa friend here who I meet with regularly, and we were discussing those who are still in SA, and neither of us can figure out how they are all surviving. We suspect either no (real) med aid or no (enough) pension, but we did condider whether perhaps here in Germany you will freeze to death if you run out of money, whereas in Africa you can just chill on your stoep, so maybe we are not in the same frame of mind anymore as those who stayed.

 

I am still not sure what we are going to do in the Germany vs Aus question (5/6 of our family identify as German, so who knows...). @TamTam and @SafferBluecan keep me posted on how much nicer Aus is than here!

 

You aren't in lock-down once you leave SA! Its just that if you stay in SA, you can never leave, because of the currency and visa issues and med insurance as you get older. Its choosing to stay in SA that shuts the doors, not choosing to leave.

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2 hours ago, ZADE1234 said:

Its choosing to stay in SA that shuts the doors, not choosing to leave.

So very true.

 

I understand that being able to move to Aus costs money, we've just gone through it. I cringed as we spent money on qualification assessments, English tests, an agent, visas, flights, MoveCube etc etc. But it was worth every cent. We lived off of our savings for almost 5 months between leaving our jobs in Cape Town and my husband finding a job in Aus. I realise that we are all different and have differing abilities in how much risk we take on, but for us we took a leap of faith and came across without jobs and with two small children in tow. My husband networked and met up with various people in his industry here in Melbourne and it was through that that he finally landed a good job that he loves. We are in our 30s so we have some work experience on our side, but there are forumites who have taken this step in their 40s when (I imagine) uprooting one's family and life must be even harder. It is achievable.

 

I believe we are better off in Aus after 6 months than we were in Cape Town. Not so much financially, it will take a while to recover from the case of the leaky wallet :), but we are able to comfortably live off of one salary - I had to work in CT so that we could afford the house bond and we lived very modestly in a very middle class area, not fancy at all. Sure we don't own property in Melbourne and probably won't for quite a while, but my boys are loving it here. We can go for walks and explore our surroundings without fear, we go to the park nearly every day, and I have the option for the first time to choose to stay at home with my boys or to go to work.

 

You are welcome to disagree with me, that is of course what the forum is about - discussing things and helping each other out. But there is more to be gained in Aus than just the financial element. One can labour over the decision for days, months, years in fact, and being able to afford to immigrate is a determining factor, but it is only you who can take the plunge in the end.

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One word of caution if you are thinking of moving to Australia. Your topic “can you sell me financially”. I’m sure you asked it with the best of intentions and South Africans are generally  straight forward, honest and Frank.

 

However, having been in Oz for a while, my first thoughts were “why do I have to sell to you, it’s a privilege for you to be invited into our country”.

 

The lesson is Australians think differently and it’s possible to annoy us and never know about it.

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On ‎2018‎/‎01‎/‎19 at 1:24 AM, AFreshStart said:

Immigration is a privilege, not a right

This is so true, thx for the reminder :)

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