Retiring in Australia

About Australia

Australia is one of the world’s most highly urbanised countries, most known for the natural wonders and wide-open spaces that one finds there as well as its beaches deserts. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are its most famous cities. It is also the world’s largest island – which is classified as a continent. Australia is the most popular destination in the world for UK expats, with over one million Britons living there along with another 100,000 American expats. Most of Australia receives more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, but the east and northern coastlines see a lot of rainfall too.

Where in Australia should you retire?

The weather, the amenities available, transportation and housing are all important factors to consider when choosing which city to retire in. “Every retiree is different, so they will have a different set of criteria about what they are looking for. However, generally speaking, they’re looking for leisure facilities, low crime rates, accessible transport, relatively low cost of living, good climate, good medical facilities and choice of shopping,” co-author of ‘Where to retire in Australia’ Jill Weeks said.

  • Perth, Western Australia

Perth offers a slow-paced lifestyle as well as spectacular scenery and some of the best beaches in Australia, making it an ideal destination to retire in. Its property market is an affordable one, especially since its still recovering from a long-winded downturn. According to reiwa.com, property price average in Perth is $500,000.

  • Hobart, Tasmania

If you’re looking for lovely surroundings, Hobart should definitely be at the top of your list. It’s known for the arts, culture and cafe scenes. However, the area has recently seen a boom in property prices taking up the average to $685,000. Despite being quite pricey, the prices are still below the average of those in Sydney and Melbourne.

  • Southern Highlands, News South Wales

On the other hand, if you’re chasing a retired life away from the city, this region is ideal. Just one and a half hours south of Sydney, areas such as Bowral, Moss Vale, Berrima and Bundanoon are very attracting for retirees. Moreover, it is also home to over 60 wineries, 17 cellar doors and award-winning dining areas.

  • Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Here you’ll find some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches and weather, together with an outgoing and welcoming community. The latest reports suggested that the average price of the market here is $630,000. It’s also an hour’s drive away from Brisbane.

What do you need ahead of your move?

Before anything, research the country, the cost of living and its healthcare. You can learn more about all the factors you’ve got to consider being making the decision here. Once you’ve carefully chosen your next destination and hometown, prepare a checklist to ensure that you don’t forget anything useful behind.

Will Brexit affect your move?

Brexit shouldn’t be a factor to not move to Australia. Some argue that the two countries will have stronger ties with the Bloc no longer in the picture.

What to do when you move?

Once you’ve landed and walked into your new home, make it official. Inform your local council about your move abroad and provide them with your new address so that they could still send you any post that you may have missed. Learn how to claim your expat state pension whilst living abroad here. Moreover, do not hesitate to register as an Australian citizen – this is your new home!

Healthcare

Australia’s healthcare one of the best in the world, covering medical services, public hospitals and medicines. These services are available for those permanent residents in Australia. Costs of public hospital services, GPs and medical specialists are all covered by Medicare. However, keep in mind that as a retiree, you will not be entitled to any government or medical benefits and must secure your own insurance policy from a local company. The only way for you to qualify for Medicare is if your country has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Australia. Many Australians have a private health insurance, covering hospitals: for some (or all) of the costs of hospital treatment as a private patient and for general treatment (‘ancillary’ or ‘extras’) cover for some non-medical health services not covered by Medicare.

Tax

It’s important to note that the income tax for anyone earning less than AUD$90,000 is 32.5%. If you’re a British expat who retired to Australia, you may not be entitled to the tax-free threshold that citizens are. Every bit of your income will be taxed! For more information about Australian tax and how to handle it, you can speak to an adviser.

State pensions

In order to qualify for Australia’s Age Pension, you must be over 66 years of age, be an Australian resident and have lived in Australia for at least 10 years and meet the income and asset tests. The amount received will depend on the income you’ve had and your marital status. In addition, you will then be eligible for: Centrepay: a free direct bill paying service available as a regular deduction from your Centrelink payments, Work Bonus: a payment that helps you earn more without reducing your pension and the –Pensioner Concession Card.

Get to know your Visas

Ahead of your retirement to Australia, you must initially apply for a visa. If you’re moving away with your family, there are several visas that you could apply for: Parent Visa, Age Dependent Resident Visa, Remaining Relative Visa, or a Carer Relative Visa. However, if you’re not eligible for these, apply for the Investor Retirement Visa. Note that this does not lead to permanent residency in the country. You can apply for another visa before the current one expires.

Getting your Australian passport

You will be able to apply for an Australian passport once you can provide your Australian residency. In order to get your Australian passport, go online and you’ll be guided through the questions to help you get the answers right. In around three weeks, you’ll be notified that you can pick up your passport.

Currency

Australia’s national currency is Australian dollars (AUD), which comes in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes and 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one, along with one and two dollars. However, contactless payments are very popular in Australia!

Money management

You’re in retirement – but that doesn’t mean that you have to pause all your income, aside from your pension. Use the latest technology to be able to invest in the top markets around! Look into cryptocurrency, which has been thriving recently. Bitcoin has reached an all-time high, with Ethereum also showing a strong performance. What perhaps some may call an underdog, the Dogecoin has also rallied in recent weeks leaving traders to wonder whether it can be the next big digital coin. On the other hand, you can invest in structured notes to build a globally diversified, long term portfolio. Managing money and payments can be stressful, which is why the latest fintech can help you ease the process.

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