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Why People Are Moving To Australia In 2020?

As we enter the new decade, the political and economic turmoil affecting people’s lives has not shown any signs of slowing  down. This has contributed to a considerable increase in the number of Australians and New Zealanders to move back to their home countries. The team at Halo Financial and our trusted partners at Australia-UK Chamber conducted research to find out the top reasons why people decide to move back to Australia and New Zealand, which should be useful for anyone thinking of making their next move to Australia or New Zealand.

Moving back to Australia

Around two million Australians and New Zealanders live and work overseas, but thanks to strong economic and job prospects, many are considering moving back.

One million citizens aim to return to Australia and New Zealand

Almost half (47%) of the one million or so Australian citizens living abroad intend to return to their the country, according to an Expat Insights survey. This is particularly true of Australians and New Zealanders in the UK, where Brexit uncertainty is leading them to question whether they would be better off back home.

Going Home seminar series

The Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce held two special seminars entitled Going Home: Making the Decision and Going Home: Making the Move, to help bring together expertise, advice and top tips for Aussies and Kiwis who are considering moving back to Australia and New Zealand.

Among the expert speakers at the event hosted by the Australian-UK Chamber, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Kea New Zealand, was Dan Barker, Halo Financial’s Head of Private Client. Other partners helping Australians and New Zealanders to make the move overseas included pensions specialist, BDH Sterling, recruiter, Robert Walters and software tools provider, Atlassian.

‘Many nationals are thinking of moving back to Australia’

Dan Barker said, “With strong economic and jobs growth in these countries, many nationals living abroad are thinking to move back to Australia and New Zealand.

“The uncertainty caused by Brexit in the UK and the knock-on effect to business has put into sharp focus the difference between the economic outlook in Britain and down under.

“planning to move back is a big step, which is why it is advisable to obtain professional help and advice when making the decision and taking the practical steps to ensure a smooth move.”

Halo Financial has picked out some top tips from the presentations on why nationals should think about moving back to Australia or New Zealand and how they can ensure a smooth transition.

Aerial of Surfers Paradise city and beach Gold Coast Australia

Aerial of Surfers Paradise city and beach Gold Coast Australia

5 Reasons to move to Australia

1) Economy

Australia’s economy grew at its fastest rate for six years to the end of Quarter 2, 2018. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 3.4% a year, the strongest year-ended rate of growth since 2012, according to the latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

New Zealand’s economy is also performing strongly, with GDP growing at 2.8% a year and up 0.5% in Quarter 2, 2019 – reaching $300 billion for the first time. Compare that to the UK, who contracted by 0.2% in the year to Quarter 2, 2019, with Office for National Statistics saying, “the underlying trend is still one of slowing real GDP growth” and you can see the difference in performance.

2) Brexit

Now that the UK is leaving the European Union, many nationals and business owners think that “whatever happens, Brexit is bad for business. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has already hurt companies and the economy, as UBS estimated last month that the UK economy is already 2% smaller than it would have been without Brexit. The United Kingdom was the fastest growing G7 economy when the Brexit referendum was held in June 2016 but the decision to leave tipped the economy. It is now the slowest.” The latest economic forecast by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) expect growth to slow to 0.8% in 2020.

3) Infrastructure

With Australia’s booming population officially hitting a record 25.2 million people in August 2019, a 1.6% increase on the previous year and a decade earlier than forecast, the country is looking to a strong infrastructure pipeline to ensure a high quality of life for its citizens.

The Australian Government has committed more than AUS$75 billion (£41.4 billion) over the next 10 years in spending on major infrastructure projects, with Victoria and New South Wales leading the country in infrastructure investment. From Victoria’s ‘Suburban Rail Loop’ plan linking every major rail line in Melbourne, to New South Wales’ Western Sydney ‘Aerotropolis’ project, which aims to establish 200,000 new jobs and a 24-hour economy set around the new Western Sydney Airport, new infrastructure improvements are taking shape so it’s no wonder that natives are keen to move back to Australia.

New Zealand is also aiming to make a major investment in infrastructure, says the Department of Trade. An estimated $129 billion is expected to be spent on capital projects between 2019 and 2029, says the government. It is even forming a new independent body to oversee planning and implementation.

4) Minimum wage

The current minimum wage in Australia is AUD $19.49 an hour, which is equivalent to just below £10 an hour at typical mid-market rates at time of writing in March 2020. In New Zealand, the minimum wage is $17.70 an hour, or around £8.60. Both minimum wage rates are higher than the UK’s £4.35 National Minimum Wage for 16-17-year olds and more than the £6.15 for 18-20-year olds, £7.70 for 21-24-year olds and £8.21 for those over 25.

A higher national minimum will make the prospect of moving back to New Zealand or Australia more appealing than staying in the UK.

5) Quality of life

New Zealand is voted the fifteenth best country in the world to live and Australia the sixteenth best, while the UK is down in 58th. That is according to the Expat Explorer Survey, from InternNations. Australia and New Zealand also rank in the top fifteen countries in the world for quality of life, leisure options and digital life. The UK is 19th for digital life, 48th for quality of life, 42nd for health and wellbeing and 62nd for personal happiness. 

New Zealand capital city Wellington

New Zealand capital city Wellington

How to move to Australia?

1) Opening a new bank account

Whether you’re moving to Australia to live, work or study, Commonwealth Bank of Australia makes it easier to open a new account. The process is fast, secure and provides you with instant access to your account details. You can view your balance online before you arrive, using Australia’s number one online bank NetBank. You can start transferring money to your new Australian account, once you arrive in the country and identify yourself at a Commonwealth Bank branch.

Account holders enjoy the convenience of:

  • More than 950 branches nationally
  • NetBank and the CommBank App, where customers can access and manage your money – anywhere, anytime
  • Personalised support of a Relationship Manager for clients earning an annual income of $80,000 or above, verified by the bank.

To instantly open an account or for personal support, visit the website. There are two tailored Smart Access accounts from which to choose – one for those intending to live and work in Australia. The other is a student account.

Important things to know: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) ABN 48 123 123 124 is a company incorporated in Australia with limited liability and is subject to Australian regulation. The products and services that are the subject of this communication are subject to Australian regulation and are not regulated or covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service in the UK. CBA is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 139185).

2)  ‘Move happy’

It is possible to ‘Move Happy’, says Atlassian. Every move has its “unique moving points”. Each individual and family has their own journey, so it’s essential that everyone receives a high touch, personalised moving plan from visas to housing to destination services. Under the tech firm’s Move Happy programme, international candidates receive a personalised relocation with help covering everything from flights to temporary housing, tax consultations, furniture and vehicle shipping, destination services and personalised welcome gifts.

Andy Mountney, Head of EMEA Sourcing, at Atlassian says, “What was once an isolated part of the world which some would never have imaged to rival Silicon Valley, Sydney has grown into the next major global tech hub. Here at Atlassian, we’re partnering with the NSW government to create a new technology innovation hub right in the heart of Sydney.

“And as Atlassian and the wider tech industry (including VCs, start-ups, and incubators) set up shop, the opportunities to live and work in a hotbed of innovation are becoming more within reach for those looking to relocate back home or experience a new part of the world. To add to this, there’s a shortage of the technical talent needed to realize this vision. That’s why we’re making it as easy as possible, offering full relocation assistance, travel and temporary housing cost coverage, and more. Even our Head of TA, Robert Allen, described why bringing your tech skills Down Under just might be the trick to accelerate your career.

“Are you pondering the move? Be sure to explore opportunities with Aussie-founded organizations that can work through the ins and outs of changing countries with you whether it’s opening a bank account, converting currency, or finding a new neighbourhood to call home.”

3) Employment and job opportunities

In New Zealand, there are job opportunities for expats moving back to New Zealand in professional services, transformation, construction, infrastructure and technology, says Kate Williams, of Robert Walters.

In Australia, technology, construction and healthcare industries have the best openings for expats moving back to Australia, with senior teachings jobs also in demand, according to the Indeed jobs website.

For expats looking for employment, the average time to find work once deciding to return to Australia was 10.1 weeks, according to a survey for Indeed, conducted by the University of Technology Sydney. Four in 10 respondents say it has been easy finding a suitable role, while 33% say it has been difficult. Just over half (51%) say their first role back has been at a higher level, with around a third (35%) getting a lower paid position. Online job searches, recruiters and personal contacts are effective ways to find work in Australia and New Zealand.

Most people gain very specialised experience in the UK, but find that the roles available in New Zealand cover a much wider range of skills. “Because of this I would say speak to friends in your industry, ex-colleagues and specialist recruiters to get a clearer picture of what’s on offer and how your skill set translates,” Kate suggests.

4) Pensions

When obtaining pension advice for Australians in the UK, it is important to obtain expert advice from professions in both markets. bdhSterling specialises in both UK and Australian financial planning and pension advice and is licensed in both countries. All UK pension transfer advice produced by bdhSterling is delivered within a written document called a Pension Transfer Analysis Report (PTAR). A bdhSterling licensed UK adviser, who is a specialist in UK pension transfer advice, produces this detailed report. It does not outsource advice. If a pension transfer is recommended, bdhSterling prepares an Australian advice document (called a Statement of Advice or SOA), which integrates with the UK advice and outlines the Australian based recommendations.

5) Currency exchange

When moving money between Australia, New Zealand and the UK, using a currency exchange specialist, like Halo Financial, can save you money over typical bank rates and can take away the time, worry and hassle of making international payments. Getting the timing of your regular currency trades right and the right rate for your needs is key in volatile currency markets. This is vital when buying or selling houses, as it can mean a difference of thousands of Pounds for those using Sterling, transferring to British pound to Australian dollar or Exchanging British Pounds to New Zealand Dollars.

In addition, choose a provider who offers you top-class service. Halo Financial provides dedicated currency consultants for every customer and has high consumer ratings. The company also has significant experience in helping people move, live and work internationally.

Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce

The Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce is the independent UK-based membership organisation connecting the business community and professionals with interests in both Australia and the United Kingdom.

With a diverse membership and network as well as trusted partnerships across the Australian and British Governments, it is the platform for industry to access and influence Australian-UK business intelligence, audiences and trade opportunities. The Halo Financial team are delighted to work with the Chamber and partners to help its members and often contributes to events and resources.

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