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Thread: Compass???

  1. #1
    edytais is offline Junior Member
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    Default Compass???

    Hello,
    My family wants to move to NZ. We've been thinking about it for years, but now we are serious.
    My dh is a professor at a university so he doesn't make big money. I suppose he can be a teacher in NZ too. We have 3 kids who are homeschooled by me. We live very modestly in midwest, but we can do it with one salary. We can live in a house on a few acres, kids do gymnastics (we pay $250 US per month for that) and they take art and music lessons.

    My dh is looking for a job in NZ and most likely it will be teaching. Can we live on teachers income in NZ without me sending kids to school and working? My experience here in US is that if I want my kids to go to really good school, my salary would have to all go to that. Might as well enjoy them, keep them at home and homeschool them. They have much more time for their afterschool activities and school is customized to their learning. How expensive are private schools in NZ and what do you think about the schools in general? I live in AR and schools here are awful!

    I have started my EOI with compass agency.
    Did any of you use it? Can you tell me if they are good. They are the ones looking for a job for us too.
    I would really appreciate replies. Thank you in advance for your time.
    Edyta

  2. #2
    kiwiguy is offline Member
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    Default

    Hi I have friends with 2 kids that go to school and she does not work and her husband is a highschool teacher and they live fine I think its around 70k per year but there is a scale and depends on qualifications and the like.

    But it of course depends were you live as I think highschool teachers get the same no matter where they teach I also know a few people who home school and they live on lifesystle blocks
    If you are saying that your rent for your house is 250 per month you are not going to get anything for that.

  3. #3
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    andim5 is offline Junior Member
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    Default As a family of 4

    Hello there,
    We have moved to Auckland about a year ago and thought I could give you a little information on your questions.
    We are a family of 4 (one 3 year old and a newborn). My husband is a lecturer at the university (hence the move, as he had a job offer and the university paid our move) and I am a stay home mom with the two little ones.
    I do have to be honest that living on one income has been pretty hard on us.
    We came here to downsize (which we have done) and live a more family oriented lifestyle (which we have achieved) but financially this move has put us into a place we did not want to be.
    As a university professor my husband makes somewhere between $70,000.00-$80,000.00 which one would think is enough. What we did not think about is the really high taxes you have to pay. It also would be ok, but unless you are a citizen or a resident you do not get the same benefits as everyone else. We get taxed at 40% (because of what my husband makes) but we do not get any benefits after the kids and at the end of the year there is no such a thing as tax deductibles. It is a very different system as far as taxes go and unfortunately the benefits are not for working visa holders (even though we still pay very high taxes).
    Also, I find that everything is very expensive especially if you live in the city or the city suburbs. Water, electricity, gas and I could go on are much more expensive than what we are used to and we lived in southern California.
    We now live in the best neighborhood we can afford in the worst house on the block. We even pay pretty cheap ($450/week) rent but after everything (lawn, electricity, gas, water) it comes to about $550/week if we break it down. We donít even own a TV and are really good at turning our lights out in the summer our electricity/gas bill is average $200/month and in the winter about $300/month.
    As far as schools. you would have to live ina good neighborhood to have your children go to a good one. Private schools are just as expensive as back home. As a mother if I went back to work I would be working for very little money just enough to cover the kid's daycare. Once again it is because we do not get the benefits after the children.
    Also extra curiculom activities are pretty expensive as we pay $120 for 10 weeks of swimming (20 minutes each lesson) and $150 for 10 weeks of dancing (also 20 minutes each session)
    It is a beautiful country and great lifestyle if you can afford it. Just my 2 cents.
    Hope this helps.
    Living in Mission Bay, Auckland since June 2009 and loving it.

  4. #4
    edytais is offline Junior Member
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    Default lifesystle block?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiguy View Post
    Hi I have friends with 2 kids that go to school and she does not work and her husband is a highschool teacher and they live fine I think its around 70k per year but there is a scale and depends on qualifications and the like.

    But it of course depends were you live as I think highschool teachers get the same no matter where they teach I also know a few people who home school and they live on lifesystle blocks
    If you are saying that your rent for your house is 250 per month you are not going to get anything for that.
    Oh, I didn't say rent is $250. It's kids' gymnastics club :) I would never expect rent for that much. I probably wouldn't want to live were rent is this low....
    What is lifesystle block?

    Edyta

  5. #5
    Jof's Avatar
    Jof
    Jof is offline Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by edytais View Post
    Oh, I didn't say rent is $250. It's kids' gymnastics club :) I would never expect rent for that much. I probably wouldn't want to live were rent is this low....
    What is lifesystle block?

    Edyta
    A lifestyle block is a property with enough land to grow your own veges and maybe own a few of your own animals. Bit like what was once called a smallholding.

    Jof

  6. #6
    edytais is offline Junior Member
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    Default Thank you all for the info

    andim 5,
    Thank you so much for all your info.

    I sort of expect things to be harder on us at first, including taxes. We are not US citizens so we went through that here in the US when my dh was a post doc (little money... slave labor). I was home with the kids and we had to pay lots of taxes. We couldn't deduct me or kids from his taxes at all even though kids were US citizens. He paid as if he was a single guy who didn't have to support anybody but himself. I even lost a deduction of student loan interest the minute I got married. Forget the mortgage interest deduction etc etc... I remember how thrilled we were when one year we could file like US citizens: instead of paying in $3000 we got $3000 back! That was $6000 difference.

    Do you get the benefits when you get permanent residency? How long do you have to wait for that once on work permit?

    I would love to homeschool my kids. I guess it's going to be a choice. Seems like, either I go to work so I can afford more expensive house with good schools, or homeschool and not care about the public school in my district, then I can live in a cheap area. I hope I can get a decent job. I have MS in chemistry, and almost BA in accounting. I am just tax class away from having all the courses in accounting offered for BA degree. I got accepted to PhD program in accounting which I am starting in September, but I don't want to go through with it if NZ is an option.

    Thanks again for the info. At least I know what to expect more or less.
    I wasn't sure with the salary and the Ministry of Ed has very confusing list.

    Oh, I just thought of something.... at my dh university the salaried of professors differ tremendously depending on their area. eg accounting professor makes 3x as much as science and math professor. The salary varies from $30,000 to $120,000 for a professor with the same experience depending what dept they are teaching for. From what I read so far, it seems like it depend on the degree and experience in NZ. How is it with the area of expertise? I wonder if your dh salary also is what you say because of his area and if my dh is going to be much higher or much lower.....

    Thanks a lot!
    Edyta

  7. #7
    andim5's Avatar
    andim5 is offline Junior Member
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    Default well

    No problem on the information.
    I am not sure about your taxes back home. I became a citizen a year ago, but I always enjoyed the benefits of a "regular" taxpayer even as a green card holder.
    Here as soon as you get your residency you can get the benefits after your children and claim deductibles. (as far as I understand)
    We came here on a 4-year work visa (due to my husband's job) and our daughter got a regular 4-year visitor's visa. Our son was born here, but since they recently changed the law he is not automatically a kiwi and after receiving his passport we have to apply for a visa for him (find this quite funny, even though I do understand).
    We are now applying for residency (the university is helping us with it as it is quite expensive) and we were told after our initial EOI it should take between 4-6 months. The university does have some kind of deal with the immigration services as more and more lecturers who move with their families run into the same problems as we have.
    As far as my husband's pay, he is teaching criminology within the sociology department. The pay is on a scale depending on experience, publications and so on. He was hired with the highest pay for lecturers the next step would be a senior lecturer position which can pay over $100,000.00.
    He has 8 years of teaching experience and got his PhD from Boston College. He taught at Boston College, WASU and CalSate Fullerton. (The latter as a tenure track).
    He has quite many publications but not a book (only book chapters). Not sure if this helps.
    Now if you are thinking about home schooling you should think about:
    NZ citizens and residents are required to send their children to school between the ages of 6 and 16 unless they have obtained a Certificate of Exemption (from attendance at school) in order to home school. To apply for the certificate, a form is filled out, and if the Ministry of Education is satisfied, the certificate is issued.
    I hope this helps!
    Cheers
    Living in Mission Bay, Auckland since June 2009 and loving it.

  8. #8
    kiwiguy is offline Member
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    Default

    Maybe I can sort of help with the Tax thing a bit
    There is no difference if you can single or married or living together both are tax the same.

    Normally the tax is taken out when you get paid unless you are self employed.
    Most people do not have to file a tax return but you can and in some cases you must link extra income form other sources and a few other things.

    and if you think you are going to get some tax back you can file as well.
    But there are not many things you can deduct maybe some child care and some donatuions but its very small.

    As for the tax rates its not 40% on all the income its like this
    The first $14,000 is 12.5% then $14,000 to $48,000 21%
    $48,001 to $70,000 33% $70,001 and higher 38%

    So if you earned $70000 its
    14000 at 12.5%
    34000 at 21%
    22000 at 33%

    As for benefits for families these can be quite large
    Working for Families Tax Credits - Working For Families
    for example with two children and $70000 per year you get
    $75 per week or if $50000 per year and two children then
    $155 per week

    But like the other poster said it looks like you need to be a resident to qualify for them

  9. #9
    edytais is offline Junior Member
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    Default Thank you!

    Thank you all for the info.
    I just a preliminary report from an immigration agency. Looks like my dh has 140 points without job offer. If he can get a teaching job (uni or high school) he would have 190-210 points. So now we are sending NZQA application and TEaching REgistration. We'll see how it goes.
    Thanks again.

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