You would have noticed I’ve been a little quiet lately. I hope you know it wasn’t anything you said. It wasn’t you, it was me. This post is a little all over the place, because I’m very sleep-deprived and am trying to convey 2 different messages in a single post (sorry!).
That said, there was a good reason for my lack of posts, and a quiet spot in the comments. A couple of songs to try and explain it:
First up, two of my all-time favourite guitarists playing one of my all-time favourite tunes. Music with a message…
If that was too subtle, here’s another hint:
That’s right, the Democratic People’s Socialist Republic of the Long White Cloud is today just a little less grey. A little less depressing. A little more free.
Because from today it is Plus One Gantt Guy! After 10 years living in Melbourne, the Gantt Family are on our way home.
Now, for those kiwis making the move in the opposite direction, I offer some advice. Although I have lived in Australia for a decade, I was considered by all and sundry to be a temporary resident. That is because the “special category” visa by which New Zealanders and Australians can enter each others countries, while freeing up the trans-tasman travel, does not confer any formal residency status. So if you’re a kiwi heading “across the ditch”, here is my advice:
(1) do everything you can to AVOID the government-mandated superannuation scheme. More on this in a moment.
(2) take out citizenship as soon as possible.
(3) if you decide to leave Australia in the future, head somewhere other than New Zealand.
Why is that, you ask? Well, you might recall I have recently been through some tough times, and had a period of several months where work was hard to come by. I’ve been in Australia paying taxes and making (mandatory) payments into a superannuation account. The law provides that in circumstances of severe financial hardship a withdrawal of up to $10,000 can be made from accumulated superannuation. But here’s the rub: in order to prove you’re experiencing financial hardship, you need to have been receiving CentreLink benefits (unemployment social security) for 6 months! Now, there are 2 problems with that (well, for me anyway):
(1) I’d rather sell a kidney than go on social welfare, and
(2) even if I wanted to, social welfare is not available for kiwis in Australia, no matter how long we’ve lived there, unless we “formalise” our position by taking out permanent residence and/or citizenship!
This is why I HATE mandatory superannuation, and why it should be avoided at all costs. I went 7 months with absolutely NO income. I couldn’t go on welfare (and wouldn’t even if I had been able). I have a reasonable sum invested in a superannuation account, but I can’t touch it because I didn’t go on welfare.
On top of that, I heard the other day the government is preparing legislation requiring all superannuation funds to invest a portion of their portfolio in “nation building” projects. What does this mean? Basically, the government is stealing people’s private superannuation savings to fund their white elephants and boondoggles.
Oh, and as a p.s., if a “temporary” resident leaves Australia they are able to take their superannuation savings with them … unless they’re going to New Zealand!
Government-mandated superannuation SUCKS!
Now, there are a number of ways to avoid having to make the mandatory payments into a superannuation account. Here’s what I did. As an independent contractor (not an employee of a company) your income is dividends and capital repayments from the company established to manage your contracts. Ergo, you are not receiving “income” as such, but shareholder dividends which are not (yet) captured by the superannuation legislation. If you’re going to do this, get a good accountant.