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14 years 8 months ago #66917 by oskatd
Replied by oskatd on topic Hidden in the number
I always find it funny that people tell me how expensive the UK is (usually when they have just gotten back from their once in a life time, 4 week trip, or whatever), whereas we actually found the cost of living in the UK quite a lot less than in NZ, and we work it out on how much we earned there and here, and how long we would have to work to buy in NZ.. For example, to buy a bottle of Oyster Bay (who needs chicken when you have wine) in the UK we had to work about 20 mins, to buy one here we would have to work about 35mins. A book cost about 15mins work in UK, costs over an hours work here.... Just two things that spring to mind!

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14 years 8 months ago #66922 by Hestia
Replied by Hestia on topic Hidden in the number
I still compare scandinavian price towards NZ prices.
I do the how long do I have to work comparasion.
It is MUCH more expensive to live here, I have never in my entire life been this flat brook and I am almost 50!

In my previous life I did also have some left at the end of the month which I do not have here.

Going on holiday with NZ income is totally impossible!
My last holiday in europe I did live for free and eat for free and I did bludge.
I didn't even fill up the tank on the car I had borrowed! I left it dry as sahara!
OOooh ashamed! but I told that I am flat brooke and I hope they did forgive me :)

So if you are abroad and think it is expensive bear in mind that they earn more and still have some left at the end of the month.

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14 years 8 months ago #66928 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Hidden in the number

quote:Originally posted by Suzanne

It is MUCH more expensive to live here, I have never in my entire life been this flat brook and I am almost 50!

In my previous life I did also have some left at the end of the month which I do not have here.

I must say I do feel sorry for you Suzanne and others who have posted in this thread and are stuck with minimum wages :(
Here is how I avoided that situation in my own life:

1) After school I got a job as a Technical Trainee with Broadcasting on a starting salary of $2798 per year!

2) During the first 6 years I studied a lot of the time at nights and weekends and graduated top student in NZ for my year with NZCE Telecommunications.

3) Then went to university and after 2 years graduated with First-Class Honours Bachelor of Engineering Degree. During this time, money was very tight and I worked at nights packing supermarket shelves for $30 per week so we would have some extra to buy food.

4) With my engineering qualifications I have always held a very well-paid job since leaving university and with Inger's help, we started our own business 23 years ago.

5) Our business has done very well and we have been truly blessed with a lot of money which allowed us to pay back all our debts and now have substantial cash and other investments.

I'm not trying to skite here, but by making sacrifices and studying a lot when I was young -- at the same time all my mates were going out to parties, getting drunk, smoking dope and having lots of one-night stands -- I was busy studying hard and working to establish our business for many years. Now we are enjoying the rewards of those hard years early on [8D]

I have explained above the Road Map which has enabled our family to avoid the poverty trap. Just this morning my mother phoned up because my Dad needs a few thousand $ for his hip operation. It was a real pleasure to be able to help them out in their time of need, and we wouldn't be able to do this if we didn't have savings put away.

You get out of life what you put in, and I realise we have been truly lucky and definitely blessed in our finances. I can only hope that my story will inspire someone else to put in the hard yards so they can collect their reward later on :)

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 8 months ago #66932 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Hidden in the number
This equasion that we are using is how all income should be measured. For example, I live in a wealthy area (according to Valuation NZ) and so I too did the Maths on how many days I had to work full time to pay the Rates, the Insurance, the Rego, outgoings etc on vehicles and honestly, at the end of the week, I had not been working for me or the Company - I was working for the Government - without any payback of family benefit. The Rates and insurance are the same for 1 or 6 people living here) etc.

I've said this before - I am of the generation that had Family Bebefit yanked when my children were under 5, our children's bank accounts via school to encourage savings taxed, we had a Labour Govt that slapped Livestock Tax on farmers and 22 - 25% interest rates and it goes on - a lifetime of not being eligible for any Government support (because we worked and were too rich - choke) and now we have tax relief for families on $100,000 because they have children?

OK - it is more expensive than being single by adding to the grocery bill, clothes and school costs but if you get down to the basics of life - Rates, Insurance (whether property , medical or life), running your vehicle because buses are only available in random rural areas but mainly in the cities, (and more expensive petrol in rural areas because of transport costs) feeding and or caring for your animals, Vets etc - how does that relate to the family living in Central Auckland whose ease of transport, access to all the things we pay for in Rates - Museum, Arts, Waterfront resanding, Islands in the Hauraki Gulf as reserves, Theatre, Pubs, Restaurants (all within a reasonable taxi fare there and back) meet any random fairness criteria?

I'm 10 years from retirement and mark my words - having lived a reasonably frugal life and made provison for retirement - I can guarantee that when I retire - there will be no payout for me until I have used up all my savings. Those who have lived off the Government, spent wildly on credit cards and have nothing at 65 will be rewarded. What about the latest of people who have credit card bills being able to get them written off if they have no assests. Dah? I rent and live the life of a millionare or the uneducated wanting everything NOW and I can get it written off to the tune of $40,000? Now, the new proposal is to help pay (rebate) people who have old carbon producing dunger cars with new ones. What the hell happened to working hard and being paid fairly for what you do - not relying on a Govt to prop up your life. It scares the hell out of me with regard to this country competing on the international stage and not just sliding into Third World Status of chop shops and 18 hour working days. It is happening as we speak. Doesn't that scare anyone else?

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14 years 8 months ago #66934 by oskatd
Replied by oskatd on topic Hidden in the number
Good on you, Grant. The reality in NZ is that 4 out 5 business fail, I guess you were the lucky one! And that is not trying to run you down, I am sure that you have worked really hard for yourselves. At the end of the day, it really is the only way to make a heap of money - having your own business. My husband and I both have undergrad degrees, but work for employers, and earn what is considered a 'high' income - god knows where it goes, we always seem to be skint! In the UK we earned pretty well too, and although we certainly didn't have the lifestyle here - as in land an animals, we had a holiday a month - just a weekend on the continent, a least a couple of meals out each week and still managed to save a wad of pounds to bring home, it just seemed much easier over there!

My husband would be out of here tomorrow, given half a chance.... I have bought some time saying we need to wait for the old horse and dog to die first (hopefully they will hold on for a few more years). Have to say the thought of aussie doesn't do anything for me at all, much rather go back to the northern hemisphere!

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14 years 8 months ago #66936 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Hidden in the number
What I can't understand is why, when there is debate about the tax rates here, it always seems to focus on the highest ones (over $60,000) - why is the debate never about the bottom tax rates, which if changed would benefit more people than just those earning high salaries??? [V]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 8 months ago #66939 by Hestia
Replied by Hestia on topic Hidden in the number
Grantk,
yes, that is the way to do it :)
I admire people that have that drive and can plan and go thru with studies! :)
I so wish I had been able to study but could not afford because of that I had to work full time to just pay rent and food and had no parents to kick my bum.
Also I did not have this future plan in my not grown up plans when I was 15-20.
(I did sure "kick" my kids bum and try to motivate and tell them why they should study)
But everyone doesn't have the drive or the ability to study and there is a need for people that stay on basic work level.
But I still think it is not fair to have fully grown up people slaving away on minimum pay just because they have no education. I think it is ok to have a minimum pay,but people staying doing a work should not have this low buy power that is way too low to be a decent pay.
Why not a minimum for a 16 year old that increase with age to let's say 18 or 20?
Why not add some kind of bonus for years in same profession to make people proud for good done work and having gained work life experience? Isn't it good to keep a worker that knows the work and give some extra insetad of having to bring in new people and train them again and again?

we want to keep people in the country and it can not only be done with sunshine and grass :)

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14 years 8 months ago #66947 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Hidden in the number
I agree with what you are saying, Suzanne, that there will always be people needed in the occupations that are unskilled but provide a good service to society...as my mum used to point out, rubbish collectors are just as important as lawyers in their own way, if you want proof just see what happens when rubbish is not collected! [}:)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 8 months ago #66951 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Hidden in the number

quote:Originally posted by DiDi

I'm 10 years from retirement and mark my words - having lived a reasonably frugal life and made provison for retirement - I can guarantee that when I retire - there will be no payout for me until I have used up all my savings.

DiDi: Where did you get this idea from [?]

Universal Superannuation is just that -- UNIVERSAL.

Don't you remember the stink when Don Brash started collecting superannuation even though he was earning $200k+ per year?

Nevertheless, he was entitled to it, and so will we all be when we turn 65, regardless of how much -- or how little -- savings we have stashed away.

Any future government who tinkers with this is committing political suicide [xx(]

Remember the stink when Jim Bolger reneged on his promise to remove means-testing on superannuation? And what happened at the next election? They got thrown out on their ar$e and good job too :D

I don't agree with many things the Labour Government has done, but one thing they got absolutely right was establishing the Cullen fund. This has been set up to pay for the big bulge of "Baby Boomers" retiring i.e. people who were born from around 1950 to 1963. Because of this fiscal prudence, we can be reasonably certain that there WILL be a superannuation payout available to us when we turn 65.

NZ Superannuation on its own will allow you to live after 65, but not fantastically well. If you want the occasional new car or overseas trips, you need to have your own savings as well.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 8 months ago #66953 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Hidden in the number

quote:I don't agree with many things the Labour Government has done, but one thing they got absolutely right was establishing the Cullen fund. This has been set up to pay for the big bulge of "Baby Boomers" retiring i.e. people who were born from around 1950 to 1963. Because of this fiscal prudence, we can be reasonably certain that there WILL be a superannuation payout available to us when we turn 65.

You've got to wonder what the situation would have been now in NZ had Muldoon left alone the original superannuation scheme way back when rather than closing it down only a few months after he was elected...

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 8 months ago #66954 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Hidden in the number

quote:Originally posted by tigger

What I can't understand is why, when there is debate about the tax rates here, it always seems to focus on the highest ones (over $60,000) - why is the debate never about the bottom tax rates, which if changed would benefit more people than just those earning high salaries??? [V]

This is what Labour's much vaunted "Working for Families Tax Credits" are supposed to address.

But to my mind, it is a hopelessly inefficient system:

1) Charge families on Low Incomes too much tax
2) Then give some of it back via WINZ as a Tax Credit


In this way it keeps single people on low incomes from benefitting and I can only assume that is deliberate :(

Yet another example of the Labour Nanny State which likes to interfere in everything. Why not just charge low income people less tax to begin with [?]

If National get into power next year, look for some big changes in this area. If you want to get some idea of who John Key is and what he has in mind for this country, have a look here, it is inspiring:


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14 years 8 months ago #66958 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Hidden in the number

quote:Originally posted by tigger

You've got to wonder what the situation would have been now in NZ had Muldoon left alone the original superannuation scheme way back when rather than closing it down only a few months after he was elected...

Well, according to Brian Gaynor -- a Herald columnist I have a lot of time for -- we as a country would still own Telecom, the Railways, all our Big 4 Banks and many other businesses that are now mostly under foreign ownership.

Muldoon's act in canning the super scheme just when it had barely started was spiteful and petty and more a means of political point-scoring than for any valid reason. For us as a country to have lost the intervening 3 decades of savings has been disastrous for NZ Inc. in terms of assets which have passed out of our control.

Please note that I'm not saying Telecom or the Railways or the Banks should be state-owned, but instead they should have been floated on the NZX with large cornerstone shareholdings being taken up by the NZ Super Fund, in the same way as has been happening in the last couple of years.

If you look at most of our larger listed companies e.g. Auckland Airport, Contact Energy and Fletcher Building, you will find that the NZ Super Fund is a sizeable shareholder and in some cases, they are a Substantial Shareholder i.e. >5% and hence must notify the Stock Exchange at regular intervals of their shareholding.

This is the kind of stake that WE as taxpayers could now have owned in ALL of our larger companies, which instead have been sold into Foreign Ownership [xx(]

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 8 months ago #66970 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Hidden in the number

quote:If you want to get some idea of who John Key is and what he has in mind for this country, have a look here, it is inspiring:

I got about 30 seconds into it - I couldn't handle him talking about losing 35,000 NZers over to Aussie each year for better wages and conditions when it was the National Party that originally brought in the Employment Contracts Act that effectively (in my opinion) paved the way to wiping out the gains that workers had made in pay and conditions. How exactly did this benefit the people on the bottom of the pile? Has National really changed its spots that much since then?

Shouldn't go into religion and politics in polite company I know [}:)] but whereas I have an issue with National that I suspect they are still the same old same old as they have always been dressed up in more centrist language to make it more palatable, I have the opposite gripe with Labour having moved too far away from their roots...[V]

'Tis going to be an interesting election year, that's for sure.

In Ghandi's words "we ought to judge each society by how it treats the most vulnerable and weakest of its members." At the moment both parties from their recent history would be judged fairly harshly...

Does anyone know of any research that has been done in NZ on what an actual living wage is (as opposed to the minimum wage) - have been reading a fair bit about the UK movement about this but not here.

From wikipedia:
"Living wage is a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for a person to achieve some specific standard of living. In the context of developed countries such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland, this standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation. This concept differs from the minimum wage in that the latter is set by law and may fail to meet the requirements of a living wage."

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 8 months ago #66977 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Hidden in the number

quote:Originally posted by tigger

In Ghandi's words "we ought to judge each society by how it treats the most vulnerable and weakest of its members." At the moment both parties from their recent history would be judged fairly harshly...

Hear Hear! :)

I couldn't agree more with that sentiment. It's a difficult problem to solve though isn't it, and I also think that all our recent governments would be judged harshly on this score.

A few months back, I read Michael King's excellent book on NZ History. In the light of what he said, the last time that any NZ Government truly looked after its most vulnerable and weak citizens was back in the days of Michael Joseph Savage. I remember the reverence that my Grandparents always had for that great man, and they voted Labour for the rest of their lives as a result.

I'm not sure that any government in modern times can realistically aspire to those heady ideals of socialism, much as it would be noble and altruistic to do so. Consumerism and the almighty $ rule the roost to a far greater degree than they did in the 1930s.

quote:Originally posted by tigger

Does anyone know of any research that has been done in NZ on what an actual living wage is (as opposed to the minimum wage) - have been reading a fair bit about the UK movement about this but not here.

I don't know of any research, but from apocryphal evidence, I would say that NZ Super must come pretty close [:I]

Really, it is only livable if you own your own home. Those that don't are doomed to an uncomfortable retirement.

Currently, NZ Super is $277.06 per week for a Single Person living alone, or $213.12 for a Married Person i.e. $426.24 per couple.

This is as close to a minimum living wage as you would want to get IMO.

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14 years 8 months ago #66985 by Hestia
Replied by Hestia on topic Hidden in the number
can you with that amount of money pay your:
electricity
food
home insurence
phone
water
doctor and medicine
rates
transport to see doc and do shopping? own car? car insurence and road tax and gas?
car service? forget that!
,,and can you buy petfood on top of that? don't think so.

It feels like that it will be to sit in the dark without a phone and share the dinner with the cat.

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