Ask Paul: My life has spun dramatically since I wrote to you in 2014


Hi Paul,

Around 2014 I wrote to you asking if I would be able to retire financially at 50 as a single man with no commitments to spend more time tending my gardens and chickens.

Well, the world has spun dramatically of late: I now have a beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. We hope to move closer to her parents near Cambridge, England, in the coming years.

ask paul my life has spun dramatically

My question is, can I keep my house here if I move overseas?

I believe the rules have changed but cannot get a straight answer. And I'll ask elsewhere about the logistics of sending 30 chickens abroad! - Glen

Goodness, Glen, life has really evolved for you!

And with a beautiful wife and a three-year-old you sound as if you are in a happy place. Cambridge is such a pretty spot, if a bit chilly in winter, but it is a great plan to live near your wife's parents. I agree you'll need to look into the chickens issue. Aussie chooks would have a heart attack if they saw snow, so I suggest you buy local chickens when you settle down.

It is not often I get to have a laugh about chooks, but given my zero expertise in that area we'd better move onto your house.

Sure, you can keep it and, given the historic long-term performance of well-located property in Australia, it makes a fair bit of sense for you and your chooks.

The only reason I recommend that people sell a home is to buy another. This also applies to your plans in the UK. If you need the money to buy there, fair enough.

If you don't or you may return to your Aussie home, personally, I'd keep it.

Where I suspect you are having trouble getting a straight answer is some really complex stuff that will involve whether you are a British citizen, whether you will buy in the UK and so on. As I understand it, the UK taxes its citizens on worldwide assets.

This gets way above my pay grade and you need an international tax expert.

Whether you become a "non-resident" for Australian tax purposes is also no doubt muddying the water. A tax expert will quickly sort this all out.

But you can most certainly keep your home if that works best for you. I'm sure the chooks will be most pleased. Great to hear from you again, let me know how it goes.

Ask Paul: Where are they now? 

Have you had a question answered by Paul Clitheroe? Email [email protected] to give us an update on your situation.

Get stories like this in our newsletters.

Related Stories

Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the Money TV show, and this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Ask Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. View our disclaimer.
Cinzia De Luca-Grace
July 16, 2021 10.16am

Is Glen not talking about the changes to Capital Gains Tax if he were to rent out his Australian property while he is overseas?