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Hi

My girlfriend and I have been approached by a company in Sydney. They've asked us to consider our salary. We currently live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

We don't live extravagantly, nor do we skimp. I'd like to know what an equivalent lifestyle (if there is such a thing!) would cost in Sydney:

1. Rent (per week) for a spacious furnished 1-bedroom apartment with a study in CBD/good nearby neighbourhood (including water and electricity)
2. Travel with public transport (per person)/Is it essential to own a car in Sydney?
3. The cost of medical aid with a hospital plan (per person)
4. Groceries (for both of us)
5. A meal at a mid-range restaurant
6. A movie ticket

Secondly, can someone explain how LAFHA (Living Away From Home Allowance) works? Is that negotiated with the employer?

Thirdly, if we earn AUD 110,000 a year (each) before tax, how much will we have after taxation, considering this includes any deductibles? (I calculated it to be about 75,000 each. Is that correct?)

Is this a good amount to live comfortably in Sydney?

I hope you can help. We're really keen for the experience if it makes financial sense.

Regards
Avi
 

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I can't comment about living costs in Sydney but I doubt that you would be entitled to LAFHA. As of July 1st 2012, you will only be entitled to LAFHA if you already own a home in Australia and are then forced to rent a new place elsewhere due to work, so it would be mainly FIFO workers who already own property in Australia and are then forced to rent in a regional town who would generally benefit.

Medical cover will vary depending on what you wish to have covered. On average, the most basic plan that meets DIAC's requirements will set you back around $80 a month (exclusive of dental). I can't remember the exact link but DIAC has some information on their website on what you should be covered for a minimum. When I was on the 457 visa, I used IMAN and I think I paid around $99 a month for the mid-range cover.

Re groceries, major supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles have an online shopping facility on their website. Just log on and have a look at what you could potentially spend.

Re accommodation, have a look at Real Estate for an idea on rental prices.
 
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