Author Topic: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks  (Read 4084 times)

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 471
Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« on: July 10, 2014, 02:11:17 PM »
I'm moving to Sydney with my wife due to her job opportunity through her company. 
She makes $80k Base + $45k Bonus/commission in Chicago, but will make $130k Base + $60k Bonus/Commission in Sydney.

I make $50k as a "Product Design Engineer".  I design RF Shielded Enclosures in AutoCAD, Solidworks, and Revit.
I'll be joining my wife in Sydney in October and haven't told my employer that I'll be leaving yet (too early in my opinion) because I've been thinking I'd like to propose working remotely to my boss.  This is feasible with my job.

There are good/bad things about this plan for me..
Pros
1) Flexibility.  Boss would give me work in the morning (chicago's evening) and I'd have all day to do it, from home, cafe, etc
2) 401k is currently being maxed so this would continue.  Otherwise there'd be a 2 year span where neither of us contibutes to our 401k's
3) Stock purchase plan, worth roughly $2k/year to me.

Cons to working remotely
1) Because of the cost of living increase in Sydney, pay is much better.  Just a brief look online at "AutoCAD Draftsman" (a job I would say i'm over qualified for, but could do very easily) pays $65ish.
2) The "full experience" of Australia would probably be felt more by working there

The 401k equivalent in AUS is Superannuation, where the company has to put 9% of your salary into an account per year.  After the two years we would get a check for both of our superannuation account balances (after tax).


What would you do in this situation? Why?

 

TJ79

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 02:34:37 PM »
Um, I would take a pay cut to live in Sydney for two years and see that part of the world.

Why not try working remotely, and see how it's working out? At the very least it would give you time to look for something local.

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9265
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 05:07:52 PM »
I'm moving to Sydney with my wife due to her job opportunity through her company. 
She makes $80k Base + $45k Bonus/commission in Chicago, but will make $130k Base + $60k Bonus/Commission in Sydney.

I make $50k as a "Product Design Engineer".  I design RF Shielded Enclosures in AutoCAD, Solidworks, and Revit.
I'll be joining my wife in Sydney in October and haven't told my employer that I'll be leaving yet (too early in my opinion) because I've been thinking I'd like to propose working remotely to my boss.  This is feasible with my job.

There are good/bad things about this plan for me..
Pros
1) Flexibility.  Boss would give me work in the morning (chicago's evening) and I'd have all day to do it, from home, cafe, etc
2) 401k is currently being maxed so this would continue.  Otherwise there'd be a 2 year span where neither of us contibutes to our 401k's
3) Stock purchase plan, worth roughly $2k/year to me.

Cons to working remotely
1) Because of the cost of living increase in Sydney, pay is much better.  Just a brief look online at "AutoCAD Draftsman" (a job I would say i'm over qualified for, but could do very easily) pays $65ish.
2) The "full experience" of Australia would probably be felt more by working there

The 401k equivalent in AUS is Superannuation, where the company has to put 9% of your salary into an account per year.  After the two years we would get a check for both of our superannuation account balances (after tax).


What would you do in this situation? Why?
Working remotely can be very difficult for communication - particularly with the difference in time zones. Also, the US seems to change from summer saving time at about the same time as eastern Australia changes to summer saving time - which suddenly adds (or subtracts) 2 hours to the time difference - and I get caught out every time! How much communication do you have/need to do your job? Are you given a task, and sit in your cubicle doing it until it is done without talking to anyone, or do you talk to the people around you as you are doing it to get their input about where you are putting things in the drawings...? I once worked remotely from Australia to England, and this was the biggest problem. Small things didn't get picked up as quickly, so they became more of a problem than they should have been. You may also be required to be available at times when you would want to be doing other things. Do you really want to have to be awake at 4 or 5am every day to get work from the boss? How would your SO react to this?

You also need to check out work permits. Both the US and Australia are very desirable places for immigration, and as a result both have painful restrictions. For instance, when my SO was working in the US, I could not go there and work. You may find that you cannot work in Australia while she can.

Australian superannuation has just (last week) changed from 9% to 9.25% superannuation. Not everywhere has changed, due to the way the rules work. Superannuation is NOT available before your benefit date (depending on your age this can be 55 - 60) but people from overseas can take it with them under certain circumstances https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Temporary-residents/Super-information-for-temporary-residents-departing-Australia/

agent_clone

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 252
  • Location: Australia
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 04:06:07 AM »
I would see being up for a US work day as being a particularly awkward time.  It is currently 8pm AEST, and 5am in Chicago.  You would essentially be working all night in Australia.  The UK I think can at least be semi-workable, working in the evening.  But if you want to be working at the same work hours you would be working while almost everyone else is sleeping.

Jules13

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 222
    • January Girl
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 07:54:39 AM »
IF you are able to get a visa to work in Sydney, then I would do that, hands down.  I used to live/work in Brisbane and it's a lot different than working in the US.  It was a great experience and I made one of my best friends through work there.  In fact, if work here was more like it was there, I wouldn't be so hesitant to go back into the work force (I've been a SAHM for the past 9 years).

But, finding out if you can get a visa to work in Oz should be your first step.  Remember also that they take out a lot more tax in Australia, so just because they pay more, doesn't mean you will take home more when considering 65k vs 50k.  Probably about the same.  Though, that never bothered me.  I always felt I could see a lot more of my tax dollars at work there in terms of infrastructure/public spaces/amenities/city cleanliness/etc than I have ever seen here.

Personally, I feel strongly that regardless of the possible negative (and this is relative), short term, impact on your finances, an opportunity to live/work in another country is always worth it! 

And living in Australia is totally worth it!  Best of luck, I miss it.  A little jealous over here!

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 471
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2014, 08:06:45 AM »
Thanks for the input so far, everyone.
To clear up a few things:
I can legally work in Australia through the Visa that I'll be on with my wife.  This wont require any sponsorship from the company in Australia.

I wouldn't be working nights in Australia.  I was thinking I'd propose working during the day in Sydney, which would be night time in the US.  There's a small overlap in time where I could wake up at 6:00 and speak to my boss in Chicago where it's 4:00PM, I'd get the work and turn it in before it's morning in Chicago.  I've heard this called "Night Elves" before when we send work to our India office.

This is all assuming my boss says yes to my proposal to work remotely, and I'm given the options of doing that or not.

chouchouu

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 336
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 08:10:19 AM »
I would not work remotely. I did this in Belgium for the US and Australia and it was awful. Working from home is hard, especially if you're a perfectionist, I would get to bed at 5am. Also working from a cafe is not very mustachians in Sydney. A coffee is about $4, they add up fast.

Can't you continue to contribute with your Aussie earnings?

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 471
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 08:38:33 AM »
I dont believe I can contribute to a 401k from Australia without a job in the US.  I may be wrong about 401k rules though.  Same for Roth IRA through Vanguard.

I can start a taxable account, though.

Jules13

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 222
    • January Girl
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 01:46:20 PM »
Well, if you have a visa to work there....I would totally do that. But, I enjoy meeting new people and having new experiences.  And really enjoyed working in other countries.  But, if you are nervous about and your boss lets you work remotely, I guess you can always just try it.  If you don't like it, give your notice and find a job in Oz.  Sounds like you have plenty of options.  2 years isn't going to make much of a difference on your finances, based on your options and working in another country would only enhance your resume.  Win-win!

Jules13

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 222
    • January Girl
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 01:51:48 PM »
One stupid thing about the superannuation in Australia (401k equivalent) is that you are taxed going in and coming out.  I never could quite understand how that was helpful to anyone but banks/government but whatever.  However, employers are also required to contribute a certain amount.  I think it's 7%.  One of my employers contributed 17%, which was insane.  But, when they say that the job pays 65k, that sometimes includes the 7% that the company is required to pay into your Super.  So, you aren't taking home what you think you will be.  Need to ask those questions.  Also, because of this requirement, most people don't actually contribute on their own, which is called "salary sacrificing".  I didn't know anyone who salary sacrificed, but I'm sure there are people who do.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1684
Re: Sydney Vs. Chicago Job.. AutoCAD/Revit/Solidworks
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2014, 02:04:50 PM »
The way to maximize your options is ask to work remotely.  If they would go for this, do it and look for local job while working remotely.  This is preferable to quitting, then looking.