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Question
Posted by: Ivy | 2012-05-21

Difficult decision

I have been given an offer to move to the UK with my fiance of 5 years. I am 47 and he is 56. He is going back because he need not work there and will get the benefits, free medical etc and he is thinking of his retirement. I have 2 children. One is 25 and independant and out the house. The other 20 and in final year of apprenticeship so still financially dependant on me. The idea is for me to wait till my son has qualified and then go over to UK. Problem is I don''t know if I could be happy being so far away from my children and perhaps only seeing them for a couple of weeks maybe every 2 years. I have property to sell here and a good job that I have been in for approx 15 years. So a lot for me to give up. Our relationship has been very rocky over the 5 years with many many on/off situations and that is a major concern for me as well. On the other hand I would have the opportunity to travel cheaper from the UK (my dream is to travel and from SA is so expensive). Also if I lived there and obtained permanent residency when I retire I would qualify for a British pension and be looked after. In SA we really are not looked after in that regard if you dont have private pensions coming in. So I really dont know what to do for the best. Leave my 2 children and take a chance in a foreign country in a relationship that may continue to be unstable or say goodbye to finance and stay here? Any outside thoughts on my situation would be greatly appreciated as I really don''t know which way to turn.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It does indeed sound as though the idea of moving to the UK may have a number of distinct disadvantages for you ( giving up the security of your property, family and friends, is a majior sacrifice ) and it is far from certain that the move would be fortunate and useful for either of you.
Even in the very best of times, simply being in a foreign countrywithout friends and support, is far more difficult than most people realise ; in these hard economic times, with jobs scarce and cut-backs leading the locals to be less welcoming than usual to foreigners, it would be harder than ever.
I'm not sure of the pension issue, and the rules may be changing. Getting permanent residency status is far from certain, and startin at 47 or 48 ( and jobs all the more hard to find ) , even with the age of qualifying for a pension being advanced now, you might not qualify for much of a pension.
maria makes the excellent point that at the very l;east use the year or so until your second son finishes his apprenticeship and gets his first job, can be used both to think this all through VERY carefully ; and your fiancee may well find the grass on that side far from green, and may be in the mood for returning. Both of you should avoid burning any bridges until success, security and happiness on that side is sure.

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4
Our users say:
Posted by: Grace | 2012-05-21

I would not make the move now - let your fiance go and if it works out well and if you are prepared to make the sacrifice, then go. My oldest sister has been living in the UK for seven years already and was only recently granted residency and citizenship. Maybe if you are apart you will realise the worth of your relationship and whether you are prepared to leave SA. The grass only appears greener on the other side! I have many friends who have moved to UK, Australia and New Zealand, a majority of them complain about their lives there, be it lack of money, very high living expenses, the weather, unfriendly people etc. Think carefully before you make the move.

Reply to Grace
Posted by: Maria | 2012-05-21

Do you have to decide right now? It sounds as if you will have some time on your own between when he leaves and when your son finishes his apprenticeship. Why don''t you use that period of time to experience what life is like without him? It will also give him an opportunity to settle in the UK, life might not be as rosy there as he expects.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Ivy | 2012-05-21

Sorry last sentence should have said ''say goodbye to fiance!''

Reply to Ivy
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-05-21

It does indeed sound as though the idea of moving to the UK may have a number of distinct disadvantages for you ( giving up the security of your property, family and friends, is a majior sacrifice ) and it is far from certain that the move would be fortunate and useful for either of you.
Even in the very best of times, simply being in a foreign countrywithout friends and support, is far more difficult than most people realise ; in these hard economic times, with jobs scarce and cut-backs leading the locals to be less welcoming than usual to foreigners, it would be harder than ever.
I'm not sure of the pension issue, and the rules may be changing. Getting permanent residency status is far from certain, and startin at 47 or 48 ( and jobs all the more hard to find ) , even with the age of qualifying for a pension being advanced now, you might not qualify for much of a pension.
maria makes the excellent point that at the very l;east use the year or so until your second son finishes his apprenticeship and gets his first job, can be used both to think this all through VERY carefully ; and your fiancee may well find the grass on that side far from green, and may be in the mood for returning. Both of you should avoid burning any bridges until success, security and happiness on that side is sure.

Reply to cybershrink

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