Gday, my name is Craig Joslin.
My relationship with the Netherlands goes back over 20 years, when as an adventurous 22 year old I followed the tradition of many other twenty-something Australians, and joined a whirlwind Contiki tour of Europe covering some 13 countries in 20 days. The last stop of this tour before returning to London was Amsterdam and it left an indelible impression on me. It wasn’t just the bitterballen, haring, canals, and coffee shops. The most significant impression that my 24 hours in Amsterdam left on me was the people – honest, open and fun-loving.
5 years later I was re-introduced to the Dutch culture when I started dating a Dutch lady, Edith, in Perth. Edith moved to Perth wanting to escape the Northern European winters for a few years. Ultimately her stay in Australia would be for 12 years, and she would meet the man of her dreams (me!), get married, give birth to our first two children, and become an Aussie citizen (on Australia Day).
I had always wanted to live and work in Europe, but the timing had never been right. Since starting to date Edith in 2002, we would regularly travel to the Netherlands for holidays and my appreciation of the Dutch and Dutch culture further developed. However, after our second child was born we were both at a cross roads in our careers, and the timing was right to pack up stumps and head to Holland. Three years later, we are still in the Netherlands (living in The Hague), had a third child, and enjoying everything the Netherlands and Europe has to offer. When my Dutch language skills improve further, I hope to be able to pass the requirements to obtain Dutch citizenship, and join the rest of my family as a dual Dutch-Australian citizen.
Not everything in our move to Holland went smoothly however. Although we spent quite some time thinking about and planning our move to the Netherlands, we never fully researched all the tax and financial implications. I usually take an active interest in my tax and personal finances, however with two young children and so many things to do before leaving Australia I barely had any spare time. As a result I relied on my accountant to advise us on the relevant tax issues. Unfortunately, it was only 12 months later that I realised our accountant did not provide a complete assessment of our situation, and we were scrambling to resolve a number of issues regarding tax implications on our investments, compliance issues with our superannuation, and whether or not we would still be considered Australian residents for tax purposes.
All of this inspired me to start The Australian Expat Investor, a company dedicated to empowering Australian Expats with the knowledge and tools to optimise their international tax obligations and maximise their wealth while living abroad. You can find more information about me, and download my free ebook (9 Painful Financial Surprises That Could Cost Australian Expats Thousands of Dollars), at www.austexpatinvestor.com.