OT: Moving Overseas EDIT: going 14th Jan!

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Bink
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OT: Moving Overseas EDIT: going 14th Jan!

Post by Bink » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:26 am

I've been offered an opportunity to work in Houston. It's a great job, massive long term career benefits but means upping sticks and moving to the US for at least a year, probably 2 maybe more. Obviously, that's a huge step to make for both me and my fiance. My work takes me out there every 4-6 weeks or so and so I know people out there but for her it would be a total clean slate.

Career wise it's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fastrack but personally it's a bit of a gamble as it could be hard to adapt to a different country and way of life.

This is early stages at the moment, it's been floated past me but with no pressure about rushing into a decision and there's a lot to think about.

If anyone on here has moved from UK to US it'd be great if you had any advice on pitfalls etc, need to find out about implications of continuing a mortgage whilst living outside the country etc.

Anybody here moved overseas for work? Any advice?
Last edited by Bink on Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mrjones2004x
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Post by Mrjones2004x » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:36 am

Still in the UK but one thing that people always tell me is you need private medical insurance as theres no NHS there. Just one expence i know off.

Hopefully others can help you.

God id love to get out of England, it really has gone down hill!!
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Post by tony_clifton » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:06 am

Mrjones2004x wrote:Still in the UK but one thing that people always tell me is you need private medical insurance as theres no NHS there. Just one expence i know off.

Hopefully others can help you.

God id love to get out of England, it really has gone down hill!!
Offtopic but yeah, esp. economic situation is going down fast. Yesterday they decided to print 50 billion pounds extra. That's just massive, esp. because it won't really help if they keep messing with bonds.
Economics are going down the drain over there :(.

So the US might be safer. They are going down too, but the rest of the world has too much stake in it to let it happen right away... Europe same thing.
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Post by Bink » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 am

Thanks Guys,

The company is UK based so still depends on the UK economy unfortunately although a lot of business does come out of the US.

Thanks re: medical insurance had missed that out of my list of things but reckon I could negotiate that as part of the deal. I'm looking to make sure the deal covers all of these extra little expenses...
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Post by irish_admiral » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:56 pm

Foreign exchange rate fixes.

Friend of mine married an American girl in the US, paid in USD$, took out USD$ loans, moved back to the UK and found the size of their debt grew by about 33% when the exchange rate moved from $2:£1 to $1.40:£1.

You might want to think about renting out your house using a (reputable) company to manage it for you. Guaranteed income stream to cover some of the mortgage payments at least, and it's all UK£ so no exchange rate risk.

It's worth talking to a financial advisor therefore to cover off stuff like this as if you're paying off loans in the UK, and the exchange rate heads south on you whilst you're in the US, it could hurt you as far as monthly repayments go. So perhaps take out a loan in the US to pay off the UK one, then pay off in the US whilst you're there. Switch again when you return to the UK.

Will the missus want / be able to work?

Would have thought your company should cover you for medical / dental.
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Post by nguideau » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:05 pm

As has been touched on, if you're living and working in the U.S., make sure your entire benefits package from your employer is up to par.

You'll need moderate health insurance from a quality provider like Blue Cross or United that includes at the very least:
- Basic health
- Prescription drugs
- Dental coverage

And you'll probably also want vision coverage, and some sort of flex spending account or HSA.

And one last note on health insurance -- if you have a fiance, I suppose that the children discussion has and/or will come up over the coming months and years. So just in case you decide to have children while you're in the States, make sure the health plan covers everything you'd need it to cover for the pregnancy.

As far as benefits, see to it that you have ample paid time off (vacation/personal/sick days), as I imagine you'll want to jump the pond to see family at least a few times per year.

If you have any inkling that you might end up settling in the States and making your permanent life and home here, see if your employer has a 401k or IRA program, and if they match a certain percentage of your contributions. I don't think you'd be eligible for social security benefits anyways, but even if you were, there's nothing in that bank account, so you have to have your own retirement account. If your employer has a retirement account program, but doesn't match any of your contributions, my suggestion would be to skip out on the employer's plan, and just open your own IRA where you have more control over your funds and investments. Company retirement accounts are only worthwhile, again, in my opinion, if they are matching -- it's free money.

If you currently live in the London area and are used to taking a bus/train/taxi everywhere, you may want to see if the company will provide a car for you. I've never been to Houston, so they may have ample public transport, but even in cities like New York and Chicago, unless you live right in the center of the city (such as Manhattan), a car is very nice to have, if for nothing more than getting groceries, etc.

Most importantly -- your amps will probably require modification to work on U.S. voltage! :) And same thing goes for many other household small appliances and electronics, so keep that in mind for moving costs.

That's everything I can think of. Hopefully someone that has first-hand experience moving from the U.K. to the U.S. can chime in for you. But from my perspective, these are the types of important things that I would look into if I were changing cities/jobs within the country, let alone between the countries.
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Post by Bink » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:06 pm

Thanks Joe and Nathan, that's a great help.

My benefits will be under discussion but are likely to include a company car (this is an absolute MUST in Houston), paid accom (I might be limited to a year) and medical. Or at least that's what I'd be looking for. This side of things is negogiatable and I would probably get what I asked for if I could justify it as reasonable. Flights back to the UK would also be included indirectly if not directly (i.e I'd bump up the basic amount of salary if the provision wasn't made separately)

It would be my intention to keep my UK house and let it out as suggested.

As for long term plans, we both have said we would want to raise children in the UK so if/when that happens we would probably look to move back. That's a few years away for us at least although I have been open with the company that it wouldn't be my long term plan to live in the States indefinitely.

I need to explore my missus' visa situation further. I was born in the US and have a US birth certificate so I would probably try and go down the dual citizenship route first (my current passport is British). The company has already in place legal advisors to help me with this side of things so if I decide I'd like to go I'll have a proper chat about the options. If she's not able to work it complicates things slightly as I wouldn't want her to be sat there bored every day. The company's aware that if I go, she goes with me and have indicated that if she wasn't able to work the negotiations would include the provision to cover her income.
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Post by Bink » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:09 pm

I think I'd probably buy new amps in the States and just take across the guitars - I can store my amps at my Mum's house.
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Post by Drdos » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:14 pm

Mrjones2004x wrote:Still in the UK but one thing that people always tell me is you need private medical insurance as theres no NHS there. Just one expence i know off.

Hopefully others can help you.

God id love to get out of England, it really has gone down hill!!
Ummm under the New Sh!te administration in the US we will have a NHS at some point. I don't think that things are great anywhere in the world right now. The US might be better for the time being than in the UK right now, but sadly that is soon to change. Sorry for the bad news but Stuff is really sucking here right now and getting worse as far as un-employment/home foreclosures/Radical a$$ holes in govt office.... Don't let my negative words stop you from coming though. America is Still the best Country to live in Currently IMO.... "Come to America you who are Burdened (Illegal and want to push drugs over the border... Hopefully you speak Spanish)and heavy laden and we will give you Food Stamps!" :shock: :? :D
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Post by zombie youth revolt » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:33 pm

while discussing benefits with your future employer ask him for free dodge ram, big ranch, shotgun and a dallas cowboys tshirt ;)

but seriously, i've been to texas for a few days and it seemed like a great place to live - on the other i wouldnt say that United States is the best place to live in right now - there are countries that prosper better, have less crime, less poverty etc.
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Post by Drdos » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:41 pm

zombie youth revolt wrote: i wouldnt say that United States is the best place to live in right now - there are countries that prosper better, have less crime, less poverty etc.
Ah come on..... Pro: The major Pro in moving to Houston Texas is well BBQ! Con: Lot's of Fat Chicks that love BBQ... Pro: Some Chicks that starve themselves because there is nothing but BBQ to eat there.. Con: Houston is one of the Murder Capitals in the US.. Pro: While living in Houston you'll learn a new language Spaing-lish... Con: Lot's of All-You-Can-Eat places... Pro: watching all the FAT A$$es coming out of the All-You-Can-Eat places. Endless entertainment! :D Con: Houston is like the opening to HEll itself Hot and Humid! Pro:Not many old people to clog up the roadways due to the Hot and Humid Weather.... Priceless!
Last edited by Drdos on Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: OT: Moving Overseas

Post by Knuckle Bones » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:42 pm

Bink wrote:.......it could be hard to adapt to a different country and way of life.
Son, you better not be bad talkin' Texas! :wink:

Kidding of course. Culturally Texas is a not what everyone else in the world thinks. We don't all ride horses or wear cowboy hats. We do, however, all own cars and probably bigger than most people need (I use mine to haul gear so it's justified). There isn't public transportation like there is in the UK...there is some but mostly the undesirables use it (i.e. crack heads). Houston traffic is also HORRID! Almost as bad as Austin. It's also FREAKIN" HOT AND HUMID...so just be ready for that. 112F here in Austin pretty much everyday in July....but I prefer the heat to frigid cold. We do have excellent grocery stores (HEB in particular) that have great fresh produce and dare I say the best meat available in the US. Gas prices are cheaper than pretty much anywhere else too. We never hit $4 a gallon at the most expensive time last year.

There's a good music scene in Houston.....mostly a metal scene though...but you are only a 2 hour drive from Austin and you know somebody that lives there (that'd be me)

Blackcloud lives there....I'm sure he can fill you in on more details of living in the armpit of Texas (my opinion of course...I can't stand Houston)
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Post by zombie youth revolt » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:52 pm

Bink, this is what you gonna do after work ;)

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Post by Knuckle Bones » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:59 pm

zombie youth revolt wrote:Bink, this is what you gonna do after work ;)

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i won't deny that this happens in Texas....but that's the north end of the state in Arlington (Dallas area) which is the other armpit of Texas.
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Post by Drdos » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:05 pm

Knuckle Bones wrote:
zombie youth revolt wrote:Bink, this is what you gonna do after work ;)

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i won't deny that this happens in Texas....but that's the north end of the state in Arlington (Dallas area) which is the other armpit of Texas.
1st time he sees the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and all will be Fine! :shock:
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