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Old Oct 6th 2017, 11:11 am   #1
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Default Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Hi

A newbie post one of probably many depending on how the journey goes.

I have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Raleigh, on an L1 visa.

The relocation package seems reasonable based on other threads I have read. Obviously one way :-)

My first question is what salary range would I need to have a good standard of living.

2 adults 2 children 9 and 12. Nice house near good schools ( that we can get in)


I know what they are offering just want an idea what a good standard of living will require, not extravagant though :-)

What I don't want to find is there a lot more month left at the end of the pay check

Thank you
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 11:34 am   #2
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Well the great thing about L1 is that your spouse can work (you are married, right?).

I'm gonna take a swing and say $150k household income.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 11:37 am   #3
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Hi, welcome to BE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libgeo View Post
The relocation package seems reasonable based on other threads I have read. Obviously one way :-)
As the L1 is only a temp visa, I'd say a reasonable relocation package should absolutely include your costs for returning to the UK, one way could leave you very out of pocket! So I'd negotiate that personally, even if you think you may try and stay permanently (if so, make sure you have it in your contract that they will sponsor you all for green cards).

Best of luck.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 11:46 am   #4
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Above $120k should be ok.

Where you look for a house will depend on where you work. If it's going to be RTP then staying on the west side of Raleigh would be the best option (Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs). Downtown Raleigh would be ok from the east side but then I'm not a big fan of those surrounding towns. Cheaper housing though.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 12:02 pm   #5
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

It should be an L1a with an understanding that they will sponsor Perm residence.
They have done this for a number of colleagues so have a good track record.

By one way, I mean they will pay to ship us out but not back unless they relocate me back.

Just means business out cattle class back should the worst happen.:-)

150k seems high but that really depends on your definition of a good life style. My expectations are probably lower....

PS the offer is a bit below, but with bonus which is obviously discretionary it should be higher. My wife currently doesn't work in blighty, but hopefully might be able to in the states as the children get older but that's another story for another thread.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 12:15 pm   #6
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Quote:
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150k seems high but that really depends on your definition of a good life style. My expectations are probably lower....
Try search back through Pulaski's posts. He occasionally posts a breakdown of typical costs of living.

NC is a one of the more cost effective states to live in, but it still can't be underestimated how much more household things cost here.

I imagined with the kids you'd likely be wanting to rent a house rather than an apartment. That combined with utilities, car, insurance, groceries etc starts to add up fast.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 12:32 pm   #7
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Quote:
Originally Posted by libgeo View Post
2 adults 2 children 9 and 12. Nice house near good schools ( that we can get in)
Public schools are based on geographical zones, so if you live in the zone they must take you. That's why it is important to check out schools and their zones and make sure you get housing in the right place.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 12:42 pm   #8
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

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Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Public schools are based on geographical zones, so if you live in the zone they must take you. That's why it is important to check out schools and their zones and make sure you get housing in the right place.
That's actually not how it works here. You are not guaranteed to go to the school closest to your house. Reassignments happen every year and kids are also bussed around based on the F&R status (Free and reduced lunch). When kids are bussed in then there's the chance you get bussed out. It's not as bad as it was 10 years ago but you can still get screwed over if you don't know how to play the game.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 12:46 pm   #9
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

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Originally Posted by rbackhouse View Post
That's actually not how it works here. You are not guaranteed to go to the school closest to your house. Reassignments happen every year and kids are also bussed around based on the F&R status (Free and reduced lunch). When kids are bussed in then there's the chance you get bussed out. It's not as bad as it was 10 years ago but you can still get screwed over if you don't know how to play the game.
Thanks for the correction.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 1:13 pm   #10
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Doesn't take long for it to drift off topic :-) though towards a subject I want to know about. I'm looking at the Cary area but have seen that they have a number of capped schools.

As any move is not imminent and very likely not this school year im going to approach those questions closer to the time, as the Caps may well be lifted by the time we move . Though would be great to know how the game works.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 2:16 pm   #11
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

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Above $120k should be ok. .....
I somewhat agree. I could make an argument that with a nice house in the 'burbs and a couple of cars you could spend every penny of the net income on $100k, and have nothing for savings, or travel/holidays, so $120 IMO would be a starting point. As Tom suggested, if your spouse is working in a career type job, that additional income would put you in a very strong position.

If your spouse won't be working then I would consider $150k to be a figure that would put you in a "very comfortable" position - allowing you to max out your pension savings, put money in a Health Savings Account, paying for a "nice" holiday or return trip to the UK each year, etc.

The trap to avoid is paying too much for your housing, especially if you stay long enough to buy (meaning 4-5+ years and probably having a green card) as the banks will finance an insane mortgage if you want it, which will sick up all your cash. When we bought, we only bought a house costing about half the price that the bank told me we could afford. ... And what we bought was still a 4 bed (almost 5 bed, except one room had no closet), 2,750sqft home on 1.5 acres, which was pretty nice after moving from a 2 bed terrace house in London on .03 acres. Buying anything more would have been absurd.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 2:39 pm   #12
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

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Try search back through Pulaski's posts. He occasionally posts a breakdown of typical costs of living. ....
Here you go. I live in NC myself and would consider these numbers as a fair starting point for monthly costs for a family of four living in a detached house:

$400 for heating and electric (heating in winter, AC in the summer), $100 for water, $200 for cell phones, $100 for basic cable/internet, $250/person/mth for food and household consumables, $500/mth/vehicle for two cars, $200/mth for car insurance, $300/mth for petrol (it seems cheap, but you will drive a lot further. $500/mth (minimum, average) for clothing for the family. Family meals out (cheaper chain restaurant), two per week @$80/meal - $720/mth. Expensive meal one per month, just you and the Mrs, $250. (I have included health insurance and PP/401k in your basic salary deductions).

So, so far we have $800 for utilities, phones and cable, $1,000 for household consumables + $1,500 for vehicles + $500 basic clothing + $970 for meals. That comes to $4,770. What about holidays and travel? Gym and discretionary leisure spending?

To have net income (after after tax, SS, and health ins) of $4,800 you would need gross income of about $8,000, or $96,000/yr. .... See my comment above about spending all your income if your salary is $100k.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 3:17 pm   #13
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

If you're heading to that area, is it Pharmaceuticals? Typical salaries in the US in that industry are higher than the UK equivalents. If they want you to go there, don't be too British about salary and think figures sound high. It's not considered rude or pushy to negotiate upwards, and for your own self-respect and career you need to be on a par with your colleagues.

In my case, they took my UK salary, dropped the £, doubled the number then stuck a $ in front of it. It sounded GREAT, but I was naive and eventually found out that I was on about 20% less than my colleagues.

Even if you don't think you'll spend it all, think of the nice retirement cushion or kid's university fee fund that you can get going.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 5:47 pm   #14
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Quote:
Originally Posted by libgeo View Post
Doesn't take long for it to drift off topic :-) though towards a subject I want to know about. I'm looking at the Cary area but have seen that they have a number of capped schools.

As any move is not imminent and very likely not this school year im going to approach those questions closer to the time, as the Caps may well be lifted by the time we move . Though would be great to know how the game works.
Don't bet on the caps being lifted anytime soon, especially in Cary. State law has kicked in over class sizes and the result is going to be reassignments to balance capacity somewhat. The school board is also itching to increase diversity in schools (they like social engineering) and will see this as an opportunity to work towards their cause.

As as far as the game probably the most important thing is get and stay informed. Read the local news, there will always be education stories. Learn about the Magnet program (will offer better stability but will probably not be a local school). Learn about multi-track year round schools (used to increase capacity, well that's the idea but it doesn't always work well) Understand that there is no such thing as a multi-track year round high school and thus you could be dealing with different schedules if you have one kid in high school and the other in a year-round middle. Understand that things change and you could get reassigned.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 5:53 pm   #15
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Default Re: Moving to Raleigh or RTP

Personally, I believe $150,000 is more than enough to have a very comfortable life in most of the US for a family of 4.

I've lived just 25 miles from mid-town Manhattan and these were my household expenses:

Electricity: $88.00 a month with use of A/C in the summer for an apartment of 1,000 sq. ft. Car Ins. $2200 a year. Groceries for a family of 2 was $100 a month with a budget of more for holidays or family celebrations where I was feeding 8 to 10 people at a family/friend dinner.

Down here in Mississippi for a 1900 sq ft house the costs are:

Water: $28 a month; electric: a/c 24/7 $150 a month; gas: $20.00 a month (gas stove and gas bbq and water heater). Car Ins. 2 cars $1600 a year. Gas for 2 cars: $120 a month. Groceries about the same as in NY but fresh vegs and fruits jack it up to around $450 a month. Of course, we don't pay real estate taxes or state taxes because we are retired and one person is over age 70. A nice dinner out (not white gloved country club dining) with a bottle of wine and an after dinner brandy is about $100. Fast food for lunch: $6.00 per person at MacDonalds or $15.00 at Panera's or Logan's steak house.

Depends on what you want from life. We're comfortable being middle middle class people and live well on just social security benefits without touching our savings.
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