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The Start of My Journey Home

The Start of My Journey Home

Old Aug 16th 2019, 7:28 am
  #16  
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Default Re: The Start of My Journey Home

Originally Posted by Zattu View Post
I read this and thought 'This is exactly how I feel '. It is a very strange feeling to feel that you don't belong in your environment. when I go back to the UK to visit and people say: 'What in the world do you want to come back here for?' I say 'No it's not what you think it is'. They have a Hollywood version of America in their heads.
When I used to come back to the UK for visits my friends and relatives would tell me how crap the UK was - these were people who went skiing once or twice a year and took a nice summer holiday, drove nice cars, one has a swimming pool, etc etc etc - basically they were living in a land of milk and honey but the culture of Brits is to do-down the UK and they honestly seemed to believe that the UK was a crappy place. Shame for people to get into that mindset.
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Old Aug 16th 2019, 2:23 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: The Start of My Journey Home

Originally Posted by djsoul View Post
Hi All,

I hope you don’t mind if I share my story and perhaps hear from others who’ve reached this stage.

I’ve been in the US (NYC / NJ) for 9 years (working for 8) and I’ve reached the decision that I wish to return home. I first arrived in 2010 marrying into the country to woman of another cultural decent; little did I know that over time our differences would be so vast and that trying to merge our upbringings would be virtually impossible. After some very difficult years; I happily divorced in 2018.

I live alone now in NJ and am very content with the independent lifestyle – I’ve reconnected with my childhood sweetheart from back home in Devon and she’s been over to visit 4 times.

I work for a major European corporate company over here, have “platinum” health insurance, a subsidised luxury car and all the premium perks and trimmings that an global employer could offer.

You may be asking yourself, “How can this person be unhappy?”.

Well there are a few reasons. I have very few friends here and no family – I only came here for my ex-spouse. I’m fairly introverted and have done my best to force myself to be “outgoing” and have gone to many, many music parties over my time here in a certain genre of music but I still have failed to form any meaningful or deep friendships with anyone of substance – I’m just left with Facebook friends.

Many are either drug addicted, racist, bitter and angry at life and often attending these events and be a melancholic experience which I find depressing.

I’ve since taken up a new hobby - astronomy, I joined my local club and bought myself a nice telescope since I exited this music scene – its rewarding but again I find the process of forming friendships with Americans exhausting and unfulfilling in this circle. I have tried but I’ve now come to the point of acceptance that I’m never going to gel with this culture; I want to go home and start again. I’m just sooo tired of being the novelty Brit.

I feel I’m living a shallow life around shallow people. I am not materialistic in anyway and the “big is better” mindset means nothing to me; I’d be happy living a simple life in a two-roomed flat without all the excesses of the US lifestyle.

I want to go to a pub and eat English food (NYC hybrids are OK but just filled with fascinated yanks). I want to go to watch my local football team again; I watch them every week on live stream and have kept my British identity and connections. I don’t feel Americanised in any way even though I haven’t been back since I left.

I know some things have changed and I have as well (for the better).

I am a green card holder and not a US citizen; when I leave the country, my Green Card will timeout and I will default to becoming a non-resident alien. I have no need or wish to return to the US.

I’ve checked on the Social Security website and I've found that I can still claim US SSA retirement benefits as a non-resident alien; this does unnerve me slightly knowing that I will be owed benefits but theoretically cannot stay in the country for more than 90 days. Others on here and elsewhere I have read don't seem to be experiencing any problems doing that though. I’d like to hear any experiences or tips.

I'm currently on 36 credits and I need to complete the submission of my 2019 and 2020 tax returns to meet the 40-credit minimum; I effectively must stay here for another 17 months.

I've thought about utilising the US/UK totalisation agreement treaty to take some credits from my UK National Insurance to top up my US account so I can leave earlier. There is a 105-page thread on here all about getting “WEP’d” and it is a complete baffling nightmare. I've used the SSA WEP Calculator and I'll still get a fairly decent amount alongside my UK state pension in retirement. I'm just going to have to suck up the deductions that the SSA will make when you claim both.

I fortunately have enough savings to make a move and I also have a 401 K. I'm planning to either keep my 401k with my current employer or roll it over to an IRA and leave it here in the US as I am about 10 years away from retirement. I’ll be completing my W8-BEN form to declare my non resident status with my plan administrator, so I can draw down when the time is right.

I really feel that I could do with a 6-month sabbatical to recoup and acclimatise back to UK life when I return as the US has sucked the life out of me.

However, I cannot live on those savings forever and I know I will need to work at some point.

My employer has positions back in the UK which I could apply for but I don’t know if I want to remain in the corporate world. I'd really like to return to Devon or the South West, but my employer doesn't really have any presence there. I could work for one of their franchises there but that would be seen as going backwards and many questions would be asked - it would be seen as career suicide.

Before I left for the US, I simply couldn't find a job in my hometown and it was a real struggle. I think though things would be different this time as I would be coming back with substantial international experience in my industry. Its one of the only things I’m wrestling with.

I hate to fly but I've recently found out that taking The Queen Mary cruise back to Southampton is an option and is probably the route that I'm going to take.

I simply can't imagine the emotions that I would be feeling standing at the back of the boat looking at the New York skyline where I spent so much of my 10 years here, skating and riding my bike alongside the Brooklyn belt Parkway and then sailing under the Verrazano bridge which I've driven across hundreds of times and then watching it fade into the distance.

It will be a very, very surreal experience for me knowing it will be a one-way ticket with no return.

Anyway, I hope to hear your comments and thoughts if you are in a similar position and also any ideas of re-establishing myself back home in a job.

Should I stay with my employer? Should I take a break for my mental health and live off my savings for a maximum of 6 months? or should I justn eave the corporate world and down size my career into something less pressured and just enjoy the simple life?

Thank you for reading.
Just a quick comment - submission of your tax return doesn't trigger extra credits for social security, working does.​​​​​​ As far as credits, working online for a US employer for a US employer even online and even part time will earn your credits- I would think if you are just 4 credits away, earning about $1,500 a quarter would meet the requirements. Most US employers if you have permission to work in the US will automatically deduct social security taxes if originally they have a US address for you. In any case I am unsure why you would need 17 months instead of 12.

As far as the corporate world don't know your circumstances but I would say unless you get some deep personal satisfaction slaving away for someone why not enjoy life and being based in the UK the easy and inexpensive travel options to Europe, enjoy your new hobby ( and visit the Norhumberland Night Park).
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Old Feb 2nd 2020, 2:58 am
  #18  
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Default Re: The Start of My Journey Home

Thanks for this - just catching up and missed your post. After checking my SSA account in January 2020; they updated my account as my earnings came in and about a week ago, my status updated and they confirmed I have fully qualified with 40 credits!! This was a big relief and weight off my mind.

Also thanks for the recommendation for Northumberland park; I'll try to seek out as many dark skies locations when I get back.
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