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Is it a better life?

Is it a better life?

Old Aug 21st 2019, 11:26 am
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Default Is it a better life?

Hi everyone,

I’m hoping for some opinions from people that have made the move to USA. My husband has been told by his company that they can arrange a transfer to Naples Florida where they have their head office if he wants to go. He has always wanted to move to America but I have never moved from my home town. He is convinced it is a better life for our young children over there as they don’t have the same social problems that the UK does. Also he said that we could live a better life as his wage wound increase. I have read a few threads and I’m not so sure! His current wage is just under £100k. If transferred his wage would increase to $130-140k. I have read that your wage should double. I have also read the Naples area is our equivalent to Bournemouth! Is that a good place to take children, would there be good schools and things for them to do? Would I eventually be able to get a job when the children have grown up? Do you find it a better way of life than when you lived in the UK? Although my husband earns a very good wage here, we are living the same lifestyles as people not working as he is taxed so much and I am no longer working. Any help would be really appreciated.

Also, I am absolutely terrified of spiders. Maybe I’ve watched too many films, but can your children play in the garden safely without being bitten my something venomous?
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Welcome to BE.

All I know about Naples is that there is a large retirement community there. Pretty much all of my husband’s partners moved to Naples upon retirement to play golf.

I think I would be more worried about gators, roaches and scorpions than spiders. They may spray insecticides around to get rid of the bugs, I know they do in many areas. I don’t like the idea of kids growing up in such areas.

Florida schools are generally known to be pretty dire.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Aug 21st 2019 at 2:08 pm.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Welcome to BE.

Pretty much all I know about Naples is that there is a large retirement community there. Pretty much all of my husband’s partners moved to Naples upon retirement to play golf.

I think I would be more worried about gators, roaches and scorpions than spiders. They may spray insecticides around to get rid of the bugs, I know they do in many areas. I don’t like the idea of kids growing up in such areas.

Florida schools are generally known to be pretty dire.
No idea myself. Most people say it's very clean, drivers are bad and a great place for the retired. If you love the beach, heat and sun + golf could be a better life. Many older people live there as you can see.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

You don't say where you are or the ages and number of kids or what your husband does. Those will factor in to effective costs.
$130-$140k is not an increase over £100k. At the current exchange rate, they are about the same. It's true that taxes will be less over here but that is countered by other costs such as health care, home owners expenses, vehicle expenses to name a few. If already on £100k in the UK, I would expect to see $180-$200k in the US.
I don't worry too much about the wildlife. While there are some that are dangerous, they are rarely a problem. We have spiders, snakes and bears in our area but rarely any problems.
I know nothing about schools. My daughter went to school in Alabama. No real problems and emerged at the end with a degree and ZERO debt (that is rare anywhere). She is 27 now.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by Luis22 View Post
Hi everyone,

He is convinced it is a better life for our young children over there as they don’t have the same social problems that the UK does.
Does he not watch the news? Then I suggest that it is time to start doing so. Anything that happens in the UK is probably happening here, and magnified by the sheer size of the country. And by the way, do they have "active shooter" drills in your children's UK schools?

How do you feel about the heat? My family in the UK seem to wilt when it gets to the high 70s, so a move to FL might be difficult for you in that respect. All in all, if his heart is set on the US, there are far better states to move to than FL.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Just remembered...we have a Florida thread...

https://britishexpats.com/forum/trai.../#post12725738
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by Luis22 View Post
Although my husband earns a very good wage here, we are living the same lifestyles as people not working as he is taxed so much and I am no longer working.
Erm, no you're not.

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Old Aug 21st 2019, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

I'm not in Florida but overall I think the quality of life in the US is not that great: sure in many places you get fantastic weather (Florida is not one of them) and access to amazing beaches and natural sights that will take your breath away and more 'house' for your buck.....but....while you will be taxed less in Florida other costs are much higher. You'll be using A/C year round and utilities are very expensive as is food. The school system is not great unless you go private. The homeless crisis, which is very confronting in most of the country, is hugely visible all over Florida. You should watch the Florida Project to glimpse a very real and raw side to the shiny tourist view of the state. Naples is a nice place, with a great beach but it's full of retirees.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by Anian View Post
Erm, no you're not.
Yeah I bumped hard on this comment too.

OP, that amount is not going to give you a great standard of living and is barely equivalent to what he earns in the UK, not more. Take out all the ancillaries that are mentioned about and you would, in fact, be worse off in FL than you are in the UK.

And the comments about the weather are not overstating it. In GA we have had multiple days in the last couple weeks where the 'feels like' temperature has been over 105 F (nearly 41 C) - it is literally too hot to do anything but go from your air conditioned house, to your air conditioned car, to your air conditioned workplace and back again. Oh and the humidity is 100% too. Leave a paper outside for more than a couple of hours and it's all wrinkled like it's wet. In 6 years I have not become at all acclimatized to it.

Last edited by civilservant; Aug 21st 2019 at 3:40 pm.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

As mentioned above, the FL salary should be at least double the UK salary. More if you need to make a large contribution to a healthcare package.

Food is certainly more expensive here over $3 for a loaf of bread. No decent bacon. Dinner for 2 can cost over $100 at a restaurant (including drinks and a tip). Home and car insurances are mega expensive. So the higher wage is required to maintain a good standard of living. The electric bill is certainly high due to the AC running most of the time.

I miss walking up hills & mountains. It's too hot in the summer to go cycling or walking anyway.
On the other hand, I don't miss the cold wet rain

I've been here over 2 years, and enjoy living here. It's certainly a different lifestyle. I don't regret moving to Florida.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

On the one hand I want to say that $140k should be plenty to make a good life, and if the heat and sun are your friends, Naples would be a good location (Cannot comment on the living conditions of the area, only going by a visit). That's ballpark what I am earning and living just South of Atlanta, so for me, I;d have jumped at it...........................

However, if you think you don't have it great on $120k equivalent in the UK, then you would not be happy with the switch. You are likely to come out slightly under water when you account for the various cost of living switches - AC, as mentioned, will drain the budget and Healthcare could create costs for you. I doubled the number when switching from pounds to dollars, so it's been a step-up for us. You'd probably be a little worse off than you are now (depending on you cost of living today).
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I think I would be more worried about gators, roaches and scorpions than spiders. They may spray insecticides around to get rid of the bugs, I know they do in many areas. I don’t like the idea of kids growing up in such areas.
That’s three more reasons not to go!!
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
You don't say where you are or the ages and number of kids or what your husband does. Those will factor in to effective costs.
$130-$140k is not an increase over £100k. At the current exchange rate, they are about the same. It's true that taxes will be less over here but that is countered by other costs such as health care, home owners expenses, vehicle expenses to name a few. If already on £100k in the UK, I would expect to see $180-$200k in the US.
I don't worry too much about the wildlife. While there are some that are dangerous, they are rarely a problem. We have spiders, snakes and bears in our area but rarely any problems.
I know nothing about schools. My daughter went to school in Alabama. No real problems and emerged at the end with a degree and ZERO debt (that is rare anywhere). She is 27 now.
we are in the Midlands so on his wage we are doing quite well. We have a 3.5 year old, 2 year old and 2 month old. He works in pre sales for a telecommunications company. I think he may be slightly over paid here for that role. I’m not sure.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Does he not watch the news? Then I suggest that it is time to start doing so. Anything that happens in the UK is probably happening here, and magnified by the sheer size of the country. And by the way, do they have "active shooter" drills in your children's UK schools?

How do you feel about the heat? My family in the UK seem to wilt when it gets to the high 70s, so a move to FL might be difficult for you in that respect. All in all, if his heart is set on the US, there are far better states to move to than FL.
This is exactly one of my worries, the gun crime. Where we are now, there is very little crime. He loves the heat, he’s South African, me not so much!!
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Is it a better life?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Just remembered...we have a Florida thread
Thank you, I will have a look.
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