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British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Old Jun 19th 2019, 10:00 am
  #1  
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Default British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

My husband and I are US citizens who have been working and living in London for the past 20 years (we’re in our 40s now), so we consider ourselves more British than American. Lately we have been seriously thinking about moving back stateside, to San Diego in particular. This is namely to seek sunshine and new work opportunities. We have an 8-year-old son as well.

I guess what I’m looking for here is information from British expats currently living in San Diego or SoCal area. Namely:

1. What was the most difficult part of the transition from UK to US living?
2. If you moved with children to San Diego, which neighbourhood did you settle in?
3. What do you miss most about the UK?
4. What do you enjoy most about living in SD/SoCal?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Candice
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Before you return to the US to live and work, it is hoped that you both have become British Citizens.

Also note as USC, you need to have filed taxes in the US on all worldwide income.
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

1) Probably getting used to the medical system, and having to pay for all aspects of the medical system.

3) That's very personal - but for me, not much. .... Obviously family,especially as my mother has got older and won't now travel to the US, and maybe British style pubs, and authentic fish & chips - Americans have tried to copy both, but always fall far short of an authentic experience. Also, specific to the area where I live, there is much less access to concerts, compared to where I lived in London; things have picked up a recent years (though that has sometimes meant traveling hundreds of miles and into other states), but I was going to at least a couple of concerts a month in London, and as many as a couple a week, and yet some years I wasn't attending more than 2-3 a year!

I can't help you with 2) and 4).

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 19th 2019 at 1:20 pm.
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Yes, we're all British citizens as well, and we have been filing both US/UK taxes.
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Originally Posted by Acidming View Post
Yes, we're all British citizens as well, and we have been filing both US/UK taxes.
FBAR?
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
FBAR?
Yes, we're all sorted on the tax front, including FBAR.
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Originally Posted by Acidming View Post
Yes, we're all sorted on the tax front, including FBAR.
Love it when posters have done their homework and lived within the 'rules'. Makes life easier for them and for us in answering immigration questions.
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Originally Posted by Acidming View Post
Yes, we're all sorted on the tax front, including FBAR.
Well done...you seem to have most, if not all, the bases covered.
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

1. What was the most difficult part of the transition from UK to US living?

- Distance: SD is about as far as you can get on the mainland from the UK.
- Insane costs for fresh food and alcohol. Coming from London, you shouldn't be too freaked out by the housing costs.
- The homeless crisis, although again, coming from London it won't be too jarring to see hundreds of people living in cars/in parks etc.
- SD is also a very transient place with a massive military population, lots of universities and foreigners coming and going which makes it hard to make friends as everyone is always on the cusp of leaving.
- For us the sheer amount of 'setting up' was overwhelming (utilities, cars, housing, understanding health insurance etc) but as US citizens, it's not your first rodeo so you will likely not face this. Although you might have issues with credit as you've been out of the country so long.
- Healthcare system and its outrageous costs.

2. If you moved with children to San Diego, which neighbourhood did you settle in?

- Lived in North Park but had no kids. Would probably recommend the coastal areas further north, such as Encinitas, Solano Beach, even Carlsbad but that would depend on your commute.

4. What do you enjoy most about living in SD/SoCal?

- I moved but when I was there: the weather is without doubt perfect, the all year outdoorsy life, proximity to the beach (even though I am not much of a beach person), proximity to Mexico and to Los Angeles, laid back atmosphere.
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Old Jun 19th 2019, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

As any answers will be very subjective, a bit of background:

Moved at 50 with job transfer, so had job and accommodation all sorted out before we came. No children

1. Difficult transition: Health system - we had health cover as soon as we arrived, but it takes some time to get familiar with it.
2. Neighborhood/children: Don't know about downtown San Diego for children oriented neighborhoods, but all towns up the coast and inland in San Diego county are child friendly Encinitas, Carlsbad, Poway, Rancho Bernardo
3 Miss most: The color green ! SD Country is mainly scrub, and for a large part of the year is dry and yellow/brown; fresh, good quality fruits and vegetables; diverse theatres, being able to visit historic towns, picturesque villages, National Trust/English Heritage properties, pubs; proximity to Europe - SD is about as far south and west as you can get to anywhere. One is always having to negotiate LA if going anywhere North in the car.
4. Enjoy about SoCal: sunny weather (although it can get boringly predictable, and is heating up); Pacific ocean (if one is into boating, water sports, this place is ideal): Open spaces; being able to plan for outdoor entertaining/activities
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Old Jun 20th 2019, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

1. Difficult transition: Nothing really, probably understanding the healthcare but it was not a big issue.
2. Neighborhood/children: North of Miramar, South of Escondido, then choose how far from the beach vs how expensive. Poway, RB, Sabre Springs etc are all great areas for kids.Enjoy the open air community swimming pools.
3 Miss most: Trees. I love SD and the desert but love trees.
4. Enjoy about SoCal: You can eat lunch outside every day of the year. You don't need to worry about planning an outdoor event. There is so much for kids to do. Best city in the world to live in (and I've lived in many)
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Old Jun 20th 2019, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Originally Posted by Acidming View Post
This is namely to seek sunshine and new work opportunities. We have an 8-year-old son as well.
If you're seeking sunshine but want better work opportunities, why not work in UK and play elsewhere in Europe?
Especially from London, you have all opportunities to seek sunshine at a very low cost. The money you save on healthcare costs and other taxes would get you a holiday home close to the UK and with the added benefit of more holidays in general, you can actually make use of it. During the week it's mainly work anyway,:-) I love my American friends but we are blessed in Europe. Take the ferry to Calais, drive a bit, eat some good food and in a few hours you're here., or it's just a 2 hour flight for next to nothing.

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Old Jun 22nd 2019, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

As you moving from a high tax country to a high tax State there may be some pre-immigration tax planning to consider, depending on the assets you own.
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Old Jun 26th 2019, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

Sunshine is a myth - hi June gloom. So when you say seek sunshine, what do you really mean?

1. having to think before doing anything
2. From reading on here and other places people think their school is way better than the one next door or so bad they have to move. In other words subjective.
3. Family
4. Outdoor lifestyle, no snow, laid back, ocean.
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Old Jun 26th 2019, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: British/American family wanting to move to San Diego

I don't know specific neighborhoods, but I've been to San Diego a few times and I will say this. If you go inland, even for about 20-30 minutes, it feels like you're in the desert, not on the coast. And it's pretty expensive from what I know, but it is a beautiful city with lots to do.
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