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Chicago family friendly areas

Chicago family friendly areas

Old Nov 27th 2015, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Maybe, but if you have financial commitments back home and are throwing out 2K each month for rent, it's a different story. Then you might need health insurance if the employer isn't paying for full cover. Car insurance can be pretty pricey for people with no history in the US, so will they need a car? All things to consider.
Thanks. Yes, lot's of things to consider. The employer will cover the full health insurance for the whole family, but we definitely will need a car, maybe two cars it depends. Montessori school for our older boy is also quite expensive. I won't be able to work.
I wonder if you pay less tax if ou have a family!?
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Old Nov 27th 2015, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by tada View Post
Thanks. Yes, lot's of things to consider. The employer will cover the full health insurance for the whole family, .....
"Full health insurance" probably doesn't mean what you think it means. Just because the insurance premiums have been paid (and outside of some expat contracts, employees invariably have to pay part of the premiums), doesn't mean there aren't other medical costs. There are typically point of service costs (a payment for each visit to the doctor or to a specialist), known as "copays", which depend on the terms of the insurance but are usually $10-$30 ($25-$30 is typical), and there are usually copays on prescriptions.

But the big number is the "deductible" (Brit-speak = "excess"), which is the amount you have to pay for medical consultants and treatments before the insurance covers anything. A deductible of $1,000 is common, but larger deductibles are increasingly common too. IIRC my family deductible is about $8,000, our individual deductibles are $3,000. The impact of deductibles is that if you are reasonably healthy (only make a few trips to your GP) you may end up paying all your medical bills youself anyway.
..... I won't be able to work.
I wonder if you pay less tax if you have a family!?
Effectively you will pay less tax because you can, and most married couples do, files their tax returns jointly, which doubles your tax allowance and doubles the width of all the tax bands - so it's like your husband giving you half his income to use against your allowance and lower tax rate bands.

Last edited by Pulaski; Nov 27th 2015 at 12:26 pm.
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Old Nov 27th 2015, 1:51 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
"Full health insurance" probably doesn't mean what you think it means. Just because the insurance premiums have been paid (and outside of some expat contracts, employees invariably have to pay part of the premiums), doesn't mean there aren't other medical costs. There are typically point of service costs (a payment for each visit to the doctor or to a specialist), known as "copays", which depend on the terms of the insurance but are usually $10-$30 ($25-$30 is typical), and there are usually copays on prescriptions.

But the big number is the "deductible" (Brit-speak = "excess"), which is the amount you have to pay for medical consultants and treatments before the insurance covers anything. A deductible of $1,000 is common, but larger deductibles are increasingly common too. IIRC my family deductible is about $8,000, our individual deductibles are $3,000. The impact of deductibles is that if you are reasonably healthy (only make a few trips to your GP) you may end up paying all your medical bills youself anyway.

Effectively you will pay less tax because you can, and most married couples do, files their tax returns jointly, which doubles your tax allowance and doubles the width of all the tax bands - so it's like your husband giving you half his income to use against your allowance and lower tax rate bands.
Thanks for the information.
We need to find out what is it we get exactly with the health insurance provided.
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Old Nov 27th 2015, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

I looked at some houses in Evenston and Skoki, there are some big houses within our budget.
Are there any bad areas within those areas?
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Old Nov 29th 2015, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

15 year resident of Chicago here:
1. You repeatedly mention that you're looking for a "safe" neighborhood. You'll be fine, this shouldn't be a concern.
2. The North Shore is one of the most expensive areas in Chicagoland. Keep this in mind. If a 3-4 BR house is in your $2K price range in this area, I'd wouldn't be surprised to discover that there's some downside: poor schools, no offstreet parking, poorly maintained property etc. Buyer beware.
3. Chicago is highly car dependent. You don't need to be five minutes from work, having a car will open up lots of other living possibilities. There are many, many towns just a bit further out that are far more affordable and offer great schools. Take a look at the City Data and Great Schools websites. For example, Arlington Heights is a nice town to raise kids.

Also, there's a fair bit of questionable information here:
1. Winnetka is famously one of the most expensive towns in the entire country. Current average house price: $1.7MM. Calling it the "cheapest on the North Shore" is silly, it's the single most expensive town outside of Chicago.
2. The idea that the US is some sort of social Darwinist, "the weak get thrown on the street" hellhole as mentioned in this thread is perhaps slightly overstated. Just slightly.
3. Chicago is far from "as cheap as it gets" for a major city. Citing a few examples, Houston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, St Louis, Charlotte, Miami, Denver, Sacramento all have lower costs of living. Make no mistake, this isn't an extraordinarily expensive place to live like NYC or SF but it's pretty far from "cheap".
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Old Nov 29th 2015, 6:18 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
15 year resident of Chicago here:
1. You repeatedly mention that you're looking for a "safe" neighborhood. You'll be fine, this shouldn't be a concern.
2. The North Shore is one of the most expensive areas in Chicagoland. Keep this in mind. If a 3-4 BR house is in your $2K price range in this area, I'd wouldn't be surprised to discover that there's some downside: poor schools, no offstreet parking, poorly maintained property etc. Buyer beware.
3. Chicago is highly car dependent. You don't need to be five minutes from work, having a car will open up lots of other living possibilities. There are many, many towns just a bit further out that are far more affordable and offer great schools. Take a look at the City Data and Great Schools websites. For example, Arlington Heights is a nice town to raise kids.

Also, there's a fair bit of questionable information here:
1. Winnetka is famously one of the most expensive towns in the entire country. Current average house price: $1.7MM. Calling it the "cheapest on the North Shore" is silly, it's the single most expensive town outside of Chicago.
2. The idea that the US is some sort of social Darwinist, "the weak get thrown on the street" hellhole as mentioned in this thread is perhaps slightly overstated. Just slightly.
3. Chicago is far from "as cheap as it gets" for a major city. Citing a few examples, Houston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, St Louis, Charlotte, Miami, Denver, Sacramento all have lower costs of living. Make no mistake, this isn't an extraordinarily expensive place to live like NYC or SF but it's pretty far from "cheap".
Thank you. Very informative.
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