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genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Old Oct 18th 2011, 10:55 am
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Default genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

what is the genral cost of living like compared to the UK?
I have looked at wages they are pretty much the same compared to what i earn now.

also i have 4 kids 16, 15, 11, and 10 years of age when speaking with my wife i would predict we would hit alot of problems possibly with schooling and even the visa process with my 16 and 15 year olds especially.
would i be correct in syaing this if anyone has been in this situation migrating to the USA with kids this age.

Kind regards
Mark
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 11:28 am
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by coldman View Post
what is the genral cost of living like compared to the UK?
I have looked at wages they are pretty much the same compared to what i earn now.

also i have 4 kids 16, 15, 11, and 10 years of age when speaking with my wife i would predict we would hit alot of problems possibly with schooling and even the visa process with my 16 and 15 year olds especially.
would i be correct in syaing this if anyone has been in this situation migrating to the USA with kids this age.

Kind regards
Mark
You can't compare the UK and US in that way...think more in the lines of Europe and the US. The US is a vast country compared to the UK...each state is very different.

IMO your biggest problem is going to be getting a visa...that should be your first port of call.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 11:31 am
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Up on the top of the page is a WIKI that deals with different things like how to get kids in schools and some information on finances. You might want to peruse through some of those.

It's really apples and oranges US v UK. You'll find some things cheaper but others more expensive. A £1 can of coke in the UK might cost $1 here, so you're like "score" but then you'll find a £1 head of lettuce costs $2 here, so bummer. You'll discover taxes and the dreaded cost of health insurance for your family (and given your family size I think we're easily over $1,000 a month). You'll also need (I mean need) a car, insurance, possibly even a second or third car with your family as public transportation is basically nonexistent. Then there is insurance (and you have no credit rating so you'll get hosed there) and initial purchases like a couch that was damaged in transit and whatnot.

So really, it's hard to say. It's far easier to work from a position of "I'll have this many dollars at the end of the month after paying housing, insurance, taxes, transportation, food, etc" and we'll have this type of house and this type of school and this type of whatever living in City X (prices vary wildly across the country).

Honestly, at this point, visa. Get that sorted, then worry about the costs and whatnot. I think you'll find the visa is far harder than you expect, even if you are expecting it to be really difficult.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Like Jerseygirl says, it really depends on where you end up. I work in Manhattan and live out in Westchester, both very expensive places to live. Wages in my line are a lot higher in NYC than London, getting on for twice as much on a crude exchange-rate basis, but the cost of living is pretty much twice as high. Taxation is a bit less, at least for me, where I was just inside the higher tax rate in the UK. Probably about the same for a standard-rate taxpayer. Sales tax is a lot lower here than VAT in the UK.

There are lots of areas that are cheaper to live in than the NYC area, but a lot of them have high unemployment at the moment. There are some random areas that are relatively cheaper to live in and have jobs though, such as North Dakota. I'm sure ND is very nice but I don't think I'd care to live there!

I'd also say that the cost of living here seems a lot higher now than it was a decade ago. My wife was quite shocked by how expensive some stuff is now compared to when she moved from the US to the UK back in 2000.

Last edited by rpjs; Oct 18th 2011 at 1:29 pm.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
Like Jerseygirl says, it really depends on where you end up. I work in Manhattan and live out in Westchester, both very expensive places to live. Wages in my line are a lot higher in NYC than London, getting on for twice as much on a crude exchange-rate basis, but the cost of living is pretty much twice as high. Taxation is a bit less, at least for me, where I was just inside the higher tax rate in the UK. Probably about the same for a standard-rate taxpayer. Sales tax is a lot lower here than VAT in the UK.

There are lots of areas that are cheaper to live in than the NYC area, but a lot of them have high unemployment at the moment. There are some random areas that are relatively cheaper to live in and have jobs though, such as North Dakota. I'm sure ND is very nice but I don't think I'd care to live there!

I'd also say that the cost of living here seems a lot higher now than it was a decade ago. My wife was quite shocked by how expensive some stuff is now compared to when she moved from the US to the UK back in 2000.
There are also lots of hidden taxes. For instance property taxes...we pay approx $20K per year for our US house...approx £2K per year for our UK house. There is also sales tax on top of almost all prices shown in shops etc. You will have federal and state income tax to pay...depending where you work/live...you may also have to pay city taxes.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

And then there is Medical Insurance, along with Treatment, and then, there is the Dental Insurance and Dental Treatment, too.


Goes on and on.


Jim.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by coldman View Post
what is the genral cost of living like compared to the UK?
The "general cost of living" varies widely according to where you are in the US just as it does in the UK (think central London vs Bradford).

Taxation in the US also varies by location - state income taxes range from 0 to almost 10%.

When comparing US and UK salaries be aware that the benefits packages are very different - US typically has a lot less paid vacation time than the UK - medical insurance in the US is extremely expensive and the cost of medical treatment if you are not insured can be astronomical. Also be aware that employment contracts are rare and most employment is "at will" - which you can be fired at any time for no reason and with no notice period.

Gas (petrol) is cheaper in the US but automobile insurance is much more expensive.

(... and, of course, all of this is moot unless you have some realistic prospect of being able to get visas for your family ...)
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
I'd also say that the cost of living here seems a lot higher now than it was a decade ago. My wife was quite shocked by how expensive some stuff is now compared to when she moved from the US to the UK back in 2000.
In our case it was 1997 and not 2000 but exactly the same shock...when we moved back to the US is 2008 I think my wife, the USC, suffered from more culture shock than I did.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
In our case it was 1997 and not 2000 but exactly the same shock...when we moved back to the US is 2008 I think my wife, the USC, suffered from more culture shock than I did.
That's quite common...it's called 'reverse culture shock'.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Oct 18th 2011 at 4:36 pm. Reason: grammar
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
That's quite common...it's called 'reverse culture shock'.
Yeah, I think Suzanne is finding moving here harder going than I am...
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Assume it is pretty much the same on average. Some people will find it cheaper, others more expensive. Depends on your lifestyle and income.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

I would also say it depends hugely on where exactly you live in the UK, and where you're moving to in the US, when it comes to the cost of housing - more than likely your biggest expense.

For example, if you live in London you could easily be paying rent of £2,500/$4,000 a month to house your large family. Whereas for the same size home in, say, Huddersfield, you may only pay £1,000/$1,600 a month.

Moving from Huddersfield to Manhattan would be a shocker, whereas moving from London to Utah may throw up a pleasant surprise (I'm not knocking Utah, London's just down-right expensive!).
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by HotCoffee View Post
I (I'm not knocking Utah, London's just down-right expensive!).
I think we should knock Utah!
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

Originally Posted by ljaw2002uk View Post
I think we should knock Utah!
Hehe, I've never been to Utah so I couldn't possibly assume what it's like
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: genral cost of living in the USA compared to the UK

You may want to think about university costs.....most kids here go onto college, which is about $13000 a year in Michigan where we are (tuition costs only, about double this when you add on all the rest). HOWEVER, certainly where we are, your kids can only qualify for this in-state tuition cost if they are US citizens or Green card holders. If not, you get to pay out-of-state fees, which are roughly $33000 a year (again, tuition only). uni here is 4 years as there are general education courses to complete before you finish up with your 'major' and then a lot of kids find that they need a masters degree on top of that for their particular job. Tuition fees for a masters degree are way more than an undergrad degree, I believe.

You generally can't send your kids back to the UK to uni either at 'home' rates, if you live abroad, so you could find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place and have to fork out a fortune wherever they decide to go.
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