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How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Old Jan 29th 2006, 3:33 pm
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Red face How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Greetings,

have been asked to relocate from the UK to New Jersey and currently trying to get a feel for the costs. We have 2 kids under the age of 4 and will be looking to rent a 3-4 bed house and to run 2 cars nr Edison.

My initial estimates suggest I'll need approx $7,300 per month take home for a fairly basic standard of living.

PS, also heard car insurance could set me back approx $6000 p/a per car - nothing special i.e., a Chrysler PT Cruiser and a Mazda Tribute SUV.

Does anyone out there have any 1st hand experience they can share ? If so, much appreciated.

Brgds
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Will they provide Medical? A good scheme?
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Originally Posted by kwakasmith

have been asked to relocate from the UK to New Jersey and currently trying to get a feel for the costs.
My initial reaction is that you're overestimating the costs here - particularly the car insurance: We pay $2,400/yr total for two cars (Honda CRV and Pontiac Vibe) with GEICO. This cost reflects the fact that our insurer factors in my USC wife's previous US driving history. It's very rare (but not unknown) for your UK driving history/experience to count for anything here. Varies from state to state and from insurer to insurer.

General living costs:
The big concern, as Boiler says, is medical insurance - hopefully the firm asking you to relocate will take care of this, but it can still cost you: Health insurance via my employers (huge engineering consultancy) for me, the mrs, and one child costs me $450 per month. If you have to sort out health insurance for a family off your own bat it's going to cost a fortune.

Do you plan to put the kids in day care? That'll be around $1,000 per month each, based on my (admittedly limited) experience.

No idea about house rental costs, but in general property is expensive here - we own a two bedroom cottage in a historic neighbourhood 30 miles west of NYC and our mortgage is $1,700 per month.

Generally NJ is a great place to live - you can just as quickly be in NYC or in some completely unspoilt countryside. Don't believe people who make glib generalisations about NJ being a dump - yes there are some deeply unappealing parts (eg the ride from Newark airport into Manhattan seems to put many people off), but they are really not representative of the state. We spent yesterday hiking in a wooded gorge with trout fishing stream and followed that up with fish & chips in an English-run pub that brews its own ale on the premises.

Last edited by elfman; Jan 29th 2006 at 6:59 pm.
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Originally Posted by Boiler
Will they provide Medical? A good scheme?
thanks for the promt reply, apparently the company has a good medical scheme but not sure how far it covers my family. Should know more next week.
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 6:20 pm
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Smile Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Elfman,

thanks for this, very useful. Intend to put the kids into Montessori approx 3 days p/week.

The car insurance news is encouraging. Whilst were on the motors subject, any idea how long it can take from arriving in the US to being able to own/run a car ? Assume I'll have to get a US drivers licence.

Thanks again.
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Check the medical, because it'll make a huge difference if it is something shite like an HMO to something decent with more freedom, and also check out what is and isn't covered, and also the deductibles, not much point having decent cover if you have a $3000 deductible if you have young kids that get sick or need jabs etc.

Car insurance, well it'll be expensive for the first year or so, but cost of running a car is on par with the UK to be honest.

The thing that'll get you would be having no credit history, which will make it harder for you to get a decent mortage, car loan rate, though a car loan is a good way of getting on the ladder, also without credit history, insurance will be interesting, and other things like getting a contract mobile phone...so see what kind of help you can get there with the company, setting up with a local credit union for instance.
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Originally Posted by kwakasmith
The car insurance news is encouraging. Whilst were on the motors subject, any idea how long it can take from arriving in the US to being able to own/run a car ? Assume I'll have to get a US drivers licence.
Depends on the state, but most states require you to get a local state license within 30 days of residency, though someplaces it is 10 days to 12 months...without a US license, insurance will be a problem, and perhaps registering a car, but you can get a carloan and buy a car before getting here, I think it was Eskimo and Woodsy that did that, so search around for some of there posts.

Oh, and welcome to the forum, and good luck with it
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Bob,

sound advice and thanks for the tips. Looks like I'll have to pack a couple of extra hours into Friday discussion.

PS, doing a recon next Thursday. Is a car hire from Newark to Piscatway advisable 1st time out on US roads or should I keep the wife happy with the Taxi option ?

B.Rgds
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Originally Posted by kwakasmith
Bob,

sound advice and thanks for the tips. Looks like I'll have to pack a couple of extra hours into Friday discussion.

PS, doing a recon next Thursday. Is a car hire from Newark to Piscatway advisable 1st time out on US roads or should I keep the wife happy with the Taxi option ?

B.Rgds
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Rent a tank the first time, you'll get the hang of driving in NJ after a few goes
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

SUV it is then..

Tks
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 9:04 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

List of priorities:

1/ Open a bank account (could do this on the visit)
2/ Get an NJ driver license as soon as you can (many procrastinate -- gawd knows why!)
3/ Start on your credit as soon as possible -- ideas here.
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Originally Posted by fatbrit
List of priorities:

1/ Open a bank account (could do this on the visit)
2/ Get an NJ driver license as soon as you can (many procrastinate -- gawd knows why!)
3/ Start on your credit as soon as possible -- ideas here.
Could be tough for him to open a bank account fatbrit without proof of address or the requisite US id.
Maybe you could recommend a bank for him that are more accomodating than others.
Citibank or hsbc could be options if he goes into a branch in the UK to set something up, but if he just walks into a Citibank in the US he has no chance.
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Originally Posted by BigDavyG
Could be tough for him to open a bank account fatbrit without proof of address or the requisite US id.
Maybe you could recommend a bank for him that are more accomodating than others.
Citibank or hsbc could be options if he goes into a branch in the UK to set something up, but if he just walks into a Citibank in the US he has no chance.
Don't you need a SSN to open one?
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

I opened a bank account a few years ago at Charter One (Citizens) while I was here on a visa waiver. You need to take in your passport and ask them to fill out a "W8" with your application. This negates the need for a SSn but best advised to keep transactions under $9,999.
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: How much will living in New Jersey cost me ?

Originally Posted by gruffbrown
Don't you need a SSN to open one?
I took mine, but they never made a note of it.
I think I remember a post on here to the effect that they are actually not allowed to ask for your ssn by law, but i could be imagining that
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