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How is your life in the US better than the UK?

How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Old Jan 15th 2015, 2:37 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

fozzyb:'Also I must admit I am pretty paranoid about being utterly at the mercy of my employer. Last time round things were going swimmingly in the US, then there was a company reorganisation, and my new boss decided that there wasn't a business case for sponsoring me to get a US greencard and so that was it - we had to move back. I don't want to ever be in that position again where someone else has so much control over my life.'

horrible, sorry you were treated like that.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 3:35 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by OnwardandUpward
horrible, sorry you were treated like that.
To be fair to them, I went to the US with the intention of it being an adventure for a year or so, it was only after about 18 months out there that we started thinking in terms of making things permanent. I had a verbal discussion with my manager (and then a brief videoconference with the company's immigration attorney) , but never had any written agreement from the company about sponsoring me before the new manager decided to pull the plug.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by fozzyb
I just couldn't come up with a good enough reason to move. Similarly I couldn't come up with a good enough reason not to. Lots of little reasons to stay and lots of little reasons to go, but I just no killer reason either way. So in the end inertia wins.

Whenever I try to compare our lives in the two countries the pro's and con's come out pretty equal. Some aspects of life are better in UK, others better in California, overall neither is better - just different.

I loved my time in the US, it was probably the happiest 2 years of my life, but then it probably would have been a pretty good 2 years if we had stayed in the UK. My first child was a 2yo when we moved to US, so it was that magical time of seeing your first kid develop into a personality in his own right, and California provided a beautiful backdrop to that. And then my daughter was born out there.

But I'm also very much aware that that was then and this is now. That 2 year old boy is now 13 and his sister is 9- life is very different - and I just don't know what it would be like, but it wouldn't be the same as it was. How can we justify giving up a life here which is pretty good (although some frustrations), going through all the disruption of moving, and then finding that we just have a different set of frustrations that we just can't deal with...

And I'm very much aware that we were pretty cushioned when we lived in the US. On an expat package so housing, healthcare, car, accountant to do the taxes all sorted for us. A lot of the normal worries of life were hidden behind an expat package. Living somewhere forever would be different.

Also I must admit I am pretty paranoid about being utterly at the mercy of my employer. Last time round things were going swimmingly in the US, then there was a company reorganisation, and my new boss decided that there wasn't a business case for sponsoring me to get a US greencard and so that was it - we had to move back. I don't want to ever be in that position again where someone else has so much control over my life.
Sounds like a sensible decision Fozzy. We love our life here, but I'm sure we would have been just as happy in the UK. Our US life nearly came crashing down last year when our GC's were denied, that was after living 6 years at the mercy of my husbands company, going through 1 redundancy and moving from So. Cal. to No. Cal., plus he was pretty miserable in his role but with no way out.

The thought of moving back to the UK, if it had just been me and him was fine, moving our 12 year old was another matter. Her life is here, she's extremely happy, has lots of friends, has a great sports team..., the thought of moving her away from all that (bearing in mind she went to 4 elementary schools due to us moving) broke my heart.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 5:00 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by N1cky
Sounds like a sensible decision Fozzy. We love our life here, but I'm sure we would have been just as happy in the UK. Our US life nearly came crashing down last year when our GC's were denied, that was after living 6 years at the mercy of my husbands company, going through 1 redundancy and moving from So. Cal. to No. Cal., plus he was pretty miserable in his role but with no way out.
Ouch - That's grim.. Was that GC's being denied by your company or by the government? How do you get round that???

I was seriously considering trying to insist on my employer to apply for EB2 rather than L1 visa right from the start - don't know whether I would have been able to negotiate that.

Anyway it still feels like I'm getting old - making decisions that are safe and sensible rather than fun. Next step carpet slippers...
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 5:07 pm
  #35  
 
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by fozzyb
I just couldn't come up with a good enough reason to move. Similarly I couldn't come up with a good enough reason not to. Lots of little reasons to stay and lots of little reasons to go, but I just no killer reason either way. So in the end inertia wins.

Whenever I try to compare our lives in the two countries the pro's and con's come out pretty equal. Some aspects of life are better in UK, others better in California, overall neither is better - just different.

I loved my time in the US, it was probably the happiest 2 years of my life, but then it probably would have been a pretty good 2 years if we had stayed in the UK. My first child was a 2yo when we moved to US, so it was that magical time of seeing your first kid develop into a personality in his own right, and California provided a beautiful backdrop to that. And then my daughter was born out there.

But I'm also very much aware that that was then and this is now. That 2 year old boy is now 13 and his sister is 9- life is very different - and I just don't know what it would be like, but it wouldn't be the same as it was. How can we justify giving up a life here which is pretty good (although some frustrations), going through all the disruption of moving, and then finding that we just have a different set of frustrations that we just can't deal with...

And I'm very much aware that we were pretty cushioned when we lived in the US. On an expat package so housing, healthcare, car, accountant to do the taxes all sorted for us. A lot of the normal worries of life were hidden behind an expat package. Living somewhere forever would be different.

Also I must admit I am pretty paranoid about being utterly at the mercy of my employer. Last time round things were going swimmingly in the US, then there was a company reorganisation, and my new boss decided that there wasn't a business case for sponsoring me to get a US greencard and so that was it - we had to move back. I don't want to ever be in that position again where someone else has so much control over my life.
Originally Posted by fozzyb
Ouch - That's grim.. Was that GC's being denied by your company or by the government? How do you get round that???

I was seriously considering trying to insist on my employer to apply for EB2 rather than L1 visa right from the start - don't know whether I would have been able to negotiate that.

Anyway it still feels like I'm getting old - making decisions that are safe and sensible rather than fun. Next step carpet slippers...
It was a government denial, first ever for the company despite processing over 1,000. Lawyers put in an appeal, and the following week hubby was made redundant again, luckily with 3 months notice. The appeal was approved with a couple of weeks to spare.

It's much easier to make fun decisions when you don't have kids, messing with their lives makes it a whole new ball game.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 5:35 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by N1cky
It was a government denial, first ever for the company despite processing over 1,000. Lawyers put in an appeal, and the following week hubby was made redundant again, luckily with 3 months notice. The appeal was approved with a couple of weeks to spare.
Glad things worked out for you in the end - It remember how completely helpless and numbing it feels - and we had only been in MV for a much shorter time.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 5:54 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

For us it's a case of more opportunity, more money, more real estate, more toys, more sunshine, more travel, more fun.

I arrived weeks after 9/11 on an L1A at the behest of an employer who quickly started treating me like an indentured servant. Reneged on Green Card promises and generally behaved like a bullying arsehole.
Thankfully I was able to extract myself from that situation and have been content ever since. We are eligible to apply for citizenship at the end of this month, so all worked out well in the end.
My daughter was 19 when we came here, so had no education issues (which would have troubled me) and she's now pretty much an American with a British accent - and is enjoying an interesting career in law enforcement (starting off in a civilian role in the comms center of our local Sheriffs office - , before going through the academy and becoming a Sheriffs deputy - promoted to Detective last month).
I too have a Mustang - plus a variety of other vehicles, none of which I could have aspired to back in the UK.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 6:16 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Significantly more money, 1/significantly less stress and hassle. No crime to speak of. Better weather. Better appreciation of my profession. Great schools. What's not to like?
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 6:39 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by fozzyb
I know exactly how you feel. I have just turned down a job transfer after ages of agonizing one way then the other, and it feels kind of like mourning - knowing that the US chapter of our lives will now never have a satisfactory ending. And those "what could have been" feelings.

Life is good here in the UK, its just so easy to forget that, particularly when you hit something frustrating in the UK that would be so much easier in the US, but then have to think of the things that are better here than there.
Originally Posted by fozzyb
I just couldn't come up with a good enough reason to move. Similarly I couldn't come up with a good enough reason not to. Lots of little reasons to stay and lots of little reasons to go, but I just no killer reason either way. So in the end inertia wins.

Whenever I try to compare our lives in the two countries the pro's and con's come out pretty equal. Some aspects of life are better in UK, others better in California, overall neither is better - just different.

.....<<snip>>.
Originally Posted by fozzyb
Ouch - That's grim.. Was that GC's being denied by your company or by the government? How do you get round that???

I was seriously considering trying to insist on my employer to apply for EB2 rather than L1 visa right from the start - don't know whether I would have been able to negotiate that.

Anyway it still feels like I'm getting old - making decisions that are safe and sensible rather than fun. Next step carpet slippers...
I can identify with all of this. I turned down a great opportunity, and probably my last opportunity, last March-ish and it has gradually sunk in that this was the final decision, so to speak - here to stay (other than I'd quite happily take a one-year temporary position after I retire, which hopefully will be in 3 years).

I wouldn't say I went through a period of mourning this past occasion but maybe that was what I have been going through for the past few years as it gradually sunk in that the US chapter is definitely "over and out". I'm now very happy with the idea of financial security (albeit modest) in retirement in the UK.

In regard to the OP, like you I'd say it's 50-50 UK-US in terms of life quality, except that the bits that are good here aren't the same as the bits that are/were good there, and vice versa.

My thinking when I eventually made the decision not to pursue this last opportunity, after all of the soul-searching, was (in the immortal words of Danny Glover), "I'm too old for this shit".
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by steveq
Significantly more money, 1/significantly less stress and hassle. No crime to speak of. Better weather. Better appreciation of my profession. Great schools. What's not to like?

For me...missing the Scottish hills, British character, music scene, food, easy access to the cultural/historical/gastronomic variety of UK/Europe.

A one hour EasyJet from Edinburgh and me and Mrs Hotscot are enjoying dinner in Paris on a Friday evening.

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Old Jan 15th 2015, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

It's very different. A good thing is that I have a fifteen minute commute to work, including parking and walking into the office. Interesting things are:
... different birdlife, roadrunners come into the garden, so do woodpeckers, and once, a wild turkey.
... weather can be too hot, and then suddenly swing to too cold. Spring and autumn are about a week long each. Weather can also be extreme, with two days of the year being on tornado watch, and 5 inches of solid ice building up from a long hailstorm. After 50 days of 100 degrees in summer, you can still long for winter, even if you're not quite sure what it will bring.
... healthcare, which means that you pay a lot for insurance, and still have to pay a small amount when you see a doctor, or pick up a prescription. As the health insurance companies are profit making, you know you are paying for the shareholder dividends, well as contributing to the Medicare system in your taxes.
... Food is just a bit different. Not so much variety in cheese, not such good chocolate, and I make my own bread.

Bad things, in my opinion, are:
... the gun culture
... American football
... Calvinism
... raccoons in the attic, two inch long cockroaches, and the occasional venomous snake in the herbaceous border, plus the biggest spider I have ever seen (fishing spider, totally harmless but bigger than your average coffee mug). Coyotes, so cats have to be brought in at night.

Texas is "a whole 'nother country."
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 8:53 pm
  #42  
 
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by fozzyb
Glad things worked out for you in the end - It remember how completely helpless and numbing it feels - and we had only been in MV for a much shorter time.
Thanks. It's a position you never imagine you'll end up in when you make the move. I don't blame you for not wanting to put yourself through something similar again, it really is a horrible feeling.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 11:42 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

The gun culture is an odd thing - I feel entirely unaffected by it. I live in a state that has extremely high levels of gun ownership and very lax gun laws, yet it's one of the least violent states in the country. I feel incredibly safe here.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 1:09 am
  #44  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by kins
The gun culture is an odd thing - I feel entirely unaffected by it. I live in a state that has extremely high levels of gun ownership and very lax gun laws, yet it's one of the least violent states in the country. I feel incredibly safe here.
Mostly long arms though that are big than pistols and carry permits, though the issue with the lack gun laws in Maine mean it's easy for criminals to get them from legit sellers. most of the dodgy guns down this way came from up your way.
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Old Jan 16th 2015, 1:20 am
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by whole_nother_country
... healthcare, which means that you pay a lot for insurance, and still have to pay a small amount when you see a doctor, or pick up a prescription. As the health insurance companies are profit making, you know you are paying for the shareholder dividends, well as contributing to the Medicare system in your taxes. ....
Unless you have expensive chronic medical conditions you would likely be much better off with a high deductible plan. ...... Not necessarily in short term cash flow, but you can divert a lot of the money that goes to premiums into a 401k-like tax efficient account.
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