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Living costs and getting work

Living costs and getting work

Old Mar 23rd 2012, 3:52 pm
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Default Living costs and getting work

Hi All,

I am a wife in a family of 4 included two children. My husband is reclaiming his citizenship, as he has a American birth Father, but was later adopted. Anyways, it will take us around 2 years from here to get all the paper work etc done. Getting to this stage has taken all our effort - and the dream was always - Move to the US. Now that it insight, we are slightly lost in the more nitty gritty, includng where abouts in the US we actually want to be, We have an idea that California will be where its at, or Florida.

My questions really, are how much can we expect to pay per month for a nice (but not a palace) 3- 4 bed home, how to go about looking for such (is it easy to rent??) and how much monthly expenditure can we expect - I have no idea what they have in terms of Council tax, etc etc?

Also, I am currently at the end of my first year of a Health and Social Care Degree, I would of gone on to do nursing or midwifery, but feel that I would need Full time employment immediately after moving there - what kind of jobs could I apply for with these qualifications??

A mixed bag of questions (worries) but I feel I need to know this info before I can get any further with planning.

Any help would be really appreciated!!


Grace
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by gacton2002 View Post
Hi All,

I am a wife in a family of 4 included two children. My husband is reclaiming his citizenship, as he has a American birth Father, but was later adopted. Anyways, it will take us around 2 years from here to get all the paper work etc done. Getting to this stage has taken all our effort - and the dream was always - Move to the US. Now that it insight, we are slightly lost in the more nitty gritty, includng where abouts in the US we actually want to be, We have an idea that California will be where its at, or Florida.

My questions really, are how much can we expect to pay per month for a nice (but not a palace) 3- 4 bed home, how to go about looking for such (is it easy to rent??) and how much monthly expenditure can we expect - I have no idea what they have in terms of Council tax, etc etc?

Also, I am currently at the end of my first year of a Health and Social Care Degree, I would of gone on to do nursing or midwifery, but feel that I would need Full time employment immediately after moving there - what kind of jobs could I apply for with these qualifications??

A mixed bag of questions (worries) but I feel I need to know this info before I can get any further with planning.

Any help would be really appreciated!!


Grace
Lot's depends on where you want to live. California is huge, nearly twice the size of the UK. There are cheap parts to live and ridiculously expensive parts, so that part of your question is impossible to answer.

Depending on where you want to be depends how easy it will be to rent a property. With no credit history in the US expect to pay a minimum of 2 months rent as a deposit, some people have said they have had to pay up to 6 months. All the utility companies will also want deposits from you.

Property tax is charged on houses here, but as rentors you won't pay this, the owner will.

I believe from other posts that you would have to retrain as a nurse out here, but I may be wrong. Jobs in California are hard to come by, there is no shortage of out of work nurses.

Why do you want to move to Florida or California?
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

In a couple of years, who knows?

There are quite a few threads discussing Florida and also CA, so you could probably look those up to get rough idea.

But the question is far to vague to be meaningful because the CoL can be massively different from the north of a state to the south, never mind in a different state.

Your UK qualifications, what do you want to do with them? You'll be starting from scratch pretty much if you want to do nursing and midwife would be seriously limited to a few states if we're being honest.

city-data.com glassdoor.com and all the other usual job type sites would give you a rough idea of the cost of rent and other expenses are right now, but without know how the markets are going, that'll probably be useless info in a couple years time.
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Lot's depends on where you want to live. California is huge, nearly twice the size of the UK. There are cheap parts to live and ridiculously expensive parts, so that part of your question is impossible to answer.

Depending on where you want to be depends how easy it will be to rent a property. With no credit history in the US expect to pay a minimum of 2 months rent as a deposit, some people have said they have had to pay up to 6 months. All the utility companies will also want deposits from you.

Property tax is charged on houses here, but as rentors you won't pay this, the owner will.

I believe from other posts that you would have to retrain as a nurse out here, but I may be wrong. Jobs in California are hard to come by, there is no shortage of out of work nurses.

Why do you want to move to Florida or California?
It sounds like she will not actually be a nurse but have a degree in health and social care.

Grace, I think your dream of living in the US needs to be firmed up with some specifics of what you actually hope to achieve, apart from sunshine.
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Lot's depends on where you want to live. California is huge, nearly twice the size of the UK. There are cheap parts to live and ridiculously expensive parts, so that part of your question is impossible to answer.

Depending on where you want to be depends how easy it will be to rent a property. With no credit history in the US expect to pay a minimum of 2 months rent as a deposit, some people have said they have had to pay up to 6 months. All the utility companies will also want deposits from you.

Property tax is charged on houses here, but as rentors you won't pay this, the owner will.

I believe from other posts that you would have to retrain as a nurse out here, but I may be wrong. Jobs in California are hard to come by, there is no shortage of out of work nurses.

Why do you want to move to Florida or California?
Thank you for that.

I guess California because of the way of life, and mainly the sun. Same for Florida.
Thats good to know in regards to rentals, as that is something we need to take into consideration when assessing our savings.
I know I can turn my degree into the equivalent qualification once there, but its hard to know what jobs I could potentially apply for. I would like to know this in advance so I can work out potential salary's etc.
How hard is it to secure a job before getting out there?
Thanks Again.
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by gacton2002 View Post
Thank you for that.

I guess California because of the way of life, and mainly the sun. Same for Florida.
Thats good to know in regards to rentals, as that is something we need to take into consideration when assessing our savings.
I know I can turn my degree into the equivalent qualification once there, but its hard to know what jobs I could potentially apply for. I would like to know this in advance so I can work out potential salary's etc.
How hard is it to secure a job before getting out there?
Thanks Again.
The way of life, how?
Mostly life here is the same as in the UK, you get up, do the school run, go to work, make dinner, kids go to bed, you watch TV.

Finding work is extremely difficult unless you have unique skills. Finding work before you move out here is virtually impossible.
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by gacton2002 View Post
.
How hard is it to secure a job before getting out there?
Tough.

Your UK qualifications, with out experience are essentially meaningless, they'll help in that you can go on to further education, or that you get to tick the job box for having a degree but that's about it.

Once you're in the US, you're in a better position, but again you qualifications won't really mean anything to anyway and sure they could go to the hassle of trying to convert them, but the chances they won't need to as there will be hordes of other who will tick all the boxes and not need any extra thought. It's a bit poo I know, but that's where networking can help you out.

And what do you think the sun will actually do for you when you're not on a holiday?

Again, it'll all depend on exactly where you plan to live, but you could quite as easily find it is just to hot and humid to get out and enjoy the sun, or that the bugs just keep you inside and you cry at the site of the AC bill.
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by gacton2002 View Post
I guess California because of the way of life, and mainly the sun. Same for Florida.
Respectfully, one of the reasons that many people have difficulty when adjusting to a new culture (and don't kid yourself into believing that the US and the UK share a similar culture), is that they have unrealistic expectations. Don't believe the media hype about how wonderful the "lifestyle" is in either California or Florida... and, whatever else you do, don't believe what you see on TV. Life in either state can be either very expensive, quite reasonable, or an incredible struggle... the trouble is, without knowing how much money you're going to have when you arrive, it's almost impossible to say where you'll be able to afford to live.

Your children will go to school according to where you live, so even one street over might find you in a totally different school district... and too bad for you if you can't afford the house on the other street in the "good" school district.

The US is 40x larger than the UK - and there are 50 states... some of them larger than the entire UK. Don't restrict yourself to the fantasy lifestyle that so many people from the UK seem to.

How hard is it to secure a job before getting out there?
Right now - it's almost impossible to secure employment unless you're already in the US. In two years? No one knows... but I expect it'll be more difficult. While your husband might be a USC (and if the children are under 18 when you all arrive in the US, they will automatically become USCs), he will likely be treated as a foreigner... as will the rest of you.

I know you're very excited about this happening... but you need to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at the cold facts. The grass isn't greener, and there is no social safety net if you fail. The US doesn't care whether or not you adjust to living in your new country.

I'm not deliberately trying to be mean... I'm deliberately trying to be honest.

Ian
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Respectfully, one of the reasons that many people have difficulty when adjusting to a new culture (and don't kid yourself into believing that the US and the UK share a similar culture), is that they have unrealistic expectations. Don't believe the media hype about how wonderful the "lifestyle" is in either California or Florida... and, whatever else you do, don't believe what you see on TV. Life in either state can be either very expensive, quite reasonable, or an incredible struggle... the trouble is, without knowing how much money you're going to have when you arrive, it's almost impossible to say where you'll be able to afford to live.

Your children will go to school according to where you live, so even one street over might find you in a totally different school district... and too bad for you if you can't afford the house on the other street in the "good" school district.

The US is 40x larger than the UK - and there are 50 states... some of them larger than the entire UK. Don't restrict yourself to the fantasy lifestyle that so many people from the UK seem to.


Right now - it's almost impossible to secure employment unless you're already in the US. In two years? No one knows... but I expect it'll be more difficult. While your husband might be a USC (and if the children are under 18 when you all arrive in the US, they will automatically become USCs), he will likely be treated as a foreigner... as will the rest of you.

I know you're very excited about this happening... but you need to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at the cold facts. The grass isn't greener, and there is no social safety net if you fail. The US doesn't care whether or not you adjust to living in your new country.

I'm not deliberately trying to be mean... I'm deliberately trying to be honest.

Ian
And don't forget the minefield which is..... health insurance

On a more serious note, I agree with Ian completely. Much as I love living in the States, I can safely say it's not been an easy ride, sometimes even now, 2 years in, it can be tough. I think if you made a definite decision as to which State you would like to move to, then the information you're looking for will be much easier. We had no credit history over here, and had to pay 2 months security plus a months rent before we even started, plus the utilities companies were the same. Health insurance has been a nightmare for me, partly because of my own ignorance, and partly because of a new condition which I now have since moving here.

Don't let us put you off, life is too short and you only live once, so if you have your mind and heart set on it, once you have a concrete idea of what you want, it will be much easier to make the right choices and get the right information. I wish you all the luck in the world with whatever you decide and you've come to the right place for people to offer advice, support, but most of all, a perspective on the reality of such a move. Good luck
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Old Mar 23rd 2012, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

One thing you can do now, if you don't already have one, is get an American Express. That will be very useful, as you can transfer your account from a UK one to a US one as long as it is 12 months old. You can then get a charge card over here, which has no credit limit, as long as you pay it off every month.

That is hugely useful. If you don't end up coming, for whatever reason, then you haven't lost anything by opening the AmEx (assuming there is a fee-free version in the UK).
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Old Mar 24th 2012, 12:12 am
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

In Iowa, I pay $2,400 per year Tax on a 2,000sq ft Home. It's a 3-Bedroom Walk-out Ranch with a raised 3 seasons room on the rear of it.

It's 30 years and it's a "Brick House." Some of my colleagues, who live across the Mississippi in Illinois, pay twice that, for a similar home.

Property Values + Taxes vary greatly depending on where you lay your hat. Do thorough research, or your dream may turn into a nightmare.


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Old Mar 24th 2012, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Besides the ridiculously high taxes that will remind you of the UK, Upstate NY (near Albany) is a great place to move. There's plenty of work (both government, and private), and you'll enjoy an urban/suburban lifestyle, depending on what you prefer. You're also only 3 hours from NYC.
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Old Mar 24th 2012, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Some thoughts.
Look up under www.yahoo.com they have many articles, some from Forbes magazine, on best places/cities to live and cost comparisons. Some areas of the USA are much better value than California or the North East and have nice weather etc. California can be very expensice, Florida is excellent value right now, but so are other nice places.
Healthcare is costly so one of you will need to get a job which includes coverage for your family.

If nursing is your thing (and it can pay nicely think $65K a year) then look at County Colleges which run 2 year associate degree courses in nursing and lead straight into the State "Board" exams. CCs are relatively inexpensive (for the USA) and will likely take your UK educational achievements for entry so bring the paperwork. CCs also have part time courses.
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Old Mar 25th 2012, 1:55 am
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

As an earlier post said...

Florida is an excellent value right now for home prices; but, homeowners insurance is a nightmare and expensive; I pay over $3000 a year on a house that could be replaced for less than $200K.
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Old Mar 27th 2012, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Living costs and getting work

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Lot's depends on where you want to live. California is huge, nearly twice the size of the UK. There are cheap parts to live and ridiculously expensive parts, so that part of your question is impossible to answer.

Depending on where you want to be depends how easy it will be to rent a property. With no credit history in the US expect to pay a minimum of 2 months rent as a deposit, some people have said they have had to pay up to 6 months. All the utility companies will also want deposits from you.

Property tax is charged on houses here, but as rentors you won't pay this, the owner will.

I believe from other posts that you would have to retrain as a nurse out here, but I may be wrong. Jobs in California are hard to come by, there is no shortage of out of work nurses.

Why do you want to move to Florida or California?
Just to give an example against two of these points, which could be overly scary - I think these are highly dependent on where you move. I recently moved and have paid 1 months deposit (Illinois), neither the gas or electric wanted a deposit (I did however have to get my ID verified in person for ComED electric), Comcast (cable) did however want a 1 month deposit.

Last edited by bobbedford; Mar 27th 2012 at 8:04 pm.
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