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Living part time USA

Living part time USA

Old Jun 5th 2012, 5:33 pm
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Default Living part time USA

Hello, I am new to this forum and would really appreciate some advise.

I am now retired and my wife and I are looking to purchase a home in Florida with the hope that we could spend the six months of winter in Florida.

I do however have some concerns and these being,

If we apply for a visa from the USA embassy in London will this then enable us to stay for six months from the date of arrival in the USA.

Can we open a bank account in the USA as my thoughts are that we will need to pay monthly bills for utilities at the residence we finally purchase.

Can I purchase a car and obtain insurance being a none USA residence.

If we decide to move our furniture over what would an estimate cost be for the contents of a three bedroom house (we have a narrowboat and are considering selling our house in the UK and living on the boat through the summer).

Any large costs we should look out for.

Thanking you in anticipation
Best regards
Mick.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Have you considered an in-between, less radical strategy - for instance, renting in Florida for 8-10 weeks each year, Christmas to early March say. That way you would avoid all of the major logistical problems raised by your 50/50 initial proposal.

Welcome to BE, by the way!

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Old Jun 5th 2012, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Welcome to BE
You may find this thread helpful as it covers healthcare etc;
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...urance+retired
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Hi Robin,

Many thanks for the reply

The whole purpose is to get away from the UK winter for six months due to my Osteoarthritis. Having had one knee and ankle replaced and also both hips replaced there is no doubt that the warmer weather in Florida suits me.

I understand that we could enter for three months without visa but the plan is for six months

Best regards
Mick
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

to BE Mick.

One huge problem could be health insurance. As you get older it becomes more and more difficult to get travel/health insurance for the US...it also becomes very expensive. I'm not sure if you can get cover for 6 months. IMO sorting that out should be your first port of call.

If you apply for a visa to stay 6 months per year you are expected to have a main residence outside the US. Somehow I don't think a houseboat would do. Another consideration is US income tax.

Having homes in different countries is very expensive. For starters you will need a car in Florida...which means it would be stood idle for 6 months. You would also have air con/pool maintenance/house maintenance/gardening etc costs.

Take a read through the index list of threads...we get several people each week asking the very same questions as you. The threads will give you an idea of the pros and cons of spending several months per year in the US.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Hi Wheeze,

Many thanks interesting thread you directed me to.

Health care is a massive worry and I have had quotes from BUPA which I have been a member of for many years

Best regards
Mick
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Hi Jersygirl,

Intersting reply thank you.

What income tax are you refering to?

Best regards.
Mick.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Originally Posted by micknewc View Post
Hi Jersygirl,

Intersting reply thank you.

What income tax are you refering to?

Best regards.
Mick.
Depending on how long you stay in the US per year you may be required to fill in a US tax return.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post

Having homes in different countries is very expensive. For starters you will need a car in Florida...which means it would be stood idle for 6 months. You would also have air con/pool maintenance/house maintenance/gardening etc costs.

.
As for maintenance/gardening etc., that can be mitigated by buying an apartment-type condo where your annual fee covers all common services. However, you would still need to keep on the electricity for the a/c to kick in all summer.

And if the parking was underground, wouldn't be too bad to keep the car idle for six months? The worst you'd have to do would be pay someone to give it a thorough servicing when you return to FL?

Both of the above would be easy if you had a trusted friend living nearby who would check out apartment and car say every two weeks.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
As for maintenance/gardening etc., that can be mitigated by buying an apartment-type condo where your annual fee covers all common services. However, you would still need to keep on the electricity for the a/c to kick in all summer.

And if the parking was underground, wouldn't be too bad to keep the car idle for six months? The worst you'd have to do would be pay someone to give it a thorough servicing when you return to FL?

Both of the above would be easy if you had a trusted friend living nearby who would check out apartment and car say every two weeks.
Condo fees in Florida can be horrendous...especially now with many units left empty. There is also property taxes...again depending on the location they can be high. We've looked at buying a condo in Florida...you have to be very careful. We've not even mentioned hurricane insurance yet.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Jun 5th 2012 at 6:17 pm.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

There's also the issue re condo financing, which is pretty hard to get at the moment. Not sure if that is an issue for the OP, though.

If I were the OP I would lean towards renting for a few years. It might be more expensive but it's less of a headache and it would help with figuring out which area they want to live in.

There's also the question if it has to be Florida, or if any of the other Southern states would work, too.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Thanks to all for your responses.

We were was out in florida during April till early may and looked at all of the costs then. I feel comfortable with what these would amount to.

I also have a past ex pat contact who lives in the area where we viewed the house we are interested in and they would tend the pool/ garden/car etc.

I also understand that if i sold the USA house then I would be liable for a 10% tax on the property.

I assume that if we apply for a visa then it would be for six months.

I guess my real issues is opening a bank account in the USA to pay the monthly utilities and if this is a possibility.

Best regards.
Mick.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

The bank account won't be a problem. Getting the visa isn't guaranteed, but B-2s are commonly issued to retirees who want to do what you propose. When dealing with the consulate, don't call it "living" in the US.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Originally Posted by micknewc View Post
Health care is a massive worry and I have had quotes from BUPA which I have been a member of for many years
Be careful with non-US insurance. It sounds like the Bupa thing is travel insurance which might be limited in duration - they usually have a maximum trip duration of, for example, 3 months. Obviously make sure it covers the US as many policies have a worldwide including US and a worldwide non-US version (cheaper).

Just curious really, you don't need to answer: does the humid air in Florida work for your ailments? I know other people with admittedly unrelated conditions and they hate humid air for their conditions!
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Living part time USA

Originally Posted by micknewc View Post
I assume that if we apply for a visa then it would be for six months.
Generally, if you're of retirement age you'll have an easier time getting a B-2 visa than younger people. What you need to understand though, is that the CBP officer can allow you to enter for 6 months... or 1 week - and it is solely at his discretion. While most people get 6 months... that doesn't necessarily mean you will - and there's no knowing in advance what will happen.


I guess my real issues is opening a bank account in the USA to pay the monthly utilities and if this is a possibility.
Yes, you can open a US bank account.

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