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Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Old Jan 11th 2018, 10:40 pm
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Default Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Hey,

First time posting but i've been lurking here for a while and have made use of so much of the great advice.

I'm moving to New York in April/May (job transfer, E2 visa, my wife is coming as well). I'm fortunate to be in a relatively well paid position so cost of living should be ok (there are just the two of us) and the company move people a lot, so they are taking care of the visas etc.

My question is this - for those of you who have moved to the states before, what do you wish you'd known or thought about when you did? If you were advising yourself from before you moved, what would you say?

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 2:43 am
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Welcome to BE!

The wiki, up top would be a great starting point.

Fatbrit's Guide to Credit and Finance : British Expat Wiki

Taxes When Leaving The UK : British Expat Wiki

Company Relocation Packages US : British Expat Wiki
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 8:37 am
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

These are all really helpful, thank you!
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

What I wish I had known moving to GA is going to be vastly different than moving to New York (Is it NY State or NYC? You don't specify)

That said, the basics are still there - the cost of healthcare, the vast distances you end up driving to get a carton of milk or a coffee, the differences in work ethic. Things like that.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Half-and-half is not semi-skimmed milk. (Skimmed and semi-skimmed is “1%” and “2%”.)

Always keep to the right on sidewalks and especially Subway stairs. If you need to stop to find your bearings, move out of the way.

Begin all interactions e.g. with wait-staff, store clerks etc with something along the lines of “Hi, how are you?”. NB: “Alright?” will not be understood.

If in doubt, tip. For meals 20% unless the service was rotten, and even then not below 15% unless the server was actually rude to you.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Apply for an American Express card in the UK, use it for a couple of months before you leave.

When you arrive in the USA, American Express will give you a US credit card based on your history with them in the UK. That'll be a tremendous help for the first year or so when your credit score here is dirt and you can't even get a phone contract.


I moved here last April along with 2 of my colleagues, also British. They did this and I didn't and it was a huge help for them.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Three things I already knew before coming and made decisions on:

Tax on foreign income. If you will have an income in the UK while you are in the US, you will be taxed on it so try to get it before you come to the US. Examples would be, sale of a home or major asset.

NYC local taxes. You pay federal and state taxes in the US and if you live in the NYC 5 boroughs, which are quite large and cover most areas within an hours commute, then you also pay around 3.5% additional local taxes. If you want to avoid this additional tax then look at moving to areas such as; New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut.

+1 on the Amex card. That was a huge help to building credit


Things I didn't know:

Healthcare is shocking! If you don't pay, you don't get. It's probably out of your hands but if your employers insurance is not good, be prepared to not get access to the best Doctors, which is largely based on location in the UK. You may have to pay thousands of dollars on co-pay, deductibles or medicines that your insurance doesn't cover even for basic stuff like having a baby. It's a shock to someone who is not used to directly paying for medical expenses. One could compare US insurance premiums to the UK National Insurance contributions and say they are equal or at least close enough, but once you've paid your premiums here, doesn't mean the rest is covered. The general rule here for me is, the sicker you are, the more you gotta pay.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Still to this day even after over a year of living in the US I still get annoyed that prices don't show tax included...

The guides you were given earlier are fantastic and the FatBrit guide to credit in particular helped me out a lot!
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Originally Posted by JimmyArtnull View Post
NYC local taxes. You pay federal and state taxes in the US and if you live in the NYC 5 boroughs, which are quite large and cover most areas within an hours commute, then you also pay around 3.5% additional local taxes.
We briefly lived in NYC when we first moved over and then moved outside the city limits to Westchester County. The city income tax I was paying was more than I pay in monthly rail fare to commute in.

Also if you do live outside the city, make sure your employer is aware: when I changed jobs last year, I had NYC income tax withheld in my first paycheck because HR assumed any employee with an NY address was in living in the City.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Lat time I was in Panera Bread they had a tip jar and wanted you to tip when paying by CC, that was a big no.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
We briefly lived in NYC when we first moved over and then moved outside the city limits to Westchester County. The city income tax I was paying was more than I pay in monthly rail fare to commute in.

Also if you do live outside the city, make sure your employer is aware: when I changed jobs last year, I had NYC income tax withheld in my first paycheck because HR assumed any employee with an NY address was in living in the City.
And yet they must have had your home address! That sounds pretty inefficient, that you had to tell them ...
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

The Amex is great advise, we had one in the U.K. and we easily got a new one here about a month after arrival which was very handy. They also transferred all our air miles onto the US account.
We used a Post Office credit card to give us cash flow when we first arrived. The rate is the exact exchange rate and therefore saved us a great deal of money overall.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
And yet they must have had your home address! That sounds pretty inefficient, that you had to tell them ...
Half of NYC think that Westchester County is upstate. The other half think it's part of the city.
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Old Jan 12th 2018, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
And yet they must have had your home address! That sounds pretty inefficient, that you had to tell them ...
Have you ever encountered an efficient HR department?
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Old Jan 13th 2018, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Moving to New York - things you wish you knew?

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Have you ever encountered an efficient HR department?
No, but at least they've never claimed not to know my home address!
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