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Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Old Aug 10th 2016, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by slices View Post
I moved to Bradenton, slightly south of Tampa about 10 weeks ago, also on an IR-1 visa. I initially rented a car for 2 weeks, using mostly air miles. SS card came after about a week, I'd had an Amex for about 2 years so did the global transfer thing. I also have a store card.

We now have a car through international autosource, they will take your UK credit history into account (although we actually got radically different rates in my wife's name than mine, so being a USC with some credit history does make a difference.) We got the car sorted after about six weeks so had to extend the hire car, but international auto source compensated us for most of the cost of the rental since there were some issues with paperwork on there end. They were happy enough with me working as an independent contractor, savings wise we need a 20% deposit and the costs for registration and taxes.

In the UK I was in a permanent role in IT and had spoken to a number of recruiters over here who said to call them when I got here. However pretty much at the last minute my employer asked me to stay on, due to them not having a US presence I'm doing this as an 'independent contractor', for six months at least. This has allowed us to get away with one car for now which helps. My rates would work out to the very low end of contractor rates on the UK market, and I do have to pay for my own healthcare (although the healthcare exchange helps with this a bit). I'd most likely make more finding a new role, but it would involve a second lot of car payments and commuting into Tampa.

The one thing I'd say about working as a '1099' employee and just getting here is I have no chance of a mortgage, I've been told they need to see at least a complete year's tax return being 'self employed'.

I'm only just looking at renting now, as our house in the UK was meant to complete a week or so after we got here but was delayed and has only just complete, fortunately we were able to stay with family. While I'm a little concerned about credit checks with regards to renting my wife says that she has rented an apartment twice in the past whilst unemployed and having significant savings in the bank meant that it wasn't an issue.

Haven't seen much of Tampa other than the airport and driving there to pick up the car, as well as a few trips to IKEA.
Thanks, slices.

International auto Source isn't something I've heard of so I will definitely look into that.

As for work, I think a permanent role is the route I'll take. mainly, it'll assist with the mortgage when the time comes and offer more security. TBH, I know my earnings will be less after the move but we're happy to sacrifice this for a better lifestyle. What good is money in the bank when you're stuck in your house near Glasgow watching it rain 300 days a year?

We'll gladly take the hit for the small things like a trip to the beach whenever we please, a walk after work and actually being able to plan a BBQ or whatever...it'll be such a novelty after 30 odd years in Scotland.

Last edited by mandela; Aug 10th 2016 at 11:47 am.
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Old Aug 10th 2016, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Remember to inform USCIS once you have an address via Form AR-11 . You can also do this online.
https://www.uscis.gov/addresschange
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Old Aug 10th 2016, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by mandela View Post
.... International auto Source isn't something I've heard of .....
I often recommend International Autosource having used them myself, however to make the best use of what the service they are offering you have to sign up and pay a deposit before you arrive in the US, and I think you need to have a definite job to come to when you arrive, so they don't make sense for everybody.
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Old Aug 10th 2016, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by mandela View Post
Thanks, slices.


We'll gladly take the hit for the small things like a trip to the beach whenever we please, a walk after work and actually being able to plan a BBQ or whatever...it'll be such a novelty after 30 odd years in Scotland.
Walking is great and my brother-in-law does it daily at their gated community in Ft. Myers. But note, it is hellishly hot in Florida for the months of June, July, August and September. You will need to walk either first thing in the morning and/or after the sun sets in the evening. As for BBQ, you will leave the apartment/house, go to the grill, start it, place the food on it and then run for the house again as it is too hot to stay outside to watch the food cooking and/or to eat it. The beaches are great and the only expense is the parking. Sis goes to Bonita Springs for the beach instead of the Ft. Myers beach. You only pay for parking and to use the bathrooms. But the water is bathwater warm and you bake from both sides as the hot sand can burn you as much as the sun.

Don't get me wrong, I love to do all those things when I visit with her (as I will in one week) but then I come from a climate worse than Florida. I suffer with Mississippi humidity and heat.

Yup it is different than Scotland ... viva la difference!
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Old Aug 11th 2016, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Walking is great and my brother-in-law does it daily at their gated community in Ft. Myers. But note, it is hellishly hot in Florida for the months of June, July, August and September. You will need to walk either first thing in the morning and/or after the sun sets in the evening. As for BBQ, you will leave the apartment/house, go to the grill, start it, place the food on it and then run for the house again as it is too hot to stay outside to watch the food cooking and/or to eat it. The beaches are great and the only expense is the parking. Sis goes to Bonita Springs for the beach instead of the Ft. Myers beach. You only pay for parking and to use the bathrooms. But the water is bathwater warm and you bake from both sides as the hot sand can burn you as much as the sun.

Don't get me wrong, I love to do all those things when I visit with her (as I will in one week) but then I come from a climate worse than Florida. I suffer with Mississippi humidity and heat.

Yup it is different than Scotland ... viva la difference!
Yup! I think of Florida summer like our (uk) winter. So 3 months or so when we'll hide out indoors. But, with a pool and / or the beach it is a little easier.
Looking for a car was pretty hellish in the heat. Honestly, I'd run outside, look at a car on a boiling hot lot, and then dash inside. I'd barely even look inside the cars. As a result I have a white car, with a cream interior!
Still, even in the summer, I am much happier here than in cold, wet, windy uk. Just nice to be able to make fairly reliable plans, without them being rained out...
But the weather is just 1 little part of being here...
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Old Aug 11th 2016, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

I got my job offer fairly late so we actually signed the paperwork and paid deposit with international autosource after we moved, do need a definite job though and proof of address. Although they took a cell phone bill.

As for the difference in lifestyle. I'm trying to make sure I get out and get some exercise. This normally means 30 minutes in the community pool at lunch or a walk in the evening too hot for that at lunch time. Coming from the Midlands I do find the number of beaches within a short drive quite a change, free parking at the last one went to as well, although be careful with the suncream I got caught quite badly on my back. Will be investing in a beach parasol as well.
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Old Aug 11th 2016, 2:52 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by mandela View Post
... I know my earnings will be less after the move but we're happy to sacrifice this for a better lifestyle. What good is money in the bank when you're stuck in your house near Glasgow watching it rain 300 days a year? ...
You mentioned that you have a limited company in the UK, so I am going to guess that you're using said limited company to work for companies as a day contractor, to reduce your overall tax bill.

I am going to run some very rough numbers, and show how being employed as permie in the US isn't actually so bad.

Assuming that you bill your time at, perhaps, £400 per day, and only work Monday to Friday, take three weeks vacation a year, and have no breaks in your contracts, this means that your total working days for this year is 249 days. If your company just consists of you, it means that it will have an annual turnover of £99,600.

Let's assume that you want to take all the money out of the company in a given year, and pay yourself £10,999 and the rest as dividends. For simplicity's sake, let's assume that your company can write-off the £10,999 as a non-taxable expense (and nothing else), and declares the rest as pure profit. This means that your company profit is now £88,601, and corporation tax due on this is £17,720, giving you £70,881 to take as dividends.

The tax due on those dividends is £14,661.08, according to Contractor UK. This means that your total take-home pay will be £67,218.92. This is a very comfortable salary for someone in the UK, and right now, it's equivalent to $87,384.57.

If you were to get a permanent job in IT for a large company in Florida, you would be known as a W2 earner (like UK PAYE). In Florida, the 2015 average tax rate for a W2 earner is 27.81%, and the marginal tax rate is 29.45%, according to neuvoo. As you've got enough skills and expertise to do IT contracting in the UK, I'm going to assume that you'll be able to join a company at Senior Staff / Principal Engineer level (which is very high - you need 10 - 15+ years experience for these sorts of roles). I took a quick look on Glassdoor and found a few salaries for this level from companies in Tampa, FL area, ranging from about $110k to $150k. Let's split the difference and say that you'll get paid $130k. You'll be paying about $35,819.25 in tax, leaving you with a net take-home of $94,180.75.

I hope that this helps to give you an idea that you shouldn't be too much worse off if you move to the USA. These calculations are obviously very simplistic, and don't take into account certain deductions that you can make in the UK as a contractor (fuel, meals, equipment, etc), or as a US resident (mortgage interest, HSA, etc). I would expect that when all is said and done, you will likely make about the same. I have no idea what the cost of living difference is between Tampa, FL, and Glasgow though, so I'll let someone else answer that.

Last edited by cautiousjon; Aug 11th 2016 at 2:57 am.
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Old Aug 11th 2016, 10:56 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by cautiousjon View Post
You mentioned that you have a limited company in the UK, so I am going to guess that you're using said limited company to work for companies as a day contractor, to reduce your overall tax bill.

I am going to run some very rough numbers, and show how being employed as permie in the US isn't actually so bad.

Assuming that you bill your time at, perhaps, £400 per day, and only work Monday to Friday, take three weeks vacation a year, and have no breaks in your contracts, this means that your total working days for this year is 249 days. If your company just consists of you, it means that it will have an annual turnover of £99,600.

Let's assume that you want to take all the money out of the company in a given year, and pay yourself £10,999 and the rest as dividends. For simplicity's sake, let's assume that your company can write-off the £10,999 as a non-taxable expense (and nothing else), and declares the rest as pure profit. This means that your company profit is now £88,601, and corporation tax due on this is £17,720, giving you £70,881 to take as dividends.

The tax due on those dividends is £14,661.08, according to Contractor UK. This means that your total take-home pay will be £67,218.92. This is a very comfortable salary for someone in the UK, and right now, it's equivalent to $87,384.57.

If you were to get a permanent job in IT for a large company in Florida, you would be known as a W2 earner (like UK PAYE). In Florida, the 2015 average tax rate for a W2 earner is 27.81%, and the marginal tax rate is 29.45%, according to neuvoo. As you've got enough skills and expertise to do IT contracting in the UK, I'm going to assume that you'll be able to join a company at Senior Staff / Principal Engineer level (which is very high - you need 10 - 15+ years experience for these sorts of roles). I took a quick look on Glassdoor and found a few salaries for this level from companies in Tampa, FL area, ranging from about $110k to $150k. Let's split the difference and say that you'll get paid $130k. You'll be paying about $35,819.25 in tax, leaving you with a net take-home of $94,180.75.

I hope that this helps to give you an idea that you shouldn't be too much worse off if you move to the USA. These calculations are obviously very simplistic, and don't take into account certain deductions that you can make in the UK as a contractor (fuel, meals, equipment, etc), or as a US resident (mortgage interest, HSA, etc). I would expect that when all is said and done, you will likely make about the same. I have no idea what the cost of living difference is between Tampa, FL, and Glasgow though, so I'll let someone else answer that.
That's a great post - thanks so much for the time you've taken to do that. Your assumptions are close enough so that's actually given me a really good idea of the kind of salary I should be aiming for to maintain my levels of income...i've been trying to work this out as well.

I've got some time with an agent that I was put in touch with by CanveyDave on here so I feel i'm in a much better position than i was and certainly more informed from this thread for the discussion i'll be having later today with her.
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Old Aug 11th 2016, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Walking is great and my brother-in-law does it daily at their gated community in Ft. Myers. But note, it is hellishly hot in Florida for the months of June, July, August and September. You will need to walk either first thing in the morning and/or after the sun sets in the evening. As for BBQ, you will leave the apartment/house, go to the grill, start it, place the food on it and then run for the house again as it is too hot to stay outside to watch the food cooking and/or to eat it. The beaches are great and the only expense is the parking. Sis goes to Bonita Springs for the beach instead of the Ft. Myers beach. You only pay for parking and to use the bathrooms. But the water is bathwater warm and you bake from both sides as the hot sand can burn you as much as the sun.

Don't get me wrong, I love to do all those things when I visit with her (as I will in one week) but then I come from a climate worse than Florida. I suffer with Mississippi humidity and heat.

Yup it is different than Scotland ... viva la difference!
We've spent a fair bit of time in Florida so I think we know what to expect in terms of heat.

I guess it's different holidaying there and living there. I mean we've never had to get up and dressed for work in that kind of heat, we've always been able to 'holiday dress', so it'll be different in that regard.

One of the little things I have been thinking about is how guys avoid getting their shirts covered in sweat. Is that why you often see guys with a with tshirt under their shirt? I always thought that was strange given the heat but it would catch the sweat, I guess.

I'm also hoping there's some super strength antiperspirant over there.

My wife is more concerned about the humidity affecting her hair...but they must have some way/products of dealing with these things, right?

Good problems to have though :-)
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Old Aug 16th 2016, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Other than Indeed.com and Monster.com are there any professional job websites you guys would recommend that aren't obvious from a google search?

@canveydave - thanks again for the hook up. I had a very productive chat with the woman you passed my details onto, so much appreciated.
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Old Aug 16th 2016, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by mandela View Post
.... One of the little things I have been thinking about is how guys avoid getting their shirts covered in sweat. Is that why you often see guys with a with tshirt under their shirt? I always thought that was strange given the heat but it would catch the sweat, I guess.

I'm also hoping there's some super strength antiperspirant over there. ....
Beats me.

Wearing a t-shirt under an office shirt makes me uncomfortably hot in winter. I can't imagine doing it in summer.

I usually wear a white shirt at work, which doesn't show damp spots as much as a coloured shirt, spend as a little time as possible outside on the way to work, and during the work day, and walk slowly and stay in the shade as much as possible so as to stay as cool as possible when I do need to go outside.

Personally I find antiperspirants to be counterproductive and not entirely effective - they make me hotter because I can sweat less, and create a big slimey unpleasant mess ..... which stains my shirts. So I find it more satisfactory to use a deodorant, minimize sweating during the work day (see above), and generally relax knowing that everyone else is going through the same thing.
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Old Aug 16th 2016, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Beats me.

Wearing a t-shirt under an office shirt makes me uncomfortably hot in winter. I can't imagine doing it in summer.

I usually wear a white shirt at work, which doesn't show damp spots as much as a coloured shirt, spend as a little time as possible outside on the way to work, and during the work day, and walk slowly and stay in the shade as much as possible so as to stay as cool as possible when I do need to go outside.

Personally I find antiperspirants to be counterproductive and not entirely effective - they make me hotter because I can sweat less, and create a big slimey unpleasant mess ..... which stains my shirts. So I find it more satisfactory to use a deodorant, minimize sweating during the work day (see above), and generally relax knowing that everyone else is going through the same thing.
Cool, man.

If it's the same for everyone then I'm not fussed. I just wondered if there was a way to avoid it that I didn't know so would become the sweaty mess guy.
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Old Aug 16th 2016, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by mandela View Post
. I just wondered if there was a way to avoid it that I didn't know so would become the sweaty mess guy.
Easy. Move to a different State, or consider a cheaper sunnier place in Europe.
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Old Aug 17th 2016, 2:30 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by mandela View Post
Other than Indeed.com and Monster.com are there any professional job websites you guys would recommend that aren't obvious from a google search?

@canveydave - thanks again for the hook up. I had a very productive chat with the woman you passed my details onto, so much appreciated.
LinkedIn.

Honestly the IT recruiters here are terrible, they rarely know anything about the field. I've met maybe 2 or 3 good ones in the last 6 years.
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Old Aug 17th 2016, 4:47 am
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Default Re: Moving to Tampa in Sept. Here's my plan and concerns.

Originally Posted by mandela View Post
Cool, man.

If it's the same for everyone then I'm not fussed. I just wondered if there was a way to avoid it that I didn't know so would become the sweaty mess guy.
I went for a 3 min walk today and was soaked on the way back.Those storms are sudden sometimes. And it is chilly/refreshing in the aircon office when you are in wet clothes

Sweaty Mess Guy is my middle name.

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