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Moving from UK to USA

Old Jan 27th 2016, 1:52 pm
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Default Moving from UK to USA

Hi All ,
Greetings
I am a British citizen (living in UK from last 14 years) and I work in IT. I am moving to USA (for good fingers crossed) due to Job relocation (green card). I will moving with my wife and son of 4 years old .Since you all are very experienced and have already done this BIG move I really appreciate if you can advice on my question below.

-We have a house in UK and I don’t want to sell it – what are your experience and what one needs to do?

-Do I inform authority like HMRC / NHS/NI etc that I am moving out of UK?

-Can I claim taxes or any contributions towards my national insurance made in last 14 years?

-I have pensioned also – what one needs to do with pension? Keep it in UK and use it when I am in 60’s ( i am in my 40's now) or move it to USA? What are the options.

-I will be moving to New Jersey State – so UK driving license can be changed /transferred to USA or I have to apply for new one? Any link or process for it.

-Any advice on family move.

Any other advice / TIPS on this big move and your experiences on moving to USA are much appreciated.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to your replies
V
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Unless you plan to return to the UK you are putting yourself in the position of a potentially huge capital gains tax bill if you don't sell it before cgt kicks in, which I think is now just 18 months after you move out. It might be a tough decision to make, but the tax bill could easily be tens of thousands of dollars! Then there's the arcane matter of tax on foreign exchange differences on your mortgage if you pay that off when you sell. In times of dramatic swings in exchange rates, you could faces thousands of dollars of tax on that too.

You can't move your pension(s) to the US, there is no way to do so. Be sure to tell any of the financial sharks out there to bu99er off if they try to get you to move your pension funds "off-shore" and into their slimy hands. Your pension money is safe, cozy, and protected in the UK, don't throw that away.

You can tell HMRC you're leaving, and you can apply to continue making voluntary contributions to your NI, which is "incredibly cheap" at the moment, though the annual payments may go up to "still very good value". That can wait until you have settled in before worrying much about it (you can pay upto six years in arrears). It really doesn't matter if you tell the NHS if you're leaving, I certainly didn't.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

I would keep my bank accounts open, maybe check with the one you have to see if they will be OK with you having a US address.
You may want to bring your medical records, entirely optional.
Maybe find a financial advisor in the UK you can work with if you have to make changes to your pension.
If you want to keep a UK phone number, setup a vonage account before you leave, then bring the adapter with you. Cost is 5 GBP a month for UK calls only or 10 GBP for UK/US calls.Phone service in the US generally runs from $30-$40 /month. The other option maybe to get togglemobile before you leave the UK.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 2:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Make sure your pension is somewhere you're happy to leave it for 20 years, as you won't be able to move it to a different provider once you've left. We've got one of hubby's pensions stuck in a stupid zombie firm with high fees and no online access to monitor the investments or make changes. It's very infuriating.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by UK2toUSA View Post
Hi All ,


-I will be moving to New Jersey State – so UK driving license can be changed /transferred to USA or I have to apply for new one? Any link or process for it.


V

State of New Jersey - Motor Vehicle Commission
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
Make sure your pension is somewhere you're happy to leave it for 20 years, as you won't be able to move it to a different provider once you've left. We've got one of hubby's pensions stuck in a stupid zombie firm with high fees and no online access to monitor the investments or make changes. It's very infuriating.
I have just moved my UK pension. I found someone in the UK that could manage that for me as a US resident. But it took some work.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I have just moved my UK pension. I found someone in the UK that could manage that for me as a US resident. But it took some work.
How interesting - mind if I ask which firm was willing to do that (PM if you prefer)? We've hit a complete blank on getting anyone to take it on.

I suppose valuation might be an issue too. Hubby's annoying zombie unmovable-to-date pension is only a pot of 20k GBP, so might be too small to be worth bothering with.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I would keep my bank accounts open, maybe check with the one you have to see if they will be OK with you having a US address.
You may want to bring your medical records, entirely optional.
Maybe find a financial advisor in the UK you can work with if you have to make changes to your pension.
If you want to keep a UK phone number, setup a vonage account before you leave, then bring the adapter with you. Cost is 5 GBP a month for UK calls only or 10 GBP for UK/US calls.Phone service in the US generally runs from $30-$40 /month. The other option maybe to get togglemobile before you leave the UK.
Celebrate your last bacon butty with brown sauce!!!
Bacon butty and brown sauce haha I did bring 2 x large bottles of HP brown and Fruity on my recent trip home.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Tell your local GP surgery that you're moving and get copies of your medical records, especially vaccinations. Your son will need evidence of vaccinations to be enrolled in schools, daycares, summer camps etc. It's likely he'll need to catch up with some vaccinations that they do in the US but not the UK (eg Hepatitis) but the important ones are MMR, DTP. If he's had chickenpox get his doctor to write a letter saying as such. Otherwise the school might want him to have a varicella vaccination or a blood titre to prove he's had the disease.

We sold our house ASAP to avoid capital gains tax so I can't help there.

Tell HMRC you're moving so you no longer have to pay tax on any UK interest.

If you receive tax credits or child benefit, tell HMRC to stop them. IME it'll take several months for them to catch up, then you'll get a demand for repayment.

Keep at least one UK bank account - they're handy.

We kept out life insurance that we'd bought in the UK as it was a better deal than anything we could find here. I stick enough money in the UK bank account to cover the monthly premiums.

Keep your UK driving license, and apply for a New Jersey one when you get there. You can keep both but your UK license will become somewhat redundant. People in the UK will struggle to temporarily put you on the insurance for their cars once you no longer live in the UK. Get used to the idea of renting cars when you visit the UK. There are some really good deals.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by kins View Post
We kept out life insurance that we'd bought in the UK as it was a better deal than anything we could find here. I stick enough money in the UK bank account to cover the monthly premiums.
I know some UK life insurance policies only cover you while resident in the UK. I guess it covered them against people moving to South Africa where life expectancy is not quite the same. So I would double check if your policy has that clause built in. Maybe some older policies did not specify UK resident.
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I know some UK life insurance policies only cover you while resident in the UK. I guess it covered them against people moving to South Africa where life expectancy is not quite the same. So I would double check if your policy has that clause built in. Maybe some older policies did not specify UK resident.
I checked it extremely carefully and I have a letter from the insurance company confirming we are covered. I worked for a life insurance company till recently :-)
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Old Jan 27th 2016, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

[QUOTE=Pulaski;11850008]Unless you plan to return to the UK you are putting yourself in the position of a potentially huge capital gains tax bill if you don't sell it before cgt kicks in, which I think is now just 18 months after you move out. It might be a tough decision to make, but the tax bill could easily be tens of thousands of dollars!

Why do you think it's now just 18months for the CGT? Interested as we sold our UK house in November, which was about 22 months after we landed here. My CPA hasn't flagged it.
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Old Jan 28th 2016, 12:00 am
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Marc_ely View Post
Unless you plan to return to the UK you are putting yourself in the position of a potentially huge capital gains tax bill if you don't sell it before cgt kicks in, which I think is now just 18 months after you move out. It might be a tough decision to make, but the tax bill could easily be tens of thousands of dollars!

Why do you think it's now just 18months for the CGT? Interested as we sold our UK house in November, which was about 22 months after we landed here. My CPA hasn't flagged it.
Because the new HMR&C rules effective April 2015, specify 18 months. Previously if you were outside the UK there was no CGT.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jan 28th 2016 at 12:42 am.
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Old Jan 28th 2016, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by kins View Post
I checked it extremely carefully and I have a letter from the insurance company confirming we are covered. I worked for a life insurance company till recently :-)
We have historical UK-based life insurance too. They know we're in the US - they also have a pension of mine, and have both policies logged under my US address - and it's not a problem; nor was it when we previously lived in Switzerland. They confirmed when we first moved out of the UK that they're happy to continue life cover to people living in largely equivalent first world countries.
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Old Jan 28th 2016, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Moving from UK to USA

Originally Posted by nick.simpson19 View Post
Bacon butty and brown sauce haha I did bring 2 x large bottles of HP brown and Fruity on my recent trip home.
I find the half mile trip to my local Publix quite an inconvenience whenever I need to restock the HP brown

I also found no way of shifting two small pensions, if the annual charges don't kill them totally, the lump sums will hardly be worth drawing on as HMRC has resorted to extra taxing of lump sums.
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