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Now or in 2 years?

Now or in 2 years?

Old Jun 5th 2023, 4:07 pm
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Default Now or in 2 years?

I'm a US-UK dual with two kids aged 14 (Y9) and 10 (Y5) also dual citizens. Home is the US and I've been in the UK for > 20 years.
  • Kids were born and raised in the UK.
  • I'm ready to go home. Not homesickness, just done with the UK and want to go home. Kids are on board. They want to experience American culture and High School - spirit week, prom, halloween, community etc first hand. I want that for them too. And me too. I miss not sharing my childhood experiences with them.
  • We all hold American passports, so visas are not an issue.
  • I don't currently have employment in the US though but do have networks and obvs don't need to be sponsored. My Husband is British but currently in China would be supporting us until I got work. It would be tight but ok-ish.
  • We'd be going to Fairfield County, CT which has an excellent school district. We visited over the easter break and were impressed with the high schools.
So. The question is:
1. Do we go now, eg move August, so 14YO could start as a freshman in High School in September 2023?
I see the appeal of this as it would be a fresh slate at the right juncture for her and the sooner we get settled the better. However, my lack of a job and the current Cost of living in the States freaks me out. I've moved a lot and not worried about the timing of an international move, though I was reminded by my 10YO that we needed to get going. Also, not gonna lie - am nervous about making the leap back after so long gone.
OR
2. Wait for 14YO to finish GCSEs and go when she is 16?
I am inclined for this route as it will allow me to find a job / get my business up and running with some cash generated but worried how this will impact on her high school career. Husband also inclined for this route as 'she's been on the GCSE path since she was in reception' but I believe time invested is a fallacy of not doing something. I am less worried about my 10Y as younger, she would slot in more easily in the US system.

What do I need to know about moving my kid at this age?
Is it easy to transfer those GCSEs?
How do High Schools account for GCSE grades as part of her overall GPA?
Would having done her GCSEs put her at an advantage over the rest of the HS kids?
What about SATs? she won't have had any prep here - how can she gear up for them? She would refuse extra tuition for them while doing her GCSEs and I can't blame her - she has enough on her plate & stress already.
Who has moved when their kids were these ages? What would you do differently and the same again?
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Old Jun 5th 2023, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

I am American also and know nothing of British school system. If the kids are eager to go I would go now. High school leads to lifelong friends and starting on day one is best. The job issue will be there now or later. Connecticut as you know is one of the most expensive states to live in. If you have family there it will be a big help.
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Old Jun 5th 2023, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by JLA2023
I'm a US-UK dual with two kids aged 14 (Y9) and 10 (Y5) also dual citizens. Home is the US and I've been in the UK for > 20 years.
  • Kids were born and raised in the UK.
  • I'm ready to go home. Not homesickness, just done with the UK and want to go home. Kids are on board. They want to experience American culture and High School - spirit week, prom, halloween, community etc first hand. I want that for them too. And me too. I miss not sharing my childhood experiences with them.
  • We all hold American passports, so visas are not an issue.
  • I don't currently have employment in the US though but do have networks and obvs don't need to be sponsored. My Husband is British but currently in China would be supporting us until I got work. It would be tight but ok-ish.
  • We'd be going to Fairfield County, CT which has an excellent school district. We visited over the easter break and were impressed with the high schools.
So. The question is:
1. Do we go now, eg move August, so 14YO could start as a freshman in High School in September 2023?
I see the appeal of this as it would be a fresh slate at the right juncture for her and the sooner we get settled the better. However, my lack of a job and the current Cost of living in the States freaks me out. I've moved a lot and not worried about the timing of an international move, though I was reminded by my 10YO that we needed to get going. Also, not gonna lie - am nervous about making the leap back after so long gone.
OR
2. Wait for 14YO to finish GCSEs and go when she is 16?
I am inclined for this route as it will allow me to find a job / get my business up and running with some cash generated but worried how this will impact on her high school career. Husband also inclined for this route as 'she's been on the GCSE path since she was in reception' but I believe time invested is a fallacy of not doing something. I am less worried about my 10Y as younger, she would slot in more easily in the US system.

What do I need to know about moving my kid at this age?
Is it easy to transfer those GCSEs?
How do High Schools account for GCSE grades as part of her overall GPA?
Would having done her GCSEs put her at an advantage over the rest of the HS kids?
What about SATs? she won't have had any prep here - how can she gear up for them? She would refuse extra tuition for them while doing her GCSEs and I can't blame her - she has enough on her plate & stress already.
Who has moved when their kids were these ages? What would you do differently and the same again?

Fairfield County CT is a big place and has multiple towns, each with its own school district and the quality varies both by town and specific house address…. That decides which of the town schools your children attend. e.g. we have 2 large high schools in town.

I live in Fairfield CT, which is also in Fairfield County CT… Kind of like New York NY…

Fairfield County runs from Greenwich CT to Bridgeport… and is on a commuter train line to NYC… in general the close to NYC the highway the property price and then linked to that higher property tax / rent…

Cost aside I love it here, easy access to NYC, “beach” (it’s Long Island Sound) is 15 min drive, closest ski mountain for kids 1h20. We get snow in winter (not much this last year) really hot summer and nice spring and fall. Good schools and lots of activities for the kids… but you will need $$$ for even an average house…


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Old Jun 5th 2023, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Out of interest, will your husband move with you to the US?
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Old Jun 5th 2023, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by destone
Out of interest, will your husband move with you to the US?
based on the below if husband is British and they have only lived in the UK, he can’t be a PR yet, so they would need to apply for an IV before he could move here anyway…

OP should probably make sure they are up to date on their US tax’s and FBAR etc before move
….
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Old Jun 5th 2023, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

I'd be concerned that until OP has found work, she and kids either won't have health insurance OR they are going to have to get ACA or individual policies.
She needs to budget for this.
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Old Jun 5th 2023, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl
I'd be concerned that until OP has found work, she and kids either won't have health insurance OR they are going to have to get ACA or individual policies.
She needs to budget for this.
Did that for a year, without ACA subsidy it’s about $2k a month for family and if you do an HDHP with an HSA it dropped to about $1,500 a month + plus the HSA of $7.3k, so either way budget for about $25k/PA + another $2-3k for dental.
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Old Jun 5th 2023, 9:07 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Go now, to get your older child into high-school for the complete four year program. Any delay will make things messy.

On an entirely unrelated point, if going now is an option, you don't know what could happen in the next two years. For example my wife (USC) and I decided to move from London to New York, and I put in my visa application (yes, the process was started by my wife) in March, and I started looking for job opportunities, and got in touch with some recruiters. By August, with my visa interview coming up soon, I was ready for interviews, and we flew to New York. The recruiter I'd been using set up five interviews morning and afternoon Monday, Tuesday, and the Wednesday morning. By Wednesday lunchtime I was shattered! 😵‍💫 So in the afternoon we went to the top of the World Trade Center. It was August 22, 2001. ... You can probably see where this is going?

On September 10th, 2001, I had my visa interview, and of course all went well, until the following morning, that is!

So a couple of weeks later, when my recruiter went back to work, as needless to say, nobody was recruiting at that time, she asked me if I was still coming. I had three open job offers, and took one of them and we went to New York.

With the chaos of the following years, the weak economy and the uncertainty caused by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then the economic meltdown of 2008-2010, which had really started a couple of years earlier, if we hadn't gone when I had those job offers, I don't know when we would have been able to go. We could have still be waiting today for the right time.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 5th 2023 at 9:12 pm.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 6:52 am
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by tht
Fairfield County CT is a big place and has multiple towns, each with its own school district and the quality varies both by town and specific house address…. That decides which of the town schools your children attend. e.g. we have 2 large high schools in town.

I live in Fairfield CT, which is also in Fairfield County CT… Kind of like New York NY…

Fairfield County runs from Greenwich CT to Bridgeport… and is on a commuter train line to NYC… in general the close to NYC the highway the property price and then linked to that higher property tax / rent…

Cost aside I love it here, easy access to NYC, “beach” (it’s Long Island Sound) is 15 min drive, closest ski mountain for kids 1h20. We get snow in winter (not much this last year) really hot summer and nice spring and fall. Good schools and lots of activities for the kids… but you will need $$$ for even an average house…
we have our sights set on Fairfield itself! I love the easy access to the beach, and the city.
I have a family friend there but no other connections, though everyone I’ve spoken to in Fairfield Moms FB group & in real life there have been so friendly.

The one thing I didn’t love was the lack of walk ability in neighbourhoods like Stratfield, which is where we would look to move. I loved the beach area but $$$ until I get some employment.

housing has gone insane though!

do you like it there? How often do you commute to the city?
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 6:54 am
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by tht
Did that for a year, without ACA subsidy it’s about $2k a month for family and if you do an HDHP with an HSA it dropped to about $1,500 a month + plus the HSA of $7.3k, so either way budget for about $25k/PA + another $2-3k for dental.
thanks for this. Good to have solid numbers to budget. Husband’s company will pick up the tab for marketplace insurance until I got a job. He is not coming out, he’s on a buy out with his company in China and will move once that is finished (someone else asked about this)
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 6:55 am
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by destone
Out of interest, will your husband move with you to the US?
not now. He’s on a buy out with his firm in China and would come after that happens.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Go now, to get your older child into high-school for the complete four year program. Any delay will make things messy.

On an entirely unrelated point, if going now is an option, you don't know what could happen in the next two years. For example my wife (USC) and I decided to move from London to New York, and I put in my visa application (yes, the process was started by my wife) in March, and I started looking for job opportunities, and got in touch with some recruiters. By August, with my visa interview coming up soon, I was ready for interviews, and we flew to New York. The recruiter I'd been using set up five interviews morning and afternoon Monday, Tuesday, and the Wednesday morning. By Wednesday lunchtime I was shattered! 😵‍💫 So in the afternoon we went to the top of the World Trade Center. It was August 22, 2001. ... You can probably see where this is going?

On September 10th, 2001, I had my visa interview, and of course all went well, until the following morning, that is!

So a couple of weeks later, when my recruiter went back to work, as needless to say, nobody was recruiting at that time, she asked me if I was still coming. I had three open job offers, and took one of them and we went to New York.

With the chaos of the following years, the weak economy and the uncertainty caused by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then the economic meltdown of 2008-2010, which had really started a couple of years earlier, if we hadn't gone when I had those job offers, I don't know when we would have been able to go. We could have still be waiting today for the right time.
wow. What a surreal experience to have been at the WTC the day before the bombings. You’re right about this perspective, better now than later as you don’t know what the future brings.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 7:00 am
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by tht
based on the below if husband is British and they have only lived in the UK, he can’t be a PR yet, so they would need to apply for an IV before he could move here anyway…

OP should probably make sure they are up to date on their US tax’s and FBAR etc before move
….
All up to date on taxes and FBARS 😃though still need to file 2022.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 7:10 am
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by tht
Did that for a year, without ACA subsidy it’s about $2k a month for family and if you do an HDHP with an HSA it dropped to about $1,500 a month + plus the HSA of $7.3k, so either way budget for about $25k/PA + another $2-3k for dental.
the irony is not lost on me here, the American asking the British for healthy insurance advice ….but I’ve not adulted in the US and need a 101 on health insurance.

can you please explain how I can get an HDHP with a HSA

i looked on the ACA website and need a US mobile and zip code to register. Do i this yet once there? Or can I enroll before?
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Now or in 2 years?

Originally Posted by JLA2023
the irony is not lost on me here, the American asking the British for healthy insurance advice ….but I’ve not adulted in the US and need a 101 on health insurance.

can you please explain how I can get an HDHP with a HSA

i looked on the ACA website and need a US mobile and zip code to register. Do i this yet once there? Or can I enroll before?
Originally Posted by JLA2023
we have our sights set on Fairfield itself! I love the easy access to the beach, and the city.
I have a family friend there but no other connections, though everyone I’ve spoken to in Fairfield Moms FB group & in real life there have been so friendly.

The one thing I didn’t love was the lack of walk ability in neighbourhoods like Stratfield, which is where we would look to move. I loved the beach area but $$$ until I get some employment.

housing has gone insane though!

do you like it there? How often do you commute to the city?
You likely need to be resident here to signup.


https://www.healthcare.gov Had a couple of providers in CT but the Westport pediatrician would not take all of them, Conneticare ended being the one that worked:

https://www.connecticare.com/about

I think I signed up there direct, we were not eligible for a subsidy, but if you are I think you get it via your tax return if you don’t get it upfront.

I used to commute daily for a few years, from Stratfield you are looking at 2h each way to mid town Manhattan, longer for downtown etc door to door.

RE is crazy here right now despite high interest rates… 2 houses listed near us and 1 was sold way above ask on the 1st open house, 1 did not even make it to the open house. There are not really many rentals in our area. They come up sometimes, but mainly smaller condos and then the multi family ones in other school districts..

You can probably get a US number with a Google Fi eSim before you get here, but the biggest issue you will have if you have not been here as an adult will be your credit rating… you should work on building that ASAP, both rentals and mortgages use that, as will car finance etc.
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