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Offered a move to Connecticut

Offered a move to Connecticut

Old Jan 31st 2010, 1:59 pm
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Question Offered a move to Connecticut

Hello everyone.

I’ve been offered a move to our US office in Connecticut as part of the transition of an account I work on. I’m a 28yr old single guy. It seems like the sort of opportunity that wouldn’t come around very often and I am in the perfect position to go for it. However, I have a ton of questions about the whole thing, so as well as searching around the net and forums such as this for relevant posts, I thought I’d line them all up here so that anyone can answer particular bits they may know about. (I'm posting on a few of these forums, so you may have read the below somewhere already!)

Here they are, although I may think of lots more:

I *think* I would get an L1 visa. (I can check when at work next week) This would definitely be arranged by the company on my behalf and free unless I leave within 2 years. Just as a ref, what would this cost i.e. what would I have to pay should I leave?

My current salary in the UK is £35k. I’ve been offered $67k / £41k upon relocation. I may still negotiate this up a little. Considering I’m moving from London to CT, what sort of relative amounts are these? What sort of tax etc would I expect to pay – is it any different for expats on a visa than US citizens?

Where to live? I’d be working in the Norwalk area. I’m guessing living in NYC is not the best idea as travel would be a nightmare (when I’ve visited our office, it’s a $15 cab to/from the nearest train station, so I couldn’t just get the train everyday). Norwalk itself doesn’t look great. I’d want a certain amount of ‘life’ to the area. From what I’ve seen, Stamford or Fairfield look like the best. At the moment, I would probably think Stamford, maybe it looks a bit younger and lively and also a bit closer to NYC should I want to go at weekends etc. What do you all think?

Getting a place. Rent my own flat or get a flatshare? Own place: I would not be moving much stuff and have always rented furnished, so don’t have the possessions to just move over to unfurnished. It seems that most places are rented unfurnished, but are there options for many furnished flats? It would be a pretty big outlay to fully kit out a place. Flatshare: probably better chance for furnished? Also cheaper and probably gives a quick head-start to knowing people in the area. But I might like my own place, well, just because!

Cost of renting. I can see the rents of rooms and flats, but what sort of extras would get put on top? Say, an agency puts a flat up for $1200 pm. Roughly what extra things would go on that and how much might they cost? Obviously this is an estimate, but $200pm or $1kpm ??

Contracts/ References. I have been subletting for the past 15 mths so can’t really get a proper landlord reference (but I could kind of fix one). I guess my credit rating in the US would be non-existent, but can I transfer some details over from the UK to show I am not in debt, pay my bills on time etc?

Cars. I’d need to get a car! So, in the UK, on top of buying a car and the general upkeep involved, legally you need to pay Insurance, Tax and have an MOT. What are the relative legal requirements in the US and what sort of ballpark would they be?? Also, would I need to do anything to change my UK driving licence?

Moving stuff over. As I said, I don’t have much in terms of furniture and I’d just sell electricals and buy in the US. But if, say I wanted to ship a few boxes of clothes/ books etc. what sort of time/ price would this be?

Ok, I think that’s everything I can think of right now! Any help greatly appreciated for any of these topics, and other advice as you see fit is very welcome. Thanks for reading this very long post!

Ped
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

congratulations...this sounds like a great opportunity for you.
There is a ton of info on this sight regarding all the topics you've mentioned, so doing a search would be really helpful to you right now.
You can also take a look at www.city-data.com for info about your specific
city/area where you want to live.

As for moving costs...usually you can negotiate that into your package with your company...again, there's many threads on what to expect/ask for from a company package...good luck!
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by Ped moving to CT View Post
Hello everyone.

I’ve been offered a move to our US office in Connecticut as part of the transition of an account I work on. I’m a 28yr old single guy. It seems like the sort of opportunity that wouldn’t come around very often and I am in the perfect position to go for it. However, I have a ton of questions about the whole thing, so as well as searching around the net and forums such as this for relevant posts, I thought I’d line them all up here so that anyone can answer particular bits they may know about. (I'm posting on a few of these forums, so you may have read the below somewhere already!)

Here they are, although I may think of lots more:

I *think* I would get an L1 visa. (I can check when at work next week) This would definitely be arranged by the company on my behalf and free unless I leave within 2 years. Just as a ref, what would this cost i.e. what would I have to pay should I leave?

My current salary in the UK is £35k. I’ve been offered $67k / £41k upon relocation. I may still negotiate this up a little. Considering I’m moving from London to CT, what sort of relative amounts are these? What sort of tax etc would I expect to pay – is it any different for expats on a visa than US citizens?

Where to live? I’d be working in the Norwalk area. I’m guessing living in NYC is not the best idea as travel would be a nightmare (when I’ve visited our office, it’s a $15 cab to/from the nearest train station, so I couldn’t just get the train everyday). Norwalk itself doesn’t look great. I’d want a certain amount of ‘life’ to the area. From what I’ve seen, Stamford or Fairfield look like the best. At the moment, I would probably think Stamford, maybe it looks a bit younger and lively and also a bit closer to NYC should I want to go at weekends etc. What do you all think?

Getting a place. Rent my own flat or get a flatshare? Own place: I would not be moving much stuff and have always rented furnished, so don’t have the possessions to just move over to unfurnished. It seems that most places are rented unfurnished, but are there options for many furnished flats? It would be a pretty big outlay to fully kit out a place. Flatshare: probably better chance for furnished? Also cheaper and probably gives a quick head-start to knowing people in the area. But I might like my own place, well, just because!

Cost of renting. I can see the rents of rooms and flats, but what sort of extras would get put on top? Say, an agency puts a flat up for $1200 pm. Roughly what extra things would go on that and how much might they cost? Obviously this is an estimate, but $200pm or $1kpm ??

Contracts/ References. I have been subletting for the past 15 mths so can’t really get a proper landlord reference (but I could kind of fix one). I guess my credit rating in the US would be non-existent, but can I transfer some details over from the UK to show I am not in debt, pay my bills on time etc?

Cars. I’d need to get a car! So, in the UK, on top of buying a car and the general upkeep involved, legally you need to pay Insurance, Tax and have an MOT. What are the relative legal requirements in the US and what sort of ballpark would they be?? Also, would I need to do anything to change my UK driving licence?

Moving stuff over. As I said, I don’t have much in terms of furniture and I’d just sell electricals and buy in the US. But if, say I wanted to ship a few boxes of clothes/ books etc. what sort of time/ price would this be?

Ok, I think that’s everything I can think of right now! Any help greatly appreciated for any of these topics, and other advice as you see fit is very welcome. Thanks for reading this very long post!

Ped
Good luck. I live in MA and work in CT, albeit the opposite end from where you'd be headed.

You really do need to spend more time using the search function though. You should be able to piece together a fair amount of what you're asking. It's unreasonable to expect people to keep regurgitating the same info every time someone else comes along.

How far away would Greenwich be? That's quite up-market and has a small but very pleasant town centre but probably a bit pricey. A lot of towns along the I-95 corridor are absolute shit-holes.
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

There is a lot of information here and it is fantastic! Take time and search through. All you questions will be answered. And if you're still not sure, just ask again.

My family is just about to relo to Houston. My husband is the L1A.

We had the very same questions as you.

Re the idea of the move itself, you are young and single. We can't tell you what to do but, as the Texasdave said quite rightly, you are a long time dead!!

I wouldn't want to get to 50 and regret not taking a chance.

That's my philosophy but it might not be yours.

You have a fantasitc oportunity. Enjoy!
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by Ped moving to CT View Post
Hello everyone.

I’ve been offered a move to our US office in Connecticut as part of the transition of an account I work on. I’m a 28yr old single guy. It seems like the sort of opportunity that wouldn’t come around very often and I am in the perfect position to go for it. However, I have a ton of questions about the whole thing, so as well as searching around the net and forums such as this for relevant posts, I thought I’d line them all up here so that anyone can answer particular bits they may know about. (I'm posting on a few of these forums, so you may have read the below somewhere already!)

Here they are, although I may think of lots more:

I *think* I would get an L1 visa. (I can check when at work next week) This would definitely be arranged by the company on my behalf and free unless I leave within 2 years. Just as a ref, what would this cost i.e. what would I have to pay should I leave?
What's the plan to get a green card? Do you know if you will be eligible for that?

You should think about what they will ask you to repay if you leave, but it shouldn't include L1 costs because if you leave the job, you will have to leave the USA and this can be very expensive.

Having to pay back something if you get a green card and then leave within a period of time is not unreasonable. But paying back full relocation cost is also quite significant.
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by Ped moving to CT View Post
My current salary in the UK is £35k. I’ve been offered $67k / £41k upon relocation. I may still negotiate this up a little. Considering I’m moving from London to CT, what sort of relative amounts are these?
I'd say that salary is a little low for the area you'd be moving to.

Salaries tend to be more here, though I don't know how they would manage your vacation time, which tends to be lower here.

I was briefly in the running for a job in White Plains, NY. Property is expensive over that way.
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post

How far away would Greenwich be? That's quite up-market and has a small but very pleasant town centre but probably a bit pricey. A lot of towns along the I-95 corridor are absolute shit-holes.
He is quite a way from Greenwich and the commute by car and/or train would kill him. Also he does not earn enough to rent a place in Greenwich. Stamford is a bit more doable but still a nice 45 to 60 minute commute to Norwalk. Absolutely no way on earth to live in NYC and commute to Norwalk on a daily basis. If he is going just for the nightlife and sow his wild oats then Norwalk and it's not close proximity to NYC is not the place for him to be. If he is to have a nightlife with heavy drinking that is the norm that I've seen from the expats here, then he certainly can't drive back to Norwalk after a night out and trains stop running at 1 p.m.

Fairfield is affordable in certain areas but not sure of the nightlife in any of those towns that make up Fairfield County.

Your salary is in line with the market for the area you are being moved to. Don't let others tell you differently. What you want to negotiate for is paid time off. You will only be getting 2 weeks vacation or if lucky 3 weeks and the standard federal/state holidays. You want also to negotiate moving expenses and hotel rental while you look for an apartment.
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Your salary is in line with the market for the area you are being moved to. Don't let others tell you differently.
I'm not so sure.

If he's on 35,000 pounds, he's above the average household income in the UK, which is about 32,000 pounds last time I looked.

Median household income in Norwalk is about $80K. So on $67K, he'll be comfortably below the average household income.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Norwalk-Connecticut.html

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying $67K is a bad income. But it's a bit low if you want to do an apples to apples comparison of his salary (and presumably, the position) he has now.

That's what I based my statement on.
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by hobbes79 View Post
I'm not so sure.

If he's on 35,000 pounds, he's above the average household income in the UK, which is about 32,000 pounds last time I looked.

Median household income in Norwalk is about $80K. So on $67K, he'll be comfortably below the average household income.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Norwalk-Connecticut.html

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying $67K is a bad income. But it's a bit low if you want to do an apples to apples comparison of his salary (and presumably, the position) he has now.

That's what I based my statement on.
Shouldn't you compare the London median/average if you're going to single out the Conn median?
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Shouldn't you compare the London median/average if you're going to single out the Conn median?
Oh, missed he worked in London.

If I use this:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=285

Website says average weekly pay in London is 627 pounds (4th paragraph). 52 * 627 is 32,604 pounds.

If he's on 35K pounds, he's above the median currently.

If he takes a job on $67K, he'll be below the median for where he's moving to.

Original conclusion still stands
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by hobbes79 View Post
Oh, missed he worked in London.

If I use this:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=285

Website says average weekly pay in London is 627 pounds (4th paragraph). 52 * 627 is 32,604 pounds.

If he's on 35K pounds, he's above the median currently.

If he takes a job on $67K, he'll be below the median for where he's moving to.

Original conclusion still stands
Good.. just as long as the comparisons are correct.
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Since we don't know what his profession is then we can't translate the rate of pay to the mediam rate of pay for his profession. He is only 28 and doesn't have much work history so who knows. He can live quite well for a single person on $67,000 before expenses and taxes eats a hole in it.

BTW who is providing your healthcare?

Originally Posted by hobbes79 View Post
I'm not so sure.

If he's on 35,000 pounds, he's above the average household income in the UK, which is about 32,000 pounds last time I looked.

Median household income in Norwalk is about $80K. So on $67K, he'll be comfortably below the average household income.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Norwalk-Connecticut.html

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying $67K is a bad income. But it's a bit low if you want to do an apples to apples comparison of his salary (and presumably, the position) he has now.

That's what I based my statement on.
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Old Jan 31st 2010, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Since we don't know what his profession is then we can't translate the rate of pay to the mediam rate of pay for his profession. He is only 28 and doesn't have much work history so who knows. He can live quite well for a single person on $67,000 before expenses and taxes eats a hole in it.

BTW who is providing your healthcare?
Not sure profession is relevant for a simple apples to apples comparison.

He's going to go from having an income that's in excess of around 55% of the people in his area (assuming 55th percentile, approx) to having an income that's in excess of about 40% of people he bumps into in his local area.

He may well be perfectly comfortable with that, but whether he's a bin man or a business man, them's the facts.
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Old Feb 1st 2010, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the replies so far. I have already been using the search function and found out about driving licenses and the area of CT I would move to.

A few points to add:

Visa would be an L1B from what I can see in the documents.
I'd get up to $5k relocation, to be spent on hotel, flight, shipping etc.
I would get basic medical insurance. What does the "basic" mean...?


Also, very interesting points on the salary comparison - thanks a lot!

I guess what I'm trying to work out now is a better indication of cost of living in terms of rent + utilities + 'other bills' + car insurance + anything else crucial

Thanks again for all your help!
Ped
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Old Feb 1st 2010, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Offered a move to Connecticut

Originally Posted by Ped moving to CT View Post
I would get basic medical insurance. What does the "basic" mean...?
Without knowing which company is providing the insurance, it's hard to say... plans vary widely. You need to know that a single hospitalization could easily bankrupt you if you have no insurance... so if you have basic insurance, you might only have to pay the first $10,000 yourself.

Ian
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