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Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Old Sep 28th 2014, 8:27 am
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Question Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

My husband has opportunity of job with his existing company in the US and can be based in either Phoenix or Miami. No idea how to choose! Guess there are benefits and disadvantages in both but such a huge decision. Would be really grateful for input from anyone who has moved to either or who can offer any advice on where to go for further research. We have one son aged 12 who is currently in private education system so would be looking for similar in a new location, but whilst googling private schools obv brings up a list, lots seem to be catholic (which we are not) or very religious based? Is this the reality? We are not great church goers in our house unfortunately . A good school is one of our top priorities and so could also dictate where we would choose to relocate. All help and input gratefully received!
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Many private schools in the US have a church/ religious connection, but that is true in the UK too. There are relatively more private schools in the US, but many are small, and many don't offer high school education (age 14-18).
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Many private schools in the US have a church/ religious connection, but that is true in the UK too. There are relatively more private schools in the US, but many are small, and many don't offer high school education (age 14-18).
Like many things here it depends where you live. Where we lived there were two Catholic high schools...one for girls the other boys. The rest of the private schools were not religious. True many were small compared to state schools. There were also plenty of high schools to choose from.

The difference we found between UK vs US private schools was the fees and other costs. For example the uniform could not be bought from a store...a rep from the uniform company came to measure the children. As you can imagine the uniform cost an arm and a leg. A healthy donation was expected every year...in terms of 4 or more digits. Donations for annual fund raisers...in the UK parents donated a bottle of wine or sherry, a box of chocolates etc...in the US parents donated holidays in the Caribbean.
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Yes this is true. Thanks for your response
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Oh my goodness!
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

I live in Phoenix. I love Arizona. I would never live anywhere in Florida, but only because of the humidity. I cannot deal with humidity.

Don't have kids so can't comment on schools.

Rene
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Originally Posted by Craftycow View Post
Oh my goodness!
Re school fees, bear in mind that schools with lower fees may have an obligatory "volunteer time" component. A colleague has to spend a couple of hours every week doing admin work in the school office, and her child's father, her ex-husband also has to do weekly volunteering, I think he does electrical/ maintenance work. So when it comes to school fees, all may not be what it seems!

On the matter of Miami v Phoenix: how do you like your heat? With or without humidity?
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Wow! I did not realise that that happened! I also hate humidity and so think we are leaning more towards Phoenix
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Your tolerance for heat and humidity should play a significant part in the decision. Florida has both (and, depending on location, alligators and tourists). Phoenix only has the heat, but it has more of it.
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
Your tolerance for heat and humidity should play a significant part in the decision. Florida has both (and, depending on location, alligators and tourists). Phoenix only has the heat, but it has more of it.
Understood. What about cost of living etc? Is one better than the other for that?
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

We're in Phoenix too, and yes, the humidity makes an enormous difference to the bearability of the heat.

Another plus for Phoenix is no bugs! We don't need mesh cages to sit outside.

We moved here with kids of 7 and 11; 12 is a good age, as he'd be able to settle into the system before high school starts at 14. If you can't find a private school you like, it's easy to get a good public school; unlike the UK, in AZ if you move into the boundary area of a certain school, you are given a place by right. (The reverse applies if you live out if boundary; your school place is offered year to year, and you might get bumped if the school fills up with more local kids.)

One other aspect to consider might be flight times back to the UK, if you're planning to go back often (for work, or perhaps elderly parents, etc). Phoenix does have a direct BA 10.5 hour flight to Heathrow, but it's expensive - we usually split the trip and layover for a few hours on the east coast somewhere, which saves a ton of money for the four of us but adds 6-8 hours to the travel time. It's fine once a year or so, but would be tedious otherwise.
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Originally Posted by Craftycow View Post
Understood. What about cost of living etc? Is one better than the other for that?
Numbeo says you'd be about 30% better off in Phoenix. Housing here is stupid cheap.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...y2=Miami%2C+FL

Last edited by kodokan; Sep 28th 2014 at 4:52 pm.
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Yes, had considered the journey time back to the UK. Not so much of a factor for us but would probably have more family coming over to visit us ...
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Although you may possibly be getting reimbursed from your company for private schooling, don't rule out public schools. In California, funding for public schools on an average are 70% paid for by state and federal funds and 30% from property taxes but richer school districts have very little state and federal funding and almost all of the costs are paid through property taxes.

Since some school districts are very rich, they may spend over 2x per student as the average school even though they get very little state and federal financial help since their base from property taxes is very high.

Therefore in a rich school district, children will often get a better education than from private schools which are less regulated (sometimes unregulated) with lower standards for teachers and more of the money going to pay for high executive salaries and profits.
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Old Sep 28th 2014, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Phoenix or Miami?? Gulp

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
Number says you'd be about 30% better off in Phoenix. Housing here is stupid cheap.

Cost of Living Comparison Between Phoenix, AZ, United States And Miami, FL, United States
What a useful site - thanks so much
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