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A question about living costs in California

A question about living costs in California

Old Mar 8th 2014, 12:58 pm
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Default A question about living costs in California

Hi There

This is my first visit to one of these forums and I really need some help and advice.

After 10 years of working hard and sacrificing, my husband and I are almost ready to begin our EB5 visa process.

I am now starting to get a little cold feet and really need some honest opinions. We should have anywhere between $450,000 to $500,000 dollars left over after paying the Eb5 investment and have some friends near San Francisco that are willing to put us up and help with contacts for jobs etc. however we have seen the cost of living up there and it is eye watering and wonder if this would be enough money to live on until we found jobs, (my husband is a Dealer Principal/General Manager of a Mercedes Dealer and I am a senior Administration Manager both with in excess of 20 years experience).

I basically need to know what are the chances of finding work (that will cover all our living expenses - we would NOT be living in San Francisco but outside the city) and whether this is enough money. Our preferred location is in Palm Springs in southern California, but we won't have the support network down there but we know the cost of living is much cheaper and have been visiting there 3 times a year for 15 years. We would also like to know what the chances of finding work in the Coachella Valley are as this is where we would prefer to settle!

I am only having cold feet as we own our house outright in the UK and have no other living expenses in the UK and having to move to the US and what we have have heard about medical expenses and car insurance being crippling financial burdens worries me a bit!

Many Thanks for all HONEST opinions


Kind Regards


"A little bit scared"
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

You've obviously done very well in life, and visit the US regularly. I am not sure why someone in your situation who has done well, but is not a multimillionaire (net worth say, $10million+) would put their money and future on the line just to live in America. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, and doubt I will ever go back to live in the UK, but it wasn't a huge financial gamble for me, and we only moved when I had secured an equivalent job.

In your situation I would stay put in the UK and continue to enjoy visiting the US regularly, because there is no guarantee that you will find jobs in the short, or even medium term, that will support the lifestyle that you can afford in the UK. The problem for you will be that most US employers will not place as much value on your experience as they would on a US citizen with the same length of experience.
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

The USA is ok if you've got ample financial resources but it's really just a different shade of green compared to Europe. Not better.

(In my opinion America is nice to visit, and ok to live in, but Europe is far more richer culturally.)

However the USA is a terrible place if you are poor and I would certainly not risk my financial assets just to live here.
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Originally Posted by hotscot View Post
However the USA is a terrible place if you are poor and I would certainly not risk my financial assets just to live here.
Definitly. The amount of people that work 2 full time jobs just to survive is unreal. Makes me laugh whenever the President brags about hard working Americans. The majority aren't hard working by choice you plank!!!! It's a real country of have and have nots, and it appears you can go from a have to a have not rather quickly.
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

I'm another who wonders why you'd put yourself through this. We came because this was where work wanted my hubby. Staying in the UK at the time held few prospects for us. I can't imagine I would have risked our life savings and a comfortable life for a risky uncertainty in the sun.
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

On the information presented - madness.
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

I must agree with all the other forum members' responses.

I think you must be in your 40's (based on 20 years of Admin experience).

Unless your investment is a sure thing are you prepared to maybe lose whatever money you put into it?

The remaining 450 to 500K is not going to purchase you a property in the San Francisco area; so mortgage costs.

Coachella yes maybe but then wages are lower in the valley.

If you both want to stay in your current career fields have you done any research into, say, MB dealerships in the SF and Palm Springs area?

Do you have degrees? The US is degree crazy, even the most basic admin job in any decent company seems to ask for at least an undergraduate degree. Crazy, but there it is.

What are the chances of finding work - how long is a ball of string?

Some costs:

Apartment rental - 2K for a decent place
Health costs - 1K per month
Car insurance - 100 per month for first year based on no credit history

Personally, I would not risk it.
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post

Some costs:

Apartment rental - 2K for a decent place
Health costs - 1K per month
Car insurance - 100 per month for first year based on no credit history

Personally, I would not risk it.

You can get a decent place to live in much of So. California for less then 2,000 a month. My sister in San Diego rents a decent house in a decent area for only 1,700 a month.

In Palm Springs it's even easier to find a nice place for under 2,000, my mom lives there in a nearly brand new house for under 2,000 a month.

Granted upscale wealthy area's will cost more, but you can get nice places, in nice area's for under 2,000 a month.
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Old Mar 8th 2014, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Originally Posted by markonline1 View Post
Definitly. The amount of people that work 2 full time jobs just to survive is unreal. Makes me laugh whenever the President brags about hard working Americans. The majority aren't hard working by choice you plank!!!! It's a real country of have and have nots, and it appears you can go from a have to a have not rather quickly.
It's a US/Canadian issue (maybe Mexico as well, unsure) wages are just not keeping up with cost of living for basics, and one job just won't do for more and more people.

Where I live in Canada, housing for example has risen nearly 200% since 2002, but in the same time frame, wages in the area have only increased an average of 12%, so add in food, gas, health insurance premiums (despite what some think, its not free in Canada, and some provinces charge a monthly premium for it out of pocket) food is pricey now, a gallon of milk depending where you are ranges from 4-8 dollars, and the list goes on.

If I was single and on my own, I'd certainly need 2 jobs, no possible way to survive on 12/hr here.
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Old Mar 9th 2014, 1:02 am
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Frankly, you are bonkers.

Stay in the UK and enjoy your savings and lifestyle - there is nothing even close in the US no matter how hard you look.
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Old Mar 9th 2014, 5:38 am
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

In your situation I would stay put in the UK and continue to enjoy visiting the US regularly, because there is no guarantee that you will find jobs in the short, or even medium term, that will support the lifestyle that you can afford in the UK. The problem for you will be that most US employers will not place as much value on your experience as they would on a US citizen with the same length of experience.
There's also a good chance the financial investment won't be returned.

On the job front, might find one quick, might not, so best have financials for a year without decent jobs to be safe, especially for insurance and all other costs which add up.
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Old Mar 9th 2014, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Aside from everything else above, you do realise, don't you, that in a run-of-the-mill sales or admin job you'll be lucky to get more than 10 holiday days a year, and five bank holidays, and quite possibly only the bank holidays in the first year?
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Old Mar 10th 2014, 3:17 am
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Well since they've never came back after the initial post, I'd bet they're more than a bit scared now...
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Old Mar 10th 2014, 3:21 am
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Originally Posted by AmerLisa View Post
Well since they've never came back after the initial post, I'd bet they're more than a bit scared now...
We gave her something to think about for sure.
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Old Mar 17th 2014, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: A question about living costs in California

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You've obviously done very well in life, and visit the US regularly. I am not sure why someone in your situation who has done well, but is not a multimillionaire (net worth say, $10million+) would put their money and future on the line just to live in America. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, and doubt I will ever go back to live in the UK, but it wasn't a huge financial gamble for me, and we only moved when I had secured an equivalent job.

In your situation I would stay put in the UK and continue to enjoy visiting the US regularly, because there is no guarantee that you will find jobs in the short, or even medium term, that will support the lifestyle that you can afford in the UK. The problem for you will be that most US employers will not place as much value on your experience as they would on a US citizen with the same length of experience.
Out of interest, what was your route for 'securing an equivalent job'? sponsored employment which you found whilst living in the UK?
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