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Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Old Sep 12th 2007, 10:12 am
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Default Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

My wife has a job offer in Delaware (head-hunted). We would be travelling as O-1 & O-3 (already granted).

The ReLo package seems reasonably normal for a US Multinational company (Moving expenses,house sale, house buying, Temporary living etc.)

At the moment we have 2 sticking points:

a) The package only allows for 2 weeks car hire. Our Relocation Counsellor has told us it will take up to 4 weeks to obtain the SSN (and equivalent for me). We then have to obtain a Delaware driving licence and take the Delaware driving test before it would be possible to purchase cars.

We are asking for car hire (x2) for a period that will allow us to purchase cars.

b) Getting a figure for the Lump Sum element is proving difficult (well impossible really) and it is supposed to cover items such as temporary living, car hire etc.

We wish to have a "Settling In" allowance to cover the inevitable costs we will incur (especially as we will have to re-purchase all our electrical items). When we relocated to Italy this was 2 months salary.


These issues have been running for 6 months now.

We are not "20 somethings" and do not wish to give up everything we have worked for over 25 years. We do realise that the move will not be "free" and that we will need to make our own financial contribution to setting up a new life in the USA.

What do you think? Are we being unrealistic with our requests?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

There is a wiki post in the Hong Kong section on things to ask for:

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Before_You_Move

Might give you some ideas. Your requests do not seem unrealistic. Your company is probably just balking at the costs. You might counter with saying 'we'll rent a smaller car' or something. Getting some cash in addition to / instead of some shipping costs is understandable.
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

I think if it were me I'd have to have a think about which of those would be dealbreaker.

Would you refuse to move over 2 weeks of car hire? Probably not - if you were to see this as a dealbreaker, then I'd seriously question the motivation/desire to move at all.

Would you refuse to move over 2 months salary vs X (ie what are they offering now). If its their $0 vs your $30k, then maybe yes, that could potentially be a dealbreaker. If the desire to come to the US to live for a while is worth (say) 30k in terms of different experience, trying a different lifestyle, a different box ticked on the CV etc then maybe you'd be prepared to forego some or all of that 30k and accept the package as offered, or at least find some middle ground. If however you viewed the relo as a hardship posting that you weren't really interested in, then it would allow you to play hardball and walk away from it if you didn't get your needs met...

It may also be useful to know what the company policy on relos are - you mentioned its a multinational - if they are accustomed to a lot of international relos, they may have a set formula for the package which case the negotiating room may be quite limited. On the other hand if they do few relocations, and don't have a cast in stone policy, maybe there is a little more to play with . If the latter, the fact that they came after you (or rather your wife) has to add a little strength to your position...

Good luck!
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 3:47 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Are you sure you need a delaware license to buy a car? Most states don't have that requirement, they just make it hard or expensive to get insurance using a foreign license....and two weeks rental is pretty good going, though perhaps you could sort out a car before heading over? there's been a few threads on people doing that if you do a search.
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Thanks for the replies to date.

Here is some further info.

The company appears to have no great experience of foreign hires (although they claim to). The entire ReLo pack is aimed at inter-state moves and seems extremely rigid.

The Lump Sum for a foreign Hire is 9% of annual salary vs. 7% for a domestic hire. This doesn't seem to be realistic.

From this amount they would take the costs of a house hunting trip, the 2 weeks car hire offered and any temporary living expenses.

Doing the sums on this, the total amount would be used up (assuming 7 days temporary living and having to hire a car for an additional 4 weeks).

By the way, they have already said NO to anything we asked for.

I understand the comments on motivation and lifestyle etc., but we are not moving to the States for personal lifestyle reasons. It's a another job and career development.

We have already relocated to Italy from the UK, so this isn't new to us.

We already see conservative startup costs of c.$50k which we will have to manage ourselves.

And yes, walking away is a very definite possibility.

Please keep the comments coming. I think it will all come to a head on Friday!!!
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
Thanks for the replies to date.

Here is some further info.

The company appears to have no great experience of foreign hires (although they claim to). The entire ReLo pack is aimed at inter-state moves and seems extremely rigid.

The Lump Sum for a foreign Hire is 9% of annual salary vs. 7% for a domestic hire. This doesn't seem to be realistic.

From this amount they would take the costs of a house hunting trip, the 2 weeks car hire offered and any temporary living expenses.

Doing the sums on this, the total amount would be used up (assuming 7 days temporary living and having to hire a car for an additional 4 weeks).

By the way, they have already said NO to anything we asked for.

I understand the comments on motivation and lifestyle etc., but we are not moving to the States for personal lifestyle reasons. It's a another job and career development.

We have already relocated to Italy from the UK, so this isn't new to us.

We already see conservative startup costs of c.$50k which we will have to manage ourselves.

And yes, walking away is a very definite possibility.

Please keep the comments coming. I think it will all come to a head on Friday!!!
We are in PA and we organised the purchase of two cars before we came. We used International Auto Source (plenty of posts about them if you do a search) and our insurance is with the international side of AIG and it's very reasonable.Because we didn't start the car buying soon enough we were without our own cars for 5 weeks. But that was our fault. If we had got our act together they would have been ready for us when we arrived.
My OH didn't have his SS# at that time.

We bought our house before we moved and the closing was two days after we arrived so we only needed mimimal temp. accomodation.

We had a 40 ft container and so brought tons of stuff with us but we still had to buy new electrical things.
When you estimate $50k for start up are you including cars and house deposit?
If you are that won't be enough. If you're not that seems a lot of money. We have three children, two of them are teenagers and our start up costs were nowhere near that.
We had to buy a washing machine and dryer ,because they weren't left in the house, TV and DVD, vacuum, stereo, computer. Everything else was small stuff..hairdryer, lamps, coffee machine.
We bought a house that didn't need much doing to it and then it was our choice to do major stuff. Big kitchen refit with all new appliances but that was on the cards for our UK house anyway.

We were only supposed to get a 20ft container and we couldn't fit all our stuff in it so we needed that 40ft one. The company were awkward over that but it was our sticking point. We gave in over other things because we wanted to come here. (God knows why but there's hindsight for you).

Forgot to say.. we had a lump sum to fund flights, car hire, set up but of course it didn't cover all of that.
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

car hire?

relocation expenses?

What about bloody healthcare insurance...
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

My OH's US company paid a 15% lump sum for an international relo away from the states if that helps. It is considered a hardship posting though.
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
Thanks for the replies to date.

Here is some further info.

The company appears to have no great experience of foreign hires (although they claim to). The entire ReLo pack is aimed at inter-state moves and seems extremely rigid.

The Lump Sum for a foreign Hire is 9% of annual salary vs. 7% for a domestic hire. This doesn't seem to be realistic.

From this amount they would take the costs of a house hunting trip, the 2 weeks car hire offered and any temporary living expenses.

Doing the sums on this, the total amount would be used up (assuming 7 days temporary living and having to hire a car for an additional 4 weeks).

By the way, they have already said NO to anything we asked for.

I understand the comments on motivation and lifestyle etc., but we are not moving to the States for personal lifestyle reasons. It's a another job and career development.

We have already relocated to Italy from the UK, so this isn't new to us.

We already see conservative startup costs of c.$50k which we will have to manage ourselves.

And yes, walking away is a very definite possibility.

Please keep the comments coming. I think it will all come to a head on Friday!!!
I hadn't realised that the lumpsum was supposed to cover the other items - I thought it was in addition! Thats a bit tight! Out of interest, are you negotiating with the hiring manager still, or with HR? If the latter, and you're hitting a brick wall, it may be worth re-involving the hiring manager. And if you're negotiating with the hiring manager, maybe worth asking what its going to be like working for osmeone who is quibbling over 2 weeks car hire for an international relocation....

I think you've pretty much answered your own question though. The company are saying no to anything you ask for, you dont want to come for the sake of it, you do presumably want to come for career development - so is it worth the 50k investment that you see yourself making...? Only you can answer that....

BTW, where are you going to be? And what is included in the 50k startup costs....I know we got set up on considerably less than that when we came here, although we're down in Texas where some things are probably cheaper than say LA/SF
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Thanks for all the terrific replies. It would seem that our ReLo advisor is not quite right about the requirements to buy a car. That is good news. Still a bit worried about insurance costs if it has to be on the basis of a UK licence. US insurance rates are insane enough already from what I hear, taking into account the difficulty of getting your UK driving record taken into account.

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad View Post
I hadn't realised that the lumpsum was supposed to cover the other items - I thought it was in addition! That's a bit tight! Out of interest, are you negotiating with the hiring manager still, or with HR? If the latter, and you're hitting a brick wall, it may be worth re-involving the hiring manager. And if you're negotiating with the hiring manager, maybe worth asking what its going to be like working for someone who is quibbling over 2 weeks car hire for an international relocation....

I think you've pretty much answered your own question though. The company are saying no to anything you ask for, you don't want to come for the sake of it, you do presumably want to come for career development - so is it worth the 50k investment that you see yourself making...? Only you can answer that....

BTW, where are you going to be? And what is included in the 50k startup costs....I know we got set up on considerably less than that when we came here, although we're down in Texas where some things are probably cheaper than say LA/SF
All negotiations are with HR unfortunately, but all communications are copied to the hiring manager.

To answer other questions on the subject, the $50k would cover buying 2 cars and insurance, electricals, rental deposits etc plus a contingency to cover items forgotten and underpriced. I don't think it is unrealistic from car prices I have seen, but it certainly isn't terribly scientific either!

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
car hire?

relocation expenses?

What about bloody healthcare insurance...
Don't get me going.... I consider that part of the salary offer, not relocation.

Originally Posted by jumping doris View Post
We are in PA and we organised the purchase of two cars before we came. We used International Auto Source (plenty of posts about them if you do a search) and our insurance is with the international side of AIG and it's very reasonable.Because we didn't start the car buying soon enough we were without our own cars for 5 weeks. But that was our fault. If we had got our act together they would have been ready for us when we arrived.
My OH didn't have his SS# at that time.
Great post - thanks

If we buy two new cars, then that's definitely the $50k used up. We were seriously considering nearly new and waiting for the new turbo diesels to appear over the next couple of years. And yes, we still have our european attitudes to cars - so seeing that the only version of my VW Golf TDi is a 2.5L petrol is a bit of a shock - haven't seen anything under 2 litres yet.

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
We bought our house before we moved and the closing was two days after we arrived so we only needed mimimal temp. accomodation.

We had a 40 ft container and so brought tons of stuff with us but we still had to buy new electrical things.
When you estimate $50k for start up are you including cars and house deposit?
No, doesn't include money for, or towards the house purchase. Our plan was to rent for 6 months so that we can decide where we really want to live. It's difficult to do at a distance and we don't want to make a costly mistake.

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
If you are that won't be enough. If you're not that seems a lot of money. We have three children, two of them are teenagers and our start up costs were nowhere near that.
We had to buy a washing machine and dryer ,because they weren't left in the house, TV and DVD, vacuum, stereo, computer. Everything else was small stuff..hairdryer, lamps, coffee machine.
It is surprising how quickly it adds up - even at US prices. I do agree that it depends what is left in the house you buy.

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
We were only supposed to get a 20ft container and we couldn't fit all our stuff in it so we needed that 40ft one. The company were awkward over that but it was our sticking point. We gave in over other things because we wanted to come here. (God knows why but there's hindsight for you).

Forgot to say.. we had a lump sum to fund flights, car hire, set up but of course it didn't cover all of that.
I think it's a 40ft container, which will be more than adequate for us.

Thanks again to everyone - it's really helping. Waiting for six months and having to constantly chase for the details has sort of blunted the enthusiasm a bit. Believe it or not, we're still quite keen to move if we can establish some middle ground.
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Are you sure you need a delaware license to buy a car? Most states don't have that requirement, they just make it hard or expensive to get insurance using a foreign license....and two weeks rental is pretty good going, though perhaps you could sort out a car before heading over? there's been a few threads on people doing that if you do a search.
Didn't need one here. Car hire is not that expensive.

You'll be buying new stuff, but probably some stuff you have needs replacing anyway.

did you get cars bought Elvira? Wow if you did. edit sorry I misread Op's comments as yours.

Last edited by Sally; Sep 12th 2007 at 11:35 pm.
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Old Sep 12th 2007, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
Thanks for the replies to date.

Here is some further info.

The company appears to have no great experience of foreign hires (although they claim to). The entire ReLo pack is aimed at inter-state moves and seems extremely rigid.

The Lump Sum for a foreign Hire is 9% of annual salary vs. 7% for a domestic hire. This doesn't seem to be realistic.

From this amount they would take the costs of a house hunting trip, the 2 weeks car hire offered and any temporary living expenses.

Doing the sums on this, the total amount would be used up (assuming 7 days temporary living and having to hire a car for an additional 4 weeks).

By the way, they have already said NO to anything we asked for.

I understand the comments on motivation and lifestyle etc., but we are not moving to the States for personal lifestyle reasons. It's a another job and career development.

We have already relocated to Italy from the UK, so this isn't new to us.

We already see conservative startup costs of c.$50k which we will have to manage ourselves.

And yes, walking away is a very definite possibility.

Please keep the comments coming. I think it will all come to a head on Friday!!!
9% of your salary is $50,000? Cool.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Not necessarily relo, but make sure you negotiate time off....this has been the killer of many relocating peoples idea of life here.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
Thanks for all the terrific replies. ..........


What's going on here.............. all but one of those quoted replies aren't mine...
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post


What's going on here.............. all but one of those quoted replies aren't mine...
But you can have my house and kids. The car I'm keeping.
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