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Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Old Sep 13th 2007, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
We have a manual Mazda 3 - brilliant car it is. I'd say you can find small or sporty cars in manual - although nowhere near as available in the UK, you won't generally have to special order one.

But over here, you really should have an automatic - it makes it easier to talk on the phone, drink your coffee, eat your breakfast, put on your makeup and generally do all that other stuff that Americans do in cars
My wifes got one too - great little motor - take that out any chance I get rather than the tank I have to ferry the kids round in...
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

[QUOTE=sangiano;5305885][Begin ramble]


I know that often people see a move to the States as "easier", mainly due to the language, but I don't think this is true.
Culturally and attitude wise, the States is poles apart from European countries, so moving to Italy might even have been easier, despite having to learn a new language.

UNQUOTE

You're spot on there - we found it a lot easier settling into Singapore than we did into the US...
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Manuals are going to be extremely hard to find here and need to be special ordered. Many models don't even offer it as an option. Also, if in a pinch you need to lend the car to a friend/whoever, it's extremely likely that they'll have no idea how to drive stick. Seriously consider an auto, IMO.
I have a manual jeep and that was a special order. I love driving it though and it is very hilly where I am. OH automatic struggles up the hills sometimes.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
[Begin ramble]


Thanks for the sage advice - very useful. What cars are worth considering a size down from the Accord / Camry?

I'd have a look at anything from the Japanese manufacturers....Mazda 3, Honda Civic, Toyota Matrix, Corolla, then theres a whole host of similars from US manufacturers...but I'm not much of a US car fan, so can;t really comment on models. Best bet is to get hold of a copy of the Consumer Reports Guide to Buying a Car (or something like that. CR are the US version of Which?) - its an annual publication, available from newstand for about $5 or so, and gives a good rundown on pretty much all of the cars available, options, prices etc as well as road tests and the like. Give you a good start at making a list to go see.

Ps - when we bought our Mazda 3, we had a choice of about a dozen or so models available in stock - half of which were manuals. That was the case on all the models we looked at in this size, so maybe it varies across the country. Certainly when we were looking at bigger models for the family car, it was virtually all automatic.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 4:21 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

We went shopping around for a used car last year (looking more for price, mileage and general condition rather that car size or brand so saw quite a cross section) and were amazed at the number of manual cars floating around in our neck of the woods. Several of my work colleagues drive manual cars and say they'd never touch an automatic! Maybe it is a regional thing.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Thanks for all the car related advice. No kids so anything huge is unnecessary. Something like the Mazda 3 sounds spot on. I'm not a huge fan of American cars at present (reputation and lack of knowledge), so euro or Japanese was always most likely. Although I'm not particularly surprised, it's a shame Ford don't market the euro Focus.

The little research I've done on used cars in Delaware suggests that getting a manual in our size range shouldn't be too difficult.

I guess the big car thing is something you can't understand until you're living in America. It can't totally be able high mileage - it's a 14 hour drive door-to-door back to the UK and it isn't uncomfortable.

Originally Posted by Dan725
But over here, you really should have an automatic - it makes it easier to talk on the phone, drink your coffee, eat your breakfast, put on your makeup and generally do all that other stuff that Americans do in cars
You should put a health warning on your posts - I had a mouthful of tea when I read it and it was a toss up between choking or ruining my keyboard!

Originally Posted by Bob
You want to negotiate a decent holiday allowance if they are bringing you over.
Tried that - no dice.

Originally Posted by Elvira
I believe he mentioned it is his wife who is getting an O1, and he would be on an O3.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that O3s are not allowed to work? So that would be another devil's visa...

Having been through 4 years of H4 hell - having believed DH's employer's assurance that it would only take 'a few months' to get the GCs - I would caution anyone to think very carefully about moving here on one of these visas.
Absolutely correct Elvira. I'm on an O-3 - I like your description. I've already been through that here, although there is a BIG difference between not getting work and being forbidden to work. And everybody thinks what a wonderful life it must be........ I don't have any illusions on the difficulties I might face.

The employer has said they will start the application process for the GC immediately. Mmmm, now where have I heard that before?

Hope I quoted you correctly this time

Anyway, feel much better about everything thanks to all your comments. Looking at other people's experiences, it looks like the ReLo isn't so bad compared to those offered by other US companies. I think it's more a case that the emphasis is slightly different (more towards selling & buying houses rather than Lump Sums). That's probably understandable as the costs do seem quite high.

Going out this evening to discuss by the lake over some wine and aperitivos and watch the world go by - there are some things I'd definitely miss about Italy.

Last edited by sangiano; Sep 13th 2007 at 5:24 pm.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 5:33 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

we are relocationg as a family of 4 for an L1.
we got $8k relocation expenses (ie hotels/airfare for househunting) and asnother $16k for other expenses (ie electricals, loss of value on selling current car etc).
on top of that we get the actual flight over on the day paid for -
a 6x6 air freight box,
a 40ft container paid for,
cultural training ( )
various agencies to assist with house hunting, relocation in general etc.
uk and us tax advisors for first and last year of assignment
and all visa expenses paid for.


when we were out there last week we looked at cars and a fully loaded ford suv is apparently going to cost $450 a month on lease.
we saw very reasonable cars from the large second hand dealer for $10k - $15k
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
Something like the Mazda 3 sounds spot on. I'm not a huge fan of American cars at present (reputation and lack of knowledge), so euro or Japanese was always most likely.
I'd say the majority of American car buyers agree with you. Although, European brands have a fairly bad reliability reputation here. The top selling passenger cars here are almost all Japanese.

I guess the big car thing is something you can't understand until you're living in America. It can't totally be able high mileage - it's a 14 hour drive door-to-door back to the UK and it isn't uncomfortable.
It's very simple: gas is cheap here as it's not taxed like it is in Europe. Also, the roads are (in the majority of places) ruler straight, the distances are comparitively vast (even in everyday driving) and people spend, on average, the most time driving on giant, divided highways. People want big, cheap, comfortable cars that glide like trains at 75 MPH. Inevitably, if it's not more expensive and doesn't make driving any more inconvenient, people will gravitate towards larger cars with huge engines. Reliability and comfort are the priorities, MPG and handling are less of a concern.

It is changing, though. Now that gas prices are going up, SUV sales are tanking and compact cars are coming back into style. The same exact thing happened in the mid Seventies.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
we are relocationg as a family of 4 for an L1.
we got $8k relocation expenses (ie hotels/airfare for househunting) and asnother $16k for other expenses (ie electricals, loss of value on selling current car etc).
on top of that we get the actual flight over on the day paid for -
a 6x6 air freight box,
a 40ft container paid for,
cultural training ( )
various agencies to assist with house hunting, relocation in general etc.
uk and us tax advisors for first and last year of assignment
and all visa expenses paid for.


when we were out there last week we looked at cars and a fully loaded ford suv is apparently going to cost $450 a month on lease.
we saw very reasonable cars from the large second hand dealer for $10k - $15k
It is all coming back to me now!
I forgot to say we have our taxes done first and last year, an extra airfreight thingy for the last minute stuff which was bigger than we needed but can't remember the size.
OH gets a monthly car allowance. He had a company car in the UK but here the company don't do them. That was one of our sticking points and so he negotiated a car allowance.
Local realtor provided, who knew all about buying/selling houses in the UK which was very valuable to us as it is so different here.She took us everywhere and helped us sort out utilities, cable and showed us around and introduced us, socially, to people when we moved here.

The company helped set up our mortgage and we got a really good interest rate. We chose between several large mortgage companies and went with Wells Fargo. Again they seem to have a special dept that deals with expats.

We were offered cultural training but it never happened and I wish it had.It was the small things that got me and people here didn't know why I couldn't understand things.
Our children were given English as a foreign language lessons at school which were great and really helped them particularly the 10 year old.They covered a lot of cultural things.
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Old Sep 13th 2007, 7:24 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
and all visa expenses paid for.

that's a given, because they have to pay for it.
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Old Sep 14th 2007, 2:50 am
  #41  
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
I believe the current almost total absence (of diesels) is due to some new particulate emissions laws, so all the main players have withdrawn for now.
If you believe the rants by the Yank pro-oil burners on the internet, it would be chocked up to a grand conspiracy against glow plugs and torque. The reality is that the particulate emissions have been too high to pass California regulations, and nobody really wanted them in the first place.

When you consider that the high price of gas in the US today is still less than what many Europeans were paying fifteen years ago, there just hasn't been much incentive to find an alternative to gasoline. Diesels had a brief moment of interest in the seventies during the fuel crisis, but their reputation for being slow, dirty and noisy kept them from gaining much ground. And because Americans tend to spend more time in their cars and often have more poorly maintained roads with which to contend, the bias is toward larger cars with larger engines that cruise easily and start every time.

Hiro gave you a good list of compacts. Of the bunch, the Mazda 3 is probably the most fun to drive (it shares a platform with the Ford Focus and the Volvo S40), and tends to be a reliable ride, although perhaps a bit less so than the Civic or Corolla. Toyotas and Hondas tend to be the easiest cars to unload at a relatively high price once you're done with them. Unlike Europe, you'll find that engine choices are few and tend to be on the larger side.

One note, though -- if you are earning a $500k package, as was implied earlier, then note that some of your coworkers may find you to be a bit eccentric for driving such a lowly vehicle. Honestly, it could hurt your credibility to drive something as pedestrian as that, and you might want to get a better set of wheels just for the sake of that promotion. If you can't be seen with a client in it, you shouldn't want it. Seriously.
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Old Sep 14th 2007, 9:44 am
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Thanks all for the comments explaining the large car / engine mentality. Of course, whilst I might read and understand the words, coming from Europe where fuel prices ARE so high, it's difficult to undo such an ingrained feeling.

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP View Post
One note, though -- if you are earning a $500k package, as was implied earlier, then note that some of your coworkers may find you to be a bit eccentric for driving such a lowly vehicle. Honestly, it could hurt your credibility to drive something as pedestrian as that, and you might want to get a better set of wheels just for the sake of that promotion. If you can't be seen with a client in it, you shouldn't want it. Seriously.
I've got to knock this on the head once and for all. An earlier poster took two independent comments that:
a) the Lump sum for a foreign hire was 9% and
b) we $50k anticipated startup costs we would have to bear ourselves over and above the RelLo package

and incorrectly assumed the two were linked.

As I commented in an earlier post - We wish!!!!!!!!
I don't think we would have been stressing so much about the additional costs if this was the case.

Originally Posted by MsElui
we are relocationg as a family of 4 for an L1.
we got $8k relocation expenses (ie hotels/airfare for househunting) and asnother $16k for other expenses (ie electricals, loss of value on selling current car etc).
on top of that we get the actual flight over on the day paid for -
a 6x6 air freight box,
a 40ft container paid for,
cultural training ( )
various agencies to assist with house hunting, relocation in general etc.
uk and us tax advisors for first and last year of assignment
and all visa expenses paid for.

when we were out there last week we looked at cars and a fully loaded ford suv is apparently going to cost $450 a month on lease.
we saw very reasonable cars from the large second hand dealer for $10k - $15k
Sounds pretty good package to me. It sounds quite similar, other than the other expenses section. We have asked unsuccessfully for some tax advice. I'm not sure how it translates but we will have a 125kg air freight allowance 25kg for me and 100kg for my wife - go figure that! I don't know what cultural training means.

Originally Posted by jumping doris
It is all coming back to me now!
I forgot to say we have our taxes done first and last year, an extra airfreight thingy for the last minute stuff which was bigger than we needed but can't remember the size.
OH gets a monthly car allowance. He had a company car in the UK but here the company don't do them. That was one of our sticking points and so he negotiated a car allowance.
Local realtor provided, who knew all about buying/selling houses in the UK which was very valuable to us as it is so different here.She took us everywhere and helped us sort out utilities, cable and showed us around and introduced us, socially, to people when we moved here.

The company helped set up our mortgage and we got a really good interest rate. We chose between several large mortgage companies and went with Wells Fargo. Again they seem to have a special dept that deals with expats.

We were offered cultural training but it never happened and I wish it had.It was the small things that got me and people here didn't know why I couldn't understand things.
Our children were given English as a foreign language lessons at school which were great and really helped them particularly the 10 year old.They covered a lot of cultural things.
jumping doris - thanks for all your posts. Your situation/package seems very similar and your comments have really helped.

Thanks to everybody's calm and rational advice, we have been able to look more calmly at the total situation - we had become so wrapped up in our unhappy dealings with HR that this had become impossible.

As a result, we have made the decision to move, hopefully joining you all in Jan 2008. It feels so good to be positive about things again.
Now we can concentrate on the two moves to be made: first Italy-UK and then UK-USA. Wish us luck!!
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Old Sep 14th 2007, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
Although I'm not particularly surprised, it's a shame Ford don't market the euro Focus.
Here's some exciting news for you - the Mazda 3 is based on the Euro Focus (Mazda and Ford being in cohoots) - its got the same running gear, so if you like the Euro Focus, you'll love the 3.
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Old Sep 14th 2007, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP View Post
One note, though -- if you are earning a $500k package, as was implied earlier, then note that some of your coworkers may find you to be a bit eccentric for driving such a lowly vehicle. Honestly, it could hurt your credibility to drive something as pedestrian as that, and you might want to get a better set of wheels just for the sake of that promotion. If you can't be seen with a client in it, you shouldn't want it. Seriously.
I reckon if you earn that kind of money, you are probably in a position not to give a shit about what others think If I earned that, I'd buy the biggest heap of crap I could find just to stick one up the toffee nosed bastards
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Old Sep 14th 2007, 1:57 pm
  #45  
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Default Re: Realistic Requests in ReLo Package?

Well, for your sake, I'm disappointed to hear that you aren't going to be earning a half million per year. But in any case, the admonition about driving a car that suits your persona still bears some weight if you are a mover and shaker up the ladder.

Personally, I find the whole thing to be a bit absurd, and admittedly, this car consciousness is more apparent in some areas than others. But depending upon the workplace, what you drive can make a difference in how you are perceived.

Back to cars, the Acura TSX mentioned above (same as the European-model Honda Accord with a 2.4 liter) is a nice compact, too, but is in a different price category as the rest, slotted above the standard Camry/Accord but below the BMW 3-series/ Audi A4/ etc. (The American Accord is a larger car than the Euro/ Japanese version.) Acura is a North America-only brand, which at the end of the day is still a Honda. The TSX sells in small numbers, but is reliable and holds its value. And if you want to find a six-speed manual version, you might have a somewhat easier time finding one on a dealer's lot that you would with some of the others.
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