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Single parent moving to USA

Single parent moving to USA

Old May 3rd 2020, 6:13 am
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Default Single parent moving to USA

I have seen an amazing job opportunity in Portland Oregon.

I am a teacher with two young kids and a single mum.

My question is: after I’ve done the calculations for paying taxes on the salary. My take home wage would be $35,000 a year.

Is that enough to live on? I don’t want to even get my hopes up for moving If I can’t afford live.

I currently live in France so childcare isn’t expensive here (I am a British citizen)

Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 6:30 am
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Visa ? Will you get one ?
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Old May 3rd 2020, 6:33 am
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Visa ? Will you get one ?
yes I think. If I secure the job and I have the qualifications to pass the visa requirements.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 7:41 am
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Originally Posted by mrsBell View Post
yes I think. If I secure the job and I have the qualifications to pass the visa requirements.
Are you sure? The US is very restrictive about work visas and many teachers find it impossible to get one. You can meet all of the requirements for the profession, like the right uni degree etc, and still be ineligible as a non-citizen and non-Green Card holder - just like in the UK and France. Portland, at the moment, is furloughing teachers. Does the job advertisement, specify that they are offering visa sponsorship for non-citizens and non-residents? If it does not say that directly you need to contact the school to make sure that it is possible before wasting your time on an application.

I lived in Seattle for a few years. Cost of living in the Pacific Northwest is expensive, especially housing. $35,000 take-home with two kids, is not a wage that will lead to a comfortable existence in Portland. You will be in lower-income housing in a not-great part of town and struggling to get by.

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Old May 3rd 2020, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Sounds like poverty wage, chilcare for 2 children on that with no support system.

Does the job come with sponsorship.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Just to clarify a few points...

1. You CANNOT apply for a visa yourself. It MUST be done via sponsorship by the employer. This can run into five figures and take a year or more, so it's not something to be taken lightly. It is illegal to work in the US without a visa.
2. You need to be certified to teach here. It is not enough to have the qualifications. Again, you would need to be sure that the potential employer is prepared for this process. My immediate guess without all the information is No.
3. As already stated, $35,000 will not make you rich and you don't seem to have taken other expenses into consideration like healthcare, deductibles, utilities (including cellphone(s)), car payments, insurance, etc. You'd be surprised how quickly these eat a major hole in $35k!
4. When this pandemic is over, there will be a lot of teachers of varying abilities looking for employment, so although there is likely to be an active market, there will be a lot of competition too! So, a certified teacher already on the spot has a major advantage over you, no matter how much better the qualifications you can show!

People often think that we are harsh with our advice, but the fact is, we'd rather be realistic than give false hope. The US is one of the hardest countries to which anyone would try to emigrate and it's best to know the obstacles ahead rather than think it's simple.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

I know a few teachers and I am pretty sure they are on a lot more than 35K and complain about how badly paid they are, Somewhere as progressive as Portland you would have thought the salaries would be reasonable.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 4:17 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

You will never manage on 35K (after taxes) with 2 children in Portland Oregon. That is what a single, first year teacher might expect.

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Old May 3rd 2020, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Originally Posted by mrsBell View Post
yes I think. If I secure the job and I have the qualifications to pass the visa requirements.
You think? You cannot work in the USA without a work visa and it's the employer who applies for it.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
I know a few teachers and I am pretty sure they are on a lot more than 35K and complain about how badly paid they are, Somewhere as progressive as Portland you would have thought the salaries would be reasonable.
I wonder if it’s a catholic school or something similar. I think catholic schools in NY still offer $20,000 or even less as a starting salary. Public schools generally start at about $50 or $60, don’t they? (Except places like Mississippi or similar.)
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Old May 3rd 2020, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I wonder if it’s a catholic school or something similar. I think catholic schools in NY still offer $20,000 or even less as a starting salary. Public schools generally start at about $50 or $60, don’t they? (Except places like Mississippi or similar.)
private school teachers are paid poorly.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I wonder if it’s a catholic school or something similar. I think catholic schools in NY still offer $20,000 or even less as a starting salary. Public schools generally start at about $50 or $60, don’t they? (Except places like Mississippi or similar.)
OP is quoting the AFTER TAX or take home pay, not the actual gross salary, which is likely to be closer to $45-50k. Still not a fortune for that area though. Most potential ex-pats don't know what the withholdings and outgoings (like health insurance) are going to do to that figure.
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Old May 3rd 2020, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
OP is quoting the AFTER TAX or take home pay, not the actual gross salary, which is likely to be closer to $45-50k. Still not a fortune for that area though. Most potential ex-pats don't know what the withholdings and outgoings (like health insurance) are going to do to that figure.

.... plus she is saying how inexpensive child care is in France - so that's another expense she is looking at in Oregon.
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Old May 4th 2020, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

I am not sure how anyone could calculate with any degree of certainty what their US after-tax pay would be when the tax system in the US is so convoluted, with federal income tax, usually state income tax and sometimes city income tax. Then there is the cost of health insurance, which might as well be a tax, to consider. And the cost of childcare can be very considerable, starting around $1,000/mth per child in a dedicated facility, (and could be twice or even three times as much in a high cost area) or starting around half that if you're willing to roll the dice with "in-house child care".

And as a single parent, what happens when your child is sick, and/or needs to go to a doctor? Irrespective of whatever pay is offered I would recommend extreme caution for a single parent considering relocating to the US.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 4th 2020 at 11:40 am.
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Old May 4th 2020, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Single parent moving to USA

This sounds like an idea that you should immediately give up on. Visa is an issue. Wages are an issue. Childcard will be an issue.

Non-starter for me.
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