Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

So who is happy with their lot?

So who is happy with their lot?

Old Jan 8th 2003, 7:48 pm
  #1  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 875
Vicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond repute
Question So who is happy with their lot?

Just wondering of those who have relocated to the US who is happy and who is not.

What bits make you happy and what are you dissatisifed with?

Do you intend to try and stay in the US on a permanent basis or would you go home tomorrow if you had the chance?

Please note this is just an attempt to see how everyone is enjoying their US experience, and anyone who feels negatively shouldn't be afraid to voice their opinion in the fear of being jumped on. We are all very different people and what bothers someone is nothing to another.
Vicky88 is offline  
Old Jan 8th 2003, 10:07 pm
  #2  
Ben
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 920
Ben has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond repute
Default

We are happy in the US, but it too us all a while to settle in for one reason or another. I would say by the time we had been here just over 3 years, we wer all pretty much settled into life here, accepting the differences, and therefore happy to be here.

I know some people never settle into life in the US. It can be tough on some.

I feel very fortunate that for us it has worked out well.
Ben is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2003, 3:48 am
  #3  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Nov 2002
Location: Connecticut, U.S.A.
Posts: 49
shaggy is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

The first six months were really tough---I missed silly things about Britain like BBC News and going to a football match. Also, I didn't understand what people were talking about much of the time, especially once the conversation turned to sports, not to mention celebrities I'd never heard of. But once I got over the initial homesickness and culture shock, things started working out great. It's a better quality of life, I've made some wonderful friends and I'm fortunate enough to be married to a beautiful, kind and patient lady who has eased me through the transition.

Some people give up before they even get that far, but IMHO, it's definitely worth sticking with things. America is the type of country that gives back exactly what you put into it. If you are prepared to make the initial effort, it's a wonderful place to live. If you break the rules, you pay a heavy price. If you're a lazy bum, don't expect people to be as sympathetic as in Europe. It's definitely what we would have called in Britain an "on yer bike" culture.

If I had one criticism, it would be the authoritarian style of government, which I find much more interfering and sinister than in the UK, since it doesn't seem quite as accountable for its actions. There are so many rules, regulations and bureaucratic jungles to get used to, which is a little odd if you're coming from Europe, but you soon get accustomed to it. Of course, Britain has its fair share of bureaucracy too, but it is perhaps just a little less intrusive, not as efficient, and therefore not quite as sinister. Or perhaps it is intrusive in a different way. Or perhaps I have only noticed it so much here because I wasn't expecting it.

Particularly as a non-citizen, I certainly don't feel as free here as I did in Britain, especially since 9/11. Knowing that you can face problems with the INS for as much as a traffic violation is an uncomfortable shadow to live under, especially when you know you're a good person. I know lifelong U.S. citizens who also complain about lost liberties. But in my view, this is all a relatively small price to pay for what is otherwise a great country and one I'm proud to call my home. As an immigrant, all you have to do is play by the rules and keep your nose clean, and America is full of opportunities for those brave enough to seize them.

From Shaggy---proud to (soon) be a U.S. Citizen.


Originally posted by Ben
We are happy in the US, but it too us all a while to settle in for one reason or another. I would say by the time we had been here just over 3 years, we wer all pretty much settled into life here, accepting the differences, and therefore happy to be here.

I know some people never settle into life in the US. It can be tough on some.

I feel very fortunate that for us it has worked out well.
shaggy is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2003, 11:35 am
  #4  
Ben
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 920
Ben has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond repute
Default

We were fortunate enough to have been given a lot of good information before moving here from Brits and Americans. My husband had been working here for approx. 4 years, coming over on business for short periods of time.

But all of this didn't stop the culture shock, the problems encountered at school/doctors etc. It also didn't stop the language barrier. You think that because you have heard an American accent so often on the TV etc., that you won't have a problem, but that isn't always the case. It took me 2 years before I could actually understand an American on the phone. Even after being here 4 years, I still struggle sometimes understanding what they are saying.

Until starting college last September, though, I didn't mix with the culture a whole lot. Yes, I socialise, but only when I want to, not because I had to due to work etc. And I have found that since starting college and mixing with a large number of Americans on a regular basis has helped me understand them a lot better when talking to them. I've also taught them a thing or two too

Florida, I have found talking on the internet and having a moan now and again has helped me 'stop' moaning to my husband (who is a brit) and I don't moan to americans. I'm much more positive in my outlook because if there is something I haven't been able to find (like decent chocolate) I can put a post up regarding this and someone somewhere might just know where to get it locally.

One thing, though, I don't think I will ever get used to is the massive paper work that comes through from school and through the post. And I thought junk mail was bad in the UK
Ben is offline  
Old Jan 11th 2003, 12:08 am
  #5  
Here we go Pittsburgh!
 
ukemigrant's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Pittsburgh PA, USA
Posts: 581
ukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Hi, I've been here just over three weeks, but I used to work here in '96, so I have more experience with the US, not to mention two weeks holiday every year since 1997 (am from the UK).

I agree with a previous poster about the encroachment of government, and the 'police state' feeling - look at that family who's dog was killed the other day - and they were US citizens!

It's definitely different living here though, compared to being on holiday. I'm enjoying rising to the challenge of getting settled in here, and there are a lot of challenges! For example, buying a car: I've never been presented with so many options before, and things like rear window heaters were being pushed as a bonus

Tax! Tax! Repeat that phrase a number of times. As my wife, who is a USC, said, this is the "Land of the Fee" and that's not a typo.

We're looking at buying a house, and the government (or state) wants 1% of the sale price as tax, the home inspector wants his cut, the buying and selling agents want their cut, the mortgage people, nevermind that they'll make $100k out of the loan, want their 'closing costs' (including another 1% of the sale price for some insurance purpose...).

Folks it's expensive to live here, at least compared to the UK, is what I'm finding. Luckily I believe we can afford it.

Now don't take any of that as too negative, and don't give me none of that 'if you don't like it go home' crap. I love it here, and as a previous poster said, it's an 'on yer bike' attitude you need.

Luckily I have one....the mortgage adviser I spoke to was grilled for one and a half hours on our options....

So long as you don't expect everything to be handed to you on a plate you'll do well.

Also it helps to have one of you being a USC for getting a credit history......

Sam.
ukemigrant is offline  
Old Jan 11th 2003, 9:28 pm
  #6  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 875
Vicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Sam

I am surprised that you find that tax is expensive compared to the Uk. We are thrilled at how low our taxes are compared to the UK, and we live in California which has one of the highest tax rates. That said my husband was hit by the IR35 ruling in the UK so we were paying 50% tax on much of his income so after that anything does seem cheap.

Also housing here is expensive but on par with what it was in the UK. So I guess once again it depends on where you are coming from/now living.

Agree with other's comments on government. What I find surprising is how Americans seem to blindly believe that Dubya is going to war for their own good. No-one seems prepared to question his judgement at all. It seems as if the standard response is he is the President and he knows what is best for us.

We are really enjoying ourselves. That said it was easy for us to acclimatise as we had previously lived in San Diego for 2 years, so knew where everything was. Also we already had SSN, bank accounts, credit ratings. I think what we like the most is seeing the sun day in, day out.

Vicky
Vicky88 is offline  
Old Jan 12th 2003, 1:15 am
  #7  
Here we go Pittsburgh!
 
ukemigrant's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Pittsburgh PA, USA
Posts: 581
ukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond reputeukemigrant has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Originally posted by Vicky88
Sam

I am surprised that you find that tax is expensive compared to the Uk. We are thrilled at how low our taxes are compared to the UK, and we live in California which has one of the highest tax rates. That said my husband was hit by the IR35 ruling in the UK so we were paying 50% tax on much of his income so after that anything does seem cheap.

Also housing here is expensive but on par with what it was in the UK. So I guess once again it depends on where you are coming from/now living.

Agree with other's comments on government. What I find surprising is how Americans seem to blindly believe that Dubya is going to war for their own good. No-one seems prepared to question his judgement at all. It seems as if the standard response is he is the President and he knows what is best for us.

We are really enjoying ourselves. That said it was easy for us to acclimatise as we had previously lived in San Diego for 2 years, so knew where everything was. Also we already had SSN, bank accounts, credit ratings. I think what we like the most is seeing the sun day in, day out.

Vicky
Hi Vicky, I haven't got a personal tax bill yet, but being in the 40% tax bracket I am expecting a similar hit. The main problem with taxes comes from the additional taxes you get hit with, as set out in my previous post, i.e. taxed on home ownership, financial transactions such as buying a house (as if that isn't expensive enough).

Maybe it's just Pennsylvania State being more voracious than other states, e.g. paying school taxes when you have no kids, paying town, county, state, federal, personal taxes....way too much........

Other than that, the standard of living is higher, for example the house we're looking at is much better than the one I am currently selling in the UK, and we have 2 cars here, which I would not have considered in the UK given how much our car insurance was over there...

Thanks for the feedback, Sam.
ukemigrant is offline  
Old Jan 12th 2003, 2:23 pm
  #8  
Ben
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 920
Ben has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Sam, it isn't just your state, you will be pleased to know

Yes, when you first look at the taxes here you get the impression that you are paying them all the time. We are in the 40% bracket too. But when we came to the end of the first year here, we realised that for some reason, even though it looked like we were paying the same, if not more, in taxes and expenses here, we were better off. Then when you do your tax return (especially when you own a home) you can get a nice tax rebate.

Our first tax rebate, including our mortgage, last year was a wonderful surprise.

We are definitely better off than we were in the UK and to compare the areas - we used to live in Nottingham and we now live on Long Island, near NYC.
Ben is offline  
Old Jan 12th 2003, 5:33 pm
  #9  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 875
Vicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Yes, for some reason we have always gotten good refunds. I can't recall a year where our refunds have been less than $5,000. Think it is because you are able to deduct so much. We don't even have a mortgage and we still seem to get so much more back.
Vicky88 is offline  
Old Jan 12th 2003, 7:22 pm
  #10  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7
julian1963 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Who is happy in the US Vicky? Me. It has been a long, hard road,
but here I am. Things I miss about the UK? Nada.
julian1963 is offline  
Old Jan 12th 2003, 8:04 pm
  #11  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7
julian1963 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Incidentally Vicky, where in Ca are you? I'm in San francisco.
julian1963 is offline  
Old Jan 13th 2003, 7:45 am
  #12  
Forum Regular
 
bostonbelle's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 118
bostonbelle is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Hmmm. Good question Vicky! I like it here most of the time........excpet when u have to clean 12 inches of snow & ice from your car early in the morning I miss the food back home in India and the overcorwded family events. Though we are a thriving community here.

Life in the US comprises of a ton of hard work and Luck. Depends on how home sick you get once you come here I guess.
bostonbelle is offline  
Old Jan 13th 2003, 9:04 pm
  #13  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 875
Vicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Julian

We are in San Diego. You are fortunate being in SF as it is one of the best areas to live I think. We were in San Jose previously and enjoyed it a lot.
Vicky88 is offline  
Old Jan 16th 2003, 6:51 pm
  #14  
SCOTTISH
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: ARIZONA
Posts: 16
faybees is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

I have lived in US for 15 years. I spent 11 years in Philly and the last 4 years in Arizona. I can honestly say I am very happy with my lot. I live in the sunshine on a golf course, we have 2 new cars and vacation every year. What is not to like. It is better than the gray miserable weather at home.
faybees is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.