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Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Old Apr 6th 2016, 1:47 pm
  #256  
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise
Yes, you should ask for your medical notes anyway.
That sounds like a terrible ordeal you've been through.
Yeah wasn't fun, car crash in 2010 (someone didn't stop coming onto a motorway exit roundabout and drove straight into the side of my Type-R)

8K damage to the car, and the side airbag went off as I was going into it, but the seat alcantara and my trousers "stuck" so part of me didn't move, part did, and it damages L5/S1, had surgery to release the nerves and bond them together, that didn't take, and because of the way it was all happening damaged a couple of other disks (L3/L4), so in the end second surgery put a metal cage with screws between L4/L5/S1 and bond L3/L4.

However the staples they closed the wound reacted to blood in an odd way, got MRSA 3 days after the staples removed... couldn't walk due to pressure build up, rushed to hospital, opened it up and cleaned out the metalwork, spent 6 weeks in NHS on IV 3 times a day, then was allowed home for 10 wekks with 2 visits a day for infusion of antibiotics.

Wasn't fun I can tell you, had 18 months of physio 'teaching' my leg how to walk as lost 80% sensation in left leg, and 100% sensation in left foot.

Getting there though, just got to loose a few KG's now, and friend was a mountain biker, so started that with him, don't do anything 'radical' but helps with strength, because feet are clipped to pedals don't have to worry about it slipping off.

So turned out OK in the end, I found a new hobby I enjoy, and pretty much walk OK, with a slight limp. So all good in the end.

Be nice to have a new start

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Old Apr 6th 2016, 9:27 pm
  #257  
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by charlas
Getting there though, just got to loose a few KG's now, and friend was a mountain biker, so started that with him, don't do anything 'radical' but helps with strength, because feet are clipped to pedals don't have to worry about it slipping off.
Problem with clips, if you've got a numb foot is ability to release quickly.

Might want to look into getting a pair of 510's for shoes and some spiked pedals. I've the newer Spank Oozy's, which are amazingly grippy, but the Spank Spikes might be a better deal. Combo with the 510's and you'll not slip off the pedal.

Of course, it all depends on the kind of trails you ride if it's worth it, but I found it far more comfortable doing long rides with a massively wide pedal than a tiny clip
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Old Apr 6th 2016, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by Bob
Problem with clips, if you've got a numb foot is ability to release quickly.

Might want to look into getting a pair of 510's for shoes and some spiked pedals. I've the newer Spank Oozy's, which are amazingly grippy, but the Spank Spikes might be a better deal. Combo with the 510's and you'll not slip off the pedal
Of course, it all depends on the kind of trails you ride if it's worth it, but I found it far more comfortable doing long rides with a massively wide pedal than a tiny clip
Been using SPD's for yonks, used to em, and besides the initial 'learning' period I've not had any issues disengaging. Seems to work well for me, I use hybrid pedals though (they are Shimano M530's), so SPD top, spike bottom just in case I need/want to ride with flat shoes. I ride a Whyte 729 (not sure you have Whyte over there, suppose you should though)

Nice thing about the SPD's is they stop you twisting the leg and make sure your foot stays in line which is better for power (supposedly) but also helps with making sure I dont do any muscle damage without knowing.

I'll be honest wouldn't switch back to flats any more after getting used to SPD's. The Shimano shoes I wear fit well too, find size 12UK (13US?) fits nice and snug.

I'm looking forward to trying some new territory, get the Camel pack out, and have a good ride about.... as long as it's not too hot!

Last edited by charlas; Apr 6th 2016 at 9:48 pm.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 12:31 am
  #259  
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by charlas

I'm looking forward to trying some new territory, get the Camel pack out, and have a good ride about.... as long as it's not too hot!
Run late, load the camel pack with ice and cans of beer for the post ride and you're laughing

There are a lot of groups, getting big trail rides in a lot of areas but I still end up solo riding as I can't make a lot of these rides, but some of them have 20-30 riders. I thought I wasn't terribly unfit, but no way can I keep up with A, B or barely the C rides

One thing though, accessories, check the prices before you come because a lot of stuff are cheaper on Wiggle and Chain Reaction, but shipping hurts so if you can avoid it. Spare set of Ergon grips and bash guards, light stuff like that might be worth stocking a couple of spares.

#FollowCamFriday, on twitter/youtube to catch Nate Hills, hit some seriously amazing trails around the country. A lot of Utah and Colorado at the moment
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Congratulations on your upcoming move OP! I visited Austin last summer and thought that it was a nice city (albeit crazy warm in the summer).

It will be worth looking into what your company's US health plan is like. If your company is sufficiently big, you may be incredibly fortunate and find that it offers cadillac health insurance. I understand from various Apple employees that they (still) get cadillac health insurance. In case you don't know what cadillac health insurance is, it's basically a type of health insurance that is incredibly generous with very minimal out of pocket expenses. Think, like the NHS (free) but with almost immediate access to some of the best health facilities in the world. My company switched away from self-insured cadillac-style health insurance at the beginning of this year to a self-insured high deductible health plan (HDHP). On the old plan, we paid very little for even the most expensive operations / treatments. $0 deductible for a lot of stuff and tiny co-pays ($10 to see an in-network doctor, $20 for any in-network specialist, and $0 for preventative stuff). The plan was administered via United Heathcare, which is apparently the largest single health carrier in the United States. I know someone who had a massive knee operation in 2014, involving many months of physio and aftercare. The final bill was around $80,00 and he only had to pay a total of $800.

If the insurance policy is an HDHP, and it most likely will be, *definitely* get an HSA, which your company or it's health insurance company will most likely offer to you. As others have said, an HSA is an account that you can use to save a capped amount of money per year pre-tax to pay for health, vision and dental expenses. In my company's provided HSA, we can invest the money in the account in a limited set of funds and the HSA will automatically convert to a retirement account when we hit retirement age.

If you are going to be living in downtown Austin, DEFINITELY look into seeing if you can live in an area that has Google Fiber. It's *mindblowingly fast*. Gigabit internet access down AND up for just $70 /month.

Last edited by cautiousjon; Apr 7th 2016 at 2:46 am.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 4:39 am
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Note to OP.
The NHS is considered a health insurance provider that gives "creditable coverage". ie when you arrive in the USA, your previous health insurer is "National Health Service...etc" rather than "none."

You may need a letter from your GP practice to confirm that you have had NHS entitlement to date. You will almost certainly have to pay the GP practice for that letter, as it is not an NHS activity for which the government pays.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 9:01 am
  #262  
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by Ozzidoc
Note to OP.
The NHS is considered a health insurance provider that gives "creditable coverage". ie when you arrive in the USA, your previous health insurer is "National Health Service...etc" rather than "none."

You may need a letter from your GP practice to confirm that you have had NHS entitlement to date. You will almost certainly have to pay the GP practice for that letter, as it is not an NHS activity for which the government pays.
I actually have company paid private healthcare as well as NHS, do I need something from them as well?
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 9:26 am
  #263  
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Just been speaking to my local BMW Dealer (happened to be in for a service). He says that BMW offer an ExPat scheme in the USA, has anyone got any experience of it?

I'd like to stick with a BM (probably get similar model 335D 'Sportswagon' or estate as we call it) and perhaps a i3 for the other half. My questions then, anyone used BMW's expat scheme? and what's diesel like over there? I know I know.. the great petrol nation, and diesel (especially VW is seen as evil) but I like the torque

The other option is to get one of the petrol 6's (335i) I suppose... and what's BMW like over in the USA? dealer network decent, well perceived? reliable? cheap to run (as it's a fallacy they are expensive to run over here)

Cheers all (x posted in the Credit/loans after moving thread too)
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by charlas
Just been speaking to my local BMW Dealer (happened to be in for a service). He says that BMW offer an ExPat scheme in the USA, has anyone got any experience of it?
...
Cheers all (x posted in the Credit/loans after moving thread too)
If you are set on a diesel-powered car, when you look for a place to live, I would do some research into the nearby gas stations that actually sell diesel fuel. You might be surprised to find that in the USA, diesel fuel is sometimes very hard to find. If you do find it at a gas station, the gas station may only have one lowly diesel pump (but maybe 10 - 15 other unleaded pumps). I looked for a diesel-powered car initially and eventually gave up and got an unleaded-powered car instead.

There seems to be little information online regarding BMW's foreign resident program, but one post on a popular BMW forum suggests that it is (or was in 2013) called the 'International Executive Program'.

BMW Financing terms for H1-b

Originally Posted by http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=807661
BMW Financial Services does offer an International Executive Program to qualifying participants. This program is designed to assist international workers without credit in the United States, who are in this country for a specific period of time on a work visa. The International Executive Program is not designed for individuals that are visitors, students, permanent resident aliens, or have asylum status.

To process a credit application using the International Executive Program, we would need the following information included with the application. Providing this information does not guarantee credit approval. Additionally, if a co-applicant is an international executive, the same information must be provided.

1. Current employer information on corporate letterhead. This letter must include:
- Terms of employment
- Expected term in the United States
- Position / title and salary
- Employer contact name and direct business telephone number


2. Copy of a driver's license.
- Must be a valid U.S., Canadian, or International Driver's License
- A driver's license from the country of origin must accompany the International Driver's License
- Driver's License must include expiration date

3. US Domestic/Foreign credit references. (Please have copies of supporting documentation.)
- Contact names and phone numbers
- Bank information
- Prior BMW Financial Services or other automotive financing information

4. Copy of a valid passport.
- Information page containing photograph, expiration date, and signature

5. Copy of valid Visa and I-94 card.
- Valid visa classifications are: E-1, E-2, H-1B1, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-3, R-1, and R-2
- Admitted term and Visa term must equal or exceed the term of the contract
- Documents must be legible


Additional information, other than that listed above, may be required.

Q: "Can you make an exception for the end term to exceed the visa term?"
Your BMW center will be able to communicate directly with our credit credit department to see if an exception is possible once they have had a chance to review the credit application
If I was you, I would simply call BMW of Austin and speak to someone there. You may have to speak to a manager, but, given the massive influx of tech immigrants into Austin recently, I highly doubt that someone there hasn't dealt with this sort of thing before.

BMW of Austin
Phone: 855-222-1222
BMW Car Dealer - Austin, Round Rock, & Cedar Park, TX | BMW of Austin

Open today · 8:30AM–7PM
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 10:14 am
  #265  
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by Ozzidoc
Note to OP.
The NHS is considered a health insurance provider that gives "creditable coverage". ie when you arrive in the USA, your previous health insurer is "National Health Service...etc" rather than "none."

You may need a letter from your GP practice to confirm that you have had NHS entitlement to date. You will almost certainly have to pay the GP practice for that letter, as it is not an NHS activity for which the government pays.
Is this necessary post-ACA, especially for an employer group plan? I've had three insurers here so far, two via employers and an ACA marketplace plan, and none of them have asked or proof or even the name of our previous insurer. Now they have to take you anyway, and at a flat age-based rate (for ACA plans), evidence of continuous care as part of the decision/ actuarial process doesn't apply.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 10:26 am
  #266  
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by cautiousjon
If you are set on a diesel-powered car, when you look for a place to live, I would do some research into the nearby gas stations that actually sell diesel fuel. You might be surprised to find that in the USA, diesel fuel is sometimes very hard to find. If you do find it at a gas station, the gas station may only have one lowly diesel pump (but maybe 10 - 15 other unleaded pumps). I looked for a diesel-powered car initially and eventually gave up and got an unleaded-powered car instead.

There seems to be little information online regarding BMW's foreign resident program, but one post on a popular BMW forum suggests that it is (or was in 2013) called the 'International Executive Program'.

BMW Financing terms for H1-b


If I was you, I would simply call BMW of Austin and speak to someone there. You may have to speak to a manager, but, given the massive influx of tech immigrants into Austin recently, I highly doubt that someone there hasn't dealt with this sort of thing before.

BMW of Austin
Phone: 855-222-1222
BMW Car Dealer - Austin, Round Rock, & Cedar Park, TX | BMW of Austin

Open today · 8:30AM–7PM
Thanks for that, yeah looking about it might well be easier to get a petrol rather than diesel, knew that it was 'the devils fuel' over there, so will stick with the norm, especially since I'll be traveling a bit, best to be able to guarantee being able to fill it up. I've asked my dealer in the UK to get me some information (just rang em) and he says he'll get what he can and have it available for me when I pick the car up after it's service. But I will call the Austin branch, or send them an email. I just thought BMW though because it's what I know, an I know my back get's along with the suspension OK and it's still a bit of fun when I want it to be. But European / US suspension setup's on all cars are usually different, so might not be a like for like anyhow.

What is the market like for cars at the moment? what's good/bad/indifferent? we don't get to see many US Models over here, so it's difficult to work out what to look at.

EDIT : Got in touch with them, they will send me the appropriate info. Thanks

Last edited by charlas; Apr 7th 2016 at 10:36 am.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by cautiousjon
If you are set on a diesel-powered car, when you look for a place to live, I would do some research into the nearby gas stations that actually sell diesel fuel. You might be surprised to find that in the USA, diesel fuel is sometimes very hard to find. ....
I don't know about San Diego or California in general, but is NOT true in Texas, or anywhere on the east coast. Someone living in Texas tried to tell everyone on BE that a year or so back that diesel is hard to find, but a quick check on GasBuddy.com showed that there were many - huge numbers of gas stations selling diesel, and not just at truck stops and major intersections but even the grocery and membership club gas stations sell diesel. I guess it's just one of those things that if you don't need to buy diesel, you just don't notive.

ETA Here you go: per GasBuddy, 40 gas stations in San Diego sell diesel, another 22 in El Cajon, 7 in Lakeside, Spring Valley or that area, 5 in Poway, and another 7 near Poway. Diesel is much more widely sold than most non-diesel drivers realise.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 7th 2016 at 1:21 pm.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I don't know about San Diego or California in general, but is NOT true in Texas, or anywhere on the east coast. Someone living in Texas tried to tell everyone on BE that a year or so back that diesel is hard to find, but a quick check on GasBuddy.com showed that there were many - huge numbers of gas stations selling diesel, and not just at truck stops and major intersections but even the grocery and membership club gas stations sell diesel. I guess it's just one of those things that if you don't need to buy diesel, you just don't notive.
Worth noting, thanks for that Pulaski

Just had a look at that site, your right, it's everywhere by the looks, 1.79-1.99 averages
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I don't know about San Diego or California in general, but is NOT true in Texas, or anywhere on the east coast. Someone living in Texas tried to tell everyone on BE that a year or so back, but a quick check on GasBuddy.com showed that there were many - huge numbers of gas stations selling diesel, and not just at truck stops and major intersections but even the grocery and membership club gas stations sell diesel. I guess it's just one of those things that if you don't need to buy diesel, you just don't notive.
We have a diesel car...told him not to get one because I'd read on here finding stations that sell diesel can be difficult. When we lived in the NY Met area they were all over...but when we are doing road trips they can be few and far between. I'd told him so. He is adamant he won't get another diesel car.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Thinking of taking a Job in Austin / Chicago or San Fran

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl
We have a diesel car...told him not to get one because I'd read on here finding stations that sell diesel can be difficult. When we lived in the NY Met area they were all over...but when we are doing road trips they can be few and far between. I'd told him so. He is adamant he won't get another diesel car.
Yeah, I think I'll stick with petrol, just for ease, but will miss the oomph of torque that they give ya, oh well. Just have to get a bigger petrol engine
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