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What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Old Aug 26th 2014, 10:29 am
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Default What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

We have our first meeting with our relocation agent the day after tomorrow and my husband has asked me to put together a list of questions. The wiki on moving homes was an excellent starting point, but what do you wished you asked before your move.

School districts and availability, plus getting the best balanced health insurance are my 2 biggest concerns right now, but we've got these agents for, quote "Anything we need...", so I intend to take full advantage
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by loubiblu View Post
We have our first meeting with our relocation agent the day after tomorrow and my husband has asked me to put together a list of questions. The wiki on moving homes was an excellent starting point, but what do you wished you asked before your move.

School districts and availability, plus getting the best balanced health insurance are my 2 biggest concerns right now, but we've got these agents for, quote "Anything we need...", so I intend to take full advantage
The relo person isn't going to help you with your health insurance -- that should be part of your husband's employment package. If his coverage options haven't been discussed with the HR dept yet, I suggest you make it a priority. Relo will indeed help with finding the district, the house, the schools, getting the electricity turned on, etc. Good luck with the move.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
The relo person isn't going to help you with your health insurance -- that should be part of your husband's employment package. If his coverage options haven't been discussed with the HR dept yet, I suggest you make it a priority.
Yep, understand that. The package is extensive, but it's a lot to get your head around once you realise that health insurance can't compare to UK NHS or private health care. That's a whole other thread for another day!

It's the likes of utilities, school enrolment etc - the day to day stuff that you don't think about until it happens. So many different stories and experiences on here and I'm greedy for info and advice

Last edited by loubiblu; Aug 26th 2014 at 1:18 pm.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
The relo person isn't going to help you with your health insurance -- that should be part of your husband's employment package.
Some companies offer options for health care; mine offers a choice between an HMO and a PPO. A relo agent can help explain the pros and cons of such, whereas HR might be more likely to say it's up to you to decide which is best for you.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 1:35 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
Some companies offer options for health care; mine offers a choice between an HMO and a PPO. A relo agent can help explain the pros and cons of such, whereas HR might be more likely to say it's up to you to decide which is best for you.
Then obviously this is a more specialized relo person than I am used to -- the ones I am familiar with deal exclusively in RE-related matters.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Then obviously this is a more specialized relo person than I am used to -- the ones I am familiar with deal exclusively in RE-related matters.
s/can/might be able to/
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

We had a relo person, she gave me a quick tour of Houston and took me for my SSN - hubby was here ahead me so he had his sorted.

You could ask about housing: rent/mortgages/property tax/hoa fees, schools, healthcare, SSN's, drivers licences and driving in general, utilities plus other monthly expenses ie. cable/internet/cell phones, bank accounts, buying a car, taxes (we had our first year tax return done for us as part of our relo package), car/home insurance, things to do in the area, shopping, kids activities.

To be honest I got more information on here and city-data.com and by googling myself.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

my relo person helped me work out what shops were what. When you walk down a high street in the UK you recognise 90% of the shop names and immediately have an idea of the expected store content and quality/price level.

Moving to America you lose that at a stroke and with so many drive by malls it can be hard to see inside the shop without stopping, parking and going inside. when you want to buy a kettle in week 1, its not always obvious what your choices are. so my relo person advised me a couple of varied selections (cost /quality wise) of stores that sell various items so i could get up and running faster.

(and note- moving from Ohio to Texas did this partly again as the shops are NOT identical lol)

she also was able to help me with the names of things like hairdressers, day nurseries, etc.
she also accompanied me to the ssn office in case i needed assistance (and moral support lol).

To be honest - the best part was a friendly face straight away - husband had his new work colleagues but id knew no-one.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

I read through the wiki list here. It's great, but aimed at families on temporary visas, so the big thing that's missing is things that permanent immigrants need to know. This includes selling off any assets in the UK that are subject to tax in the US but tax free in the UK - ISAs, endowment policies and UK-type share schemes being the examples that applied for me.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Our rlpo person explained the areas, transport, took us for our SSN etc. The most helpful was definately taking us for our SSN. We got a general induction thing before we left about living in America. It covered things like customs, transport, attitudes etc. The one when we moved covered driving licenses, driving etiquette, going to the doctors and stuff.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Just be prepared for mounds of paperwork, whatever you do.
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by hoffage123 View Post
Just be prepared for mounds of paperwork, whatever you do.
Quoted for truth. It's unbelievable the amount of forms you will have to initial or sign, print out sign, scan and email.

I live in a what I have been informed is a "green" state (whatever that means) and I am shocked at the amount of stuff I am having to print. I can't remember the last time I printed something in the UK (other than all the visa stuff for the US).
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by Funstuie View Post
Quoted for truth. It's unbelievable the amount of forms you will have to initial or sign, print out sign, scan and email.

I live in a what I have been informed is a "green" state (whatever that means) and I am shocked at the amount of stuff I am having to print. I can't remember the last time I printed something in the UK (other than all the visa stuff for the US).
Wait until you buy a house...
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
Wait until you buy a house...
Yep, we had well over an inch of paperwork to sign and initial for the mortgage.

Oh and we were almost 6 hours at the dealership buying my new car. We did all but take the food out the salesamn's children's mouths though
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: What do you wish you'd known/asked before crossing the Atlantic

Originally Posted by ChocolateBabz View Post
Yep, we had well over an inch of paperwork to sign and initial for the mortgage.

Oh and we were almost 6 hours at the dealership buying my new car. We did all but take the food out the salesamn's children's mouths though
We, or rather the missus, has had two experiences recently leasing cars. She went with her sister to lease a Kia, with her ponying up the down-payment, s-i-l being an impecunious grad student. That took the best part of a day, and by all accounts the salesman was the usual obnoxious stereotype.

Then she leased our Subaru, and it was an hour or so to set up the deal, then back the next day with me to pick it up. Salesman was really pleasant and not pushy at all.
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