panicking about moving to NYC

(52 Posts)
NYCorLondon Wed 21-Dec-11 21:45:34

I don't know if we're making the right decision, starting to freak out a bit now it's become real....this could be the mistake of a lifetime and I'm going to majorly screw my little one if we move

Mominatrix Wed 21-Dec-11 22:00:57

Why? How old are your Los? I ask because NYC for young children is magical. Very safe, friendly, cosmopolitan, and fun. I'd be much more wary if I had teenagers.

kerrymumbles Wed 21-Dec-11 22:01:47

where in nyc will you be living?

NYCorLondon Wed 21-Dec-11 22:04:10

They're 5 and 8. Don't know where we'll be living yet because we've got such problems with the schools.

midnightexpress Wed 21-Dec-11 22:04:43

What sort of problems?

NYCorLondon Wed 21-Dec-11 22:07:45

The reason my youngest is screwed is that she's in reception here and would be in pre-K in US (in the private schools) and in K in the public (as she's a December baby and they have 31st December cut-off in the publics). My future employer will pick up most of the tab for private BUT they're pushing me to come ASAP and won't wait until the summer - what do I do with my little one between March and September?? I can't start her in one school and then move her, that'd be terrible for her, she's a shy little thing.

I'm also freaking about the cost of living there. I kind of thought it'd be comparable to London. It's not!!!!! It's way more expensive. Even the flaming health insurance is $700 a month and DH would need to find work, what if he doesn't? This could be such a mistake, what am I doing????

kerrymumbles Wed 21-Dec-11 22:11:59

if your employer is anxious to get you they will pay your relocation costs. what have you negotiated so far?

it is VERY important that you know what borough you will be living in. NYC is HUGE and the neighborhoods vary greatly. in manhattan you will most likely be living in a flat of some sort with no garden, e.g. unless you are a closet billionaire.

be aware that if you have any pre-existing health conditions in the family they will not be covered by insurance there.

midnightexpress Wed 21-Dec-11 22:13:11

When do US schools break up for summer? I thought they had really long holidays, so missing March to June, for example, mightn't be so bad.

Friends of ours are emigrating to the US and will be staying with her relatives for a while and don't know where they will end up. Like you they don't want to swap schools twice, so have decided to HE their DS for a while until things are sorted. Is that a possibility if your DH isn't going to be working at first?

midnightexpress Wed 21-Dec-11 22:14:52

Also, I am really no expert, as you can probably tell, but I have several friends who have young families in NYC and have moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan, in order to have more space. just like Miranda in SATC.

NYCorLondon Wed 21-Dec-11 22:22:16

I get about $30,000 to cover relocation costs which should be more than enough so we can put some aside to help offset costs in the first year.

Future employers are being assholes, they're anxious for me to come ASAP but aren't prepared to be flexible about anything which is also stressing me out and making me not want to leave my current very flexible employer who is bending over backwards to help me - even though I'm leaving! It's not helping things smile

We've been looking at parts of Brooklyn like Cobble Hill and Boereum Hill (sp?) and Park Slope, Roosevelt Island and Forest Hill/Kew Gardens in Queens. Possibly also East Village and UES (east of 3rd avenue isn't too expensive). We need a decent commute to midtown east but want a 3 bed.

Home ed wouldn't be good. DH has to look for work and my LO would be lonely, she'd miss her friends a lot and wouldn't even have her sister for company.

There is one private school in Brooklyn which we liked a lot who have a 30th November cut off and who might consider taking her into K this year as the UK curriculum is advanced, she scored in the 98th percentile for intelligence in those silly standardized tests that Americans seem to love so much, and she only misses the cut off by a couple of weeks. But then, I'm not sure I want her to be the absolute youngest in the class. There'll be kids who'll be more than a year older than her.

midnightexpress Wed 21-Dec-11 22:27:42

Hmm, Ok then, what are your reasons for going? Perhaps we need to consider those. Why is this a good move for you and your family. FWIW, everyone I know who lives there, LOVES it.

NYCorLondon Wed 21-Dec-11 22:42:21

OK reasons for:
Good professionally (for me)
I'll be taking home almost twice as much (but then I have to pay $700 health insurance!)
Potentially great opportunities for dh
Private school for kids
DH prefers America to UK (he's not British and has lived in US)
Kids really want to go

Reasons against:
I'll miss my mum and friends
Not sure I want to work for employer even though job itself is great
DH will have to find a new job and could be hard for him
NYC is very expensive
All being equal, I prefer London anyway

kerrymumbles Wed 21-Dec-11 23:38:06

will you dh be ABLE to work?

why isn't your employer covering health insurance? that's very odd am very surprised it's not part of your package.

am tired so not up to posting more. will check in morning

NYCorLondon Thu 22-Dec-11 00:03:29

Yes, he can work.
Employer covers a lot of the premium but not all. But the insurance is top-notch with no deductibles or co-pays.

Mominatrix Thu 22-Dec-11 06:38:03

I am a bit confused about your schooling choice for your younger daughter - do you want her in the private system or the public one? If it is the public one, have you thought about just keeping her at home with a nanny (assume you will have one if both you and DH will be working) until September when she'll enter first grade. It might be good for her if she is shy as she will have time to assimilate and familiarise herself to the area before starting school.

Health Insurance is expensive in the US, but if you have a good one, the standard or service is worth every penny.

Public transport is cheaper (the LU is astronomically expensive in comparison). Additionally, utilities are cheaper in the States than here.

Will you have a car? If so, you will have access to the cheaper options for food and household goods (plus you will be able to shop in New Jersey with their lower sales tax).

nooka Thu 22-Dec-11 07:00:45

What sort of visa are you getting? I ask because dh and I moved to NYC three years ago (have moved again since) and even though he went on an intracompany transfer which meant I had the right to a work permit, I couldn't apply for the permit until we were in the States, and it took three months to arrive. That three months would pretty much cover the term that your younger dd would be out of school (assuming that you go in March not January).

For public schools entry is strictly by catchment, so your choice is very much area = school. My cousin lives in Brooklyn and his dd has just started at apparently one of the best schools in the city (luckily for them as they bought their house long before children). If you find a good school in an area you like you might be able to ask the school where most of their children go to nursery/pre-K, and then she will move with new friends.

NYC is expensive, there's no way around that, bt it is a cool city to live in for a while and I think pretty child friendly. Generally I think that children make the transition better when they are younger and their friendships are less established. Certainly my dd settled very quickly (she was 7/8).

NYCorLondon Thu 22-Dec-11 08:52:14

If we knew we'd stay in the public system, we'd chose a school/zone and just put her in K as the public school cut off is 31st December. That'd be fine. But since private school is part of the package and one of reasons I'm taking up the offer, then it feels a bit of a shame not to do it - the trouble is their cut-offs are different!

amerryscot Thu 22-Dec-11 09:04:28

I am confused about a lot of aspects of your posts.

I am assuming you are going on a L1 visa, and your dependents on L2.

Some L2 visas allow the dependent to apply for Employment Authorization. Working is not automatic unless he is a US Citizen or Green Card holder.

Children are born year round in New York - they all manage to go to school.

Your little one does not have to go to school until 6+. They can stay at home with DH or a nanny until the school you want can take them.

If you are temporarily in the US, it is probably more cost effective for your employer to purchase international insurance for you. You would only have co-pays for GP visits, maybe around $20 a visit. If you are healthy, you won't need to go very often!

amerryscot Thu 22-Dec-11 09:07:08

Just spotted that you are switching employers, so I suspect you are on a H1B visa which does not allow a spouse to apply for a work permit. Your DH would have to get a H1B visa in his own right. That's unless you are already US citizens, of course.

NYCorLondon Thu 22-Dec-11 09:10:18

No, it's a G4 visa.

The post is a permanent one and the health insurance regulations are pre-determined for everyone which includes those who have been internationally recruited.

I know my little one doesn't HAVE to go to school but I want her to. We won't be having a nanny. She'll really be lonely without friends or having her sister around to play with. It's a long time to be out of school.

Yep, I know that children manage whenever they're born. But she'll be beyond the cut-off by a couple of weeks if we go down the route of putting her in the K programme in this school that we like. You know what it's like, parents worry!! But, on the other hand, if it doesn't work out, she can always stay back a year and join the incoming K children next year.

amerryscot Thu 22-Dec-11 09:24:31

Oh, I've never come across anyone on Mumsnet with this type of visa.

You DH can't work without filing rather large amounts of paperwork.

NYCorLondon Thu 22-Dec-11 09:43:33

We were told it's not too much of a faff. I hope that's true but can imagine that it might not be. As soon as we get there (if we go, getting seriously cold feet!!!!) , he can apply and say he's self employed and get the authorisation. I imagine it'll take a while to find work anyhow.

amerryscot Thu 22-Dec-11 09:50:15

It's a bit more complicated than that for G-4. He has to first apply to the protocol dept of the USG, the the get the blessing of the mission you are working for, and then finally apply for his EAD. Most family members can go directly to the EAD stage.

It's a paperwork exercise requiring lots of patience!

mummytime Thu 22-Dec-11 09:52:51

Are you going to work for the UN? Have you looked at the UN schools?

I would probably do it, it will be frightening but that is part of the experience and adventure. It doesn't have to be permanent. Personally I might well choose a flat in Manhatten just to get the most of the experience, or alternatively live out in the suburbs.

Your kids are very young still, and so highly adaptible. Education at this age really isn't the be all and end all.
I have known a family move to the wrong area on their US move, and have to change areas and schools for their daughter in the last 2 years of High School, and it still worked out in the end.

NYCorLondon Thu 22-Dec-11 09:59:45

Yes, it's UN. Considering the UN school but they won't take my little one until September for K. And I'm also not sure we want to live in Manhattan.

They are young. But I do want to get it right with the schools. It's not just education, it's also the social aspect as we know no-one in New York (apart from a cousin I haven't spoken to in years on Long Island!!)

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