Talk to me about moving to the US

(33 Posts)
FreedomOfTheTess Mon 05-Aug-13 10:20:26

DH works for the London office of a US law firm, that has several offices throughout the US, and every now and then someone from the London office gets approached by one of the US offices for a chance to work in the States.

Last week my husband was approached by the Pittsburgh office. Initially it would be for two years, and as long as they were happy with DH, he would then be offered the opportunity to extend that for another three years.

They would like a decision from DH by the end of August, so while it seems like we've got a while to discuss it, it isn't that long away.

I'm OK with a move to the States. My mum is American (and I have dual UK-US citizenship as a result), originally from Boston, and we visit my family in the States at least twice a year.

However, rather obviously, moving there is a lot different to regular visits!

To those of you who have made the move, can I ask the following:

1. How did your children cope with the move? Our three oldest children would be 14, 7 and 4 when we would be required to make the move. (Our youngest would only be 6 months). NB: DS1 (currently 13) is delighted over the prospect of a move to Pittsburgh, as a few years ago he adopted the Pittsburgh Penguins as his ice-hockey team, much to the dismay of my Bruins support family!

2. How did YOU cope with the move?

3. How quickly did you adjust to life in the States?

4. How did you find moving away from your families? In our case, it would be made slightly easier, as the majority of my mum's side of the family live in the US. The nearest family to us would be in Columbus, Ohio which is where my cousin lives with her family. She tells me that's about a three hour drive from Pittsburgh.

5. Is there any other advice you'd pass on while we make this decision.

Obviously I can speak to my family about some things, but as they've always lived in the US, what I can't get from them is feedback on making a move to the US from the UK. And my mum hasn't live in the US for over 35 years, so she feels any words of wisdom she has, are outdated.

I'd particularly be interested to hear from anyone who may live in or around Pittsburgh (but appreciate this might be a long shot). I do know Pittsburgh, as my cousin went to Carnegie Mellon, and I visited her a couple of times.

Thanks in advance.

NB: Eek!

Moknicker Thu 15-Aug-13 18:30:35

OP- welcome to the US. Ive been to Pittsburg (Carnegie Mellon) and thought it was great. You've got some great advice from everyone so nothing material to add to that.

It took us about 9 months to settle in and the first winter was undoubtedly hard. My sister who lives in the US stayed with us for a week when we first came - helped a lot just having another person familiar with things around and to babysit. If your mum is American would it help to have her around for a bit?

Want2besupermum - you sound totally on top of taxes (and everything else for that matter). May I pick your brains shamelessly please?

We have a US accountant but were planning on the doing the UK ones ourselves. We have income in the UK. Am I right in thinking that we dont pay tax in the UK but just submit the income to the US accountant here who then adds up to arrive at a total HHI figure and pay tax here on that?

helzapoppin2 Thu 15-Aug-13 19:50:11

Monicker, if you have no income in the UK then you have nothing to declare. We had income from a house, and a few shares and bank interest to declare. That was about it, and we just filled in the form online ourselves. It wasnt difficult. It was US tax I found scary!

Want2bSupermum Fri 16-Aug-13 04:23:08

Moknicker - Im no expert! Im an auditor who does my own taxes.

For the UK all you need to do is fill in a form to say you are no a UK resident. After that they shouldn't be withdrawing taxes from your income. You can do it now and request that any withheld funds are returned to you now.

US taxes are not that bad. I have done our taxes (rental schedules, stock options, AMT and partnership returns) with help from the IRS.

helzapoppin2 Fri 16-Aug-13 09:49:50

We may try that next year. The accountants charge a flipping fortune!

Want2bSupermum Fri 16-Aug-13 13:42:04

hela - Turbotax is great if you have a simpler return but I do'nt trust them when it comes to anything complex. Best to get yourself on the phone with the IRS. I don't understand why so many people use accountants for their taxes. Unless you are in AMT territory it just isn't worth it. We have complicated taxes and the first return took me about 4 hours to fill out once I had all my numbers (IRS told me what numbers were needed). Now I know what I am doing it takes me about 2hrs to fill out the forms and about a day or two to collect everying.

CoolStoryBro Fri 16-Aug-13 13:51:48

Congratulations on your decision! My only worry would be the age of your DC1. You say that it would be a 2-5 year move. Do make sure you have a back up plan if it doesn't work out and you're home in 2 years.

I have 2 friends who had to move back once their children were past GCSE starting age. Both of them have had a truly terrible time with their 15year olds, one of whom had no other choice than to move back a year. Said teen is really not happy.

Be realistic and, if it does start looking as if it hasn't worked out, make plans sooner rather than later.

Other than that, enjoy! Rugby is increasing in popularity IMO and is often sued in private schools.

CoolStoryBro Fri 16-Aug-13 13:52:24

*played not sued!! Although, in America, anything is possible wink

Moknicker Fri 16-Aug-13 13:54:35

Thanks Want2, hela

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