Moving to America? Heeeeeeelp. Clueless. Utterly Clueless. Income? Childcare?(32 Posts)
We have the opportunity to move to the USA (my employer) and I have NO idea re living costs or childcare.
It would in the NC / SC region and pretty rural (nearest urban 'metropolis' is two hours away from where we would like)
My main questions are:
What would you say would be a 'good' pre-tax income to live comfortably (and by this I mean rent a 3 bed house in a great area, have a cleaner once a week and someone to mow the lawn), eat out maybe twice a month and not have to 'worry' about money all the time.
Childcare - right now I live in Asia and have a full time nanny. She's amazing but she is also paid at local market rates so it is not that expensive. My dd is tube fed at 22 months and I would be working full time.
What's the difference between kindergarten / pre kindergarten / day care and having a nanny? I assume the nanny is outside of my price range but I don't even know what the price range might be for a qualified nanny.
How much is a private Kindergarten and are they more expensive than day care? I have researched quite a few but can't find any reference to real pricing / tuition on the internet.
So mumsnetters. Help basically.
Oh my. You are right. Some quick investigation here
If, for a taxable year, you itemize your deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A (PDF), you may be able to deduct expenses you paid that year for medical and dental care for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. You may deduct only the amount by which your total medical care expenses for the year exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. For years beginning after December 31, 2012, you may deduct only the amount by which your total medical expenses exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.
Will your company include the cost of having your tax return done in your relocation package? This was really helpful to us, they itemized lots of things we weren't aware of. I should really do it myself for this year, but so far it's been $400 well spent since my calculations come out owing loads more than the tax prep woman tells us.
Yes there is a discretionary fund for that kind of thing that I can draw upon. I'll be claiming everything I can!
Thanks Want I haven't lived there in a few years, so my numbers are a bit out of date.
Opehlia don't worry about the test. It's ridiculously easy in NC (varies by state) and the roads are wide and if you're in a small town, there is really no traffic.
It is worth getting your tax returns done by someone who is well versed in international tax. I would only consider big 4 for this and that doesn't come cheap. If you go to a regional firm they will do your US taxes but will have to research doing your international taxes.
Bear in mind if you are on AMT you don't get the provision for deducting your medical expenses. If you are earning in the $300k range look up AMT. I would be tempted to say run for the hills (ie Switzerland) given you DC has medical issues.
If you have a discretionary fund make sure it is enough. When we were supposed to move to the UK 3 years ago the offered us $20k. No joke, that wouldn't even cover the cost of selling our house let alone replacing electronics etc. Make a list of what your fund is going to have to cover and make sure it is enough to cover it.
You will also have problems opening a bank account and securing a rental as you don't have a credit score. If you don't already have a amex card I suggest you get one. I transferred over my amex card from the UK to the US. It gave me an instant excellent credit score. This made my life much easier. I think you can open a citibank account in the Far East that you can access from the US. I say think because it was Americans that told me this is what they did when going out to work in China/HK/Singapore for a few years.
My deductible per person is $400 ($800 for family), my out-of-pocket (OOP) max is $2600 ($5200 per family). $20 for docs, $40 for specialists.
Deductible is paid before insurance covers. Usually 80% (you pay 20%) but can also be 90/10 depending on your plan.
OOP max is the max you'll pay before insurance covers 100%.
We live in Iowa so our cost of living us much less. Wow. I'm just shocked. We insure 3 vehicles, less than $400 for 6 months. Registration for all 3 is less than $150 per year. We will be adding a Ford Expedition which is another $55 per year being a bigger vehicle. Insurance for it we're not sure but maybe another $100 for 6 months.
Unemployment depends on your income amount. There are tables online. It's something like 46% of your salary and you're only eligible (at least in Illinois where I work according to what I found online) if you've worked for at least 18 months.
Just wanted to highlight that since last year, breast pumps don't even have to be bought via FSA - they're now freely available through health insurance with no copayment. My OB wrote a prescription, we faxed it to Cigna and it was couriered to my house 2 days later (just a few weeks back).
For comparison purposes, we're in DC, pay $3000/month for a 2/3 bed row house, DH has a 10 minute cycle to work so we're pretty central. I find our living costs are pretty much the same as the UK, but distributed differently. Cars and gas very cheap, car insurance expensive (always seems to be around $1200 for the first six months as foreign driving records not taken into account), utilities very cheap, mobile contracts stupidly expensive ($100+ per month for iPhone 4S, not unlimited usage vs £30 in the UK for iPhone 5 and unlimited everything), clothing, computers, electronics all cheaper.
Re daycare, we pay $15/hour for one child with a nanny, $18 for two if in the same family or $11.50 per child if shared with another family. Local daycare/nursery ranges from $18,000-$30,000 per year per child full time. In London it was £1500 per child so comparable.
We have a great accountant who specialises in international tax so PM me if you want the details. He was aware of so much more we were entitled to than we could have known so definitely worth it.
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