Amazing opportunity or massive mistake???(34 Posts)
I posted and had some wonderful help from wise mumsnetters on another thread http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/living_overseas/2658059-DH-offered-job-in-Bermuda-Advice-desperately-welcome
However, still in need of more advice!! DH's company will pay for 140lbs of air freight, flights out there and $600. They will also find us a flat that we can either stay in or move from after either 3 or 6 months but we repay the deposit out of DH's wages.
My industry doesn't do relocation so I am completely lacking knowledge but this seems like a pretty shit package unless I'm massively mistaken?
We are getting no financial package to relocate, his wages are detailed in previous thread and health insurance comes out of his wages. No help for school/nursery fees either.
Am I expecting too much or being too selfish (highly likely!)??
Can anyone advise me of this is the norm in respect of relocating or actually should there be a slightly better offer on the table?
He has already had a conversation with his prospective employer and wages etc are non negotiable so we take what is offered or walk away. Will lifestyle and experience compensate for us being potentially skint??
What is your objective in moving overseas?
- saving money?
- travel and opportunities in a new country?
If the package you are being offered does not allow you to meet your objectives don't go! Living overseas can be very rewarding, but most of the time it's same shit different view and there need to be other benefits, Being in a wonderful country and not being able to afford to do anything is pointless in my opinion.
I am in Asia put package is as follows:
health insurance including medical evacuation
accommodation and utilities
car and driver
free storage for furniture not shipped to China
air freight and sea freight allowance and lump sum to cover items which you have but which not work in China e.g tv
tax advice and filing of tax returns
travel allowance for trips home
Clearly some of the above is unique to China, but have also been an expat in Austria and Germany and package included:
shipping of all goods to new country and lump sum to cover new purchases
accommodation and utilities
free flight home every year
Good luck with your decision.
Thank you for your response. Me and DH have had a difficult couple of years (deciding where to live, house fell through and prices out of area etc). I think we might be blinkered and be going for an adventure but difficulties being exactly what you say 'same shot different view'.
Putting it bluntly I'd tell my employer to take a look at their package and come back to the table with something workable.
Bermuda is expensive and you need school fees for school covered. Also have pension covered too. Shipping should be limited to 'your belongings' plus an amount to purchase replacement items such as electronics.
Go through and think about what you want and have him communicate this to his employer.
By the way, they are taking the piss with the salary they are offering. I would not even consider moving to Bermuda unless they were offering 100k salary minimum plus flights home, NI pension contributions for both of you, school fees at local primary school and boarding school for secondary and $3k a month for housing costs. Those would be on my essential list.
The current package will have you living hand to mouth and worrying a lot about how you will afford to feed your family. There isn't the welfare that we have in the UK so you are completely on your own.
If they offered less than that I wouldn't go. I know shipping has hit a downturn but they are still making money.
I'm sorry I haven't read your previous thread.
The package depends a lot in the industry you are in and the job status within the company. Also if you are going for career development, adventure or because the company really needs you to travel.
What you described is a relatively normal basic package for a normal mid range company. Senior execs might get more as would high flyers. Global mobility packages vary tremendously, quite a few are no longer as generous as they used to be as they don't need to be (lots OV people don't travel for financial gain anymore but have other motives). People who tell you what was normal 5 years ago would now be out of date.
I would ask yourself if the company really need you to make the move - if they do then push for more.
Is the contract an expat contract or will your dh just be employed over there?
What about relocation after 3 years?
To be honest, the pay and package don't sound great, but if it fits in with your long term plans then do it.
We lived in Switzerland for a while, an extremely expensive country to live in, and loads of expats just saw the megabucks they were earning and totally underestimated the cost of living. A lot cut their time there short, although we found the quality of life amazing and that made up for any downsides.
Don't forget how hard it will be to go home - you can't afford to just hop on a plane and visit for a weekend on dh's salary.
Want2bsupermum how did you know it was shipping??
To be honest am not sure about expat contract etc but I'll look into it asap.
Thanks everyone, if you can think of anything else I need to look at etc please please let me know!!!
I'd say that was not a good package for Bermuda. Housing is very expensive and a flat is unlikely to be big enough if you have DC of nursery + age. Air freight is rubbish, you want shipping. You need health insurance, 2x flight home a year, help for buying a car, relocation help. If you're working now or intending to return to work, you won't be able to do so in Bermuda unless you can find a job to relocate to before you get there. Tax is low but living costs are high and import tariffs are added to lots of things you bring in so furniture is expensive for example. Haven't read your other thread but being skint in Bermuda isn't fun. Most other expats with kids will have corporate packages backing them up and lifestyles to match. Not saying you'd only be friends with expats, the locals are lovely but it takes time to integrate whereas the expat community is ready-made.
Just don't sell yourself short. We hear all the time that DHs employer are not willing to offer a generous expat package to families to come to the US. Well they are paying the price because no one will move here. We make amazing income because DH made them pay according to the contract he was internally hired on plus we started a business on the side. I also work and my income is more than what your DHs offer.
His offer is what kids are making 2-3 years out of college here in the NYC area and they don't have a family to support. Healthcare expenses could kill you. We are dropping $20k a year on healthcare. On $77k you just can't afford that.
Unless his income is going to take a significant jump after he moves I would not agree to this move unless they offer you a proper package. There are other locations in the world you can move to which are far more affordable.
Thanks for your help. Sorry to bother again but has anyone got any experience/idea what shipping rates are and what's worth leaving at home rather than shipping out???
DH's package is non negotiable so it looks like this is all we would get..... I'm unsure whether to put something together on paper and ask him to email the company or accept it and make the decision based on the package he has been offered. Any advice would be gratefully received!!!
Honestly, don't get distracted by the shipping rates shizzle. They're not offering enough. You'll need 110k++ and health care and school fees.
If they can't come up with it you can't afford to go.
I knew it was expensive but am slightly gutted, DH's dream job in amazing location... He's so bloody minded he'll try and convince me we'll be 'OK'... I'm gathering being financially 'OK' in Bermuda is v different from the UK!!!!
We air freighted, to the Middle East, last year.
We had about 30 packing boxes, sent for £2000, iirc. That was 2 carseats, 2 kids bikes, DHs computer, 2 screens, printer, winter clothes, bedding, towels, selected kitchen stuff (steamer, rice cooker, baking stuff, we decided to ship out half worn stuff, and leave it here when we leave), couple of boxes of DHs text books and reference works, kids toys.
140lb is NOTHING. Friends have just brought more than that for a family of 4s summer holiday (2 months back in UK).
You need to list your outgoings, including any savings, currently, and then get aprox numbers for Bermuda, and add in extras like health insurance, and see what the numbers look like. If there is one thing I've learnt about expat packages, they are all different, and you need to spreadsheet to compare them!!!
PS we got loads more than you as a package, and relocation.
Apocalypse makes a pretty good point, shipping is a one off, and can be swallowed up, school fees and healthcare are ongoing, and could couple you - I havnt converted your salary, no ideas what it is
I wouldn't go on the salary alone. I've just read your other thread. Are the company used to relocating people? It doesn't sound like it.
What does he earn here - is it comparable?
What your DH earns in the UK is irrelevant because Bermuda is extremely expensive and as an expat you will not be able to get any assistance with the high costs. You are looking at living somewhere where a ripe tomato costs £2. That's one singular tomato. Yes Bermuda has no income tax. Instead they have a high consumption tax on everything which makes everything even more stupidly expensive.
If he really wants to take the job and it will enable him to make ££££ down the road then he should take it and you should stay back in the UK with the children. He can rent a room in a flat or house to keep costs down and you can fly out or he fly to you.
Quite frankly I would not step one foot out of the UK on that package. They are probably used to single guys who have no responsibilities, not a growing family.
Believe it or not, DH's predecessor was relocated out there and he knows of other people who have been. The salary is pretty much what he's on here but with obviously lower outgoings. I think it's benefitted people doing the job but they haven't progressed at a stratospheric rate IYSWIM? Does sound like a totally shit package compared to what other companies make available
^ but with obviously lower outgoings.^
Were they single? You won't have lower outgoings. You'll have massively bigger outgoings.
I'm afraid to tell you that with a salary of $77k you will have $6416.67 per month. Health insurance will cost about $1500 per month for a family, rent will be about $3000 for a 2 bed apartment. That leaves you with $1916 per month to live off. Considering that is about what we pay for a flight home per person from NYC to Manchester during the holidays (when the kids are out of school) an emergency after your flight home has been used up would just kill you financially. Flights right now are super cheap but they will go back up to these prices very soon. Also, Bermuda being an island means you have to go to the U.S. for more complex medical care. That salary doesn't touch the sides of the costs incurred if you end up having complications and need to be taken to the US. To give you an idea of medical care costs, I had a baby in March and under Obamacare our copay was $4600 for delivery. That's 2.5 months of your money after rent and health insurance premium is paid. Flights and accomodation for your DH and DC won't be covered under your health insurance either.
I meant lower outgoings as in our current outgoings are lower than any will be in Bermuda. DH's employer told him don't pay attention to the property available on the Internet, he'll find cheaper than $3000 a month as its a case of who you know. I am doubting that is even possible?
Hahahahha so you have no choice in where you live. Do not run, do not walk...... STAY EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE. Your DH needs to find his balls and put them on the table. My dad built a global business and moved people between offices. He always paid rent in full for a property that suited the family where both husband and wife were happy.
I bet it's property for locals not expats and that it is basic at best. I would stay put just based on what they are offering you in terms of healthcare on that salary. Paying you $77k a year should mean that all big ticket items are fully paid for.
Another big issue is that schools for locals in Bermuda are not good. You do need to go private. It's not cheap because everyone else is on a corporate package.
Am sure you can find plenty of property at less than 3K per month, but you need be in accommodation that is appropriate for your family - e.g near shops , nursery etc if you don't have any transport and it needs to be of an appropriate standard as you have young children.
I have been an expat for over 20 years and there are two things which dh and I will not compromise on - health and education. This doesn't mean has to be private - state schools were fine in Germany and Austria and their healthcare is excellent - but if local options are poor and the company will not pay for private cover, dh and I will not go.
My experiences are from some years ago but dh ds and I moved to the states with a relatively small firm who had no idea. I worked for a large bank so was well aware of what 'could' be offered. What we negotiated was the following:
A small air freight shipment of stuff we needed in v short-term
A sea freight container of some of our furniture and other household stuff
Paid for storage of all stuff we didn't take
They paid any difference in our rent in us v home mortgage and covered anytime our house wasn't rented out - essentially we were no worse off.
They subsidised healthcare - we topped up which cost us about 400$ /month no dental
Flights home each year x1 economy and our flights out originally
All tax advice and filing returns service
Flight and accommodation for me and ds for scouting trip to find accommodation
And that was it
However more generous salary
And we were motivated by the opportunity to live elsewhere
So it's not a generous package you've been offered but I don't necessarily think that all others have detailed which would be offered by large multinationals are 'standard'
For those of you who have relocated, did your DH/partner go and view the situation/property prior to beginning work or did you all do a recce??
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