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Relocating to the USA

(42 Posts)
LeeHarper5 Wed 20-Jun-18 22:13:21

My husband was recently made redundant and is struggling to find another job in his field. There are roles available in the US that he is qualified for and has the relevant experience. He is now utterly focused on us moving out there.

The job he’s looking at is in Dallas, Texas although there are posts in most states. It pays $370 a day, working 5 days a week. The company sort visa’s but everything else would be down to us to sort. It’s a one year contract but he thinks we’re going to love it and never want to come back! He has a childhood friend living a 5 hour drive from Dallas and I’m sure he thinks we’ll be hanging out with them every weekend. We have a 4yr old starting school in September.

My husband has used a comparison site to work out what it would cost to cover bills at home and live in Dallas and says we could ‘just about manage’. He’s looking at renting a 2 bed apartment not houses, hasn’t included a car or thought about possibly having to pay for our sons schooling. He’s no idea if he’d have to pay tax out there or what tax implications there’d be back home. He’d be contracting so needs to set up a company.

I don’t want to disrupt our lives and the start of our sons education to ‘just about manage’. Is it worth scrimping and scraping in order to have the ‘experience’ of spending a year in another country? I can’t imagine going from a house with a large garden to an apartment. I’ve visited the US many times and love it for a holiday but I’m struggling to see how we’d even manage without a car.

I don’t want to be so negative to the idea but I’m worried about being stuck out there, with little spare money to go out and explore in our spare time and being thousands of miles from our support network. I really feel for him because he’s never been out of work and he’s starting to panic about not finding anything but I feel he’s jumping into this without proper thought and research.
Can anyone recommend good websites I could use to look at cost of living, schooling, medical insurance etc and the implications of moving overseas.
Thank you for reading and I’d be grateful of any advice or to hear about your positive experiences of relocating to the US.

Gaspodethetalkingdog Wed 20-Jun-18 22:18:59

Medical insurance is the big one - will the company pay for all of you?This does not sound enough money to live in the US.

Want2bSupermum Thu 21-Jun-18 01:02:00

Be very careful moving over on this type of contract. Budget $20k for health insurance and assume you won't be able to work.

It's very expensive to live here, even in a cheaper place like Dallas. Food is very expensive, we are careful and spend $1000 a month. We don't buy organic anything.

Oliversmumsarmy Thu 21-Jun-18 01:11:39

2nd to health insurance being a biggie.

$370 per day seems quite little. Especially if you are reducing the potential for you working.

I would love to have the opportunity to emigrate to the US but even I would be questioning the money side.

2blueshoes Thu 21-Jun-18 01:17:22

If you can sort it out and afford it, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

pallisers Thu 21-Jun-18 01:20:08

You cannot go unless you have excellent health insurance. and it sounds like they are setting him up as a contractor so that means no health insurance. Cannot emphasise enough how important this is.

Also as a contractor he will have no right to sick days or holidays or vacation days (he probably wouldn't get much anyway if an employee). so the most he could earn would be 96k per year if he works 5 days a week, 52 weeks of the year, no time off. Honestly that isn't enough.

Your 4 year old won't be starting school in the US - not public, free school anyway. Most 4 year olds are in a pre-school program that people pay for (often not huge money but you pay).

I think your dh is clutching at straws/dreams here and he would be better off taking a deep breath and looking for work in the UK. If his dream is to move to the US, then he needs to look at recruitment agencies who will find a firm that offers a proper job with benefits/visa etc.

Happyhippy45 Thu 21-Jun-18 01:29:46

We moved to the USA from the UK IN 1998. Kids were 4 and 14 months. Didn't even consider all the practicalities you are thinking about. We stayed for 10 years but had only committed to 1!
We loved it and am happy to have given us all the experience.
I was really against it at first but took a chance.
We moved back to the UK when our kids were 14 and 10.....I'd advise against that.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 21-Jun-18 01:32:47

I was looking at a 30hr a week contract role for awhile, totally unqualified apart from experience and was going to ask for 100-115/hr.

What’s on offer is nowhere near enough.

Look at his current rate, add on holidays, sick pay, insurance, pension and then a fee for contract work and see if it comes close to what they’re offering. You can probably find a multiplier of what you should add on for a contractor hourly rate.

Kursk Thu 21-Jun-18 01:50:50

We moved to the USA 5 years ago, we didn’t even have jobs lined up!

It was the best move we ever made. We would never consider moving back. DH works, and gets paid Bi weekly. $1777 so $3554 a month

Monthly outgoings:
Mortgage and insurance $1300
Internet and TV $103
Mobile phone $70
Electricity $84
Car insurance $122 (2 cars)
Fuel $280
Food $170

That’s out outgoings for the month.

TroubledLichen Thu 21-Jun-18 02:07:38

Not at all realistic, from what you’ve described I think he’d be hard pushed to even get a visa. Yes health insurance is a big one so you need to factor in this cost if you haven’t already. Kids start school a year later here so you need to pay for private day care or keep your son at home for another year. And I definitely don’t see you lasting in Dallas without a car.

Smallhorse Thu 21-Jun-18 02:11:10



Kursk Thu 21-Jun-18 02:14:05

Just to add, DH gets health insurance through work. It costs us $300 per month, but this is dedicated in his pay.

Kursk Thu 21-Jun-18 02:19:29


Guns are probably more prevalent in Texas but. However you don’t see them, DH conceal carries more than I do.

Healthcare is excellent

Want2bSupermum Thu 21-Jun-18 02:29:13

kursk I am always in awe of your outgoings. Our property taxes are $1900 a month and we live in a cheaper town. Next town over and we would be paying about $3k a month for the same home.

LinoleumBlownapart Thu 21-Jun-18 02:30:35

We lived in Dallas. We are trying to go back. Dallas is one of the better places to live in the USA, some very good schools. We have lived elsewhere.
The only thing is what would you do if you want to stay? It is possible to transfer H1 visas to another company but you really need to have a job/career that has a labour shortage. For DH and others in his field it is a doddle but this is not everyone's reality. DH is in telecommunications so most jobs with Samsung, Ericsson etc are full of foreigners. So if your DH is in that field, there's more hope for visas.
I have had two H1 visas as I found teaching positions, but it was very difficult to get these. I wish I hadn't given them up!
Dallas is a very wealthy city but certainly relatively cheap. Most apartment complexes have playgrounds and swimming pools. If I was going for the first time I would say an apartment is better over a house. When we first went we were in Salt Lake City and lived in an apartment. I made friends with other mothers at the playground and it made the first move much smoother.
You need a car anywhere in most of the USA.

Want2bSupermum Thu 21-Jun-18 02:34:05

So $370 a day is about $30 an hour for a 12 hour day, which is what I expect they will demand. The lowest paid consultant I have is $50/hr. He is only that cheap because his wife is a teacher and covers healthcare insurance for their household through her employer.

Seriously, I'm paying an average rate of about $4k a week or $800 a day for my average consultant. The range is $80-150/hr.

Kursk Thu 21-Jun-18 02:35:04


Should have mentioned our property taxes are included in the mortgage payment. Our taxes went up this year to $3800 a year.

I may have a heart attack paying your taxes! I see the living expenses that everyone one else pays on here and it’s scary.

Want2bSupermum Thu 21-Jun-18 02:37:14

I'm so jealous of your property taxes!!!!

pallisers Thu 21-Jun-18 02:51:16

I'm so jealous of your property taxes!!!!

you get what you pay for in property taxes imo. I'd rather live in a reasonably taxed town/city and have the services that go with it

If I remember correctly Kursk is in a high tourist/summer town in Maine so the town will benefit from an influx of outside cash etc in a way that is pretty exceptional (sorry if I mixed you up with someone else Kursk). That said my taxes on a 5 bedroom house were $6,400 per year until this year so not hugely more than Kursk's.

For the OP - well I think this would be a very scary move unless both of you are well up for it and prepared to really scabble for a few years (and stay healthy)

Kursk Thu 21-Jun-18 03:29:30


We live in Maine, but not a tourist town. We have all the services that we need. However we prefer the more rural way of life.

Gaspodethetalkingdog Thu 21-Jun-18 07:09:33

You may also find the influence of religion in the US, especially the south bizarre/frightening/weird

Do not consider going there without good healthcare insurance, people are made bankrupt if they have a baby and cannot afford to pay.

misssmilla1 Thu 21-Jun-18 13:05:02

Seconding the points about living costs and cost of insurance. I've found utilities, phones, internet and groceries way more expensive than the UK. The only thing thats reliably cheaper is petrol, altho thats gone up nearly 50cents a gallon in 3 months by us!

A lot of it will be dependent on the state you live in for housing costs. Here in NY state where we are, rentals are even more expensive than owning, as owners bang on the equivalent $$$ amount to cover the property taxes, which can be insanely high

Oliversmumsarmy Thu 21-Jun-18 17:15:27

I think if it is not going to impact on your future too much, I.e. renting out your home in the UK if you own not selling. And you look at it as a years experience and not put too much store in it being a forever move I would go for it.

You might find that it works out and things aren't too horrendously expensive. And you would quite like to stay or try another state or another country or if it all goes tits up you can just come back after a year.

Unless you try it you will never know

LeeHarper5 Thu 21-Jun-18 18:57:52

Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on my post.

**LinoleumBlownapart my husband is in the telecommunications industry and there certainly seems to be an abundance of jobs in that area. In the UK the industry is very, very quiet although once 5G rolls out it will (hopefully) pick up again. He’s office based although has worked out in the field before.

Health insurance is the one thing I absolutely won’t compromise on and if we do move I’ll be sure we are all well covered.

I hadn’t considered that an apartment might be more sociable and a good way of meeting other parents/children. We do own our home but I wouldn’t want to rent it out. My family are local and they’d keep an eye on it for us.

I have been a stay at home mum since having my son but the plan was to return to work, part time initially, once he started school. I was a nursery nurse/teaching assistant in a primary school.

You have certainly given me lots to think about but I really don’t see how we can make the move on the salary that’s being offered. It’s a big drop on what he was earning previously. I think the experience of living abroad is what’s most attractive to my husband but it still needs to work for us financially.

its5oclocksomewhere Thu 21-Jun-18 20:39:47

From the info you've given, it doesn't seem at all possible that this can happen. If there's a job offer on the table and a possible visa, why would he need to set up a company to do contracting? I don't even think it's possible to move on a contractor basis. You need a specific job from a specific employer to get a visa. Do you know what visa is being offered?

If it's an H visa, that's a [massively over subscribed] lottery system so no guarantees that you even get the visa and you wouldn't be allowed to work on that. It can't be an L visa if it's a new company he'd be working for. Unless there's other information, I can't see any means to which you can do it legally. I think you should read up on non immigrant visas and see if you meet any of the requirements. Otherwise as other PPs have said, this is a pipe dream.

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