View Full Version : If you could would you emigrate to US?
07-24-2003, 07:58 AM
Hi DH have been waying up the pros and cons and have almost decided to move to San Diego. We have 2 DD's 9.5 and 5.5 so we have their future to take into account when coming up with our final decision.
What I would like to know is, if you could move to the States would you? or would you stay in the UK?
Obviously we have had a lot of input from family and friends, but I would like to get opinions from people who are not directly involved.
07-24-2003, 08:14 AM
DH and I would go next week if we could but US Immgration laws do not allow us as we were born in the UK and have no close relatives in the US !!!!!
If you have the chance to go take it as you may regret it later in life and if it doesn't work out you can always come back. I have friends from work who have gone to New Zealand with two young sons and if it doesn't work out they will come back, but we are all very optermistic and think it wll work out for them.
One thing I would say if you do go and you are not sure keep your UK citizenship until you are well and truely settled.
Best of wishes with your decision.
I'm assuming that you've visited San Diego and liked it? Do you have any family there? Good friends?
We're military and have been stationed overseas for years at a time. Not the same as emigrating, but close. We had a huge support system in place for us and it was still very stressful. Of course we couldn't speak the language and that won't be a problem for you. I think lack of family close by was the most difficult thing.
How do your girls feel about it? Have you checked out the schools there?
There are a couple people on this board who have lived in the states for a long time, and a few who have actually emigrated. There are lots of ex-pats web sites that you could hook up with to get their input as well. Good luck.
07-24-2003, 08:54 AM
I would go in a heart beat.
07-24-2003, 08:58 AM
Claire, Steph & Florence have given lots of good thoughts and considerations. Assuming you've checked all of these things out and are still considering San Diego, I have to tell you that SD was just about one of the most beautiful areas of my country that I have ever been to.
WDW is beautiful but one does not live IN WDW. SD is a city to be lived in. I assume you've checked the cost of living out there - one pays dearly for that kind of beauty. But each day is more georgeous than the last. And the people are genuinely friendly and courteous.
And of course, the Del is there which is the resort that the GF was based on :)
It's a lot to consider, so I wish you well in your decision :)
07-24-2003, 09:23 AM
It's such a big decision with so many things to consider that I feel you have to want it 100%. If you're having doubts then take some more time to decide.
Good point Steph made about the girls. What do they think? When we were children my Dad got a chance of a job in Washington. I was very disappointed when he decided not to go but with hindsight I'm happy he made that decision.
Much as I love visiting the US, I'm very much a homebird and I couldn't live anywhere but the UK.
Good luck with your decision:D
07-24-2003, 09:29 AM
Hi Catherine :)
This is such a big topic of conversation in our house! DH works for an american company so could get a transfer out relatively easily as they're all over the US, my brother also has US citizenship and lives in Georgia so I think we should be able to go if we went ahead. (I'm also an RGN so that probably helps too)
I've always been a home bird though, I do love England but the quality of life out there is incredibly appealing. There are things that do hold me back though (otherwise I think we'd be there if I was keener!)
Firstly I've lived here all my life and the thought of starting again somewhere where we're not 'streetwise' is quite scary really, overhere I know where's safe, where isn't / what to do if something goes wrong etc. etc. I know you learn these things as you go along but it's still something I find quite daunting.
Also we've never actually spent more than 2 consecutive weeks in the US and mostly on hoiday which surely is completely different to living somewhere. DH has spent time working out there though so I don't know if that's why he's keener than me.
The amount of annual leave they give out there concerns me also, we don't have an incredible amount of family time together (is there ever enough).
Oh and the chocolate!!!!!!!!!! Not sure I could live with that for long - LOL
So I guess my answer to your question, is I don't know! Incredibly tempted. who know's maybe one day.............
07-24-2003, 10:10 AM
I'd love to have the chance to live their for a few months, but I couldn't deprive my parents of their only grandchildren.
that said, we live far enough away to only see them 3 or 4 times ayear.
07-24-2003, 10:54 AM
Me and DH have been discussing this since we came back in May of this year.
Do you have to have family living out there??
We would go in a heart beat!!!, DH is an only child, but his parents have said go for it, if we decided to do it!:)
We have no close family to tear ourselves away from as such,jobwise I think we could pick up something relatively easy.
Our friends have just sold up, had a house built and moved to spain!!.
Obviously this is something that nobody jumps into, but we did find some books on the subject in the book shop the other day!!!
What are the restrictions moving to the US???
07-24-2003, 11:01 AM
I think making a judgement about going to live in another country on the strength of a few weeks spent on holiday there is not a very good idea - the old saying about the 'grass looking greener on the other side' is probably very true.
I have a feeling that Orlando is probably not typical of the rest of the US and I'm sure that a lot of the problems we have in this country are also true in the US.
You would have to learn a whole new way of doing the most simple, everyday things in US, that we probably take for granted over here (tax, insurance, mortgage, utility bills, schools and education system, pensions, driving, health care, employment laws etc.). With things like credit history, you would have to start from scratch.
After saying all that - I would love to live in the US :)
07-24-2003, 11:12 AM
We almost emigrated to New Zealand years ago - backed out just at the point of signing on the dotted line because of a chance remark by a member of my family. Have regretted it daily ever since!
DH had employment lined up - we had sponsors line up - school's sorted out - college prospects in place - temp. living space, the works. Obviously I dont know if we would have settled and made our home there, but I regret it now that we'll never know.
I think the comments about having a support system in place is 100% spot on!
It is a major decision - I wish you luck in making it, I know from experience that it isnt easy :) :)
I hear San Diego is lovely :D :D
I find it fascinating that so many of you would like to live over here. Yes, I agree, we have life very good in these United States. But, I would jump at the chance to live in the UK for a few years. I don't want to emigrate, but I love your country and the people.
Like I said, I lived in Europe for over eight years and enjoyed it, but I don't want to go back. I always felt as if I were living in a foreign country, despite having picked up the language. I'll tell you what it did for me--made me appreciate just how good we've got it over here.
I feel very at home in the UK. It's weird really. I wonder if you guys feel the same coming over here? Compared with traveling in Europe? It can't just be the language thing, although that's probably a big part of it.
07-24-2003, 12:05 PM
Thanks so much for all of your replies.
Just to add a bit more info. We are a Anglo/American family my DH and 1 DD are American citizens and I and my youngest DD are Brits. My family lives over here and DH's family all live in the U.S. Just to add that my parents both passed away a long time ago, so we don't have to worry about depriving grandparents of grandchildren at this end. In fact it is the other way round for us.
I lived in CA for 10 years and decided to move over here when my oldest DD was 2, we thought at the time that it would be a better environment for her to grow up in.
For the last 6 months or so we have been seriously contemplating moving back, for various reasons, including the state of the NHS ( but that is another story!!). The only reason that we are 85% sure is that we are concerned about the state of the economy and how this might impact our getting jobs.
Once again thank you for your honest opinions it really helps to have some independent input.
07-24-2003, 01:25 PM
Absolutely. I am actually North American; I was just born in the wrong place(!).
When I come back, I now feel 'homesick'. Honestly.
07-24-2003, 05:26 PM
we emigrated to the USA in 1979 when I was 11 years old. I am very glad that we went, and I had some fantastic experiences, but I don't think I would like to live there now.
The US does some things VERY well, physical quality of life is superb - you can have a lovely house, nice location, good car, beautiful scenery etc. My school was incredible, just the local public school, but we had a swimming pool, football stadium to rival many division 1 teams, theatre, etc etc, everything you could possibly imagine from that point of view.
BUT - We never took a proper vacation in the 12 years we lived there, my dad worked all the time, the longest vacation I can remember would be a long weekend. We came back to England once to visit my grandparents, but I think that was only for a week. Vacation time is ridiculously low, I got 5 days a year when I worked there - my university friends work very long hours, I have stayed with one who was working 8am till 10pm every day and this was while she has guests (well me), she was an accountant, it was a busy time, and she was expected to work or else.
My other friend from University is currently expecting a baby - she will work until the birth, and then is only taking 6 weeks off - YUP, 6 weeks! As she has been out of work recently, and not been long in her job, has been told if she takes off any longer she will lose her job - if she loses her job, then she loses her medical insurance, a risk she is not prepared to take.
The NHS has many flaws, but it is always there, for free, and while they may make you wait, they will never turn you away, or send you into debt for treatment. That's a benefit I would find hard to give up. After university I lived in the States for a year without a proper job, or consequently any medical insurance - not a situation I would recommend - I have to say I was terrified of getting ill all year.
Oh yes, and I mentioned University - I had a fantastic time at University, loved every minute of it, again we had all the facilities money could buy - and it took a lot of money to pay for them, I have just paid of my student loans this year (I am 34), and I only managed that by selling my house and buying a smaller one.
Please don't get me wrong - I loved living in the USA, I lived there from age 11 to 22, and other than the last year, (the only one where I had to support myself), I had a fantastic time, I honestly can't complain. But, that last year taught me an awful lot about the realities of life in the USA, and it's a tough place to live.
Sorry this is a bit of an essay - but it's a topic that I have lots of feelings on , so many people go to Orlando on vacation and then think they would like to spend there life there and they just have no idea.
It sounds like with your American connections, you have a bit more of an idea of what you are letting yourself in for - and I think your kids would love it (but don't forget those University fees), but it's a big ole' decision to make.
Found this on the web. It's one Brit's perspective.
07-25-2003, 06:45 AM
Thanks Olaf for posting the link, some of that sounds familiar! :D
BevS97 Thanks for posting your persepctive, if we do decide to move my eldest DD will be roughly the same age as you were when you emigrated, so it is good to hear how you felt. On the holiday front, I don't know which state you lived in, but we lived in CA, we did have fewer holidays than in the UK, but certainly more than 5, I think that it was 10-12 but I'm not sure. We never worked those long hours, usually 9-5. In fact DH and I were discussing the holiday aspect last night and we both feel that we are in more need of a holiday living in the UK. Whilst living in CA we were able to do many more things in the evenings and on the weekend, due to having the nice weather and more available opportunities. So we are not too bothered that we will have fewer holidays.
On the subject of the NHS, it is true they will never turn you away, but sometimes we do not have access to treatment that is available in the U.S. My youngest DD has a viral infection which has caused small bumps to come up on her face. We were told by our GP that there is no available treatment in this country, and to just let it run it's course, which could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. If she wasn't so bothered about her face then this would be ok. We have had to order cream from the U.S to treat it, and the best thing is we had to pay customs duty on it!! My other DD has had to wait 5 weeks to find out when she can have an appointment to see a consultant then she will have to wait goodness how long to actually see her. We have been pushed around from pillar to post since Oct. and the medical profession still do not know what is wrong with DD. Anyway this post is not intended to pull the NHS apart. I know that there are a lot of dedicated people who work long hours to care for people. The problem is when you see your child in pain and you know if you lived in a different place they would have been treated months ago it is very difficult.
Anyway I am sure that we will come to a decision soon. Thank you for all of your perspectives, they have been very helpful.
07-25-2003, 12:18 PM
Interesting discussion. I love San Diego, was stationed there for a year, and would seriously consider moving there, across country, if it wasn't so expensive to live. Housing is one of the most expensive in the country. Now compared to the UK, that may well not be an issue. But as beautiful as SD is, it has a lot of the same problems as the rest of the US. Crime and traffic being some of the more noticable ones. There is also the issue of public schools vs private schools. Depending where you live there, you may wind up paying extra ( a lot extra) to send your children to a private school as the public ones may not be up to the standards you are up to.
Moving cross country, or half way around the world, as it is, always sounds like a good idea. But, for keeps? That is real tough.
That's not to say don't do it. But consider all the angles, not just the fact that SD is beautiful. Think about this: would you seriously consider the move if it wasn't to San Diego, but say, Cleveland instead, which has rough winters, and no ocean coast line?
07-25-2003, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by profdsny
Think about this: would you seriously consider the move if it wasn't to San Diego, but say, Cleveland instead, which has rough winters, and no ocean coast line?
It is hard to say definitely one way or the other, but I think if my DH had grown up in Cleveland and his family lived there, instead of CA we would be considering it the same way.
07-27-2003, 02:25 PM
I spent a long time in the Middle East ( 9 years) and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, but it differs slightly because it was never going to be a permanent move. The reason I mention it , is because it's very difficult to gauge just how some people will settle in. Even in a country where, as a family, we had pretty much everything you could want ( nice home, pool, social clubs , good schools, house maids ) there were many people ( usually the wives) that never fitted in. They missed their relatives and their "long term friends". While most people made "short term friends" (in some cases they became long term) there were people who just couldn't seem to (maybe didn't want to) make the friendships that they required and were terribly home sick. Catherine, you will know if you think socially it will be a problem to you, having family there is going to make it much easier than for a family who don't have that to fall back on. IMHO children adapt pretty quickly and unless they are terribly shy or introverted they are not going to find it too difficult. I wouldn't move kids of 14/15 because IMHO they are at too sensitive a stage both educationally and in their emotional development, but I think preteens they generally adapt pretty well.
Having covered socially (a little) economically is an easier subject to research. I presume you'll have a house to sell, so you know the equity that will release. It's not hard to give yourself a pretty good idea of housing costs so you can work out what income you'll need to have a standard of living that is as good or better than the one you currently have. Then it's a case of working out if you and DH have qualifications or experience that give you a good chance of being able to command a salary that will provide that income. Schools are an issue, university is an issue (the costs are huge), medical insurance is an issue but all of these can be tackled with a reasonable amount of certainty. I believe California is an expensive place to live, that is going to have a great influence on the economics, but ultimately this is a choice of the heart.
My outlook on life is never to be in a situation where I look back and say "what if I had....." All one can do, IMHO, is to think the trhings through and if it's what you really want to do, go for it. If you discover it's not for you, then it will cost a bit to retrace your steps, but it's not impossible. I would rather try something and discover it doesn't suit than spending the rest of my life regretting not trying.
To the original question, I'm hoping/planning to move to Fl next year, it's taken me a while to be in the correct place to be able to take on such a move but I think most things are in the right place to be able to do so. There is a lot of research and thinking that can go into such a move, but at some time one has to make a leap of faith about what is best for the family as a whole. Kids are important, but at times I think as parents we can avoid doing something that is important to us, because we spend too much time worrying about what effect it will have on the children. It's important that we include their feelings and desires, but rarely I've found that the kids thank a parent for the "sacrifices" made on their behalf and often the resentment that builds up as a parent gives up their dreams for their kids can cause problems if the kids "waste the opportunity" that's been afforded to them by the parents sacrifice. There can be no more hurtful comment than " well I never asked you not to.......... just for me".
Catherine, for you there are a lot of economic issues that no one else can help with, socially you know whether you'll be able to make the move ( the kids will make friends and settle) , the opportunities for the family is about a better life. Medical insurance IS expensicve in the US, but IMHO you get a better service than here, Education IS expensive in the US, but in general you get a qualification that does raise you chances of getting a good (well paid) job (I'm not sure that is always the case here) I also feel that if the student knows they are going to come out with a debt at the end of their education, it SHOULD mean they actually value that education and don't treat it as a free ride. The US generally, gets less holiday time than we do, but our weather means you can't make much of your time in the UK. IMHO their are plusses and minusses for both "life styles". I leave the house at 6.00 am and rarely get home before 6.30 PM, if I have to take a client out it could be to 1.00 am and I'm expected into work on time the next day , so long hours are not exclusive to the US (just ask a junior doctor)
Good luck on your choice
07-28-2003, 03:03 AM
Good luck with your decision Catherine, its a very hard one!
This has been a fascinating discussion, as like many others Mark & I have often discussed moving to Florida and would love to do it. On the practical side though, for us, I think it would only happen if we won the lottery and could live out there on our fortune and not work!!:rolleyes: ;)
07-28-2003, 04:02 AM
I think you obviously have the ties and experience to make this move back to the US work and if I were in your position I'd go for it.
I'd have to say that whilst I wouldn't choose to live in the US I wish for a better life here for both my partner and I so that we could both spend more time in the States visiting all the many friends that we have made out there. I do love FL but realistically I wouldn't want to live there all the time - I quite like the idea of a home there and a home here and the money to be able to flit from one to another as we choose. So yup Mandy we're with you on that Lottery win ;)
07-28-2003, 04:13 AM
Interesting points Vernon. One JDoc here ... hmm, like I've said before, I'm planning on moving to Canada in the next couple of years once I finish my general practitioner rotation here. Interestingly, we are fortunate that doctors in Canada seem to be able to get more annual leave, as much as we do over here. - so annual leave is dependent on your profession I guess. Of course, you are expected to work hard when you are on duty though.
The pay for junior doctors in the States is also not much better than over here, which I should add is pathetic. It is however, much better for specialists, as it is in Canada too.
I can't wait to move.
You're right John, the amount of annual leave you get is heavily influenced by your position. Salaried workers normally get more, but it can vary considerably. You can also negotiate this when you're hired.
The other problem with leave is that they don't like you to take it all at once. My DH gets 30 days a year, but they prefer he take it in one-week increments. We're taking two weeks next month, but that is rare.
Our health care is terrific, just so long as you have insurance. I can call in the morning and have an appointment for that day or the next, but we have a good insurance program. Our program also includes free meds or a $5 dollar copay.
When you don't have insurance, you're at the mercy of the state. It depends on where you live, but most people without insurance generally end up at the Emergency Rooms of our big hospitals. Some states have large state funded hospitals. This is one of the reasons CA is going bankrupt. The courts have ordered the state to pay for the medical care of illegals and it's destroying their budget. Pregnant women come across the border to have their babies in the states (thereby making the babies US citizens), and sticking the tax payers with the bill. I went off topic a bit here, but it's huge problem.
07-28-2003, 10:49 AM
I would love to move but like so many of you have said it is a big step and you have to weigh up the pros and cons.My mum would miss my children terribly,she is 76 and my girls stay with every weekend as she is only 10 minutes away.
We have friends in PA who have offered us land to build a house on and have given us lots of advice on schools etc,my kids are 6,10 and 14.The eldest didn't want to move a few years ago but now she does.My niece is currently inh Swiotzerland working and she loves it.She has told my eldest that when my DD leaves school that they could both go to the US for a few months to work and see how things and take it from there.
I think she'd come home after that but not to stay.We didn't think my niece would stay inj Switzerland on her own but shes been there 2 years now.
Good luck to you,I hope it all works out
07-29-2003, 06:49 AM
YES!! without a flinch,YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!
07-30-2003, 03:54 PM
I jumped at the chance to live here and have lived here for the past 12 years.
I was raised in Jersey City, moved to Clearwater fl, went to uni in San Diego, and then moved to ABERDEEN! (Scotland that is!)
I don't think I would ever move back to America, (except San Diego, I loved it there!) every time I visit my parents in Fl I am reminded that everything I knew has moved on and changed without me, it is too odd, I really do feel like a proper tourist when I visit!
07-30-2003, 05:05 PM
Raven, how do you think US house prices compare then from Bath to San Diego?
08-03-2003, 04:38 AM
Thank you everybody for all your relpies and comments, I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your perspectives.
After lots of very serious discussions, we have decided that we are going to move to San Diego in 2005. My eldest DD has 2 years left at primary school and she would like to stay at her current school for her last 2 years. Even if we were not moving her circle of friends would be split up anyway, as they are all going to different high schools, so that makes it a bit easier for her to think about leaving. We decided that the best time to move would be during the school holidays. That will give us time to do the move and get settled in before my DD's have to start new schools.
We know it is going to be hard work and take lots of planning, but we feel a sense of relief now that we have made a decision. At least now we can come up with a plan and we have a date to work toward.
08-10-2003, 05:56 PM
Glad to see you have made a decision to move to the US.
I moved here in 1993 when I was 29yrs old. I came with a nursing agency, planned to stay 18 months...............and here I still am.
In terms of economics I am much better off here. I live in GA where the cost of living is relatively cheap. We are in the process of looking for a new house and can get a 4 bedroom ~2000sqft home for around $180,000. Something I could never afford in the UK on a nurses salary.
I bought a new car when I moved here, and am planning on getting a new minivan in a few months.
The climate is obviously much warmer than the UK (though probably about par with you right now with your heat wave!!)
Health care is good.....if you have the insurance (which even working for a hospital is expensive). I pay ~$250/month for health insurance, pay $15 for every doctor appointment, and $35 for a specialist. Most prescription are $10 for a month supply unless they are not covered by the insurance plan, then out of pocket expenses can be crippling. Many elderly people do not have coverage and unable to afford the medicines they need.
That said, I don't ever have to wait for medical treatment.
I don't have annual leave per se. My company gives me 8 hours of paid time off for every 80hours I work. Which only amounts to 17 days/yr, so I have to go without vacations in order to accrue a significant period of time off.
I don't get ANY extra pay for working holidays.
As I said, I have been here 10yrs now and have my US citizenship. I doubt I will return to the UK mainly because of the cost of living issues, although we miss family and friends of course.
Even living here however, we still have an idealistic view of places like Orlando (mostly I suppose because we have had just great vacations there), and have considered moving there. It is sometimes difficult to keep the memories of a good vacation separate from the logical reasoning of why we should or shouldn't relocate.
This certainly is the land of opportunity though and I would recommend to anyone to try it out if they have the chance.
Good luck with your decision.
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