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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-21-2006, 06:10 PM   #21
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by AltaRed

Europeans spend more of their leisure time in the city core at pubs and cafes and I could really like that lifestyle. I used to take advantage of those opportunities during the many business trips to Europe when I was working.
That is one of the reasons I like where I am (Capitol Hill DC). Parts of some American cities are becoming more European in that respect and I think that is a good thing. My European travels are limited, but among the few places I have traveled I found Italian central cities to be the best for that open, relaxed, social atmosphere. I am heading to the Tuscany coast on a bike trip in May and am looking forward to seeing if my memory serves me well.
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-21-2006, 08:06 PM   #22
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Hey Claire...

I can say that this name is more from the UK than other places... and I find it intersting that you ask about the UK... when I was there I found that most people said they were from England, Ireland or Scotland... not many said from the UK..

As to posters... I was VERY surprised how many people lived on 'overdrafts'... I would say over 75% of the people I dealt with carried an overdraft and were very happy when they got back to zero..

The cost of living in London was outrageous... most things we pay a dollar for they pay a pound... do the math!! And almost everyone I knew had roommates... since my company was paying for my place.. I lived alone... but, it was very enjoyable except for all the people...

have heard some bad things about other cities with the 'yob' mentality... but I guess it is in our cities also...

Nice to hear from you Claire...
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-22-2006, 11:15 AM   #23
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Hi Texas Pound!

Nice to hear from you too

Yes you are correct, its just that i couldnt be bothered to type england scotland or wales so the UK was just easier. I know what you mean about overdrafts everyone i know has one and uses it (they seem to have to)

most people over here seem happy with their "lot", if they can just get through the week/month then anything else is a bonus

The very high cost of house prices and comparitively low wages makes it difficult for someone to get ahead, i know some people who once they pay their rent/mortgage/utilities barely have enough left over for food.

This country holds nothing for me, I dont like the lifestyle, high cost of living, politics etc , cant wait to get out of here....
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-22-2006, 05:58 PM   #24
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire

This country holds nothing for me, I dont like the lifestyle, high cost of living, politics etc , cant wait to get out of here....
hello Claire

Just to be clear can I assume you are posting from the UK?

I am a Brit also but I dont live in the US.

I left the UK in 1962 but have returned often. The cost of living is shocking over there and I often ask myself how my relatives make do.

In case you are interested there is a Brits Expat discussion forum which is used by those in America, Canada, and down under (Oz and NZ).

If you wish I can post the website address. (I assume this would not be verboten?)

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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-22-2006, 06:08 PM   #25
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Claire,

Yes... it is a high cost of living there.... one of my friends rented a 'room' for I think 400 Quid a month... she did have access to the rest of the house, but so did all the others in the house... her room was maybe 100 sq ft...

My two bedroom at Sloan Square cost about 3,000 pounds a month plus utilities!!! Glad I did not have to pay...

And when my family came over to visit... I said you will pay a pound for most things you pay a dollar.. but back then the exchange rate was 1.30 or so, not 1.85... The cost of using the tube was also high if you were out in the high number zones...

Yes, it was a very interesting place to live for awhile, but I would hate to have to do it on my own....

But, you are right... almost ALL the people had the same attitude about work that I do.. it is to make some money to live on, not you whole life... that is missing here in the good ole USA... So, even with their lot in life and thier overdrafts, almost all were very happy...

What part of the UK do you live??
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 12:47 PM   #26
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Hi Max - Yes i am posting from the UK - i would be interested to read the forums you have suggsted, thanks. How did you end up living in the USA - do you have dual citizenship?

Texas Pound - sloane square is really posh I think, you were in a good location there. I live in Manchester actually in the city centre itself we have an apartment. Manchester is in the North West of England - it rains a lot!

I hear the cost of living in Texas is very reasonable.
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 01:03 PM   #27
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by claire
I hear the cost of living in Texas is very reasonable.
Yeah, but is it worth it when you consider the rattlesnakes, the armadilloes, the rednecks, the heat and humidity, the empty desert, and so on?

Why not consider a trip to Canada, instead? We've got friendly people, four unique seasons, and a lot of other neat stuff!
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 01:21 PM   #28
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by Cool Dood
Yeah, but is it worth it when you consider the rattlesnakes, the armadilloes, the rednecks, the heat and humidity, the empty desert, and so on?

Why not consider a trip to Canada, instead? We've got friendly people, four unique seasons, and a lot of other neat stuff!
What CD said...

Dood, your Honorary Texan rattlesnake belt is in the mail...

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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 03:00 PM   #29
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire
JJ - how did you get a green card if you dont mind me asking, what is your story? Do you miss the UK?
Hi, Claire,

Sorry not to reply sooner. You could search on my user name to look at my earlier posts for some of my story. Not quite sure what I've said before. :

We came to Texas in 1998 with DH's job, an intra-company transfer, which was on L1 visa for him and L2 visas for me and the kids (now teens). We came on the understanding that the co. would sponsor a green card application for us. We hesitated on the green card application at first, it seemed like too much of a commitment until we had decided to stay at least for a few years. (You can stay for a maximum of 7 years with 'L' visas - 3 year original term plus extentions of 2 x 2 years.) Eventually we applied, and it took almost 2 years from the original application until we actually had the cards in our hands. (9/11 intervened during that time.) Now that we have green cards we are eligible to apply for naturalization from the point that we have had the green card for 4 years and 9 months. At that point we will have actually lived here for almost 10 years as the time before the green card comes through doesn't count.

I do sometimes miss the UK but on balance I prefer living in the US, I must do I'm still here, aren't I? I miss my family and friends, the countryside, being able to travel cheaply and easily to mainland Europe. Lots of things, actually....

Don't be too caught up with the idea that life in the US is so much better or cheaper. There are a number of costs here which are way more than those in the UK. In Texas, property taxes and medical insurance for starters. Plus, don't ever think about not having personal liability insurance in the US, you would be wiped out in a heartbeat were someone to sue you. As REWahoo! has already indicated life in Texas is very different I found it a total culture shock coming here. We lived in Germany and the Netherlands before coming here and they are far closer to the UK in attitude/culture than the US, a fact that I totally underestimated.

Only come to the US if you would be 'well off' - being poor in America is not fun. You need to be financially secure to consider it, or coming to a very well paying job.

I would welcome any links to good sites which deal with expat issues of pensions, dual taxation etc. as we have pensions all over Europe and really have no clear idea how they will be taxed if we stay in the US after the kids have left HS/college. We have a number of years to go before pensions are available to us, but I like to plan (like everyone else on this board! ) Also discussions about UK taxation, pension legislation, IH taxes, capital gains, dividend taxes etc. are interesting and show how behaviour is moulded by the government strictures we are bound by in any particular country.

This is enough for one post, please come back with more questions.

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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 05:08 PM   #30
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by jj
Don't be too caught up with the idea that life in the US is so much better or cheaper.
I didn't judge the UK by how I liked London or Glasgow or Dunoon.

Perhaps the U.S. shouldn't be judged by how much people like Texas...
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 05:28 PM   #31
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by Nords
I didn't judge the UK by how I liked London or Glasgow or Dunoon.

Perhaps the U.S. shouldn't be judged by how much people like Texas...
I had a really snappy comeback...but the scorpions and fire ants ate it.

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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 06:46 PM   #32
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire
Hi Max - Yes i am posting from the UK - i would be interested to read the forums you have suggsted, thanks. How did you end up living in the USA - do you have dual citizenship?

Claire ... The forum I find very interesting is this one

http://britishexpats.com/forum/

This other excellent site has a global reach (as you will see) and I sometimes post in the Canada section. Actually I do have dual citizenship but am a Canadian. I have visited most of America, a great country, and although my Dad lived in California, my family chose to remain up North in Montreal.

As to how I came across the pond well that is story in itself but let me say I have never regreted it for a moment. I am now 63 years of age and left the UK in 1962. Been back often but never felt at home there.

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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 07:18 PM   #33
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
Claire.. it is the same way in Italy and probably much of Europe. Not to get into politics but I think the mindset of socialism (dole/pensions/public health) has a lot to do with it, as does a certain dose of "old Europe" ennui/fatalism/existentialism compared with Americans' hard-charging, money-grubbing, "rugged individualist" ways. I try to take the best I can from both worlds!

I think Europeans also have living standards that the average American would not countenance, and they are less driven to "acquire" things. Said Irish friend, at 40, was sharing a 2-bedroom apt. with a married Italian couple and subsequently the couple's baby for a number of years.. Worked out for them all just fine.

I think the LBYM part of the equation they have down. much more so than the average American credit-card holder, but investing for ER (rather than wangling a "baby pension") is indeed beyond their ken.

Claire you are right on target with your observations. I have travelled extensively and spent a lot of time among Europeans. You have very succinctly nailed the differences. While Americans are obsessed with possessing things and hardwork, the Europeans have a much more laid back approach but of course they can since many of them, particularly Scandanavia, has a cradle to grave society.

Not only Europeans but many other cultures around the world tend to take a much more laid back approach to life. They take longer vacations, relax more and possess fewer things. I for one believe it's all in the values one is brought up with. As an immigrant to this country, I value above else my free time so I can spend it with family and any other way I chose. For that reason, I do not strive to get far up the corporate ladder.

I often wander who has the better society. Is it better to live simply and be satisfied or work hard and achieve tons of material things but sacrifice time and family in the process which the American society tend to value. Maybe we should open up a discussion on this topic.

I too have a story. My sister-in-law is British and gave her attic to a friend with a daughter and they lived like that for several years and never seemed to worry about who is imposing on whom.
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 07:22 PM   #34
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

Sorry, I meant to Say Ladelfina. I am responding to her post.
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 07:33 PM   #35
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by Peter
However, I wouldn't be so quick as to say one way is better than the other. Being happy with what you've got is a good start to a happy life.

Peter
I for one thinks happiness is contentment. Once you've provided you basic needs and you are not scrounging, no amount of money will make you any happier. I have reached my point of diminishing returns. While I don't have near what many people on this board have, I have enough. I don't want a bigger house and more stuff because I have to maintain them and they just seem to add stress to your life unless you are so wealthy that you can pay someone to have the headache. I can't imagine having more satisfaction with my personal life that I have now. In my opinion, here's the key to happiness:

Marry the right person
Have a livable household income
Have the number of children you can afford (they bring you the single greatest joy that no amount of money could ever bring you)
Be content (anything else will be gravy)

I do admit that this may be difficult to do in America because college education and medical insurance are so high. That's where most of the developed world beat us. They don't have to worry about paying too much for those two things, therefore they can sleep better at night with less.
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-23-2006, 07:51 PM   #36
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by Cool Dood
Yeah, but is it worth it when you consider the rattlesnakes, the armadilloes, the rednecks, the heat and humidity, the empty desert, and so on?

Why not consider a trip to Canada, instead? We've got friendly people, four unique seasons, and a lot of other neat stuff!
Hmmmm.... I live in a location that has average rainfall that far exceeds how much it rains in London... when I was there it rained more in a year than it had in 300 years and barely made our average..... the Gulf Coast is very very green... and, no rattlesnakes, no armadilloes.. but we do have rednecks and heat and humidity...
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-24-2006, 06:05 AM   #37
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Hmmmm.... I live in a location that has average rainfall that far exceeds how much it rains in London... when I was there it rained more in a year than it had in 300 years and barely made our average..... the Gulf Coast is very very green... and, no rattlesnakes, no armadilloes.. but we do have rednecks and heat and humidity...
I thought we had a deal. Only post negative stuff about Texas
(keeps the riff-raff out)

JG
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-24-2006, 06:08 AM   #38
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by ADJ
I for one thinks happiness is contentment. Once you've provided you basic needs and you are not scrounging, no amount of money will make you any happier. I have reached my point of diminishing returns. While I don't have near what many people on this board have, I have enough. I don't want a bigger house and more stuff because I have to maintain them and they just seem to add stress to your life unless you are so wealthy that you can pay someone to have the headache. I can't imagine having more satisfaction with my personal life that I have now. In my opinion, here's the key to happiness:

Marry the right person
Have a livable household income
Have the number of children you can afford (they bring you the single greatest joy that no amount of money could ever bring you)
Be content (anything else will be gravy)

I do admit that this may be difficult to do in America because college education and medical insurance are so high. That's where most of the developed world beat us. They don't have to worry about paying too much for those two things, therefore they can sleep better at night with less.
Outstanding post!

JG
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?
Old 10-24-2006, 07:29 AM   #39
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Re: Is there anyone else here from the UK?

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Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Hmmmm.... I live in a location that has average rainfall that far exceeds how much it rains in London... when I was there it rained more in a year than it had in 300 years and barely made our average..... the Gulf Coast is very very green... and, no rattlesnakes, no armadilloes.. but we do have rednecks and heat and humidity...

Oppppsss... sorry JG.... all this is a lie.... it is not real... we shoot people!!!
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