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  • yosser 
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  • Location: Providence, RI 
I have lived in the US for over 11 yrs and came here for medical training. THe NHS was a complete shambles but supposedly they are getting their act together and parents are getting older so contemplating returning etc.
Anyone got any advice who has returned recently to the UK or who has thoughts on this subject. I'm a Londoner so that's where I would hope to go to.
My concerns are 1. High cost of living 2. Schools 3. Healthcare
THe problem is I am quite happy here but actually I have been away so long I have actually forgotten what it is like to live in the UK...!
Help!
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  • Kay 
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Hi Yosser

Welcome to BE.

(I'm wondering if we should have a specific board for returnees as the subject does crop up from time to time.)

Dave and I returned to London after a fairly lengthy absence. Admittedly we only did it so we could sell up and move overseas "permanently". We were quite horrified at the cost of living.

The housing market is quite depressed at the moment so that might be in your favour.

As you can see from our fora, people are leaving the UK in droves. Everyone is different, of course, but I think you might find it very tough to return to the UK. Is there any chance you could have an extended holiday to get a feel for the place before committing yourself?

Good luck!

Kay
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  • Alan-LaCala 
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Quote:The housing market is quite depressed at the moment so that might be in your favour.


True Kay, but London house prices are still extremely high; will you be looking to buy Yosser, or renting?

Alan
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  • yosser 
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I will plan on renting initially and then buy. Best case scenario is about 75-80K squids per year. I know that is probably a lot by local UK standards but buying a 3 bed flat and sending 2 girls to decent schools is going to be tight...
I think part of the problem is that living in the US is so culturally different that you don't really have any sense of belonging. I don't know if that really means anything at the end of the day if you can't afford to buy groceries. Ah, decisions, decisions!
Y
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  • Savannah_Alan 
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yosser wrote:I think part of the problem is that living in the US is so culturally different that you don't really have any sense of belonging. I don't know if that really means anything at the end of the day if you can't afford to buy groceries. Ah, decisions, decisions!


I completely understand Yosser. I'm contemplating a return to England as an option right now. Unfortunately, I can't give you any definite advice, but I understand your reasoning.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Alan.
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  • sharonbrit 
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Hi There:

I have been living in Park City, UT for 6 years and now have been thinking about moving back to England. As anybody moved back after a long time outside the UK. I miss England alot and have skills that are needed in the UK.

How much of a shock is it?

Let me know,

Cheers,

Sharon Smile
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  • harunys 
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Sharon,

I spent 14 years in the US, and returned to the UK in 2003. My wife's American and we have 1 child. I kept my US salary and our lifestyle in the UK is about the same as it was in the US. The big difference is that our garden is a lot smaller! Our house is smaller too - but thinking back to our US home(s) they were a little over the top and becoming increasingly expensive to maintain, heat and cool.

I would say the cost of living is not much different - we had to drive a lot more in the US and it turns out that we spend less on petrol in the UK than we did in the US because we use a lot less fuel.

Our private health insurance in the UK is about 8 times less than we paid in the US... and we haven't needed to use it because the local NHS service is as good as what we had in the US (so far).

As you know, we are a nation of whiners and tend to put ourselves and our country down. Whereas Americans tend to big everything up.

I have just double-checked my 2003 US tax returns and pay slips and my UK take-home pay is slightly less than what it was in the US - but I happen to be in one of the higher tax brackets in the UK. When I take into account the $350 per month health insurance that was taken out of my US pay then my take-home pay is about the same. This is also taking into account the mortgage interest deduction that you can still use in the US. From what I can tell, unless you earn more than about $150,000 pa, tax wise you are no worse off in the UK, and if you earn an average salary you are probably better off. I earn the equivalent of $110,000.

When making comparisions most people neglect to take into account the medicare, social security, and state taxes one has to pay in the US.

Also our council tax (dispite all the complaints here) is a lot less than the property taxes we had to pay in the US, even allowing for differences in the size of home. On an equivalent home the council tax works out to be at least 5 times less than our US property taxes (and this isn't counting the tax you have to pay on land).

What hit us when we moved back was the VAT we had to pay on all the electrical appliances that we had to re-purchase (because the US ones won't work in the UK). But once we were over that hump the cost of living is not much worse than the US.

We came back in November 2003, and took until January 2006 before we had recovered from the move and settled in. As I said my wife is American (through and through) but there is very little that she misses about the US, certain brands of food and one or two of her friends. I truely find it hard to think of anything I miss about the US, we've been getting a lot visits form our US frineds lately - and at least one family is considering moving here if they can find work.

Without going on too much - I noticed that most aspects of British life have actually improved. The problem is that a visit home for a few weeks won't reveal this. After about a year we started to notice the little things in the UK that make the quality of life here so much better.

I really don't understand the complaints about the weather, in places we lived in the US the weather was so extreme. Often, there were only about 3 months of the year when it was comfortable to be outside. Our last home was in Massachusetts and it would be hot and humid in the summer and freezing with months of snow on the ground in the winter. The weather in the UK is very temperate. In the winter when we need some extra sun it is cheaper for us to go to Spain than it was to go to Florida - and Spain is far more pleasant to visit.

I lived and travelled all over the US and have many American friends and, in my opinion, the US is heading for a long period of decline and instability. I really enjoyed my time and I learnt a lot of good things from the US and Americans; but in balance I think life in the UK/Europe is better. You have to learn to ignore people that have axes to grind and disregard a lot of the unfounded nonsense in papers.

Rooney
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  • Savannah_Alan 
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Rooney,
I have to say, your posts are a breath of fresh air. For whatever various reasons, you will see quite a lot of "UK bashing" here and it is great to come across someone that seems to have similar views as I, but that has actually made the move to repatriate and made a success of it.

It gives me hope as I too am in the US and am not sure it will ever become "home". One day, I may be following you.

Anyway, thanks for the alternative view and please stick around Wink .

Alan.
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  • Mojan 
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I too am seriously contemplating returning to the UK to live one day. I have felt very drawn towards a life in the British countryside for some years now (although not too far out in the sticks, I need to be reasonably close to the bright lights.......and shops!! Laughing )

The biggest thing for me would be to leave my two (adult) children, who are quite settled here in Australia.
I have more family in the UK than I do here in Australia and as I get older the ties seem to get stronger with them (which surprises me somewhat)

I think initially I would have a trial period of living 6 months in the UK and 6 months here in Aus and I would also take out Australian Citizenship (which I have not done to date....even after 33 years of living here), to make sure that I was able to freely come and go from both countries when I wanted to.

The biggest problem for me would be the property which is owned here in Australia. If this were to be sold and the proceeds transferred to the UK, there would be a big financial disadvantage due to the exchange rate, which is why I would probably not consider selling up completely.
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  • mygirl92000 
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Surprised We just retired and on disability support and are both very very home sick for the UK. We have been in Australia for almost 37 years. We have adult children here but only a few friends. Our remaining family and other friends are in the UK. We have duel residency and pass ports.
We are scared of the exchange rate of our Aussie dollar.
Does any one know of our entitlements if we were to return? Or who to contact.
Confused
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  • SunnyDays 
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harunys - Thank you for a thoughtful and balanced post. Life is tough sometimes and when mired in difficulty a slanted post can sometimes result.

I've been in the US since I was young. My parents brought me to the US from the UK, because my dad was US military and his service had ended.

Now I'm in my mid-thirties and looking to return permanently to the UK. This board and posts like yours will help.

yosser - I have similar concerns to you about returning to the UK. In the US my health insurance premiums go up every year or my coverage is cut. Sometimes both occurs.

While I'm getting on okay in the US, I know that my way of thinking is less American and more British/European. When I visit my family in the UK, I feel at home and at ease. When I return to America, I miss UK life. I know that this is not an uncommon phenomenon when going on holiday. The only thing is that it only happens to me when visiting the UK.

I'm planning to move back in two years, allowing me enough time to plan, save, etc.
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