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Topic: Trying to decide if we should take the plunge  (Read 820 times)

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Trying to decide if we should take the plunge
« on: August 09, 2019, 03:59:09 PM »
First off--this place is amazing. I wish I'd known about it when I lived in the UK years and years ago (1997-2005--was this website here then?)

We moved back to the US in 2005 because of lots of reasons. I married young (20) and basically went from living at home in GA to moving across the world to be with a guy I'd known for a few months. I was a crazy young thing, I guess. So it was hard for me living away from my family when I started having kids. We moved back to the US with just a bunch of suitcases and basically started from scratch with two kids. We left a one-bedroom flat in London to stay with my family in GA, then hubby got a job that relocated us to South Carolina, about 4.5 hours away from my family.

We bought a nice house, we have two cars, we should have a great life, but something feels like it's missing. Lately, I've been really, really wanting to move the family back to the UK. Hubby's family is all there--they all moved out of London and now live the life we dreamed of down in the southeastern part of the country. Hubby has a good job, but our bills here are stupid high. We never seem to have any money left over after medical bills, utilities, car taxes, etc. I have been at home doing a little freelance work to earn extra money, mostly because I'm the one the school calls when our oldest daughter has a 'bad day'. (She's considered high functioning on the autism spectrum and has some depression and anxiety issues, so I have had to 'talk her down' as often as every day for a few weeks last year).

In four years time, our oldest daughter will be out of school. Our youngest will be heading to middle school. Our son will be finished with college and hopefully highly employable in the same field as his dad. I'm thinking that we'd be in a good place to move then, but my husband isn't so sure. He's concerned about losing all he's built up (rightfully so) here in the States, but we'd already discussed moving away from this area anyway. And I think he'd be highly employable in the UK--he works with manufacturing machines repairing the robotics and doing electrical maintenance. There's even a small chance he could get a transfer to a plant in the UK since his company is global.

Am I out of my mind for even thinking we should do this? Lately, I've been so disheartened by the way things are going over here. The political stuff, the gun crime, and the general feeling that healthcare is getting more and more expensive.

I know there are problems in the UK. I know we could be broke and struggling there just like we have been here, and I know I'd miss my mom and sisters. I only ever get home a few times a year here as it is, but I talk to my mom pretty much daily over the phone. I guess I could still do that in the UK thanks to Facetime, Whatsapp, etc. I think that I was just too young the first time around. Now that I have my own family, the prospect of living so far away doesn't sound intimidating--it sounds like an adventure. I dream of walking my daughter to school, the shops, and even getting a train somewhere and showing my kids the history that they're missing out on over here.

Has anyone been in our shoes? What do you guys think?

Edited to add that I have both UK and US citizenship and hubby is looking at getting US citizenship (he's got a Greencard now). Kids are all dual nationals, so that part's not a worry for us.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 04:14:35 PM by Woods.usa »


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Re: Trying to decide if we should take the plunge
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 04:32:23 PM »
Personally, I'm one of the people who doesn't think life is better in one country than the other.  It's what you make of the opportunity while you are there.  But for most, one country "fits" a bit better.

No doubt people have more disposable income in the USA.  Salaries here are shocking.  As is the cost of living (homes, etc).  Salaries being shockingly low and homes being shockingly expensive.

Life is definitely not sexier or more glamorous in either country.  No matter what, at the end of the day we are all at work to pay our bills to enjoy what we have left in our free time. 

And while the US has Trump and will likely have him until 2024, we have Boris and Brexit.  Brexit which we will have for life.  Which blows.

Saying all that, I'm happy enough here.  I've been here going on 10 years, have 2 small kids, and am terrified of starting over again in the USA.  Though I looking longingly at friends and family with homes their family actually fit in and spending time with family easily and it not costing them thousands to do so. 

Basically, I'm the same, just in the opposite direction.  Terrified of starting over.  But maybe will do it again one day. 


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Re: Trying to decide if we should take the plunge
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 07:02:05 PM »
Two areas of concern for me: Your husband who doesn’t sound so keen and your daughter who might have trouble with stuff being different.   You’ll have to be sure about those two areas before you leap. 

You also should be aware that mental health care is seriously underfunded here, so if you think your daughter may need resources in that area you could have trouble. 


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Re: Trying to decide if we should take the plunge
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 10:49:18 PM »
Two areas of concern for me: Your husband who doesn’t sound so keen and your daughter who might have trouble with stuff being different.   You’ll have to be sure about those two areas before you leap. 

You also should be aware that mental health care is seriously underfunded here, so if you think your daughter may need resources in that area you could have trouble. 


Those are both areas of concern for me, too. Although, with my daughter being much older when we move, I'm hoping that she'd be able to cope better with the change. And my husband would love to live near his family, but he wants to be able to afford a decent standard of living. I guess because we struggled in our early years of marriage (one-bedroom council flat with two kids is not something I'd ever recommend, lol!), he's worried about what we'd be able to afford in the UK. Honestly, if he could get a job that pays similarly to what he's earning now (and per a lot of the jobs advertised, I think he could), we'd be better off in the UK, at least financially. Here, medical bills eat up a lot of our money, plus utilities and things like mobile phones and internet seem much more expensive in the US. We're still in the very early days of trying to decide if it could possibly work out for us to move back, but I'm the kind of person who needs to gather as much information as I possibly can so I can weigh every option and every negative/positive in the balance.


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Re: Trying to decide if we should take the plunge
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2019, 09:50:53 AM »
What sort of environments is his work dependent on? If its solely manufacturing I would tread carefully. After Brexit there won't BE a manufacturing base in this country, and a lot of the car makers are already starting to consider/announced closures. Are a lot of the job postings for the areas you want to live in the SE or are they more Midlands/North?Are the job postings 'real' (e.g. not just reposts by agencies trying to drum up some new applicants or larger books)? You could have him do some speculative applications and test the waters - the hiring process here is so slow anyway.

Also be aware that what looks cheap and affordable now probably won't be once tariffs and inflation flow through. You can already start to see it at the store in the prices of groceries. Your internet and phone may be cheaper here, but quality is dependent on location - sure I pay less for internet than the US but we have speeds equivalent to what we were getting in the US 10 years ago. There are no other options because its BT line and my area is uneconomical for a third party to run fibre in here. Everything sort of works here... after a fashion.


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Re: Trying to decide if we should take the plunge
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2019, 10:32:10 AM »
Your husband's concerns are valid.  It's possible to have a big American style house, but the catch is that they tend to be far away from the jobs.  Anywhere near London is going to be ridiculously small.   Away from London and the salaries tend to be ridiculously small as well. 

That's enough focusing on the negative.  I live in a tiny house but it's OK because I live in London. I'm writing this from a cafe in Portugal because I can easily travel to Europe and I have enough time off to travel. 


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Re: Trying to decide if we should take the plunge
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 04:07:00 PM »
I know that in a few years time everything in the UK could be different, so really I suppose it's too early to be trying to decide if it would be a better fit for us. But I'm going to be researching and saving my money so we will be in a good spot financially if we decide to take the leap. My heart tells me that we'd be happier there, but my head reminds me that poor and struggling is no fun in either country, so the job thing is a big deal. The smaller house, I could live with, as long as we've got a little green garden and big green spaces nearby for getting out and about.

I miss being able to go to Europe and other places so easily. We haven't had a vacation since we've been in the States because it's just too expensive/too far to get anywhere. And road trips are not my family's idea of fun, lol! They might be persuaded to drive across the UK, especially if they could stop and visit the towns (and pubs, haha!)



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