May Move form the States Berkshire UK Wifes Promotion Offer.

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skippyboy
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May Move form the States Berkshire UK Wifes Promotion Offer.

Post by skippyboy »

Just seeing what you guys think of this and to get some information from are British friends.

The short of it is my wife's pharmaceutical company was split in two. Human bought by someone and animal by a different buyer which happens Jan. 1. Before we moved here two years ago she was one of the heads in the animal division back in my home state (15 years there) but to get her home she stepped back a little and started in the human field with the currant company. To make it worse the company who bought the Animal division just wants the products and will close most of them manufacturing plants. It's about the same with the human side but they may or may not shut my wife's plant down because it is a newer plant.

Yesterday she had a meeting with one of the people who bought the animal pharmaceutical side. One of of the drugs my wife did allot of the original R&D on and was in charge of the last 7 years before the transfer they still want. So they want to hire her but the plant would be in Berkshire UK. They pretty much are offering her what she wants to do this and they want to fly her and I across the pound for 2 weeks. ( We both have passports they offered to take the kids to but they don't have them yet) Mainly to look around and see what we think of it. All expenses paid.

If she gives them 10 years this is there first offer.
Buy the house here if it is not sold after one year.
All moving expenses.
10% down on a new home loan there if we want to take a one. Anything under 450K Pounds we could pay cash for but it would kill college funds, and investments.
400k British Pounds with yearly bonuses. More than double what we both make now.
100% health care.
Pay to fly the kids and I over one time every month for a year.


I'm not worried about leaving my job and the kids will adjust if she says yes. The only doubt I have is my dad and uncle are getting to the point where the want to retire from our centennial farm and turn it over to my brother and me. Where the only male airs and my son is the only one in his generation. But like now I can fly back every spring and fall, but instead of just 2 weeks of work I would stay from start to finish. Farming is something I enjoy anyhow.

My fears are only getting used to driving on the other side of the road. I'll ship the motorcycle over to get used to it at first.
The quarantine of my 1 year old Australian Shepard. He is mine, not the kids or wife's not leaving my buddy behind.
Moving again but to a different country.
Being hated there because she maybe taking a qualified citizens job.

This is still in the maybe stages but she is leaning toward it. Her reason is better to have a job than start looking and starting over again. She has a point. She studied hard to get that doctorate while I supported us after I received my degree which I never have used. Mainly because my Moms brother got me a job with the local telephone company for good union wages. Her career has always came first with the education she has put into it. More than likely this is going to be a done deal if she likes the plant.

Oh Boy it looks like another move and I'm losing sleep over this one. She has never had an offer or opportunity like this before. It's a biggie.
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Post by fussnfeathers »

That's alot to think about. I've been to GB many times (grandmother's family is from Wales, used to go every summer for two months and stay with relatives) but it's been a long time. I do remember that while the pay seemed high, the cost of living was equally high. If you can find and afford your own house, might not be so bad, but renting was a shocker. Have a friend who owns several properties, I forget exactly where, but what with the government fees, legal requirements, things I've never heard of before, getting even a small flat somewhere near town was extremely expensive. I did find, at least back then, that foreigners were treated better than they are here, but you've got a very valid point that she would be taking a job from someone who's lived and worked there their whole life. Expect some resentment, but that's the same anywhere. I think you'll find that that problem will disappear pretty quickly.

The farm........wow, I wouldn't give that up for anything. Is there a possibility of hiring a full-time caretaker (provide housing, utilities, and such, and a small stipend for food and luxuries)? I did that for several years here, wasn't a ton of work involved, basic maintenance is all, my boss paid me decently enough, and when he sold the farm to another owner, that family kept me on, as they live primarily in LA and didn't want to move their kids from the school system there.

My big concern would be her job......I think the statute on pharmaceuticals is 15 years, then the drug has to go generic. When that happens, the company that invented it obviously moves on to the next moneymaker, which could leave your wife high and dry with no job within just a few years, and stuck in England, no less. If they're nowhere near that timeframe yet, then she should be fine, but it is something to consider.

Really, though, it's all up to you, and considering what you would be giving up. If it were me, I'd take the offer in a heartbeat, but I don't really have anything to lose, either. It might turn out to be a huge mistake, BUT it could also turn out to be the best thing you ever did.
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Post by thomas_w_bowman »

Sounds like a good opportunity. If she commits to 10 Years, does the Company also " (That is - could they still terminate her, does she get a 'Golden Parachute' ?). What kind of Visa would YOU have ? Would you be allowed to seek work there ? (Quite possibly not).

Farming, while challenging to be profitable, can be a lifestyle that some enjoy (and really can't be a 'two week' deal). But that should be easy enough to deal with.

Buying a house could be complicated - if I were you I'd seriously consider Leasing/Renting your USA House, partly to have a place to return to and partly because that's a way to make a bit extra money while writing off maintenance and upgrades as well as the mortgage interest. But if you keep the house as inexpensive and it could be a great thing.

The dog will live thru quarantine, but shipping a Motorcycle might not be worth it (red tape can be annoying, will your cycle pass UK Emissions ?You'll want KPH, not MPH - and storing a motorcycle is not a great idea either unless it's some rare collector's item).

I'd look for another Motorcycle there - Norton and Triumph jump to mind - also there is a diesel EU-Made bike, reasonable HP and economy:
http://www.dieselmotorcycle.co.uk/

My Dad worked for 12 Years in Paris, and 12 Years in Tokyo - I only lived for a few years in Paris - but got a Peugeot Moped and sold it when I left (2-cycle, France gas stations sell mixed fuel), learned how to NOT look like an American, etc. The 'other side of the road' is easy to adjust to, just DO NOT drink and drive (or that'll be the first thing that you may screw up).

You WILL need to learn 'British' English - much more than just an accent, different usage of vocabulary as well. When I arrived first time in UK, the cabbie said "Put your bags in the boot sir ?" to which I replied "I don't know - but could you put the suitcase in the trunk ?".
Also, figure out the regulations and follow them - even specifics of what trash is disposed of how and when, don't recycle in the 'wrong' bins, etc. etc.

Plan on her job ending, save up for it - there will continue to be pharm. jobs in the USA to apply for then (and with great experience on her resume). You will need to take a look at least...
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Post by Pette Broad »

Well, I'll try and summarise some of the things both good and bad that you'll encounter in The U.K. I have spent a fair bit of time in The States over the years so I've seen things from both sides so to speak. I'll start off with the Bad.

Motoring, well driving on the left is not really a problem but the cost of actually running a car is horrendous. Gas is at least 3 times more expensive than in the States and once a vehicle is 3 years old it has to be tested every 12 months. However, insurance is lower than in The U.S. If you stay for more than 12 months you have to pass the U.K driving test and any vehicles you bring over will have to be reregistered. We also have a lot of speed cameras and mobile radar traps. In general the laws here are tougher than in The States and some offences like using your Cell phone or not wearing your seat belts are enforced with a zero tolerance policy.

Living Costs...most things are more expensive in The U.K. Electrical goods, furniture, clothing all about 10-15% more. Food is more expensive too but only by a small amount but eating out is 25-30% more. Houses cost a lot more here than in The U.S and there's an annual tax based on the value of your property to cover local education, policing, refuse collection etc.

Weather...Always a major talking point here. Can vary wildly from day to day, usually rains a lot but in general rainfall totals are not that high. London for example gets less rain than Seattle, NYC, Boston. Summer temperatures usually in the 70's but can go into the 90's, Winters usually damp and dreary . The only good thing is at this latitude summer days are really long 17 hours of daylight.

Crime, almost zero gun crime here but knife attacks on the increase. However most stabbings involve gangs of youths fighting over turf rights. Anti social behaviour is bad here too, drinking age here is 18 and lots of young people get drunk at weekends. In some areas gangs can be a problem. Crimes like burgalry, car theft, violence are probably on a similar level to the U.S.

Now for some of the good....If you like live sport then this is the place to live, We have something happening all year round and being a small country means you never have to travel far to watch a major event. We don't have baseball, American Football, Ice Hockey or Basketball at least not to U.S standards but those sports are shown live on satellite TV. The most annoying thing about The U.S to me is the amount of advert breaks you have, I guess you're used to it over there.

Public Transport, almost non existant outside the big cities in The U.S it's very good here, even small villages in the middle of nowhere will have some sort of bus service. We don't have high speed trains but you can get from London to Manchester in a couple of hours. There are internal flights too but these tend to be expensive , flying to Europe is a different matter, you can often fly to some places like Barcelona, Prague, Berlin, etc for next to nothing.

There's no doubt in my mind that America has the best scenery in the World but that's not to say its dull and boring here :) . There's lots to see, you could spend a month in London and only see a small part of it. There are some wonderful heritage sites all over the U.K you could spend years discovering them all.

Finally, I used to work for an American company and we had lots of Americans working here, some for several years. None of them had any difficulty with the local population they just blended in. There's a lot of Americans working in The U.K especially in The London area some 300,000 or so I believe. As far as the language goes, yes there are some minor differences but after years of watching imported U.S TV shows most Brits understand "American English" even if they don't speak it :D

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Post by Mr T »

I would take the opportunity at the drop of a hat.. I have worked all over the world and thoroughly enjoyed it... I did have the chance of working in Tacoma, but I had other things on at the tim and had to miss out on it...

All sound advice from the other posters, however, cars/bikes are still in Miles Per Hour, not Kilometres Per Hour, plus all signs are in Miles, not Kilometres (we are metric, but not wholly so)...

There is London and an area round it called 'The Home Counties'... These are not cheap places to live and Berkshire falls into it... With the current state of the housing market here (like the US) it is a good time to buy, but renting may be a more viable option....

Only a***holes would resent you for coming here to work on such a skilled job... What people hate here (like the US) is immigrants coming here illegally and working illegally so not contributing, or sponging off state benefits and healthcare which the hardworking tax payer has to pay for...

Education here on the state front is better than in the US, far more rounded (my mother-in- law worked at a school in the arab states which was for the America oil workers kids) and the bulk of kids here are good (you only hear about the bad 'uns on the news)... University (college) education is excellent too, but is becoming costly (it used to be free)...

Driving wise, getting a UK licence is tough, but has proved to make you a good driver.. The bike test is even tougher, but this teaches a lot of awareness - this is a small crowded country with a lot of traffic on the road, so it really does make sense... (Harleys are nice bikes, but a US Harley would fail UK emission standards, as well as noise levels... A rice burner is the more sensible option, cheaper on gas and easier for everything if a repair is needed)...

If your wife does take up the option, you and the kids should be fine, visa wise, to live here, however like everywhere getting work is not so easy, check it (visa and work) before you decide....Don't lose out or fall behind on opportinity if you fail to keep up skills....

On time off, travel... Britain is great to see, but Europe is also on the doorstep, easy to drive to and easier to fly too....

Don't ever try to understand 'cricket'... It is an English game, which normally lasts for days, sometimes weeks, has lots of 'old gents' drinking ale and shouting/clapping when a ball is finally bowled or tossed and eventually some team will win that is not England...

You'll meet loads of people of different nationalities if you stay round London... Australians and New Zealenders will moan a lot, but their national sport is 'Pom' bashing (ie bashing us brits) because they are better at 'cricket' and sport than us apart from.....

Football.... Or as you like to know it as - soccer....

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever call it soccer - it will put you on a seriously bad footing if you do.. People will be polite to start off with, before you get chastised... Football is the national sport here.. It is not everybodies thing but it is the biggest well followed sport... If you move to Berkshire, you will find a lot of Manchester United supporters... They get a lot of grief for not actually living/being born or having any ties to Manchester.....
Rugby is another well followed sport... Two types, Rugby Leaugue and the more popular Rugby Union... This game is more similar to American football, but a lot rougher, far more physical contact and no pads, or little protection.....

Pubs are good here... The legal drinking age is 18, not 21, however to buy alcohol in stores, a lot won't serve you if you look too young and some are not serving people under the age of 21....

People whinge like b*******s about the 'useless' police, but they do do a good job the majority of times... Crime is at an all time low esp in the rural areas....

Politics... A bit tedious and boring... However there are 3 main parties...
Labour - they are the mainparty in power at the moment.. The elected main person (the equivalent of President Obama) is Gordon Brown... Labour is Left wing and supposedly 'the workers' party...
Conservative - the opposition, more right wing..
Liberal/Democrats - wimps
and a whole host of minority partys - the one you would mainly hear about is BNP or the British National Party who have nationalistic views,...

Forget about gun ownership... Frowned upon here... The national thought ie very much anti-gun, hence no ownership of pistols, semiautomatic or automatic weapons, possession of which or ammunition will result in a 5 year jail term.. Shotguns and single shot rifles inc air weapons are more acceptable, but getting a licence is not easy... Also possession of any spray such as CS/pepper or Mace and Taser will result in a Jail term - do not possess anything like this at all, it will end in prosecution ALL times...

Cell phones - we call them mobiles... I noticed that in the US iphones and blackberry are king... Here, apple and blackberry tend to go in a pie.. Most people I know have Nokia and Sony cell phones... Blackeberry are expensive as are all Apple products - PC's, not iMacs are king....

Good luck with you decision....

Oh and another thing, the UK is split into England, Scotland, wales and Northern Ireland... Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever call the United Kingdom or Great Britain 'England' esp in Scotland, wales or Northern Ireland... This is a serious 'faux pas' which can end in trouble..(It is the equivalent of insulting a Texan cowboys mother and asking if Texas is near Washington) You have to know your geography....
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Post by MrG »

I think Pete and Mr T just about covered the lot.

The general cost of living is a lot higher, so do your maths and make sure it makes sense to move.

As long as you are working and paying taxes then I see no reason for resentment. Moving here to live off the state for free gets people into trouble.
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Post by chris754 »

I have taken my family overseas twice now, and havent regreted it. England should be easy compared with my destinations. Its easy to stagnate in the same country-and the flight time to the US isnt too bad. I say go for it.
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Post by skippyboy »

Been busy with this and my surprise 50th birthday party Friday night. Thanks to my soon to be British mates and those of you that have worked abroad. My wife give them a tentative yes ( like I had any say in this) last Thursday and they overnighted a draft of the contract so a lawyer could look at it. They said yes to her few changes.

Here is what it looks like.

Still 10 years but a 65% salary if she is let go early and its not her fault on years remaining.

We pay back any costs if she leaves with in 5 years. Not counting a terminal illness or accidental death.

425K pounds yearly with bonuses.

Health care for her and the kids.

Handle the visas for her and the kids.

Buy the house at fair market value if it is not sold after 1 year.

Forgo the 10% down on a home loan for a new Volvo XC 60 D5 AWD http://www.volvocars.com/uk/All-Cars/Vo ... fault.aspx
We were going to buy this diesel model but it is not here in the states yet and this will be are 3rd Volvo.

All moving expenses including fees on my motorcycle. Honda XR650L which according to Honda UK will pass emissions, switch on digital speedometer flips to KPH, and the lights are fine. http://powersports.honda.com/2009/xr650l.aspx And any other goods that may have an import tax.

Start work ASAP when her papers clear. Sometime around Mid November.

Help with house hunting and we buy the house if under $400k pounds cash ASAP they pay for closing and legal fees.


Some of my fears have been put to rest. The dog does not have to go through quarantine. He is pretty much set to go but we have to get a blood test sent to Lawrence KS to make sure of no rabies, PETS documentation (dog passport), import license, tapeworm, flea, and tick treatment 24 hours before he is shipped over, and get a microchip reader. According to what I read from Defra Uk http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/p ... owners.htm Loki will be ready to go in about 90 days or when the paper work comes trough. This way as long as I follow the approved flight routes on air travel he can go back and forth with me. Same with the youngest daughters stupid cat but it will stay.

With my Visa I talked to my wife's Uncle who used to work for the State Department about mine. Basically to go back and forth on a tourist or visitor Visa since I'm not going to be in the UK for more than 6 months at a time. This is because my brother and I have decided to go full time with the farm. Instead of my 10% share the last two years ( my take was $25k on the Pepsi contract alone) I'll get 30% a year. Here is my schedule on that. Jan to Mar UK, Apr to May mid June Iowa, June to Aug UK, Sept to Nov Iowa, Dec UK. So I'm never in UK for more than 6 months and I can us my US driver license. Where are not to sure on how the title and registration is going to work on the motorcycle yet.

The only bad thing that happened is when I give my currant employer two weeks notice he told me not to bother and leave. He is mad mainly because he will not be able to go to his Nascar races every week in the camper I paid for while running his company the last two years. Lesson learned here was never ever work for a small time greedy subcontractor. I guess now he will have to work for once.

So if everything goes as planned we'll fly across the pound Oct 9 and come back on Oct 25. I'm taking 3 suits, 4 dress shirts, 6 ties, nice over coat, 3 pairs shoes, causal pants 3 pairs Dockers, and 3 golf polo shirts. Basically I was told by my wife to dress very conservative with the meet and greets, afternoon tea, diner party's and other functions to attend. Hopefully I can get a round of golf in ( 12 Hcp ) and hit some pubs.

Thanks again guys.
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Post by fussnfeathers »

Well, good luck with it! Sounds like it should be a good deal, and it'll be a good thing for the kids to live abroad for awhile. Give them a perspective I think most people lack, never having traveled much out of their hometown.

Oh, I also hear England has left-handed undewear, so that might work out well, if you happen to be left handed. :P
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Post by Pette Broad »

Where are not to sure on how the title and registration is going to work on the motorcycle yet.
Regulations state that it needs to be registered after 6 months but as you're not going to be considered as a resident then it'll be 12 months. The police have been having a purge on foreign registered cars in The U.K just lately and as U.S registered motorbikes are rarely seen over here you're sure to be stopped by them at some stage. :(
switch on digital speedometer flips to KPH
You won't need to do that, all our Speed Limits and Road signs are in MPH :) . Petrol (gas) however is sold by the litre, although fuel consumption is always quoted in MPG for some reason. Driving on the left is pretty straightfoward, main differences are the huge number of roundabouts we have here which can take a bit of getting used to. Also, there is no filtering on red lights and you can't pass vehicles on either side as you do in The States. The speed limits here are 70mph on Motorways and Dual carriageways, 60 on single carriage roads and 30 or 40 in towns and Cities . Speed cameras are abundant (they are usually in accident blackspots) but they mostly allow 10% over the speed limit before they activate. Excessive speed (over 100) usually means a suspended licence for a month or so. Driving into some Cities especially London will mean you'll have to pay a congestion charge and in many cities car clamping is an everyday event!! On the plus side, the U.K has the lowest accident rate in the world, amazing considering some of the lunatics who drive on the roads here :)

One of the other things you'll find here is that we have now completely gone decimal so you may need to carry a calculator for your first few trips to the Supermarket. Luckily, Beer is still sold in pints, I guess its easier to ask for a pint rather than 568 mills :)

EDIT, This guy will almost certainly get a few months in prison, what an idiot.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/sou ... 283693.stm

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