Author Topic: Should we move to NYC for a few years?  (Read 4282 times)

havregryn

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Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« on: May 31, 2019, 03:01:32 AM »
We are a married couple, 35(w) and 38 (h), with two kids ages 6 and 3 and a third one scheduled to join us in late December/early January.
We live in Luxembourg and financially we are doing more than fine.
However, our quality of life is impaired by my growing misery of living in Luxembourg and my utter lack of motivation for my (very well paid and secure, but very uninspiring) job. What I want is to live in a major urban area (we moved here from Stockholm and I have been pining over it ever since) and take some time off (the time off is probably 80% of my motivation behind the 3rd baby being brewed, as my job comes with very, very generous parental leave policies).

So, anyway, turns out husband may have the option to be seconded to work in New York for 2-3 years (which is great as we would never consider a permanent move to the US).  Obviously I go all "yes, yes, that!" but I want to reality check my daydreaming as I think it is likely that my idea of NYC is too heavily influenced by popular culture.

I guess I'm just after some random thoughts and pieces of advice, what would be great and what could go terribly wrong over attempting to live in NYC for 3 years with 3 small kids?

I don't yet know the details of the financial package he'd be getting, but it is a major company and he is in management so I don't think it's likely that the offer will be bad and we already live in a soulcrushingly expensive place. We already have quite an impressive net worth and my cushy job will be waiting for me to recharge my batteries and return to it so even if we end up saving significantly less than we do now, it's not really a dealbreaker.

Important point, I don't drive and don't want to drive, which is one of the main reasons why Luxembourg doesn't work for me (very car-centric) whereas NYC sounds a lot more promising.

Also, our 6 year old speaks English as his first language and by now sounds entirely American (courtesy of Netlix and the fact we're paying a trained American teacher to work with him, it is a very long and complex story that came out of him having a language delay and being in a very, very multilingual environment where he was expected to master 6 (!) but it wasn't working...anyway, my point is that for him personally, moving to the US is moving to an "easier" situation and not a potential challenge, I think for him it's going to be harder to go back).

I think these two things alone weigh quite heavily on the pro side.

My main cons are the fear that it may turn out too overwhelming to be alone with three kids in such an unfamiliar place while my husband works even longer hours and well, the horror stories we have all heard of American healthcare. My current health insurance is valid worldwide but explicitly states that they will not apply their usual reimbursement rules for care obtained in the US.
I am guessing I'd qualify for some kind of a cover under my husband but I am terrified in principle simply because we've lived all our lives in Europe and we are not used to thinking of healthcare as a major expense. And I haven't been the healthiest person on Earth, I had a blood clot in my brain in 2015. I am fine now but well, I remember being in a hospital with dozens of high tech tests being performed on me and not paying a cent for it so..

I've never been to the US at all and sometimes I feel the culture shock may be immense (I am very much a European socialist snowflake, even Luxembourg is hard for me). But then again 2-3 years in NY feel like they could just be some very slow form of travel...I don't know. I'll be very grateful for all insights and opinions.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2019, 04:47:38 AM »
Sounds like a great adventure and 2-3 years is manageable. NYC is intense, unlike any city on earth. Summers are hot, winters freezing. There痴 lots to get used to, but if you take time, you値l be fine. You値l need an eye on the kids and since it sounds like you値l have money, maybe get an au pair to help out. There痴 surprisingly lots of free things to do in NYC. Your husband will have healthcare through work, so you値l all be covered. The number 1 reason expatriate assignments fail is unhappiness of the spouse and kids. Your kids are young, they値l be ok. You though will need to join some groups, maintain ties with your family back home, have friends and family visit, invest in help around the house and remind yourself that it痴 the journey not the destination and you値l be ok. Maybe live in Brooklyn so you can experience the quieter side of NY?

lizzzi

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 05:14:30 AM »
I live a couple hours north of New York City, and it was my husband's home town, so we were always down there a lot--more for spending time with the family than for doing the tourist things.  Yes, people do live and raise their little children in Manhattan! I still take the bus down when there is something I want to do down there--now that he is gone, I am more freed up to do the things tourists do--see a show or a museum, whatever--rather than family visits. Anyway, I would highly recommend it--New York is the capital of the world, after all--has so much to offer--even if it turns out you don't love it, I would never pass up the opportunity to live there for a while with your family.   

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 05:22:44 AM »
The joy of a really big city is that there are a multitude of different lives you can live there - living in the outer suburbs dependent on a car will not be for you, but an apartment close to a neighbourhood centre and with a limited commute for your husband will be.

The answers to most of your questions will be in the expat package available to your husband, so working through the details of that will be key.  He/you will probably find that the company HR people based in New York will be better able to answer questions about health care, education and child care than ones in Luxembourg.  Once you get details of the financial package available I'm sure there are people on the forum here who will be able to tell you how it will match up to the costs of living as a family in New York.

I think it sounds like a wonderful opportunity.

reeshau

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 05:56:10 AM »
This sounds somewhat similar to my own adventure in Dublin, coming from the US.  I agree that the answers start with your husband's package.  They could even include housing, if it is generous.  They will certainly include medical coverage of some kind.

If you can stand it, I would also encourage you to think of your return, as well, and set yourself up to make that as easy as possible.  For us, we say we are moving from Michigan to Texas, by way of Ireland.  If your company's package is generous, they will likely assume (or insist) that you are returning to Luxembourg.  But if that isn't for you, then you will want to either pick your next, next home or make your life as lightweight as possible, so you can move wherever.  Store your keepsakes with or near your parents or a close relative, bring with you only a minimum of things (think of it as a one-way move for the things, absent again some dear items) and sell the rest.  Sell your house.  Put your European life on auto-pilot: auto-pay remaining bills / transactions, or at least move everything to online billing.  Keep a European "persona" (i.e. current phone number, moved to VOIP service) for those companies for whom a US residency would be too complicated, and for convenience of friends and family.

Don't be afraid to deviate from the corporate package, even if it's at your expense, if it steers you in the direction you want.

Once you are in the US, of course you aren't just limited to NYC.  There are many different places to see, and you would be sitting in a key transportation hub with a lot of competition for your travel dollar.  You won't be bored!


FatFI2025

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2019, 05:56:37 AM »
It will definitely be a challenge! Things happen so fast that foreigners (including Americans from other locations) often think NYers are rude. In fact it's usually because there are certain ways to behave -- primarily fast -- that keep such a dense city moving and it takes a little while to pickup on how to move in the city.

In terms of healthcare, it's not very mustachian, but there are actually healthcare advocate services here that you can pay for to ease your concern about dealing with insurance. You should definitely learn the basics like premium, deductible, and copay. But insurance companies make money by denying claims, so if you're worried about that a healthcare advocate could help.

I imagine your biggest problem will be maneuvering around the city with three kids! How do you do that in Lux with no car? If you want to take three young ones out at the same time you will need another person, so it would be wise to price out a nanny for at least several days a week assuming you're staying home full time. Theoretically you can have everything delivered within an hour or two, but you will want to get out with the kids and alone on occasion.

So this won't be a frugal venture, but if you want a change of pace from Luxembourg for a few years, NY will surely do that for you!

Home Stretch

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 06:29:55 AM »
Do it. Life is too short and fleeting not to. I made a random move from the US to Amsterdam (for work) years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I knew nothing about life in Europe and it was a huge learning/growing experience for me.

Granted, I didn't have kids at the time, but that's absolutely no excuse. Kids are super adaptable, especially at that age.

Don't worry about the healthcare. Yes, there are some costs associated with healthcare here, and you always hear horror stories about $100k hospital bills, but in reality what is going to happen is your husband is going to have an incredible medical plan that might cost him $500-$1000/mo from his pre-tax income, but it will completely cover all five of you and protect you from any crazy medical bills. The otherwise much lower taxes here will more than make up for the cost.

nyfireguy

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 06:40:42 AM »
I agree with much of what was written.. mainly it depends on the package. I have friends in Lux so I know it's Luxemboring especially compared to NYC but as others said it's fast paced, having small children will add to the challenges but I think if the package is amazing (it needs to be, to do the move, IMO) I'd say go for it.

AMandM

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 07:51:11 AM »
I've done three time-limited relocations with small children in the opposite direction (US to Germany), but without a corporate expat package. Even on a shoestring budget like ours, they were great experiences. The number one factor in success, imo, is the enthusiasm of the person called the "trailing spouse" (horrible term) and since you are eager for the lifestyle change and fluent in the language, you should have a great time!

Surely your husband's compensation will include medical insurance for the whole family.

As far as the kids go, obviously the baby will be fine wherever you are. The 6yo I presume will be in school, and that will give him opportunities to make friends and develop connections. I would find some way for the 3yo to do the same independently of you, so that you don't have to be the channel through which he/she experiences NYC. (For this reason, although we homeschool in the US, we sent our kids to the local German schools.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 09:11:53 AM »
I'm from NYC. Let me know if you have any specific questions.  I'd say do it so long as the expat package is adequate.  I'm sure that it will cover health care so that should not be an issue.  Housing is crazy expensive in NYC but I guess you already knew that.  Childcare also costs a lot.  One thing to think about is living in an area that is still "the city" but not right in the center of town.  There are plenty of areas like that in NYC - upper parts of Manhattan, inner parts of Brooklyn and Queens and even Jersey City and Hokoken.  Since you don't drive, it doesn't sound like the suburbs will not be your thing so don't go to Westchester, Long Island etc.

One nice thing about NY is that no one drives there and very few people own cars.  I don't think you'll have problems getting around with 3 kids and no car.  There's the subway, buses and biking (maybe you could get a bike trailer for the kids) which work just fine with kids.

NYC is a unique, fast paced place.  I'm from there so I love it.  Maybe you should pay a visit first to see if it's your cup of tea?  It's great as it has all kinds of different people - it's definitely not a company town.  When I lived there, I had friends and family in my boring corporate field but also musicians, artists, people in the fashion world, actors, people who worked in tech and advertising, publishing, academia, museums etc etc.  NYC attracts ambitious people in almost all fields from around the world which gives it an amazing energy.

I just saw above that you miss Stockholm - NYC is a LOT bigger and more cosmopolitan than Stockholm, which is a country town in comparison so keep that in mind. 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 09:14:05 AM by Hula Hoop »

Padonak

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 09:56:51 AM »
I would say give it a try especially if the money is good.

-Live near work so that you don't have to rely on the subway which is filthy, overcrowded, invested with rats, bums and other shady characters (to be fair, though, I wouldn't call it dangerous).

-If you can afford it, choose a high rise building with a doorman. NYC is very noisy. The higher up you are the quieter it is.

-Research good schools for your child, public and private. I don't have first hand experience, but I would say that if there are no good public options, pay for private school. I know that some people coming from homogeneous European countries feel that it's ok and even noble to place their children in whatever public school is available. Well, NY is very different, so keep that in mind.

-NY can be great if you have a lot of money and can throw this money to solve problems or avoid them in the first place. It can also be very miserable if you don't have enough money.
 

ETA: I missed the part that you have 3 children. Then you'll need either a bigger apartment or a nice house in the outer boroughs or suburbs. Which means you'll have to rely on public transport. Depending on where you commute from, the commute ranges from ok to miserable. I would research that as well. Citydata forums may be a good place to ask specific questions about locations and commute. 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 10:04:50 AM by Padonak »

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 10:18:18 AM »
I am totally a city bug and that is one of the main reasons why Luxembourg is driving me nuts and the mention of NYC got me all starry eyed. I grew up in the countryside and I hated every minute of it. To me quality of life is all about how many things there are to do, how spontaneous you can be when deciding what to do on a given day, how easy it is to get to places without a car (I have extreme driving anxiety after having had that stroke), in short everything associated with major urban areas. Luxembourg is driving me nuts. We manage as we have a lot of money to spend on nannies, taxis and whatnot, but to be honest, one big issue is that this is a very boring place to be if I am not working, and if I am here I better be working as I get paid a lot for it. And I am quite burnt out with my job as it is, well, boring and there is a lot of petty office politics around it and, while I could easily pursue a different job with the same employer, I am too afraid that taking on a bigger bite might make it even harder to manage children so I am just being a vegetable in my current job and living for the day I go on parental leave with the baby I am pregnant with. This NYC thing came up almost as a joke because our 6 year old often asks to go to "America" and I know husband works with the US a lot but he's mostly been talking about Dallas and I wasn't super keen on moving there (could be a load of prejudice but I don't think someone who hates Luxembourg because it is not enough like Sweden should be moving to Texas)...but now there seems to be a NYC option and that sounds a lot more appealing.

If we do go, I will definitely be viewing it as a money spending as opposed to money saving adventure so we will get whatever it takes to make life easier and better... au pair, nanny, large apartment in a fancy place etc.
I don't think they can offer my husband a package that would offset the loss of my relatively high salary but that's really not necessary as I am dying to take time off and we are not running a tight budget.
We have been saving over 100 000$ per year for years now as we are both well paid and rather Mustachian in our ways (no car, live way below our means in terms of housing, travel etc).
Even if my husband's entire NY package gets blown on maintaining sanity in NYC it will probably still be worth it.  I think in some ways knowing that it is impossible for the offer to be financially better than both of us working right here is letting me focus on quality of life questions. Because we are earning a massive fortune here compared to what we could realistically ever earn in Sweden and yet I am quite sure that we'd have had a nicer life there.
When we were just starting out with our stash I was very focused on how much money we can save, by now I am a little bit tired of it all. We have saved a lot. Husband's career is moving upward. My job is as secure as they get. At this point I really mostly want to explore other locations and other set ups (I am dying to be a stay at home mom, I am loving the whole US idea as I am assuming that the visa I get will not allow me to work, which will remove the guilt factor (my husband is Swedish so to him a stay at home wife is a foreign concept, everyone should want to work) so yey, bring it on!)

My husband will probably want to move back as for him this is a networking opportunity that he can then capitalize on back here. I will also still need to go back to my job at some point as I still need to work for about 5 years in order to qualify for a very generous pension. It owuld be a stupid move to leave the job before I have qualified for that, simply as a matter of precaution. I am a civil servant of the European Union, it is a veryprivileged position to be in , it can't hurt to be entitled to these benefits when I turn 65, even if I forego actually working until that age.

We own property here that we would probably keep and rent out (even if I'd love to sell it as we will need larger when we come back, but this market here is so crazy it may be smarter to wait it out and sell when we want to buy bigger).
Internet tells me that the salary for his position in NYC is 150-190 000$ so surely they will not offer less than that for someone who is supposed to drag over a wife and three kids? That would surely be enough to live a normal life there, especially knowing it is temporary so we have no long term concerns such as college for kids and/or job loss, if he finds himself out of a job we just go back to my job and our numerous assets in Europe.

Ah, now I am even more excited, I can't wait to hear back on what exactly they would be offering. To be honest my main concern now is that we would have to go before the baby is born so I might have a clash with the dreaded healthcare almost right away.

LifeHappens

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 10:36:07 AM »
(could be a load of prejudice but I don't think someone who hates Luxembourg because it is not enough like Sweden should be moving to Texas)
You are correct.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2019, 11:14:36 AM »
(could be a load of prejudice but I don't think someone who hates Luxembourg because it is not enough like Sweden should be moving to Texas)
You are correct.

Hahaha. Yup. Not to mention that Dallas is car centric. You'll have a much easier time getting around in NYC.

I lived in NYC for years, but I was doing the roommate thing in Queens. No real advice on how much the fancy life would cost there. I would do a little research on the cost of nannies and a big apartment in your desired neighborhoods, and what your post tax income would be after you get the offer. NYC can be affordable, but if you plan to go all out, you can eat up $150k quickly.

Quote
To me quality of life is all about how many things there are to do, how spontaneous you can be when deciding what to do on a given day, how easy it is to get to places without a car

NYC is great for all of that! I would second the person who recommended visiting first. Would his job be willing to send y'all on a business trip there before relocating?

ノowynd

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2019, 11:18:00 AM »
Ah, now I am even more excited, I can't wait to hear back on what exactly they would be offering. To be honest my main concern now is that we would have to go before the baby is born so I might have a clash with the dreaded healthcare almost right away.

Please don't worry quite so much about healthcare.  The US actually has really good quality healthcare.  It's just that if you don't/your spouse doesn't have a good job then it's super expensive/unaffordable.  So, for some people, the US healthcare system really sucks.  However, this is not your situation at all.  If your husband has a "good job" then you and your family should definitely have access to a good healthcare.

(Edited: because grammar is hard.)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 11:20:33 AM by ノowynd »

Dollar Slice

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2019, 11:42:36 AM »
Speaking to the healthcare issues as someone in NYC who has health problems... it's actually a fantastic place to live if you need medical care and have money/decent insurance. (If you want someone who understands US healthcare to check out the insurance plan in advance, I'm happy to take a look. But I'd be shocked if a high-paying job didn't offer decent insurance.) Some of the best hospitals in the world are in NYC and there are tons and tons of doctors and medical facilities to choose from. You can get appointments for just about anything (specialists, MRIs, etc.) within a couple of days. The longest I've ever had to wait for an appointment was under 10 days, and that was to see the head of a specialty surgery department at a top hospital. I've gotten next-day appointments for things like MRIs and a specialist type of neurologist.

Basically: U.S. healthcare sucks because of the inequality in the system, but you'll be in the privileged part of the system. You'll have to pay a bit more for insurance/deductibles than you're used to, but it's balanced by how much lower our income taxes are. And often the employer will pay a lot of it (my last job paid about 65%, the one before that paid 75%).

ETA: also, NYC is one of the most liberal/progressive places in the US, so I wouldn't worry about being a socialist snowflake ;-) In my voting precinct in the last presidential election Trump got 1% of the vote.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 11:46:54 AM by Dollar Slice »

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2019, 11:59:45 AM »
But is it safe to assume that whatever insurance he gets would cover me for a pregnancy that already exists now? How much would a simple delivery cost (I've had two easy deliveries with no epidural so I am hoping also this one will just slide out)? My insurance would cover up to 10000$ but for more they'd say tough luck, no one forced you to give birth there, this is enough to give birth anywhere in Europe.

FireHiker

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2019, 12:11:13 PM »
Oh my goodness, given your specific details, I would move to NYC in a heartbeat! I visited NYC for the first time last summer and I absolutely fell in love with it. It is truly like no other place I have ever been, and I've traveled a fair bit. I didn't think I would like the crowds and city noise because I prefer nature and quiet generally, but I was completely enthralled. There is SO MUCH to do there, and Central Park would fulfill any nature longing. For your spontaneity it would be ideal. We did pick up a rental car in Manhattan since our visit was part of a larger trip driving all the way up to Maine. After that experience, well, you certainly don't want or need a car in NYC! Also, it is a very progressive place, and I say that coming from California. I say that in a good way, not a bad way, especially given what you said about your feelings on the matter. Aside from MAYBE San Antonio or Austin, you would definitely do well to avoid Texas...as would I. ;)

Honestly after our visit last year I totally looked at apartments and schools...I loved it that much. Unfortunately it's not practical for us with our specific careers at this point, but I look forward to an extended visit someday.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2019, 12:44:20 PM »
But is it safe to assume that whatever insurance he gets would cover me for a pregnancy that already exists now? How much would a simple delivery cost (I've had two easy deliveries with no epidural so I am hoping also this one will just slide out)? My insurance would cover up to 10000$ but for more they'd say tough luck, no one forced you to give birth there, this is enough to give birth anywhere in Europe.

The cost will depend on your insurance. For my insurance I believe I would not pay anything out of pocket for childbirth. Things like surgery, hospital stays etc. are 100% covered for me. On a less-good plan, you might pay a few thousand. Insurance plans will have maximum amounts you'll be asked to pay, so you'll know up front, for example, that you can't be billed more than $xxxx a year no matter what happens (for me that number is $2,000, with another plan it might be $10,000; they'll tell you when you sign up). So even if you contract Ebola while giving birth to triplets, and then everyone else in the family catches your Ebola and you need to go live in a special facility where the nurses wear hazmat suits, you would not pay more than that number. :-)

As far as I know any insurance plan you signed up for would have to cover your pregnancy/birth. Just like if I get a new job with new insurance they have to pay for my migraine medication, asthma medication, etc. The ACA law (Affordable Care Act) fixed a lot of loopholes, and NY has even more laws protecting consumers/patients, so a lot of the problems you may have heard about (like 'pre-existing conditions') are not a problem now.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2019, 02:20:07 PM »
All plans under the ACA need to cover pregnancy and child birth. Any semi decent employer plan will too. Pregnant women are also eligible for additional health insurance options if you're uninsured, but the employer plan should cover it.

One thing to keep in mind with US healthcare: always double check. Verify your benefits, covered procedures, in network doctors, out of pocket max, etc. Check things with the insurance company and the doctors. Get things in writing.

One big difference to look at is whether you get an option between an HMO and a PPO. HMO's will have more standard, predictable costs but a limited network requiring referrals to specialists. A PPO has higher potential costs, but a more flexible network and specialist policy.

Whenever you get details, you should post any questions you have!

Roks

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2019, 03:40:33 PM »
My answer would be a resounding YEEEESSS!!! DOOOO IT!!! But that's just me.  You may want to ask yourself, what excites you? 

If a move to NYC with your family sounds exciting there's your answer.  Of course there are things you have to think about and factor, just as you would in any situation that requires significant change.  It's worth mentioning that the school system in NYC can be challenging, so you may want to assess what the cost of private school would be.   

Life is short. Make it beautiful. Have this adventure while you can :)   
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 03:44:43 PM by Roks »

lhamo

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2019, 08:26:51 PM »
Congrats on #3!

I agree that you should consider it.  Push hard for a solid expat package -- housing, great insurance coverage (do be sure the pregnancy/birth will be covered), and if possible a schooling allowance for private school.  The NY pubic school system has some good schools, but competition is fierce and it can be hard for a newcomer to get up to speed on how to navigate the system.

FWIW when we were expats in China we were insured through Cigna and it was gold-plate level coverage.  LAst had it in 2015 so not sure if/how it has changed, but it is one of the better companies out there.

blingwrx

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2019, 11:43:03 PM »
I lived in NYC all my life. I would say Yes do it, especially since it's only 2-3 yrs so you have nothing to lose as you will be able to go back anyway. Life is short it's something you may regret not doing years down the line. You can also consider NYC a base for traveling around the rest of the US.

Health insurance should be no problem with a big company and high paying job. My last company covers 90% of the premiums and the insurance was easy to use and covered everything. As others said the issues lie with self-employed people or people working in small companies who may not have a big wealthy corporation to subsidize their health insurance costs.

I would 2nd Brooklyn as a good place to live if you don't want to be directly in all the action. Live in a neighborhood bordering Manhattan you'll be able to get spectacular views of the manhattan and Brooklyn still has the big city feel and amenities, but a little less crowded and calmer depending on the neighborhood you choose. Overall it's a very short commute,15-30 minutes to manhattan by subway or you can always get an UBER/Taxi. NYC is a city that doesn't sleep so it's noisy and packed with people all day and night, so thus i'd choose to live a little outside of manhattan where it's more residential, yet still walkable to many things like bars, restaurants and shopping.

NYC is fast paced, so definitely be careful if hauling around 3 kids on your own, not recommended. Kids can get lost in the crowds or subway doors can close on you with your kid still on the train or kids can run into the street with fast moving cars. Be alert when walking outside and crossing streets, a lot of aggressive drivers out there especially taxi's and they don't always yield to pedestrians.

I disagree that public schools are bad here. I went to public school in a middle income neighborhood and so did all my friends and we turned out fine. Especially since you have the means to live in a high income neighborhood, the schools there will be more than adequate, all the good schools are in the richer neighborhoods. I'd actually research the public schools in the neighborhood first before deciding where to live, if going private then that doesn't matter at all. In NYC Free public school is available for all starting at 4 yrs old.

I think a full time nanny can set you back $2500-$3500 a month. But maybe you can get by with a part time nanny or helper as you will have the 2 older kids in school.

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2019, 02:39:30 AM »
I just realised it's the weekend now so it will take a few days before husband hears more on the kind of package he could expect.
I've been researching prices and while it is obviously expensive, it doesn't even feel so bad if I compare to Luxembourg. Because convenience (living near a supermarket, school, train etc) costs an effin fortune here as well. I feel we could find a suitable apartment for 3500-4500$ and that is only marginally more expensive than here for a comparable place. A 3 bedroom apartment across from us recently rented out for 3500$ in one afternoon. And this is not even some kind of a particularly posh area, we are the poorer side of the fanciest suburb (if you can call something a suburb when there is no "urb" to speak of).

A full time nanny would cost us about 2500 (2800$) here so that too is not too different, and we wouldn't need a full time nanny as I'd be home, part time would be more than enough.
Still, I definitely see how it wouldn't take long to burn through a 150k salary but I am hoping that he would be getting some housing and schooling allowances too. That seems to be the norm for a lot of expat contracts
There's a lot of people here in Luxembourg who end up living in residences that would be difficult for a mortal to afford simply because their company is picking up the tab.
It's a major pet peeve for those of us who have high incomes but would need to really stretch our budgets to afford to live in a fancy mansion that a lot of companies seem to casually cover, sometimes for not particularly senior staff. I have a friend who is an executive at a major company who frequently complains about this. Housing and private schools are super expensive here and if you're paying out of pocket for them you need an enormous amount of disposable income. But a huge number of companies bring people over on some fairly modest salaries but cover housing and private schools, making these people comparatively better off than most self-paying executives.
I am strongly hoping that husband's company employs a similar policy and will fork over a large amount of money for housing once they click on "3 kids" in their system, haha.

I'm a bit sad that this didn't come up a few months ago as I wouldn't have gotten pregnant but well...my anxiety is slowly firing up and I am wondering how on Earth would I manage having a new born baby and the two big boys all by myself in NYC. Husband's company claims to offer 10 days of paternity leave to fathers in the US (fun fact, they didn't have that here until it became a legal requirement last year), I hope they're not lying about that.

Then I also started becoming paranoid that husband might want to stay in the  end (he is such a high flyer , I imagine there are decent odds the NY office is gonna wanna keep him and he would probably prefer that as he can achieve so much more somewhere where you don't need to speak French to get the best clients) ....but I don't know, is it really horrible to live in NYC with a well paid husband, it's probably not.

I think we will go for it if it will sound good once it's all detailed out (both in terms of the package and also what it means for husband's career) ...unless we get cold feet once we announce this to our families who, I imagine, will be completely devastated to hear this.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2019, 03:28:51 AM »
It it horrible to live in NY with a high paying husband?  What kind of question is that?  Come ooooon! as we would say in NYC.  I guess I'm biased because I'm a transplated (exiled) NYer but I'm green with jealousy.  NYC is the place to be for someone described as a "high flyer" - it's amazing and the sky's the limit.

As blingwrx said - don't be afraid of public schools especially in 'nice' areas of the city.  Do your research but there are some great ones.  I'm also the proud product of NY public schools.  And as s/he said public school is free from age 4 onwards.

I don't think you have anything to worry about.  You speak English so you already have a huge head start of most other immigrants in NY.  Then you have your husband's career and great salary plus expat package.  You'll be fine and you'll probably love it.

I was trying to describe NYC to some Italian friends the other day and what I'd say is you can be anything or do anything there. It's the opposite of provincial. Here in the city I live in in Italy, people stare at you if you leave the house with wet hair or wear flip flops on the street.  There, you could leave the house naked and people would barely notice.  It's very live and let live but people are also allowed to be quite eccentric.


And, as others have said, you can use NY as a springboard to visit other parts of the US -especially as you have never been there before.  The US is a huge, diverse place and there is so much to see and experience.

BTW - I doubt your families would be devastated if you moved to NYC.  I assume from what you said that your family of origin lives in Sweden?  They still have to fly to see you and this would just a longer flight.  But then they'd have a free place to stay in the most amazing city in the world (OK I'm biased but many, many people agree with me!)  My European husband visited NYC for the first time when he met me and he loved it so much that he wanted to move there immediately.  Before this he had no interest in visiting NYC and always said that he wasn't a big city person. Unfortunately, though, we just don't have the incomes to support a move to NY.  He still talks about it wistfully though and loves our visits there to see family.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 04:04:37 AM by Hula Hoop »

Trifele

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2019, 06:18:40 AM »
Oh my god @havregryn -- what an opportunity.  I've spent a fair amount of time in NYC for work (apartment in Brooklyn, public transport to Manhattan) and love it.  If you are a city lover you will be in heaven.  DO IT!

:)

flipboard

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2019, 11:58:48 AM »
I did something similar to a different big US city (although I've also visited NY plenty of times - and my comments apply just as much to NY). While it was "interesting" culturally, I'm not sure I'd recommend it, especially if children are involved. US cities can be unpleasant and complicated to live in for various reasons (noisier/dirtier than European cities, generally feel less safe, public transport is much worse, etc.). If you aren't wedded to your current company, you can probably find similarly paying jobs within Europe - or even beyond Europe - in much more pleasant cities - although that depends on the exact type of work you're in. (Think places like Singapore, Switzerland, in some careers London, and so on.)

Quote
I am assuming that the visa I get will not allow me to work, which will remove the guilt factor (my husband is Swedish so to him a stay at home wife is a foreign concept, everyone should want to work) so yey, bring it on!)
It depends: in many cases spouses can get a permit to work. It depends on the exact Visa category, but for secondment (L-1 Visa most likely) it's probably possible.

Quote
I'm a bit sad that this didn't come up a few months ago as I wouldn't have gotten pregnant but well...my anxiety is slowly firing up and I am wondering how on Earth would I manage having a new born baby and the two big boys all by myself in NYC. Husband's company claims to offer 10 days of paternity leave to fathers in the US (fun fact, they didn't have that here until it became a legal requirement last year), I hope they're not lying about that.
Be careful: people born in the US are automatically put under US citizenship, which afflicts them with US taxes and bureaucracy for life. Getting rid of this is expensive and painful (I know a few people going through this process, and it's not fun).


Quote
BTW - I doubt your families would be devastated if you moved to NYC.  I assume from what you said that your family of origin lives in Sweden?  They still have to fly to see you and this would just a longer flight.
Lol.

Flying to the US is many times longer (7-8 hours, overnight in one direction, plus timezones), many times more expensive (At least 800 vs 100 USD for flights), more bureacratic which also makes it more expensive (requires passports, and an ESTA), you have to go through US immigration (which can be highly unpleasant, compared to effectively borderless within Europe), different currencies, etc. A weekend trip within Europe is reasonable, a weekend trip to the USA is not.

And you can also drive (potentially with ferries) from Sweden to Belgium (although flying is generally still the easier path).

Hula Hoop

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2019, 12:18:05 PM »
flipboard - I get that NYC is further away but it's New York - nowhere else compares.  Most Europeans I know are head over heels for the place. 

On the same note, you can't compare any other US city to NYC.  The closest comparisons would be maybe Chicago or Philly but they are completely different in pretty much every aspect.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2019, 12:39:10 PM »
3500 for a nice 3 bed in manhattan is not realistic. That is what a nice one bed costs. Nyc is a survival of the fittest environment ie the fittest being those with the most money. You will be fine because you seem to understand you are going to have to spend serious coin although I think you are probably underestimating how much it will really take. Check out the costs of private school for example.

FYI I have lived in NYC and BK for more than 20 years. Yes i live cheaply but I am not looking for a convenient life and am supporting no one but myself. Not saying it痴 not possible to live cheaply here but it痴 not possible for the kind of life the poster wants.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2019, 12:42:04 PM »
Also a salary of $150K is NOT high here. I think I just saw an article to be in 1% salary here was closer to $450.

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2019, 12:43:28 PM »

Be careful: people born in the US are automatically put under US citizenship, which afflicts them with US taxes and bureaucracy for life. Getting rid of this is expensive and painful (I know a few people going through this process, and it's not fun).


Yes, actually I was thinking about this, I don't feel we'd be doing a baby who will otherwise be born into entitlement to Swedish and Luxembourgish citizenship (some of the most powerful passports on Earth  https://www.passportindex.org/byRank.php ) much of a favor by making him/her an American citizen. Ironically, if we could make the oldest boy American that would be potentially appreciated.

Actually, there is more administrative drama that could come from this. My income is exempt from taxation in the EU but if I have to disclose it to the IRS (and I guess I might have to if my husband files as married?), it's income like any other. I would get 5 months of maternity benefits at full pay, meaning about 40 000$ that I do not need to report to any national tax administration in the EU...but the EU law cannot help me if I find myself liable to pay tax to a non-member.  And I can't defer my maternity leave to start later, it's the first 5 months after the baby is born. So I'm not sure we want to be in a non-EU tax jurisdiction for that period. Because I think the US will want to see tax paid on that money and given that it will be added on top of my husband's generous package, lol, I imagine most of it will go poof.

I think in the end the most weight to the decision will come from how useful husband will feel this is for his career. He is on the partner track here so it may be a hit or miss career wise to do this. Knowing him he'd do stellar over there too but it's up to him. I would love to get out of Luxembourg and my job for a while and I guess I can suck up handing over some of my maternity payments to the tax man if this will be really good for my husband and if I will get to live in a vibrant city for a while.

Because realistically if this option is available now I doubt he can stall it enough for me to have time to have this baby and collect all this stuff here first...but who knows. I don't think things change so fast in large corporations, his skills will still be valuable on the other side of the pond in a year.

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2019, 12:50:47 PM »
I think we wouldn't need private school, the kids are small, and they're not going to be staying in the American educational system long enough for anything to really matter, so all I need is a school that feels safe and functional. I imagine we could find a public school like that, even if we had to pay quite a bit for housing.
But in any case we are not stupid, we are not going to move overseas to be poor. If they don't offer something that will after detailed consideration check out as fully viable, we're not going anywhere.
I mean, the 150k figure is the low end of what salary is supposed to be for his role, I would expect quite a bit of expat allowances ON TOP of that to think that this is going to work. Especially if I am going to get my maternity payments gnawed on by Uncle Sam lol, there definitely needs to be some serious money offered there.

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2019, 12:58:36 PM »
3500 for a nice 3 bed in manhattan is not realistic. That is what a nice one bed costs. Nyc is a survival of the fittest environment ie the fittest being those with the most money. You will be fine because you seem to understand you are going to have to spend serious coin although I think you are probably underestimating how much it will really take. Check out the costs of private school for example.

FYI I have lived in NYC and BK for more than 20 years. Yes i live cheaply but I am not looking for a convenient life and am supporting no one but myself. Not saying it痴 not possible to live cheaply here but it痴 not possible for the kind of life the poster wants.

Manhattan apartments 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom in an area you could fit kids And maintain a quality of life being described will be $5000+/month. 1 bedroom 2 bath would be about $3500+.  In each instance, we池e talking about tiny Apartments. Same nice areas with 1500 sqft will be in the 7-10k per month range.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 01:09:09 PM by MrUpwardlyMobile »

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2019, 01:06:45 PM »
To be honest I was looking at Brooklyn as someone suggested, I haven't really given this much thought at this stage, now I see that husbands workplace would be in Manhattan so I guess between me wanting vibrant urbanity and a reasonable commute maybe should be looking at that. Tiny is fine, Stockholm is also a place where you live with kids in tiny apartments and we wouldn't even be taking most of our stuff with us, I am sure we could do minimal living for 2-3 years, especially in a city where there are things to do outside of home. But as said, for this to become reality the company will need to be able to offer a package that will guarantee us comfort, otherwise the incentive to go is not there. Sure I hate Luxembourg, but I think I prefer being wealthy and saving a fortune here to feeling destitute in Manhattan.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2019, 01:12:07 PM »
3500 for a nice 3 bed in manhattan is not realistic. That is what a nice one bed costs.

I mean, if you're talking midtown or UWS, yeah, $3500 is not realistic. If you're talking upper Manhattan, it's not too hard to find.

I don't know who you're talking to that's spending $3500 on a 1BR... LOL. I'm in a very nice 1BR in Manhattan for a lot less than that.

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2019, 01:17:06 PM »
But as I mentioned previously, we really don't need to be saving money. I mean, I know it sounds terribly unMustachian to even think it but I feel it would be unrealistic to expect a single income for a family of 5 to buy us both comfort and savings and our overall financial situation can completely absorb a 2-3 year adventure where no money is being saved but fun memories are being created. We have over 700k in assets and secure careers, to live in Sweden we are coast-FI as is. And husband has no intention to retire ever, let alone early, and I can take up to 12 years unpaid leave of absence from my job. We are completely clear for running a positive zero having a fun time in NYC if we want to.

Padonak

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2019, 02:04:24 PM »
If you can afford it, get an apartment within walking distance to your husband's work. Then riding the subway will be optional, something he will do very occasionally or never if he doesn't like it, as opposed to relying on it every day. Some routes are extremely crowded during rush hour. For example, I have to leave the house about 30m earlier that I would otherwise to avoid the worst part of the rush hour but still sometimes have to skip a train or two before I can get in. A morning rush hour can ruin your mood for the rest of the day. And don't even get me started on train delays and line closures. BTW many (most?) subway stops don't have elevators and are difficult to use with small kids. With kids, I would use Uber/Lyft for getting around within the city.

You mentioned your husband would work in Manhattan. If it's downtown Manhattan, you can check out the Battery Park City/Tribeca area which is one of the nicest and quietest neighborhoods in Manhattan and has a lot of expensive residential high rise buildings. Though living there on 150K per year for a family with three kids may be a little difficult financially. Also, a many apartment buildings near Wall St which is more crowded but not too bad. If the job is located in Midtown, there are many apartments there as well, though I'm not a big fan of that part of the city because it's overcrowded. If it's Hudson Yards, for example, you may even consider renting an apartment in one of the new buildings near the ferry terminal in Hoboken, NJ and taking the ferry to work from there... cheaper and no NY City tax. The ferry is more expensive than the train but a much nicer commute.



« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 02:21:13 PM by Padonak »

flipboard

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2019, 02:07:43 PM »
flipboard - I get that NYC is further away but it's New York - nowhere else compares.  Most Europeans I know are head over heels for the place. 

On the same note, you can't compare any other US city to NYC.  The closest comparisons would be maybe Chicago or Philly but they are completely different in pretty much every aspect.
Certainly plenty of people find New York to be an interesting place to visit (one of many, I should add - lots of other interesting places and cities exist in this world - places like Tokyo, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul have just as much if not more to offer when it comes to "big city life"). I haven't met many people who'd actually consider living there though, and I've met more who have moved away from there for various reasons related to quality of life.

And sure, from an american perspective new york might seem unique. From an outside perspective however, it shares most of the same issues that other US cities suffer from, which overall makes living there a chore. Yes there are some nice things - but for early family life it's probably the last on most people's list.

Actually, there is more administrative drama that could come from this. My income is exempt from taxation in the EU but if I have to disclose it to the IRS (and I guess I might have to if my husband files as married?), it's income like any other. I would get 5 months of maternity benefits at full pay, meaning about 40 000$ that I do not need to report to any national tax administration in the EU...but the EU law cannot help me if I find myself liable to pay tax to a non-member.  And I can't defer my maternity leave to start later, it's the first 5 months after the baby is born. So I'm not sure we want to be in a non-EU tax jurisdiction for that period. Because I think the US will want to see tax paid on that money and given that it will be added on top of my husband's generous package, lol, I imagine most of it will go poof.
Yeah this is going to get very complicated, and you'll probably want to hire a *specialist* tax advisor (which won't be cheap) - most normal US tax advisors will have no idea what they're doing in your situation. Some people are able to be taxed as non-residents for the first six months of living in the US, which would avoid tax on non-US income, but it's a complicated part of US tax law. You don't have to file taxes jointly, but it could easily make overall taxes lower, and you'll probably both be subject to the same residency determination either way.

Quote
But as I mentioned previously, we really don't need to be saving money. I mean, I know it sounds terribly unMustachian to even think it but I feel it would be unrealistic to expect a single income for a family of 5 to buy us both comfort and savings and our overall financial situation can completely absorb a 2-3 year adventure where no money is being saved but fun memories are being created. We have over 700k in assets and secure careers, to live in Sweden we are coast-FI as is. And husband has no intention to retire ever, let alone early, and I can take up to 12 years unpaid leave of absence from my job. We are completely clear for running a positive zero having a fun time in NYC if we want to.
This approach does make perfect sense. I guess the main thing to think about is if you'd actually be happy in NY - I'd strongly suggest at least doing a 1-week trip to experience what it's actually like. Compared to quiet Luxembourg life you might be completely utterly horrified by how life works over there. It's one thing to want a bit more excitement, it's another to experience an american city.

Not to be too morbid, but since you mention being pregnant, this might be a statistic worth looking at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_maternal_mortality_rate
Interestingly luxembourg is also quite low, so you're not making things much worse by going to the US... but it's possible to do much better.

flipboard

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2019, 02:13:02 PM »
One more thing to consider: European financial institutions *hate* dealing with people with US tax-residency (because the US government wants to stick their fingers in everywhere). Some will close your accounts as soon as they discover you're in the US, others close accounts once you become US tax-resident. It varies by company and country, but it's something many people have to deal with.

And on taxes: if you hold non-US domiciled mutual funds or ETF's, the taxation is horrible because of some protectionist PFIC taxes in the US. And if you decide to sell, you'll be charged capital gains relative to the price when you bought the security, which includes gains from before you arrived in the US. They really try to screw people over as much as possible. (So ideally you'd want to sell all your funds before moving, and buy US funds immediately after - but then you might have to pay capital gains in Luxembourg, IDK what that's like there.)

pbkmaine

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2019, 05:29:59 PM »
I worked in and around NYC for more than 25 years. Here痴 my advice: check the financial package being offered to you. Does it pay for housing in the city and private school for the kids? Living in NYC is invigorating; there is always something to do. But a commute of any length can be absolute hell. I lived less than 20 miles from Manhattan, but my round-trip commute was 3 hours on public transportation, door-to-door. It痴 no way to live.

Mariposa

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2019, 11:08:39 PM »
I agree with everyone who's saying to check the relocation package. If your husband's company will pay for housing and private school, then living in NYC will be easy. I've lived here for 9 years & have a 3yo, and I find those two things the toughest parts of living here. We used to live in Manhattan but found we couldn't "afford" that once we had a kid. We now live in Queens and currently have a $100k life; of that, $36k is for housing, and $30k is for preschool and childcare. That cost will go down significantly when my child starts universal pre-K for 4-year-olds next year. We don't have a car, and we don't pay for a nanny.

I would agree that a 3-bedroom south of 100th Street in Manhattan at market rate is at least $5-6000, and there's no ceiling to how much you can pay. Tuition for Manhattan private school is $50k a year. Inner BK these days is about similar. You can see why we got out of there even with our "high" incomes.

Our neighborhood is a 30-min commute to midtown by subway and about 50-60min to downtown. There are multiple grocery stories, restaurants, delis, pharmacies, etc within a 3 block radius of our apartment. Lots of kids, multiple playgrounds within walking distance, and decent public schools. I'd say a nice 3-bedroom here rents for around $4k. Trade off: there isn't really any green space in this area. Also, there isn't the cache of living in Manhattan or BK.

Depending on how obedient your kids are, I think you could definitely walk around NYC neighborhoods with them. It'd be really hard to maneuver all 3 of them through the subway by yourself, though. We take our 3yo on the subway all the time, but it takes twice as long to get anywhere even with the one kid. I feel that 3 is an especially tough age for the subway. You can just wear a baby in a carrier and go. And by the time a kid is 5-6yo, they (I assume) can walk like a normal person. If you hire a part-time nanny, the two of you could probably maneuver all 3 kids through the subway. My kid has been holding onto the poles in crowded trains since he was 1.5 years old. (People sometimes but not always give their seat to a toddler here.)

If money were no object, I'd live on the Upper West Side in the 70s with kids, for the proximity to Central Park and Riverside Park. Without kids, I'd choose Flatiron.

itchyfeet

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2019, 04:02:47 AM »
When I accepted my expat assignment to the UAE I hit up HR with a long list of expat benefits for negotiation. Most of which I managed to get. Your husband may want to approach the negotiation with a wish list too, and then drop a couple of the less important items through negotiation

My list included
- Housing and utilities paid for
- Full Medical Insurance (for DW and I)
- Payments into my Australian retirement fund (in fact they pay me an allowance that I invest outside Australia for tax reasons)
- Annual flights home in business class for both DW and I (they agreed to economy. I asked for 2 flights per year, they agreed to 1)
- Relocation flights in business class for DW and I (they agreed to economy)
- Additional leave days for traveling to and from australia (we agreed on 4 extra days of leave per year)
- A car
- DW痴 visa costs (of course mine was covered)
- I would have asked for school fees (but don稚 have kids)
- Right of return to my old employer or a severance package
- Life insurance
- Furniture relocation for all our belongings (they won稚 pay to return my furniture to australia if I resign).
- Pet relocation (I fought hard to get this one, but ended up not moving our dog to the UAE, as my parents adopted him).

I am sure there are other benefits people manage to get. I didn稚 ask for tax advice to be paid for by the company but should have.... but of course less important in the UAE compared to US.

Tax is something to look into very carefully as posters have mentioned above.

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2019, 04:18:16 AM »
Tbh, I am really becoming quite concerned that I won't be able to stay affiliated with my job in order to receive my parental leave payments (and that is not really so much a matter of continuous income as it is for vesting my pension) and become a US tax resident. I don't think my job will let me be in the US while in active duty (yeah that's what they call it even though I'm not exactly military, I am a bureaucrat), even if I am not expected to come to the office as I am at home caring for the kids.
So this is a point to research before I get too excited. Ultimately I will not die if I have to go off "active duty" but it will have a negative effect on my long term planning (I intend to FIRE once I have the 10 years of service I need, parental leave counts, personal leave of absence that may be the only administrative solution that would let me reside in the US does not...so this would then add 2-3 years to my timeline and that makes me uneasy).
I think that if everything else will sound great this would not be a dealbreaker, but I also think that this is enough for the whole thing to have to be really spectacular (both in terms of the package and husband's career development) to be worthwhile. So I guess I need to wait to hear what it is they would be offering.

Just one more question, when Google tells me that the public transport commute from a random address (not looking at anything in particular, I was just clicking on random stuff I googled) to husband's office would take for example 28 minutes, how confident can I be in this estimate? I am asking because in Luxembourg you would generally need to multiply the number Google hands out with two to have a more realistic idea and that is one of my biggest pet peeves here.
So can I assume that this commute would in fact be 28 minutes on most days or is it a fairy tale like in Luxembourg?

Hula Hoop

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #43 on: June 02, 2019, 05:16:37 AM »
As others have pointed out, if you are commuting by subway during rush hour, it can be packed and the commute can take longer.  My old commute from upper Manhattan to Midtown took 30 minutes on the 1 train on a weekend or at midnight.  But at 8.30 on a weekday I sometimes had to wait for the third train to jam myself on which added time to my commute.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2019, 05:43:38 AM »
Google Maps commute times are the best-case scenario - they're assuming you will leave at the exact moment that would make your trip most efficient, and there are no problems along the way. It is effectively the minimum time it can take, not an average or typical time. And it's not including things like waiting for the elevator in your apartment building and the office, so that can add a couple of minutes on both ends. I'd do something like "add 5 minutes per trip plus 5 minutes per train line" for a more accurate commute where I live, but it would depend on a lot of factors like which train lines and what time of day it is.

BTW, if it hasn't come up elsewhere, avoid the L train in any potential commute. They are doing major work on the tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan for at least another year.

AMandM

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2019, 06:15:49 AM »

Be careful: people born in the US are automatically put under US citizenship, which afflicts them with US taxes and bureaucracy for life. Getting rid of this is expensive and painful (I know a few people going through this process, and it's not fun).

Yes, actually I was thinking about this, I don't feel we'd be doing a baby who will otherwise be born into entitlement to Swedish and Luxembourgish citizenship (some of the most powerful passports on Earth  https://www.passportindex.org/byRank.php ) much of a favor by making him/her an American citizen. Ironically, if we could make the oldest boy American that would be potentially appreciated.


I think your child born abroad would still be entitled to Luxembourgish and Swedish citizenship.

From https://guichet.public.lu/fr/citoyens/citoyennete/nationalite-luxembourgeoise/possession-automatique/effet-loi.html
"Dans certaines situations, la nationalit luxembourgeoise est attribu馥 par le seul effet de la loi, c弾st--dire de mani鑽e automatique, sans intervention de la part de la personne concern馥. [...] Est Luxembourgeois le mineur n d置n parent lui-m麥e Luxembourgeois au moment de la naissance ou de l帝tablissement de son lien de filiation avec l弾nfant."

I agree that whether additional US citizenship is a benefit or a burden is tricky. Among other considerations, you cannot renounce US citizenship on your child's behalf, and if they decide the renunciation is motivated by the desire to avoid taxation, your child could be barred from ever entering the US.

rdaneel0

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2019, 02:42:54 PM »
I've lived in NYC for the last 9 years, but I do not have kids. In your situation, I'd say go for it if the money works out! NYC is a great place to live if you:

1. Love to walk/take public transportation.
2. Have lots of money.
3. Take advantage of what NYC has to offer.
4. Are very high energy.
5. Do not need ample personal space.
6. Can be aggressive in daily life. Little things like getting a seat on the subway or keeping your spot in a restaurant line necessitates a very go-getter on the ball attitude.

There will be culture shock I'm sure, people from other cities in the US experience culture shock moving to NYC, but there are also many European transplants like yourself! I imagine there are many meetups specifically for Euro transplants who want friends/contacts who really *get* the experience. To lessen the shock, you could even try to live in an area of NY that has lots of European immigrants- my neighborhood in Queens (Astoria) is like that as are many areas of Brooklyn.

Life in NYC is hectic and exhausting and expensive. If you crave the amenities of a big city but you also enjoy lots of easy access to nature, convenience, and a laid back lifestyle---you should look elsewhere. If spending a couple hours on the train a day and battling crowds on the street with kids in tow sounds doable to you, you'll probably enjoy it immensely!

brooklynmoney

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2019, 06:41:48 PM »
3500 for a nice 3 bed in manhattan is not realistic. That is what a nice one bed costs.

I mean, if you're talking midtown or UWS, yeah, $3500 is not realistic. If you're talking upper Manhattan, it's not too hard to find.

I don't know who you're talking to that's spending $3500 on a 1BR... LOL. I'm in a very nice 1BR in Manhattan for a lot less than that.

I don't spend anywhere near that nor do people I know. But what the OP wants is prime NYC, not the wilds of upper manhattan or outerboros. Also, the average rent for a NYC apartment is $4188. So yeah, a lot of people are probably paying $3500 or so for a 1 bed.

https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/ny/manhattan/

Dollar Slice

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2019, 08:13:48 PM »
Do they call Harlem Upper Manhattan now?

Apparently. I'm a five-minute walk from Central Park, aka "the wilds of Upper Manhattan"!

The UWS, UES, and SW Harlem are beautiful, convenient neighborhoods and not nearly as expensive as @brooklynmoney seems to think Manhattan should be.

havregryn

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Re: Should we move to NYC for a few years?
« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2019, 01:56:44 AM »
I think the general consensus seems to be that if we can be sure we can afford someone to help out with the kids and a decent place to live we should be fine.
We are really not super precious on the housing front, we are in a 2bedroom apartment now and with the 3rd kid coming I feel we will need to eventually upgrade, but we cosleep with babies until about 2-3 so this is not an urgent need. Technically we could do with a 2 bedroom but an extra bedroom would be good as we could have people come over. I imagine a long list of my friends would instantly jump at the prospect of a free stay in NYC in exchange for keeping me company and helping out with the brood. We don't need it to be big, we wouldn't be shipping any of our stuff (because husband owns too many books to ship for a 3 year stay and our furniture is second hand and IKEA, it is nothing that we can't instantly replace and then donate when moving back)...I mean housing wise we are definitely used to the idea that the kind of urban I like also means small and expensive housing, Stockholm is the same.
We are definitely not going to be shocked to discover that we can't live in a 5 bedroom house with a backyard in the middle of Manhattan.
I think the biggest luxury we are going to need is going to be an elevator. As I am really not a princess, but the prospect of having to drag three kids and groceries up a few flights of stairs is where I draw the line. Especially since I expect stairs related to using the subway.

I would actually prefer to avoid private school. A large part of my contempt for Luxembourg comes from overexposure to wealthy anti-vaxx housewives who fly their hairdressers in from London. I fear that by sending my kids to a private school in Manhattan I might not get the break from this I am dreaming of. My kids need to be able to handle some reality, they are going to grow up privileged either way.

I am quite cynical on the school quality issue as I grew up in a third world war torn country in a town of about 2000 dirt poor people. The  school I attended would probably not even legally qualify as a school in the developed world of today. I had cold and uninvolved parents. Still I am here now at 35 whining about my prestigious job, married to a guy who is speeding to make partner with the big 4 and I am casually contemplating if I should be living in Luxembourg or Manhattan. And how come, well, I obviously won some major genetic lottery that made it easy for me to acquire a ridiculous amount of knowledge and skills despite the conditions I was born into, nothing more to it.
So that tells me that if my kids are smart, they will be fine either way. And if they're not, well, ironically enough they're still going to be fine because the world is the way it is and they're tall white guys with Swedish passports and well to do parents.

So for me to consider putting my kids there a school only has to be safe. Sadly, in Stockholm in poorer areas you can't really feel that is guaranteed so I am not 100% naive on how bad a school can be, but I am confident there are acceptable public schools in NYC too.