Is there anyone Living in the US who Regrets Moving from the UK?
Yes. I’m one of them. I moved to the US about 5 years ago and absolutely regret it. The cost of living is outrageous, the healthcare is terrible, and the people are incredibly rude. I’m originally from London, and the UK is so much more civilized than this country. If I could go back in time, I would never have moved to the US.
There are many people who have moved from the UK to the US and vice versa.
Everyone’s experience is different and it ultimately depends on the person’s individual circumstances.
There are definite upsides to it, but there’s also some serious downsides.
I’m speaking as someone who has seriously considered moving to the US for relationship reasons, but who decided against it in the end.
What clinched it for me was the healthcare situation (its great if you have really good insurance, if you have anything less than really good insurance its a nightmare) and the lack of what I consider to be important regulations like workers rights, data protection, food safety, etc.
“ Honest Feedback from one of our Customers:
Not immediately regretted it.
Went to the USA in March 2000. Returned halloween 2006.
The first year was a culture shock as I did not move to NYC, I moved to Kentucky.
I was blinded by love and the dream.
This is how it went for me –
Realized the country is huge, but everywhere for 1000 miles is the same in every direction. No history, no change of scenery, just a million miles of road with the same franchised restaurants, stores, car dealerships and malls.
It was way too hot for me on most days. I sweat easily and unless your in the A/C you will suffer for it.
After I deposited my money into a house and got a job, I realized i’m suddenly in a work or die situation. I had zero vacation for a long time. Even in my 3rd or 4th year I only got a week off paid.
I started to realize that nobody goes anywhere, people I met hadn’t left the state they live in for years. I started to get a sense that nearby family means everything, nobody travels anywhere and if your family move out of state be prepared for them not to be visited but every 3rd year or so.
I missed UK sports like football. You could get some of it on cable but it was like $200 a month.
Americans love the things we do not. Trucks, Muscle cars, American history, American politics, American military. Basically nobody will talk to you about anything unless its American.
On the plus side, you’re from the UK, you’re different, sound different and your a party piece. People love listening to your stories from back home and your accent.
My marriage fell apart in year 4, I trundled on for 2 more years. In the end the only thing I had left was family, and they were 3500 miles across the ocean.“
One Moving Company that can help you make your move easier is MTC Removals . They are a UK-based company that has been relocating people between the two countries for over 10+ years. They understand the process inside out and can help you….
People Who lived in the USA have More to Say
I Moved from London to New York in 1996 with great excitement and anticipation but regretted it quickly.
I was living in Manhattan and during weekends, many parts seemed deserted where I Iived with only old folks around….but some parts were very crowded like Central Park. So I would often go there as the only place to hang around….but it was too crowded and there were aggressive bikers and rollerbladers and ball players to deal with. Not like the big serene parks in London that I was used to.
I found most service people aggressive…like shop assistants, taxi drivers and waiters. Service was bad but tips were expected and higher than you would pay in London.
Lot of shops did not have fixed prices for expensive things unlike in Europe and you had to haggle or know someone’s uncle to avoid being ripped off. While things were often cheaper than in London, buying was less pleasurable an experience. Society was definitely defined by conspicuous consumption..a bit more than London for a young professional perhaps.
During peak hours the routes and streets I walked to work were very busy. You could sense people were more pushy, even female joggers would bump into you without acknowledgement….it was like you were in other people’s way and they were more important. There was none of the queueing or politeness or consideration I liked in London.
At work, the people I worked with were a good bunch. But the Chinese guys ate lunch together, the Indians played cricket together, the black guys hung out separately from the rest, only the white guys took me to the pubs…Irish pubs at that. So it was not like everyone went with everyone to hang out after work or in weekends. The pot had a lot of ingredients but not much mixing and melting.
Also the work environment was politically charged and people thought that was acceptable. The politics and aggression were there for all to see but it was kind of tolerated whereas in London it was a bit more behind the scenes. So in London I could avoid the worst of it but in NY it was there staring at you all the time.
So after six months I decided that I would not be happy living and working in NY. But having seen other places in the US since, I know what I experienced may be particular to NY and also that particular time and place in my life.
Maybe then NY suffered in comparison to London rather than US in comparison to UK. But knowing what I know and seeing what I see, I will not move from UK to US today.
Is it worth it to Emigrate from the UK to the USA?
Yes, it is worth it to emigrate from the UK to the USA. America is a land of opportunity with a wealth of resources and plenty of space.
The United States offers a high standard of living, with great healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Additionally, America is a democratic country with a strong economy. The rule of law is upheld, and there are ample opportunities for career growth.
Of course, moving to a new country can be challenging. But with the help of an experienced international moving company like MTC London Removals Company , the transition can be smooth and successful. We can help you relocate your belongings safely and efficiently, so you can start enjoying all that America has to offer!
Well, I did it, and on balance I wish I hadn’t. Some things are better, and some things are worse.
The cost of getting around is a bit more complicated than just comparing prices. Petrol/gas may be cheaper in the US, but insurance rates are worse because accidents happen so often there too! Driving tests vary by state and many require an international license before they will let you drive legally- this is why drivers here have less skill compared to UK standards while being equally as likely crash when behind wheels or on foot alike due public transport deficiency which makes travelling difficult without having your own vehicle available at all times (or becoming disabled).
Then, of course, there’s health care. In the UK, everyone is covered by the NHS, which is about equivalent to having a Medicare Advantage plan, as it covers more than basic Medicare, but less than Medicaid (in most states). The best thing is, in the UK you don’t have to have a job, or be old, or poor, or pay a premium, to be covered, which are the major sources of insurance in the US, and in many cases still leave you paying premiums. You are covered just by being a UK resident.
Emergency care is free for non-residents, and most medical facilities have no way of generating bills anyway, so even most tourists never get a UK medical bill. Despite all that, there are at least two private medical plans in the UK, called BUPA and PPP. I had more than one UK job where my employer paid for BUPA, but never filed a claim as I used the NHS like everybody else, and the premiums paid by my employers on my behalf weren’t high, because no-one else filed claims either.
So what about taxes? Well, in most US states you have to pay state as well as federal taxes. The UK has no state taxes, which complicates comparisons. The UK really has 4 states, but we call them countries just to confuse foreigners, i.e. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (Britain, aka Great Britain, is just the mainland, without the Irish bit).
None of them charges any taxes, only the UK national government. That said, income tax in the UK is about what you would pay in most states, after you add state and federal. It’s only higher in the UK if you are very wealthy, something that has no effect on 90% of people. UK National Insurance and US Social Security taxes are about equal to eachother. Sales tax is higher in the UK, but is always included in the price and never, ever, added on at the till/register as it is in the US. Property taxes are levied by the local authority/government on both sides of the pond.
I have heard different people make claims that either the UK or the US is cheaper/more expensive for food. The sad truth is that we have different eating habits, and people moving in both directions can expect to spend more on food.
The UK generally has stronger laws on employment than most US states, which all vary, even without EU law that will soon be gone. DC and California are quite good, but most others do very little to protect employees, if anything. I suppose a right winger would take an opposite PoV.
I did this. It was worth it for me. I don’t think it will be for Everyone. Here are some factors to think about.
- Career If you an engineer or scientist, or in business of any kind, your career will be better in the right part of the US than anywhere in the UK. Farmers will do better in the midwest. Software engineers in Silicon Valley. Media folks in New York. And so on. The same is probably true for doctors, lawyers and other professionals, although their qualifications may not transfer. It is very much not true for most “blue collar” (US) or ”working class” (UK) folks
- Taxes and welfare Taxes are lower in the US for almost everyone. There’s no VAT, only a relatively low sales tax. Federal taxes are under 40% marginal rate for everyone, and only really kick in above the median income. Many people are “refunded” more than they ever payed. Unemployment and social security are actually more generous than their UK equivalents, but welfare support for people who have not worked for much of their lives are extremely miserly, and wrapped in bureaucracy that makes them humiliating and stressful to use. If you expect to work and pay taxes, you will get to keep more of your income in the US. If you don’t, don’t move here.
- Standard of living Almost everything is cheaper. Gas, cars, food. Housing, for equivalent areas – don’t compare San Jose with Middlesborough. Healthcare and tertiary education are more expensive, although it is not as bad as people will tell you if you behave sensibly. If you insist on sending your kids to Harvard without a scholarship, that’s very expensive, but you can send them to UC and they’ll still get an education on par with Oxbridge. If you have a good job, you will never actually pay the eye-watering prices for medical treatment shown on your bills.
- Manners British politeness consists mostly of staying out of people’s way. Americans … don’t do that. Americans are often solicitous to a point that seems insincere and over-the-top to British people.
- Diversity Not just in the mealy-mouthed actually-we-mean-black-people sense popular in certain American circles, but in every sense. Americans in the cities most British people would move to are far more accustomed to a wide range of languages, appearances and standards of behavior. In the UK, only London matches American cities. Ironically, the average middle class British person is more comfortable with diversity than the average middle class American, but in some cases that’s only because they’ve not lived with it or only lived with the rather tame London version. The reality of New York City may come as a bit of a shock.
Which country pays more income tax, the USA or the UK?
The USA. In the UK, the Income Tax rates vary depending on your income bracket, with the highest tax rate being 45%. In the USA, however, there are 7 tax brackets with a top rate of 39.6%. The average American taxpayer pays around 26% of their income in federal taxes.
One thing to note is that while Americans pay more in federal income taxes as a percentage of their income, they actually pay less in total taxes when you combine all levels of taxation (federal, state and local). This is because while the tax rates are higher in the USA, the American tax system is also much more progressive than the UK system. This means that those at the lower end of the income spectrum pay a smaller.
The USA pays more income tax than the UK. In 2015, the top marginal income tax rate in the USA was 39.6%, compared to 45% in the UK. America also has a larger number of states with no income tax at all, whereas the UK has just one (Scotland).
In absolute terms, you pay less income tax in the US. The highest rate of income tax in the US is 39.6% if you earn over $418k. In the UK, it’s 45% if you earn over £150k.
But, as others have said, it’s not that simple.
In many US states, you also have to pay state taxes – some states pay nothing, but New York, for example, the state taxes can be an additional 8.8%. Nothing like that in the UK.
Property taxes in the US can be insane – again, in some states they’re minimal or non-existent, but in others, New Jersey, for example, they can be over $15k per year for a normal-sized house. The highest council tax (UK equivalent to property tax) on an individual property in the UK is £1750-ish. Plus, if you don’t pay your property taxes, the state can put your home up for tax sale and you’ll be made homeless. The very worst that happens in the UK if you don’t pay your council tax is you might spend a few days in jail, but you’ll still be able to get out and go home.
Sales taxes are another thing to consider in the US – every state, even some cities do them differently, they range from nothing, up to 10.25% in Chicago. In the UK, most items are subject to 20% VAT, but VAT works differently to sales tax and can often be offset or passed along the supply chain. It’s also included in the price you see and doesn’t have to be added on at the register, so if something has a price tag of £4.99, that’s what you pay. The VAT is already included.
Even after all that, the UK probably has a slightly higher tax burden (unless you own a large property in a high property tax state like NJ). But, remember, in the US, you’ve got to pay for healthcare on top of that. The tax you pay in the UK pays for the NHS. The social services you can avail of in the US are far more limited than those in the UK. And there’s far more ‘free’ cultural stuff in the UK that taxes pay for.
Depends what you value, basically.
Which is better to Live in – USA or UK?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on individual preferences and circumstances. Some people may prefer the more relaxed lifestyle of the UK, while others may prefer the more action-packed lifestyle available in the USA. Additionally, the cost of living can vary significantly between the two countries.
That said, one factor that could sway someone’s decision is healthcare. The USA has a reputation for having better healthcare options, although this is not always the case. Ultimately, it’s important to do your research and compare both countries before making a decision about where to live.
Both Georgia and New York as well as England and Scotland have been my home (currently in Scotland).
so I’ll present my experiences.
Lifestyle: the UK is far more liberal, and has social safety nets that the US doesn’t have. Plus you all know about the healthcare system- I tried to go to a doctor in the US, and it was a complete debacle trying to sort out insurance, appointments, etc. I was also terrified of getting critically ill in the US, so I was insured for half a million, which cost a fortune. In comparison, I’ve had no healthcare problems in the UK. Otherwise, it’s kind of hard to compare the two countries. Scots are friendlier than the English, and Georgians are friendlier than New Yorkers (and the English!); however, I found it difficult to make good friends in the US, as the friendliness seems rather superficial.
Safety – wise, there were three instances of gunfire in my street in Georgia in 18 months. Just on my street. My landlord carried a gun, and when I asked him not to carry the gun when he carried out house inspections, he threatened to sue me for violating his rights. In the UK, I wouldn’t think twice about asking a police officer for directions or for help. In the US, the police officers are wary and aggressive. On my first day in my new neighbourhood in Georgia, I was stopped and asked why I was in a ‘black neighbourhood’ (I’m mixed race, but look white). The officers didn’t believe that I had chosen to live in that neighbourhood, and that I must be there to buy drugs. They stopped me the following week while I was walking my dog because they were surprised that I was telling the truth about living there. It says a lot about a country when people actively avoid the cops.
Work: the UK wins hands down. Proper annual leave, maternity leave, no ‘at will’ termination, proper sick leave etc etc. I get 5 weeks paid recreational leave here, as well as charity leave (i.e. I can take x days off to volunteer for charities), and several weeks sick leave. In the US, I got 3 weeks annual leave, and 5 days sick leave, and everyone was amazed at what a great contract I had. I found it difficult to work in the US (this may simply be the culture at my workplace), as I am very collaborative, whereas my colleagues would happily stab you in the back to climb up your corpse. It was unbelievably stressful to know that my colleagues would steal my ideas, methodology, and even samples, with no qualms or credit given if it would put them ahead. I was also almost always referred to as ‘Miss’ in Georgia, even when I was presenting seminars, despite having a PhD- relatively minor, but quite annoying, as the male scientists were always called ‘Dr’!
So, for me, there is no competition. I feel much safer and happier in the UK than I ever did in the US.
Do you Prefer the USA or the UK as a Place to Live?
It’s better to live in the USA because it has a stronger economy, more job opportunities, and a higher standard of living.
The UK is a great place to live, but the USA offers more advantages in terms of economics and overall quality of life. The UK has been struggling with a weak economy in recent years, while the USA has continued to grow and thrive. In addition, the USA offers a greater variety of jobs and career opportunities than the UK. And finally, the standard of living is higher in the USA than it is in the UK. So all things considered, the USA is a better place to live than the UK.
I Think Things are Generally Easier in the USA than in the UK.
- They don’t bother saying for example ‘sorry’ or ‘lovely’ twice a minute.
- They don’t have to try Marmite at least once.
- Easier for them to be obnoxious towards their (armed) cops.
- Easier to take all their frustrations on their head of state.
- Their spellings are (awfully) easier.
- Coffee is an easy brew, I mean water and some colo(u)r.
- Their swear words are easier like fucking this and fucking that (as opposed to flipping, fricking, bollocks, bonkers, twats, pillocks, pissing, bloody and so on.)
- Their history is much shorter and therefore easier to memorize.
- Their music is easy listening.
- And their National Health System is the easiest; they simply don’t have one.