UK to US - Decision Time - Pitfalls? Houston - Page 2

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UK to US - Decision Time - Pitfalls? Houston - Page 2


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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 19th August 2014, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
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I never paid up front or at all for any of these fees when transferring on an L1. The company paid for all of these fees for myself and husband.
OP is taking about H or E but has not yet shared details.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 19th August 2014, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twostep View Post
OP is taking about H or E but has not yet shared details.
I've never heard of an H visa holder paying for any visa or filing fees either.

E visa, as said, totally different situation.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 19th August 2014, 01:59 AM
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I'll pick up a couple other points here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.t View Post
401k - Your Pension Plan - Tax free deductions
There are two types of 401(k) plans: Traditional and Roth. Not all employers offer Roth 401(k) plans, but many do.

With traditional 401(k) plans your contributions come out of pre-tax income, and your employer can make tax-free matching contributions. (It's certainly in your interest to maximize employer matching funds with either type of plan -- that math is easy.) As long as you make only qualified withdrawals (i.e. withdraw when eligible in retirement), you only pay tax on the withdrawals at then-current ordinary income tax rates. In other words, a traditional 401(k) defers income taxes to a time when you might (might) be taxed in a lower bracket.

The Roth 401(k) is a different offer. You make contributions to a Roth 401(k) plan from after-tax income. Then, if you only make qualified withdrawals (i.e. in retirement), you pay zero U.S. tax on any of the funds you withdraw. All the gains are U.S. tax free. (Well, OK, as a non-U.S. person you'll likely be subject to withholding, but you can get a full refund when you file a tax return.)

In both cases your total contributions are capped at $17,500 per year (last I checked). However, if you can contribute up to the maximum per year, that tends to favor the Roth 401(k) because you end up getting more tax benefit. Another reason to favor the Roth 401(k) in your case is that you're young, and the money will have lots of time to grow, yielding a significant tax benefit.

HOWEVER, a Roth 401(k) can be a bad idea -- or at least a less good one -- if the foreign country where you retire wants to tax your withdrawals. Offhand I happen to know that Italy (to pick a random example) doesn't -- the U.S.-Italy tax treaty protects Roth accounts from Italian taxation -- but not all countries do that. Obviously if you retire to a country that has no capital gains tax then it won't matter.

Anyway, if your employer doesn't offer a Roth 401(k) then don't worry about choosing. The choice has been made. Just make sure you maximize your employer's matching contribution at least if at all possible.

The U.S. also has tax-advantaged accounts called IRAs -- both Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs -- that you can open at your favorite U.S. financial institution. At your income level you should be able to contribute to an IRA for both yourself and your spouse. Last I checked the maximum is $5500 per person per year (at your ages). One reasonable strategy if you don't have a Roth 401(k) at work is to open a Roth IRA separately outside work and contribute to that. Then you'd have a Traditional 401(k) at work and a Roth IRA outside work. I'm assuming that you have enough to save and want to save for retirement. That'd be a reasonable way to place both tax bets on the future.

Quote:
Social Security Payments - 7.65%
It sounds like you've decided you'll be in the U.S. Social Security system rather than the U.K. system during your time in the U.S. That's perfectly fine and probably even a great idea.

Quote:
Medical - $1000's for family
Well, no, it shouldn't be quite that much. Your employer should be providing you with health insurance, and the family buy-in should be on the order of $100-$200 or so per month. Employers vary in how generous they are, but that'd be a reasonable estimate in the circumstances. Granted, health insurance doesn't cover everything -- they have deductibles and co-pays -- but "$1000's for family" seems a bit over the top to me, at least if it's many thousands.

Quote:
The role is home office so no car allowance
Car allowances are not typical in the United States. It's not like the U.K. where there are substantial car-related tax advantages. In the U.S. the rough equivalent is health insurance, where there's a big employer role (and big tax advantages with employer-provided health insurance).

Car expenses are also not nearly as high as they are in the U.K. Expenses in general, actually (with the exception of healthcare maybe).

Since you'll be home office-based, I'd start off as a one car family and see how it goes. Probably rather well. You're getting a fair bit of money for relocation (all added up), so I'd consider just buying a car with cash. Something like a low mileage recent model year Toyota Matrix, for example. Make sure the car has well functioning air conditioning.
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Old 19th August 2014, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I never paid up front or at all for any of these fees when transferring on an L1. The company paid for all of these fees for myself and husband.
I don't know how you can avoid paying them for an L1 unless your husband's employer filed your DS160 for you and paid the MRV fee, and the anti-fraud fee is paid by the applicant in person at the Consulate at the time of the visa interview. Unless there is another process that is not documented.

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 19th August 2014, 07:17 AM
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Loosehead,

Thanks for your support so far but I am not transferring and have a decision to make this week.

Can we please keep it on topic and have an L Visa discussion elsewhere.

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Old 19th August 2014, 12:25 PM
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Medical coverage for a family of four will run around 500-600$ plus co-payments, deductibles and what nots. A complete handbook outlining details and costs should have been issued by HR as OP has to sign up for coverage during his onboarding window. How does he plan to cover the family during the traditional 30 to 90 day window until coverage sets in?
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 19th August 2014, 12:29 PM
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twostep,

Nail on the head, I have a handbook and it has taken some deciphering due to the terms you mentioned.. copay etc.

Regards
Mark

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2014, 03:22 PM
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All,

Again thanks for the help so far.

Here is the response from company:
Once you accept and return all the documents signed, we will have you work with our Immigration attorney in securing the proper visa to work in the US

Not very helpful, any advice?


Mark

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2014, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mr.t View Post
All,

Again thanks for the help so far.

Here is the response from company:
Once you accept and return all the documents signed, we will have you work with our Immigration attorney in securing the proper visa to work in the US

Not very helpful, any advice?


Mark
Interesting concept!

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2014, 03:53 PM
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My Reply:

This leaves it a bit of a risky commitment regarding family visas ie Spouse/Children visa may be dependant upon mine.

Can you offer any reassurance that the family will be able to relocate trouble free?
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