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f13.net General Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: Falconeer on August 25, 2016, 09:47:17 AM



Title: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 25, 2016, 09:47:17 AM
For good. To Colorado at first, then who knows.

I don't drink alcohol, I don't do drugs at all, and I have part about sex in public covered, so let's move on.  :why_so_serious:

But seriously, give me your three best pieces of advice. Topic: everything USA.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 25, 2016, 09:51:05 AM
1. Americans care about denim, but not as much as the Italians.
2. Enjoy working til you're 80 instead of retiring when you're 16.
3. BBQ.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: IainC on August 25, 2016, 09:51:38 AM
Don't take naked photos of people in school sportsgrounds. Even if it's ~art~.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: rattran on August 25, 2016, 09:51:51 AM
Don't go to the South, avoid political conversations, tip your waitress.

And if you don't do drugs, why are you going to Colorado?


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Yegolev on August 25, 2016, 09:56:18 AM
Don't go to the North, either.  California is on fire, so don't go there either.  Stay out of the Southwest.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Nebu on August 25, 2016, 10:01:50 AM
1. Assume all Americans are stupid until proven otherwise.
2. Don't get sick.  EVER.
3. Don't eat anything you don't recognize. Americans put sugar in EVERYTHING!


Colorado is a great choice.  I'd move there tomorrow if I could find a job. 


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: IainC on August 25, 2016, 10:09:59 AM
Don't go to the North, either.  California is on fire, so don't go there either.  Stay out of the Southwest.
Colorado will probably be in fire too in the next few weeks.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Chimpy on August 25, 2016, 10:26:47 AM
My advice: Don't do it.

 :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: HaemishM on August 25, 2016, 10:49:27 AM
If you go to the South, wear breathable underwear. Also, be prepared to be called an EYE-talian. Do not eat what we call Italian food down here. Seriously, just don't.

Wait, fuck it. Why are you coming here again?


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: kaid on August 25, 2016, 10:52:15 AM
For good. To Colorado at first, then who knows.

I don't drink alcohol, I don't do drugs at all, and I have part about sex in public covered, so let's move on.  :why_so_serious:

But seriously, give me your three best pieces of advice. Topic: everything USA.


Do not carry large sums of cash on you when moving. Civil forfiture is the poop.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Lucas on August 25, 2016, 11:23:49 AM
For good. To Colorado at first, then who knows.

I don't drink alcohol, I don't do drugs at all, and I have part about sex in public covered, so let's move on.  :why_so_serious:

But seriously, give me your three best pieces of advice. Topic: everything USA.

But, but....Think about Barbarella:

(https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/27123891.jpg)

And, and..... :
(http://m.memegen.com/bj84mb.jpg)

But anyway, best of luck In The Land of the Free...

(https://imgflip.com/s/meme/Ghetto-Jesus.jpg)

Ciaone, proprio  :grin:


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Merusk on August 25, 2016, 11:57:07 AM
He didn't even tell you the best part: what his new job will be.

Anyway, Falc:

1) Healthcare & Retirement - You're getting old, try to stay healthy. Do preventative even if it's out of pocket cuz you'll be fucked otherwise. You aren't a citizen so I don't think you can do social security. Even if you can it only counts for years you've been working, so you'll get next to nothing. Start saving bucks or plan for moving back out of country when you want to stop working.
2) Tipping - We tip at all restaurants. Get used to it or cook at home more.
3) The Truckstop hookers WILL shiv you. Don't use 'em.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Teleku on August 25, 2016, 12:00:44 PM
Ok assholes, he actually wanted some real advice instead of endless political jokes I'm sure.   :-P

1.)  Learn the tipping culture where ever you go.  It's stupid but it's a big thing here, and people survive on it (also, will lead to problems if you don't tip right).

2.)  Do you have plans to get a car?  You're going to need a car in the west.  If you go to a big city, you can get by, but your life will be a lot easier in Colorado with a car I'm sure.

3.)  Recreation:  in Colorado you will be in driving distance to some of the most spectacular National Parks in the US.  Obviously need the car.  What US lacks in historical buildings, it makes up in natural beauty.  Take advantage of that while your out there (especially since you don't drink or do drugs :p).

I'll think of another three later for another post.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Goumindong on August 25, 2016, 12:15:13 PM
Also you're in Colorado so your car should ideally have high horsepower, especially if you want to go into the mountains. You're starting at probably 5,000 feet(1500 Meters) elevation and might drive up to about 10,000 feet(3000 meters) or higher and this will absolutely crush the power you can get out of an engine. Ride height and AWD might not be an issue but they also might be if you're into winter sports or are further out in in the boonies.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Merusk on August 25, 2016, 12:20:02 PM
They're not political jokes if they're true.

He does need to know about the costs of healthcare, retirement and tipping. Those are VERY different from his homeland. If he were from S. Korea I'd also be telling him, "get used to slow internet."

Good tip on the car. It's so ingrained in those of us still stateside that it didn't even occur to say, "Start car shopping now, you'll do nothing without one."


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: shiznitz on August 25, 2016, 12:21:39 PM
1) I hope you like to drive.
2) Get a car that is comfortable and start googling National Parks
3) Buy a gun!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 25, 2016, 12:39:58 PM
Don't buy a gun. Only assholes buy guns.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: ShenMolo on August 25, 2016, 12:53:26 PM
As an Italian(?) moving to Colorado as winter sets in I would recommend:

1. Buy a good pair of leather/waterproof boots with good traction on the soles. Also a warm, waterproof jacket. And a hat.
2. Be on the lookout for a all wheel drive / 4 wheel drive vehicle. Subarus are good. Various 4x4 crossovers, I think even FIAT imports one now. Look for one that gets 20+ miles per gallon of gas. There are a few out there. Distances in the West are enormous, especially compared to Italy. Trips are measured in hours driven, not miles.
3. I lived in CO for a year after living in the Southeast all my life. The thing that struck me most was how much more of a role weather & nature play in your life. You might go weeks in the East without ever looking at the sky. Be prepared for amazing, jaw dropping skies to become a regular occurrence. Snow & ice, thunderstorms, floods, forest fires, tornados, droughts, wild animals, etc. all have the potential to directly impact your life. It's both awe inspiring and requires you to be more prepared, resilient, & self sufficient.

Bonus: Prepare yourself for how polite people can be. Random drivers will wave at you. People will smile when you make eye contact. Most people you meet will offer a polite greeting. It may come off as insincere, but it is common courtesy to compliment people and ask how they are doing. The farther you get from big cities, the more it will happen. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: rattran on August 25, 2016, 01:04:12 PM
Bonus: Prepare yourself for how polite people can be. Random drivers will wave at you. People will smile when you make eye contact. Most people you meet will offer a polite greeting. It may come off as insincere, but it is common courtesy to compliment people and ask how they are doing. The farther you get from big cities, the more it will happen. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Are you sure you were in Colorado? People drive like they're all high as fuck, and alone on the road. If you're lucky, they'll have one hand on the wheel as they drive and text/surf the internet/catch pokemons with the other. If you use your horn on the fucktard drifting into your lane, a one finger salute will be your answer. Up in the mountains there are simply less people, still driving like shit though. Protip: anyone with a coexist or Fish worshipper bumpersticker will drives more aggressively than the norm.

The Parks and scenery are nearly without compare. And be prepared to see lots of wildlife in unexpected places.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Father mike on August 25, 2016, 01:06:27 PM
If you're buying a house, read the Home Owners Association rules VERY carefully.  Yes, they actually enforce all that shit.  There will be at least one retired person in the neighborhood whose only joy left in life is to catch HOA violations.

To expand on buying a car, learn the driving culture of each area you're commuting thru.  Some places are fine with you driving 10 MPH over the speed limit while others enforce all traffic regulations to the letter.  Also, when buying a car -- if buying used -- try to find one from the South; they'll have a lot less rust and salt damage.

Speaking of MPH, Become fluent in American units of measure.  Nobody has any idea what the metric units even mean.

Before signing up for a cellphone, ask people how good the coverage is for various networks in the areas you will frequent.  In the urban cores, it doesn't matter.  In the sprawling suburbs, it can get dicey (moreso with Sprint and Tmobile).


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: ShenMolo on August 25, 2016, 01:11:48 PM
Bonus: Prepare yourself for how polite people can be. Random drivers will wave at you. People will smile when you make eye contact. Most people you meet will offer a polite greeting. It may come off as insincere, but it is common courtesy to compliment people and ask how they are doing. The farther you get from big cities, the more it will happen. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Are you sure you were in Colorado? People drive like they're all high as fuck, and alone on the road. If you're lucky, they'll have one hand on the wheel as they drive and text/surf the internet/catch pokemons with the other. If you use your horn on the fucktard drifting into your lane, a one finger salute will be your answer. Up in the mountains there are simply less people, still driving like shit though. Protip: anyone with a coexist or Fish worshipper bumpersticker will drives more aggressively than the norm.

The Parks and scenery are nearly without compare. And be prepared to see lots of wildlife in unexpected places.

Yep, Telluride. Granted it was 20 years ago, things may have changed!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Trippy on August 25, 2016, 01:42:00 PM
The US has a working bureaucracy and service industry* and you will not need to make a dozen different contingency plans to deal with the inefficiencies and time wasting some European countries including Italy are famous for. E.g. if you mail a letter in the US you can just assume it will arrive at its destination on time. Or if you call your electricity company for service they will show up within the scheduled time period.

US banks will not give you the runaround if you try and open a bank account. In fact they will likely shower you with gifts if you do so (shop around for the best shower). Getting a US-based credit card may be a bit more tricky since you won't have a US-based credit score but you can get a "debit" or "bank" card (in fact when you open a bank account they'll ask you then if you want one) which you can use instead of cash but the money is withdrawn immediately from your account.

You will probably have to cook your own pasta if you want a proper plate/bowl of it. You may need to do the same for a proper cup of coffee (i.e. espresso) though our coffee has improved tremendously over the years so you may be able to find something you deem acceptable if you search around.


Things you probably already know from your previous time here but I'll mention anyways:

Showing up late for things is frowned upon in the US.

Talking with your hands will be a dead giveaway you are Italian.

You don't bargain for purchases here except in a limited set of circumstances like car purchases and flea markets.


Edit: *cable companies are an exception to this


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Merusk on August 25, 2016, 02:05:24 PM
US banks will not give you the runaround if you try and open a bank account. In fact they will likely shower you with gifts if you do so (shop around for the best shower). Getting a US-based credit card may be a bit more tricky since you won't have a US-based credit score but you can get a "debit" or "bank" card (in fact when you open a bank account they'll ask you then if you want one) which you can use instead of cash but the money is withdrawn immediately from your account.

On this topic; don't do Banks. Find a Credit Union and use them instead. I'm not sure how easy it will be as they're regional and I have no experience in Colorado, but your employer should have a few references for you.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: MrHat on August 25, 2016, 02:32:07 PM
You will probably have to cook your own pasta if you want a proper plate/bowl of it. You may need to do the same for a proper cup of coffee (i.e. espresso) though our coffee has improved tremendously over the years so you may be able to find something you deem acceptable if you search around.

Stuff cooks weird at Denver altitude FYI.

You get by pretty well in the Denver/Boulder area with no car.  It's not as freeing, but Uber+Buses are pretty great.  There's also a ton of services up into the mountains/RMNP as well.

Enjoy the fuck out of the nature while you're there. You will regret it if you do not.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 25, 2016, 02:51:21 PM
Do not carry large sums of cash on you when moving. Civil forfiture is the poop.

See, that's great advice! I thought that stuff only happened in Chicago according to third season of The Good Wife.

I'm moving to the USA because 1) I need to visit Shermer, Illinois. 2) Because North America has the best eighteen wheelers and so it's the best place to become a truck driver, and 3) because someone has to stop Trump and you are all clearly doing a terrible job at it.

Colorado, because my primary partner (  :why_so_serious: ) works in Vail so that's where I get my beginner kill ten rats and work 60 weekly hours at minimum wage quests.

Thanks Lucas for the meme and the heartfelt goodbye  :grin:

Anyway, yes I plan to retain my EU privileges when it comes to health and growing old, which is a vague way to say that if/when shit will hit the fan I'll go back to the country with public healthcare that I paid taxes to for 24 years. And where my son will hopefully have done well enough to be able to offer me a roof and feed me a bowl of soup. More seriously, I actually plan to retire in Italy when the time will come. In a specific place in the mountains where life is very cheap and simple and easy. That's a story for 2040 though.

Other random things:

- I've been to the USA many times so at least I know about tipping. What I hate is when I tip in places where you put money in the jar by the counter, but the server turns around for a second when I do so when they come back they think I didn't tip. It's a minigame apparently, I had to learn to only do it while they are watching. Weird.

- Probably not gonna get a car in Colorado because we are staying there only until May, and what we need there is covered by buses (This is Nathalie's third season there). Then we are gonna take care of some family stuff flying between Florida and Europe over the summer, and then October 2017 I am gonna start trucking school, so we'll see where that brings me.

- I am NOT gonna buy a gun. If that means I'll be robbed, stabbed, maced, mugged, arrowed, killed, then fine.

- Certainly not gonna be able to buy a house for a long time. I might buy a trailer or a motorhome though.

- Good tips on cars and phones. As I said I am probably not gonna worry about a car for now just because we are gonna be in Vail only for a short time and the next year is gonna involve some flying more than driving, but I am aware that at some point I will need to get one. Phone stuff is super important, and so will be internet stuff. Heh.

- The "credit" part is gonna be interesting. Obviously as Trippy pointed out I don't have any credit score and I wonder how much time it will take for me to achieve any and be able to access the magical world of Credit Cards.

- I am NEVER late. That's what usually convince people I am not from Roma.

- I NEVER bargain, so that works for me.

- Gesturing, hah, I'll work on it. I wish for people to be confused about my origins.

- Cooking: I do not want to live in a world without pasta (you can keep the pizza), so I do plan to cook my own as much as possible. However, one thing that makes me all teary-eyed and happy when I think about it is nachos. A huge heavy bowl of nachos is something I often dream about. And I have pretty much given up meat -not without issues- so some of my previous favourite foods are off-limits now.


If I haven't addressed your post, it's not because I haven't read it or I don't appreciate it. In fact, I'll print AND save this thread and I'll update it every year. It's gonna be "fun".
But thank you all for taking the time to post, really.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: NiX on August 25, 2016, 02:54:52 PM
Credit is easy. Just get a secured credit card and you should be fine.

Just do your prison time in the U.S. so you can be released into freedom (Canada)!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 25, 2016, 03:02:06 PM
Nix, trucking might also be my gateway to Canada! As you know I had no leverage to get residency there, but apparently truck drivers are in such high demand in the True North that it's not impossible to get a work sponsorship as long as you have done enough years of experience in the USA.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Chimpy on August 25, 2016, 03:32:50 PM
There is not actually a town called Shermer Illinois.  :drill:



Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: 01101010 on August 25, 2016, 03:50:25 PM
There is not actually a town called Shermer Illinois.  :drill:



(http://magazine.100percentrock.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Jay-and-Silent-Bob.jpg)


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Hammond on August 25, 2016, 03:52:40 PM
Truck driving is what is bringing you to the USA? I have a few buddies that drive truck and really love it. Word of warning driving truck in the northern states in the winter is a special kind of hell. The stories they have told me about the conditions they are expected to go through are simply unreal.

So my advice is more for the trucking side.

1. Try for a short hauling company the smaller outfits tend to pay better than the large nationals like Swift. Long haul sucks in general unless you goal is simply to see the country.
2. Be prepared to get flipped off, cut off, and in general see a side of humanity that is just terrible.
3. As a trucker it is hard to stay healthy. Eating right, exercising are not really part of the culture. The food at truck stops and that is available near interstates is pretty terrible (as is the coffee). Investing in a refrigerator for your truck and bringing your own snacks / dinner is both cost effective and far healthier.
4. Bonus! Be prepared to not make a ton of money initially. Until you get some hours or go for a specialty there is not a ton of money in trucking.



Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Threash on August 25, 2016, 04:06:48 PM
1.)  Learn the tipping culture where ever you go.  It's stupid but it's a big thing here, and people survive on it (also, will lead to problems if you don't tip right).


There's really nothing to learn.  Tip, always, everywhere.  20% or so.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Rendakor on August 25, 2016, 04:39:00 PM
The 20% rule works great for restaurants, but there are all sorts of other random places that people tip at. We had a thread about it last year. (http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=25097.0)


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Teleku on August 25, 2016, 04:42:16 PM
There's really nothing to learn.  Tip, always, everywhere.  20% or so.
And see, there we have it already.  Where I'm from, 20% is what you tip for a steak dinner served by a guy in a tuxedo as you gossip with a Kennedy.

15% always.  10% if they sucked.  20% if amazing and/or at super nice restaurant.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 25, 2016, 04:51:03 PM
I actually had this conversation about things that are not food related a while ago. For example, apparently people tip tattoo artists in the States. That I really don't get.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: rattran on August 25, 2016, 05:43:33 PM
Truck driving is a weird industry, jobs are plentiful in it, but good jobs are scarce. That said, there are places in Colorado that will send you to fast trucker school as they are desperate for people stupid desperate enough to drive through all those passes in the winter.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: MahrinSkel on August 25, 2016, 05:58:02 PM
Trucking: Been a while since I had any direct contact with it (my mother was a long-haul driver for a few years, to fill the gap between being too old to get work as a programmer and too young to collect Social Security). General gist of it is that it all depends on the company, some are great and some...are the opposite. Electronic logs have removed the worst aspects, nobody is going to expect you to exceed your 60 hours a week. Of course, in the next 10 years they're all getting replaced by robots.

Obviously, get a personal vehicle, there are only a handful of cities you can live in without one. Look into a towable 5th wheel trailer and a pickup that can haul it, since you don't plan on putting down roots. This is the best time of year for buying one (trailer), the prices crash at the end of summer. Don't talk politics with strangers, even if they start it. If you kill someone in front of witnesses, wait for the cops.

--Dave


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 25, 2016, 06:14:34 PM
I actually had this conversation about things that are not food related a while ago. For example, apparently people tip tattoo artists in the States. That I really don't get.
Tattoo artists can barely afford to eat.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Venkman on August 25, 2016, 06:16:05 PM
Wow big move Falc. But you've been here (U.S.) and here (F13) so you're not stupid, or at least a compatible type of stupid anyway :-)

You mentioned not wanting a car. That makes sense given your goals over the next year or so, but bus is a hassle everywhere, especially the distances in Colorado. Having a friend at Vail is very helpful of course, but if you can swing a beater, consider it. Mass transit outside select older cities is on a gradient scale between sucks and nil and CO is way wider than it is tall.

You're smart not to get a gun... though I don't know how that relates to those in trucking. Is it fine? The upshot is you really only need to remember miles and gallons and cubic yards, but not like all the construction related bullshit measurements  :oh_i_see:

You know you're coming at a pretty contentious time politically. But just avoid the topic or express keen interest in the bloviators thoughts. And apparently don't talk about guns at all whether you get one or not. There was a group trying to make a 51st state out of parts of CO on that issue.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Shannow on August 25, 2016, 06:29:37 PM
Coffee's crap. Be prepared.



Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Ginaz on August 25, 2016, 06:32:10 PM
Nix, trucking might also be my gateway to Canada! As you know I had no leverage to get residency there, but apparently truck drivers are in such high demand in the True North that it's not impossible to get a work sponsorship as long as you have done enough years of experience in the USA.

Seeing as how you're going to be working in Colorado and want to maybe move to Canada some day (One of Us!) I highly recommend you know how to dress for the weather.  It can be much colder and wetter than you're use to.  Even if you'll be driving a truck, it can break down in the middle of nowhere during a snow storm.  Invest in a warm parka, gloves, scarf, toque, long underwear and winter boots.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Furiously on August 25, 2016, 06:46:46 PM
Get a good waterproof outter layer (Like a marmot precip) and a nice warm mid layer.  Have you been through a Colorado winter yet?


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Soln on August 25, 2016, 06:47:32 PM
 I have been in the US for 9 years this Fall coming from CDN.  Here are some of my opinions based on my experiences and those of my wife (also an f13'r):

1) CREDIT SCORE GOTO 0:  When you move to the US you have $0 credit history.  Credit != Credit History.  You will start at $0 unless you have an employer or bank/credit union who will somehow vouch for you.  Yes, you can get credit cards (Secured to start), but you will not get a loan or credit line of any kind.  Think about that if you need a car, house, etc.  

edit: 1a) CREDIT UNION: go to one if you can, as mentioned.  US Banks have incredible, ridiculous fees. (as do other counties, but I thought it would be more competitive here).

2) DRIVER'S LICENSES ARE STATE MANDATED:  I believe every State by law requires you to register for a local driver's license after 30-50 days of residency.  Meaning, you can't drive in CO legally without a CO license.  AND you will probably as a dirty legal immigrant have to take a driver's test too.

3) THREE INSTITUTIONS TO AVOID: there are at least 3 places in the US that are motivated to keep you within their confines as long as possible -- Universities, Hospitals, and Prisons.  Don't go to any of them, or at least realize they have a profit motive to keep you inside their custody as long as possible.

4) I ASSUME YOU ARE A LEGAL IMMIGRANT: because I don't know the alternative, but being even here legally before you get a Permanent Residency ("Green Card") is a fucking roll of the dice.  Literally.  There's lotteries for certain visa's (H1B) that do send people back when they fail to win renewal (I know a guy).  And if you are married to an American, you still better be sure you are recognized here to be legal.

5) SOCIAL SECURITY # > THE IRS: to pay taxes, you need an "ITIN" (look it up, Im lazy) which requires a Social Security # which I don't know if it requires a legal visa.  But you better get both and do #4.

6) CBP OFFICERS HAVE YUGE AUTHORITY: the Cross Border Patrol officers at Immigration in airports and borders have incredible authority.  They can lock you up overnight+.  Don't be rude to them.  

7) PO-LICE: Heck, don't be rude to any American in a uniform.

8) MOVING YOUR LIFE: be aware that whatever you had shipped into the US will be taxed, inspected and then stored somewhere.  You need to have customs broker even if you are moving household stuff, because they have to vouch that it is only household goods you are shipping.

9) DON'T BRING A PET: it's hard enough getting into the US legally to live as a human.  

10) THERE IS NO "HEALTH CARE": ...as CDN and EU citizens understand it.  Yes, there is something now called the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") but protip: healthcare in the US comes from your employer.  It began in the second world war I believe as an incentive to workers by certain companies.  If you are self employed you will need to Obamacare it, and I would know precisely what is covered.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 25, 2016, 06:55:30 PM
Coffee's crap. Be prepared.
Eh, Colorado should be fine.

The Italian food in most cities is garbage though. And not Italian food. Thankfully, I don't think Falc cares.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 25, 2016, 08:43:07 PM
Thanks for all the tips. To clarify, I am a legal immigrant and I have a Green Card. So I will have a SSN, and I should have no problems with the Border Patrol Officers (but I certainly did in the past!). I know them well, and their scary amount of power. No pets for me, and not moving any of my stuff. All I am bringing is a backpack with irrelevant clothes, a journal, and a huge down jacket for that damn cold Colorado winter. And my gaming laptop, of course. Everything else, will be acquired in the US.

The driver's license thing is new to me. My partner Nathalie has a Florida license and she's been changing states for decades now and no one ever objected to that. Are you really supposed to get a new license every time you change state? This would be the first time I hear anything like that.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 25, 2016, 08:46:39 PM
Each state has different rules. RI for example, I had to get a new license in the first month. I wish I hadn't. What a fucking leper colony.

Texas you get 3 months.

You, however, are going to have to take a road test since you've never had a license here (as well as a written test, also, you have to give 55 Hail Obamas) and since you're Italian, that'll be interesting.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Trippy on August 25, 2016, 08:56:50 PM
The driver's license thing is new to me. My partner Nathalie has a Florida license and she's been changing states for decades now and no one ever objected to that. Are you really supposed to get a new license every time you change state? This would be the first time I hear anything like that.
Yes kind of sort of maybe. Here in California you are supposed to do that both for your driver's license and any vehicle you bring here. However lots and lots of college students in California, for example, don't bother even though they are supposed to. Basically they are gambling they never get pulled over or the cop never asks why they have an out-of-state driver's license.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Merusk on August 25, 2016, 09:04:44 PM
Yah, Kentucky and Ohio both required a new license within a Month. Your old license is only recognized if you still have a permanent address in the other state. Grandparents had Ohio licenses but lived in Florida 90% of the time and kept a condo up here.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Torinak on August 25, 2016, 09:35:32 PM
Thanks for all the tips. To clarify, I am a legal immigrant and I have a Green Card. So I will have a SSN, and I should have no problems with the Border Patrol Officers (but I certainly did in the past!). I know them well, and their scary amount of power. No pets for me, and not moving any of my stuff. All I am bringing is a backpack with irrelevant clothes, a journal, and a huge down jacket for that damn cold Colorado winter. And my gaming laptop, of course. Everything else, will be acquired in the US.

The driver's license thing is new to me. My partner Nathalie has a Florida license and she's been changing states for decades now and no one ever objected to that. Are you really supposed to get a new license every time you change state? This would be the first time I hear anything like that.

If you move states and don't get a new driver's license promptly enough, you can get fined if caught (e.g., during a routine traffic stop). Also, keeping the old state's driver's license makes it much more likely for your previous state to claim you're still a resident and hence should be filing and paying state taxes to them.

Oh, state income taxes are another thing to make sure you pay. State taxes can get pretty tricky if you work outside of the state of which you're a resident. I don't think driving a truck through another state would count, unless maybe you're doing so as an employee of a company in another state. The tax boards of most states are not as kind and forgiving as the IRS.  :ye_gods:


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Chimpy on August 25, 2016, 09:42:38 PM
Pretty much every state requires you to have your driver's license and vehicle registration be in the state you have declared your permanent residence. Most states give you a 30 day period to get a license in their state when you move there "permanently". College students from out of state usually keep their out of state license and plates because they still officially live with their parents.

The only "exception" to the rule is military are allowed to keep the license and registration when they are relocated to another state as long as they like. My dad kept his New Mexico license and plates (because they were cheaper) from when we moved away until he retired and was no longer able to string that along.

If you are looking to be a truck driver, you will need to get a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) which has even more hoops and costs more.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: ajax34i on August 26, 2016, 08:55:44 AM
Police - I'd say go beyond "don't be rude."  We can carry guns, so they assume everyone DOES have a gun ready.  Make sure that when they approach your vehicle your hands are on the steering wheel / in plain sight, and you're not holding any objects.

Driving - Europe has a lot more right-of-way rules that you have to know, over here they put stop and yield signs everywhere and don't take a chance with what a driver may or may not remember about cars approaching from the right or whatever.  So as a result Americans don't know these right-of-way rules, if there isn't a sign to stop them they'll go right through, so be careful.

Out-of-state - besides having to register your car (and get new number plates) in the state, some states (California for example) have stricter pollution rules and they'll make you take exhaust smog tests periodically, and you pay extra if your car was purchased in a different state, because "it wasn't manufactured to comply with the California emission standards".

Taxes - yup, we have federal and state taxes, and it's your job to remember to do them and submit them before April 15 each year.  Software like TurboTax or HR Block is available pretty much everywhere each year by February or so; you get the Federal CD in the store and have to pay for and download the DLCs for however many states you need to pay taxes to.

Driver's License is your ID.  In stores and restaurants, mostly you pay by credit card or cash, some stores accept personal checks, preferably from a nearby local bank or credit union.

I don't think euro cell phones work here; different radio frequencies.  I've had quite a few relatives visit with brand name cells that claimed to work everywhere in the world and they didn't.  Fortunately you can just buy a pre-paid plan / cheapo phone if you just want a phone and not a full smartphone with internet capabilities.

I wouldn't pay the hundreds extra for a laptop that has a built-in wireless (cell) modem; it's cheaper to get a normal laptop with just regular (short-range) wi-fi, and get a mobile hotspot device.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Paelos on August 26, 2016, 10:12:37 AM
Lived in Colorado for years so here you go.

1 - Get a car you don't mind getting dirty, because no car ever stays clean in Colorado. The weather is snowy, then muddy, then rainy, then muddy again. You'll have 4-5 good months of sunny before you get muddy again. And in the mountains it rains almost every afternoon in the summer unless it's a drought season then you deal with wildfires.

2 - Everything is more expensive the further you go up the mountains.

3 - You will need good shoes for hiking or walking. You should get a mountain bike and use it. You will be a stone's throw from some of the best camping and skiing in the USA, so get equipment for that.

4 - People in Colorado are generally more into health movements and food than the average American state. This provides many good options but also has an influx of weird food fads. Try new things to see what you like when it comes to the food, but don't pay insane amounts for it.

5 - Taxes will be lower than in Italy, but you'll be taxed at various levels. Federal, State, and FICA if you're a salary person. Get a handle on this early or get some advice so you don't get screwed.

6 - Women will find the accent charming. Use it.

7 - Don't buy a gun unless it's a rifle and you actually plan to hunt. If you do plan to hunt and fish, these require licenses and specific counts you can take. Check with the local department of natural resources. Fishing is really fun in Colorado as an example.

8 - Go visit the state and national forests. They are amazing.

9 - Make sure to have a light fleece for most evenings that aren't in the wintertime. The temps can drop a ton at night, and if it's 72 in the day, it could be 55 at night. Also, we use Fahrenheit here so get a handle on that.

10 - There are less available women the further you get into the mountain towns. And the ones that are there are pretty crunchy.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Rendakor on August 26, 2016, 01:15:42 PM
What exactly is a crunchy woman?


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Merusk on August 26, 2016, 01:31:49 PM
Granola girl.

Hippie who's more country than city.

A woman who doesn't shave or believe in the physical beauty paradigms of femininity.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Trippy on August 26, 2016, 01:33:39 PM
I don't think euro cell phones work here; different radio frequencies.  I've had quite a few relatives visit with brand name cells that claimed to work everywhere in the world and they didn't.  Fortunately you can just buy a pre-paid plan / cheapo phone if you just want a phone and not a full smartphone with internet capabilities.
The GSM part may work on AT&T or T-Mobile (the two US GSM providers) depending on whether the phone is tri-band or quad-band. Most better smartphones these days are quad-band. The LTE part is more complicated cause there are like a billion LTE channels/frequencies so its hit or miss if a non-US phone will support enough of the US LTE channels to get decent and reliable transfer speeds.

Edit: there


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Zetor on August 26, 2016, 01:59:19 PM
I don't think euro cell phones work here; different radio frequencies.  I've had quite a few relatives visit with brand name cells that claimed to work everywhere in the world and they didn't.  Fortunately you can just buy a pre-paid plan / cheapo phone if you just want a phone and not a full smartphone with internet capabilities.
The GSM part may work on AT&T or T-Mobile (the two US GSM providers) depending on whether the phone is tri-band or quad-band. Most better smartphones these days are quad-band. The LTE part is more complicated cause they are like a billion LTE channels/frequencies so its hit or miss if a non-US phone will support enough of the US LTE channels to get decent and reliable transfer speeds.

Yea, can confirm. I used a Samsung S3 and a LG G4 during my recent US visits, and both of them worked perfectly fine, with the euro SIM even (I'm a T-Mobile subscriber, so I obv used T-Mobile GSM for roaming). Haven't tried 3g/4g/lte though because lol roaming data costs.

e: should clarify, though, that I have only visited major cities (NYC and MSP)... so yah, I'd go with what MrHat says below.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: MrHat on August 26, 2016, 02:06:53 PM
T-Mobile sucks once you go behind the foothills.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 26, 2016, 02:36:17 PM
Granola girl.

Hippie who's more country than city.

A woman who doesn't shave or believe in the physical beauty paradigms of femininity.

Well, unsurprisingly, that's definitely all stuff I like very much.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 26, 2016, 02:38:22 PM
And yes, my euro phone always worked without issues in the USA.

I am over-worried about taxes. I would hate to star off on the wrong foot with that. Would you advice to get an accountant's phone number from the internet and schedule a single appointment for some guidance?


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Merusk on August 26, 2016, 02:46:13 PM
Granola girl.

Hippie who's more country than city.

A woman who doesn't shave or believe in the physical beauty paradigms of femininity.

Well, unsurprisingly, that's definitely all stuff I like very much.

Yeah, wasn't a judgement just a definition for Rendakor. Who'da guessed a pansexual genderqueer like yourself would be ok with it.  :awesome_for_real:   :drillf:


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 26, 2016, 02:47:15 PM
i didn't even think about his title

the fixed title is gonna cost you


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 26, 2016, 02:50:49 PM
Ha!

Money well spent.


Fake edit: as a piece of trivia, you should all know that the Green Card process from start to finish (16 months), -consdering all the expenses including fees, lawyers, translations, trips, certificates- has been around $3400 (USD).


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Paelos on August 26, 2016, 02:59:04 PM
Colorado is a good choice for you if you enjoy hippy type weirdness. Their cup runneth over.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 26, 2016, 03:58:45 PM
Ha!

Money well spent.


Fake edit: as a piece of trivia, you should all know that the Green Card process from start to finish (16 months), -consdering all the expenses including fees, lawyers, translations, trips, certificates- has been around $3400 (USD).
That seems cheap tbh.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 26, 2016, 04:06:37 PM
The way I see it, it should cost nothing. Or just some nominal fees, and the cost of paper. In fact, that's what Nathalie paid to get her Italian+European "Green Card": nothing.
Having to pay more than 3000 dollars to (re)join your family doesn't make too much sense to me.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 26, 2016, 04:08:30 PM
Pretty sure America is the leader in "letting people into a country we forcibly took from natives for free" throughout history - I can't knock them for making a buck on it in the 00's.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: schild on August 26, 2016, 04:09:08 PM
To put it in other terms, we really badly don't fucking want nor need the poor or huddled masses anymore. City in the sky and all that.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: TheWalrus on August 26, 2016, 05:55:05 PM
If it hasn't been mentioned, and I'm not trying to be political, if you are any kind of swarthy be prepared to get pulled over in certain parts of the country. Papers, please.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Mandella on August 26, 2016, 08:44:13 PM

I am over-worried about taxes. I would hate to star off on the wrong foot with that. Would you advice to get an accountant's phone number from the internet and schedule a single appointment for some guidance?

I would say no. Doing that could put you in the situation of appearing to be a foreign rube, and said accountant might try to convince you that you need to hire his full time services to keep yourself safe.

The thing is, the government here is really good at tracking *you* down and collecting their cut. I'd suggest just keeping your papers in order, don't work for anybody under the table or any crap like that, and just wait until you get your W-2s (the taxable income record provided to you by your employer -- I'm not certain if you will get a different form for being an alien, but in any case your legitimate employer will provide). *Then* look into hiring an accountant to take care of the routine matter of filing your taxes if you are uncertain of the process by then, or just downloading some software to do it yourself. Or honestly, you could probably just follow the instructions on the forms and do it yourself. It really isn't that complex for a single filer, not owning your own business or stocks or the like.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Shannow on August 26, 2016, 09:04:02 PM
If you have a half decent understanding of the english language and aren't a complete moron there's no fucking way getting a green card should cost 3+ grand. Unless they've jacked the fees way up since I did it (mind you cost me 250 just to renew if for another 10 years..buuuuuullllshit) it'll probably be more like $500 all in. Still will take 16 months though..:P~


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Soln on August 26, 2016, 09:25:20 PM
Falc: Ok.  Assume you don't need an immigration lawyer then yeah.

Edit: BTW, good for you -- fucking +1 on the move.    


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: IainC on August 27, 2016, 03:42:41 AM
Colorado is a good choice for you if you enjoy hippy type weirdness. Their cup runneth over.

Manitou Springs is ground zero for that too. Just outside Colorado Springs. Madder than a bag of spiders.

Just get used to evading questions about which church you go to.

Also the US generally has worse phone and internet than pretty much anywhere in Europe. My FiL in the centre of Colo. Springs, can't get anything faster than 10mb and it drops all the fucking time. Meanwhile here in Slovakia, I can't have the good internet because they can't put fibre in the historic centre so I have to make do with 75mb cable.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 27, 2016, 07:55:51 AM
For fairness, the fees alone were about $1000. The lawyer was $1500 but obbviously that is not mandatory. Good luck getting through all the hoops without mistakes without one though. An additional $700 was spent over 16 months in mandatory Certified Translations, paper acquisitions, stamps, trips to another city to visit the consulate, etc. - I considered not hiring a lawyer, but then you realize how HIGH are the stakes and how EASY is to make a mistake which will set the already lengthy process back for more months. So, meh.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 27, 2016, 07:57:03 AM

I am over-worried about taxes. I would hate to star off on the wrong foot with that. Would you advice to get an accountant's phone number from the internet and schedule a single appointment for some guidance?

I would say no. Doing that could put you in the situation of appearing to be a foreign rube, and said accountant might try to convince you that you need to hire his full time services to keep yourself safe.

The thing is, the government here is really good at tracking *you* down and collecting their cut. I'd suggest just keeping your papers in order, don't work for anybody under the table or any crap like that, and just wait until you get your W-2s (the taxable income record provided to you by your employer -- I'm not certain if you will get a different form for being an alien, but in any case your legitimate employer will provide). *Then* look into hiring an accountant to take care of the routine matter of filing your taxes if you are uncertain of the process by then, or just downloading some software to do it yourself. Or honestly, you could probably just follow the instructions on the forms and do it yourself. It really isn't that complex for a single filer, not owning your own business or stocks or the like.

Thank you for that Mandella. This is useful.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Engels on August 27, 2016, 01:33:05 PM
While I agree that for 99% of cases a personal accountant for taxes is overkill, relying on something like Turbo Tax or H&R Block for a financial situation that may have external support from Italy, I do think that it may be in your interest to at least have one consult with an accountant that knows a bit of the international side of things, even if the amounts do not seem significant.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Selby on August 27, 2016, 03:47:25 PM
Never hurts to talk to a tax professional.  If there's one thing that makes Uncle Sam REALLY mad and upset, it's people not paying their taxes.  It's the one thing they almost always get people on, no matter how bad a criminal they may be otherwise & be unable to convict on said criminal enterprises.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Paelos on August 28, 2016, 04:52:29 PM
Speaking as one of the 2 or 3 resident CPAs here, it's worth your time to get a consult with a local CPA. The consults will be free. If they aren't, don't go.

The first year will be complicated because you'll likely have income in two countries. That could be expensive to sort out, but after that your income should all be in the USA and if you are salaried, with little in the way of moving investments, you should be fine paying less than $400 for your regular return services.

I would get a CPA long term in your scenario simply because it's good to have an advocate if the IRS comes knocking. They can answer questions directly to the government instead of involving you for 3 years after a return was filed.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on August 28, 2016, 06:28:49 PM
I shouldn't have incomes in two countries in the first year though. I mean, of course I earned money in Italy in 2016 and I am gonna earn money in the US in 2016, but as an employee all the Italian taxes are taken from my monthly check as soon as I get it. I understand we can't have a financial consultation here, but I don't think I'll have to declare money I have already paid taxes for in Italy... in the States. Riiiiight?


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Chimpy on August 28, 2016, 06:34:04 PM
I shouldn't have incomes in two countries in the first year though. I mean, of course I earned money in Italy in 2016 and I am gonna earn money in the US in 2016, but as an employee all the Italian taxes are taken from my monthly check as soon as I get it. I understand we can't have a financial consultation here, but I don't think I'll have to declare money I have already paid taxes for in Italy... in the States. Riiiiight?

The US will likely require you to show any income that happened in a foreign country during a calendar year, even if it is prior to you earning any money in the U.S.

Even if you are not required to pay taxes on that income in the US (which in your case is the likely scenario) Uncle Sam still usually requires declaration of the income and the taxes paid on it.

 


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Zephyr on August 28, 2016, 07:47:01 PM
Colorado is a good choice for you if you enjoy hippy type weirdness. Their cup runneth over.

Manitou Springs is ground zero for that too. Just outside Colorado Springs. Madder than a bag of spiders.

Just get used to evading questions about which church you go to.

Also the US generally has worse phone and internet than pretty much anywhere in Europe. My FiL in the centre of Colo. Springs, can't get anything faster than 10mb and it drops all the fucking time. Meanwhile here in Slovakia, I can't have the good internet because they can't put fibre in the historic centre so I have to make do with 75mb cable.

Unless he ditches Vail and moves to Longmont.  It's only 30 minutes to the mountains and they just drilled the conduit for fiber in front of the house last week.  Should have that cheap 1 GB City fiber by the end of the year. 


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Bungee on August 29, 2016, 08:30:39 AM
I shouldn't have incomes in two countries in the first year though. I mean, of course I earned money in Italy in 2016 and I am gonna earn money in the US in 2016, but as an employee all the Italian taxes are taken from my monthly check as soon as I get it. I understand we can't have a financial consultation here, but I don't think I'll have to declare money I have already paid taxes for in Italy... in the States. Riiiiight?

No, there's a double tax treaty in place. You might have to invoke it though and that may include some additional paperwork. IRS official documentation (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/italy.pdf)


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Viin on August 29, 2016, 10:41:23 AM
Unless he ditches Vail and moves to Longmont.  It's only 30 minutes to the mountains and they just drilled the conduit for fiber in front of the house last week.  Should have that cheap 1 GB City fiber by the end of the year. 

Really? That's cool, didn't know Longmont was doing that. Too bad Longmont is ghetto compared to Vail.  :grin:


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Chimpy on August 29, 2016, 11:00:14 AM
Isn't pretty much everywhere except Aspen "ghetto" compared to Vail these days though?


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Viin on August 29, 2016, 11:09:42 AM
Telluride, Steamboat Springs, etc etc. But even Denver and Boulder, Golden, etc are less ghetto than Longmont. Though I will say, Longmont has gotten a lot nicer (in areas) than it was 15 years ago.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Paelos on August 31, 2016, 03:58:05 PM
I shouldn't have incomes in two countries in the first year though. I mean, of course I earned money in Italy in 2016 and I am gonna earn money in the US in 2016, but as an employee all the Italian taxes are taken from my monthly check as soon as I get it. I understand we can't have a financial consultation here, but I don't think I'll have to declare money I have already paid taxes for in Italy... in the States. Riiiiight?

It's complicated when you make income in two countries. I'll leave it at that. There's less complication AFTER the first year, but I think it's in your best interest to sort out 2016 correctly with a professional if you can afford one.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Engels on August 31, 2016, 05:23:46 PM
Most non-US folks do not have the foggiest idea of how overreaching the IRS is in everything. For the first year, you will probably not have to pay taxes on foreign income, but you sure as shit have to tell Uncle Sam about it cuz terrismz and swiss bankers and stuff. Trust me on this one, do not fuck about with it.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Mandella on August 31, 2016, 11:31:23 PM
Holy crap guys, you're going to scare him away!

 :ye_gods:

But Falconeer I do agree that at least for the first year hiring a professional is wise, but I just wouldn't feel the need to rush it. You'll get your W-2s and whatnot in January, and from there you have nearly three months to hire a guy and get it all taken care of. And I guess you are aware that there will be a withholding from your wages (earned in the States) that is  calculated to be a little more than what you owe, so you'll likely even get a refund.

Of course, this is complicated by monies overseas, and things get even more complicated if you are self employed and/or buy and sell quantities of properties and stocks -- none of which applies to you except the overseas money part. So relax and enjoy the mountain air and keep all of your receipts and pay stubs.

Just in case.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Yegolev on September 01, 2016, 07:24:59 AM
Whether your withholding is slightly more than what you owe or not will depend on how you fill out your W4 form.  I read the instructions but have no idea if it is correct, and in the past I just adjusted it based on what happened last year.

On the other hand, I'm not really in favor of the gubmint holding my cash all year and then returning it (but not interest) to me so my approach may not be great.

If there is a third hand, it would be the one revealing that today I just use a CPA for everything because fuck that shit.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: rattran on September 01, 2016, 11:01:22 AM
Being self-employed makes it much harder in the US, and you will owe money at the end of the year. Even if not, overseas earned money makes it much harder in the US. I'll echo the 'hire a CPA' for the the first year. Don't just get a 'tax preparer' or 'bookkeeper' unless you have someone with direct knowledge of them.

Getting a wire transfer post-9/11 from Bank Al-Jazira led to years of IRS/Homland Security fun.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Mandella on September 01, 2016, 11:52:47 AM


If there is a third hand, it would be the one revealing that today I just use a CPA for everything because fuck that shit.

My wife and I both own our own respective businesses, she as a single owner me as half stockholder in a private corporate interest that hires me as an employee, so hell yeah we use a CPA! Tax time is still a nightmare, even so. And it doesn't help that over the past fifteen years or so we've used three different accounting firms, each of which has resulted in a completely different set of shelters and responsibilities, and one ended up costing us big time in penalties that took years to clear up.

Sometimes I look back at the good old days of single wage earner, no dependents or other income, with wistful nostalgia. Form 1040EZ baby, done in fifteen minutes!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on December 01, 2017, 08:51:29 PM
I have been thinking about making this post for a while. Not that you all care, but I am still here (as in "f13") 11 years after I joined and this place feels like the dysfunctional family I am happy to be away from but glad to know it's there. When I joined, in 2006, I had no plans, nor any chance, to ever live in the USA. Now, December 2017, I've been a "Resident alien" for 14 months and while there so much I dislike about this country, I have to admit: I have never been happier. I am and I have been extremely lucky since I left Italy, and I feel like sharing what it has all been since I moved to Colorado. 


LONG VERSION:

- I moved to the US in October 2016. I stayed a month in Florida then me and my partner moved to Colorado where she already had a seasonal job as a massage therapist.

- All I had at the time was about 5000$ nmy pocket, the dream of becoming an OTR truck driver, and the promise of a job as a dishwasher in a Mexican restaurant in Vail. Me and the owner, met through Craigslist, agreed on that via email a few months before I left Italy.

- We found a room in a two-bedrooms in Vail for 1200$/month. The roommate was a 52 year old ski instructor. Chill guy, although slightly obsessed with younger Asian women.

- I missed my first day at the Mexican restaurant because they forgot to call me. So they wrote me an email complaining about it but at the same time apologising for not calling me in. As a result, they raised my wage from 12 to 12.50 an hour. True story.

- I couldn't keep washing dishes though as it turned out my lower back hated me standing up and leaning forward for hours. I was thinking of quitting but couldn't afford it.

- Then I found out that our landlord was a very cool guy who, on top of being a nerd the same age as mine who has read all the 40+ Battletech novels, he worked for the largest passengers transportation company in Colorado which moves people from the Vail valley to Denver Airport and back. He told me to appply.

- Despite not having an American drivers license yet, I applied and instantly got the job. Turns out in the winter they hire everyone who as a pulse.

- I still didn't have a license on the first day of training though. But my driving exam was the next day so I got an extension. Aced (?) the exam and finally joined Colorado Mountain Express.

- Had two weeks of paid training. Something unthinkable and unheard of in Italy.

- Two weeks later I had my qualifying run. That is your first day driving up and down the mountain and providing guest service while a supervisor overlooks everything you do. It was the worst snowstorm in months. This is what my first day on the job looked like. For 12 hours. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6CTW-joEOs)

- I passed and became a driver. Not a truck driver, a van driver, but still a driver. Pay was 10$ per hour plus tips. Most of our money comes from tips.

- 10 days later, I got into an accident. Not being used to automatic cars, I forgot you have to put them in "parking" or they keep moving ahead. That's how I smashed a gate with guests on board. While apologising to the guests, I hit a granite column partially hidden by snow. Those guests gave me a 40$ tip and phoned in the next day to praise the amazing Italian driver and pretending the double accident never happened. Another. True. Fucking. Story.

- They did not fire me. "We are going to give you another chance". Passed the drug test, I was back on icey hell of Interstate 70.

- That's when I started making Youtube videos (in Italian) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LsM2SnOUzo) It was meant as a way to mock another Italian guy I hate and it was meant for friends and family. But the Italian guy who I was mocking didn't realize he was being mocked and sent viewers my way. I kept telling my viewers that I hated them and that they were stupid, but being Italian they didn't mind and kept coming (1300 subscribers at the moment, but the numbers are going down). Anyway, the videos are not monetized as I refuse to monetize. I also use copyrighted material so even more reasons not to monetize. I love not monetizing. Once a commie, always a commie.

- We bought a car. After three months of walking 10 minutes to the bus, waiting 10 minutes for the bus, riding the bus for 40 minutes, then waiting ten minutes to work, twice a day, at 4° Fahrenheit and at dawn or in the middle of the night, we decided to buy a Honda Element. 140.000 miles, 7000$. Expensive but what we ere looking for. Perfect to put a mattress in it and sleep anywhere. Not a problem so far. We love it.

- Then a winter passed. At some point I had another accident but this time it wasn't my fault and the on-board camera proved that. After reviewing the film the company praised me for how I managed the whole situation. By the end of the season I had made what by my very simple standards is a lot of money. Working an average of 12 hours a day with peaks of 16 and never less than 10. I also realized I loved the job. For the first time in 42 years I was working a job I absolutely loved.

- Finally spring arrived, and as a seasonal worker I got kicked out for almost two months even though they seemed eager to re-hire me for the summer season. In spite of my accidents, my weird accent that no one could recognize as Italian, my messy hair and unkempt beard, my personal ratings were impressively high.

- That also meant I wasn't a seasonal anymore but a "full time year round", which qualified me and the partner for company-sponsored health insurance.

- So I went to Italy to see family for a month and came back for the Summer. I missed them. I miss them. Moving them up here is the next big plan.

- So me and the partner moved to a new place. Still a two bedrooms, but this time we called the shots on the roommates and got a much better fit. The apartment itself was a beauty: literally on the Eagle river, in its own little canyon. Another life long dream crowned.

- We got a dog because, apparently, of course. I wanted a cat. But of all the possible dogs that could ever "happen" to me I feel like I've got the best one.

- Summer was very slow. Which meant way less money (although we made more than enough in the winter to go through the slow summer) but also a lot of free time to spend in this gorgeous place. Summer also meant working more private services like filthy rich people's weddings and stuff like the Charlie Rose (!?) super double secret Aspen dinner(s). I managed to drive around a few celebrities which, as you can expect, don't often tip that well.

- That's also the summer when the third season of Twin Peaks came out. Perfection.

- As summer was about to end a few positions for Lead Driver (the trainers, and those who qualify the noobs) opened up. I didn't think I had the slightest chance having been with the company for just 10 months and with two accident on my resume. Not to mention that 36 people, all more experienced than me, applied for less than 10 positions.

- While waiting for a call about the job, I enjoyed my month off (did I mention we have TWO -unpaid- months off every year?) by driving. First my son came to visit and we went up and down Colorado and deep into the Rocky Mountain National Park where we stumbled on the de facto Governor of Colorado. (https://youtu.be/YhLQSsHmQF0)

- After that I took the Element on its biggest road test and and drove all the way from Vail to Houston and back (in Italian). (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXnq1ikj__c) Almost 3000 miles, slept in the car bed-with-wheels, loved every second. Except the fucking Texas heat in October. Met a lot of friends along the way and finally hugged people I've been talking to since 2008 but never met in person yet. In an Austin bookstore, I bought Armada by Ernest Cline which costed me a lot of respect-points with one of our finest f13 members. To make up for that I paid for lunch. HEH.

- I got the job. Behold the meteoric rise of the fastest to ever become Lead Driver in the history of Colorado!

- All of a sudden me and my thick accent were training Americans from all over the country, people ranging from 21 to 70 year old, not to mention the returning seasonal drivers, some of which applied for my same job and hated me for somehow mysteriously jumping ahead.

- The pay was not really much better as a Lead Driver, but the additional duties made things more colourful and eventually pave the way to higher positions.

- Then Halloween came, and I ignored it. And then Thanksgiving, which followed the same fate. But snow was very late that season so instead of being out there busting my ass on a van I stayed home more than I planned and bought about 18 games, mostly Visual Novels, on the Steam Autumn Sale. On top, of course, of the New Mexico expansion for "American Truck Simulator".


And this is where I am now. On a bed, typing on my "GAMING LAPTOP" (  :awesome_for_real: ), waiting for the 16 hours shifts to come back while I have so much free time that I can actually stop and think about all that happened in slightly more than a year.
I think I have been so incredibly lucky. Granted, I haven't won a lottery, I haven't discovered unobtanium, I haven't found a cure for cancer nor I stopped the DAPL. Yet, for the first time in my life I am serene, I don't feel plagued and pursued by money issues, I don't hate my job, and I love all the things that I see when I get out of the apartment in the morning. My friends like to tell me that this is what I deserved, that I worked hard to get here, that it's what I built in those previous messy years. But I don't think so. Sure, I worked to know myself well enough to be able to tell what I wanted and what I did not want, but it would be ridiculous to claim that that is all we need to find tranquility, serenity. I have been lucky in so many tiny little ways that I made a bullet-point list of it. So much could have gone differently and without any chance for me to change it. Instead, I rolled a couple of natural 20s here and there and as of now, 43 years old, things look amazing. It could have been Finland, it could have been Scotland. It's the USA. I am cool with that.

By the way, thank you all. You may not know why, but if I am here it is also thanks to you all. f13.


SHORT VERSION (in English):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z67G1jEFxh8


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Hoax on December 01, 2017, 09:02:34 PM
TIL
 

Falc has a kid


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: ezrast on December 01, 2017, 09:40:37 PM
That's great to read, Falc. We haven't had many tales of people finding serenity in this corner of the world in the last year, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer internet stranger. Cheers!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Viin on December 01, 2017, 10:50:37 PM
Glad you are enjoying CO and the new job!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Soln on December 01, 2017, 11:06:33 PM
You also are fully bilingual and write very well in English.  Better than most Americans probably.  That’s maybe another monetizing skill.  Good luck and great write up.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: TheWalrus on December 02, 2017, 04:21:39 AM
Good for you man. Glad life is treating you well. Keep on keepin on.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Mosesandstick on December 02, 2017, 06:04:54 AM
That's an amazing story, glad to hear it's worked out.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Sir T on December 02, 2017, 08:49:59 AM
Glad things are working out for you.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: RhyssaFireheart on December 02, 2017, 10:00:53 AM
Great update and congrats on finding harmony in life. Sounds like things are going great, so congrats!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Paelos on December 02, 2017, 10:12:47 AM
I take CME all the time when I'm going from DIA to my parent's place in Edwards. I'll ask for the Italian guy next time!  :drill:


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Signe on December 02, 2017, 10:14:01 AM
I'm happy that you finally found the place you love!  Good luck to you, your partner and the new pooch.  You still have room for cats!  Good place to live, too.  I love Colorado and these days it must be even better.  Pot, skiing and delicious cantaloupe... don't really need too much more than that.   :heart:


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Falconeer on December 02, 2017, 11:48:41 AM
Thank you all for the warm responses. And Paelos, I can't believe your family is here! Edwards is a little west of Vail but it's where our office is and where I start and finish my shift every day. This valley is so small that I am pretty sure I've met your parents before. I'm also pretty sure one of these days I am gonna be your driver to or from DIA.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Engels on December 02, 2017, 12:59:47 PM
What a great story Falc. This is an inspirational story to hear for any 40 something wondering about reinventing themselves. If you can hop on a plane with $5k in your wallet and come out the other end happy -and- internet famous  :awesome_for_real:, there's no excuse for any of us not to do the things needed to be happier in our own lives.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Khaldun on December 02, 2017, 01:38:25 PM
This is a very nice thing to read. Thanks for writing it and glad that you're having a good turn in life!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Nebu on December 02, 2017, 02:19:15 PM
Thanks for the story Falc.  I'm so happy to hear that you're enjoying life.  You're an inspiration!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: lamaros on December 02, 2017, 04:27:04 PM
Great to hear things are going so well for you Falc.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: rattran on December 02, 2017, 09:31:51 PM
Congrats Falc, I'll have to drop you a line when I'm in Colorado next summer, it'd be a good excuse to drive that way and buy you a drink.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Quinton on December 02, 2017, 11:01:39 PM
Now that's a heartwarming story in time for the holidays.  Glad to hear things are going well!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Strazos on December 03, 2017, 12:59:53 AM
Awesome.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Paelos on December 03, 2017, 06:59:43 PM
Thank you all for the warm responses. And Paelos, I can't believe your family is here! Edwards is a little west of Vail but it's where our office is and where I start and finish my shift every day. This valley is so small that I am pretty sure I've met your parents before. I'm also pretty sure one of these days I am gonna be your driver to or from DIA.

It's less likely these days because they only live there half time. They are mostly in St. Simons GA now during the non-summer seasons (they love Summer in Edwards, Dad's a huge golfer and member over at CCR).

Next time we come up there for the summer (we go yearly) I'll ask!


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Brolan on December 03, 2017, 07:49:37 PM
Congratz Falc!  I grew up in Colorado and do so miss the scenery, not so much the thin air.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Sky on December 04, 2017, 09:39:39 AM
Happy for you, man.

I imagine living and driving in CO that you've learned the video you linked is not considered bad weather in winter states. If it ain't ice or a complete whiteout (zero visibility), it's nice weather.

I work regularly with an Italian vendor for our media dispenser, he's a politically active commie hippy and it's fun when he visits to get a couple beers in him and hear his ranting about Italian politics.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Bunk on December 04, 2017, 09:52:20 AM
Well that was a nice uplifting read for a Monday morning. Good on you and I'm glad things are working out.


Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Teleku on December 04, 2017, 11:33:42 AM
Great news!  Glad everything is going great for you.  Was really nice to meet up with you some years back in Rome, and I'm happy everything has worked out so well.  It's always tricky moving somewhere and trying to settle yourself, but you are very personable so it doesn't surprise me you've done so well.

I've had a similar feeling since I joined the foreign service.  It's a job I love and can see myself doing till I retire or die, and its an amazing feeling to realize you've reached something like that in your life.  Hopefully the current admin doesn't destroy it before that happens, but I remain optimistic!   :awesome_for_real:



Title: Re: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips
Post by: Fabricated on December 04, 2017, 09:37:49 PM
Great to hear man. Sometimes this place ain't so bad.