Help moving to the USA

Showing 21-56 of 56 messages
Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/27/12 12:09 AM
Hey Beachers,

I am looking for some guidance on some of the gotchas with moving from Australia to the USA (specifically the SF Bay Area). The kind of things I am looking for are:
  • Visas
  • Setting up a company
  • Transferring money
  • Personal credit rating
  • Buying a car
  • Renting a house/apartment
  • Buying a house/apartment
  • Real estate agents
  • Schools
  • Legals
  • Health and other insurance
There are scatterings of information around the interweb but is there a summary somewhere? It sounds like something that would sit nicely in a Wiki. 

Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA PatrickCollins12 10/27/12 12:42 AM
Yeah, happy to help. If you start the wiki I'll definitely help contribute to it. 

We can link to some of the better posts that have been made here on Silicon Beach. It is definitely information that would get used.

Patrick.

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/27/12 12:45 AM
Thanks Patrick,

Whats the best free/open Wiki service?

     A.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Dave Kuhn 10/27/12 12:02 PM
I happen to know a bit about this having been through it myself. I've got some docs that I'd happily contribute to the wiki.

DK--


Dave Kuhn
US: +1 415 813 9570

Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/27/12 1:29 PM
Nice. I want to wait a little longer to see if someone else has already done this then I will get the ball rolling. 

     A. 


On Sunday, October 28, 2012, Dave Kuhn wrote:
I happen to know a bit about this having been through it myself. I've got some docs that I'd happily contribute to the wiki.

DK




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Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Tom Dawkins 10/27/12 1:44 PM

I've recently returned from four years in the US (two in SF) and would be happy to contribute to a wiki. I can tell you which shipping company to avoid, our stuff just arrived home after 7 months in transit!

Tom

------------------
Sent using large fingers on a small device, apologies for any spelling or grammar fails. (Was that last sentence even grammatical?)

Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/27/12 3:28 PM
Ok, I have started the Wiki on Wikia. I have created the first topics and will start filling it out. Please join in with your personal expertise.

    A.
RE: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Dean Collins 10/27/12 8:32 PM

I’ve just added to the information about why NO AUSTRALIAN should apply for a green card
-  http://blog.collins.net.pr/2008/10/heart-taxation-act-drives-away-green.html  

The Heart Taxation act sucks and is the reason I’ll be leaving the usa within the next 2 years.

 

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Dean Collins

de...@cognation.net

+1-212-203-4357

+61-2-9016-4652  (Sydney in-dial) 

+44-20-3129-6001 (London in-dial)

 

From: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com [mailto:silicon-beach-australia@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of blindman2k
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 3:10 AM
To: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA

Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Martin Weir 10/28/12 4:49 AM
"...why NO AUSTRALIAN should apply for a green card "

Hi Dean, we each have different individual circumstances and goals. The Green Card was a fantastic option for me in my own personal circumsances, and had no adverse tax consequences.

Cheers, Martin

RE: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Dean Collins 10/28/12 8:00 AM

Can you explain your situation a bit further?

When did you give up your green card?
What years did you hold the card?

How much of your global net worth did you have to give up to the IRS when you gave up your green card due to The Heart Taxation Act when you exited the country?

 

How did you feel about paying this exit tax when Charlie Rangel the senator who authored this legislation was caught fiddling his own taxes less than 2 years after the legislation was passed? (and yes he was cheating his own taxes at the time of drafting this legislation)

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Dean Collins

dean@cognation.net

+1-212-203-4357

+61-2-9016-4652  (Sydney in-dial) 

+44-20-3129-6001 (London in-dial)

 

From: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com [mailto:silicon-beach-australia@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Martin Weir
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2012 7:50 AM
To: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA

 

"...why NO AUSTRALIAN should apply for a green card "

 

Hi Dean, we each have different individual circumstances and goals. The Green Card was a fantastic option for me in my own personal circumsances, and had no adverse tax consequences.

 

Cheers, Martin

 

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/28/12 7:38 PM
Dean,

Thanks heaps for your contribution. You will note that I left you a space to put that as I knew it was coming. Suffice to say that the Green Card and Heart Tax Act are a problem for some (or even most) that want to return to Australia but not all people that apply for Green Cards. Let's not get side tracked by semantics as I want valuable contributions from people not debates.

     A.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Dave Kuhn 10/29/12 10:46 AM
Thanks Aron, just added some information on E3s. It's still needs to be fleshed out some. Geoff McQueen and Lee Peterson's blog posts would probably be a good place to start.

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA PatrickCollins12 10/29/12 5:18 PM
I just added a bunch of information as well.

From: Dave Kuhn <david....@gmail.com>
Reply-To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Monday, October 29, 2012 10:46 AM

To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/29/12 6:11 PM
Thanks to both of you. Don't be afraid to post links to existing information instead of rewriting stuff. But we are making a great start!
I am about to create my company following the E3 steps, fingers crossed.

Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA PatrickCollins12 10/29/12 8:17 PM
I know there are others here who have solid advice that should be contributed and are lurking:

 - good advice on how to organize your financials before you relocate from Australia (*cough* Bardia).
 - good advice on quickly establishing a C-Corp (*cough*Joe Ward)
 - good advice on getting a car lease (*cough* Jason Seed)

Come on Aussie mafia, don't make me call you out one-by-one. Get that knowledge out of your heads and put in this wiki to help others.

Patrick.


From: Aron Steg <aron...@bcde.com.au>
Reply-To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Monday, October 29, 2012 6:11 PM

To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA

Thanks to both of you. Don't be afraid to post links to existing information instead of rewriting stuff. But we are making a great start!
I am about to create my company following the E3 steps, fingers crossed.

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Re: Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/30/12 6:53 AM
Can someone point me to a health insurance company in the USA?
I need to talk to them about coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA Dave Kuhn 10/30/12 7:39 AM
I'm with Kaiser Pemanente and they've been great.

Cant say from personal experience but I've heard they're one of the best when I comes to pre-existing conditions and preventative health care.

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On Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 6:53 AM, blindman2k wrote:

Can someone point me to a health insurance company in the USA?
I need to talk to them about coverage for pre-existing conditions.

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/30/12 7:44 AM
Valuable data. Another thing to add to the Wiki :)
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA PatrickCollins12 10/30/12 9:51 AM
Try using a broker like Sweet and Baker. They did a great job for me figuring out the landscape and who to go with. They can also be a good source of general health advice for your firm. Most insurers will give you very substantial discounts if you have 10 or more employees, so it is worth trying to get bulk with other companies somehow. Sweet and Baker can advise on this. 

Welcome to the US. No job at a big company? That's no problemo, so long as you don't get sick.

Expect to pay around $14k-$22k on healthcare a year for a 4 person family depending on how many of the services you utilize. Or $8000 per year for an individual.

Patrick.


From: blindman2k <aron...@bcde.com.au>
Reply-To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:53 AM
To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA

Can someone point me to a health insurance company in the USA?
I need to talk to them about coverage for pre-existing conditions.

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA Robert Shea 10/30/12 4:14 PM

I was always curious what someone from a land of socialised health care thought of Kaiser. They are pretty much singularly responsible for the huge mess that is US health care, profit through efficiency in the reduction of care.

From my personal experience, they can be great in the fact that everything is under one roof, so that is convenient. However, they don't tend to have a very personal touch: "Hello patient 400-4325-109-324-2 what seems to be the problem?"

Also, they are in the business of making money. To have one company control your insurance and your doctor... want a second opinion? See another one of their doctors! It makes me uncomfortable, anecdotal horror stories aside.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA Geoff McQueen 10/30/12 4:49 PM
If you've got two employees who've had payroll for more than 6 weeks you can get a "group" policy, which can include dependents. My understanding is that pre-existing conditions/medicals don't matter in a group situation - they're basically playing an averaging game. If you're solo though, you're screwed.

Attached is the current group pricing for KP. To demystify the jagon:
  • A Co-pay plan is bascially a defined price model for services with lower fees than the Deductible plans as you use things. It also has the same concept of a maximum out of pocket expense each year. So, if you had the same 21 day stay in hospital:
    • Days 1 to 8 will cost you $3000 (the max, $400/day, but your max is $3000/year using the $30 plan)
    • Days 9 to 21 and everything else you need for the rest of the calendar year is free. This stops people who are really f*cked up from being bankrupted (in theory), but it also provides almost no incentive to keep costs under control, which is the heart of why this place is so f*cked up, and also gets to part of Robert's comment where a for-profit insurer who has their own doctors has an incentive not to provide the best care.
    • Someone under 30 on the $30 plan (which means a doctors visit costs you $30, and a hospital stay per night is $400, and the maximum out of pocket each year is $3000 is $327/month. For a family it is $1270 as part of a group of <5 people.
  • A Deductible plan is like a car insurance plan in Australia. You pay the equivalent of an excess (or a deductible) when things go wrong. The deductibles are capped (annually) and tend to have two steps: a part where you pay the full cost, and then a period where you pay a prescribed cost (which makes it like the Co-Pay option above). So, if you get smashed up and go to hospital for 3 weeks (21 days) on a $40/$6000 deductible plan, you have the following:
    • The first $3000 of your stay at full rack rate (no idea how much)
    • The next X days are at 30% of the amount = $3000.
    • If you need anything done for the rest of the year it won't cost you anything. See comments above for why this is f*cked up.
    • Someone under 30 on the $40/$6000 plan (which means a doctors visit costs you $40, and your maximum out of pocket each year is $6000 is $275/month. For a family it is $907 as part of a group of <5 people.
Hope this helps. The whole thing was quite a mine-field.

Geoff
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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA PatrickCollins12 10/30/12 5:03 PM
If you have to go to hospital for any reason at all you will max out the insurance limit for the year and will be paying full rack rate. I saw the bill for my wife's birth last year (it was a boy!), and it was over $45,000. That was mostly paid by the insurer but I went out of pocket $4,000. There were no complications at all, no medications and we were in and out in 1 day. $45,000. They charged for every band aid and every nurse visit and there were 7 doctors/specialists on the bill. A crazy system which incentivizes for snouts in troughs which is why insurers like Kaiser try to get their own doctors and specialists and control the situation (but yes I do get the reverse incentive for them to under service). I also have heard good things about Kaiser although I don't use them. 

Yes Geoff, your numbers look a bit like mine, $1,700 per month and then a maximum payment of $4,000 which equates to ~$18,000 per year. And that doesn't include dental and vision :)

And these rates are only possible with the power of a 1,400 person company with bulk buying rates. As you said, an individual buyer is really screwed. Try to buddy up with other companies to get some bulk buying power or use a broker.

But hey, let's repeal obama care and go back to the way it was. 

Patrick.

From: Geoff McQueen | AffinityLive <geoff....@affinitylive.com>
Reply-To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 4:49 PM
To: <silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA Geoff McQueen 10/30/12 5:18 PM
I rode my bike to the office for the first 8 months I was here without any insurance (didn't qualify for the group thing without F/T staff more the min 6 weeks payroll until July 1). 
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA Jason Seed 10/30/12 5:19 PM
HI all,

I strongly recommend a HSA (health savings account) account especially if you have a small company or individual.

The way this works is that you can set up a HSA account with a bank and push a maximum of ~$6600 of salary to it per year. Untaxed.... This money can be used for any medical/dentist/pharmacy purpose.

So if you push $500 a month to the HSA account after a year providing you do not have anything major go wrong you have enough in the account to cover your deducible. Note if you sign up for an HSA before december you can quickly push the entire 6600 ex tax to it so you have it in reserve...

The good thing is that HSA accounts generally have a high deductible and therefore are low cost on a monthly basis. What I did in a company I ran in the past was get the company to pay the $500 a month on top of the employees salary to the HSA account as the company was saving more than that amount in the lower month insurance cost. Basically a win/win for everyone.

Right now I have had to go on an individual plan, I have 3 kids and a wife, my monthly insurance is around $420/month with an individual deducible of around $4.5K and family of $9K. We do have some dentist/medical costs each month but I expect that by the end of next year I will have more than the family deducible in the HSA account....

Happy to provide more detail if anyone wants it.



Jason Seed
650 454 5311


On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM, Patrick Collins <pcol...@gmail.com> wrote:

Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA Geoff McQueen 10/30/12 5:19 PM
(preemptive send-hit), I felt luckier getting through it than winning lottery
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/30/12 5:39 PM
Crap thats complex. Can someone update the wiki with a emotionless summary of that? :)
Breaking it down to tips for singles, married/family, self-employed, etc would be great.

Some questions ...
- Can I jump on a company's plan if I am not employed by them (i.e. a friend's company).
- Is a HSA still worthwhile if you are only there for 2-3 years?
- Does a broker do anything other than point you in the right direction? Are they able to aggregate individual plans into a group plan?

     A.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Help moving to the USA Geoff McQueen 10/30/12 6:13 PM
- No, they need payroll records and you need to be registered with the authorities as an employee
- There are stringent rules against *creating* groups just for the purpose of health insurance. It has to be an employment relationship.



     A.

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA ryancross 10/30/12 6:55 PM
I think a better place to put this information/wiki would be the existing site - http://www.startup-australia.org/start

On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 9:28 AM, Aron Steg <aron...@bcde.com.au> wrote:
Ok, I have started the Wiki on Wikia. I have created the first topics and will start filling it out. Please join in with your personal expertise.


Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA ryancross 10/30/12 6:57 PM
Further - this looks like a lot of the information you're after -> http://www.startup-australia.org/thevalley
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/30/12 7:07 PM
Thanks Ryan. I knew it would exist somewhere. Hopefully everything is covered and up to date.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Mark 10/31/12 1:48 AM
I actually got a lot of useful advice from the Austrade office in San Francisco, including referrals to excellent immigration lawyers and corporate attorneys. I'll update the wiki with any relevant information that is missing from my point of view.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/31/12 2:20 AM
Thanks Mark! There is a lot of room for more information still. It's only a few days old but its great to see people participating and sharing their experiences.

    A.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Robert Shea 10/31/12 5:11 PM

That guide was clearly written by an outsider.
The information/advice is pretty questionable and things described as "a mess" are simply a lack of understanding by the author.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 10/31/12 5:17 PM
It's also quite unfinished. Ours is more complete already :)



On Thursday, November 1, 2012, Robert Shea wrote:

That guide was clearly written by an outsider.
The information/advice is pretty questionable and things described as "a mess" are simply a lack of understanding by the author.



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Yours,
    A.

Aron Steg Managing Director
BCDE Investments, SMS Diagnostics, SMS Broker, Sniip, Zaq, Explainers
Tel: +61 4 3333 4444 | Fax: +61 3 8677 7613 | LinkedIn Twitter Twitter




Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA blindman2k 12/19/12 9:17 PM
Looks like I am going to have to add a section of "What to do when your visa is denied" :(
Re: [SiliconBeach] Help moving to the USA Geoff McQueen 12/20/12 3:10 PM
The hot tip I've heard is never go to the Melbourne office.


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