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Old 03-25-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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If you had the opportunity to move to the US, would you take it?

I've been thinking about this for a while. America seems enticing with low income and sales taxes, and a lower cost of living (especially when it comes to auto related subjects such as car insurance, tires and gas-for some Revsceners this could seal the deal).

Do you think that you would move there, if given the choice? Why or why not?

Edit: If you have lived in the US, I'd like to hear what you think are the pros and cons.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
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with all that low pricing you also have to assume the pay and opportunity isnt as good either..
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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Medical benefits, beautiful scenery and not to mention good weed , no. Not to mention the higher risk of getting shot
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:37 PM   #4
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I've had this conversation with my wife more then once. With the equity we've built over the last 11 years incl buying when prices were still low I could pay cash for a home in many US cities in climates I would love, obviously places like San Fran and NYC are out of my price range.

Most places in the USA also pay a higher wage for the job I do so I could be mortgage free and make more money which would allow my wife not to work. All my immediate family has moved out of British Columbia and lives 2000kms away, I rarely see my friends and I really have no reason to stay. My mom has dual citizenship unfortunatley for me I'm not eligible.

I've thought about it but I've never put any time into researching what it would take to get a Visa there. I'm guessing there would be a shit load of hoops to jump through, I'd have to find someone who wants to hire me ect. Change is kind of scary so I don't know if I'd ever go through with it given the chance but the thought has crossed my mind many times. If I got an opportunity somewhere like Phoenix I'd really really have to think hard about it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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As long as you have a guaranteed job that'll cover your expenses, medical etc. The opportunity to acquire cheap property is more than enough to at least give it a thought. That's usually the biggest expense when considering any move.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:16 PM   #6
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When I was in Mexico this past month we met/talked to a tonne of Americans staying at the same resort. It really is amazing how ignorant the majority of them are on worldly topics and even issues within their own country

As well almost all the older men we spoke to who you would kind of expect to have some sort of career or established job almost all worked like clerical jobs or lower end jobs like plant workers in factories etc

Obviously this is a small sample size but we provably spoke to 15-20 and the majority were all like this, was kind of odd having a group of young guys from Canada who all had great careers talking to these older Americans who were almost embarrassed to explain the details of their " career"

So with that said unless I was some sort of in demand professional ill stay in Canada
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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I've had this conversation with my wife more then once. With the equity we've built over the last 11 years incl buying when prices were still low I could pay cash for a home in many US cities in climates I would love, obviously places like San Fran and NYC are out of my price range.
ive watched some first time home buyers show a few times thats always on tv, they usually show houses in arizona...when i see the prices of a 4br 3bath, beautiful house with inground pool, being sold for under 200k...makes me want to move there...but then i think about how good i have it here and how much family i have here, so i gotta stay here.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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I would have to be paid a lot.

I disagree with the patriotic american culture, that is the main reason I wouldn't move there.

but if you're rich enough, you can avoid all that so whatever. LOL.

but yeah, if i could just be an independent entity living there sucking in money, that's fine.

There's plenty of other places i'd rather move first for money and unequal opportunity, somewhere in east asia comes to mind.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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When I was in Mexico this past month we met/talked to a tonne of Americans staying at the same resort. It really is amazing how ignorant the majority of them are on worldly topics and even issues within their own country

As well almost all the older men we spoke to who you would kind of expect to have some sort of career or established job almost all worked like clerical jobs or lower end jobs like plant workers in factories etc

Obviously this is a small sample size but we provably spoke to 15-20 and the majority were all like this, was kind of odd having a group of young guys from Canada who all had great careers talking to these older Americans who were almost embarrassed to explain the details of their " career"

So with that said unless I was some sort of in demand professional ill stay in Canada
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I'd move if the job opportunities in my industry was better in certain locales. SF, Seattle, San Diego....these are some places I would consider. For some people who are into tech companies, then SF is a haven right now with the amount of startups and talent there. Had a few friends move to the Bay Area last year and they love it.

The biggest thing that holds people back personally from moving is the fact that it makes them uncomfortable....but that generally inspires people to be their best IMO.

Vancouver will always be "home", but there are many places to try out in your life.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:46 PM   #10
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I did it. Lived in Cali for 4 years. I was happy to move back

I could type pages of the differences, but the big thing I would tell people is that if you’re thinking moving to the sates will be just like living here, only with cheap cars and houses, you’re in for a big shock.

If you’re actually considering it, I highly suggest you sit down with someone and go over the pros and cons.

I still have a lot of good friends there, and met a lot of good people, but it just wasn’t for me.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:56 PM   #12
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20$/hr outside of Vancouver you could easily live off. I hate how it always has to be about money when people move somewhere. Why can't people move to a new place for other reasons? A buddy of mine is always trying to convince people that Alberta is awesome because its so much better out there, yet all I see is the dollar signs in his eyes.

IMO, if you think moving to the USA is going to make your life better then do it. Whilst it's always nice to get opinions, at the end of the day, you make the choice.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:09 PM   #13
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I've had the option a few times, but I chose to stay in Vancouver for family and friends.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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I would sooner move to Germany, France or any nordic country before moving to the USA.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:38 PM   #15
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The only area I would want to go is the Bay Area/Silicon Valley. The startup vibe there is too awesome.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #16
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no thanks jeff

i dont wanna be a minority over there
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:31 PM   #17
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I was a carpenter for 14 years in Chicago and 11 years in Seattle (no state income tax FTW) Health and pension came with the job.
I took a 20% pay cut working in Vancouver, plus no pension or dental/vision plan.

Real estate is spendy here, my food bill is comparable until I start drinking.
I would not use the money as my first criterion.
It's a quality of life issue for me.

People wise I have made good friends in all 3 places, had some laughs too.

Vancouver is a trophy location, taking a ferry ride to the islands is totally cool. Had some fun trips to Tofino and the islands. The Okanagan too. And playing in the snow and fishing and .........

I don't pay too much attention to the media portrayals, good or bad, of any one place. I am not a fan of the presstitutes. I prefer to figure it out myself.

I would look at climate and topography wrt your lifestyle,
job opportunity in your field,
schools if you have or soon will have kids,
real estate prices, rent,
taxes, the US taxes it's citizens wherever they live on the planet, Canada not so much although there is departure tax. Some states do not recognize the US/Canada tax treaty. Compliance is mandatory and time consuming.

I would say to a youngster go do it, even if only for a while, makes for good stories around the thanksgiving table. You can always come back if you want.
Whatever you wind up doing just remember that happiness is good.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:51 PM   #18
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I could type pages of the differences, but the big thing I would tell people is that if you’re thinking moving to the sates will be just like living here, only with cheap cars and houses, you’re in for a big shock.
Care to elaborate a bit? Doesn't have to be pages and pages...
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:12 PM   #19
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Care to elaborate a bit? Doesn't have to be pages and pages...
A few points that jump to mind:

Pros:
In general I find Americans to be more friendly than your average Vancouverite.

Cars are stupid cheap, especially in Cali.

Homes are cheap

Cali has excellent Mexican food

Cons:
Racial separation is still prevalent in many areas I have been through.

Ignorant Canadians often like to spout off about how “stupid” Americans are. I don’t believe the people are stupid, but their news and Media sources are usually not impartial, and don’t necessarily report facts and events, but viewpoints. This makes it hard to find out what’s actually going on in the rest of the world. Support CBC kids.

Too much religion mixed up in the politics. Far too much religion for my taste in general.

The ever widening and very real gap between the rich and poor.

These are bullet points. Over all just be aware that the culture there is different than it is here. Keep in mind I lived in the central valley, it’s not the most liberal of areas. However I also have traveled across a lot of the US, and would say that in many areas I got the same impression.

Please note I am not “Anti” American. As I have said before, I had some good times and met some great people there. I suggest anyone go for the experience if you have the opportunity, just be prepared that it’s not the same as Canada. I am a Canadian, I love my country, and was happy to come home, for some people America would be a great place, it just wasn’t the place for me in the long run.

America is a very diffrent country from one state or even area to the next (just like Canada), you really need to be specific about where you are looking at moving and talk to people about that area.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:22 PM   #20
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I could see myself living in any one of the major/popular cities in So Cal however I don't feel that they could replace my joy for Vancouver let alone my love for Canada

I could see living in SoCal for parts of the year but not permanently

Id rather move to Hong Kong than the states though whether temporarily (as i do) or permanently
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:37 PM   #21
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I work at a place where I meet drivers that haul trailers from the states. The other day, this guy was telling me about his friend who got a broken arm and had to stay at the hospital for 2 days. The bill came out to approximately $20,000 AFTER his insurance paid some off.

Also my buddy who got a fractured shoulder blade when he was on a vacation had to be transported back to vancouver by helicopter. His parents knew how much they'd have to pay if they had him stay at the hospital for 5+ days.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:12 PM   #22
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I work at a place where I meet drivers that haul trailers from the states. The other day, this guy was telling me about his friend who got a broken arm and had to stay at the hospital for 2 days. The bill came out to approximately $20,000 AFTER his insurance paid some off.

Also my buddy who got a fractured shoulder blade when he was on a vacation had to be transported back to vancouver by helicopter. His parents knew how much they'd have to pay if they had him stay at the hospital for 5+ days.
Many Americans hold off on starting their own business because of the cost of health insurance.

Young workers can have their hours cut from 40 to 28 so employers don't have to pay health

Starbucks spends more on health insurance ($300 million) than on coffee beans.

Having lived in a country with universal health care, where if I got sick or injured I wouldn't have to worry about paying for it, it shocks and saddens me to hear the medical horror stories in America. And yes, if a Canadian were to move south of the border, more likely than not he would get good insurance-but not everyone is so lucky.

I agree with bloodmack that it's not just about money, it's about quality of life. The taxes my mom and dad pay, and our neighbours pay, contribute to a higher standard of living for everyone, not just for the rich. The school systems in Metro Vancouver are for the most part reasonably good, but the quality of school districts fluctuate wildly in the US because they're based on county tax revenues. Parents fight to get their kids into a better (public) school. You can drive through the Los Altos Hills in the South Bay and see opulence that puts British Properties or Southlands to shame-drive an hour up to Oakland and it's third world poverty. The inequality is stunning, and very sad. That's not even mentioning the skyrocketing tuition. At the University of Washington it's $12,000 per year, books and other fees not included. If you're not rich, a legacy, a minority, smart or a sports star, student loan debt is unavoidable.

Employee rights are much stronger here in Canada-for example, in the US, an employer does not have to give you maternity leave or time off to vote. I believe that stronger employee rights trickle down into how people treat their jobs. I used to work in a McDonalds, one of the top performing locations in BC. Managers would be mopping floors and attending at tills, even cooking at the fry station. Everyone knew that their #1 priority was the customer, and this is consistent with most fast food chains in Vancouver. In the US it's a different story-the only chain my family goes to south of the border is Jack in the Box because the service in the other chains is awful. No one gives a damn.

We like to complain about protectionist tarriffs, cell phone/internet bills, shipping fees here in Canada. I do, all the time. All the same, I don't think I'm ready to trade off the benefits of living here. Not yet, anyway.

Rant over.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 91civicZC View Post
A few points that jump to mind:

Pros:
In general I find Americans to be more friendly than your average Vancouverite.

Cars are stupid cheap, especially in Cali.

Homes are cheap

Cali has excellent Mexican food

Cons:
Racial separation is still prevalent in many areas I have been through.

Ignorant Canadians often like to spout off about how “stupid” Americans are. I don’t believe the people are stupid, but their news and Media sources are usually not impartial, and don’t necessarily report facts and events, but viewpoints. This makes it hard to find out what’s actually going on in the rest of the world. Support CBC kids.

Too much religion mixed up in the politics. Far too much religion for my taste in general.

The ever widening and very real gap between the rich and poor.

These are bullet points. Over all just be aware that the culture there is different than it is here. Keep in mind I lived in the central valley, it’s not the most liberal of areas. However I also have traveled across a lot of the US, and would say that in many areas I got the same impression.

Please note I am not “Anti” American. As I have said before, I had some good times and met some great people there. I suggest anyone go for the experience if you have the opportunity, just be prepared that it’s not the same as Canada. I am a Canadian, I love my country, and was happy to come home, for some people America would be a great place, it just wasn’t the place for me in the long run.

America is a very diffrent country from one state or even area to the next (just like Canada), you really need to be specific about where you are looking at moving and talk to people about that area.
excellent post

i have lived in the US (so. cal), and will live there again as soon as I can.

if you have a good job, life is so much better there (i feel i can do way more in so. cal than i can in Vancouver - and yes, you can go to the beach (better beaches by a country mile) and ski in the same day, not sure why people think vnacouver is hte ONLY place you can do this

but religion and politics is HORRID down there - generally politics with a 2 party system sucks - you are either democrat or republican. personally, i'm neither - neither speaks well enough for me to vote for one over the other

and racial segregation happens a lot, but that's not something i can really control, or that i would let bother me, i'd live where i want to live (of course, being white, well educated, etc. i'd have the choice of where i'd want to live, vs. a black, uneducated person, who would likely get trapped in a pretty tough spiral - it's sad, but unfortunately life is hard, harder for some, not so for others).

also, the highs are higher and lows are lower when it comes to nice/ghetto places - i'd rather it not be like that, but can live with is, as i wouldn't go to the ghetto, ignorant, maybe, but it's life in the US, and britain, and moreso in canada these days too - it's where capitalism doesn't work for humans

my one big, big, big gripe is the guns issue, i'm just not a fan of people having guns, it's not a political thing, it's just a stupid thing to say you 'need to protect yourself' with a gun

the news there sucks - fox news, etc. but to be honest, canadian news is only marginally better - stick to the BBC for quality news, they're the biggest worldwide news source for a reason

i LOVE the US, if you're happy to live your own life, not be bothered by other people, then it's for you

whilst the american dream has taken a real beating in the past 20 years, it's still alive and the strongest place to dream in the world...
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:13 PM   #24
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I think most people have friends/know people who have made the move to the US and have made it. The people who have done well in the US are smarter and harder working than the average person. American society rewards the smartest and the hardest working - there's no doubt about that. However, most people are simply average and people who are average will do better if they stay in Canada.

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Old 03-25-2013, 06:16 PM   #25
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Many Americans hold off on starting their own business because of the cost of health insurance.

Young workers can have their hours cut from 40 to 28 so employers don't have to pay health

Starbucks spends more on health insurance ($300 million) than on coffee beans.

Having lived in a country with universal health care, where if I got sick or injured I wouldn't have to worry about paying for it, it shocks and saddens me to hear the medical horror stories in America. And yes, if a Canadian were to move south of the border, more likely than not he would get good insurance-but not everyone is so lucky.

I agree with bloodmack that it's not just about money, it's about quality of life. The taxes my mom and dad pay, and our neighbours pay, contribute to a higher standard of living for everyone, not just for the rich. The school systems in Metro Vancouver are for the most part reasonably good, but the quality of school districts fluctuate wildly in the US because they're based on county tax revenues. Parents fight to get their kids into a better (public) school. You can drive through the Los Altos Hills in the South Bay and see opulence that puts British Properties or Southlands to shame-drive an hour up to Oakland and it's third world poverty. The inequality is stunning, and very sad. That's not even mentioning the skyrocketing tuition. At the University of Washington it's $12,000 per year, books and other fees not included. If you're not rich, a legacy, a minority, smart or a sports star, student loan debt is unavoidable.

Employee rights are much stronger here in Canada-for example, in the US, an employer does not have to give you maternity leave or time off to vote. I believe that stronger employee rights trickle down into how people treat their jobs. I used to work in a McDonalds, one of the top performing locations in BC. Managers would be mopping floors and attending at tills, even cooking at the fry station. Everyone knew that their #1 priority was the customer, and this is consistent with most fast food chains in Vancouver. In the US it's a different story-the only chain my family goes to south of the border is Jack in the Box because the service in the other chains is awful. No one gives a damn.

We like to complain about protectionist tarriffs, cell phone/internet bills, shipping fees here in Canada. I do, all the time. All the same, I don't think I'm ready to trade off the benefits of living here. Not yet, anyway.

Rant over.
this thread will end up a major fail storm of anti-US/pro-Canada vs. the opposite group

you are clearly pro-canada, and a lot of what you said has a very reasonable counter arguement

EVERYWHERE has its flaws - canada ain't that great, the US ain't that great, britain ain't that great...
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