Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby MULTILINGUAL NIKONIANS English Café (Public) topic #87628
View in threaded mode

Subject: "Being Self Employed in the USA" Previous topic | Next topic
dickiederson Silver Member Nikonian since 09th May 2009Tue 26-Mar-13 05:13 PM
120 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
"Being Self Employed in the USA"


San Francisco, US
          

Hi guys,

My wife and I will be moving from the UK to the USA within the next few months as we have, at long last, had our Green Cards approved!


In the UK being Self Employed isn't much of a headache... I earn money as an Actor, Photographer, Sound Recordist, Filmmaker and pretty much whatever other casual jobs come my way.
I'm not earning a massive amount, but I get by!

I hope I'm missing something but it seems like this way of life might just be impossible in The States if I want to be able to:

Have Health Insurance,
Run a Car,
Have a Cell Phone,
Eat.

Are there any self employed chaps on here who could possibly shine some light at the end of my tunnel?

We're making the move because we both work incredibly hard in the creative industries in the UK. But for the past few years over here this work has been considered something you do for free. Unless you are very lucky and very well connected. We're getting better on both fronts but we've thought long and hard, vistited the USA a few times, worked for American companies, made some great contacts, fallen in love with the place and decided that it is where we want to call home...

I'd rather not have to get a job at Mcdonalds though...

www.shootingheadz.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Wed 27-Mar-13 11:14 AM
1818 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#1. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0


Little Rock, US
          

You can work on your own over here and probably do most of what you listed if you live in the right place, but there are a few challenges initially.

The new healthcare act makes insurance available to folks working on their own where you can buy in a larger, hopefully more affordable pool , but I have no idea how it applies to someone from out of the U.S and it is in the process of being implemented. You certainly can buy a policy from a company, but that will be expensive.

Credit is another topic. I have no idea how someone coming into the country will be viewed by the credit agencies, it is something you should check out when it comes to renting a place, getting a car, etc. One thing for sure, unless you have cash, you need credit to live and get anything in this country.

I am curious what state you are headed for - unemployment is highly variable right now, some states much worse than others.

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002Wed 27-Mar-13 02:02 PM
9344 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#2. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0


Boston Area, US
          

I'm not self-employed at this time, although I gave substantial thought to it earlier this year.

Approximately 15 million people in the U.S. are self-employed, but it's challenging no matter where you live. You need hustle, social skills, patience, and a bankroll to build up contacts and a client list. Luck helps a lot, but you'd better be prepared to make your own luck.

I suggest you look at the U.S. small business administration website, starting with the advocacy page. You may also wish to contact the Chamber of Commerce for where you plan to move.

Good luck, and if your travels take you to New England drop me a note.

"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 27-Mar-13 03:53 PM
5583 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#3. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0


Tacoma, US
          

I was self employed for 15 years, and the main thing you need is a good credit rating and a steady income stream. If you can demonstrate those, there is not much that is a problem.

Health insurance for the self employed is really no more expensive than it is for others, it's just that you are covering the entire cost yourself, not just the part not paid by your employer. Belonging to a group, such as a Chamber of Commerce or some professional organization that offers the ability to get into a group health insurance plan is a good idea.

If you a coming here on a shoe-string, you may have some problems. If you are coming here with cash in the bank, some other assets, and existing credit card, you'll not have much difficulty getting started.

Welcome!

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

dickiederson Silver Member Nikonian since 09th May 2009Wed 27-Mar-13 07:32 PM
120 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#4. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 3


San Francisco, US
          

Thanks Guys,

It's reassured me a bit

We've been looking into credit ratings... we both have very good ones in the UK but it doesn't seem easy to transfer them to the USA.

Apparently however, AMEX can help if they like us in the UK, so we've both got new cards with them and are spending like crazy on them (and clearing it each month!). HSBC might be able to help too...

It seems like the health insurance business is going through a bit of a transitional phase at the moment.... maybe it will work out for the better

Oh and.... rather predictably I'm afraid, we're heading for LA....!

www.shootingheadz.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Dallaspilot Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Oct 2010Wed 27-Mar-13 07:42 PM
222 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#5. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0


Plano, US
          

I was self-employed for much of my career, and it certainly has it's advantages. As long as you have a source of work or a few clients to generate income, it will not be difficult.
My caution is that we have this thing called an income tax, at both the Federal and State level (in most states). When you're self-employed, the taxing authorities expect you to estimate your taxes and make a payment to them four times a year. They won't send a bill; you're expected to do this voluntarily. If you don't make the quarterly payments and end up owing a lot of tax at the end of the year, you will be assessed penalties that can quickly get to an additional 15% of your tax bill.
The first $18,000 - $19,000 of your earnings should result in zero income tax, but there is also a mandatory self-employment tax (which contributes to the social security retirement benefits and to medicare), and that self-employment tax is currently 15.3%.
This is a fairly complex area, but you can master the basics easily. If you have enough income, none of this will matter much, and if you have little income, there won't be any income tax -- just self-employment tax.
Now you won't be surprised and can plan for this. You can gripe about the taxes, too, like many of us do.
The British I have known all like the US pretty well. Good luck and welcome.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberWed 27-Mar-13 10:05 PM
7832 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#6. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 4


Powder Springs, US
          

Creditors can get an international credit report. We got them all the time for folks applying for mortgages. Find a CPA who can get you out of the 15.3% self- employment tax by having you incorporate and take a nominal income from the corporation.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Rotts3 Gold Member Nikonian since 08th Feb 2013Wed 27-Mar-13 10:16 PM
69 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 5


Purcellville, US
          

I was self employed for almost 20 years and for most of that time I was a member of NASE, National Association for the Self Employed. I used them to get health insurance/dental and they even helped with auto insurance at one point.

Google them, they have a web site. I am an employee for a company for the last 2 years so I am not 100% current on this.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Thu 28-Mar-13 02:10 AM
290 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#8. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0


Waynesville, US
          

Hello! I am a transplanted Brit (Plymouth) have lived in the USA for 35 years and was self employeed (not in the creative arts tho')for 10. LA is going to be an interesting change from Liverpool:-) but hopefully you have sussed it out. Others have alluded to the benefits of arriving with some capital in hand. Credit rating is super important so take great care never to be late on payments. An odd thing is that the more credit cards you have/use/pay on time the faster, within limits, your rating goes up BUT if you cancel them after a relatively short time that can count against you!

Housing will be expensive in the LA area but probably on a par with large cities in England, at least from what I saw last May on a trip over there. You would be well advised to get yourself a good CPA from the get go who can give you guidance re things others have mentioned. Health care here is much more expensive than there but probably equal to or better than NHS. Deductables for self employed is another area for a good CPA. Unless you are USA equiped don't go the DIY route on that stuff.

Hopefully you already have usable connections in your areas of experise here. I suspect the same is true of England that is unions can be a consideration if not necessary membership. If renting accomadations be prepared for a minimum of 1 year lease requirement with typical "first and last" months rent up front plus a security deposit and if you need furnished that might be more difficult to obtain. Good luck on your adventure and if there is anything else I can help with please shoot me off a private e-mail.

Geoff

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

MikeBee Gold Member Charter MemberThu 28-Mar-13 09:21 AM
406 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#9. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0


Stamford, US
          

I have always worked for international companies, and have seen colleagues transferred into the USA from overseas. The credit issue can be a problem. I have seen a few ways to get credit going. 1. if you buy a car, and even if you can buy it all cash, try to at least take a small loan that can be serviced. 2. Your bank should be able to offer you a credit card (visa or mastercard) backed up by a couple of thousand $ on a separate account, 3. Department stores (such as Macy's/Penny's etc) have traditionally been an easy place to get a credit card, even if it only has a small limit (say $500), although I understand this might not be so easy anymore.
Good luck!

Mike

www.beresford-photos.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 28-Mar-13 10:24 AM
7832 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#10. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 9


Powder Springs, US
          

I would use department stores as a last resort though. Cetus Paribus, a credit score built on department store revolving accounts will be lower than those built on bank cards. Also, don't run the balances up to their available balance. Keep the balances below 70% of the limit and preferably less than 50%.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

kentak Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2010Tue 09-Apr-13 01:52 AM
897 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#11. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

Oh my. I believe the cost of living is quite high in L.A./CA. I trust you've done some research regarding the biggies like housing, taxes, etc.

I wish you the best of luck if you make the move. That's quite gutsy.

Kent

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

esantos Moderator Nikonians Resources Writer. Recognized for his outstanding reviews on printers and printing articles. Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, including Landscape Photography Awarded for his extraordinary accomplishments in Landscape Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian. Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Tue 09-Apr-13 02:57 PM
11379 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#13. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 09-Apr-13 03:01 PM by esantos

McAllen, US
          

I grew up around our family business having worked there since I was a kid during holidays and in the summer. When I completed college I ran our business for 10 years. Since then I have worked in the public sector, run a local government health care organization, worked in higher education and now in the non-profit arena. I've been in financial management my whole career. In my 37 years experience I have to say I have never seen a more challenging and difficult business environment as I see today. While I am not talking necessarily about the economic forces at play, although the uncertainties of a slowly recovering or even stagnating national economy has some bearing, I'm talking about the coming nationalization of healthcare here in the United States and increasing pressures coming from Washington and some state governments to address the increasing debt positions of the public sector. This more than anything else is placing a fog of uncertainty on the market making a lot of the private sector players and their capital sit on the sidelines until things become more clear. I can tell you you can expect more government intrusion in small business as the huge bureaucracy of national health care begins to unfold.

I'm not saying that there is no opportunity because a true entrepreneur sees opportunity and seizes it, but you'll certainly have to see things from a fresh perspective in order to make your new venture a success.

Ernesto Santos
esartprints.com Ernesto Santos Photography

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Tue 16-Apr-13 05:28 AM
3262 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#14. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

I have been self-employed all my life primarily in the creative fields of recording so have a little different perspective than most.
If you are really well funded in this move, you will find little problem with transition but finding clients unless you already have them is going to be tough. There are a million people trying to find the 10,000 clients with a budget now. That is quite different than decades in the past when specialties were not over populated with people who are hobbyists trying to pose as pros, which muddies the waters and drives prices down for creative services. Any gas station attendant or waiter will tell you they are really a actor or writer or something else in LA, even before they hand you a menu or take your cash for fuel.
A lot of things will be different, for one you have much better health care systems in place where you are, which will be one of your major expenses after moving. The last time I had private insurance in the US, it was $825 a month and the only time I tried to use it, coverage was denied so I had to leave the country to be able to afford a needed hip replacement ($90,000 versus $5700). Keep your national health services status in case of major illness or surgery is needed.
A flight back home is a lot cheaper than a couple visits to a doctor. If you need any medications, stock up before you move, you will NOT like the prices of common pharmaceuticals, which are 4-100 times higher.
Being self employed is really pretty easy in the US. File for a tax payer ID number, get a local business license, get a social security card...all these things are quite and easy to do. My own dealings with the government offices have been quite pleasant and models of efficiency contrary to popular notions.
Unless you are really lucky you will likely find your quality of life drop somewhat or a lot since services, public facilities, local education, access to the arts etc are less than a UK or European is used to. The economy is not good for those already not wealthy, there is not the opportunities to migrate between economic classes like there was in the 50's, 60's and 70's or the boom times in the creative arts fields of the 60's 70's and 80's. For example I never accepted a recording project back then without a $250k production budget but now the norm is $40k which is not enough to have a staff or pay for the equipment. Same with photography, where paying gigs are fast fading away as the line between hobbyist and pro blur into unrecognizability.

I suppose you have a client list already in the US or else it makes little sense to move with all the roadblocks now. The biggest one is the cost of getting established. You will have $20k-40K in start up costs to get a place to live, the needed car(live is not possible in California without a car since the whole society was built around it and spread out over vast areas of low population density), reserves for living expenses before the income level needed to sustain life is achieved, and many costs that you might not have now. I feel sorry for recent grads starting life now in the US where they start with a real deficit that we were not burdened by when I got out of university. It was really easy to get started. My tuition and an apartment was covered by a part time job. Now the same degree would result in $50,000 in debt, and few job prospects. Luckily I was never one to seek a job, and have only worked for myself from 13 years of age on.
I travel the world and have seen a stark change in relative opportunities between countries. The US is not a great option now, it was the best option 30 years ago. I even find more opportunities for creative types here in St Petersburg Russia whether in business start ups, or arts etc. A group of 45 people met last night, mostly foreigners as members of Internations, an international expat club that has monthly social events....this one was a weekly English Tea, (most are large 300+ restaurant or hotel get-togethers with 40-50% of members being young local professionals). This very subject came up about which countries are the best for opportunities and quality of life and options to create a new business. The range of countries topping the lists last night was quite different than it would have been 20 years ago. Number one by agreement was Singapore, followed by a few Central European countries that were nowhere on the list 20 years ago. The main problem with the highly developed countries is stagnation in imagination and sinking quality of life in the last dozen or so years. Overall Europe and Scandinavia still have the best quality of life but they are not progressing and the US has been regressing for a number of years so the middle class is shrinking and underclasses are growing. I think you missed the golden years in the creative fields by 20 years.
There are more opportunities in smaller or regional markets, with some smaller cities bucking the downward quality of life trend. If you have the client base, you might be able to avoid the masses of starving competition but if you do not have an income stream waiting for you to show up in LA, I really suggest visiting many areas for a few weeks each before making the move. Your money will go further in some other parts of the country, and there will be less competition for the clients who are accessible.
One area of relative merit you will like, most items for purchase are cheap, lower than anywhere to buy things, not services but things like cameras, personal electronics, houses and cars. But the downside it that you need to buy much more and incur more bills. Everything has an extra cost or fee except a simple retain purchase. The one pleasant aspect of moving here there are no monthly bills except one unified utility bill for electricity, water, hot water(used for space heating), sewer, maintenance, garbage collection, community antenna, gas and a dozen other items that adds up to $50. If one is low on cash, they can skip the payment and only after a year or two of skipping will there be any questions asked.
In Northern California, where I still have 1 house, there are two dozen monthly bills just for basic services in a home that is empty. When I was living there, my water and electricity was combined to over $1000 a month and we did not even have air conditioning(did not need it on the Pacific Ocean) or have a yard to water. Many services you take for granted in the UK as part of the Commons, is covered by the higher taxes but in the US, everything has a fee but taxes are lower as is fitting since services are lower.
I think you need to visit longer, don't cut ties there for housing or sell your car yet. Go to the US and see if you can become self supporting in a set time span, maybe 6 months. The realities will become more apparent when trying to get started than just visiting or on temporary work assignments.
Good luck. Sorry I have had to be so down on the prospect but I am probably one of the few who has seen a wide range of locales and work from the creative production side.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Tue 16-Apr-13 11:45 AM
290 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#15. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 14


Waynesville, US
          

A thorough, thoughtful and thought provoking post. Last post by the OP was on 3/27 when he said they were going to do it so it would be interesting to see what impact all the good advice offered by posters has had on their thinking and plans. OP, update us please and it would be great if from time to time you could come back with status.

Geoff

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

bgs Administrator One of the two c-founders, expert in several areas Awarded for his valuable Nikon product reviews at the Resources Charter MemberTue 16-Apr-13 02:51 PM
5377 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#16. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 14


Bratislava, SK
          

Excellent post Stan,

Lots of good advice in your post and in the others. Basically> Do not burn bridges and probably keep at least health insurances intact, check out various locations of the country, beware of the monster competition by the hungry millions and service levels and utility costs should not be under over/under estimated either.

Bo Stahlbrandt. Nikonians Founder and Administrator located in Bratislava/Slovakia and in the Black Forest/Germany.
Find out more about The Nikonians Team -- See the latest, hottest posts

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

grizzly200 Registered since 18th Dec 2011Sun 21-Apr-13 05:00 AM
707 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#17. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 4


Solano County, California, US
          

Get with a good, trustworthy tax advisor who can help you navigate the Federal and California State Self-Employment tax setup. The cost of living here in California is relatively high, but we save money and headaches not dealing with the weather troubles others in the country do.

James

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Nikon32250 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Mar 2004Fri 26-Apr-13 10:01 AM
3453 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#18. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 16


St. Augustine, US
          

Wow, Stan really shocked me when he said that the quality of life in Russia is higher than here. Never having been there I can't make any direct comparison, but I guess it depends on what is important to you. While LA would not be my first choice of places to live I can tell that the climate there has to be better than Russia (at least for most people.) Lots more people trying to get into the USA than any other country in the world which must tell you something about possibilities here. The ability to move upwards still exists although it has been harder in the last few years. Nevertheless, new millionaires are being created every day. Work hard and you will get ahead.

Back to the OP's questions. I used to be an international banker here in Florida for many years, and I can confirm what others have said about the difficulties in getting credit. And don't think about overdrawing your bank (chequing) account; big no-no. In a city as big as LA there has to be some type of British-American Club, and I would suggest that you search them out. Typically immigrants (of which I am one)tend to congregate together for the first generation. Lots of ex-pats in LA.

Finally, you will quickly learn that we speak a different language here and everyone has a strange accent. People will think that your "accent" is cute even though you know that you don't have an accent

Graham
From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs

<http://www.ancientcityphotography.com/>

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 26-Apr-13 11:59 AM
7832 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#19. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 18


Powder Springs, US
          

Don't worry about the accent. The British accent is beautiful. Down here in Atlanta, everyone says I talk like a Yankee. When I go home to the shores of Lake Erie, my relatives/kin folk say I sound like a "Suthnr". So I'm am ex pat wherever I go!

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Nikon32250 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Mar 2004Fri 26-Apr-13 12:07 PM
3453 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#20. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 19


St. Augustine, US
          

Ah, but in Atlanta there aren't any true "Suthnrs". Most people there come from out of state. Now, get up to Cummin, GA and that's a whole different story.

Graham
From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs

<http://www.ancientcityphotography.com/>

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

dickiederson Silver Member Nikonian since 09th May 2009Tue 30-Apr-13 12:54 PM
120 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#21. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 20


San Francisco, US
          

Hello Chaps,

Sorry for not being on here recently and thank you all, especially you Stan, for your input!

As things stand we HAVE to be Stateside before September 11th (hopefully that's not a bad omen...), for our Green Cards to be valid. Apparently the time restriction is because the (very thorough, I can tell you) medical exam we both had to have is only valid for 6 months. I believe we should expect one more grilling from Border Control at the point of entry and then, once or Visa's are stamped, our actual Green Cards will be delivered and we will be obliged to make the USA our permanent place of residence....Yikes!

I really do need to check out what our status with the UK NHS will be once we've left... I have an Australian friend who is now a New York resident, who returned to Oz when she developed colon cancer because she could be treated for free still there. Hopefully it would be the same for us. She is an actress but she also works part time for a Gym as a personal instructor - this gives her access to good, affordable health insurance. So I think we may look for something similar on the side. I have worked a lot for Madame Tussauds all over the world and they have an attraction in Hollywood so that might be a possibility.

One of the beauties of the Green Card is that we are free to look for any work. Originally we had planned to apply for '01 Entertainments work Visas'. But we have a few friends who went this route and could only survive for 6 months to a year, as well as hearing many other horror stories of people who made the move on the 01 visa and had to come home early after spending all their savings because they couldn't find any work in the Ents' field and weren't legally allowed to do anything else. Apparently a lot of big employers and studios don't like to take on 01 Visa's, probably because there's been such an influx of them (mostly from the UK :-/). I know there are some pretty unscrupulous companies producing fabricated resume's and press packs to bump up an actors profile so they can get a visa easier and I think the clampdown is due to this.

So we're very pleased to have a Green Card!

Stan please don't worry about painting a picture of doom and gloom. It's best to be prepared for the worst. I'm under no illusions that the streets of LA are paved with gold and we are bracing ourselves for a rough time at first. But I really can't imagine the situation being worse than the UK is now. Actors and Photographers I have spoken to in the USA all say how tough it is to get work at the moment. But when I tell them what it's like here now...how most of the work is done for free or on the promise of future 'profit share' or 'career enhancement' other than for the very few established or well connected who never stop working (poor loves!). They do concede that there is SOME work and it does pay at least a little.

I think the common assumption here is that life in America is cheaper and better. But as you say things are never that easy. I think costs maybe balance out over time. For example, you can buy, tax and insure a very good used car in the UK for under $1600...I don't think that's possible in the USA. The trouble is you can't afford to drive anywhere because petrol (gas!) costs are RIDICULOUS. And if you do drive you will just sit in traffic because there are TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY Haha. We get free healthcare...but actually it's not free because we get taxed so much and paid so little... Swings and roundabouts!

I watched a Creativelive (Brilliant site, love it!) workshop recently hosted by British fashion photographer Lara Jade. She was asked why she'd moved to NY from London, when she'd been doing so well in the UK. She basically said (in the most messed-up accent ever!) it was because she'd like to be paid for her work....!

One thing that does seem to be easier in the UK is our film production work...and for precisely the same reasons I've just been whinging about!
Our first feature film (www.longtails.co.uk and shot on D800's + Atomos Ninja2's!) had a budget of just over £100k.... but because we didn't pay anyone upfront, it cost us £20k. I really don't think this would have been possible in The States?
We really didn't feel good about not paying upfront so we've been very generous with back end payments in our contracts. We were absolutely inundated with people wanting to work on our 'Free' film. And it's not like they were fresh out of film or drama school, they were mostly established industry guys...working for FREE.
As a side note, the rough cut trailer we've had cut has whetted the appetites of a few distribution companies and we are quietly confident we'll be able to pay everyone and turn a nice little profit to boot. so hopefully the gamble (with all of our USA savings!) will pay off...

So the plan is to come back to the UK once a year to produce a movie until we're properly established over the pond


Wow this has turned into quite a post, sorry! Haha

I'm still very excited and nervous about the move though. And there's still so much to get sorted... I'll try and keep this thread updated from now on (maybe with less lengthy and whingey posts...!)

Thanks again all

Rich

www.shootingheadz.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Tue 30-Apr-13 01:43 PM
290 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#22. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 21
Tue 30-Apr-13 01:46 PM by limeyzen

Waynesville, US
          

Rich,

Good to hear from you and that your plans are progressing. I am also a green card holder so a couple of things to remember. Carry it with you most if not all of the time especially when travelling out of the USA (required for reentry). I once got held up at the Canadian border, when returning, for a whole day 'cause I forgot to take it with me. And it will need to be reissued/renewed every 10 years. I don't know what the NHS rules are today (I relocated 35 years ago) but back then there was a time limit on how long one could be out of the country before entitlements ceased. I suspect that if you are returning once a year and can show some portion of your income as generated in th UK that might suffice. Check it out. Finally re your comment on making the USA your permanent residence as far as I know that is only a matter of your postal address and if you remain UK citizens you can still maintain an address in the UK if that is advantageous. And remember that the USA and UK have reciprocal tax agreements so, for instance, if I returned to England all of my USA Social Security and IRA benefits would be tax free in the USA but taxed in UK (I have this crazy idea of going back ) However, in order to get that I would have to formally renounce my USA residency and thus give up my green card. In your case the reverse can apply so you may want to check out what happens to any UK generated income as far as USA vs UK taxation goes. Stay in touch and let us know if we can help.

Geoff

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

dickiederson Silver Member Nikonian since 09th May 2009Sun 15-Sep-13 09:18 PM
120 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#23. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 22


San Francisco, US
          

Quick Update time!


My wife and I (we got married on August 25th!) arrived in San Francisco on August 30th... It's taken a few weeks to get sorted with things like bank accounts, cell phones (expensive compared to UK)' a car (VERY expensive compared to UK!).

We're getting settled with some of my wife's relatives in a beautiful little town called Alameda. It's all a bit strange really, everything is kind of the same but different (can't get my head around some things like parking restrictions which don't make sense to my English brain!)


In a week we're packing up the Saab ("Oh....you bought a European car....?!" Is a common, confused reaction!) and heading down to LA. We've got a nice beach cottage lined up in Huntington for a month while we try and find an apartment.

It's all a big adventure

www.shootingheadz.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Nikon32250 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Mar 2004Sun 15-Sep-13 09:55 PM
3453 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#24. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 23


St. Augustine, US
          

Welcome to the USA and America's left coast. I'm not too surprised that your car was more expensive in California. It's one of the most expensive states to live in. Gasoline (petrol) is cheaper here than in the UK but, in California, it is significantly higher than the other states except for Alaska and Hawaii. BTW, if you hear the term "lower 48" or "CONUS" it is referring to the 48 contiguous states or continental States.

Graham
From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs

<http://www.ancientcityphotography.com/>

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Nikon32250 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Mar 2004Sun 15-Sep-13 09:58 PM
3453 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#25. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 17


St. Augustine, US
          

>Get with a good, trustworthy tax advisor who can help you
>navigate the Federal and California State Self-Employment tax
>setup. The cost of living here in California is relatively
>high, but we save money and headaches not dealing with the
>weather troubles others in the country do.

Provided you're not concerned with earthquakes, landslides, huge forest fires!

Graham
From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs

<http://www.ancientcityphotography.com/>

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

dickiederson Silver Member Nikonian since 09th May 2009Sun 15-Sep-13 10:14 PM
120 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#26. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 24


San Francisco, US
          

Thanks Graham!

There's so much to learn....
Gas prices are an interesting one. I originally wanted to buy a Range Rover or Jeep with a V8 (childhood fantasy!). Because even if the gas prices here were twice the price, it would still be less than we're used to paying back in the UK!

Looking for apartments we kept coming across the phrase:
'420 Friendly'... That was a bit of an eye opener!

www.shootingheadz.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Nikon32250 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Mar 2004Sun 15-Sep-13 10:18 PM
3453 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#27. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 26


St. Augustine, US
          

I have no idea what 420 friendly means. Then again you are in California where some people say they are on a different planet. After all Gov. Jerry Brown is called Governor Moonbeam!

And if you buy a V8 you will be on the wrong side of the "greens".

Graham
From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs

<http://www.ancientcityphotography.com/>

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

esantos Moderator Nikonians Resources Writer. Recognized for his outstanding reviews on printers and printing articles. Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, including Landscape Photography Awarded for his extraordinary accomplishments in Landscape Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian. Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Mon 16-Sep-13 02:06 AM
11379 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#28. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 26


McAllen, US
          

I drive a Jeep, you'll love it. BTW, Jeeps come with V6's not V8's.

Ernesto Santos
esartprints.com Ernesto Santos Photography

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

dickiederson Silver Member Nikonian since 09th May 2009Mon 16-Sep-13 03:00 AM
120 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#29. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 28


San Francisco, US
          

>I drive a Jeep, you'll love it. BTW, Jeeps come with V6's not
>V8's.


Pretty sure the 2001 Grand Cherokee's I was looking at had either the Straight 6 or the 4.7 liter V8!

I ended up going for a Saab 9-5 Aero with a nice 'little' 250bhp 2.3liter turbo. Tasty!

www.shootingheadz.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Nikon32250 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Mar 2004Mon 16-Sep-13 03:26 AM
3453 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#30. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 29


St. Augustine, US
          

I thought that Saab had gone out of business.

Graham
From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs

<http://www.ancientcityphotography.com/>

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

esantos Moderator Nikonians Resources Writer. Recognized for his outstanding reviews on printers and printing articles. Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, including Landscape Photography Awarded for his extraordinary accomplishments in Landscape Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian. Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Mon 16-Sep-13 02:35 PM
11379 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#31. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 29


McAllen, US
          

Okay, yes, you may be right. I was thinking about the Wranglers (the traditional models based on the old Army Willys).

Ernesto Santos
esartprints.com Ernesto Santos Photography

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberTue 17-Sep-13 02:43 AM
7832 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#32. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 27


Powder Springs, US
          

It means you can smoke pot on the premises. Google is a wonderful thing.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Nikon32250 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Mar 2004Tue 17-Sep-13 02:46 AM
3453 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#33. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 32


St. Augustine, US
          

>It means you can smoke pot on the premises. Google is a
>wonderful thing.
Okey Dokey then!

Graham
From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs

<http://www.ancientcityphotography.com/>

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

dickiederson Silver Member Nikonian since 09th May 2009Tue 17-Sep-13 04:35 AM
120 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#34. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 30


San Francisco, US
          

>I thought that Saab had gone out of business.


I believe so... Although there was talk of Spyker resurrecting them. With our budget of $5000 to buy a car though it doesn't really affect us!

www.shootingheadz.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sat 21-Sep-13 08:11 PM
3262 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#35. "RE: Being Self Employed in the USA"
In response to Reply # 34


St Petersburg, RU
          

Good to see you made it to San Francisco. The fall is usually pretty nice for weather. I will probably be back there for a week or two towards the end of the year. The one feature of going back is getting to drive since I do not have or need a car here. I get my only car i did not give away in the two weeks ib which I gave everything away before abruptly moving here 10 years ago. It is the last of my collection of classic 60's and 70's Italian GTs 13 Maserati's. This one is a Bora. The north coast and Sierra mountains are great "drivers" area, few people and tight twisties for 100 miles at a stretch. I see a lot more super cars here than back in the states where collectors tend to keep them garaged. Now I spend my time socializing and with cuktural events and even work in a few photo
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby MULTILINGUAL NIKONIANS English Café (Public) topic #87628 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.