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Miami people?

Started by Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers, Sat, 20 Nov 2010 12:19


Hey, welcome to the USA!  Congrats on the new job.  Come say Hi the next time you're in Chicago.
Will /Chicago /USA

Shiv Mathur

Hoppie, heartiest congratulations on the new job!
Here's wishing you much pleasure and satisfaction with it.


John Golin

Congratulations Hoppie!
John Golin.

Phil Bunch

Congratulations on your new job and your exotic new location!  Down that way, I've always wanted to vacation in Key West in particular, but never found the opportunity.  

It should prove to be quite an exciting adventure in so many ways.  It's great that you're able to move into an aviation-related job - I'm sure that your natural enthusiasm for things aviation will combine with your knowledge of things computational and that this move will bring much success to yourself and your new employer - let us know how it's going from time to time.

I predict (grins) that it won't be long until you have your PPL and are flying the big jets around, etc!

First thing to do is to throw away all your winter clothes, coats, boots, etc - at most you might need an unlined light jacket for the coldest evenings.  It's easy to fall in love with tropical weather, especially in these modern times when literally everything is air conditioned in the southern US.

Do you have an estimated move date?
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

the mad hatter


Welcome to that States, you may suffer from accent divide for a while I know I did, the food is very different as well, and to eat healthy is expensive, the banking system sucks, so do not close your home bank accounts,(in fact ask your bank for a credit card in USD) your credit score is the most important thing here and it takes a while to build like three years plus and everything you do here is based upon that number, insurance costs, credit-cards etc etc, financially you will be treated like a child here in the US letters of introduction from your home bank have no effect regardless, I trust your employer is going to co sign a lease for so you have somewhere to live (again the credit score thing) as you have had no credit you can not lease or buy property..Well you can but you have to buy down the lease by putting a lot of cash upfront... so you may have to do what we did and take out EEC  loan based in dollars in short moving here is a nightmare for a while

Do not forget now you are working here, I assume you have the green card , now your income is taxable worldwide regardless. everything over 70k  until it expires in either 5 or 10 years they may have gotton you the H1B1 and if this is the case (h1b1) then your employer owns you, with the green card you have more flexibility.

Now may I be so bold as to make a suggestion... ask your employer if you can be 1099 rather than W2 once you find the difference between the two it is huge :-) ... You can claim the cost of your cockpit directly to your 1099 for a period of 5 years  6 at a push... then throw in your PPL ME CPL IR ME CFI then your flying then become directly relatable to your sim build (you just have to prove the intent) and again a 1099 benefit  .. Never be W2'd in the states if you can help it as it limits you. In short you are paid Gross on a 1099 and Nett with a W2 the 1099 allows for much larger deductions that are business related if you have to do a W2 then it maybe harder to claim these things under schedule C of your 1040 (I learnt all of this the hard-way) :-(    AS you know most most pilots talk about few things in the office  "Money"more "Money" "Woman" and Airline Management  but mostly money did I mention that?  :-)

Where you are located is warm TX is hot. Key West is just a really cool place loved it there.

If you want to learn to fly whist you are here I'll sit in the right seat with you and guide you through the US process, and effect an introduction to a regional after you have your CPL/ME/IR this will kill all desire to fly professionally at 18 dollars an hour flying 9 legs a day oh and you will be seat locked this what the new hire regional pilots are earning then lets say you have 3000 hours regional experience well you are still stuck because you have no PIC time :-) Just fly for fun buy a 150 for 12K and have a blast

bloody hell that was a rant was it not


Edit:  However all the above aside once you are established and settled the States is a great place to reside life is very easy here compared to Europe

Peter Sagar

Hoppie, congratulations on the new job. I genuinely hope you and your family enjoy the new lifestyle and country.

The two things that I really noticed about Florida - 'gators everywhere, and the low, low land level; barely a couple of feet above sea level - Oh wait, you're already used to that  second part  :D  :D  :D

I hope you have already negotiated medical and dental insurance from your employer. It's a must!

Excalibur Beechcraft driver.

\"Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war.\"

Richard McDonald Woods


Many, many congratulations on what appears to be a job tailor made to your interests.

I hope that you find the time and enthusiasm to remain one of the main players on this forum. If not, you will be greatly missed.

My and Jan's best wishes to you and the family.

Cheers, Richard

Jeroen D

From one Dutch Jeroen to another Dutch Jeroen; welcome to the States!

Congratulations with the new job. Sounds right up your street!


Phil Bunch

Today I was thinking more about my admittedly limited perceptions of the contrasts between a European lifestyle and the aspects of European culture that I somewhat understand.  As I tried to put myself in Hoppie's "shoes" and empathetically come to terms with his adventure as he moves to a specific and somewhat unusual part of the USA, it certainly is enough to cause one to realize how many similarities and differences exist in these two locations.  So many things are very different and yet so many things are fundamentally the same or at least similar.

While I only have my own superficial impressions from many business/vacation trips to Europe and discussions with US and European friends and co-workers, I am very excited for Hoppie and family by the sheer adventure and novelty of this move.  A separate layer is of course his job, which seems almost tailor-made for Hoppie's interests and background, as best I can tell with my inevitably modest amount of information and understanding.

Some of the effort will be what I personally label as logistical issues, as have already been mentioned, including health insurance, income tax status, housing arrangements, school system optimization for Hoppies daughter, establishing a new social life, etc, etc, etc.

Other things would be just taking maximum advantage of the adventure of living and vacationing in the USA, with its huge geography and extremely wide range of places to visit and enjoy.  With inexpensive air travel and connections in the airline industry, it should be quite practical to enjoy much vacation and perhaps business trip-supported travel to many interesting places and cities in the US.

I was thinking today about how simple differences such as not having much of an inter or intra-city train service in most of the US really changes how one gets around and thinks about everyday life.  As is well-known, we depend almost exclusively on the personal car and (historically) inexpensive gas plus many interstate expressways to travel.  Even if one flies to a destination, one must rent a car to get around efficiently, but this is very easily done and routine and fairly inexpensive.  

The very large-scale geography of the US is often deceptive, even for natives.  For example, it is about 650 miles from MIami to Atlanta, over 1000 miles from Miami to Washington DC, about 1300 miles from Miami to New York City, and about 2700 miles from Miami to Los Angeles.  The standard Mercator map projection distorts the subjective perception of these distances, of course, making Florida appear much smaller north-to-south than it actually is.

Perhaps the lack of a rational, efficient social services infrastructure in the US is the biggest single category of things one must adjust to.  Not much useful health insurance is available other than employer-provided health insurance through mostly unregulated and very profit-oriented private insurance companies, combined with a very profit-oriented health care and hospital system.  Public education is also problematic with public schools being poor outside of well-off suburbs.  College and grad schools work best for the upper 10% of society, with most state-sponsored institutions being what might be called "diploma factories" with limited emphasis on quality.  Selective colleges and universities are quite different experiences, assuming one's children are admitted, but the cost is now  about 50,000 US dollars per year, for all expenses.  Fortunately, the best private colleges give need-based scholarships based on parents' income and savings.  In many cases, it's actually cheaper to go to Harvard or MIT than a moderate quality state school since aid at state schools is not very available except through student loans.  

The inequality of the US society in terms of income and wealth is quite striking in comparison with much of Europe, as best I can tell from my own casual study.  This is something the US hasn't come to terms with in terms of its overall quality of life and living standards.  If one can become part of the higher income segment of the US society, one can of course enjoy quite a nice standard of living.

Just a few thoughts.  
I am personally very optimistic and also wish for Hoppie and his family the very best in their adventure!  I'm convinced it will be very enjoyable, professionally rewarding, and very interesting!!
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

Jeroen D

We've been living in Kansas City, USA, for just over two years now. And we'll be staying here for a few more years. We came from the Netherlands, but my wife is British/Barbados and we've lived for a number of years in the UK as well.

We are enjoying our US life to the max. Some of the things Phil pointed out are very much in evidence and have surprised us as well.

On a slightly more lighter note, read our US experience on our website:

Shiv Mathur

You write with wonderful humour, Jeroen.  Enjoyed that !

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

Thanks to you all for your encouraging comments!

Getting a PPL, plus IFR, ME, whatever, is on the TO DO list. I've never before encountered a job description (ad) for a software engineer with heavy qualifications that also included preferences for these licenses! The company has several aircraft and some employees have already worked themselves up to qualified instructors, which makes it easier. About half the staff is a licensed pilot.

I'm moving in on a H-1B visa, so I'm hard-linked to my job and employer. The green card process will take a while but we'll dive right in, just to be sure. And on her derivative H4, my wife isn't allowed to work. Credit rating... it sucks, but having no rating seems to be better than having a bad rating. The lease on our house is fortunately organised through the company. Most insurances as well. This makes it feasible, though still tough when coming in from the Eastern side of  the pond. Written cheques on paper? wtf?!?  :twisted:

All the tax stuff I'll need to sort out. Florida has specific tax regulations anyway, with so many retired people here. There's no income tax, but instead a heavy property tax, included of course in the rent.

School stuff seems to be taken care off, the neighborhood we'll move to is OK and the associated public school gets thumbs up everywhere. We're well-aware that 100 meters one block distance can/will make a major difference in social standing and family income, which is indeed a shock for European people.

The peculiar specialties of Miami (South-Florida in general) are mostly working out positively for us. Whereas I've read many rants about nobody speaking English and the general Latin "maƱana" attitude, this fits in nicely with what I've been used to since I married my wife from Portugal.   :P   And for her, the culture will be much more like "home" than where we live now. Not to speak about the climate -- did I mention that she was born and lived in Cabinda (Angola) until she was five? Of course my professional environment is 99% English, given the aviation business, but the enormous variety of people is refreshing, literally global. I presume that a European has less trouble adjusting to Miami than a typical American?

Anyway, around October 1st I'll move there, and as soon as our house back in the Netherlands has been sold (don't get me started) my wife and daughter will follow. So six weeks to fix up stuff over here.



If you ever come into So Cal, hit me up for a ride in a C152!

John Golin

Hey Hoppie - it's 'checks' not 'cheques'. :D
John Golin.

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

I didn't mean the plastified one!


John Golin

I know, but the Yanks spell the paper one 'checks'.  Right up there with Mom, aluminum and nucular.

John Golin.

the mad hatter

you forgot this one John G...  Nite


How is money transferred in Europe these days?  Let's say I buy a widget from Hoppie.  Do we use PayPal?  Certainly I don't mail him cash?
Will /Chicago /USA

Hardy Heinlin

Quote from: Will CronenwettHow is money transferred in Europe these days?

Wire transfer directly from bank to bank. Very simple. No third party.


But how do I tell my bank to send money to your bank?  Is it online?  What if I don't have a computer?
Will /Chicago /USA