Savings Report #45 – Packing Up Shop


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There was a big recovery in March with my portfolio rising by 4.14%. This almost reversed the loss in January of negative 5.13%.

Since I began investing in 2018, I’m pretty sure that each time there was a huge loss, the most it has ever taken to reach that same net worth again has been 2 months. It’s the same now, January saw my net worth drop from £304k to £292k, and by the time March was finished I’d re-hit my previous net worth all time high. I believe this is because of the power of investing during a dip, it makes the recovery time less.

My net worth is now £308k, I’m UK-lean-FI again!

Packing Up Shop

It was only last month that I told you all that we will be relocating to the USA. It seems like it is now just around the corner, our visa appointment is booked for the 20th of April and we are going on a ‘pre-move trip’ for Easter to scout out some potential neighbourhoods.

From some comments in my last post, I realised that I hadn’t shared where we would be going in the US, I don’t know how I missed this crucial bit of info. We will be moving to the east-coast of the USA to Massachusetts.

My company is mainly located in New York and Boston so we are limited to the eastern time zone. My main work mode will still be remote working so we plan on initially moving to the Boston area and renting an apartment, then when we can buy a property (I’ve read we may not be able to for 1-2 years), we’ll move further out west to rural MA and start seeking our rural farm property, this has been our dream for a long time!

There’s also the option of rural Vermont which is only 1h away from most of the western-MA locations we are looking at, maybe the Frugalwoods will be our neighbours? A state-switch will probably have to wait until we have our green cards in 3-4 years.

Selling our Swedish Property

We’ve already sold our Swedish house to one of our neighbours, without even listing it on the market. After only having it for a year we thought that we may have lost money, but we actually made about £20k after the estate agent fees and tax (in Sweden they take 33% of your property profit even if it’s your main residence), so we actually made a pretty good decision to buy instead of rent for the last year. Previously we were paying £1500 per month in rent, so we’ve effectively saved £38k with buying, the risk was worth it!

Buying and selling property in Sweden is worlds apart from the UK, it’s so easy. All we had to do was sign one document that is managed by the real estate agent and it’s done. Next we’ll meet again with the buyer and estate agent on the hand over date, transfer the money, and hand over the keys. Why do the British make this process so difficult?

How Are We Feeling?

We are both really excited to move to Boston. We’re so excited that if the Visa appointment is completed earlier, we may just go early. I feel guilty for not thinking about missing Sweden, but right now the US just seems like such a better fit for us, maybe we’ll miss Sweden once we’ve left?

We’re excited about:

  • Being able to talk to people without saying “Sorry, I can’t speak Swedish” before every encounter.
  • Being able to find information online via Google about anything and everything.
  • Being able to book a doctors appointment and use a banking app on our own (Everything is in Swedish, we literally have to go to our Swedish friends to help us get past the doctors multiple-choice phone line).
  • Having better customer service on the phone and in person (they really treat you badly here, maybe partly because we can’t speak Swedish, but customer service is notoriously bad anyway.)
  • American food. We’re fed up of Swedish pizza and kebab – that’s all they have in our town.
  • American national parks.
  • Exploring America easily (north and south).
  • Being able to buy alcohol during our grocery shop and at the weekend.
  • Better value tech, we’ll be building gaming PCs at 1/4 of the price.
  • Going to Costco again, we love Costco!
  • Getting Amex cards again with free airport lounge access and points!
  • Being able to invest more than double as what we can now.
  • Being entrepreneurial (Sweden makes it impossible to earn any additional income as a ‘side-gig’).
  • Getting a cheap American truck.

Bring on America!!

OddsMonkey

13 thoughts on “Savings Report #45 – Packing Up Shop

  1. Live the dream and good luck in the US!
    We had a fab 6 years in NYC but watch out for the tax implications of your foreign investments with/without green card status, if you decide to have children whilst you’re there think about the consequence of them holding US citizenship and their tax implications from birth!These two subjects are close to my heart.

    1. Thanks Don!

      I had never thought of the tax burden on kids who are born there if we move back 😮 Did you have to renounce their citizenship?

  2. Oh wow that’s a big move! I had thought you’d move back to the UK before relocating to US. Congrats man I am so glad for you! I can feel it must have been hard to fit in Sweden without speaking Swedish. Knowing what moving abroad means, I couldn’t see myself lasting long in Sweden either!

    Man, watch out your diet. Being excited about American food sounds dangerous!! ;-p

    1. We actually thought we were going to have to, I didn’t think my manager would say ‘yes’ to the US as easily as he did! Aha, yeah, hopefully all of the BBQ and burger excitement will wear off sooner rather than later before I gain 20kg 😀

  3. I’ve followed your journey for some time and must say I admire your tenacity, hard work and endeavour. You’ve incredibly driven and motivated. It’s refreshing to see.

    I hope America is everything you want it to be and I am excited for you both and for myself as a viewer brought along on the journey.

    Your wife seems to share the same vision which is amazingly refreshing. I imagine she will have fantastic opportunities as a teacher in the US.

    I look forward to seeing your rural retreat. You’ve come so far from your long journeys into central London!

    Take care.

    Ryan

    1. Ryan, this is a lovely message, thank you. It feels sometimes like I’m blogging in an empty room, it makes me really happy when I see that people have been with me on this journey for a long time.

      Unlike we’ve done with Sweden, we plan on completely immersing ourselves into US culture, we’ll be going to ‘ball games’, celebrating thanksgiving, and saying ‘cilantro’ in no time!

  4. I’m just gobsmacked at the ease with which you sold your property! Incredible! The UK rules are so convoluted and difficult.

    It surprised me about what you said about the Swedish language, when English is widely spoken that their customer services and apps are not also in English but perhaps they do that to preserve their language?

    So many positives to look forward to when you move to the US – it is looking like the American Dream and I hope it stays that way! How easy will it be for the cat to travel over there?

    1. In Sweden, it’s kind of law that everything needs to be alright and checked with your property before you sell, it’s just baked into home selling; you don’t need lawyers to draft up contracts stating the fact. So it’s literally just signing on a piece of paper and paying the deposit with both parties in the room… Why didn’t we think of that? 😀 I guess the industry has built up too much around solicitors.

      Yeah, that’s what we thought about English, it’s so frustrating (I say as a grumpy non-Swedish speaking man living in Sweden). It’s actually easier to take the cat to the USA, there are a lot of flights where he can go in the hold with appropriate travel crate and it’s not too expensive. This is better than our Sweden move as planes were not accepting pets.

    1. Yeah, the Visa appointment was able to be booked sooner than we thought.

      Ahh, it’s a shame you didn’t make it to Sweden, but I’ve heard Boston is nice! 🙂

  5. Ah yes, the swedes are notorious for being digital neanderthals 😛

    My wife works for a big company which was recently acquired by a Swedish corp. It’s amazing the stories she comes home with about the swedes lack of “international understanding”.
    You should have come to Denmark instead! You would have never left! 😛 HAHA (all our Apps speaks English too)

    Anyway, congratulations on finally achieving your dream! It’s truly inspiring to follow along your journey, and I must say you’ve accomplished in a few years what many people dream about their whole lives.

    America is definitely not perfect – far from it – but to us Europeans there’s just something about “the land of the free”. I think most of us understand your desire to go there. Maybe you’ll stay forever, maybe you wont! But at least you get to live out the dream! Not many people get to do that..

    Looking forward to reading more about your experiences in your new home country! I really liked “the swedish series” 😛

    1. I’ve heard that the Danes are a little more wild with alcohol, bacon and sex too, sounds fun!

      It does seem that goals have worked really well for my personality. I’m mid-way through reading Atomic Habits now and he preaches to not set goals but instead to focus on habits and then the goals will be met, but for me the inverse has worked well, the goals enforce the habits! I’m just really goal orientated due to video games; but this same compulsion is probably what leads to some depressive spouts of feeling unfulfilled.

      On first glance it’s hard to see that where I currently am is due to meeting a lot of smaller goals along the way because it’s over such a long time period, but when I dig into it, it’s only goals that got me to my ultimate goal (however artificial it may end up being!)

      The goal ever since I left University was to get to the USA.

      – Get a job in London: The first goal, I needed to move closer to the big city for bigger opportunities and pay. Take any job that will have me.
      – Move from a startup to a big branded company in London for more visibility on my CV: I always read about the ‘big pay in finance’ and the bank that I lusted over (my favourite bank), I ended up landing a job there after 6 months at the London startup.
      – Now I had a big brand on my CV, start training for interviews for ‘international tech companies’ solely with the hope of transferring to the USA with an L1 Visa (I’d already looked into H1B and decided against it due to the lottery).
      – Landed my ‘dream job’ at my current place!
      – Work tirelessly to switch to the Engineering Manager path so I have more possibility to relocate on an L1A (management Visa) with fast-track to green card.
      – Got to EM track within 1 year and 3 months.
      – 2 months after I switched to EM, gave my boss an ultimatum, relocate to the US or we’re going back to the UK where none of my team is located!
      – Got a fully paid relocation package as a ‘business reason’ to relocate us to the US!!

      Breaking it down like this, I’m freaking happy man! I really was aiming for the US even right at the beginning. Part of this fuelled by always loving the US when I was younger, and part fuelled by the FIRE and PF Subreddits where they talk about ‘insane US salaries in tech’, and of course part fuelled by the US fire movement and the possibility of a big plot of land. I don’t think I would have got here if I hadn’t set these goals but instead focused on ‘being a good engineer’.

      Maybe I’d be more at peace without having a life that is geared to chase goals? That’s what I’ve got to work on next; I hope I can settle down in a rural location with a remote job instead of chasing a $1m salary in Silicon Valley.

      I appreciate all of your wisdom and support along the way 🙂 I’m sad I never did get on that train to Copenhagen though!

      I’m sure there will be a lot of comparison posts, England vs Sweden vs USA!

  6. Been a while since I checked in – wow, another big move, SN! I remember coming across your blog a few years ago when FIRE was new and shiny (to me, at least, haha), so it’s good to read that you’re about to achieve your goal of moving to the US. A great example of how drive and working towards a lofty goal over several years can seriously pay off. Congrats!

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