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  • Anyone children of immigrants, or immigrant themselves?

    I'll start. Immigrated from St. Petersburg, Russia in 1995, age 11. Make now in two months what father makes in entire year, at times feel guilt about this.

  • #2




    I’ll start. Immigrated from St. Petersburg, Russia in 1995, age 11. Make now in two months what father makes in entire year, at times feel guilt about this.
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    Yes, my folks immigrated to this country nearly 36 years ago to the day

    Both engineers, both are super savers. They put 2 kids through very expensive private graduate schools. It got to the point where coworkers asked if they were dealing drugs on the side and our physicians (family doc / dentist) inquired about what they did for a living to afford that kind of tuition. Twice.

    I am incredibly thankful to them.

    Last year (thanks to a bonus), I made 500% more than my parents' highest earning year. I feel guilty at times as they refuse to accept any money or gifts from me. Hopefully the success that my sibling and I enjoy will make them proud.

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    • #3
      No, there couldn't possibly be any immigrants on a doctors' forum...

      My dad has been here 36 years and still isn't a citizen. He actually went back to his home country a few years ago to help take care of his mom, who's 100 later this year, for a couple years. Although I guess I don't feel like an "immigrant's son" because I'm white and my dad's from England...so I didn't apply for one of those "first-generation American" scholarships in high school.

      Funny story, though, in one of those multi-applications my brother's very common English-language name was misspelled to look Viet or Hmong, so he received all this mail for Vietnamese and Laotian scholarships. He thought that might have been a bit disingenuous to apply, but it makes for a funny story each time he goes for pho.

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      • #4
        Parents came over from Taiwan/HongKong to Canada then US nearly 50 years ago.

        Their first car was VW Bug and had a rust hole on the bottom -- could have been a Flintstone car as they keep retelling us over the years.  They helped sponsor both sides of the family and assisted in getting them started (15 Aunts/Uncles and 50+ first cousins later!)  Add countless of other F+F of the Church over the years too.  We grew up hosting families constantly as they entered our Country with essentially nothing but hope, a dream, and a lot of gumption.

        Somehow our society of immigrants has forgotten that.

         

         

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        • #5
          Yes!  Well, great-great grandchild of someone who was 1st generation French. 

           

           

           

           

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          • #6
            Thank you for starting this thread. It is a great pleasure to read and I hope many others will post their stories, always interesting. Many of our clients are 1st and 2nd generation Americans and it is a blessing to work with those from different cultures and learn their history.
            Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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            • #7
              Immigrant.  Grew up eating vegetables grown from our tiny "backyard garden" (before this was considered cool) and with lots of potato dishes (cos baking potatoes are dirt cheap).  I still remember my sibling and I spending summers at the factory where my mom worked, doing little chores here and there, to earn pennies.  This was also because my family couldn't afford summer babysitters, camps or tutoring classes.

              After my partner and I brought our house and put in our 20% down payment, I told my mother that I was a bit concerned because we were left with only $1xxK left in our entire combined savings (not counting retirement) for emergencies, moving cost, life, etc. This was with both of us having jobs. My mom gave me the biggest snort laugh and said "child, when your father and I brought the house you grew up in (smallest fixer upper in barely reasonable neighborhood in HCOL area), your father and I barely had 10K left in total to our names".  This was with both my parents working labor heavy, no job security blue collar positions, raising 2 kids (age 7 & 10) and having no retirement savings.

              I shut up pretty quickly after that.  Perspectives!!

              On a happier note, my parents are now in their early/ late 60s, financially independent of their two children, and my mom still chooses to work.  They have no mortgage or any other debt and has rental income of their own.  All I can say is that their financial independence from their children is one of the greatest gifts they have given to us.

              I long to one day show my first generation children what the tenements look like.  But you know, by then, tiny living will be all the rage. lol

               

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              • #8
                Moved here when I was barely 2. Parents were both ivy league educated in their home country and it's somewhat sad that she couldn't use her skills here and became a us postal worker. But she's retired with a pension, cheap health insurance and a sizeable 401k, so it's all good. But it'd be like me, an MD, moving to a foreign country and having to work at starbucks.

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                • #9
                  2nd-gen immigrant (parents came in the 70's) who has received substantial financial help from my parents.  I'm grateful to them and plan to pass it on to the extent I can, not just the financial support but the other lessons I've received.
                  An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                  www.RogueDadMD.com

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                  • #10
                    I am an immigrant.  There was a post by WCI, fresh off the boat.  I can relate to that.  It was a struggle to get in but once I entered residency, I can only count my blessings.  I came with my lifesavings (my inheritance from whole life insurance) $2000.  goal was not to spend all of that until I start getting paid.  I have bed to buy and rent to pay. My allowance during med school was $10-12 per week.  It makes me smile thinking about this.

                    Both parents are physicians back home.  No retirement fund but invested in real estate.  My father persevered to send 3 children to med school and 1 went to college and second career, which he supported as well.

                    major advantage: we graduated debt free.  We really know how to be poor- meaning no car, eat what you can afford. pay credit card full amount all the time.

                    I hope to be able to pass on to my children the value of education without debt and value of grit.

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

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                    • #11




                      Moved here when I was barely 2. Parents were both ivy league educated in their home country and it’s somewhat sad that she couldn’t use her skills here and became a us postal worker. But she’s retired with a pension, cheap health insurance and a sizeable 401k, so it’s all good. But it’d be like me, an MD, moving to a foreign country and having to work at starbucks.
                      Click to expand...


                      A friend's mom immigrated from Taiwan and was a cardiologist there.  She didn't want to do residency again and instead started a supplements franchise.  Probably is doing about as well as she would have done doing cards here.

                      I kinda get the purpose of having stringent qualification standards for foreign-educated professionals, and I've never worked at a place where prior subspecialists were internal medicine interns, but it definitely seems absurd to me.  When one of my buddies was at the university hospital across town as a 26 year-old PGY2, his intern was a board-certified intensivist in Argentina with more experience than some of the ICU attendings.  People must really, really want to be in America as opposed to from whence they came.  Another one of my buddies has a German wife who was an ophthalmologist there and said "************************ no" to re-doing residency here.  He's stationed in Germany now, so they can both work while Oma and Opa watch die kinder...winning!  Wonder if they'll even come back.

                      I guess that's one of those things I can't understand, being from here...I guess it's like teenage angst, but for nationality.

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                      • #12
                        Moved to the US when I was 12 years old, lived as a refugee in 2 different countries and was born in a war torn central Asian country. Dad was an MD and mom was a professor before the war. Once we moved to the US my dad became a dominos pizza driver and my mom cleaned hotels, my 2 older siblings (17 and 15 y/o) started working at restaurants to pitch in financially. After a lot of hard work and frugal living, my dad took a 6month software course and became a software programmer. The option of going back to residency to practice medicine was out of the question considering he had 2 school aged kids and 1 about to graduate high school.

                        My parents put our education and futures ahead of everything else. To this day I can see how much my dad misses medicine and my mom misses teaching. If someone ripped me from my country, threw me across the ocean to a country I didn't know anything about, and stripped me of my professional license, I only hope I'd be able to stay afloat let alone exceed and raise 3 successful, independent children(I realize that's a run-on sentence but I like it lol).

                        Both my parents still work because they don't want to burden us, but we three are financially preparing ourselves to help them once they want/need it. They now live for their grandkids, my siblings and I don't matter anymore ?.

                        Thanks to America's immigrant beginnings, we now call ourselves Americans and feel equal here to every other US citizen!

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                        • #13
                          Not an immigrant. Not even close. 5 or 6 generations at least. Maybe more. In fact, many of my ancestors immigrated, then left the United States, then were forcefully repatriated when the US annexed their land after war with Mexico. So I guess in that respect, my very white family is mostly composed of Mexican immigrants. But it's been 150 years.
                          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                          • #14
                            Child of an immigrant couple who arrived in 1970.  Showed up at JFK with little if any money with them.  Their ride to pick them up never showed up.  Fortunately a nice couple my mother had befriended on the flight gave them a ride.

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                            • #15




                              Moved to the US when I was 12 years old, lived as a refugee in 2 different countries and was born in a war torn central Asian country. Dad was an MD and mom was a professor before the war. Once we moved to the US my dad became a dominos pizza driver and my mom cleaned hotels, my 2 older siblings (17 and 15 y/o) started working at restaurants to pitch in financially. After a lot of hard work and frugal living, my dad took a 6month software course and became a software programmer. The option of going back to residency to practice medicine was out of the question considering he had 2 school aged kids and 1 about to graduate high school.

                              My parents put our education and futures ahead of everything else. To this day I can see how much my dad misses medicine and my mom misses teaching. If someone ripped me from my country, threw me across the ocean to a country I didn’t know anything about, and stripped me of my professional license, I only hope I’d be able to stay afloat let alone exceed and raise 3 successful, independent children(I realize that’s a run-on sentence but I like it lol).

                              Both my parents still work because they don’t want to burden us, but we three are financially preparing ourselves to help them once they want/need it. They now live for their grandkids, my siblings and I don’t matter anymore ?.

                              Thanks to America’s immigrant beginnings, we now call ourselves Americans and feel equal here to every other US citizen!
                              Click to expand...


                              .
                              Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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