My current employer is offering me an expat assignment in HK for 2-3 years. I'll be offered "standard" relocation package (if such thing exists..:-)..), but I want to do some investigation on my own about "hidden costs" of living in Hong Kong. My background - US citizen with wife and 2 kids (12 months old). I will be given visa to work there. Company has AP Office there as well. Not sure where the paycheck will be coming from - US or HK (does it matter???).
I wanted to know what I should be asking for in my package. What costs should be negotiated to be paid by the company? Some questions I have are:
1. What is the estimated transportation cost in HK per month assuming you don't take a cab every day but use subway for the most part? DO I NEED A CAR?
2. Medical costs for my family - free or I have to pay? Any idea how much? How is the service compared with USA? Hospital care?
3. Appartment should be supplied. Any recommendation for good locations? Any hidden charges there? Any taxes? Any prices ranges? Should I negotiate for the company to cover all expenses so I don't see a bill or is it benefitial to get a reimburcement checks (Any US Tax advantages there?).
4. Implications to US Income taxes/SS Taxes/other taxes? How does it work with US taxes? I think US IRS Publication 54 tells more about it. Anything outside of that publication?
5. Monthly food costs. Any ideas? Estimates for a family of 4? I've read horror stories about people who left to work in UK or Japan and where at home they used to spend $150-200 per week on food (including going out) now cost them about $500-1000 for the same type of food/type of restaurantes. Does it apply to Hong Kong?
6. Day care for kids? Any estiamted costs from anyone? Do they have public daycare? Is it a good idea to use one if it exists?
Regards and thanks for your comments in advance.
I need all the help I can get since I have not made my decision about moving yet.