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Transfer to HK - kids/schools/where to live???

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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemin
    So in essence we would be seeing potentially a 37.5% increase in our disposable income prior to paying any bills etc. I struggle to see how food/utilities can be that much more expensive than the UK, but any advice in that regard would be greatly appreciated...
    Utilities wise : if you are not careful, you will end up spending large amounts on electricity for aircons. $5000-$10000 per month is not uncommon if you run aircons in multiple rooms.

    Food wise : if you are a picky eater (organic, grass fed, line caught and similar) you will be paying dearly for the privilege. If you want to eat the same as "back home" (nice cumberland sausages, brands familiar to you from home etc) you will again pay multiples over and above what you paid at home.
    However, if you decide to adapt and eat like what most locals eat, you can live fairly frugally.

  2. #52
    Mat
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    Quote Originally Posted by HowardCoombs
    Utilities wise : if you are not careful, you will end up spending large amounts on electricity for aircons. $5000-$10000 per month is not uncommon if you run aircons in multiple rooms.
    .
    Never heard of 10K for someone with a 30K housing allowance (i.e. modest size flat).

    We have a full time helper (and baby at home) and the aircon is on most of the day in one room or another or several (900 sqft so somewhat what the OP will land albeit a bit smaller). We pay between 1 and 2K depending on month of the year. I would guess for a 1200 sqf about 3K max with a good usage of aircon. but yeah it can go up quickly altho 10k sounds really really high in my view.
    shri likes this.

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemin
    So, I can provide further provisional details that answer some of the suggestions/questions etc:

    • Salary will be the basically the same as UK (NET), based on a 3yr averageexchange rate (i.e. mostly unaffected by Brexit), plus an annual bonus (essentially productivity/commission based)
    • Housing allowance of HK$30k pm, possibly slightly more to be negotiated (I am of course free to top up from my salary)
    • School/nursery fees paid for for both children (but not debentures)
    • Private healthcare/medical and insurance for whole family (standard in my company anyway)
    • No car allowance provided but possible provision for an extension of housing allowance to pay for parking (as they appreciate the need for a car with young children)
    • Return premium economy flights once per year back to UK for whole family
    • All moving/relocation costs paid for
    • Payment of mortgage / cover of rental shortfall for UK property


    As an illustration, our mortgage/nursery fees currently represent our biggest outgoing in the UK (~37.5% of combined take home pay excluding my bonuses), neither of which we would be paying if we take the move, albeit that we see a 25% drop in combined take home pay if my wife isn't working (at which point those outgoings become 50% of my take home pay alone).

    So in essence we would be seeing potentially a 37.5% increase in our disposable income prior to paying any bills etc. I struggle to see how food/utilities can be that much more expensive than the UK, but any advice in that regard would be greatly appreciated...

    I will have a look at some of the suggested areas for accommodation and it seems we may well be able to arrange a "trial" period of around a month so we can see how we acclimatise.

    Please keep any further advice/suggestions coming!
    This is a decent deal, especially schooling. You'll be better off financially here, which is a good thing. That's one concern removed. I still recommend a flat hunting/fact finding trip but sounds like your company is giving you a proper expat package.

    Another thing to check is your pension arrangements - my company has let me stay in the UK scheme they run, which means they and I can keep contributing even when I am abroad. This is much better than the frankly crap MPF pension scheme in Hong Kong. Worth asking what they options are for you in this respect.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    This is a decent deal, especially schooling. You'll be better off financially here, which is a good thing. That's one concern removed. I still recommend a flat hunting/fact finding trip but sounds like your company is giving you a proper expat package.

    Another thing to check is your pension arrangements - my company has let me stay in the UK scheme they run, which means they and I can keep contributing even when I am abroad. This is much better than the frankly crap MPF pension scheme in Hong Kong. Worth asking what they options are for you in this respect.
    Good point, hadn't considered pension. I currently salary sacrifice in the UK so wouldn't be able to keep that up after the relocation...

  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat
    Never heard of 10K for someone with a 30K housing allowance (i.e. modest size flat).
    He wants to live in a village house. Think many rooms and if one is not careful, too many running aircons. Also, you probably know that HK flats and houses are not well insulated. It can add up very quickly.

  6. #56

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    I spend 2.2k a month at the height of summer without cover on the roof, running air con 24/7. Even the dog has his own air con at night. I really can't see it costing 10k even for a whole block.


  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimwy66
    I really can't see it costing 10k even for a whole block.
    See this thread and 2 people quoting their experiences. Its not all that hard to hit 10K when you have 2 kids, helper, dog etc etc.
    My bill regularly hits 5k during hot months.

    https://geoexpat.com/forum/53/thread163751.html

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemin
    Thanks for the reply. I agree with you somewhat but unfortunately knowing my work I doubt a trial of more than 2 weeks or so is likely and I don't think we will accomplish enough in that time, and my wife is actually of the opinion we should just dive straight in and not bother with a long winded trial! Having said that I can try and broach it with work and see what happens.

    Also to clarify my earlier statement - I meant village life seems more like the life in the uk than high rise city centre (not the same!) - I don't actually love in a village but quite a large town (although clearly nothing like HK).

    You are right though, in that I don't have any real idea of what it is like, hence my almost never ending list of questions. The nearest experience I can draw on is a small stint I did in our Dubai office a few years ago, where my wife and (at the time one) son came too, but I can't really draw many comparisons between the two cities.
    Accommodation in Dubai, from my experience, was quite substantial.A lot more generous than jam packed Hong Kong. Our master bedroom alone was 600ft2! Courtesy of Emirates .

    If I'd had my time over again, I would have stuck with Dubai. not being much of a drinker, I quite enjoyed it, amazing chilled mint teas and Shisha hehe The access to healthy food, was a piece of cake too, thanks to the fresh food souks and a pretty awesome Carrefour a short taxi ride from our apartment.

    I quite enjoyed Dubai, and prefer the High 40s hot weather there compared to Hong Kongs energy sapping humidity at 26 degrees!

    Ever experienced swamp crotch? You'll change your mind about riding a bike to work in Hong Kong, for that reason alone. Lol
    MandM! likes this.

  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimwy66
    I spend 2.2k a month at the height of summer without cover on the roof, running air con 24/7. Even the dog has his own air con at night. I really can't see it costing 10k even for a whole block.
    We spend double that (2.2k, not 10k!) in the summer, and that's for an apartment not a house. Depends on a lot of factors, not least whether you have the air con set to 28 or 24!

  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimwy66
    I spend 2.2k a month at the height of summer without cover on the roof, running air con 24/7. Even the dog has his own air con at night. I really can't see it costing 10k even for a whole block.
    Our electricity bill is about the same as yours, during summer, around $4500 to $5300 a bill.
    Autumn/Winter, from about now on, our electricity bill drops to about $1800 to $2200 a bill.
    Bearing in mind Clp have been adding this new $900 fuel excise,( extra charge) so our bills would have been cheaper during summer, if it weren't for that.

    That's for a 2100ft2 stand alone, Western renovated village house.including oven, dishwasher built in robes in the bedrooms etc

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