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Living on 25,000 HKD/m as a 29 year old American guy with law degree

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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    117

    There was earlier mention that with a visa you don't need to pay MPF, but i have a work visa and have been paying into MPF.


  2. #22

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Sarcasm - because beating the crap out of people is illegal
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    14,622
    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzysocks:
    There was earlier mention that with a visa you don't need to pay MPF, but i have a work visa and have been paying into MPF.
    The wording in the ordinance regarding exemptions:

    "People from overseas who enter Hong Kong for employment for less than 13 months,"

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    6,317

    If you have 2 years or permenant contract then you need to pay MPF. You can also optionally pay MPF. Its 1250 max per month and your employer puts in 1250 so not bad. Those one 1 year contracts can be exempt from MPF. Not sure if this only applies to the first work visa or what.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile


  4. #24

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,677

    You can get exempted from MPF if you can prove you already contribute to some pension scheme overseas (e.g. private insurance). Does not apply to locals afaik, only employees from overseas.


  5. #25

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    117

    Thank you for the clarifications. I guess since I've currently stopped paying into overseas pension scheme it makes sense that I pay here. And I will likely be here beyond the 13 months.


  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by booth:
    Good luck. Sheung Wan is not bad to work. Urban Cube is in Causeway Bay so a good place to start. You can always try it, but just tell them that housing is expensive. I have had employers say oh you can rent a flat for 4k. The standard of their "4k" flat is far away from western standard. A lot of flats are mold infested, peeling paint, etc. A renovated flat will cost more.

    Try to get at least 3-5k housing allowance, more if possible. You can try it. Summer is crazy hot here, do you like to sweat in a suit? Winters are chilly with no heat. But when I came, I booked my return flight 6 months out to try it and I ended up staying. You can always try it and leave if you dont like it.

    Get a mainland China visa BEFORE coming to HK. US is easy to get 1 year multi entry to China.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile
    i will check out urban cube to start off. thanks for your help!

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,677
    Quote Originally Posted by Suikoden2005:
    i will check out urban cube to start off. thanks for your help!
    Start right here: http://hongkong.geoexpat.com/forum/61/thread51763.html

  8. #28

    You can consider serviced apartments.


  9. #29

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    18

    Hey there-

    Just stumbled upon your post by accident and glanced through the replies so far - so apologies to anyone if i've overlooked some nuance. A few thoughts that i had:

    1. agree with most people that HKD25k/m is very little; but many locally sourced jobs are at about that rate. you generally will need to live conservatively and budget accordingly, but a lot of the population here lives on less (and does not live the typical wild west lifestyle)

    2. look into housing in sheung wan, wanchai, causeway bay and kowloon - everywhere. public transport works great here and is cheap, so may be a good solution. if you are committed to going out etc., you'll make it happen. everything is so close here compared to LA or the US generally. there's no craigslist in hong kong - a lot of people rely on local rental agents to find their first place - usually just by walking around the neighborhood they want to live in. looking on these forums helps too.

    3. u say u r american? regarding the tax back and forth people had - as an american citizen you will be taxed on worldwide income so you need to pay US taxes AND HK taxes. You will get a credit for local taxes paid but you still need to pay them - you should discuss with your employer about appropriate withholdings - if they do that. there are tax benefits to living abroad though - as you may know - your foreign income exclusion will probably obviate any need to pay US taxes but you should consult with a tax advisor or friend if you have one to drill this down. it can help you save.

    4. do you speak chinese? i think this is a consideration for potential job prospects in the future. i'm a laywer in HK now and have a lot of friends who have been looking too - it's a tough market but chinese ability really gives you an advantage over other people. if not, you can also look at singapore. You may also consider discussing with a headhunter locally to try and get you some leads.

    5. for food and drink generally - for a single person, i think eating out at the right places is probably cheaper than buying food, cooking etc. and less time consuming. there are so many very nice cheap local food places - if you like chinese - that will not hurt your budget at all. even some western places cater to this. i've been on a HKD40 budget for lunch and it's easy to live on it. you can get a bowl of outstanding wonton noodles for HKD30. it all just depends where you go and what you want. for going out, if you really like to drink, drink more from teh convenience stores first then join later to save some money, or find happy hour deals. some nice clubs have great happy hour deals with buy one get one free and free food - HKD100 for 2 drinks and dim sum buffet is not bad.

    all in all, it will be tough but doable. plenty of rich people in HK, make some good friends and you'll be fine ^^


  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by ssha16:
    Hey there-

    Just stumbled upon your post by accident and glanced through the replies so far - so apologies to anyone if i've overlooked some nuance. A few thoughts that i had:

    1. agree with most people that HKD25k/m is very little; but many locally sourced jobs are at about that rate. you generally will need to live conservatively and budget accordingly, but a lot of the population here lives on less (and does not live the typical wild west lifestyle)

    2. look into housing in sheung wan, wanchai, causeway bay and kowloon - everywhere. public transport works great here and is cheap, so may be a good solution. if you are committed to going out etc., you'll make it happen. everything is so close here compared to LA or the US generally. there's no craigslist in hong kong - a lot of people rely on local rental agents to find their first place - usually just by walking around the neighborhood they want to live in. looking on these forums helps too.

    3. u say u r american? regarding the tax back and forth people had - as an american citizen you will be taxed on worldwide income so you need to pay US taxes AND HK taxes. You will get a credit for local taxes paid but you still need to pay them - you should discuss with your employer about appropriate withholdings - if they do that. there are tax benefits to living abroad though - as you may know - your foreign income exclusion will probably obviate any need to pay US taxes but you should consult with a tax advisor or friend if you have one to drill this down. it can help you save.

    4. do you speak chinese? i think this is a consideration for potential job prospects in the future. i'm a laywer in HK now and have a lot of friends who have been looking too - it's a tough market but chinese ability really gives you an advantage over other people. if not, you can also look at singapore. You may also consider discussing with a headhunter locally to try and get you some leads.

    5. for food and drink generally - for a single person, i think eating out at the right places is probably cheaper than buying food, cooking etc. and less time consuming. there are so many very nice cheap local food places - if you like chinese - that will not hurt your budget at all. even some western places cater to this. i've been on a HKD40 budget for lunch and it's easy to live on it. you can get a bowl of outstanding wonton noodles for HKD30. it all just depends where you go and what you want. for going out, if you really like to drink, drink more from teh convenience stores first then join later to save some money, or find happy hour deals. some nice clubs have great happy hour deals with buy one get one free and free food - HKD100 for 2 drinks and dim sum buffet is not bad.

    all in all, it will be tough but doable. plenty of rich people in HK, make some good friends and you'll be fine ^^
    Thanks alot for the advice. I don't speak Chinese, do speak Japanese decently but am open to working on Chinese (maybe if the company pays for it)

    From reading these forums, it seems the best route to find housing is to get to HK and get a local agent to show you places. I am open to living far away and don't mind a small space.

    My only MUST is cleanliness. I lived in Chicago for 2 years and had a problem with centipedes during the summer. I killed them all the time and eventually had to place microscreen over all vents to stop them from coming in. I do not want to deal with this kind of thing again, especially with something worse like roaches or ants.

    Small, far away and clean is something I can compromise on if it lowers the rent. I hope to find something around 14,000 HKD or less.

    Is this possible?

    Serviced apartments look incredibly expensive so far, averaging around 18,000 HKD/month for a studio. Urban cube, which is cheaper, said they are full and had to put my name on a waiting list. I am still planning to try a serviced apartment for a month as a luanching pad to finding more permanent housing via an agent.

    I am especially considering a serviced apartment for the first 3 months since my company says there will be a 3 month probationary period with 2 reviews.