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A little scared

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  1. #11

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    we manage on a lot less than that most months and we have 2 kids and 2 large dogs.

    the reason you see discrepancies depending on the forum is that you sometimes get different demographics on different forums.

    as for renting vs owning.... i would hazard a guess and say most expats here rent. not all, by any means, but most.

    chris_yang22 likes this.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raccon:
    Just for some perspective my rent has increased about 38% in 4 years.
    Agree that rent can be increased a lot sometimes just out of greed. Friend if mine had a 40% increase on renewal. Instead of paying they moved out.

    Sent from my GT-I8190 using GeoClicks Mobile

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_NT:
    Agree that rent can be increased a lot sometimes just out of greed. Friend if mine had a 40% increase on renewal. Instead of paying they moved out.
    My rent was increased 19% after 2 years and then 16% after the next 2; since it was "market rate" each time finding the same kind of place near my place of work for less would have been difficult to impossible, not to mention the cost of moving and all the hassle that comes with it. I did look around to have a reference for negotiating but didn't consider moving since I like where I stay and my LL is friendly & responsive, though I must admit I have the benefit of my company paying an increased housing allowance which covers the current rent. If I were on my own budget I would probably have moved, too.

  4. #14

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    ours just went up 15%... they were asking 30%...


  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJdxn:
    Thanks. I have been reading a couple of forums. There seems to be quite a contradiction in the different forums as to what costs are. I have been seeing rents that are 2 to 3 times what you folks are stating here. I have that same salary here in the US and after mortgage, bills, and taxes there isn't much left over. I didn't want to make this move just to end up in the same boat only renting instead of owning the place I live in.

    Thanks again.

    I appreciate all the constructive information.
    There is another forum in Hong Kong whose participants are mainly extremely rich bankers and their wifes and they live in a different "hong kong" to most people. There is definitely a clique of people here who would sneer at 95k. But surely you have "those people" back in the USA as well? The type who go to tennis clubs and bitch about whose got the best raquets and whose having affairs with whose wives and such? Surely, in the US, you also laugh at how stupid and materialistic they are?
    (I'm assuming so if you have a Philipine wife you are more sensible that that crowd, who would never be seen dead with anyone other than a Philippine helper).

    If that helps you to understand why some people are telling you 95k is not enough.

    You get a more balance view on this forum, which has business people, locals, teachers (and some bankers) on it, rather than just to snooty people.

    I now earn less than 95k, previously was on more than it, but too a big cut to start my own business. I had far too much before and still have plenty for a good life, fly business class to the UK at least once a year for holidays, have plenty of savings etc etc. Stop worrying.
    Last edited by MovingIn07; 05-08-2013 at 10:02 AM.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJdxn:
    I didn't want to make this move just to end up in the same boat only renting instead of owning the place I live in.
    No reason why you can't own here, or alternatively keep the place you already own and rent it out to cover the rent you pay here.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJdxn:
    I have that same salary here in the US and after mortgage, bills, and taxes there isn't much left over.
    By any objective measure it's a great deal of money however if you manage to dispose of the same amount of money in the US without any left over to save then chances are you will also be able to dispose of it in Hong Kong, there are certainly many opportunities to spend money in Hong Kong if you choose to, much as there are in the US.

    So at the end of the day it's about your lifestyle. You say you don't live a lavish lifestyle and yet manage to get through the equivalent of 96k HK a month in the US so your current spending is pretty lavish by most peoples' standards. If you have a similarly lavish lifestyle in Hong Kong then you'll similarly not have much left over to save. If you have a less lavish lifestyle then you can save, but then the same applies in the US, nothing much to do with whether you live in HK or US.
    Last edited by dipper; 05-08-2013 at 10:31 AM.

  8. #18

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    Can you live on your salary? Of course, plenty of folks make do on far less.
    Can you live the lifestyle you are currently experiencing on that salary? Well, that depends a bit.

    As others mentioned, rent is (well, can be) the largest portion of your salary, and that gets down not only to how far you want to live from Central, but also what type of building you want to live in. If you want a banker's expat building with a pool, gymnasium, sauna, parking space, doormen, etc, well you are going to pay quite a bit more for that than you would a 1960s/1970s era building, with older bathrooms and kitchens and maybe one slow elevator to service the entire building.

    Your own personal tastes can also affect your income. If you want to eat imported western food and go out to lunch/dinner with your colleagues, then you can start to see more and more of your salary going to basic day-to-day expenses than you are currently experiencing where you live. Some expats fall into a "keeping up with the Jones" situation trying to party with the finance crowd, getting a bit poorer and occasionally a bit bitter about those spending money rather crazily. Really a bit of "how long is a piece of string".

    My personal view is that $96k for two people who aren't looking for the gold-plated Hong Kong should be more than sufficient. You could find a newer building in a slightly away from Central, or an older building in the heart of the island and still have some money for fun and whatnot. On the other hand, a family of four on $96k, with two kids in international schools and camps and tutors with international vacations and eating Western imported food and living in a newer building on the island--well that would be a bit more difficult.

    Some of the discrepancy comes a bit from who you are talking to. For example, a banker family living an upper-middle class lifestyle in the USA who comes to Hong Kong who wants to maintain their standard of living is simply going to spend more to keep up that level than they do in the USA. International schools, imported food, modern building--that's going to cost. It really depends on where you are coming from and what you are expecting. While $96k is nothing to sneeze at, I do know some expat families for whom that would not be enough given their expectations of housing, living expenses and schools.

    My advice would be to start at a website like gohome.com.hk or squarefoot.com.hk. Take a look at some units available and start with a general guide of about 1/3 of your salary going to rent. See what you can get for $32k in different parts of the city (pick a place nearest to your job for the least commute, just to get started). You'll see plenty of pictures and get some names of buildings and have a much better idea of what to expect for that kind of money. You'll then have an idea of if you want more / less than what you are seeing. Feel free to come back and ask about the neighborhoods you find and even the buildings and some folks can give you some 'been there/done that' advice that might help.

    After you have a general idea about rent and taxes, think about your own lifestyle and how much you want to spend each month and how much you want to save. For a general idea take a look at wellcome.com.hk (note the spelling) and see what some groceries cost vs. your current expenses. You'll find higher and lower prices than Wellcome once you live here, but it's a good place to get started.

    Good luck.


  9. #19

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    great post penguinsix. wish i could like it more than once!


  10. #20

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    Here is hk IRD tax calculator for your reference as well.

    http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/ese/pa_com..._14/pacfrm.htm


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