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85k a mth for family of 4

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    85k a mth for family of 4

    Hi, I am considering moving to HK from SG but my concerns are rent, schooling and pollution. I have 2 young kids (4.5 and 1.5) and my wife will be giving up her job so that we can move to HK. If offered 85k hkd all-in, is it going to be tough to get by esp without a second income? Is preschool ex and hard to get in too? Is the air going to be a issue, looking at living around the Tai Koo Shing area! Thanks in advance for all your advice.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Air is an issue everywhere in Hong Kong and worse if you live near a main road.
    Schooling is a huge issue and without a company debenture your options will be limited if your child does not speak Chinese. If they do, local schooling is an option which is much cheaper and more widely available. (even if they don't some expats send their children to local schools and they cope but it would depend on the child).
    85 is probably doable but it would be tight if you need to pay for private schooling for your children.

    Cho-man and Just8in like this.

  3. #3

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    Jan 2014
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    There are a ton of threads on how much salary you'll need, more than a few of which deteriorate into somewhat uncivil debates about living standards. But the short answer is, depends on what you mean by "tough" - after you've bought rice, will you still have enough money to buy the gas with which to cook it? yes. After you've paid your rent for a luxury flat, will you still have enough money for a Ferrari and a Mercedes? No. So it really depends on what your standards are. Things will be more difficult, and more expensive, if you want your kids' education (and your life in general) to be in a language other than Cantonese, or possibly Mandarin.
    For the air - yes, definite issue. It's been good here since Lunar New Year but it won't stay good. There are ways to make things better (plants and air filters in the apartment, etc.) but it's my biggest concern as a parent living here. The neighborhood doesn't matter too much for the air (a little but not much), though how much time you and your kids spend near busy roads with a lot of car exhaust can make a huge difference, as it would anywhere.

    Last edited by Bob Loblaw; 23-06-2015 at 10:47 AM.

  4. #4

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    tai koo rent - probably in the 20-30K range for a 2-3 bedroom apartment.
    school for your 4.5 yr old - 5-6K or maybe more
    Play group for your 1.5 yr old - 2-4K

    Tai Koo is not a bad area and your 85K is definitely doable. After you have setttled down and your mrs wants to work then you hire a HELPER (foreign domestic helper), it will help your mrs and yourself be able to work to get more $$$$$$$$$ and the helper cost is only 4110 per month.

    rani and Just8in like this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    14

    Thank you for the quick replies!

    On living costs, after paying for rent and school, I am hoping the 85 hkd will pay for the groceries, tax, helper, transport, utilities, broadband, occasional weekend trip out with the kids (nothing extravagant, no car I know). Is it possible to even have some savings left?

    For school, is it just as bad for preschool places ie wait lists of more than a year for non locals?

    Yes, to be honest, air could be the deal breaker for me too. I can't imagine putting my boys through second hand smoke conditions the whole year around. At the end of the day, I don't think any promotion or experience may be worth that esp in this case, I am probably going to be 60k worse off a year from a nett family income to take this!


  6. #6

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    Jan 2012
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    So why are you considering it? Promotion?


  7. #7

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    Sep 2014
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    Pollution in HK is not always as bad as they say. It depends on the season. Right now we just had a stretch of clear blue skies. So summers generally have cleaner air, as the wind tend to blow from the sea. In winter, the wind blows from the north (the mainland), bringing the pollutants with it, so the pollution is the worse in winter.

    Last edited by Cho-man; 23-06-2015 at 11:34 AM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just8in:
    Yes, to be honest, air could be the deal breaker for me too. I can't imagine putting my boys through second hand smoke conditions the whole year around. At the end of the day, I don't think any promotion or experience may be worth that esp in this case, I am probably going to be 60k worse off a year from a nett family income to take this!
    If you havent been to HK before then you should come over for a weekend trip with the whole family, have a look around and decide if HK is really going to be your next home for a few years.

    Savings?? I reckon YES definitely you will be able to save at least 20K upwards per month even with all the other stuff deducted.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Nothing precludes your wife from finding employment in HK. $85k is more than enough. Lots of good international schools that are not the super duper top end (price wise) but good quality education in that area as well - Deliah Canada, Kiangsu-Chekiang, not to mention the ESF options if you don't want to go through local schools. I'm sure the Canadian International will have many spots available next year if you want to chance that. There are also many good local schools there as well. If you live up on the hill (ie Kornhill side) it is cheaper than Tai Koo Shing proper.

    Air quality - I don't think that is too big an issue, since you don't have that year round hot/wetness that is Singapore weather.

    wtbhotia and Just8in like this.

  10. #10

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    OP, there is also the question of where in HK you want to live, as rent will depend on some extent on where in HK you want to live. Mid-levels which is close to Central, is where many expats live. But don't expect affordable rent in that district. Likewise, another favorite expat haunt, Discovery Bay, has a nice environment with scheduled ferry service to Central. But again, rents aren't cheap there either.

    New Territories can have cheaper rents, but a longer commute to Central. Its not too bad if you can find a place to live close to the MTR line though.

    Also the nicer schools are often located in more expensive districts, so that may force you to pay higher rents.

    Last edited by Cho-man; 23-06-2015 at 12:05 PM.
    Just8in likes this.

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