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American family considering Hong Kong

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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire ex-ax:
    Are you referring to the public health system?
    Yes. My understanding is that this can be used by legal residents. We don't plan on residing without legal visas (if it needs to be said). Is this insufficient for medical care? I am aware that public medicine is considered less luxurious, but from what I've read, it works well.

    I haven't looked very far into private health costs. From the bits of pricing I've seen, it looks analogous to American medicine without insurance, so that's probably a horizontal move at worse. I would hope HK's private medical plans are better, but again I haven't checked that out yet.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire ex-ax:
    Are you referring to the public health system?
    I think the quote is equally valid for public and private.

    The top hospitals in town (Matilda, Sanatorium etc) are a fraction of the cost of their equivalents in US or Europe..Not as cheap as BKK but still quite reasonable in comparison.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by wacpol:
    We absolutely would not move without making multiple visits first. That said, yes, we know about the smog. It sucks, but I'm hoping being semi-remote will help somewhat. Since I work from home and don't necessarily have to be outside on bad air quality days, hoping it won't be a massive issue. We've lived in places in the US that had seasonally poor air quality, and it sucked too, but wasn't a deal breaker.

    Crowds, I'm sure I can't fathom until I get there. I do have some experience with crowds, but hate them. Another reason we don't want to live near the big districts.

    We live in Florida now so not that concerned about the climate. Should be roughly analogous from what I've seen.

    The cost of HK itself is a big downside for us. As this thread has already established, space in the US is way cheaper. No matter how much less expensive everything else is (and the prospect of reasonably-priced medical care is another big plus), it's going to be hard to make up a 250% jump in housing costs.
    Every day is a bad air quality day in HK, just some days are very bad. Having said that it never really bothered me but then I smoke so I carry my air pollution with me.

    If you hate crowds then I wonder if HK is the place for you? Sure you can live out in the sticks but you can't entirely avoid them.

    Having played devil's advocate it will surely be an experience for your kids IF you can get the schooling sorted out.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by wacpol:
    Yes. My understanding is that this can be used by legal residents. We don't plan on residing without legal visas (if it needs to be said). Is this insufficient for medical care? I am aware that public medicine is considered less luxurious, but from what I've read, it works well.

    I haven't looked very far into private health costs. From the bits of pricing I've seen, it looks analogous to American medicine without insurance, so that's probably a horizontal move at worse. I would hope HK's private medical plans are better, but again I haven't checked that out yet.
    We only used the public system and it was fine for us. Much like the NHS in the UK ( good and bad)

  5. #25

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    Nov 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    But statements like this
    set some fairly loud alarm bells off.
    Definitely understand that. Only meant to convey that HK is an anomalously favorable location on the world stage, from my POV anyway. I don't intend to make any general characterization of daily life there without at least taking a couple of long visits first.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    Every day is a bad air quality day in HK, just some days are very bad. Having said that it never really bothered me but then I smoke so I carry my air pollution with me.

    If you hate crowds then I wonder if HK is the place for you? Sure you can live out in the sticks but you can't entirely avoid them.

    Having played devil's advocate it will surely be an experience for your kids IF you can get the schooling sorted out.
    Come on, its not every single day. Summers often have clear blue skies.

  7. #27

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    Also, do speak to a tax consultant first and figure out your tax liabilities on your worldwide income, given the number of dependants you have.

    Claire ex-ax and hullexile like this.

  8. #28

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    Schooling will dictate where you end up living.
    So sort that out first then look at the logistics for travel for the kids.

    $20k will not get you anywhere of a decent size for your large family unless you live in the islands or the New Territories and then it won't be a nice commute to school for the kids.

    Example, 400 sq feet in Kowloon side will cost $15k a month.

    $20k will get you two floors of a village house which will be 1400 sq feet.

    If you end up in the villages or islands something else you'll need to be aware of is Internet speeds, won't necessarily be fast out there so working from home could be a struggle

    Claire ex-ax likes this.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cho-man:
    Come on, its not every single day. Summers often have clear blue skies.
    The skies may be blue but what are the air quality readings?
    Cho-man likes this.

  10. #30

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    What type of life do you want or expect from living in HK. If you think you are moving here as the big expat in town, you're in for a surprise. Personally I think it is going to be very challenging for you. Having 5 children, a housing budget around HK$20k per month, and coming from 3,000 square feet. Considering your size I imagine that you want a king size bed, which there are limited spaces that can actually accommodate a king size bed. It's easy for some other guy who has lived here 10 years or his whole life to say you can find housing for your budget, but in reality, you coming here as the nice American probably won't know how to stand up to get what you are entitled to, people will walk over you and take every penny before you can breathe. Many people are nice when they arrive and become mean and jaded later. Hopefully people can find a happy medium.

    Firstly, consider what does the wife want, that is very important. Is she working, will she be satisfied staying at home in a small home, cleaning a home that has reoccurring dust, etc.

    Second, consider your children, if they are in local schools, perhaps they have an opportunity to learn the local language. But if in a private school, probably not. Yeah a few words here and there but definitely not fluent. Local schools are hell, kids in first grade can spend 1-2 hours a night on homework and revision (and guess who has to do it most likely, you or mom).

    Third, consider yourself and your lifestyle. What are your expectations. Public transport is tight on the knees if you take the bus and MTR is standing up the entire way, so distance is important.

    Housing....20k is tough, extremely tough. I imagine you want a legit home, clean, that is actually finished? Then you will have a hard time. A lot of the cheaper stuff is with crappy kitchens without appliances and half done cabinets or a piece of sheet metal.

    For what you are looking for (1300-1500 sq ft, ideal location near MTR), a budget closer to HK$60k per month on housing is more appropriate. Prices really shoot up over 800-900 square feet.

    Good luck on your move!

    shri, Mrs. Jones and jrkob like this.

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