Indeed. Think about your own country - how many semi or unskilled jobs could you find if you only had (non-standard) English, without speaking the common people's language in that region?
I forget if it was you or another poster, but if you are the one who is on a dependent visa, then my suggestion would be either to knuckle down and do intensive Chinese language study, or do voluntary work and get to know other non-Chinese speakers while learning more about local society and how you can fit in most constructively.
we moved from UK in August with three kids (5yr,3yr and 7 week old baby). Husband works for HSBC....after extensive research and stressful period pre-move of sorting out schools....we are now settled in Gold Coast. Eldest daughter attending Harrow. We love living here. There is a shuttle bus to Olympic from here- takes him 30mins to get to work. There is a good local kindergarten in Tuen mun that the 3yr old attends. 6k for mornings- all expats- great mixed bag of people.
we were advised not to move so far out by everyone but we liked the area and still decided to move (we came out for a visit in Jan 16- due to school admissions). I am so glad firstly we moved from UK and secondly to the GC. You get some allowances for dependents.
However HK is expensive but you can work round it.
the GC residencies are refurbishing an entire tower block- not sure how much but something to consider.
Good luck with the move! Can guide you on Kindergarten and schools if you need.
Last edited by DrA; 14-02-2017 at 03:14 PM.
Hi Dr A, OP here and thanks for your post. We are making the move in June this year and have a pre move visit in March. What were the main differences you would say with the UK having lived there now for 6 months? Any particular examples you can give on the expense of HK? We are in a similar boat with 2 kids so keen to have a better understanding of your experiences and challenges!
no problem...happy to share.
off the top of my head.
general weekly shop is expensive compared to UK e.g. petit filous yoghurt for kids is approx £4/pack, milk about £2/carton , fish fingers £3/10 pack. It takes time to get your head around the fact that if your going to purchase imported products it will be expensive. Wet market for fresh produce is cheaper but often tasteless. I'm sure there will be many that will disagree but our weekly shop is about £150-200. Meat we order bulk from someone as we can't eat OTC stuff.
Petrol expensive £1.40/litre (we bought a car as with 3 small kids much needed). Eating out...we prob eat at home more now than when living in London but that's prob much healthier for us! Costs about the same to eat out.
Electricity is more expensive. Gas and water bill cheap.
Having said that taxes are less, childcare/helper is much less (I paid £1650/month for a nanny for 36hrs/week-4 days...here we pay £550/month for live in help). The kids love the weather. I don't work here but as taxes less..and so we are able to save.
if your planning to stay a while do consider schools as it can be a huge expense. HSBC will pay band 3 and above. So if you save now you may not later. Some friends haven't been able to save anything since moving. I guess it varies from family to family basis.
i hope that helps...
feel free to ask more if needed.
Jesus! You guys were pretty hard on Javi!
Pretty obvious that English isn't his first language so not sure how you can read his 'attitude' from one post.
I'm going to guess that he's been told in the past that Cantonese is not necessary here and possibly told that there is good money too. You don't know the guy's back story.
Thought i would provide a breakdown of potential expenses based on the comments i received initially and some extensive research i have undertaken which makes me now more confident for our move from a finance perspective with a salary of 83k. Feel free to comment/agree/disagree!!!
Rent- 18-20k for 3 bed in Tung Chung or GC. 40 mins D2D commute is not a problem to me at all. I commute 1.30 3 days a week to get into London currently.
School Fees plus additional fees/expenses for 1- 9k. (for 10 months only). 18k saved in summer can cover a short trip close by.
Grocery Shopping- 4k. This may get challenged but i did an example monthly shop similar to what we buy here in the UK (family of 4) at Park and Shop and it came up to about 2k excluding fruits/veggies and meat (this included items we typically buy once a month e.g. household items). The brands were mix and match but still had a good mix of UK brands and some of the "best buy" brands for households items. I assume another 1k for chicken/fish and meat from the wet market and fresh fruits/veggies will be enough plus an extra 1k for any top ups! No alcohol as we dont drink.
Helper- 5k per month including all expenses.
Spending money- 10k (includes money for lunch @ work/Travel/Taxis etc), ice cream/ bread from bakery, can of coke from 7eleven etc.
Utilities- 3k (1k avg for electricity, 500 gas, 500 water, 500 mobile phone for 1, 500 TV/Cable and internet )
Tax (includes rental reimbursement) 4k
Misc/Balance- 3k. shopping/ eating out/ takeaways/ day out/ gp (we have med insurance and cost 20khd admin fee to see gp).
By the time 2nd child is ready for kindergarten (when he is 2 or 3), OH will be working or we will be back in the UK so have not factored that cost.
Yes I did. Takes into account deductions for kids and marriage allowance.