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Moving to HK- Cost of living ...

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  1. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire ex-ax:
    You keep mentioned OH (other half), are you two not married?
    He mentions his wife earlier on in the thread (Post 11).

  2. #72

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    Does anyone know why Tung Chung is cheaper than other parts of HK? Is it a run down/ unsafe?


  3. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Islmvp25:
    Does anyone know why Tung Chung is cheaper than other parts of HK? Is it a run down/ unsafe?
    Have you looked at a map?
    merchantms likes this.

  4. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Islmvp25:
    Does anyone know why Tung Chung is cheaper than other parts of HK? Is it a run down/ unsafe?
    It's on an outlying island next to the airport. That's why.

    Most of HK is safe, and being run down has no correlation to cost of housing. Plenty of very expensive flats in buildings that would be considered complete dumps in Europe or North America, because they are in prime locations.

  5. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Islmvp25:
    Does anyone know why Tung Chung is cheaper than other parts of HK? Is it a run down/ unsafe?
    Tung Chung has had expanded greatly in the past 10-12 years, mainly because the new airport opened opposite. There are a number of private estates to the east of the town centre, e.g. Coastal Skyline, Caribbean Coast, which are popular with aircrew. These estates have good facilities, such as swimming pools, small gyms, playroom. More estates seem to be added frequently. The noise from the airport is surprisingly not that bad, even for the flats with sea views, or former sea views. There is even a hospital there now.

    It is relatively cheap by Hong Kong standards because of the distance from the main business areas of Hong Kong. For some, the commute is too far. For others, it's manageable. Perhaps it depends on their office hours.

    A friend lived there for two years (we went out to look, attracted by the rents) but the commute got to her. That and four jumpers in two years.

  6. #76

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    . Thanks but I've mentioned before that we don't want to take trip over to check as that would be a waste of money. It is a move that we are looking keen to make but just asking to understand our options.


  7. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Islmvp25:
    . Thanks but I've mentioned before that we don't want to take trip over to check as that would be a waste of money. It is a move that we are looking keen to make but just asking to understand our options.
    It's not a waste of money to visit. Leave the family at home and just come yourself if cost is an issue. Or negotiate a trip from the company. I'd personally never move my family to a place I or my spouse had never seen. We insisted on a go see visit for me (the trailing spouse) before the move and the company bought the ticket.
    jrkob and chingleutsch like this.

  8. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms:
    It's not a waste of money to visit. Leave the family at home and just come yourself if cost is an issue. Or negotiate a trip from the company. I'd personally never move my family to a place I or my spouse had never seen. We insisted on a go see visit for me (the trailing spouse) before the move and the company bought the ticket.
    Sounds like our current situation, and also before we moved to HK - one of us flew to check out accomodation and areas in which to live before moving (my husband did for our move to HK, and myself recently for the move to Singapore). Tung Chung is further out from central but there is a huge mix of expats and locals. The MTR and buses to just about all parts of HK are virtually on your doorstep. Plenty of facilities around. Some of my friends live there and are never bored. You are also close to hiking trails and the beaches of south Lantau are only a 30 min direct bus ride away. A brand new hospital is close by, shops and restaurants.

  9. #79

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    Agree Natfixit, I know plenty of expats who have chosen Tung Chung and also some long time HK Islanders who have moved there to make room in their budgets for school fees.


  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Islmvp25:
    The plan is to come to HK for 2-3 years at most, get some experience, climb the career ladder (this is a promotion) and move back to UK. This is not a long term move at all and we have always wanted to live somewhere- experience different cultures and meet new challenges. OH will be working eventually and as for school fees- I am only worrying for our 4 year old now as by the time the baby is old enough to start school- OH will be working or we will be back in the UK. I appreciate HK is expensive but after doing all the numbers and comparing to current situation- I am still struggling to get my head round some of the comments on how the suggested salary is not enough considering current situation especially as it is c100% increase in net salary from my current situation in the UK? Are things 100% more expensive in HK (apart from rent of course) in HK than in the UK???? ESF schools and some of the international schools I have checked around the TC areas cost about 90k per year- which is around the same we paid for our 4 year old to attend nursery in the UK in GBP (before he turned 4 and qualified for 15 free hours).

    As I said in my OP- we are not looking to live the extravagant expat lifestyle- just to experience Asia but also make some sort of savings while we are out there.
    Hong Kong is a city with huge price and quality variance - and with little correlation between the two. So the only way to effectively budget is to know exactly what you want, what the market offers, and what you're willing to pay.

    Given that you make 60k pounds pre-tax in the UK, I believe that it is fair to say that in the UK you're likely not living a lifestyle as extravagant as the 'high end lifestyle' that can be found in HK that many in this thread are referencing.

    I'm from a small town in Canada and live much better than I did at home. We spend around HK$40k between two of us.

    • We spend HK$26.5k on rent.
    • Utilities run us HK$2.3k during peak months and HK$1.6k during low months - average is HK$2k per month.
    • Groceries run us HK$1.6k to HK$2.4k per month and we exclusively shop at sogo/city super/aeon/wet markets and cook every day - lunch and dinner (except for dining out 1-2x per week) and dim sum (1-2x per month on Sunday). I don't come from a culture of dining out nor do I like the food that is offered at most restaurants in HK - so when I do dine out it is normally a restaurant that I'm a regular at or for someone's birthday.
    • Around HK$3k to HK$4k for entertainment: movies (we love the buy 1 get 1 free deal) and my darts/drinking habit
    • Around HK$2k per month on medical insurance for both of us (AIA CEO plan is pretty good)
    • We used to do fine dining at least once a month (HK$2k to HK$4k) but after experiencing Le Cinq in Paris (bless their souls, they salvaged what would have been the worst pre-wedding trip I could have imagined), my wife is now severely disillusioned with the dining scene in HK and prefers our dates to be at maxim group restaurants that have 50% off.
    • Phone: wife: HK$500, mine: HK$120 (I have 100MB of data)
    • TV/Internet: HK$300/mo
    • No MPF/taxes because we're both unemployed
    • Kids would definitely be a big cost increase for us, although I doubt that I would send my kid to a private school - just don't think the ROE would be high enough. I think I could stomach a cost of HK$10k/mo.
    • Not including travel because for us travel is not a necessity but a privilege so when I needed the money I didn't travel


    If we wanted to cut costs, we could bring down our monthly expenditures to HK$25k per month by moving to a cheaper apartment in the same area, shopping exclusively at wet markets, reducing the coverage amount of our medical plans, drinking less on weekends, etc. If we were willing to relocate to the new territories, change our food/gym habits, etc. and be frugal, then we could reduce it further.

    Contrast this to a HK government engineer (wife's friend) that makes around HK$90k gross and around HK$75k after taxes - family of 3 (husband, wife, child) - wife and the engineer were recently discussing his budget and both were trying to figure out why he hasn't saved sufficient money to purchase an apartment, or any money at all for that matter.
    • Rent HK$20k in Taipo, old building
    • Kids HK$15k school, activities, play groups, etc.
    • Car HK$15k (parking, lease, insurance)
    • Food HK$2k
    • Dining out HK$5k
    • Utilities HK$3k
    • Fake insurance is HK$10k - contribute money to a fund that grows at 1% to 2% per year that you can't withdraw without significant penalties
    • Other: MPF, saving for 1-2 vacations/year - the vacations are considered necessary and non-negotiable
    • Can't remember whether they have a domestic helper
    • Cash in bank account grows HK$0 per year as his wife doesn't work because she doesn't want to
    • Lifestyle is very "basic" and working his way up the HK version of Maslow's Pyramid but feels very poor


    So as long as you don't do the above (he only drives a few times a month, why pay so much for a car - why are vacations mandatory? - why not get rid of the fake insurance), I'm sure you'll be able to save money even if your wife doesn't find work.

    edit: forgot to add my point.
    My point is, in our budget we pay a lot more than most people do for certain things, especially with respect to rent and food (and previously dining, although since frequency was low the it wasn't more than average) - but we do away with the expenses that we don't consider necessary. Also saves a lot of headache because customer service is crappy in HK.
    Last edited by Viktri; 17-12-2016 at 02:13 PM.

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