I think ultimately if you want to live with a lower cost of living compared to SF and NY, you will be able to do it in Hong Kong.
Rent alone can be the make it or break it factor. You can find just as nice places or centrally located places in HK for half or 1/3 cost of NY.
HK is a place where you can have fine and economic items or fine and expensive items. You will be able to easily juggle it to maintain whatever budget you want.
And transportation cost is much more efficient and lower than NY.