hk income?

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Having had several expatriate postings, i know the joy of being on a 'package'. Sheerly for experience, though, I'm considering taking a non 'package' position on HK that pays around US$ 120k. Would this be considered a livable HK income? from what I can tell, rents are quite high, but overall tax load might be a bit lower and other costs too. thoughts?

living wage . . .

Yes, this is definitely enough to live decently on in Hong Kong.

You can learn a lot more about cost of living, taxes, etc. from our 'Moving to Hong Kong FAQs' [url]http://www.batgung.com/articles/faqhome.htm[/url]

Mr Tall

Enough?

Correct me if I am wrong here, but 120 Grand is enough to live pretty much anywhere in the world you would like in style.

It is just me or does it seem that these posts seem to be more bragging than inquisitive?

money questions

Hi FlamingToad;

Well, there may be a bit of self-satisfaction in some people's money queries -- I personally find it's a topic that's totally mundane but actually very hard to discuss rationally -- but I don't think hkbound's questions were illegitimate in any way. USD120K is a lot of money in many places, including in the most parts of the States, but it's also not a fortune in a place like Hong Kong.

Let's just look at this situation objectively -- USD120K works out to almost exactly HKD 78,000 per month. First knock off 16% for taxes. You're left with HKD65,520. If you were talking about a family who needed to live on this with, let's just say, two kids, and you didn't want to pack them into a very small flat (this is something that's pretty tough to adjust to as a new arrival), you'd better subtract HKD20,000 for rent, and this number could of course be far higher. Then knock off another HKD20,000 for international school fees and other school-related expenses. Now you're down to HKD25,520 per month for food, utilties, insurance, travel, retirement savings, entertainment, clothes, a domestic helper if you want to hire one, a car if you think you need one, any other transport, charitable donations, and so on.

So yes, it's enough money to live well on. But if you're in the situation I've outlined, you'd have a nice middle- to upper-middle-class lifestyle, as many expatriates here do. You're not getting rich, however, and I'm really not sure you're going to be 'living in style', either, at least not in a way that 'style' is defined here in Hong Kong!

Now if you subtract the two kids, and you're talking about just a single person or a couple, you're right, FlamingToad. You could live in pretty high style on that money, even here.

HKBound, maybe you could tell us a bit more about your situation?

Mr Tall

Re:hk income?

Other things to consider:

1. Worldwide tax for US citizens. Will you be able to dodge it by breaking down your $120k into housing, education, healthcare, moving bonus/allowance packages, etc.?

2. Retirement. Is it a short-term gig (<2 years) or long-term relocaton? It may affect how you plan to retire. Most HKers (ppl in Asia come to think of it) put all of their savings on housing and cash/fixed income investment. Many still contribute half of their salaries to a nice pad that's also their biggest nest egg. It's quite a different concept from 401k, IRA, etc.