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Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Old May 22nd 2018, 6:37 pm
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Default Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Obviously the answer, were we to stay in England, is yes. But I've heard that Grand Cayman is very expensive. Will this salary cover living expenses for a family of four: adults late 40s, children 10 and 13 (ie 4 bed house pref near work, ie Georgetown - need a spare room for art studio/visitors - car, setting up house, utilities, groceries and other every day shopping, entertaining, eating out every so often, children's school fees (one at primary, one at high school), sailing club membership, possibly buying a dinghy as sailing mad children, and possibly the odd luxury like gym/pool membership if the gym can be called a luxury (torture perhaps?). I think health care and pension are covered. I'd really appreciate your advice.
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Old May 23rd 2018, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

I assume you've read this
https://caymanresident.com

It has almost all your answers in there.
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Old May 23rd 2018, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

But if your salary is going to be $155k then it's safe to assume you are on a decent salary at home. So to that end I recommend bringing £15 to 20k to start up and have space on your credit cards too. For a decent 4 bed in GT you are looking realistically at $3500 to 4000k. Deposit and first month in advance. That's half your £15k gone already. Phones. Internet. TV. Food. CAR!!! Once you're past the first few months and the shock when you go shopping, it will be easier. Feel free to PM me.
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Old May 23rd 2018, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

CI$155,000 is an extremely good wage for Cayman. As for how much you need to bring with you, that depends on what sort of car you want to buy. At that wage, you may well be looking for a new Mercedes or some such, and that will cost you a lot more than $15K! The pound is worth something like CI$1.10 at the moment, and a few of months ago they were at about parity, so price-comparisons depend on currency fluctuations.)
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Old May 23rd 2018, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Thanks Jamesy5008 for your sound advice. Yes, I've printed off various lists of prices - gulping at a fridge freezer, for example, being in the thousands! My husband is coming to do a three day recce and I'm keen that he should look at some house rentals. Are there any neighbourhoods that you would recommend (or not)? He'll be working in Georgetown and the children will be at school there; but the island is small so I imagine we can cast our net wider when it comes where we live.
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Old May 23rd 2018, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

I'm currently driving a beaten up landrover so not fussy about a smart car! I'm going to read your blog, Gordon, and will have another look at the Cayman Resident. Thank you both. Please do keep any advice coming. It feels odd to be organising a move without ever having been there...
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Old May 23rd 2018, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Originally Posted by Luche View Post
Are there any neighbourhoods that you would recommend (or not)? He'll be working in Georgetown and the children will be at school there; but the island is small so I imagine we can cast our net wider when it comes where we live.
Which school will your children be at, and how close to your home do you want them to be? George Town (two words, by the way!) is quite extensive - at least by small-island standards! Tell your man to check out condos along South Sound Road if you want to be reasonably close to schools and place of work. Otherwise, north of town in the Crystal Harbour area has some nice places. If you want to live on Seven Mile Beach, that's very nice, but expensive. He could start with those three areas. If he wants, he can give me a ring when he's here with any questions; I'm in the phone book.
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Old May 23rd 2018, 11:23 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Originally Posted by Luche View Post
I'm currently driving a beaten up landrover so not fussy about a smart car! I'm going to read your blog, Gordon, and will have another look at the Cayman Resident. Thank you both. Please do keep any advice coming. It feels odd to be organising a move without ever having been there...
Well, you can buy a beat-up Landrover here, too, so you'll feel right at home! My wife and I each have a 20-year-old Toyota - right-hand-drive imported from Japan. As Jamesy said, the Resident magazine has all the facts you'll need, pretty much. My blog - like all expat blogs, probably - contains commentaries on local politics and society, which might not be of much use to you
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Old May 24th 2018, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Ecaytrade is the local 'yellow paper' and there is NOTHING you can't buy. Have a look at vehicles in that and you'll get an idea of what you're getting for your money. 20 year old Toyotas still going for $3000. They wouldn't get £50 at home. It's an eye-opener. Mr Barlow is the Voice of Cayman. What he doesn't know isn't worth knowing.
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Old May 24th 2018, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Originally Posted by Luche View Post
I'm currently driving a beaten up landrover so not fussy about a smart car! I'm going to read your blog, Gordon, and will have another look at the Cayman Resident. Thank you both. Please do keep any advice coming. It feels odd to be organising a move without ever having been there...


That's what i did and gave myself a real fright when I got here. So ask all the questions you want. And bring proper plug transformers if you want a hot iron or your hairdryer to work properly!
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Old May 25th 2018, 2:30 am
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
20 year old Toyotas still going for $3000. They wouldn't get £50 at home.
We benefit from Japan's law that cars must be taken off the road after five years. (Somebody once told me it was only three years.) Anyway, they are beautifully maintained over there, and are exported at the end of the five or three years with relatively little mileage. $3000 sounds a wee bit on the high side, but I would expect to get $2000 for mine, with only 60,000 miles up, and maybe $1000 for my wife's with twice that mileage. I don't think this discussion is going to be too relevant to someone on $155K, but it may be interesting to other intending immigrants.
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Old May 25th 2018, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Thank you both so much for your advice. I don't think there is any relocation package so we'll be arriving with just our suitcases I suspect.
Thank you Gordon for offering to speak to my husband when he's out on his whistlestop recce. That is really kind. Ideally, would like to be not too far (although it does rather depend on how bad/good the traffic is and what rush hour is like?) from Georgetown. The children will want to get involved in the sailing club which, looking at a map, appears to be SE of George Town? I can't tell you how grateful I am for your advice. It makes the Cayman seem a little less remote!

Another question; how dog friendly is Cayman? I have an embarrassingly ridiculous mini poodle (but she's got a proper dog haircut and thinks she's a sporty (but lovely) terrier). She doesn't shed hair, or chew etc, so would be absolutely fine in a rental property but I wonder if most landlords have a no pets policy?
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Old May 25th 2018, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Luche. First, the dog. Not every landlord will take pet-dogs, but most will. Maybe not in the expensive condos, but I don't really know. Cayman has a problem with yard-dogs, left outside all night to bark and keep the neighbours awake; but I don't expect yours would be one of those.

I presume your husband has already checked out the schools, to make sure your children have places. Avoid government schools, if you possibly can. His employer (prospective employer?) will help him learn all there is to learn about settling in. As you may know, two thirds of the population here are expats (from something like 80 countries), so employers are well used to easing newbies into local life. The sailing club is a bit out of the way, it's true, but it's a small island. Sports clubs of all kinds are very welcoming places. George Town is two words, remember...

Rush hours are a pain in the neck, but twenty cars is reckoned to be a serious gridlock here, pretty much. Pick-up time at the schools is a bit hectic, but everything's relative.
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Old May 30th 2018, 1:24 am
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Originally Posted by Luche View Post
Thank you both so much for your advice. I don't think there is any relocation package so we'll be arriving with just our suitcases I suspect.
Thank you Gordon for offering to speak to my husband when he's out on his whistlestop recce. That is really kind. Ideally, would like to be not too far (although it does rather depend on how bad/good the traffic is and what rush hour is like?) from Georgetown. The children will want to get involved in the sailing club which, looking at a map, appears to be SE of George Town? I can't tell you how grateful I am for your advice. It makes the Cayman seem a little less remote!

Another question; how dog friendly is Cayman? I have an embarrassingly ridiculous mini poodle (but she's got a proper dog haircut and thinks she's a sporty (but lovely) terrier). She doesn't shed hair, or chew etc, so would be absolutely fine in a rental property but I wonder if most landlords have a no pets policy?

A lot of rentals will not accept pets but not all, we still managed to find a place but our choice was reduced. It is expensive living in Cayman but two of us manage on combined half the salary you mention and still manage to save $1500-2000 KYD a month. It all depends what life style you want and we also don't have kids education/health care to consider. To the best of my knowledge your children will not be eligible to attend government schools anyway and the better private schools are oversubscribed so I would suggest that to be your biggest problem to solve.
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Old May 30th 2018, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Is CI$155,000 salary enough for family of four?

Thanks TandD2017, you're right, the school situation is really important to us. And on that note, I read the post in your local paper regarding the lack of school places and the increasing segregation of private vs public school students which sounds a little dangerous from a stable societal point of view.
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