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Comfortable executive salary in Houston?

Comfortable executive salary in Houston?

Old Sep 19th 2012, 9:31 am
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Default Comfortable executive salary in Houston?

Ladies and Gents,

I hope you will indulge me - I've looked through the site, searched, looked at payscale.com etc., but can you give me a view on whether $200k is a poor, comfortable, great or excellent salary on which to live in Houston?

I was an expat in my 20's for five years in the far east. Now I am in my 40's, living comfortably in the suburbs of London with a wife and young child and considering an opportunity to move to Houston. It will be less money than I earn in the UK on a straight exchange rate calculation - but we are interested in the opportunity to eventually get a green card and live permanently in the US.

Wife is pregnant with no.2 and realistically will not work for many years. We run two cars, tend to spend a lot on holidays (and would love to see more of the States), and live in a pretty compact 3 bedroom house. We would like a comfortable big house in a nice neighbourhood with good schools and a good size garden (yard?) for the kids to play in.

How practical is this on $200k in Houston and will we 'feel' poor / comfortable / well off?

Thanks and good luck to all of you making a move.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 10:57 am
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Default Re: Comfortable executive salary in Houston?

Well, I know Oil and Gas executives make much more than $250k here.

Upper management in consultancies make about $250k, and at the gas companies, mostly less but still over $200k. Senior engineers (20+ experience) make $175-200k.

$200k is plenty for Houston. That is, if you are not planning to live in River Oaks, the Memorial Villages or say anything that costs $3m plus for a house.

However, if you choose one of the many many lovely neighborhoods and areas around Houston, you'll live very well. The farther you go out of Houston, the more house/land for your dollar. (And more miserable your commute.)

You will not feel poor. You will be comfortable... there are neighborhoods here with excellent schools. Private schooling costs anywhere from $10k to $18k a year; and some schools have long waiting lists. The British School is about $13k a year; but your babe is young Over all, research well the school cachement (if you are going to not use private schools) - it makes or breaks the child's experience. You will also find homes more pricey in better school districts, which will clue you into a better district.

Our property taxes are high (we pay about $12k a year) but our federal marginal rate was about 28% last year. So lets say 'more in our pocket' than in the UK. (We have employer provided healthcare, and I'd presume you do as well.)

Your wife will get excellent prenatal care here as well. We are going through that now. I don't work, either.

We also (used to!) took many trips/vacations - Houston is a great hub to explore Central and South America too. Direct flights to Denver encourage skiing and snow! You'll have more than enough disposable income at that salary, assuming your two cars aren't Aston Martins and your idea of a nice house isn't a $1m one.

Welcome to Houston!
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Comfortable executive salary in Houston?

The beauty of Houston, is that unless you want to live in River Oaks, you can get a lot of house for your money. If you don't mind being out in the burbs (depending on where your job is), you could spend sub $400k on a mansion of a house (with or without pool) in a good school district.

I'm 30, and support my wife and baby (1 today!!) on circa $130k/yr plus bonus. We're pretty comfortable, live out in the burbs (copper lakes - towards Cypress) and have 2 cars and live in a 3,600 sqft house with about 1/3rd acre in a good school district.

So I'd say $200k here is definitely comfortable, so long as you're not expecting a lavish lifestyle. I'm assuming you'll have full medical coverage from your employer as this can be expensive if you have to pay it all yourself.
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