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Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Old Jun 22nd 2019, 6:05 am
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Default Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Hi all,

I have been offered a fantastic opportunity to move me and my family (two young children (3 & 1)) to Phoenix, AZ from the UK and would really appreciate some insight to how much it would cost to live there, to help me negotiate my pay package.

From my initial research I have put the following costs down, could I ask for some help on 1) Have I missed anything? 2) Are my initial costings on the right lines?

Thanks in advance,
m1tchy4

Healthcare: $400.00
3 year old's school: $1,000.00
Gas (x2 cars): $400.00
Food: $800.00
Mobile Phone: $80.00
Internet: $85.00
TV: $110.00
Utilities: $650.00
Home Rental Insurance: $30.00
Car Insurance (x2): $150.00
Car (x2 leased): $1,000.00
Exploring the City: $500.00
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Old Jun 22nd 2019, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Rent? Retirement?

You're already at around $5205. Tack on $1700 rent (I don't know the market in Phoenix) and you're at $6905.
​​​
At that point you're looking at a $200k income to make sure you have money going away for a rainy day etc.
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Old Jun 22nd 2019, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Originally Posted by m1tchy4 View Post
Hi all,

I have been offered a fantastic opportunity to move me and my family (two young children (3 & 1)) to Phoenix, AZ from the UK and would really appreciate some insight to how much it would cost to live there, to help me negotiate my pay package.

From my initial research I have put the following costs down, could I ask for some help on 1) Have I missed anything? 2) Are my initial costings on the right lines?

Thanks in advance,
m1tchy4

Healthcare: $400.00
3 year old's school: $1,000.00
Gas (x2 cars): $400.00
Food: $800.00
Mobile Phone: $80.00
Internet: $85.00
TV: $110.00
Utilities: $650.00
Home Rental Insurance: $30.00
Car Insurance (x2): $150.00
Car (x2 leased): $1,000.00
Exploring the City: $500.00
Clothing, footwear, haircuts, meals out/takeaways, and if not already included in your food budget, household cleaning and maintenance items, personal items (hygiene etc), dental if not included in healthcare, savings for holidays and unexpected expenses, birthday and Christmas gifts.

Also, although it's important to know what your expenses will be, a better yardstick for negotiating your salary would be to research what salary similar positions attract - you don't want to sell yourself short!
Best of luck with your plans.
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Old Jun 22nd 2019, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

My sister lives in Phoenix, they own a house, have 3 kids, 2 cars, and live a decent life, they make around 60k-65k per year combined, and seem to enjoy their life.
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Old Jun 22nd 2019, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Originally Posted by m1tchy4 View Post
Hi all,

I have been offered a fantastic opportunity to move me and my family (two young children (3 & 1)) to Phoenix, AZ from the UK and would really appreciate some insight to how much it would cost to live there, to help me negotiate my pay package.

From my initial research I have put the following costs down, could I ask for some help on 1) Have I missed anything? 2) Are my initial costings on the right lines?

Thanks in advance,
m1tchy4

Healthcare: $400.00 - depends on your plan. Check with HR
3 year old's school: $1,000.00
Gas (x2 cars): $400.00
Food: $800.00
Mobile Phone: $80.00 for one?
Internet: $85.00
TV: $110.00 - you talking cable here? I wouldn't bother.
Utilities: $650.00
Home Rental Insurance: $30.00
Car Insurance (x2): $150.00 This is too low. We have 2 cars and pay $140 a month after being here 6 years and with good credit in a house we own, Texas driver's licenses and no US claims.. ( all factors taken into consideration)
Car (x2 leased): $1,000.00
Exploring the City: $500.00
I would highly recommend going to glassdoor.com and figuring out the salary ranges for your job in your new company.
FWIW, I find that living costs end up being the same in UK/EU/USA, some things are cheaper, some are more expensive. Gas is cheaper but you will drive more, insurance will cost more. Cellphones cost more, groceries might be cheaper but good quality isn't. Kids activities are surprisingly expensive. Healthcare costs more.
From my professional experience, most companies have the cost of living adjustments pretty much down pat when moving employees internationally so unless your job commands a higher salary in the USA (software engineering for example) or you are getting a big promotion, I wouldn't expect to be much better or worse off.
Put in a budget for getting back to see the folks ( and definitely have an emergency fund for this if you have older/elderly parents).

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Old Jun 22nd 2019, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

The car Insurance looks light, but you've budgeted from some Exec style cars!

My first 6 months car insurance was nearly $400 per month, but a Ford Fusion and Escape costs us only $570 a month.

At a very basic level, I worked on doubling my salary in GBP to get the USD needed. Certainly seems to be in that ballpark for a lot of roles I recruit for when we have the option of USA or UK.

The rest seems pretty spot on.
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Old Jun 23rd 2019, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

One I missed - childcare. With a 1 and 3 year old and (I'm assuming) no family back-up, that will add quite a bit to your expenses.
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Old Jun 25th 2019, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
One I missed - childcare. With a 1 and 3 year old and (I'm assuming) no family back-up, that will add quite a bit to your expenses.
He's already got that in there (an approximation for it), at least for the three year old.
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Old Jun 25th 2019, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Originally Posted by m1tchy4 View Post
Hi all,

I have been offered a fantastic opportunity to move me and my family (two young children (3 & 1)) to Phoenix, AZ from the UK and would really appreciate some insight to how much it would cost to live there, to help me negotiate my pay package.

From my initial research I have put the following costs down, could I ask for some help on 1) Have I missed anything? 2) Are my initial costings on the right lines?

Thanks in advance,
m1tchy4

Healthcare: $400.00
3 year old's school: $1,000.00
Gas (x2 cars): $400.00
Food: $800.00
Mobile Phone: $80.00
Internet: $85.00
TV: $110.00
Utilities: $650.00
Home Rental Insurance: $30.00
Car Insurance (x2): $150.00
Car (x2 leased): $1,000.00
Exploring the City: $500.00
Food and household consumables (cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc) might be a bit low - around $250/person/mth is a good rule of thumb, and it varies very little by age. The federal government publishes data tables, with the lowest band being around $200/person/mth and called something like "frugal". FWIW the top band is around $330-$350/person/mth, so $250 is perfectly reasonable without being extravagant.

Not sure what you mean by "exploring the city"? Meals out? Cinema? You and your family can probably expect to pay around $60 for a meal with one beer and glass of wine, and including tip, at a chain restaurant such as Applebee's or Olive Garden. By the time your children need food not from the "kids menu", add another $20 each for them. So ten years from now (at current prices) that would be $100.
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Old Jun 28th 2019, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

$400 bucks of gas?
that equates to 136 Gallons @$2.93 gallon. which in the average gas guzzling car in the states = 2730 miles/month @ 20mpg.

Approximately: if you live within 10 miles / 25 minute drive of your work place (realistic average) and drive a hundred miles on the weekend (expected big box store shopping / viewing trip) = 200 miles a week. Expect to spend approx $100-120 on gas per car, per month. excursions would be above and beyond that, when settling in you'll be buzzing about more but I doubt 2730 miles/month.


one thing to note.. when viewing property use realtor for tours, they are more then happy to take you around in their vehicles and see places, get a good list of properties lined up before you go, realtors are​​​​ usually responsive through email.

internet & TV. usually one package, we got ours for $85/month for a basic cable tv / 80mb (x-fini).
Mobile.. wife got a $2 a month deal for sim only. you can buy basic iphones and other phones pretty cheap form walmart. (no data) yes actually $2 bill a month all inclusive unlimited talk/sms (x-fini add on deal) . employer provides me with a phone so we only had to get her one.

there are deals about, it looks like some of your numbers are worse case, certainly i would be expecting high costs for the initial months however, once settled your costs will reduce,
with that in mind your numbers for 'offer' budgeting are not too far off.
  • do you need figure furniture rental until yours arrives, 150-300 bucks including tv/bed/table/chairs/couch for old marked furniture , it serves until you find a tv at a deal.
  • what about accomodation when you land initially, employers usually pay for one months accommodation. $1500
  • relocation costs. $10k in your bank for you to arrange shipping of homely goods, or they arrange it.
  • one months salary EXTRA given on arrival to help pay for extra unseen costs, like pet relocation / furniture & electrical re-purchase. $your rate
  • pre hire of car for one month until you can buy one upto $1000

hth.
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Old Jun 28th 2019, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Originally Posted by hutchison View Post
relocation costs. $10k in your bank for you to arrange shipping of homely goods, or they arrange it.
Make sure to ask for this to be grossed-up for tax purposes - you want to have $10k after tax, not before.

If you're very lucky and they do it through payroll, you might even get a 401k contribution on top of the $10k - I know I did when they put it through payroll for me

Speaking of tax (I don't know if this has been mentioned), it's also worth making sure that the employer pays for pre-departure tax counselling, as well as assistance in filing the first tax return in the US. I really wasn't sure what I was doing at first, and it was useful having someone on the phone that could talk me through how they would file for me and what everything meant on the forms they were asking me to sign.
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Old Jun 30th 2019, 1:29 am
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
Make sure to ask for this to be grossed-up for tax purposes - you want to have $10k after tax, not before.

If you're very lucky and they do it through payroll, you might even get a 401k contribution on top of the $10k - I know I did when they put it through payroll for me

Speaking of tax (I don't know if this has been mentioned), it's also worth making sure that the employer pays for pre-departure tax counselling, as well as assistance in filing the first tax return in the US. I really wasn't sure what I was doing at first, and it was useful having someone on the phone that could talk me through how they would file for me and what everything meant on the forms they were asking me to sign.
I concur. In fact, grossing up is often the single most valuable part of a relocation package. This is especially true after the 2018 tax changes that left essentially nothing tax deductible as far as relocation expenses go.

When I moved I got sent to one of the "big four" accounting companies to do my taxes. it was invaluable and I milked it for all it was worth in terms of gleaning tax information/advice.
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Old Jun 30th 2019, 1:43 am
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Suggest you check your healthcare cost against the specific package that your company is offering you. If that $400 a month is the premium that they will deduct for coverage for the entire family, then the plan might be a little "light" (ie you will pay more for actual healthcare services) or you have a generous deal. I pay over $600 per month for family coverage, but the plan is pretty thorough - which means I pay $35 for a doctor visit, more for a specialist, only $10 or less for most prescriptions, no deductible but a $3,000 per year per person on the plan "out of pocket" expense. So the plan pays 80% of medical expenses up until I have paid out 3k of my own money, and then it pays 100%. Make sure you know what your premium is, and what you would have to pay yourself should anyone need anything more than a routine gp visit. Make sure you know this exactly. Healthcare expenses here are literally ruinous if you don't have the coverage. You will need to know if there are any deductibles, your max out of pocket, etc.
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Old Jul 4th 2019, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living in Phoenix, AZ

Originally Posted by m1tchy4 View Post
Hi all,

I have been offered a fantastic opportunity to move me and my family (two young children (3 & 1)) to Phoenix, AZ from the UK and would really appreciate some insight to how much it would cost to live there, to help me negotiate my pay package.

From my initial research I have put the following costs down, could I ask for some help on 1) Have I missed anything? 2) Are my initial costings on the right lines?

Thanks in advance,
m1tchy4

Healthcare: $400.00
3 year old's school: $1,000.00
Gas (x2 cars): $400.00
Food: $800.00
Mobile Phone: $80.00
Internet: $85.00
TV: $110.00
Utilities: $650.00
Home Rental Insurance: $30.00
Car Insurance (x2): $150.00
Car (x2 leased): $1,000.00
Exploring the City: $500.00
Home rental appears missing and will be the single biggest item in your budget. The good news is, rents are low in the Phoenix Metropolitan area (often called 'the valley') and choice is big. Be aware though that the 'more affordable' parts of Phoenix Metro are a bit grim. But even the upscale neighborhoods aren't that pricey.

Utilities - $650 ... seems high. I just bought a new place in the metro area that is about 2,400 sq ft. I like it warm so I keep my AC thermostat set to (circa) 78-82, which - in the ultra-dry desert air - feels way cooler that it would in, say, Florida. I just put in a new AC unit and I'm monitoring usage very closely; my daily cost seems to be $7/day so $210/mo. We're not quite at the height of the hot period yet (it's "only" peaking in the 100s currently ) but we're pretty darned close. I don't expect to go above $250/mo max. And in Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb, you can predict only $40/mo - just the water heater, fridge, plus a bit of heating. All utilities I'm aware of and paying now:
Water - $50 (most of this service / delivery, not usage, so doesn't vary much by household size). (typically included in rental)
Sanitary District (Sewer) - $28. (typically included in rental)
Garbage - $40. (typically included in rental if apartment/condo; not if single family home)
Gas - $20 (summer usage ... will be higher in winter) (gas is quite common for water heating and cooking. Probably not in a rental.

So I'd be hard pressed to see where you'd spend $650 unless you plan to keep your thermostat at 68F all summer, all day (and if you do plan that, I would suggest you reconsider the phoenix area because if you don't like the heat, this place can be brutal!)

Budget a good amount for 'get out of town' during summer. June->Sept are 'on the warm side', and everyone with legs or wheels goes away as much as possible. San Diego seems to be the #1 destination - a 5 hour drive, or at least up to Flagstaff (2+ hrs) (which, at 7,000 feet, is very different in climate). Or 'Show Low' area (3hr) - similarly high elevation and thus, cool. Conversely, the weather in the valley is lovely from Nov->March.

Good Luck!
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