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Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Old Aug 14th 2023, 7:15 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Steerpike
You just introduced the term 'objectively'. I would argue that your point is entirely subjective; in your mind, spending 50% on rent doesn't make sense but if the income is there to support it, why not? 'Objectively'? Is your argument that you could go somewhere else that's cheaper? Jobs that are available in this area aren't commodities that can be found anywhere. The area is a bio-tech and high-tech powerhouse, with many unique opportunities to work at the forefront of science. The area is second in the country in terms of bio-tech companies (after Boston), and leader in terms of high-tech companies (especially for AI positions). So it's not like you could just find that same job in a lower-cost area of the country. This page shows which regions of the US receive the most venture-capital funding, for some perspective

(yes, I realize that the 'Research Triangle' in North Carolina has some significant Bio-Tech and High-Tech activity, but it's dwarfed by the activity in the Bay Area).

So - if there's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a 'senior scientist' for a company like Genentech, or for OpenAI, you don't have much of a choice as to where you live - you go where the jobs are.
In terms of pure biotech, Boston is the central hub and although not quite a fair comparison, when I sanction Senior Scientist hires I am not going above 130k.
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Old Aug 14th 2023, 7:16 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Actually let me readjust that, 150k max for Sen Sci or Princ Sci.
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Old Aug 14th 2023, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by PetrifiedExPat
In terms of pure biotech, Boston is the central hub
and in my post I said: "The area is second in the country in terms of bio-tech companies (after Boston), "
Originally Posted by PetrifiedExPat
...
and although not quite a fair comparison, when I sanction Senior Scientist hires I am not going above 130k.
I chose the job title arbitrarily; how about CTO, CFO, VP of development, etc. "The average Chief Technology Officer salary in San Francisco, CA is $370,362 as of July 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $323,916 and $425,263"

Originally Posted by PetrifiedExPat
Another denier. No wonder Brexit got through...
N1cky lives in the heart of Silicon Valley, and has been here for around 10 years (and before that, LA). I've lived here for over 40 years. Why do you suggest we are 'deniers'? We are intimately familiar with costs, benefits, jobs, etc.

I personally moved from the Bay Area to Arizona a few years ago, in part because it was cheaper. I regretted it and came back. It's not all about maximizing disposable income.
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Old Aug 14th 2023, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Steerpike
and in my post I said: "The area is second in the country in terms of bio-tech companies (after Boston), "

I chose the job title arbitrarily; how about CTO, CFO, VP of development, etc. "The average Chief Technology Officer salary in San Francisco, CA is $370,362 as of July 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $323,916 and $425,263"


N1cky lives in the heart of Silicon Valley, and has been here for around 10 years (and before that, LA). I've lived here for over 40 years. Why do you suggest we are 'deniers'? We are intimately familiar with costs, benefits, jobs, etc.

I personally moved from the Bay Area to Arizona a few years ago, in part because it was cheaper. I regretted it and came back. It's not all about maximizing disposable income.
Understood on the first two.

I think for the latter, moving as a new family is much different than is was 10-40 years ago. Starting from scratch I would say it is very different.

If they are moving over for a leadership position then hopefully fringe benefits may include some sort of package for child care, but schooling? Not so sure.

Again I sense its a lowball and my target salary for that area would be at least a combined 600k (after some thought on this now!). But I like two premium cars, landscaping, going out and buying whatever I want, when I want. If 50% of their annual is going on rent then it would still worry me even if I wanted a modest lifestyle.

I will cede that this is now a conversation of opinions. However, even a million plus would only make a move a certainty for me.
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Old Aug 14th 2023, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Steerpike
You just introduced the term 'objectively'. I would argue that your point is entirely subjective; in your mind, spending 50% on rent doesn't make sense but if the income is there to support it, why not? ....
I said "objectively" because I meant "objectively". You make a fair point if your net income is $80k/mth ($1million/yr), because if you spend $40k/mth on rent you can live a nice lifestyle on the remaining $40k/mth, including saving a fair bit. But if your net income is only $12k/mth and you blow half of that on rent then it is going to restrict everything else you spend money on - the remaining $6k is going to go something like this: food and household consumables $1,200, utilities $400, car payments $1,000, petrol $400, car ins $250, clothes $500, phones $200, Cable/internet $150, TV/ satellite $200, meals out (chain rest 1/wk) $600, travel/ holidays $500 (avg, but this won't go far after paying for 4 tickets to the UK, so could be higher), school books/ activities/ sports $200, entertainment $200 (a couple of movies, but this won't go far for concerts, and isn't enough for a theme park for a family of 4), and pension savings $500, $200, because that is all that's left. And there is no money for gym memberships, golf (unless you appropriate the $200 for "entertainment", or Starbucks coffee, (which is going to run you $100+/mth for just one on week days), or anything else.

In the list of expenses, I would guess that the second car might be first on the list to get the chop, freeing up $500 of the car payments and some of the gas and insurance money - but that leaves one parent reliant on public transport, which might not be too bad in the SF area. Or the other parent providing taxi service to/ from the station.

So if it was me and I was moving to SF for "the dream job on less than dream job pay" of around, net $12k/mth, I would look to find somewhere to live for around $4k/mth, even if it was significantly less than my preferred living accomodation.
.... 'Objectively'? Is your argument that you could go somewhere else that's cheaper? ...
No, though that's not a bad idea, but not what I meant. I assumed that the job is tied to the location and that therefore they should "cut their housing expectations" according to the their income "cloth", which might mean a terraced (row) house instread of detached (SFH). or apartment instead of a terraced house, or 2-bed apartment instead of 3-bed, basically cut their housing cost to give them more flexibility in the rest of their budget.

Last edited by Pulaski; Aug 14th 2023 at 8:54 am.
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Old Aug 14th 2023, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Steerpike
...... I've lived here for over 40 years. Why do you suggest we are 'deniers'? We are intimately familiar with costs, benefits, jobs, etc. ....
I absolutely don't doubt you have local knowledge that I don't have, but (please excuse me if I'm wrong), I don't think you have children to take care of, or (?) ever had children, and I think you have to have had children to appreciate that they take up a lot of the family budget, including paying for a home that has room for them.

Also, it is a well known and documented fact that retirees spend a lot less money, or even nothing, on at least some things that younger people are paying for - clothes, entertainment (concerts, theme parks) fancy vacations, cars big enough for a family, also newer cars, etc, and not least, pension savings, which younger people should be throwing money at, but often skimp on and then regret later in life. So while I certainly admit I lack the local SF angle you have, I think that the opinions of PEP and myself have significant relevance to this discussion. Especially as I went through this budget/pay/ cost of living analysis after making precisely the sort of mistake that Bellybratz and her family may be about to make when I moved to NYC, and then left again just a few months later. So in that limited respect, I know exactly what I am talking about!

Last edited by Pulaski; Aug 14th 2023 at 8:47 am.
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Old Aug 14th 2023, 9:54 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I absolutely don't doubt you have local knowledge that I don't have, but (please excuse me if I'm wrong), I don't think you have children to take care of, or (?) ever had children, and I think you have to have had children to appreciate that they take up a lot of the family budget, including paying for a home that has room for them.

Also, it is a well known and documented fact that retirees spend a lot less money, or even nothing, on at least some things that younger people are paying for - clothes, entertainment (concerts, theme parks) fancy vacations, cars big enough for a family, also newer cars, etc, and not least, pension savings, which younger people should be throwing money at, but often skimp on and then regret later in life. So while I certainly admit I lack the local SF angle you have, I think that the opinions of PEP and myself have significant relevance to this discussion. Especially as I went through this budget/pay/ cost of living analysis after making precisely the sort of mistake that Bellybratz and her family may be about to make when I moved to NYC, and then left again just a few months later. So in that limited respect, I know exactly what I am talking about!
If people are commenting without kids then they simply wont understand. Unless they are top ties philosophers, of which most are located in NE (New England), not CA.
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Old Aug 14th 2023, 11:31 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Jeez! Not much has changed on BE while I’ve been gone. The same bickering about an answer to a question that wasn’t even asked.

I live in the city the op is wanting to move to, I moved here when my kid was around the same age as the op, my kid went to the school district the op wants to attend, my husband commuted to the same city as the ops husband, I’ve rented 3 houses in the same city, we go to concerts, eat out, buy clothes, pay healthcare, contribute to 401s, go on vacations, my kid competed at sport on a national level. I have friends here who were born here, moved here from other parts of the US and Expats - but apparently I still don’t know as much about living here as some folks who’ve only ever watched Silicon Valley and think they know it all.


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Old Aug 14th 2023, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by N1cky
Jeez! Not much has changed on BE while I’ve been gone. The same bickering about an answer to a question that wasn’t even asked.

I live in the city the op is wanting to move to, I moved here when my kid was around the same age as the op, my kid went to the school district the op wants to attend, my husband commuted to the same city as the ops husband, I’ve rented 3 houses in the same city, we go to concerts, eat out, buy clothes, pay healthcare, contribute to 401s, go on vacations, my kid competed at sport on a national level. I have friends here who were born here, moved here from other parts of the US and Expats - but apparently I still don’t know as much about living here as some folks who’ve only ever watched Silicon Valley and think they know it all.
Hi N1cky. Long time no see!
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Old Aug 16th 2023, 1:49 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I absolutely don't doubt you have local knowledge that I don't have, but (please excuse me if I'm wrong), I don't think you have children to take care of, or (?) ever had children, and I think you have to have had children to appreciate that they take up a lot of the family budget, including paying for a home that has room for them.

Also, it is a well known and documented fact that retirees spend a lot less money, or even nothing, on at least some things that younger people are paying for - clothes, entertainment (concerts, theme parks) fancy vacations, cars big enough for a family, also newer cars, etc, and not least, pension savings, which younger people should be throwing money at, but often skimp on and then regret later in life. So while I certainly admit I lack the local SF angle you have, I think that the opinions of PEP and myself have significant relevance to this discussion. Especially as I went through this budget/pay/ cost of living analysis after making precisely the sort of mistake that Bellybratz and her family may be about to make when I moved to NYC, and then left again just a few months later. So in that limited respect, I know exactly what I am talking about!
I think for us this has come to a natural conclusion, but you make a solid point.

It does appear people will defend their own dubious life choices even if they could recommend better to others. Time to leave as they say...
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Old Aug 18th 2023, 4:53 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by N1cky
Jeez! Not much has changed on BE while I’ve been gone. The same bickering about an answer to a question that wasn’t even asked.

I live in the city the op is wanting to move to, I moved here when my kid was around the same age as the op, my kid went to the school district the op wants to attend, my husband commuted to the same city as the ops husband, I’ve rented 3 houses in the same city, we go to concerts, eat out, buy clothes, pay healthcare, contribute to 401s, go on vacations, my kid competed at sport on a national level. I have friends here who were born here, moved here from other parts of the US and Expats - but apparently I still don’t know as much about living here as some folks who’ve only ever watched Silicon Valley and think they know it all.
Was it a problem to get a rental with no us credit history in that area? When I moved to NYC I exceeded the gross income being 40x monthly rent threshold by a lot, but my lack of credit meant then wanted a guarantor, but they would not accept my employer as guarantor. I ended up having to do a short term rental, and paying the 3 months rental and deposit upfront, and was then able to extend the lease. When it came to moving to a bigger place I ended up buying. You say you have rented 3 places now, are you still in a rental? Or have your brought a house now?
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Old Aug 18th 2023, 9:45 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by tht
Was it a problem to get a rental with no us credit history in that area? When I moved to NYC I exceeded the gross income being 40x monthly rent threshold by a lot, but my lack of credit meant then wanted a guarantor, but they would not accept my employer as guarantor. I ended up having to do a short term rental, and paying the 3 months rental and deposit upfront, and was then able to extend the lease. When it came to moving to a bigger place I ended up buying. You say you have rented 3 places now, are you still in a rental? Or have your brought a house now?
They do credit checks when you rent through agencies in bigger cities, LA, SF, NYC etc. Even for a $1800 pm rent. In smaller cities, like Huntington Beach (CA) they didn’t bother doing a credit check even when the rent was $5k for a big house. Thus, your mileage may vary.
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Old Sep 6th 2023, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I said "objectively" because I meant "objectively". You make a fair point if your net income is $80k/mth ($1million/yr), because if you spend $40k/mth on rent you can live a nice lifestyle on the remaining $40k/mth, including saving a fair bit. But if your net income is only $12k/mth and you blow half of that on rent then it is going to restrict everything else you spend money on - the remaining $6k is going to go something like this: food and household consumables $1,200, utilities $400, car payments $1,000, petrol $400, car ins $250, clothes $500, phones $200, Cable/internet $150, TV/ satellite $200, meals out (chain rest 1/wk) $600, travel/ holidays $500 (avg, but this won't go far after paying for 4 tickets to the UK, so could be higher), school books/ activities/ sports $200, entertainment $200 (a couple of movies, but this won't go far for concerts, and isn't enough for a theme park for a family of 4), and pension savings $500, $200, because that is all that's left. And there is no money for gym memberships, golf (unless you appropriate the $200 for "entertainment", or Starbucks coffee, (which is going to run you $100+/mth for just one on week days), or anything else.

In the list of expenses, I would guess that the second car might be first on the list to get the chop, freeing up $500 of the car payments and some of the gas and insurance money - but that leaves one parent reliant on public transport, which might not be too bad in the SF area. Or the other parent providing taxi service to/ from the station.

So if it was me and I was moving to SF for "the dream job on less than dream job pay" of around, net $12k/mth, I would look to find somewhere to live for around $4k/mth, even if it was significantly less than my preferred living accomodation.

No, though that's not a bad idea, but not what I meant. I assumed that the job is tied to the location and that therefore they should "cut their housing expectations" according to the their income "cloth", which might mean a terraced (row) house instread of detached (SFH). or apartment instead of a terraced house, or 2-bed apartment instead of 3-bed, basically cut their housing cost to give them more flexibility in the rest of their budget.
Living in SF besides the cost presents the obvious issues about quality of life; I would assume most people especially with children wouldn't would not choose to live in SF these days considering the declining quality of life in San Francisco. Burlingame has great weather, and certainly much safer and cleaner than San Francisco, especially if one lives up the hill.

The other issue is the education of the children, especially in public schools. Having had experience with both private and public schools in the Bay Area, it would not be a place I would move to with children now.
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Old Sep 6th 2023, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Steerpike
I was thinking it was that way for all my jobs in the Bay Area, but I just looked at my last 'employee' gig paperwork and it was not the case. They had this payment schedule per paycheck, so I was wrong:

I'm trying to find online info for typical bay area companies but it's not easy to find. "Glassdoor" apparently cover 100% employee, 80% dependents, but not much else is forthcoming. So now I'm thinking 100% coverage for dependent insurance is not the norm, even for the 'highly competitive' companies. I did put, in my 'estimate' above for expenses, an allowance for $1,000/mo of medical premium so that may still be good advice! And it could be over $1,000/mo for a whole family.

The key for the OP is to understand the difference between the 'provision' or 'availability' of insurance and the payment of the premiums, as I explained in my earlier post above.

A quick bit of research suggests a few companies do cover 100% of dependent premiums, but not that many. Bill and Melinda Gates foundation: "100 percent healthcare premium coverage to employees, spouses, domestic partners and dependents"; Boston Consulting Group "provides full healthcare premium coverage for all eligible employees ... and any family members enrolled in its insurance plan." Ultimate Software "offers a full benefits package with no-cost healthcare premiums for its employees and their spouses, domestic partners and eligible dependents". Finding others that offer this is not easy.

But several offer less than 100% - GoDaddy: " 100-percent healthcare premium coverage policy on the first day of employment. Dependents and spouses are afforded 50 percent coverage"; Kimley Horn "pays its employees healthcare coverage in full and that of their partners and dependents at a reduced, 90-percent rate." and so on ...
Premiums are just one aspect, co-pays and deductibles another.
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