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Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Old Jun 17th 2020, 4:42 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
IB is widespread in US public schools. Sometimes the school is not necessarily "branded" as an "IB school" but there is a robust and vibrant program running inside, almost in a self-contained fashion. I am sure you will find no trouble finding an option that suits.
any Good options around the Suburbs of NYC you know of ? Thanks
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by rs2000 View Post
.... being able to live in a decent size home in the suburbs and enjoy the lifestyle ....
Those goals are somewhat subjective, but IME won't be acheivable within an hour's commute of Manhattan for a family of five, on $190k/yr.

I would expect to have to add around $100k in my household income for each of the two goals to be acheivable i.e. income of around $400k to have both a "decent size home" * and "enjoy the lifestyle". So assuming such increases in income are unrealistic, you will probably have to consider a much longer commute into NYC.

* From what I hear about living in Hong Kong, my idea of a "decent size home" may be very differnt from yours.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 17th 2020 at 1:12 pm.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

If this is a new assignment with the same employer, are there any other major US city postings available? Or other countries, perhaps? Berlin and Paris are both significantly cheaper than NYC (or London), for example.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by tooboocoo View Post
If this is a new assignment with the same employer, are there any other major US city postings available? ......
Indeed! You could live like a king on $190k across a broad swath of the US South and south west, from NC all the way to AZ, and in fact would be a lot better off anywhere in that area on $150k than you would be on $190k anywhere near NYC.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Negotiation for salaries in the USA is the norm. I agree that under $200K for NY is too low and you should get back to the hiring manager/HR about it. It could be that you have a manager who is simply trying it on - this happened with one of the managers at my ex's company. Go back and negotiate - maybe get to the highest salary in your current grade or ask to be put in the next one up. Either way - don't accept this first offer.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 6:53 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by rs2000 View Post
Thanks a lot got for the inputs

I am double minded now on the move ... in HK
1 hour travel is considered a lot but hearing from folks 3-4 hours of daily commute is not considered to be bad by local standard in the US
I am trying to avoid the astronomical international school fees in HK for my kids but looks like the added taxes in US wouldn’t let me get much better off anyway ....

the idea is to be able to get a house in suburbs and enjoy the space and lifestyle , ( quite pissed with the Shoe-box apartments in HK)

it’s definitely a tough decision with the salary bracket I am looking at
3-4 hour commute is definitely abnormal from a US perspective.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
3-4 hour commute is definitely abnormal from a US perspective.
But not for workers in NYC. Facing 4 hours/day of commuting was one of the factors that drove us out of the New York area in 2002. And at that time I knew of a colleague was was commuting into NYC every day from the Poconos in Pennsylvannia, which was a 3 hour journey each way. ..... And they were riding on a commuter bus service provided for commuters, so they were far from the only person commuting that far.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

1 hr train ride from Morristown NJ, to Penn Station. Heading east there are train stations nearer to NYC.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
But not for workers in NYC. Facing 4 hours/day of commuting was one of the factors that drove us out of the New York area in 2002. And at that time I knew of a colleague was was commuting into NYC every day from the Poconos in Pennsylvannia, which was a 3 hour journey each way. ..... And they were riding on a commuter bus service provided for commuters, so they were far from the only person commuting that far.
No doubt.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 11:11 pm
  #25  
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Rather than just asking for more money, I would start by doing a budget. Seeing where you would want to live and what it would cost you (I have friends in Westchester and Nyack NY (about 1h from the city)who pay more in property tax alone than I do for my mortgage and property tax combined out in CT. As others have noted what seems like a good salary a lot of places is pretty average in the New York Metro. Yes people live on significantly less, but you may also get an extended family of 7+ people living in a 2 or 3 bed apt. Also I am not sure if you have a “helper” in HK, co-workers in SIN did, that’s not really common here and “baby sitters” are not cheap here if you need them. The closest you may get is an AuPair but I don’t then they are cheap either.

Last edited by tht; Jun 17th 2020 at 11:55 pm.
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Old Jun 19th 2020, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by rs2000 View Post
my goals for the move are

. avoiding internationals schools fees in HK
. being able to live in a decent size home in the suburbs and enjoy the lifestyle
. kids long term education ( kids have US passports but haven’t lived there yet)
My private school in American is 2x $$ per kid what I paid at Hong Kong International School, which is one of the most expensive privates in Hong Kong. Conversely, my rent in Washington is 1/2 what I paid for an equally-sized property in Midlevels.

That said, I generally regard our move as a bit of a "push" from Hong Kong. Sure some things are much more expensive in Hong Kong, but things in a big city like DC (or New York) aren't exactly always cheap. I could have a much better quality meal (and cheaper) in H.K. than I can in D.C. for example. While I paid more for gas in HK I drove a heck of a lot less. And of course, nannies and domestic workers in HK are rather cheap by comparison to the USA.

For us, our private school in the USA is offering a better quality education than we were getting in Hong Kong and hopefully opening more academic opportunities for our kids than they would get coming out of HK. The general consensus amongst many American expats is that the International Schools in Hong Kong are comparable to a "good suburban public school in the USA" which is good, but not great for university placements. Still, there is a benefit from growing up in a place like HK and Asia that can add to your educational experiences and be appreciated by admissions officers.

A bigger house, of course, you'll get more in the USA, but we actually find that we are now somewhat in the middle on this. We have a big home that we bought prior to relocating to Hong Kong, but it now seems "too big"--too much to clean, too much to furnish, and our family tends to stay closer together most of the day such that we now have a floor we never even use. While our flat in HK was small and if we went back we'd certainly get something a bit larger, I don't think we would need the standard American 3,000sq foot place either in the US or HK.

Enjoying the lifestyle though can be a bit of a how long is a piece of string. It's not as crowded if that is something that is bothering you about HK and the air in America is much cleaner (you forget what it can be like to have a breath of truly fresh air if you are stuck in HK too long). But you won't likely have help at that salary you mentioned and the commute/drive design of American cities means you'll be spending a lot of time in a car taking kids to playdates, soccer, birthdays, etc whereas your lifestyle in Hong Kong may have seen much that be done on an elevator in the building across the street. At a social level, we found Hong Kong to actually be more relaxing and easier to live than the USA, given the reduced need for transport, ease of finding domestic staff, and the more 'village' nature of the expat community which was very close-knit and supportive. Sounds a bit counterintuitive but we often said we moved to Hong Kong for a "simpler" pace of life. Your mileage may vary.

As someone mentioned, there are large swaths of the United States where $190,000 a year would lead to a very good life. But in places like NY, DC, San Francisco, etc. I think you'll be struggling a bit.
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Old Jun 20th 2020, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

I think penguinsix, above, has probably written a comprehensive post.

I would just add to that, a few things.

One is, how stable is your field? I am not in Hong Kong; but my understanding is that fields that employ Western expats there, are under significant pressure to turn jobs over to locals etc, and positions that in the 1990s and 2000s that were very secure, now are not - and it can be difficult to find something else quickly. In that case, think 3-5 years ahead, and not just for tomorrow. The (professional) exit doors can get crowded really quick, and if you have a chance to leave and get an equivalent position somewhere else now, it might be a good time to take it instead of when you are fighting others for a spot on a (career) lifeboat . . . regardless of any NYC vs HK quality of life comparisons.

Second - geopolitical tensions don't normally concern me very much - I have worked in a number of active conflict zones - but they concern me a bit with HK. There is a mainland Chinese government that has simultaneously decided to pick a fight with India to the west, Australia to the south, and the Americans and Japanese to the east. Who is to say that, they won't decide that tensions couldn't possibly get any worse, so why not accelerate the HK takeover and soothe hard-liners at home? Or accelerate the chipping away of regulations to the point working life for expats becomes unbearable?

Rebuilding your career and positioning yourself for something else, someplace else, will be a lot easier while you have an income and a job in NYC than if 18-24 months from now you are panic sending out your CV under pressure from Hong Kong.



Last edited by carcajou; Jun 20th 2020 at 12:37 am.
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Old Jun 20th 2020, 8:47 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

NYC median salary is $57k. $190k puts you in top 5% of earners in US. Some poeple suggest that 190k is not enough. Really? Are you planning to live in Hamptons?
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Old Jun 20th 2020, 8:51 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by talkto_menow View Post
NYC median salary is $57k. $190k puts you in top 5% of earners in US. Some poeple suggest that 190k is not enough. Really? Are you planning to live in Hamptons?
This is a foolish way to look at things. Who wants to move abroad to barely scrape by? You want to, at worst, maintain your standard of living. In the NE, that costs more $$$ than it does elsewhere - especially for a family of 5.

It's not like he wants a one bedroom apartment in the Bronx.
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Old Jun 20th 2020, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
This is a foolish way to look at things. Who wants to move abroad to barely scrape by? You want to, at worst, maintain your standard of living. In the NE, that costs more $$$ than it does elsewhere - especially for a family of 5.

It's not like he wants a one bedroom apartment in the Bronx.
You think your advice was smart? We are talking about annual salary, not relocation package. Your advice gives false understanding of reality. Most people do not make 190k per year and they do not live in one bedroom apartment in Bronx either. The idea that you barely scrape by on 190k is ridiculous..
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