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Old 4th May 2017, 18:20
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Hong Kong
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Hi PFVSPNF et al,

I apologise. I've had a busy month and no time to prune. Coming back to this thread late but PFV you've asked someone to 'show you the numbers otherwise' so here is a quick rundown.

Originally Posted by pfvspnf View Post

Let's take a salary of net 100,000 HKD after taxes are paid

One bedroom in central or Kowloon side ?

Seeing anything between 17,000-30,000. Let's average at 25,000?

Daily food and beverages , let's assume 900 HKD a day ? Don't think people actually spend this much , especially if they are flying long haul .

Phone tv internet I read is quite cheap let's put it on the higher end 1000 per month ?

Utilities another 2000 per month ?

Transport another 3000?

Miscellaneous another 10,000?

That sums up to 68,000 , I'll round it up to 70,000hkd for your expenses .

Gives you 30k of savings which is $3,861 USD.

Am I missing something here ?

First... you won't hit $100,000HKD after tax until you become a skipper... which will be around 12+ years regardless of whether you join as a DEFO or SO. If you join as an DEFO $81k salary + $14k housing = $95k... minus 17% tax = $79k. So there is $21k of your $30k projected savings gone right away. Even after 10years you will top out on the FO pay scales at less than $100k (inc housing) after tax. If you join as an SO you are further in the hurt locker at half that.

The rest of your numbers are in the realms of reasonableness however depending upon how you want to live, your food and your miscellaneous needs to be higher. If you want to sit at home every night by yourself and eat 'local' chinese then you will be fine. BUT if you want to head out with your new friends for dinner and a drink - $2000/per night (on an average night - not big). Lunch and a couple of beers - $500. You've gobbled up your entire miscellaneous in only 4 (small) nights and 4 lunches out - in a month. Want to eat nice food at home? Milk or meat or fruit are 3-4 times more expensive than the USA. Do you like driving a car? Petrol is almost $7.50USD/gal. Buy some clothes? (Does that come out of miscellaneous?) A Movie? Haircut? Soap? New computer? iPad? New phone? A concert? A hobby? (miscellaneous? miscellaneous? miscellaneous? miscellaneous? miscellaneous? miscellaneous? miscellaneous?) You get the point. It's the little things here that drain your savings. That extra money will disappear quick. But it is doable as a single guy.

But now here is the catch. Assuming you like chicks, are an average likeable guy, and aren't butt ugly... by the time you are approaching the magical $100k (post tax) figure at 12yrs from now, chances are you have a wife and kid(s) (because hey... even for the devoutly "I'm just coming to HK as a single guy" crowd... few people stay single forever!). Hell... your kids could be 6 or 8 yrs old by now! And now you are going backwards. The first place I rented with my missus 10+yrs ago was a 2 bedroom in town. It cost me $30k/mth (10yrs ago!). You want somewhere OK for your family (roughly 1/4 the size of a place in the USA)? $40k+. Want a yard for your kids to run in? Forget it. Most don't have one (or pay $55k+). School - after my $50k entry levy/child (thats one of the cheap ones!) - and after CX's contribution - I'm still out of pocket $8400/mth /child! (Thats not including all the little school extras).

Now here's where people say "I'll just do a few years here and then leave and get a gig elsewhere after I get my big shiny jet ticket"... in which case I say, if you've got good enough quals for a DEFO gig at CX, chances are you'll be able to get on seniority list at a major in the states - and if not now, maybe in another year or two? As far as I know airlines are about seniority (well... not really at Cathay... it means very little - talk to all the SO guys who have been screwed by DEFO's previously, or 747 guys who can't bid off their fleet in accordance with their seniority only to watch DEFO new joiners guys take the spots they want on Airbus - seniority here means squat... but I digress)... so IN OTHER major airlines seniority means something... so why would you waste 5-10yrs of it here only to go home and join at the bottom and start all over again.

But in the end... after all the money is tallied - and whether you are ahead or behind financially - what it really comes down to is "Are you happy here?" and "How much sacrifice do you make to (not) get ahead?" Family? Friends? Job satisfaction? Health? Lifestyle? Hobbies? And for more and more guys, as the screws are tightened in one area (finances or job satisfaction or work life balance) it makes it harder to justify the sacrifices in other areas (family or friends or lifestyle).

Anyway... I've tried to keep my post relatively factual and hopefully helpful. If you still want to take the gig no problems... no need to justify it to me... it's your decision to make... I'm just providing the facts as requested.
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