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Cost of living: New York and St. Peters

sa11y 5 | 331
5 May 2012 #1
Hi, since so many people on this forum live in USa, I thought I'd ask you guys for opinion. I've been living in Johannesburg in South Africa for few years now and I'm sure everyone heard horror stories about Jozi. Although a lot are exagerated, security here is a serious issue. I work for company that offers opportunity of international transfers (that's how I got here in first place) and I'm looking at potential transfer to USA. My company has sites in Montvale and St. Peters. What is salary that I should expect on mid/senior management level of blue-chip international company (one of top 100 on FTSE)? This would be probably head of department role, not sure how many people, probably 6-8. I've done some reasearch but salaries on this level are often described as "negotiable".
Meathead 5 | 469
6 May 2012 #2

Here, these are more specific and from my experience accurate:
OP sa11y 5 | 331
6 May 2012 #3
That's exactly what I need. Thanks Meathead!
GraceWatkins - | 1
6 May 2012 #4
your expect to how many amount like to this purpose?
OP sa11y 5 | 331
6 May 2012 #5
The way my company calculates salary in new place has nothing to do with market (unfortunately). They take current net and ad something on top of this (not much). So basically they should offer around 75-80 after taxes to match my current salary. So realistically I can expect from them around 85-90 net, with pension and medical aid fully paid. Not sure about kids schooling. But then there are costs of living differences, where calculation is done on some strange basket, which does not always represent true expenses, so you either get something or not. And of course my husband will need to find work (here in SA we both have decent salaries, may not be the case in USA). So to sumarise, I see there is a bit of a gap betewen what I expect them to offer and average market salary of manager. This means I can bargain a little. I can also see that propertywise, St Peters is cheaper, but what about jobs there? Will my husband find something in small town? New York seems safer in terms of jobs, but property prices are extraorbitant. So I guess we will have some thinking to do, as living on one salary we will definitely be worse off than in SA...
Meathead 5 | 469
7 May 2012 #6
If you're comparing living expenses between New York metro and St Peters, (is that Missouri?) your salary will go further in St Peters and you're only 12 miles outside St. Louis which is a major metro. I don't know what your hubby does but he should find something in and around St. Louis. In the States 12 miles is considered a short commute. Real Estate is cheaper in Missouri - Southwest Illinois. You can probably live close to were you work. New York is massive, very international city and if you are working in New York you may be faced with long commute to afford housing. Not the case in Missou. New York will eat your 85k salary in no time. As an aside Money Magazine called St. Peters the best place to live in Missouri.
7 May 2012 #7
That's a tough choice: New Jersey or Florida.
Have you made your choice?
OP sa11y 5 | 331
7 May 2012 #8
New Jersey or Florida

It's St Peters in Missouri... I think if it was Florida choice would be easier :)
I don't think I will make choice just yet, still waiting for permanent residency in South Africa (need a back up plan if it doesn't work out...) and this could take a while...

In the end I might not have a choice, I might get offer in either of the places... But I can also start "conditioning" my bosses toward what my preference is.

New York will eat your 85k salary in no time

How much should I make in NY to take me as far as 85k in St Peters? I found conflicting info on websites, one saying NY is 28% more expensive, the other one saying 60%... Quite a big range...
Meathead 5 | 469
8 May 2012 #9
How much should I make in NY to take me as far as 85k in St Peters? I found conflicting info on websites, one saying NY is 28% more expensive, the other one saying 60%... Quite a big range...

On a strictly money level probably 28% but on a lifestyle level probably 60%. For instance you're really comparing Montvale, NJ with St Peters, Mo. Montvale is outskirts of NY metro, St Peter's is outskirts of St. Louis metro. NY metro will dwarf Johannesburg, St Louis metro is approx 3 mil. In NY you'll be competing with all the other 20 mil. for housing, food (I don't know where they get their food as NY and NJ are not noted ag states while St. Louis is in the Bread basket). Housing Montvale will probably be mid range for NY while St Peters is probably high end for St Louis but they're still probably cheaper than Montvale. If you're married with kids I'd pick St Peters, if you're ambitious career wise I'd pick NY. Some more stuff:
OP sa11y 5 | 331
8 May 2012 #10
Thanks Meathead - you are a mine of information :)

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