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Thread: Is the lifestyle worth the paycut?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Default Is the lifestyle worth the paycut?

    So, first things first, I am very lucky. I have a great job in the US (tech), my husband and I (early 30s) have more-or-less paid off our mortgage and we live in a great community. But, we also love the idea of living in NZ a lot more than we would want to stay in the US at the moment (yeah, the election played a role in getting us to start the process). We've made a see-and-decide trip to the country, and lifestyle-wise it really seems to provide everything we long for but don't quite have in the States.

    We also did some interviews and got a couple of job offers, both of them in the low six figures, which we appreciate is decent money for a childless couple to live on in NZ. But, the paycut is just... brutal. I ran the numbers and I'd be losing about 60-70% of my gross income. Husband is more like 40-50%. I did research salaries before embarking on this journey, but the numbers are only starting to hit me now that they're on paper.

    In addition to the NZ lifestyle, I'd be getting an opportunity to work in a more senior role with my NZ employer than I currently have in the US, though it's a less high-profile company in my industry, globally speaking. This employer is not known for work-life balance in NZ, though not sure how that translates comparing to me putting in 12-14 hour days in the US.

    So, I realize decisions like this come down to what you want in life, but I certainly am not finding it easy to make up my mind. So I would definitely appreciate any advice from people who have faced this sort of question with respect to moving to NZ before. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    France
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Here's my humble personal opinion
    You are in your early 30s, no kids, high income, no mortgage. An average of 50 % of both of your gross income is a lot.
    It all depends on what you want in life but if a challenging job/company paying you high salary but outside of the US is what you want, I would try Australia rather than New Zealand if I was your age and needed professional challenges.
    Now if the spirit of NZ that you felt when you visited is what you need, for me it's worth the salary cut. But I say that maybe because we are in our mid 40s, have had enough challenges at work and feel we need a better work/life balance and a good place to raise our kids in terms of safety, education, health, respect of nature and environment.
    And most importantly I say that knowing that we have NEVER lived more than our 3 weeks vacation in NZ so far...so I have no evidence that what we foresee in our life in NZ will be as good as we think it would be
    But having asked ourselves the same question as you before applying for residence in NZ, we, in our case (age, family, professional and financial status) definitely think it's worth the salary cut (although it might be more -20 or -30 % in our case
    I am actually very impatient to start our living there

    Don't know if that helps but your post interested me very much when I read it, I had to say something XD

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
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    2,213

    Default

    To lose that kind of pay cut ? Say combined $60K or $80K? You do realise that kind of money can buy you a lot of vacations around the world? IMO NZ is not unique enough that it's lifestyle can only be found in NZ. USA is vast with far more places to see and enjoy than in NZ.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Christchurch
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    Default

    Keep in mind that it's not just the pay cut, you will also be paying more taxes and paying more - often significantly more - for just about everything else. Have you priced houses and cars and clothes and plane tickets in NZ? Not trying to dissuade you (I'd be the first to say money isn't everything) but the reduced income is only part of the financial equation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    North Canterbury, New Zealand
    Posts
    862

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    Try turning it around and asking yourself what sort of lifestyle you would like and from there, work out what you need to earn in NZ to achieve it. The money is irrelevant really as long as it is enough to do the things you want to do and live the way you want to live. Two six figure salaries is a substantial lifestyle anyway but sit down and list the luxuries that you have now that you would hate to be without.

    Just a thought...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
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    Default

    Always do your calculations on the basis of "earn US$, spend US$," " earn NZ$, spend NZ$"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Don't forget you will likely to spend 50% or more on top of the same item here in NZ. Everything here tend to more expansive for the same brand in compare to US. This is why I buy from Amazon US/UK very often, it costs cheaper even with the shipping fee included.
    You can compare that from https://www.bunnings.co.nz , https://www.mitre10.co.nz , https://www.mitre10.co.nz and trademe.co.nz (the only ebay like in NZ).

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