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Minimum comfortable income for STX  

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Pdmargie
(@Pdmargie)
Reputable Member

Assuming an adequate nest egg to make a controlled moved, what income range for on island job would be considered adequate to live simply, but comfortably with all needs taken care of and some wants/splurges possible. Of course it depends on lifestyle, but looking for a general income range to cover basics and housing rental and all other fixed expenses. $40,000? $60.000? More? Any advice welcome.

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Posted : May 6, 2017 3:42 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Reputable Member

Impossible to answer that question because, as you already surmised, everyone's needs, wants, desires and lifestyle is different and those same things can change over time. It also depends on which island you are relocating to. What is OK for one person can be a mere pittance for someone else.

Suffice to say, as a rule of thumb, unless you now live comfortably in a very "affluent area" such as Beverly Hills, California, Palm Beach, Florida, Fifth Avenue, NYC, etc. , you'll probably need anywhere from 25% to 35% more to maintain the same lifestyle in the USVI's as you do "back home".

For what it is worth, at $40,000/year you'll be at the very low end of the income scale and many will tell you that at $60,000/year you'll be living very simply with little, if any extra available for those "splurges" you may want.

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Posted : May 6, 2017 5:09 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Prominent Member

monthly budget with some wants/splurges - one person

housing $1,000
utilities $200
car insurance $50
Health (some combination of insurance payment, deductibles, HSA, meds, life flight etc.) $800
cable/internet $100
Cell phone $50
groceries/supplies/routine car expenses $500
misc. (clothes, travel, entertainment) $500

NET $3,200/month
NET $38,400 annual

Assuming no debt including car payment, substantial savings in place for big surprises and no expensive habits.

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Posted : May 6, 2017 9:41 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Prominent Member

And if you have a government job (including hospital workers and teachers), 11% of you gross income will go toward your retirement contribution.

monthly budget with some wants/splurges - one person

housing $1,000
utilities $200
car insurance $50
Health (some combination of insurance payment, deductibles, HSA, meds, life flight etc.) $800
cable/internet $100
Cell phone $50
groceries/supplies/routine car expenses $500
misc. (clothes, travel, entertainment) $500

NET $3,200/month
NET $38,400 annual

Assuming no debt including car payment, substantial savings in place for big surprises and no expensive habits.

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Posted : May 7, 2017 9:55 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Islander

i think the grocery/supplies are a bit low . and remember if you live on air conditioning your electric will be higher

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Posted : May 7, 2017 11:29 am
Afriend
(@afriend)
Reputable Member

Don't forget to add in that "little adventure" that life has in store for your checkbook each month - things like new shock absorbers you need for your "island beater car" after you've (again) hit one of the many potholes in the roads, the part for your used refrigerator that you have to have shipped in from the mainland, the new motherboard you have to get for the electronic controls on your washer or dryer that were "fried" by the constant power outages/surges or any number of other unexpected costs.

Human nature being what it is - you'll focus on the lower range of estimated expense when in reality you'll almost always end up spending more. In 15 years of living on an island in the Caribbean the one constant I've had is that everything that longer and costs more!!!

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Posted : May 7, 2017 11:47 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Islander

so true

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Posted : May 7, 2017 7:03 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Islander

Agreed, especially if you're a homeowner.

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Posted : May 7, 2017 8:31 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Noble Member

And if you have a government job (including hospital workers and teachers), 11% of you gross income will go toward your retirement contribution.

...that you will never see again.

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Posted : May 8, 2017 11:19 am
Light
(@Light)
Eminent Member

$800 for health insurance? Is that a normal price in the VI?!
I know that when I move there I will have to have a job that offers insurance bc I have a costly med without it.
Hopefully by the time I'm actually able to move there, individual insurance will be available there lol, fingers crossed!

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Posted : May 8, 2017 12:03 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Prominent Member

I did not say health insurance - I said health expenses which is a mixture of meds, health insurance premiums, deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays, health savings accounts, life flight insurance, out of pocket expenses, dental care .... the list goes on.

'Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.'

Health savings accounts will become increasingly more accessible and important with the decimation of the ACA. Remember, health care is not a right .... it's a privilege ... it's your fault if you need health care. Plan accordingly whether in the VI or not.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/02/513060189/health-savings-accounts-are-back-in-the-policy-spotlight

$800 for health insurance? Is that a normal price in the VI?!
I know that when I move there I will have to have a job that offers insurance bc I have a costly med without it.
Hopefully by the time I'm actually able to move there, individual insurance will be available there lol, fingers crossed!

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 8, 2017 12:39 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Noble Member

Remember, health care is not a right .... it's a privilege ... it's your fault if you need health care. Plan accordingly whether in the VI or not.

That's a bit preachy isn't it!

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Posted : May 8, 2017 2:11 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Prominent Member

You bet I'm preachy - but really in the US health care environment right now, there is no predictability except that it is unpredictable. The only part of the Repubs plan I like is increasing access to HSAs for most individuals.

Right now, even on Medicare my husband will pay per month in VI
$109 part B
$40 part D (with $400 annual deductible)
$150 Medicare supplement insurance
$100 (meds and estimated deductible/co-pays for meds)
$50 (dental - $600 annual)

$449/month

I will be paying $680/month for my health insurance until I qualify for Medicare. With a deductible, co-pays and co-insurance additional.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/06/upshot/lost-jobs-houses-savings-even-insured-often-face-crushing-medical-debt.html

Crazy and it could get worse long before it gets better.

Remember, health care is not a right .... it's a privilege ... it's your fault if you need health care. Plan accordingly whether in the VI or not.

That's a bit preachy isn't it!

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Posted : May 8, 2017 2:46 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Islander

dont make me choke.

$800 for health insurance? Is that a normal price in the VI?!
I know that when I move there I will have to have a job that offers insurance bc I have a costly med without it.
Hopefully by the time I'm actually able to move there, individual insurance will be available there lol, fingers crossed!

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 8, 2017 6:52 pm
Cat
 Cat
(@Cat)
Trusted Member

HSAs are a pleasurable little sop to rich people who want to cut their taxes (again). Most people don't have thousands of dollars to sock away every year just in case, and the trivial amount of money you can save will not come even close to helping with a major illness or injury. It's nice to have Medicare, but the Republicans are going after that next. Everybody's going to get hurt.

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Posted : May 9, 2017 2:39 am
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