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-   -   Hello, this is JJJ from Hong Kong (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f26/hello-this-is-jjj-from-hong-kong-52128.html)

jjjchan 09-15-2010 04:56 PM

Hello, this is JJJ from Hong Kong
 
hello everyone,

I am a 43 father, wife just retired this year at 42, our 9 yr old daughter is attending 5th grade.

We have about 1.5M in asset and 0 debt (60% in real est, 35% in stock, bonds & MF, forex and 5% cash)

I am thinking an ER in a couple years & move to the USA, is it possible for me and family to live moderately based on the 4% rule, i.e. 60K per year ? can anyone suggest a state/city/zip.

Thanks very much

Coach 09-15-2010 06:06 PM

Hi jjjchan, and welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your pretty soon retirement.

It is certainly possible to live comfortably on $60,000 a year -- that's more than the median household income in the US.

I hesitate to make any suggestions -- you would probably be comfortable financially almost anywhere except high-cost resort areas and perhaps the largest cities.

Coach

jjjchan 09-16-2010 01:50 PM

Hi coach,

Thanks veru much, that is very good to hear, it is quite difficult to do it in HK for a family of 3.

I have relatives & friends living in LA, Dallas (Frisco), and Las vegas (Henderson), we rule out LA b/c of the obvious reasons. We have been to these cities many times and even stayed for an extended period. We are thinking between Frisco or Henderson.

I understand there are many other considerations when it comes to retirement, at the moment we just want to focus on the financial side. Could you or anyone please share your insights which city has lower cost of living.

Thanks very much in advance.

haha 09-16-2010 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjjchan (Post 978647)
Hi coach,

Thanks veru much, that is very good to hear, it is quite difficult to do it in HK for a family of 3.

I have relatives & friends living in LA, Dallas (Frisco), and Las vegas (Henderson), we rule out LA b/c of the obvious reasons.

What are the obvious reasons? I don't mean to be stupid, but whatever they are they are not obvious to me.

Ha

TooFrugal 09-16-2010 01:55 PM

Best Places to Live | Compare cost of living, crime, cities, schools and more. Sperling's BestPlaces

jjjchan 09-16-2010 02:02 PM

Hi HA,

We think LA is very expensive comparing to Dallas or LV.

Thanks

haha 09-16-2010 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjjchan (Post 978654)
Hi HA,

We think LA is very expensive comparing to Dallas or LV.

Thanks

Yes, definitely true. But the beaches are nicer. :)

Ha

Automatika 09-16-2010 02:24 PM

Nashville and most other southern US cities are less expensive than East/West coast and the weather is nice. North Central and Midwest also not so expensive but weather can be bad... Welcome to the forum!

DangerMouse 09-16-2010 03:03 PM

Just wondering if you are a US citizen or do you have an appropriate visa that will allow you to live in the US.

obgyn65 09-16-2010 07:03 PM

Hello - if you don't have a visa or US passport you may find this information interesting:

The EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program // IIUSA

Good luck

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjjchan (Post 978413)
hello everyone,

I am a 43 father, wife just retired this year at 42, our 9 yr old daughter is attending 5th grade.

We have about 1.5M in asset and 0 debt (60% in real est, 35% in stock, bonds & MF, forex and 5% cash)

I am thinking an ER in a couple years & move to the USA, is it possible for me and family to live moderately based on the 4% rule, i.e. 60K per year ? can anyone suggest a state/city/zip.

Thanks very much


Coach 09-16-2010 09:52 PM

jjj, according to this calculator, Frisco, Texas is a somewhat more expensive place to live than is Henderson, Nevada.

One thing to think about is health insurance. A lot of Americans have health insurance subsidized by their employer. Buying coverage yourself would be quite expensive. I know folks who pay $1000 a month for family coverage.

Coach

jjjchan 09-17-2010 12:35 PM

Hi all,
Thanks for your comments & advises,

I am a US citizen, I live & work in HK, Beijing, Shanghai....20+years now.

Hi Coach, good advise on health insurance, I will defintely look in to it. Btw, I have checked out the numbers in bestplaces, not sure how accurate those numbers are, I think it is better to hear some real opinion from real ppl. thanks

J

Lisa99 09-17-2010 06:19 PM

Hi JJJ,

I know you asked for "cost of living" but having lived in Frisco and Henderson I thought I'd provide a bit more info. I lived in TX for 48 years and have lived in Henderson since March and I can say without doubt that we've found our forever home, but what is great for us may be different for you. I know my response is a bit long but I wanted to answer thoroughly since this is a big decision.

As you probably know, both Texas and Nevada have no state income tax. However, from a property tax perspective Frisco is much higher than Henderson. For example; our house in Frisco was appraised at $310k, our annual property taxes were about $5,000. Our house in Henderson is appraised at $359k and our annual property taxes are $2,850.

Housing prices are comparable, gasoline, food, internet services, clothing, restaurants are all comparable. Electricity can be lower in Henderson depending on what service provider you choose in Texas.

Schools -
Frisco - my son is grown and gone so my info on schools is anecdotal. Frisco schools are VERY GOOD, but you need to be careful because part of the city of Frisco is in Lewisville ISD which is not as good.

Nevada schools overall are said to not be as good as most other parts of the country. I can't comment on this but I do know that some Henderson schools are very good, you just need to do your research on where the best schools are in the town. We live in Seven Hills and our elementary is rated "Exemplary". You do not want your child in the Las Vegas or Clark County school however.

Quality of Life - I realize this next part will be completely subjective but I wanted to share my observations.

Frisco Overall - Very family oriented but it can also be materialistic. There is a lot of disposable income in Frisco, so don't even try to "keep up with the Joneses". There is also a lot to do there. Soccer is huge for the kids, there are lots of parks, walking trails, biking trails, etc. It's a very progressive town from an 'outdoor activities' perspective. There are too many restaurants to count, but there isn't much 'fine dining' if that is your thing. Dallas is close if you want 'culture'. Symphony, dining, museums, etc. But compared to Hong Kong, Dallas may be a cultural wasteland for you :)

Frisco weather - Summers are blazing hot. July and August will have many days over 100 degrees and the humidity is high (not as bad as Houston, but very noticeable). Spring and fall are lovely, in winter there will be cold days, but then again Christmas day can be 70 degrees with kids riding their new bikes. BUGS - and yes I shouted that on purpose...mosquitoes, flies and gnats will be bad enough that you can't eat outside on your patio comfortably. There are fleas and ticks and chiggers, oh my.

Henderson Overall - the part of Henderson we live in 'feels' very much like Frisco. Nice houses (almost all Mediterranean style which we love), tons of walking and biking trails, lots of the same restaurants, very nice people, but I haven't noticed the same level of materialistic-ness that is the norm for Frisco. The big difference for us, and what we LOVE about Henderson, is that we're within an hour of Mt. Charleston where there is amazing hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter (skiing isn't stellar, but then I'm not picky) and we're within four hour's drive to LA, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon....basically we're a short drive to some great outdoor activities. And I've left the best for last: we don't gamble, however we love nice restaurants and great shows. Since we've been here we've seen Cher, Barry Manilow, Santana, and several Cirque shows. And since we're locals we get discounts on the shows.

Henderson weather - just like Dallas, in July and August it is HOT. And the temps here in the desert average about 5 - 10 degrees hotter than Dallas, but the humidity is very low. I scoffed at the low humidity factoid before moving here, but honestly when it is 110 in the desert, as long as you're not in the direct sun it is not uncomfortable. Also in the summer the night-time temps stay high (around 80), but in the spring and fall the weather is gorgeous. It also gets cool here in the winter, but I can't comment personally because we haven't been through a winter here yet. BUGS - there are almost no bugs. We regularly have drinks and dinner by the pool and there may be an occasional fly but there are virtually no mosquitoes (not enough water for them) and there are no fleas or virtually no ticks. You can pick up ticks on the mountain, but what I'm trying to say is that your child can play outside without having to apply bug spray before going out.

I'm sure I've missed some big points, but I'm running out of info that is 'off the top of my head'. If you have any questions please feel free to ask and congrats on being able to FIRE! We hope to do so in the next few years as well.

jjjchan 09-19-2010 11:42 PM

Dear Lisa,

Great information, very useful, thank you very much.

Didn't know property tax is so high in TX. I naturalized & came to the US in the late 80s, spent college years in Houston and Dallas, loved both cities and the people there, met my wife (also from HK )in graduate school , maybe except for the heat+humidity during summer, Tx is always special to us.

School is one of the most important for us, not just the test scores also the values and disciplines. We will defintely do some reserach on Henderson schools.

We'd like to see our daughter learn & fit in to the western culture & society, at the same time able to understand & keep some of our asian/chinese root & heritage.

Do you know if Henderson or LV area has an asian community.

Really apperciated,
J

Nords 09-20-2010 01:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjjchan (Post 979692)
Do you know if Henderson or LV area has an asian community.

Yes, here in Hawaii, Las Vegas is known as the "ninth island"...

Lisa99 09-20-2010 09:29 AM

Frisco is predominately white, with some Asian, but there isn't access to Asian culture that I was aware of.

Henderson/Las Vegas has a lot of Hawaiian but there is also an area of Las Vegas proper that is all Asian shops, markets, restaurants, etc.

I can understand what you're wanting for your family in a community from a values point of view.

I've sent you a PM related to this point.

jjjchan 09-21-2010 05:07 AM

Your comments & suggestions are extremely helpful to us (especially from your PM), friends & relatives tend to focus more on the positive side about their own city, this is exactly what we are looking for - first hand experience on both cities.

Thanks again for sharing.


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