back to article Ex-pat IT pros have oversized packages

Ex-pat IT bosses working in Asia receive a gross pay package of more than $230,000 (£144,566) a year on average, but those fancying relocation may be better off financially if they head to less well-known parts of the region, according to new research from ECA International. The consultancy, which helps firms manage …

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Bronze badge

Salary is one thing, spending power a second, reality something else

Around ten years ago I spent a couple of years working in Sierra Leone for a paltry salary - around $2000 a month. Over there it is enough to live like a king since that "paltry" salary was something like 50 times average earnings. It doesn't make you feel great seeing people without reliable electricity or even mains water even if your own personal standard of living is much better than you would have back home.

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Anonymous Coward

Ditto in the Pacific and elsewhere

I understand completely. I spent 2 years on a Pacific island nation training / mentoring locals under an aid scheme backed by the Oz government. We were paid local wages, and lived in local housing. To compensate, the difference in our salaries between Oz and where we were working was paid back in Oz.

Worked out win/win as the locals knew we were living on the same level as they were while in their country, and didn't go around flaunting wealth, but had the benefit of split taxation on smaller salaries as well as the income from renting our home back in Oz.

Skip forward 5 years and I took a contract position in the Middle East. Worked alongside locals and 3rd world nationals all doing the same job but I was pulling in about 2 to 3 times their salaries. Really hard to get over the underlying resentment of 'Why are you getting £££ more for the same job' attitude.

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Bronze badge

Japan

It's been a while since I have been there, but I didn't find Japan that much more expensive than western Europe if one lived as the Japanese did. Japanese food, with the exception of rice, was not especially dear. Taxis are, or certainly were, very cheap. Public transport was agreeably priced. The previous year's stock was *very* cheap. Cars, especially the yellow-plate ones, were considerably cheaper than equivalent makes in Europe.

However, if want to live as an ex-pat with a foreign lifestyle ( e.g. bread and cheese for breakfast ) then it can get very pricey very quickly.

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Re: Japan

It depends on how long ago 'a while' was. The yen has near doubled against sterling from pre-financial crisis times.

When I was working there in 2004 it didn't seem especially cheap - food and transport weren't too bad but accommodation was very expensive. I'm just about to go back and prices are terrifying - car hire in TK is 2 1/2 times the cost of London for example.

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Bronze badge

Re: Japan

Food isn't too bad.. there just isn't much really cheap stuff. Imagine always shopping at Sainsbury's instead of ASDA or Tesco. Rents are pretty good outside of Tokyo. My families apartment is much nicer and cheaper than any flat I had in the UK... I guess that most of the expats that would be living here for the money opposed to anything else would be working in finance etc and won't be looking for places out in the middle of nowhere though.

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Silver badge
Coat

My package is just fine thank you

It doesn't matter where I have worked in the world, my large package has never been a disadvantage. Sometime good things come in larger packages.

Mines the one with "modesty is not my strong point" as the moto on the blazer badge.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My package is just fine thank you

"Mines the one with "modesty is not my strong point" "

"Mines"?

Obviously punctuation isn't your strong point either.

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Headmaster

Re: My package is just fine thank you

His grammar is fine; just don't try on his jacket.

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Meh

VietNam ... More Expensive than most Home Countries

International 'industrial' schools here in VietNam are nothing less than a rip off.

Many schools have fees either nearing or at the USD$20,000 mark PLUS you get to pay horrendous additional amounts for Registration, Evaluation, Admission, etc.

Several are Cognita owned ... you know Cognita, the UK industrial school company financed by a UK vulture capitalist.

These industrial schools join for profit associations who proclaim how their fee paying members are 'accredited'.

Apartments, for Foreigner management types who want to maintain their home country lifestyle, can look forward to a monthly bill of around USD$2,500 plus all the essential services.

Many wives of these Foreign imported experts find things so tough they have to find part-time employment to make ends meet.

The VN government policy is to allow 'experts' in, but then pick their brains so Vietnamese acquire the skills. Then the Foreigners can go home.

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WTF?

Re: VietNam ... More Expensive than most Home Countries

"The VN government policy is to allow 'experts' in, but then pick their brains so Vietnamese acquire the skills. Then the Foreigners can go home."

Surely that's the reason they're there in the first place; to raise the local standard ?

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Anonymous Coward

Hey, try the Baltics, they won't work with foreigners, who are always miraculously "worse candidates" in any job selection regardless of what skill level or experience they could bring to the table. They'ŗe happy to take your money though. Plus, they are all desperate to learn English for business reasons, (or secretly Russian if they'ŗe young) although apparently that isn't useful if you are a foreigner, neither is certification in the local language useful for foreigners job-hunting there for some reason :P

You would have thought they might want to replace the 100,000s of folks leaving, but no, instead they would rather have their economy die on its arse. Plus bribery is so De Rigeur that some locals are disgusted and won't work in banks or big businesses any more, it offends them so much, and the governments have large stakes in banks doing giganto-scale money laundering bigger than the official economy.

On the plus side, they do great SS-honoring marches, what jolly knockabout pranksters they are!

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Anonymous Coward

And when you return?

Yes, some of the salaries sound really good, but international schooling and Western style accommodation can take a huge chunk of that. I know expats in Singapore who really underestimated their cost of living and end up struggling every month.

And yes, you can make your money go further in developing countries, but I would advise again anyone taking a cut in salary to work there. $100k a year in Thailand could see you live like a king, but when you return to the west you would struggle and wouldn't be saving huge amounts. (Not that Thailand is really considered a hardship posting these days)

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Trollface

" Japanese cities have some of the highest costs of living anywhere in the world."

Yep, they are almost as expensive as Sydney, Australia.

Sorry, my mistake, Shitney, Austfailia.

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