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Thread: Salary and cost of living

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    Default Salary and cost of living

    Hi,
    As many of you already know, my big dream is to work and live in South Florida.
    So I'd like to know what is the minimum salary for a marketing and communications position and if I can live in Miami without any problem.
    For example, in Italy average salary is 1,600€ per month.
    Taxes are about 350 per month.
    Apt to rent plus eletricity, water, wi-fi, parking = 800 per month.
    Food (1 person) = 200 per month.
    Car = ....
    And so on. (Yeah, Italy is not doing well...)
    Could you please give me an example like that?
    Thanks.
    Last edited by span; 07-13-2011 at 12:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Member dylan's Avatar
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    Miami/Miami Beach does have a slightly high cost of living I think it is important to take this into account before you relocate so it doesn't take you by surprise.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Salaries here are a lot lower than the cost of living. Probably a reason a lot of people live with their parents here.

    Rent, you should expect about $1000 a month unless you have a roommate. More if you wanna live in Miami Beach/

    Electricity and Internet will run you probably about $150 on average. A little more in the Summer.

    A car, it totally depends on what you're driving. But your insurance will be high as Miami is one of the most expensive places in America to insure a car.

    Salaries, like entry-level marketing, I think range from about $25000-$35,000 per year, before taxes. So money is usually pretty tight for most folks down here. Presently I have 3 jobs, if that gives you any indication.

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    Default Re: Salary and cost of living

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Salaries, like entry-level marketing, I think range from about $25000-$35,000 per year, before taxes. So money is usually pretty tight for most folks down here. Presently I have 3 jobs, if that gives you any indication.
    How much taxes do you pay, for example, on a salary of $30,000 per year?

    3 jobs... really? Is it so hard living in Miami...? Matt, can I ask you what do you do?

  5. #5
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Nobody here asks what anyone does....

    http://www.miamibeach411.com/news/question-never-ask

    I teach at a university, I write for this site, and I work for another school running the housing there. I still rarely have to wake up before noon if I don't want to, but that's beside the point.

    Taxes in the U.S. aren't bad (people bitch but we're nowhere near Europe). You'd pay about $5000 in taxes on $30,000 a year. There's no state income tax here either. Sales tax ranges from 6.5% to 7.5% depending what city you're in.

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Matt's statement should be qualified. The taxes he's referring to are taxes for employed people only. If you're self-employed, you have to pay self-employment tax on top of your other taxes, and that's about 15% of your income. Self-employment and payroll taxes fund Social Security. This amount is capped at about $105,000, though, so if you're lucky enough to make more than that, you don't have to chip in to our Social Security system for income over that amount.

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    Taxes aren't bad if you're employed, but self employed ones suck.

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    Member rtoledo71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Salary and cost of living

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    Taxes aren't bad if you're employed, but self employed ones suck.
    I agree with this. I came from MA where they tax you for EVERYTHING.

    However, if you own property, it seems you get screwed with property taxes. It all evens out I guess.

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    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Span, if health insurance is important to you and the company you work for doesn't cover it, factor that in as well. Probably $150 - $200/month or more.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Good call, Maria.

    you know we never mention that to Europeans who come over here and ask about how much things cost. A lot of them have no idea that you have to pay for health care here. I know Jess told me she was shocked when she learned the government didn't cover that stuff. Anyway, I think we all should make a point of mentioning this to foreign people who write in and ask about cost of living. Often overlooked but very important.

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    Member Hoppie's Avatar
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    We in the Netherlands pay for our health care (about EUR 100 per month per person, and that is a mandatory insurance, so the insurance companies MUST accept you and MUST cover necessary expenses but have a large customer base) -- not everywhere in Europe people live off government loans. On top of the insurance is all stuff that isn't considered medically necessary. Several insurance options can cover (part of) these, such as fysiotherapy and dental care, but these cost extra. I need to add that children below 18 are insured for free along with their paying parent(s). And, of course, that our medical bills in general are 10 times lower than in the US, for reasons still unknown to me.


    Dutchie
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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I've always though that if health care operated on a cash-only system it would be considerably cheaper. Because providors could only charge what people could pay. You can look at stuff like abortions and plastic surgery as good examples. Relative to a lot of insured procedures, these are very cheap. Because deep-pocketed insurance companies aren't footing the bill. Just my theory.

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    In the Netherlands, we changed the system about ten years ago from 'government decides on stuff and non-profit public insurance organisations cover the lower incomes, private ones the higher'.

    It is now 'everybody is required to select a mandatory insurance from any company they like, government decides on minimum coverage which is equal for all basic insurances, and the companies compete on price of their policies and extended coverage'. On top, the insurance companies negotiate with hospitals for bulk rates etc.

    This change caused a landslide in who has the power. It changed from hospitals and government to the insurance companies. They now decide which hospital gets which customers, and for what. If the insurance industry wants a certain treatment to become available, or not to become available, so be it.

    You can also feel that the whole health care industry became more, well, industrial. Individual medics try to maintain the role of a doctor, but the system treats you as a job, as an allocated resource which needs to be processed as efficiently as possible. For the back end of the industry this is fine (I'd like the instruments checked and maintained like any other instrument, efficient, effective, as cheap as possible, etc.). But the front end is about people, and this aspect is rapidly flushed through the toilet now the insurance bean counters simply go for cheaper, cheaper.

    The possibility for diversification, where more expensive hospitals offer better, more human care, is not yet accepted by the general public. The strong belief still is that when ill, everybody should be treated equally. So the deep pocket patients move abroad, slowly, as expensive treatments are artificially blocked. Some insurance companies simply shop abroad for treatments in general, and send people there for extraordinary treatments instead of maintaining local capacity. Smaller hospitals rapidly lose capabilities and reduce to nursing wards.

    Nothing is ideal in this world, after all.


    Dutchie
    Last edited by Hoppie; 07-24-2011 at 02:56 AM.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    So, Dutchie, what do you think of how the US is going about tackling our health care plan? You think something like what you had could work on a large scale here?

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    Very hard to tell. We heard over here that the Obama administration has been looking long and hard at the Dutch system, being recent and well-researched with backup of a lot of economists. However we all know how much difficulty Obama has to get anything through Congress. Even if the Dutch system has bits and pieces that could be transplanted to the US, the very idea that it was proposed by person/party A probably assures that party B will block it.

    However, it is my belief that any civilised, wealthy society should take basic care of their citizens, including making health care available for everybody. This does not mean free health care -- it means affordable health care. There are definite economies of scale and risk-spreading effects for the grabs if you make a basic insurance mandatory for everybody and require every insurance company to offer a basic policy. As long as a large part of the population does not (yet) need lots of health care so the costs are contained, and the vast majority of the population can cough up the premium, such a system for the basic coverage looks feasible.

    The major issue in the US may be that such a mandatory system does, indeed, take away the freedom to not pay any policy fee away from the citizens. If you want to shoot yourself in the foot, you should have the right to do so. The big, unsolved question remains whether you can as a society let scores of people shoot themselves in the foot and then bear the burden of many, many crippled citizens that won't contribute a lot to society any more. Very fundamental question and not with a simple answer.

    How much of doctor's fees goes into the pockets of the doctor, how much goes to the loan (s)he had taken out to pay for the education, and how much to his/her lawyer for the dozens of law suits (s)he has to fight off? This may be another thing to worry about.

    The combination of some reason why health care in the US is so expensive with the lack of really basic but affordable insurance makes us Europeans scratch our heads. We don't get it. Where does it go wrong? What do we miss?


    Dutchie
    packing up for the airport right now

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    I hate the health care here.

    I mean, never in my LIFE have I had to think about cost when I was sick before I moved here. It's like going to the store when you go to the hospital, they want to sell you things, make money from you, it is nauseating. Truly, if I move home, it will be first and foremost because of the USA healthcare system.

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    Editor Christy's Avatar
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    Jess, if you have health insurance it's not so bad..you get a list of doctors to choose from and you can even go "out of network" if you find someone you really like. One reason I don't have health insurance is because most of the really good doctors don't accept insurance. They're in such high demand that they make their own rules. The best way to find a great doctor is by word of mouth.

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    Insurance or not, everyone is in it to make money. That should not be the driving force behind healthcare.

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    Member Hoppie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Salary and cost of living

    Quote Originally Posted by Christy View Post
    [...] most of the really good doctors don't accept insurance. They're in such high demand that they make their own rules.
    ???!? wow! This is the system the Netherlands used, sort of, before we converted to the 'one single mandatory insurance for everybody' system.

    There was a 'free', mandatory (unavoidable, it came to you) insurance for people below a given income level. It was either paid by taking some (not a lot) money off your salary as a kind of tax, or absorbed by the government if you lived off a benefit. If your income went over the limit (roughly 40-50% of the country earned over the limit), you had to shop for an insurance with an insurer, but you did not need to do this (not mandatory). Doctors got paid low for helping mandatorily insured patients and a lot better for voluntarily insured or cash paying patients. It happend very often that the same doctor worked both for a hospital and had his own clinic, the latter just for the voluntarily insured ('private') patients of course.

    But I don't know of any case today where a doctor would reject insured patients and only send them cash bills. It is the other way around: all doctors struggle to get accepted by the insurance companies, so they can send the bills to the companies in bulk, and not keep their own administration.

    The insurance companies rule the game in the Netherlands. I am not sure whether that is much better. But I nearly never have a headache about 'should I have this treated'-like questions.


    Dutchie
    still five hours off clock

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    Member dylan's Avatar
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    The salaries for Miami can work with the Cost of living especially if you budget yourself. Once you get out of hand, or behind then the salary is never enough to really catch up.

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