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Higher cost of living vs. No income tax

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wonderer771
6/9/2019 10:39 EST

I have been offered a job in Nassau. The job pays 85 k per year. When I expressed concern about the high cost living, my future employer said this was offset by the lack of Federal income tax. In the U.S., I currently pay about 30% of my income in state and federal taxes. I'd be interested in learning others' opinions on this. Although we don't necessarily need a "resort" lifestyle, we would need threes house or condo in a relatively safe area. In your experience, does the lack of federal tax off-set the high cost of living? We have a few weeks to decide. Thanks in advance for your insights.

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MrsQ
6/13/2019 08:57 EST

Hello. My husband and I moved to Nassau a year and a half ago when his company offered him a transfer. At first glance, your offer of $85K seems low to me, especially if you are married and/or have children. Do you know if your prospective employer will be giving you a housing stipend on top of the $85K? if so, that could make the difference. We live in the Cable Beach area on the west side of the island. It's a safe area and we live in a 2-bedroom condo in a gated community. Our rent is $3,500 per month, and that is on the low end of rents for this area of the island. Electricity runs us an average of $450 per month (our stove uses propane). Our cable bill (top of the line package with HBO, internet, and landline that includes a high number of free minutes of calling to the U.S.) is $345 a month.

As I'm sure you are aware, food is extremely expensive here. A good rule of thumb is to take your American grocery budget and double it. Just about everything costs 1.5 to 2 times what it does in the U,S,, and there is a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) on nearly everything. Expect to spend $80-$100 for dinner for two (no alcohol) at an average-priced restaurant.

If possible, you should plan a couple of trips per year to Florida or somewhere else in the U,S, to do shopping. Every resident gets 2 two duty exemptions of $500 each per year to bring stuff back. Amazon does not ship here directly; we have a P.O. box with a Florida address that forwards our mail and packages to a store here on the island. We pay about $200 a year for the box plus we pay any freight charges for packages that are shipped over. Anything we order on Amazon is opened by customs and inspected, then a duty is assessed, which we pay the store directly.

I'm not sure if you have children (my husband and I don't), but if you do, you will want to figure in the cost of private school for them. From what I hear, Bahamian schools are pretty bad and sending your kids to the international school in Lyford Cay on the west side of the island costs a bundle.

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

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clajudo
6/13/2019 12:17 EST

I moved to Bahamas 4 years ago with housing allowance, a car and cell phone included in my salary.
I made more than 100k and it was still not enough as living cost is very expensive. Food is prohibitive! I would say 85k is low. Your spouse will not be able to work unless she gets an offer with a working visa.
Its a beautiful country, gorgeous beaches but way too expensive.

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