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New Zealand Expat Forum

Livable wage?

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9/30/2016 00:34 EST

Hello All,
Strong possibility of moving to Dunedin from the U.S. to work for Otago Uni. Salary would be $55,000. Is that enough to live on? I know it's more expensive in NZed (lived there 10 years ago for a year in Chch for uni) but just wanted to see if that was a realistic amount to live on. I know traveling outside of country is expensive, but what about just general life there for that amount? Thank you so much for your help!

10/11/2016 01:16 EST

Dunedin's dirt cheap...hope you're accustomed to cold weather. 55US or 55NZ is more than enough to live comfortably....take a good jacket!

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12/26/2016 15:04 EST

I found this website really helpful when working out the cost of living (monthly). Including the cost of utilities, average rent etc.
Hopefully it's of some benefit.

3/24/2017 11:52 EST

Take a good warm jacket & your thermals as well if you're looking at Dunedin. Home insulation is only a new concept in NZ so you'll find it much colder & more expensive to survive the winter months than in the US. Much more expensive! However, it's a great little city and the best university in NZ so I'm sure it will work out. $55,000 is below average annual salary in NZ. Housing, electricity/gas, and food will be your three major expenses and will gobble up much of your income - particularly in the winter months. Having recently visited NZ after 18 months living in europe we were shocked at the cost of food. Be prepared. But we still love it in NZ - it's home for us. Good luck with your decision-making.

8/17/2017 02:21 EST

Probably most important question is: is that before or after tax? Income tax is about 33% and you pay 15% on any and all purchases including food. Of course Dunedin is chilly so there is electrical costs (going up not down). Also if you are only here for a year the US expects you to pay them income tax as well...good luck! You may be able to get buy but it will not be what you may be used to!Though we have a lot more stuff now then we had even 10 years ago. Cheers

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