31% of Taiwanese earn less than NT$30,000; 10% earn over NT$61,000 per month.

Oh, I agree. They’re just not going to large it up or save much money. In teaching 60k starting was the same 10 years ago.

Most kids come here with student debt. And fall in love rather easily, get married… and that is when money gets tight.


Was opposite for me , mostly. I had much less money when single. I was on around 60k a month 16 years ago and still felt pretty poor . Never could save anything , also had to pay off some minor debts but took forever. Every time I flew home or anywhere would take a chunk of savings . Flying out to renew visa, but some furniture, a scooter, all costs money.

Remember the old adage, getting married and having a baby you will be blessed with more wealth.

According to some of the older folks anyway :).

Same with me. When I was single I blew my salary every month. I’ve only been saving since marriage. Open work rights whacked up my income considerably, and the wife works.

Agreed 30k a month is purely survival money. No retirement nothing can be saved for the future.

30 000 is fine for unmarried taiwanese. its not great, but its liveable. do the people questioning it even know how taiwanese live?

less than 20 000 is fine for food and transport costs. they either wont be paying for rent due to living at home and mommy taking care of everything or they will be spending less than 10 000 or a tiny apartment… which they are quite happy to live in. my ex gf was earning something similar while renting a crappy small room and she was saving money on top and giving her parents some money.

60 000 should be fine for a young foreigner too. more than livable. when you have a wife and kids in tow sure its going to be more difficult but i’m not really sure why a career teaching english overseas would be bringing in the big bucks either.

Flying home is a major expense that can take a huge bite out of your savings.
3 people passed away in my family in 3 back to back years. I had to go back. That set me back almost 2 1/2 years worth of savings.

Doesn’t matter if you are single or married, kids or no kids…save as much as you can. If you don’t need it, don’t get it. Put that money away instead. Sit on the idea of that purchase for at least a month. If you still really want it, then go for it, but more often than not, you will have forgotten about that urge to spend and will be thankful for the cash in your pocket.

And for heavens sake, don’t carry a balance on your credit cards! Pay those suckers off each month. Don’t spend what you don’t have.


Here is how I feel. Yes the job market is not good, yes the wages can be considerably low and stagnant, yes the educational system didn’t do a good job in preparing people to do more than a 30k job. But if you’re making 30k, that’s probably what your skill sets are worth. If you can do something others can’t, you get more. And you can always hustle to move up if you’re smart and have the drive.

My friend when I first move here. Worked as a server here. Got 28k a month. She moved up to manager. Got 45k a month. She saved up and now is part owner to new restaurant and makes much more. She was good at her job and saw she can do something with it.

Other friend I worked with was a PR and taught in the am like me. Now he’s the general manager of a big new club here making a huge amount.

Another example, the guy came from Canada. Was a teacher part time and dj part time. Honestly awful DJ. But he made connections for him. He’s pretty much a alcoholic and loves beer and craft beer. Decided to open a brewery and open 2 bars. One of the bars failed but he still owns a brewery and has a bar.

Even me who didn’t finish college. I was raking in 60k and probably could have made double from being able to coach basketball and boxing/muay Thai and fitness. 1500 a hour. I barely worked that much during the day. Actually I was with a place that paid me 250hr. I said fuck that and started to build my own clients and stuff and kept all the profits and worked with my friend who owns a gym to come in and do classes. All from investing my time going to Thailand to learn and take fights. Every job I did I went out and met people and got jobs from people I know or referred me to. Like many of my friends I mentioned above. We all know each other. Went out of our way to meet people who can help us and help each other.

Problem is, people think they just will be fine with their degrees and don’t take risks like save up and open their own restaurant and learns all about the restaurant business. Locals don’t learn English or another language that can help them, sure some might have an advantage by being able to move overseas. But don’t act like there aren’t programs and ways to learn it. Sure school taught them mostly useless info and not how to be an entrepreneur. But the info is there for those that have the ambition. I mean do you really think a buxiban English teacher is worth 60k+ here. There aren’t other people who are lining up to do the same job? What skills and risks are people really making to make a huge amount here?

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That amount only works when they are living at home, eating at home, using the family scooters / cars, and mom and dad are paying the utilities. It is great that there is no stigma about living at home here unlike in the US, where living at home is considered immature.

I know a Taiwanese guy who is in his late 30s, who makes about 50,000 a month. He lives with mom and dad and does exactly what I said above. His expenses each month add up to no more than 7,000 NT. He is able to put 43,000 in the bank every month. He gives his parents a generous red envelope on Chinese New Year, Christmas and their birthdays. The rest of the year he just saves. He has close to 5 million in the bank.

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yea its a normal situation unless you were born outside of taipei. and as i said in that case, expenses are still not high (or don’t need to be). one room apartments, gas is cheap and so is public transport. eat at crappy restaurants. i’ve done it myself. i was earning about 10 000 a month when i first got here so i know how it is.

No. That’s what your skillset is worth here. Or more accurately what Taiwan bosses think it is worth. Elsewhere, Ie. China, these same positions, same people, same background are making more than double.

He does have money but he never launched his own life.
So that’s a bit sad. There are many many people I know like that in Taiwan.

Wow thats about 9.6 years of saving 43,000 a month nonstop (assuming he didn’t invest or his parents didn’t give him money). More like 12 years since he has to pay income tax on 50k a month.

Whats the difference? Thats like saying someone teaching a useless skill in one country should make more because they would in another. Jump over to China then, I’ve been offered way more over as well, and i’m certainly not too keen on making the jump over.

it’s not like Taiwanese people don’t know about wages here, are they expecting different if they can do the same thing everyone else in Taiwan can do?

They live in fear that they won’t have enough when they are older, so they do not spend now.


Yes. And in Europe their skillset is worthless, because the companies do different things. So what? The job market is a market like any other. Go into the best market for you. Offer a boss a lot of bang for their buck. Get hired. Improve your offering. Get more money at another job.

Taiwan’s wages are low because the global supply of labor, even skilled labor, far exceeds the demand.

On the other hand, the global demand for innovative products and services—and the ability to create such innovations—far exceeds the supply. That’s the differentiator between high wage and low wage countries—wealth creation due to innovation.

If Taiwan began spawning Facebooks, Amazons, Ubers, Teslas and other “unicorns” its wages and standard of living would rise like an economic tide coming in.

If Taiwan merely raised the price of labor though beyond the global demand for it the demand for that labor would vanish.

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Eh, after 45? Anything younger, yes, but very few companies appreciate and pay for skills and experience. In Taiwan, withteh lack of labor rights enforcement, the older you get the greater the danger to be sacked so as not to pay higher salaries/pension/etc.

Yes. But that is the same everywhere, no? If you are not a manager or boss by 45, you will have a tough time and fresh graduates will try to push you out. I am from Western Europe and nobody there hires people aged 50+ if they can avoid it, they get pushed out by the company and the government has to pick up the pieces.

The key is to be prepared for this by parents, school etc and to try and make smart decisions early on.

I dare to sasy no one here, aside from civil servants, is safe fromk being fired anytime, anywhere, for whatever reason.