Pretty much any afternoon activity was costing us $500 ($10,000-$15,000 nt) a month in Taiwan. I’m now paying less than $3000nt for basically the same thing.
Now that $10,000-$15,000nt a month ads up. Add on some one or two time a week things like scouts and possibly a buxiban and you can easily be paying up to $30,000nt a month for one kid.
As for work life balance there is none in Taiwan. You’re expected to start work at 9am and finish at 6pm. And often work late for no extra pay. So if you took a job programming you’d be stuck in a cubicle spending half your time answering emails through google translate. And your wife would be worse. She’d start off on maybe $60,000nt a month. Maybe.
You could always freelance. However I doubt you’d be able to deal with the Taiwanese bureaucracy with school enrollments and permission forms and all the rest of what goes on. So your wife would be stuck doing that too.
I honestly don’t see any positives in moving from somewhere where you’re already established to Taiwan where even these forums are filled with the stories of foreigners being chewed up and spat out. Get yourself involved with some overseas Taiwan see groups where you are. Get a tutor for the kids so they’re speaking Mandarin for extended periods of time and learning the character based system of writing.
I have a money in equities from secured cheap debt, cause got lucky lately. So this is my main bet for retirement. I am indebted in Europe for half a million € at 2 % fixed, probably € will be devalued on long term basis. Next, I have seconds thoughts how much Germany will be reliable and successful in a future. Even somehow we always make it trough. As a nation we get old very fast, so do Taiwanese, but they do not have heavy burden of public expenses for elders. Have enough working years in Germany to get part of pension later on as well, so would not need to relay on Taiwan government for pension.
Lower capital gains tax would actually help me in Taiwan. There is as well a promise from father in law about buying an apartment for us. I would definitely have way higher expense for family life in Taiwan even after saving rent payment.
I am more worried about getting actually a decent paid job, set up in Taiwan. Cause have to keep paying off debt, (70k twd or 2200 € monthly) this is why prefer to stay in Europe for now. Have very strong fix rent contract here (for next 15 years) and our living expenses are small cause of it.
Stocks goes up and down, waiting for better equity/debt ratio, cause I don’t want to count, relay on wife income in Taiwan. Firstly is hard to balance 3 kids and two full time jobs in Taiwan, and secondly I don’t want wife works hard for low money. It seems jobs in Taiwan are hit or missed type of thing. This is why we prefer to wait kids are older, cause have 6 weeks holiday package and believe small kids need parents more actively. But as they get bigger ofc priorities change, for them and for me.
I think Taiwan is really amazing for people in their 20s. Want to give them this chance too.
Otherwise when it comes to future I don’t think Chinese will matter for good living outside of Taiwan and China. I can totally imagine decline of Chinese, Taiwanese power like it happened to Japanese.
One way to go around this, is get some kind of deal of part time job for my wife later on, so she can go to Taiwan more often, while I get job with more remote options. Convince old man to buy holiday apartments for us. Doing this we get best from both world without taking all that Taiwanese crap of actually living there. Cause I am sure it will be a lot of crap with jobs and schooling.
I think a lot of people misunderstand how absurdly unorganized taiwan is. I can deal with it because I’m total chaos but you’re about to go from this very orderly organized German culture to absolute fucking mayhem. You are going to get PISSSSSED the second you have to actually get some shit done that doesn’t include drinking beer cans at 7/11.
I am gonna say what noone seems to want to tackle: I think what you are facing here is the typical pressure from the Taiwanese family to relocate, since your family unit is the only one with grandchildren. You will be promised heaven on earth to make this happen. Take assurances of an easy ride with a grain of salt. There are many more quality of life sacrifices you would have to make to settle here.
If the grandparents wish to buy an apartment, they can buy it for the kids, who can use it (if and when they decide to live in Taiwan, maybe in their university years).
Talk to your wife to shoulder some of the childcare responsibilities. By now she should be able to navigate school activities… unless this is being used as leverage to move back to tw, i which case good faith might be an issue.
I take it your wife’s siblings are working people. That means you can only count on the occasional weekend help with baby-minding.
Be prepared for changes in your relationship with your wife as well if you do move: social dynamics here can be … quite strange…
We are actually in the process of leaving Taiwan, part time at least, due to our kids. Spent a lot of time in the West since the borders have opened back up and the life for our kids there is just much better. We’ve tried the local sport options and they really take it too serious. Just want my kids to be able to go have fun like we watched my nieces and nephews do in their summer sports. And don’t get me started in the education, my kids are barely out of diapers, why does everything have to be so serious??
It’s not an easy move though, both my wife and I have very successful business here so we will both be flying back and forth a lot to maintain those, but we believe it is worth it for our kids’ sanity. Gonna check back here in a year or two and see how it went.
The search costs are rather steep (time spent, and effort coordinating with other, sometimes flaky, families for group activities) in the larger towns. Most of the time is spent searching, and schedules tricky.
You and the wife need to be comfortable with this, otherwise recriminations ensue.
Generally wife is a passive person. She has no thoughts. But I am positive she is more happy in Taiwan. From experiences I trust in laws more than her.
I don’t have pressure from inlaws, but I asked them how difficult would be to move to Taiwan and when is the last timing cause of school. Father in law fast made comment he will buy apartment for us, but I have to keep in mind good job is hard to get for a foreigner. Dude doesn’t talk to much, he run his business around the clock.
They are good folks.
All this fiasco with masks enforced on kids went too far and definitely I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a Taiwan in past years. However when I took kids to parks in Taiwan, I do see big groups of kids running around and well just being kids. As well see a lot teenagers playing group sports. Saw girls playing football and it seems they have a league.
As others have said, in short seems options are there, it various from elementary to elementary school. It looks like moving to countryside is a way to go. In laws live in the countryside of Hsinchu, they have big garden of land in the middle of house projects. Was told can build up a house there too.
Is all about this I think they are resources in Taiwan and my kids can benefit from it. Is good to know options.
Personally I would like to move somewhere else down the road and experiences more. Understand Taiwan can be hit or miss.
You really gave me a lot of feedback and I am very grateful for it. I re read it again. We tend to agree, Taiwan as a whole doesn’t give good deal and kids have long holidays already one time per year.They speak language too.I like it how we have it now. Yep, why to bother with Taiwan, when Mediteran is so beatiful in summer. Rynair, easyJet go everywhere for 100 euros.
We actually spend a decent time with Chinese diaspora. I get along with them better than my spouse. Cause they love to drink and to do BBQ. I am simple man, love beer and good steak.
Regardless of everyone’s personal flip flopping. hard to avoid. But I would say the advantage is having fingers in multiple pies. what you hate about Taiwan today, you may learn to love in the future. or, perhaps more likely, as Germany ages and evolves along its path, taiwan also evolves along its path. but unlike europe, it is bew and changing lightning fast.
it is hard to say where taiwans future lies. Probably has mostly to do with chinas war tyranny and the international communities acceptance of such horrendous crimes against humanity…if it comes to that. But, outside of that, I see a brighter future in Taiwan than say Germany. Or the US for that matter. everything is established here for insanely futuristic, best of the best. whether that happens or not is in the hands of the people. I love taiwan for this reason. it is EASY to make a fairly direct and useful impact here, unlike many other countries where you just become a slave to the machine.
The fact people can discuss taiwans many issues AND be directly connect to the sollutions (if they want to) is really the hidden jewel that is Taiwan. A fact that is all too misrepresented imo.
I’ve actually been really contemplating this the last couple of months. My wife and I lived in Taiwan for 6 years and moved back to Minnesota USA September of last year with our 2 year old son.
My wife is having a really hard time adjusting to life here (not close to her family, cold, expensive, driving culture) and the few months have been rough on everyone.
My job is remote and would allow me to work anywhere – US software developer wages go pretty far in Taiwan (real-estate owning aside).
My biggest hopes for moving back to the US where:
To be closer to my parents (my parents hadn’t seen my son due to the lockdowns since he was born)
I worry about the Taiwanese school system beating any creativity and independence out of my son
Working normal hours (have to work 2nd shift in Taiwan for some overlap)
Other than that, I do enjoy life in Taiwan quite a bit and enjoy the convenience of living in a big city.
We could afford to send our son to TAS and with tax savings come out ahead. I also do enjoy the feeling of safety in Taiwan and that they actually let their kids run around outside with CPS getting called (to an extent, there is a “parent hovering” thing at the toddler stage that still seems a little odd to me in Taiwan).
I thought I had escaped but we may very well be back…