Expat in shanghai, move to Taiwan?

Hey all,

Got a bit of a mix of questions, figured I’d ask here. I work for an American company in china and have lived in shanghai for 8 years. As of this year I’ll be taking care of a number of non china markets which includes Taiwan and just came over on a business trip. I’d been here once in 1998, but not for long. Even After just a few days I really feel it’s like a nicer version of china. I’d been thinking of buying an apartment in shanghai, but I never did as it feels you’re spending a lot on a place with shoddy building standards.

Overall, I just kind of get the impression the quality of life here is better (better air, more polite people, less messy and chaotic) and the job would now actually easily allow me to move out of china. But I need a bit of understanding about costs and life in general.

Could you live a nice life on around 250.000 nt$ a month? (Pre-tax, no kids yet, but there might be)
and how does income tax work here?

If you bought a nice place in the suburbs (not necessarily on a subway line) say in New Taipei City, how kind of price ranges are you looking at?

And if you’ve spent time on the mainland, what do you think are the upsides & downsides to living here? (I’m fluent in mandarin btw)

Thanks for any advice

250,000 NT$/month means you’re a baller :bravo:

[quote=“Esvees”] If you bought a nice place in the suburbs (not necessarily on a subway line) say in New Taipei City, how kind of price ranges are you looking at?

And if you’ve spent time on the mainland, what do you think are the upsides & downsides to living here? (I’m fluent in Mandarin btw)
[/quote]

The further out of Taipei Central you go, the better value for money you get.

Fluent in Mandarin = Plenty of Upsides, minimal downsides

As opposed to Taiwan, where you would be spending a lot on a place with shoddy building standards?

You might have to cut back to only three full-time French-style maids wearing tail-buttplugs and kitty ears, and naked sushi only twice a week.

Also, it may soon be getting much harder to flee the country after committing drunken KTV escapades.

[quote=“Esvees”]
and how does income tax work here? [/quote]
I’m not sure it does, really, but at least it’s better than the U.S. or EU.

Welcome to the 'mosa.

Your salary will allow you to live quite well, above average as a matter of fact. We all concur Taiwan is China light, more rule of law, still picturesque but warmer. Blame Japanese influence for the order. :smiley:

[quote]Could you live a nice life on around 250.000 nt$ a month? (Pre-tax, no kids yet, but there might be)
and how does income tax work here? [/quote]
[color=#0000BF]Normally, you can live OKish with 10 times less. Let’s say a couple, living in teh traditional expat area, Tianmu, close to foreign schools -for future kid- spending say over 50K rent for a house (which is rare, but with your salary affordable):
High end: rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-1815301.html
Medium: rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-1851243.html
Low: rent.591.com.tw/rent-detail-1870252.html

Budget 10 to 20K for food. Other amenities depend on your preferences.[/color]

[color=#0040FF]
Now that gets a bit complicated. Currently we’;re suffering through a real estate bubble. Prices are quite inflated. Rental is low, buying expensive, loans interest rate cheap. A few samples, same area:
High: a house by the National Palace Museum sale.591.com.tw/sale-detail-701727.html
Med: apartment sale.591.com.tw/sale-detail-722826.html

You can buy a house in teh outskirts for maybe 10 million NTD, up to say 90 million. Anything in between, average 25 mill I’d say.[/color]

Many expats miss the pace, the diversity, cheaper services, access to international services.

Welcome!!

Lived in Beijing for 4 years before Icame to Taiwan and lived for 3 years. Coming from the mainland (I loved Beijing so I AM biased and not into the usual China is evil clap trap) the first thing that hits you is the smallness of the place. Yes there are malls, and shopping places but you don’t find everything here all the time. Then for me there was the weather. It was HORRID. I didn’t realize Taipei would be cold AND rainy. I mean not that rainy for weeks and weeks and weeks. ANd the dampness, and staying indoors with children, is a pain.

Otherwise the folks here are cool, apparently the workforce can get meanie, but I didn’t work in Taipei so no idea. You’ll adjust well because of the Mandarin thingy, I did too. Basically the people and the culture is just like in China (minus the spitting), so it won’t take you more than a week to adjust. It’s like starting where yoy left off. Frankly?? The whole air thing is overrated. Sure the air MAY be techniclly cleaner, but there is hardly a kid or adult not prone to allergies or Asthmas and whatevers in TW. Coz did I mention the rain??? Allergens abound aplenty including mold. And bugs, loads of bugs and cockroaches and rats. I don’t know if it is an Island thing (they say NY is infested too)but mosquitoes, little biting flea thingies, roaches, mold are just a constant battle you have to fight. Cupboards get clammy…yeah I know you can fight all that with dehumidifiers etc. but all that is a pain. Protecting books, leather, furniture, walls, silks, from green stuff is PHEW.

I enjoyed Taipei a lot too. Mostly for its parks, for its simple small eateries in abundance…basically all the Chines pleasures. However buying fabric and getting clothes stitched is a pain in Taipei. I was in the positive mode, yeah, so loads of trekking stuff. You do have beaches, but well the water is warm only for a few months. Travel is easy, but then again, there isn’t anything spectacular like Luoyang or Xian or Guilin or Harbin. Small towns, villages, quaint temples, some history. Pretty sweet. YOu won’t regret coming to TW, but it really isn’t all that spectacular that it is made out to be. It’s a small place and the Taiwanese are proud of what they have made of it, which is really admirable!! No wonder every TW takes a lot of pride in their land and they’ll often ask you, what you think of it and be generous with your praises. Why not?? They’re a good lot, polite to a fault. Not aggressive and really generous.

What else?? Well if you live in TW you are all PC. So that may be a plus for you :laughing: . Not living in big bad Shanghai!!! YOull miss it though. More than you can imagine!!!

I am using a small netbook hence the immense typos. Sorry!

jesus man, 250,000 a month? I bags the spare room!

Taiwan personal Income Tax

Taiwan personal income tax rates are progressive to 40%.

Income Tax Rate
0-500,000 5%
500,001-1,130,000 12%
1,130,001-2,260,000 20%
2,260,001-4,230,000 30%
4,230,001 and over 40%

If you are getting paid in Taiwan, there isn’t much you can do about these rates–there are not a lot of tax breaks for working stiffs. Investors on the other hand enjoy basically no capital gains tax.

All kind of investors ?
For instance, you don’t pay taxes on gains on the stock markets ?

Thanks everybody, that’s really helpful. Much obliged.

On the income tax, having elderly parents gives you generous tax deductions since it is assumed you are supporting them (this used to be the case anyway). Depending on your situation that could be a bonus. I haven’t lived in Taiwan for nearly a decade, but while there I never felt I was paying very much tax - far less than in NZ anyway.

As for lifestyle, Taipei is far superior to Shanghai in my opinion. I’ve lived in both places. In Taipei for about five years. Then moved to Shanghai about ten years ago.

Bottom line is that the people in Taiwan are (in general) far more friendly and genuine. I do not often make it back over there, but when I do it’s always a pleasure.

Costs in the two cities seem increasingly similar. On 250k I think you’d live about the same in either place.

I took a 33 percent pay cut post taxes to move from shanghai to taipei. I never regretted it.

Then i moved to HK for my old much larger salary. Now I regret leaving.

Maybe the Taipei lifestyle suits me more. Nicer countryside and nicer people.

What you’ll miss from shanghai is that it’s much more of a melting pot. Taipei can also be a career dead end, but that depends a lot on your line of work.