Set-up costs for a family

So although it is about 4 years in the future, I am trying to figure out moving costs for our family (that way I can save it head of time). Our current plan is to move to Danshui in the summer of 2024, when I can “retire” from my current job with a modest pension, and I plan to come over on the Gold Visa and work as much as needed to get by.

This is what I have figured so far:

Expenses (in NT$)

  1. Travel

    1. Plane tickets (3* 1 way)
      1. $17500*3= $53000 (approx)
  2. Extra bags: $12000
    All of our extra “stuff” 3-4 bags/boxes

  3. 1 month air bnb: $45000
    Sub-total 1: 110000 NT

  4. Set-up:

    1. Rent: $23000
    2. Deposit: $46000
    3. Scooter: $90000
    4. TV: $23000 (4K / 50 inch or so)
    5. Fridge: $20000
    6. Washer/dryer: $10000
    7. Other appliances: $10000
      1. Heaters, etc.
        Sub- total 2: 222000 NT
    8. Furniture:
      1. Approximates
      2. Sectional: $20000
      3. 2 chairs: $10000*2= $20000
      4. 2/3 mattresses and bed frames:
        $20000*3= $60000
      5. Dining Tables, chairs, etc: $40000
        Sub-total 3: $140000
  5. Total: 472000 NT/ approx $16000 US /
    $21000 CAN

I know some consider the rent to be too low, but I have looked a fair bit on and there are a lot of places that we like at the $23K and lower rent level.

We also don’t have fancy tastes, and much prefer comfortable and basic to anything fancy (Ikea is fine for most things).

This is without a car. My wife is against it, but I think we will likely need a car eventually, especially in Danshui. Overall I am probably estimating a bit on the high side, but I would rather do that and have some extra cash after.

I also won’t be in a rush to find a job with the Gold Visa and my pension. I would like to find something in a month or so after landing, just to have some extra cash. I have been looking at jobs that are online as well, so it could be possible to have it set up before landing if I want. We will see, and it largely depends on getting the Gold Visa as well.

Did I miss anything major? We are still in the planning phase, so now is the time to catch mistakes.


Imo, you need a car.

Appliances can probably be cheaper unless you want the top of the line Samsung or Japanese model. And some appliances probably come with the house if you’re renting.

School, if you decide to go to international school, is going to be the bulk of your costs. Be prepared to give them a “donation” if you want to make sure you get in.

That’s weird. I was just going to say that the appliances looked way too low. I’d say around 30K each for the fridge, washer and dryer.
TV and scooter can definitely get cheaper.

Your total sounds about right,mattresses bed frames, chairs etc may prove less costly but there will be other expensess to take their place. That is about how much we spent moving a family to Taiwan.

We are homeschooling/ using tutors and some after school stuff with TAS. This is just initial set up costs though, not ongoing.

I am really just trying to figure out if I missed anything major. The car is an issue, I know. My wife bikes everywhere here (even in -40C) so she is a very hard sale. Her perspective is that for day to day I can scooter (to work) and she (and my son) can ride their bicycles around Danshui for errands, etc. And then use public transport for getting to TAS , tutors, and classes. For trips to Costco, etc. we would take MRT there and cab back. Finally, for bigger trips, we could rent a car.

It is hard to argue with her logic. Still, what is a good site for used cars?


I hope that some appliances come with the apartment. That being said, as long as we can find appliances that are ok, we don’t care - we are definitely not big brand name people with appliances (cheap and cheerful). The only non-negotiable is that the place comes with air conditioning in all of the rooms. It would also be great if the place comes with an oven, which a lot of the newer places (at least in Danshui) seem to have.

Those costs are above what some might pay but normal for others. Seems way hi fir certain things, but i like your logic in high ball for saving. No one ever complains about having too much money left over.

Though other things seem lacking. Like transport. 90k for scooter is high. But transportation will be a big cost be it car or otherwise.

If aircon is such a big priority, expect high electric bills. That would be a big one. We pay 1500/ 2 months. But friends (no kids) pay over 20k somehow. Even though we run machines a lot, the difference is they us AC a lot!

Might be worth also planning monthly expenses.

I can kind of agree with your qifes logic on getting around. If taipei is your life, cars are not really essential even with kids. But if travel is important, and safety of the child, cars are a very useful (and expensive) tool. They are pricier here with purchase and insurance costs, but mehanics are cheaper. I budget 5k/month to take care of maintenance and tax/pollution costs. Another 12k/month for gas (i drive a lot though).

Join the Taipei buy and sell group. You see used cars pop up for around 100k.

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Motorcycle price is too high. With 70k you can buy a new one 150cc from any supermarket. Appliances are too low. Especially the other appliances, unless you buy used in Facebook when there is some foreigner selling. Note: many foreigners sell only with a 10-20% discount for their years old stuff, sometimes there are reasonable sellers though. You will need at least one dehumidifier for each room in your apartment, especially in Danshui. Otherwise be prepared to get mold all over your clothes and paper documents. A simple yet good dehumidifier runs 4K a piece. Then there is blenders for juice (cheap one around 2k in supermarket). You will not get an oven in the apartment, so if you want to bake you will also need to buy one. You will probably get a fridge already in the apartment and a washing machine. I’d look for apartments with those. Driers here are REALLY bad. They still leave the clothes damp unless you buy an western one from Costco that is much higher price and will contribute to increase your electricity bill.

If you buy ikea you can save a bit on furnishings. A dining table with chairs for 4 for example runs much lower than 40k there. You can check their taiwan website for options.

Car in Taipei is unnecessary, as it is in Danshui. Now, if you want to travel to the mountains or any place not in the big cities you will need it.

For cars:

I’m going to call you out on this, just from our personal experience with our mini Panasonic dryer. It does the job quite well and we’ve only seen about $500 ntd increase to our electricity bill.

Please tell me which model as I am looking to buy a new now. The one I had and friends have you’d need to leave it on for hours on end and with just a few pieces otherwise you get damp clothes.

I agree with most of the above.
large appliances like fridge and washer are more expensive than what you wrote, but most apartments will have them in already.
we have been without a car for 8 years now, and manage great with public transportation and car rental when we want to go out of town. we spend about 12k a month on public transportation (mrt pass, taxis, rental when needed ).

Consider a Gogoro. IMO, it’s a little crazy to buy any kind of petrol-fueled vehicle these days with climate change impacting our societies more and more every year. Embrace the future and go electric.

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Taipei is phasing our free scooter parking but they’re letting electric scooters park for free. Once you get over their initial cost it’s basically 800 a month for unlimited battery swap. Electric vehicles need less maintenance and no oil change.

Good advice, thanks. The only thing is that every apartment I have looked at in Danshui (that we are interested in) have ovens. They are all relatively new though, and I understand that most places in Taiwan don’t have them. In the 8 years we lived in Taiwan, I never saw an oven in an apartment (aside from the Kaiser large toaster oven style) - so I get your point.

I really agree on the dehumidifier point though, good point. I will include that in my calculations.

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As for the scooter price, it is based on me wanting a used big bike style 150, but preferably under 5 years old. It is likely still high balled, but I am just figuring stuff out at this point.

I really like to take rides through the mountains, along the beaches, etc… I considered the Gogoro, but I am not sure about it for range, and if it can handle myself (220lbs) and my wife or son (max +130lbs) up relatively steep mountain roads, etc…

I highly recommend the LG 8kg condensing unit they sell here. Works great and no need to vent. Mine drains into the same drain as the washer. If you buy the LG washer, you can stack them to save space.

Completely full of heavy clothes and towels it can take over three hours, but less than two for a normal load from a big family. I just let it run at night and fold in the morning.

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