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Thread: Cost of living.

  1. #1
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    Cost of living.

    Hi all,

    I've done a search but haven't found too much information about this topic.

    I've been offered a job in Aruba and need to figure out if the conditions are good enough.

    From what I read, the cost of living seems comparable to Europe, with some things cheaper and some things more expensive.

    We are a family of 4 (me, my wife and 2 children aged 1 and 3). I would like to know how much you guys would think it's necessary to have a comfortable (neither luxurious nor too tight) life in Aruba.

    By comfortable I mean a nice 3 or 4 bedroom house in a nice neighbourhood (not the most expensive but a nice one), utilities, food, car & home insurance, and all sort of monthly expenses... and still have money to go out to dinner every now and then enjoy a bit the island...

    I've read a couple of advices of people saying that it depends etc....but I would very much appreciate if someone could give me an approximately NET figure that would be good as a monthly salary for a family of four. Don't worry if the figure ends up not being accurate, I know it will be just your personal guess!!

    I don't need a breakdown of expenses, I just need a total (net) estimation to have an idea if the offer is good or not so much.....

    Thanks you in advance to all.

    Ps: If I finally move, I'll get a cold beer to any want who helps me out here

    Marco

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    my husband and i retired in 2008 and considered moving to Aruba for our retirement.

    we determined that if we were to live comfortably, (car, utilities/occupancy, groceries, insurances, etc) we would need about $7000- $8000 per month.

    electricity, water and income tax are HIGH on aruba.

    also too, one needs to show a certain income and post your own deportation fee as bond for X number of years. i do not know what the income is and i do not know what the bond is.

    in order for us to live comfortably on aruba, we'd exhaust our IRAs and that would not be good. we now are retired and living in FLA.

    Quote Originally Posted by MdiMatteo View Post
    Hi all,

    I've done a search but haven't found too much information about this topic.

    I've been offered a job in Aruba and need to figure out if the conditions are good enough.

    From what I read, the cost of living seems comparable to Europe, with some things cheaper and some things more expensive.

    We are a family of 4 (me, my wife and 2 children aged 1 and 3). I would like to know how much you guys would think it's necessary to have a comfortable (neither luxurious nor too tight) life in Aruba.

    By comfortable I mean a nice 3 or 4 bedroom house in a nice neighbourhood (not the most expensive but a nice one), utilities, food, car & home insurance, and all sort of monthly expenses... and still have money to go out to dinner every now and then enjoy a bit the island...

    I've read a couple of advices of people saying that it depends etc....but I would very much appreciate if someone could give me an approximately NET figure that would be good as a monthly salary for a family of four. Don't worry if the figure ends up not being accurate, I know it will be just your personal guess!!

    I don't need a breakdown of expenses, I just need a total (net) estimation to have an idea if the offer is good or not so much.....

    Thanks you in advance to all.

    Ps: If I finally move, I'll get a cold beer to any want who helps me out here

    Marco

  3. #3
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    Thanks Andrea, that was helpful (and I owe you a beer

    One thing though. You mention income tax is high......so according to your calculations, when you say $7- $8K a month, is that before or after taxes (net)?.

    If the figure is gross I might be ok, but it after taxes.....I'm afraid I'm going to have to stay in Barcelona or Milano...

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    for our needs $7 - 8000 a month before (gross) taxes

    aruba tax rate is high
    http://www.taxrates.cc/html/aruba-tax-rates.html

    the more we got into it with research the more difficult it was becoming.

    one of the things was the income tax withholding.
    husband's pension from USA would have income tax (USA) withheld and then would also be charged an income tax in Aruba.
    from what we understood our IRAs would be double taxed as well. BUT, we never pursued that end of it to get the real story.

    do lots more research and talk to other employees of the company

  5. #5
    Senior Member SanNic44's Avatar
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    MDiMatteo,

    Aruba living expenses are comparable to a major USA city or the same in Europe. Here's a few things that may be helpful:

    To own a home with four bedrooms, I would estimate a purchase price around $350,000 US to $400,000. This might end up being a home you buy for less and improve or one that is ready to move in. It also would be several miles, about 15-20 minutes driving from the major tourist area. (TEST EVERYTHING in a house before you buy. EVERY toilet, faucet, light switch, door, window, gate, lock. ASSUME NOTHING.) Taxes on the house depend upon the value, probably around $3000 a year for that price house.

    Operating the house. If you get used to the breeze and keep the airco on for sleeping and much less during the day, electric will run in the $200/month range. Could go higher if you need that airco all day. Water varies much more depending upon use because the cost goes up as you use more. Perhaps $50-100 per month with lots of showers for kids and such.

    Operating a vehicle, fuel is slightly more expensive than the USA, a bit less than in Europe. Car insurance varies with the vehicle, I've got a little Nissan car there now that costs me about $600 a year for decent coverage.

    Groceries cost (my opinion) 10-15% more than the USA.

    Those are probably the biggest expenses. In general, I live well for less money in Aruba than in Philadelphia because I burn less gasoline and have more economical local eating/drinking spots where it costs me less.

    Your final calculation would depend upon whether or not you finance a home and your car, how much you dine out, what type of recreation you enjoy, and so forth.

    All the best,

    44
    Aruba's Novelist in Residence (sometimes)
    http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot guys, that's very useful information.

    Housing, groceries, insurances etc... are in the range of what I expected, but income taxes and utilities are going to kill me!!

    I will be renting a place for the first year, and if everything goes well with the job and my children adapt well (and I'm sure they will), I might buy a house next year. Do you guys know if you have to pay taxes on a house when renting? or is that something for the owner of the place?

    As for places to live, someone just told me "anywhere up north you'll be fine"....Is that right?

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Aruba since 1979
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    A friend on island runs her airco 24/7 at 73 degrees and runs her pool and her elec bills are over $500 p month.

    The further away from the ocean (north and inland) rents will be cheaper.

    A 3 bedroom house in a good location will run you over
    $1200 p month plus utilities.

    I advise vacationing there for 2 weeks to get a feel.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SanNic44's Avatar
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    I suggest you check out Savaneta. Depending upon where you work, the drive may be a little longer, but there are very nice, quiet areas there, where housing is reasonable. And, you'll be in a spot that still has lots of Caribbean feel to it.

    Good luck.

    44
    Aruba's Novelist in Residence (sometimes)
    http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com/

  9. #9
    Aruba since 1979
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    here is some information a friend has given me to post on her behalf.

    she is a young woman (way younger than i), single and employed full time on aruba.

    she cannot post, but has asked me to post in her stead.

    "Hey Andrea- long time no chat! I saw a thread on the BB about cost of living in Aruba- here is my average: (monthly)

    Mortgage: AFL 1,450 (includes all home/life insurance)
    Electricity: AFL 180
    Water AFL 14.50
    Cel/home phone/internet AFL 200
    Cable tv AFL 68
    Gas for car: AL 200
    Car Insurance per YEAR (good driver discount ) AFL 480
    Property tax per YEAR: AFL 525

    Bear in mind I live alone and run AC in my bedroom only at night. My take home pay is about AFL 2000 (after mortgage) and I still have money left at the end of the month. I mostly cook in- love to cook, but do eat lunch out 4-5 days a week."

    now she did not add in her cost for groceries or if she has to pay towards health insurance.

    hope her figures are helpful

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    an addendum she just sent to me :)

    Re: car ins

    per year for the car insurance- Ennia-acutally all my insurance is with Ennia- home, fire, contents of home, life and car (I got the extra policy on the house that covers hurricane, earthquake, theft, vandalism, flooding) as long as Meteo gives an advisory it is covered


    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    here is some information a friend has given me to post on her behalf.

    she is a young woman (way younger than i), single and employed full time on aruba.

    she cannot post, but has asked me to post in her stead.

    "Hey Andrea- long time no chat! I saw a thread on the BB about cost of living in Aruba- here is my average: (monthly)

    Mortgage: AFL 1,450 (includes all home/life insurance)
    Electricity: AFL 180
    Water AFL 14.50
    Cel/home phone/internet AFL 200
    Cable tv AFL 68
    Gas for car: AL 200
    Car Insurance per YEAR (good driver discount ) AFL 480
    Property tax per YEAR: AFL 525

    Bear in mind I live alone and run AC in my bedroom only at night. My take home pay is about AFL 2000 (after mortgage) and I still have money left at the end of the month. I mostly cook in- love to cook, but do eat lunch out 4-5 days a week."

    now she did not add in her cost for groceries or if she has to pay towards health insurance.

    hope her figures are helpful

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