I was very surprised to see the survey published Juxt Consultant on Non Resident Indians. The survey gave details on the earnings of Indians based abroad (Non Resident Indians). The people covered were mostly residents in UK, US and Middle East. I have earlier covered some interesting facts about Indians living abroad.
Surprisingly, the average income levels of NRI’s is quite low in US. The situation is even worse in Gulf based NRIS.
The survey shows that more than 62% Indians based in US/ UK earn less than $ 5000 a month (including taxes). If you calculate an average US tax rate of 30%, the net income of these NRIs comes to less than $3500, which in my experience will not leave any scope for savings. This is especially true if you have more than 2 family members.
Here is the kind of expenses you incur, if you are living in US:
In most cities, the rental is anywhere between $800 to $1200. In palces like California, it may go higher and in places like North Carolina it may be lower. The utilities include Electricity, gas, heat, water etc. Dining out may be higher or lower. I am not able to really say how much this costs normally. But even if you eat one or twice a week in a restaurant, you easily end up spending around $200. Car is a must in US. Even if you buy a old car, the maintainence and car loan premium may cost you around $400. Entetainment includes Cable, Internet at home etc. Miscelleneous may be much more than $200- A lot of stuff costs you like parking, Phone cards, buying clothes etc.I have not included medical expenses in the table, but it may cost you a lot even if it is a co-pay.
By this chart, total expenses comes to around $3000- So, the savings stand at meagre $500 for more than 62% Indians living in US.
Is it worth it ???
Distribution of Earnings in Non Resident Indians
I cannot even think of people in Gulf, majority of whom earn less than $2000 per month. If any of my readers live in Gulf they could provide me with first hand information on what kind of cost of living one incurs there.