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Thread: Salary conversion - Objective sources?

  1. #1
    Ecologist is offline Junior Member
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    Default Salary conversion - Objective sources?

    Several threads have people asking if NZ$X is a good salary, but this is highly subjective (your standards are not my standards). Currency conversion doesn't help because cost of living isn't taken into account. And while there are numerous on-line calculators for salary conversion between US cities, I can find none for international moves. So how is one expected to determine, objectively, what is a fair and reasonable salary?

    Basically I want a calculator that will tell me that a salary of US$X in Anycity, USA is equivalent to a salary of NZ$Y in Anycity New Zealand. That way I can know if a given offer is a pay cut, a lateral move, or a raise.

    Know of anything?

  2. #2
    zummerzet_lou's Avatar
    zummerzet_lou is offline your flexible friend
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    Not sure about NZ ->USA

    To get an insight, I divided my NZ salary by 2.5 which gave me roughly what I was earning in the UK.

    Quite difficult to get too much of a comparison, as some things are cheaper here, whereas others things are far dearer - but should give you a starting point.
    EOI Submitted 8th July 2007, 140 points no job offer.
    EOI Selected 18th July 2007
    ITA pack received 12th Oct 2007
    Completed ITA posted to NZIS 26th November 2007
    Case Officer assigned approx 22nd Feb 2008
    Immigration interview 7th May 2008
    PR AIP 10th May 2008
    Arrived in NZ, August 13th

    Check out our website -> http://the-clarks.freehostia.com/

  3. #3
    Ecologist is offline Junior Member
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    Default Resorted to a rough cost of living calculation

    Hmmm. Few views to the post, and only one reply, yet british gravy mix gets lots of attention.

    For those of you who might also be looking for answer to my question, I would recommend doing a cost of living calculation, as I have had to do. The site: "http://www.emigratenz.org/" has very useful information and calculators. I have to assume their information and assumptions are accurate - you natives and ex-pats can decide if the values they use are reasonable.

    I started with the average price for a house in the town I'm looking at (provided at the site). I then subtracted a downpayment using US dollars (be sure to apply the current exchange rate first). I then plugged the remainder into their mortgage payment calculator. Note that the calculator gives a monthly cost. That has to be converted into a weekly cost. I used [(monthly cost*12)/52] to get the weekly cost. Next I looked at the "cost of living" calculator, which allows you to choose between "frugal", "modest", and "good living" for many categories. I decided to split the difference between modest and good and took the average of these two total weekly costs - it doesn't hurt to build in a cushion.

    Then I added in other expenses, converted into NZ dollars and expressed on a weekly basis (e.g. my monthly student loan payment, which can only be made in US dollars, expressed as weekly NZ dollars; a car loan payment - really a guess; and a bit of savings/other). I used this total weekly expense in NZ dollars in the annual salary calculator. Again, I can only assume that they are making the tax calculations correctly, but voila- an estimated annual salary in NZ dollars that is needed to cover your estimated weekly expenses.

    One remaining question is whether this accurately accounts for medical costs, as the insurance situation for new immigrants is still a bit fuzzy to me. But at least its a start. By the way, the value I came up with for an annual salary matched, to within NZ$5K, what the salary I would expect to make in the US for the level of the NZ job (accounting for currency exchange of course). Thus I now have two independent estimates of what salary I can negotiate for.

    The next question is whether I should hire a NZ career consultant to make another estimation, and see what they come up with (as long as they don't use the same web site). I also have received the advice of talking to at least three NZ residents in my industry (2 in the company, 1 in a similar company) to get an idea of salary ranges.

  4. #4
    zummerzet_lou's Avatar
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    Glad you managed to sort out an answer ...

    What line of work are you in? When I was still in the UK, I got loads of advice from recruitment agents (for free). They told me what sort of salary I could expect given my experience, qualifications etc . Check out trademe.co.nz or seek.co.nz for job and recruitment agents.

    Dont' forget that Auckland salary will be higher .. but that is counteracted by the higher cost of housing there.

    All the best,

    Lou

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecologist View Post
    Hmmm. Few views to the post, and only one reply, yet british gravy mix gets lots of attention.

    For those of you who might also be looking for answer to my question, I would recommend doing a cost of living calculation, as I have had to do. The site: "http://www.emigratenz.org/" has very useful information and calculators. I have to assume their information and assumptions are accurate - you natives and ex-pats can decide if the values they use are reasonable.

    I started with the average price for a house in the town I'm looking at (provided at the site). I then subtracted a downpayment using US dollars (be sure to apply the current exchange rate first). I then plugged the remainder into their mortgage payment calculator. Note that the calculator gives a monthly cost. That has to be converted into a weekly cost. I used [(monthly cost*12)/52] to get the weekly cost. Next I looked at the "cost of living" calculator, which allows you to choose between "frugal", "modest", and "good living" for many categories. I decided to split the difference between modest and good and took the average of these two total weekly costs - it doesn't hurt to build in a cushion.

    Then I added in other expenses, converted into NZ dollars and expressed on a weekly basis (e.g. my monthly student loan payment, which can only be made in US dollars, expressed as weekly NZ dollars; a car loan payment - really a guess; and a bit of savings/other). I used this total weekly expense in NZ dollars in the annual salary calculator. Again, I can only assume that they are making the tax calculations correctly, but voila- an estimated annual salary in NZ dollars that is needed to cover your estimated weekly expenses.

    One remaining question is whether this accurately accounts for medical costs, as the insurance situation for new immigrants is still a bit fuzzy to me. But at least its a start. By the way, the value I came up with for an annual salary matched, to within NZ$5K, what the salary I would expect to make in the US for the level of the NZ job (accounting for currency exchange of course). Thus I now have two independent estimates of what salary I can negotiate for.

    The next question is whether I should hire a NZ career consultant to make another estimation, and see what they come up with (as long as they don't use the same web site). I also have received the advice of talking to at least three NZ residents in my industry (2 in the company, 1 in a similar company) to get an idea of salary ranges.
    EOI Submitted 8th July 2007, 140 points no job offer.
    EOI Selected 18th July 2007
    ITA pack received 12th Oct 2007
    Completed ITA posted to NZIS 26th November 2007
    Case Officer assigned approx 22nd Feb 2008
    Immigration interview 7th May 2008
    PR AIP 10th May 2008
    Arrived in NZ, August 13th

    Check out our website -> http://the-clarks.freehostia.com/

  5. #5
    Dawn's Avatar
    Dawn is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecologist View Post
    Hmmm. Few views to the post, and only one reply, yet british gravy mix gets lots of attention.
    I was vair busy looking for gravy mix in the supermarket - so vair vair sorry. I am just a humble British woman with nothing much else to do. Lu is a different breed, a conscientious wage slave who, remarkably, can find time to comment on gravy and more serious salary type matters She has my vote if she runs for Cch mayor

    Oy forumites! We must try harder
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

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