Equivalent Income?

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MPNicholson
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Equivalent Income?

Post by MPNicholson » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:36 pm

Hi-

My husband is being asked to make a Finnish company an offer for us to relocate from the US to Vantaa, Finland and work for them.

This is basically the opposite of what we have experienced in the past.

We have been researching and are struggling to figure out what would result in an equivalent level of income.

Together we grossed $150,000 USD last year. We paid $10,000 of that for health insurance and $9000 for a private school for our 7 year old. We would put him in a local public school in Finland.

His base income was $105,000 USD.

Can anyone suggest what we might meed to make there? Our take home was around $8000/month.

Secondly, we have a child who is going into the 11th grade here. She only speaks English. She plans to attend University. What are the options for her schooling?

I would really appreciate some insight into these issues - and if there is possibly something I am not considering that I should be I'd like to know.

Equivalent Income?

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Rosamunda
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Rosamunda » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:32 pm

There is an international school in Vantaa. It is part of the IB World Schools programme offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma which is widely accepted for university entrance.http://www.eduvantaa.fi/isv/


MPNicholson
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by MPNicholson » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:53 am

Thanks! Do you believe it would be easy for her to get in there? I've read their admission page and the process seems very rigid. Would any exceptions be made for us appearing off their schedule?


Rosamunda
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Rosamunda » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:17 pm

MPNicholson wrote:Thanks! Do you believe it would be easy for her to get in there? I've read their admission page and the process seems very rigid. Would any exceptions be made for us appearing off their schedule?
Generally speaking, it is very hard to get into IB high schools as there is a bottleneck from Finnish comprehensive schools. However, if I remember correctly, applications from abroad are treated differently and the schools have to allocate some places to returning Finns or foreign families like your own. The IB diploma is, however, very demanding so it might not be the best solution for your daughter depending on how academic she is. I doubt if she could transfer easily from a US curriculum straight into the IB (eg there might be foreign language requirements for the IB curriculum). She might be able to start the IB diploma from scratch (which would be 11th and 12th grade here in Finland) or even do a pre-IB year (10th grade here) which is like an induction year. Typically Finns do the pre-IB at 17 yrs and finish the diploma at 19 yrs old.

The summer vacation has started already so there is little point trying to contact the school until the beginning of August.

It might be easier if your daughter just stays in the US to complete her schooling there.


MPNicholson
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by MPNicholson » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:19 pm

Thanks Guys -

Roger - I made most of the remaining money as a small firm attorney (I only worked part of last year due to various issues.) However- we don't want to relocate for less than we grossed last year. My husband is a specialized senior engineer. I expect that I can find some work there, but we'd really like his income to be carrying us as I suspect it will be contract work and not constant.

Thanks for the tip about private insurance and life insurance.

Rosamunda- Your description of the High School situation is about what I was understanding from my lurking and screening their web sites. She is a good student, but she isn't in an IB program here. The Helsinki International School is the obvious solution, (both my father and one of my Nieces graduated from various International schools, so I know the mesh nicely with American curriculums) but the tuition is high.


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Beep_Boop
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Beep_Boop » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:38 pm

Make sure to include taxation in your calculations. If your brutto is 150k, then your netto will hardly make it to 6.8k/month just after paying taxes.
This is the official page for tax calculation http://prosentti.vero.fi/VPL2016/Sivut/ ... iedot.aspx
Every f*cking application is unique.You can't measure the result of your application based on random anecdotes online. Stop being a moron!


MPNicholson
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by MPNicholson » Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:04 pm

That was a very helpful link Beep_Boop - Thanks!

It is telling me what I was already pretty sure of- I think our tax rate would be around 55%.


Rosamunda
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Rosamunda » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:22 pm

MPNicholson wrote:
Rosamunda- Your description of the High School situation is about what I was understanding from my lurking and screening their web sites. She is a good student, but she isn't in an IB program here. The Helsinki International School is the obvious solution, (both my father and one of my Nieces graduated from various International schools, so I know the mesh nicely with American curriculums) but the tuition is high.
The Helsinki international School is also an IB World School:the curriculum and the diploma are identical to Vantaa International School.High school students sit the same exam on the same day as the kids at all the other IB schools. The only difference is that ISH charges fees (was about 13K€ p.e. last time I looked) whereas Vantaa is free (as long as you have residency). ISH has smaller class sizes but this does not mean it is a better school. It has kids from 3-19 yrs all under the same roof and a high turnover rate (students and staff). The only reason that it is easy to get a place there is the fees. Very, very few Finnish students go to ISH. At ISH the Group 2 subjects are Finnish, French and Spanish. So your daughter would need to have one of those subjects at intermediate or higher level in order to get on the diploma course. It's a very small school so the resources are not overwhelming and, to be honest, it is a bit of a cultural/educational no man's land without a strong Finnish core, unlike ESH (the European school) which has strong Finnish pedagogy running through it.

Another option if you are living in Vantaa is Tikkurila lukio http://www.ibo.org/en/school/001292 which has a more extensive choice of language options and also arts and philosophy. In Helsinki city centre there is also Ressu and SYK. The latter is strong in sciences and maths. Both have an excellent reputation, with many excellent Finnish teachers and impressive success rates for university entrance worldwide.

Like I said before, if you are applying from abroad, your chances of getting a place are reasonably good. The only real barrier might be the foreign language requirement as the IB diploma requires at least one foreign language (most Finns do 2 or more). I don't think it is possible to start learning a new language at diploma level.
Last edited by Rosamunda on Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Beep_Boop
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Beep_Boop » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:54 pm

MPNicholson wrote:It is telling me what I was already pretty sure of- I think our tax rate would be around 55%.
I wonder how you reached that number.
I used 150k as the gross income, and the total taxation percentage was 45.85%
Every f*cking application is unique.You can't measure the result of your application based on random anecdotes online. Stop being a moron!


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Pursuivant
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Pursuivant » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:11 pm

If you remove money from equation, there are far greater reasons to like living here... since my move to Finland I've heard around 5 gun cases in Finland and 5 gun shot cases are monthly digest in USA.
You misspelled 'daily' there.

Lifestyle is very different. Imagine Alaska without the mountains. And imagine you are the no-speak foreigner. The natives "look" white but they are different inside the head. Things you think are cheap are expensive (VAT is 23% on food as well), things you think are expensive are cheap (healthcare, university education is free as per law... note- In Finnish or Swedish). You need a car if you live in the sticks, but its taxed up the wazoo, gas costs $5 a gallon 'cheap', if you live in a city you use public transport, and thats a bus, taxis are a premium priced luxury. Guns, yeah, if you go ask for a license for personal protection you get sectioned into a mental institution. Universal suffrage, mandatory draft... US style houses sizewise make my US friends pissed off as I say they are "rich" and "live in a mansion" and "drive luxury cars" even their street would be ghetto hood... Like in Alaska the social division is pretty low, so in Helsinki you can spot the ex-president at the market buying strawberries or skipdiving even...
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


Rosamunda
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Rosamunda » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:17 am

Pursuivant wrote: (VAT is 23% on food as well).
No. It's 14% on food. But eating out is very expensive here. Midday there are all-you-can-eat buffets Mon thru Friday for around 9-10€ but dining out in the evening or at weekends is easily double that without a drink.

On the other hand, Finland has some good local ingredients: berries, mushrooms, venison, and great summer vegetables. Grains are good too: rye, spelt, oats etc. If you try to stick with what we might consider to be an American diet (tons of beef and lots of processed ready meals etc) it will cost you a fortune. But if you embrace a Nordic diet then it is possible to eat well, healthy and for a reasonable budget.


MPNicholson
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by MPNicholson » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:55 am

Thanks to all of you. This has been very helpful. We would - as much as we can- live like locals. Public transport, local food, learn Finnish, sauna, etc. I don't promise to swim in the winter- I was raised on the Guld of Mexico and like warm water.


betelgeuse
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by betelgeuse » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:26 pm

MPNicholson wrote: Roger - I made most of the remaining money as a small firm attorney (I only worked part of last year due to various issues.) However- we don't want to relocate for less than we grossed last year. My husband is a specialized senior engineer. I expect that I can find some work there, but we'd really like his income to be carrying us as I suspect it will be contract work and not constant.
For specialized engineering work there can be the option to work as an independent contractor. When incorporated as a limited liability company it can save you around half from taxes.


MPNicholson
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by MPNicholson » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:20 pm

The independent contractor is a great tip (that is something we have done here in the US as well- thanks.

I think at this time we are going to stay here- I cannot see a way for my 16 year old to finish high school there in two years.

These answers have been extremely helpful in figuring out what would make a good offer and into the school issues- basically all the concerns I had after looking at web sites were confirmed. The lifestyle there seems fine to me - politically we are way to the left by American standards, so I think that'd all be fine, and the food actually sounds good.

We will perhaps try again in a few years once she has graduated.


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Beep_Boop
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Re: Equivalent Income?

Post by Beep_Boop » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:28 pm

MPNicholson wrote:We will perhaps try again in a few years once she has graduated.
That sounds like a solid decision. Given that your husband is in a specialized field where he has the luxury of dictating offers, I don't think it's unlikely that he'll find another opportunity in a few years. Also, getting in Finnish universities and studying in English will be a lot easier for your daughter.

All in all, good luck.
Every f*cking application is unique.You can't measure the result of your application based on random anecdotes online. Stop being a moron!


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