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Old 09-23-2011, 02:53 AM
 
Location: then: U.S.A., now: Europe
6,213 posts, read 5,452,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
It depends:...Housing: This very much depends on where you live. Most Americans live in the suburbs, and a typical American family lives in a more spacious and luxurious home than any of their counterparts save Australians. This comes at the expense of having a "walkable community"; however, if asked, most Americans would probably prefer to live in the 2000 sf or 3000 sf (about 200 m2 or 300 m2) house with the two- or three-car garage on a land than have bars and restaurants (which they could just as well drive to) nearby.......
I think my reaction to the above point helps illustrate how "expensive" and "cheap" are in real life influenced by other factors.

I am an American who lived in Europe about a decade, and decided that as I was ageing and had health problems that it would be wise to investigate the possibility of returning to the U.S., though I had no other motivation to do so....just so I could benefit from Medicare, etc.

I spent five weeks in a community pretty much as tvdxer describes above. It was an environment that I could afford, but I returned to my apartment and neighborhood in Europe, totally - and probably irrevocably - convinced that I had it better here.

I live in a walkable neighborhood, outside of the center of our small city in an area with trees and gardens, in a neighborhood of five-story apt. condos and detached houses. The ground floor of each apt. bldg has at least one commercial space. Three doors down there is a pastelaria, where I run into my neighbors all day long. My dentist is across the street, my doctor and hospital are a three-minute walk down a lane. There is an optician, a bank, a medical lab, and MRI & x-ray facility and two low-cost restaurants and one classier one on nearby streets, three to four minutes walk away.

For me, if that typical and lovely American "neighborhood" had come free, it could not begin to compare with the convenience and real chatty, friendly neighborhood I live in here, where there is movement and human life on the streets all day long, and not just people going to other places in their cars.

So, while being quite capable of affording the spaciousness of the homes and yards of the suburban "neighborhood," for own personal preferences - and personal needs and habits, it was outrageously priced by virtue of the fact it lacked the people-related qualities that I appreciate.

Thus, as some of have suggested, a pure price vs price comparison is somewhat artificial. Thus, if you do not value/like the cosiness and walkability of my type of neighborhood then paying much more for the space and separateness of an American suburban neighborhood is well worth it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:52 AM
 
Location: Macao
12,930 posts, read 19,553,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I live in a walkable neighborhood, outside of the center of our small city in an area with trees and gardens, in a neighborhood of five-story apt. condos and detached houses. The ground floor of each apt. bldg has at least one commercial space. Three doors down there is a pastelaria, where I run into my neighbors all day long. My dentist is across the street, my doctor and hospital are a three-minute walk down a lane. There is an optician, a bank, a medical lab, and MRI & x-ray facility and two low-cost restaurants and one classier one on nearby streets, three to four minutes walk away.

For me, if that typical and lovely American "neighborhood" had come free, it could not begin to compare with the convenience and real chatty, friendly neighborhood I live in here, where there is movement and human life on the streets all day long, and not just people going to other places in their cars.
That equally describes almost everywhere I've lived outside of the U.S.

In the U.S., that costs A LOT OF MONEY....significant amount. One of the big catches with the U.S. is that it takes a lot to maintain that car, that car insurance, those parking fees, on and on. Plus constantly pumping gas into it.

If you want something like what you and I experience abroad, than you'll have to live in somewhere like Manhattan or San Francisco and compete with the best paid and wealthiest of America to afford the convenience of having 100s and 100s of amenities outside your door in safe neighborhoods.

Where I live in Japan, same as you describe. Getting a car is the last thing on my mind. I can quickly walk there than the hassle of going to the car and looking for parking, etc. Not only that, but it's extremely safe...and I'm living like normal Japanese - just regular folk, no one with big expense accounts around where I live, but all the many nearby amenities of a neighborhood in the U.S., that would assumed to be very expensive because of it by U.S. standards.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
320 posts, read 505,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
California has the very cheapest college tuition in the country for in-state students.

Actually, that's one of the reasons I once moved there, and even to this day, I still have California residency....

But, it's university school system is the exception rather than the norm for low costs for public state universities.
I see on the University of California site that tuition is still $11,285 -- which is a bit more than the $392 that France charges! Much more pizza money for French students...
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Macao
12,930 posts, read 19,553,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerouac2 View Post
I see on the University of California site that tuition is still $11,285 -- which is a bit more than the $392 that France charges! Much more pizza money for French students...
Yep, and California is the most affordable

It only goes up much higher for just basic university education elsewhere in the U.S.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:52 AM
 
16,448 posts, read 10,616,212 times
Reputation: 9188
All calculations are useless if you don't have health insurance. That will ruin you if you are uninsured.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:14 AM
 
44 posts, read 38,864 times
Reputation: 40
The word is INEXPENSIVE and not unexpensive!
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,753 posts, read 38,503,956 times
Reputation: 28825
Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieLL View Post

Anyways, my point is, USA is very cheap.
How much does it cost to go dinner there?

.
The whole purpose of living there, is you don't have to go to dinner there. You can eat at home.

Where do people get the idea that the "cost of living" somewhere can be calculated by looking at restaurant menus?

The cost of living in New York City is at least four times the cost of living here in Victoria, Texas, but the price of a large 3-topping at Pizza Hut is the same nationally advertised price.

That's why those annual cost of living surveys comparing all countries are such a joke. They include the cost of things lke maid service, having a suit drycleaned, owning your own car, and a full course meal at a fine restaurant, and theater tickets. If you don't do those things at home, what do you care how much they cost in Buenos Aires?
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
4,985 posts, read 3,435,540 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parisbreakfast View Post
The word is INEXPENSIVE and not unexpensive!

Sorry, english is not my first languaje and sometimes i make mistakes.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:25 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
320 posts, read 505,599 times
Reputation: 368
Comparing the price of pizza really makes me laugh if anybody thinks such things are important.

Look at houses if you want to compare monetary value -- in Europe, they are built to last 200 or 300 years (my building was built in 1799). In the United States, most residences are ready to collapse after 30 or 40 years and they are built that way on purpose.

Different cultures have a completely different sense of value and economy.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:11 AM
 
9,096 posts, read 12,446,359 times
Reputation: 4016
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerouac2 View Post
I see on the University of California site that tuition is still $11,285 -- which is a bit more than the $392 that France charges! Much more pizza money for French students...
That would be for Berkeley, UCLA, etc. Have you gone to their web sites and checked out their facilities? Someone has to pay for all that equipment.

California has 3 systems of higher education. UC, California State University (CSU) and the California community colleges which year programs.

UC: 11,285
CSU: 4.230
Comm Coll: 720
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