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Old 09-13-2009, 07:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,839 times
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Hi Folks,
I am a married 33 year old male who has a two year old son. I have recently been offered a job in Boston. I'm from the UK and last week me and my family visited Boston to look at different areas. Of all the places we looked at, Newton was by far our favourite. My question to you is, can we afford to live there? My salary will be approx. 85K. Initially, my wife plans not to work, so this will be our sole income. We plan to rent and ideally would like a nice three bedroom house. The American tax system is a bit of a mystery to me and so I find it difficult to work out a budget if I don't know what my take home wage will be. Is $2500 per month a realistic amount for rent and would that leave us enough to have a comfortable quality of life?
Also, I will be working in the South End area. From my research I think the commute should take approx. one hour using the T then walking. Is this also realistic?
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,884,813 times
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For US taxes, you fill out a form indicating how many exemptions you're claiming and the employer then withholds the state and federal taxes from your paycheck. By April 15 of the next year you have to file a tax return, calculating what you actually owe (it can get complicated with all the deductions) and if you've had too much withheld, you get a refund. If you haven't had enough withheld, you have to pay the difference.

You should be OK. $85,000 is just over $7,000 per month before taxes. This website has a calculator for what the pay would be after taxes. Entering Massachusetts, married, and 3 allowances (for the 3 people) it comes out to about $5,500 a month after taxes. Note that if you're paid every two weeks, you will have less take-home pay most months and twice a year get a third paycheck in a single month, so you'll have to budget.

PaycheckCity.com | Paycheck Calculator

You should be able to get a nice 3-BR in Newton for $2500 or maybe a bit less, though you might have better luck in a 2-family house rather than looking for a single family house. Many of them have nice yards that you can use. Ultimately you'll have to decide if you'd rather have somewhat less expensive housing elsewhere or pay a bit more to be in Newton.

Not sure which end of the South End you'll be working in, but if you find a place near one of the Newtonville, West Newton, or Auburndale commuter rail stations along the Mass Pike on the north side of Newton, it will be quicker than the Green Line. About 20-25 mins to Back Bay station and then you can walk or take the bus from there to your workplace. It may even be under an hour, depending on how far your office and your home are from the train stations.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,884,813 times
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One other thing: There are a number of items (for example, if the employer requires that you pay some of the cost of health insurance, or if you make any contributions to a 401(k) account) that are deducted from pay pretax. This would make the taxable income smaller and the paycheck smaller as well, but it's cheaper than paying for those things after taxes.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,839 times
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Thanks for the info, this helps a lot.
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