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Old 06-22-2011, 12:19 AM
 
22 posts, read 52,236 times
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Hi,
Iam an Indian citizen and will be travelling to Iowa city soon.My salary is 67K per annum.Though I was in NJ for about 5 yrs (currently in India), I don't have any idea about Iowa city.Can you pls provide the following details.
(1) what will be the federal / state and other taxes for this salary and approx take home salary (my salary will be bi-monthly).I checked in the sites, but each site gives different figures and I could not able to come to a conclusion on the take-home salary part.
(2) I plan to live in coralville (knollridge apt), and my work place is in Iowa city.what will be the Cost of living in coral ville(like house rent / groceries /transportation by bus from coralville to Iowa city etc - approx).I will be living with my wife and 5 yr old son, who will be studying there.As I don't have plan to buy a car , I hope I can manage with the bus facility.

Thanks in advance.
R Jayakkumar
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: In Denial
688 posts, read 1,089,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayakkumar5157 View Post
Hi,
Iam an Indian citizen and will be travelling to Iowa city soon.My salary is 67K per annum.Though I was in NJ for about 5 yrs (currently in India), I don't have any idea about Iowa city.Can you pls provide the following details.
(1) what will be the federal / state and other taxes for this salary and approx take home salary (my salary will be bi-monthly).I checked in the sites, but each site gives different figures and I could not able to come to a conclusion on the take-home salary part.
(2) I plan to live in coralville (knollridge apt), and my work place is in Iowa city.what will be the Cost of living in coral ville(like house rent / groceries /transportation by bus from coralville to Iowa city etc - approx).I will be living with my wife and 5 yr old son, who will be studying there.As I don't have plan to buy a car , I hope I can manage with the bus facility.

Thanks in advance.
R Jayakkumar
Hello! I lived in Iowa / Nebraska for a long long time. I recently have lived in NY and now in/ near Washington DC.
Although it is very difficult to give you a dollar figure, you will find the overall taxes (income tax, state tax, sales tax, property tax, etc) in Iowa to be MUCH MUCH less than NJ. Federal income tax will be the same as NJ.
Before moving from Iowa / Nebraska to NY I researched the cost of living difference very carefully as I wanted to be certain the salary offer was generous and the move wise in financial terms.

Here is info on Iowa taxes in general:

Iowa Department of Revenue - Iowa Taxes

Here is the Iowa Income tax rate schedule

http://www.iowa.gov/tax/forms/1078914.pdf

Iowa state sales tax:

http://www.iowa.gov/tax/educate/79106.pdf

The cost of living in Iowa in the area you are moving to is approximately 35% less than the COL in NY. The COL in NJ is very similar to NY (on average). You will be surprised at how inexpensive Iowa is, as compared to NJ, for everything- food, utilities, rent, clothing, a meal out, a beer, insurance, cable, etc.
I cannot provide specific advice regarding the bus service, but here is a web site that can:

Coralville, IA - Official Website - Bus Schedules & Route Maps

Coralville, IA - Official Website

Sperling's has a COL calculator:
Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed

however, public transportation in most Iowa towns / cities is almost non-existent, especially compared to NY, NJ, DC, etc. But- being as Coralville feeds the U of IA, bus service is likely to be "kinda OK" to and from the campus.
Also Search City Data, Iowa, Iowa City / Coralville for "bus service"
But- (yes, another but !) realistically, especially with a child, it will be very difficult to manage without access to a car. Are there family, friends or other students who will be available to provide transportation? Can you rent a car when needed (not sure if Zipcar is in Iowa City yet but that might be an option).
Depending upon your spending habits, your salary of 67K should be a little more than adequate for your family. This is considered a middle class income for the area. I supported 2 children on 60K in Iowa 5 years ago and still was able to save money and take inexpensive vacations.

Iowa City itself is one of my favorite towns in America. I hope you enjoy your stay! And feel free to send me a PM if you wish-

[LEFT]Median contract rent in 2009: $600 (lower quartile is $517, upper quartile is $701)

Median rent asked for vacant for-rent units in 2009: $649

Median gross rent in Coralville, IA in 2009: $687

Median household income for houses/condes with a mortgage: $84,524

Median household income for apartments without a mortgage: $51,815

Median monthly housing costs: $917[/LEFT]

Read more: //www.city-data.com/housing/houses-Coralville-Iowa.html#ixzz1Q1I7ygY8

Household income:

  • Less than $10,000: 521
  • $10,000 to $14,999: 315
  • $15,000 to $19,999: 517
  • $20,000 to $24,999: 470
  • $25,000 to $29,999: 566
  • $30,000 to $34,999: 553
  • $35,000 to $39,999: 472
  • $40,000 to $44,999: 296
  • $45,000 to $49,999: 263
  • $50,000 to $59,999: 578
  • $60,000 to $74,999: 579
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 644
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 310
  • $125,000 to $149,999: 139
  • $150,000 to $199,999: 175
  • $200,000 or more: 69


Read more: //www.city-data.com/housing/houses-Coralville-Iowa.html#ixzz1Q1Ig0Emr

Last edited by Yac; 07-14-2011 at 05:06 AM..
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:46 AM
 
22 posts, read 52,236 times
Reputation: 16
Hi Marska,

Thanks a lot for your details on COL in Iowa city.

Still some more details required from you.Since you had been there, I believe you can give me the correct details..

From the site http://www.suburbancomputer.com/tips_calculator.php,
(for my annual salary of 67k with 3 federal withholding allowances), it gives the following figures.(Mine is a semi-monthly salary).

Gross pay $2,791.67
Federal income tax $264.58
Social Security $117.25
Medicare $40.48
Iowa $144.39
Net pay (take home) $2,224.97

Gross pay$2,791.67
Federal income tax$264.58
Social Security$117.25
Medicare$40.48
Iowa$144.39
Net pay (take home)$2,224.97

(Effective Withholding Rates) :
Federal Taxes
Federal Income Tax: 9.48%
Social Security: 4.20%
Medicare: 1.45%Total Federal Taxes: 15.13%
State & Local Taxes
Iowa: 5.17%
Total Withholding Rate: 20.30%

My monthly take home will be (2225*2-300=4150$) .Here 300 being deducted for my insurance by my company for my family.Pls confirm so that I don't miss out anything in my take home.

As I am returning back to US with my family, I want to make sure that I have good monetary benefit by staying there..
Some of my friends are there in knollridge apts, coral ville..As per them monthly expence will be :
Apt rent+Utilities = 650+150 =800
Bus communte from coralville to Iowa city = 75 (Though I have friends with car staying in that apt)
Groceries = 175 Total Monthly exp = 1200 (including 150$ misc exp)
Saving in a month : 2950$ . (it is worth coming to US from India, only if I can save that much there)

If you can confirm the tax deductions in my salary, it will be helpful for me to arrive at the final saving in a month.....

FYI - Iwas drawing 80K per annum in NJ and could able to save 2500$/ month. So just I want to make sure to have the same savings with lesser salary in Iowa.In my estimate I had made only the basic expenses not any unexpected ones.

Thanks in advance.
R Jayakkumar

Last edited by jayakkumar5157; 06-23-2011 at 04:32 AM.. Reason: Addition
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:53 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 2,124,676 times
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jayakkumar, I'm an Iowa City resident (for a couple more weeks), and you should be able to live comfortably for $67,000/year. I can't tell you exactly how much you'll be able to save, but the numbers seem generally reasonable. Here are three points to consider:

1) Busing should only be $25/mo ($50/mo for two people). Get a 31-day unlimited ride pass. Coralville, IA - Official Website - Fares If you happen to be working for the U of IA, or since it sounds like your wife will be a student, you can get a cheaper pass through that as well.

2) Your food estimate sounds a bit low. My wife and I spend ~$80-100/week on groceries (we eat out maybe a couple times a month). I'm sure it can be done cheaper, but $45/week would be pretty tight. Food costs have gone up quite a bit in the last couple years.

3) Plan to buy a car. The bus system is decent for a small midwestern town, but its primarily good for commuting to work, school, etc. If you want to go anywhere in the evening, run errands, or visit a friend on the other side of town, it will be very inconvenient. It only runs hourly on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays. Picking up a little beat-up car for ~$2000 will make your lives much, much better. You'll want to get out and enjoy some of the parks and small towns surrounding Iowa City, too.

Your tax rates seem about right, to my eye.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:49 AM
 
Location: Bettendorf, IA
449 posts, read 1,252,015 times
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As I am returning back to US with my family, I want to make sure that I have good monetary benefit by staying there..
"Some of my friends are there in knollridge apts, coral ville..As per them monthly expence will be :
Apt rent+Utilities = 650+150 =800
Bus communte from coralville to Iowa city = 75 (Though I have friends with car staying in that apt)
Groceries = 175 Total Monthly exp = 1200 (including 150$ misc exp)
Saving in a month : 2950$ . (it is worth coming to US from India, only if I can save that much there)"

I am not sure why you need clarification on the withholdings as you seem to have a good grasp of these already. I suspect your estimate for monthly take home will be close. Your expenses though seem to be conservative. $150 per month for utilities? Even considering the apartment complex may pay for some that figure seems terribly low. No cable or Internet service?

You are only planning on spending $175 per month on food for a family? Seriously? I am not sure you can pull that off eating bread and ramen noodles.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:14 AM
 
22 posts, read 52,236 times
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Thanks 1stpontiac / scimitar12 for your valuable feedback.

I had mentioned 150$ for utilities (i.e gas & electricity), which was the average I paid when I was in NJ.So Iam asuming the same.As we will be using the heater for whole month (as the climate is similar as in NJ - cold in 8months in a year), I hope max 200$ should be enough?.

Reg. the food expenses, as I will be buying ONLY Indian veg. stuffs like rice,dal,vegetables etc only (not the frozen items, which are costlier) only.If the price is (approx) same as in NJ, I believe 175-200$ will be enough to buy Indian groceries for a month.

Even in the worst case scenario, I believe I should be able to save around 2600$ / month.

Let me have your thoughts on these.

Thanks once again for the details.

Regards,

Jayakkumar
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:37 AM
 
11,289 posts, read 23,038,040 times
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It will probably be quite hard to live way up in Knowllridge apartments without a car. They're quite isoldated as far as places you can walk. I would honestly buy a cheap used car - it will benefit your quality of life GREATLY.

Other than that, you should be able to live very nice on $67K per year in Iowa City.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:38 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 2,124,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayakkumar5157 View Post
Thanks 1stpontiac / scimitar12 for your valuable feedback.

I had mentioned 150$ for utilities (i.e gas & electricity), which was the average I paid when I was in NJ.So Iam asuming the same.As we will be using the heater for whole month (as the climate is similar as in NJ - cold in 8months in a year), I hope max 200$ should be enough?.

Reg. the food expenses, as I will be buying ONLY Indian veg. stuffs like rice,dal,vegetables etc only (not the frozen items, which are costlier) only.If the price is (approx) same as in NJ, I believe 175-200$ will be enough to buy Indian groceries for a month.

Even in the worst case scenario, I believe I should be able to save around 2600$ / month.

Let me have your thoughts on these.

Thanks once again for the details.

Regards,

Jayakkumar
$150/mo isn't out of the realm of possibility for utilities for an apartment, particularly if heat (and maybe even water) is included in rent. Think ~$40-50 for electric (less in summer), maybe $40/mo water, and $40/mo internet.

Re: Indian food. Keep in mind that the population base, especially the Indian population base, is quite a bit smaller here than NJ, so it might be more expensive. There are several asian/ethnic grocers in town. The two I know of that are primarily Indian are Taj International Foods, on 2nd St, just behind hardees, and one other a couple blocks up 2nd St. I get my paneer and frozen samosas (mmm...love samosas) from Taj, and I've eaten in the micro-restaurant in the other place, but didn't look at their groceries. Both were pretty small, but I think the larger asian markets have some Indian as well.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:43 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 2,124,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
It will probably be quite hard to live way up in Knowllridge apartments without a car. They're quite isoldated as far as places you can walk. I would honestly buy a cheap used car - it will benefit your quality of life GREATLY.

Other than that, you should be able to live very nice on $67K per year in Iowa City.

Just looked up where Knollridge actually is, and Chicago is absolutely right. You and your family would be very isolated up there without a car. You'd be ~3.5 miles, including an interstate crossing, from either of the indian marts I mentioned. Frankly, it would be virtually unworkable. Take your $2500 from your first month and buy a car.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,148 posts, read 8,181,456 times
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Can someone please post the places up there in Iowa that are selling used cars (in dependable condition ) in the 2000 - 2500 range?

Can't find ANYTHING where we are on the used car lots for under about $8,000, not even older models with high mileage.

Thanks!
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