Cost of living in India (Bangalore)

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Jan 29, 2019 90 Comments

Thinking about moving back to India, and settling down in Bangalore. I have $500k in savings (excluding 401k of $150k), and am interested to find out living expenses in Bangalore.

Particularly:
a) Cost of 3-4 bed single family house (not flats) in good commute locations (close to Google, Amazon)
b) Cost of good schools. I am not interested in crazy international schools, just good enough to provide decent teaching and other extra curricular activities.
c) Health insurance, and health care costs? How much should I plan to spend in this area?
d) Other mostly expenses to live a comfortable (not extravagant) life.
e) How much would I need to have if I don't want to work at all (FIRE money) for all the above?

I am currently in Bay Area, wife works too and 2 kids in public elementary schools. People who moved back, please provide your perspective.

TC: 530k, YOE: 9

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TOP 90 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng Usemame
    Single family house within City for $500K? Are you kidding?
    Jan 29, 2019 21
    • Apple py1
      A single medium pizza cost me Rs.600 3-4 years ago. Your numbers for maid and cook were applicable more than 6 years ago.
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Microsoft csharper2
      Sorry to burst your bubble but cooks charge 5k INR for a family of 2 adults. 5k per weekend expense - 3.5k for two lunch/dinner with SO in a decent restaurant and 1.5k for movie popcorn. India has become shit costly
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Netflix
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      OP
      Wow, I guess no pizza for me and I am going to only watch Netflix now - no movies outside. Honestly I don't even remember the last time I went to theater to watch a movie.

      @Apple
      So I just looked at Pizza Hut menu in Bangalore, and medium pan pizza is still INR 500-600, does that mean price hasn't changed in 3-4 years?

      @csharper2
      Just tried booking a show of URI for Sat noon (prime time) using bookmyshow, it costs INR 250 (Elite) 500 (Gold). Where are you getting the data for above?
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Microsoft csharper2
      @Netflix 1 medium pan pizza won't work for family of 4. Two adults and two kids. You will also need a coke and some more sides. That makes it 1000
      Assuming 500 each for two movie tickets that makes it 1k. Add 500+ for popcorn and nachos and coke. Math checks out
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Netflix
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      OP
      Fair enough!
      Jan 30, 2019
  • Google / Eng come2daddy
    A) You can get a 3-4 bhk good duplex in 1.5 -3 cr around Old Madras Road. Flat convenience with villa living.

    Note that living in own house in India is not as fancy as Bay Area.Major parts of Bangalore runs on tanker and electricity is not reliable. So you will end up spending significant amount on generator and tankers. Premium project villas would be outside the range. You can however choose middle range project slightly inside main road for 2 Cr budget but quality will be super cheap.

    Also, although new Amazon and Google are like 3 kms apart, it would take 30 mins depending on which side of KR Puram bridge you live in. Unit of distance in Bangalore is Hours. It may take 30 mins for 2km depending on which side of road crossing you end up with.

    My advice: look for good duplexes. Don’t fall for agents and online advertising. Come to India, settle in rent for few months and then decide to buy house. Financially , it’s a bad decision but own house has non-tangible benefits.

    B) Almost every school has similar structure - 1.2/1.5 lakhs as first year admission + tuition fees. 60-75k per annum after that. 10,000 for silly things like annual day, sports day, books and dresses.

    3) All major companies have excellent coverage - even for parents. So not a major worry. If you taking private, it may cost 20-30k in premium for top end medical insurance for a family of three. Private coverage don’t cover pre-existing diseases so not suitable for parents.

    Medical costs are cheap. For family of three, 6000 a year should be enough as you will fall sick at least twice and your kid will have cough problem for first few years of landing in Bangalore . Check for air quality of Bangalore for reason why there is good chance of this happening.

    d) 4500 for cook, 2500 for cleaning, 3000 in grocery, 500 for internet, 1000x 2 for mobile,
    3000 for petrol, 5000 eating out 4 times a month (weekends) . Car emi is seperate. This should be easy comfortable life expense. Of course you can spend much more on movies, clubbing and drinks.

    Home Rentals vary from 35-100k depending on your ability to pay.

    e) 2 lakhs pre tax for family of three is a very comfortable money to maintain a top middle class lifestyle. There are travelling expenses for which you need to save. As well as for buying household items like fridge and TV.

    This would mean effectively 24 lakhs interest money. Which is possible to earn at 7% interest rate for 3.3 Cr deposit. So if you do away with the plan to buy a house, you can put all the money in fixed deposits and life a non-luxurious but decent middle class life with your $500k savings.
    Jan 30, 2019 9
    • Broadcom Ltd. / Eng awkTanSed
      Can you not bike or walk? 3kms is such a small distance?
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Google / Eng come2daddy
      The air quality is horrible. There is no dedicated bike/pedestrian lane. The footpaths are all broken. Cycling on Indian roads are not safe. That said, few people do that but you need tremendous energy and motivation and not for everyone. I used to feel that my nose is blocked with dirt after a km of walk on busy roads.
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Microsoft xbythjg
      Google, how’s ur back to India experience been. You have some great insight
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Google / Eng come2daddy
      Sorry , my case is move out of India after trying to stick as long as possible there. Could not deal with pollution, corruption , hordes of people all around and spending 2+ hours in traffic everyday for 8km total travel. At the moment , really happy I moved out of India.
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Microsoft
      wyba qnbab

      Microsoft

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      wyba qnbabmore
      Google - great response again. I hope you’re liking it in the us
      Mar 16, 2019
  • Microsoft xbythjg
    What’s ur total house hold income? Around a million? Also I’m assuming u didn’t buy a house in Bay Area ?
    Jan 29, 2019 9
    • Dropbox ldhdhmxm
      I guess 900 is a recent number? Otherwise you could have saved a couple of million by now... Good call though money is not everything.
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Netflix
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      OP
      Yes, TC increased a lot with Netflix
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Microsoft xbythjg
      Congratulations... u sure could buy a single family house if u stayed in the us for 1 more year. Curious, what does ur child care expenses in the us look like? And what was ur comp before Netflix?
      Jan 29, 2019
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      OP
      Thank you. Childcare on an average is ~2k per kid, before they started going to public school. We used to have an Indian babysitter and day care cost was about 3k for both of them. It might have increased now.

      Before Netflix, I was making ~350k TC. The reason I am not buying a house in Bay Area is very simple - renting the same house is a lot cheaper (we currently rent a single family house in good school district), and I don't want to buy at the peak, considering I have to move back. Maintaining mortgage with Indian income is going to be a nightmare.
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Microsoft xbythjg
      Congratulations dude. You are very helpful. I wish you all the best 👍
      Jan 30, 2019
  • BlackRock Lary
    How long have you been working / living in the US ?
    Jan 29, 2019 13
    • Netflix
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      OP
      Yes
      Jan 30, 2019
    • BlackRock Lary
      @OP - please inspire me ... and give me tips ... how did you go from 90 to 550 ... I’m told I’m crazy if I ask for 200 here in NY ... am a java backend developer
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Microsoft / Product Sanctiel
      Move out of NY
      Feb 4, 2019
    • BlackRock Lary
      Cause of income or cost of living or both ?
      Feb 4, 2019
    • Microsoft / Product Sanctiel
      Income for sure :)
      Feb 4, 2019
  • Microsoft AllPallen
    I would suggest you to rent a 4BHK. The rent will be at max 1L per month.

    You will make more money on interest on your savings of $500K.

    Don't rush in buying a house there.

    Try out the change. Give it an year or two while you decide to stay forever or want to come back.

    If you decide to stay, you will have much more idea about the city and then make a choice.
    Jan 29, 2019 5
    • Netflix
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      OP
      Interesting, so it seems like renting is going to be a lot better. Can I rent the same 4bed single family house in 1L per month? Or that is going to be flat?
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Microsoft AllPallen
      You can get SFH or a Flat near to Google or FB for under 1L.

      I did that math many times.

      $500K = ₹3.5 Crore

      Indian bank will give you 7% interest which is close to 24.5L per year.

      This is good enough for living in Bangalore.

      If you will work, you can make 40L easily. But staying close to home will make your life good. Bangalore traffic would otherwise kill you.
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Netflix
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      OP
      There is one small issue with the math above, it doesn't factor in inflation - which is 5-6% in India. So your effective return is 1-2% only. That changes the whole equation.
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Google / Mgmt starlight2
      Wrong comparison. Compare renting vs owning with a 20 or 30 yr mortgage. Home loans are available at 7%.
      Jan 30, 2019
    • Microsoft weirvhtd
      @AllPallen, tax the interest as well!
      Effectively, your interest is 3 or 4%.
      Inflation eats into it
      Jan 30, 2019
  • Gigamon / Eng
    yeah baby

    Gigamon Eng

    BIO
    what's th is
    yeah babymore
    Great post. I am also thinking of moving back to India and FIRE. I have 300k in savings and a flat which is paid off in Bangalore.
    Jan 30, 2019 3
    • Microsoft xbythjg
      Congratulations. What location?
      Jan 31, 2019
    • Microsoft
      wyba qnbab

      Microsoft

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      wyba qnbabmore
      What’s your total household comp?
      Mar 5, 2019
    • Microsoft
      DjenNow

      Microsoft

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      Curious to know
      Jun 23, 2019
  • Microsoft Santya
    If you can't live in Bangalore with 500K USD cash in hand and a well paying job, you can't live anywhere else.
    (if you're wife continues to work, it's another plus ; but fine otherwise).

    Just stop thinking too much and make a move. You'll be fine.
    Jan 30, 2019 0
  • VMware / Eng
    vSell

    VMware Eng

    BIO
    Developer
    vSellmore
    Why don't you stay more for a year or so? Wouldn't it increase your savings substantially to move back?
    Jan 29, 2019 3
    • Netflix
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      OP
      That is another option we are considering, but that doesn’t change the decision of moving back. It will depend a lot of the data that I gather here, how much is good enough?
      Jan 29, 2019
    • VMware / Eng
      vSell

      VMware Eng

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      Developer
      vSellmore
      Seeing you both work here, you can probably start transferring some money slowly and building a portfolio there? I'm sure it'll be better than keeping in a bank for interest? And even a year of savings here would translate to an exponentially better life there.
      Jan 29, 2019
    • Gigamon / Eng
      yeah baby

      Gigamon Eng

      BIO
      what's th is
      yeah babymore
      Yes ..you can actually retire ..
      Feb 1, 2019
  • Gigamon / Eng
    yeah baby

    Gigamon Eng

    BIO
    what's th is
    yeah babymore
    Tough to believe you saved only 500k with such a big TC 800k combined. You dont even have a house in US and Bangalore as well? Tough to believe..also u worked for 9 years..
    Feb 1, 2019 2
    • Works Applications / Eng ecet69
      Not everyone wants to live a frugal life
      Feb 2, 2019
    • Microsoft xbythjg
      How much did u save and how many years are u here?
      Feb 2, 2019
  • Amazon amazole
    Off topic but with such a high tc and yoe how come you have not saved more?
    Jan 29, 2019 1
    • Netflix
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      OP
      Haven’t been at Netflix for a very long time, also kids are expensive to raise 😀
      Jan 29, 2019

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