The World's #1 Russian, Ukrainian & Eastern European Discussion & Information Forum - RUA!

This Is the Premier Discussion Forum on the Net for Information and Discussion about Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Discuss Culture, Politics, Travelling, Language, International Relationships and More. Chat with Travellers, Locals, Residents and Expats. Ask and Answer Questions about Travel, Culture, Relationships, Applying for Visas, Translators, Interpreters, and More. Give Advice, Read Trip Reports, Share Experiences and Make Friends.

Author Topic: Cost of Living in Moscow  (Read 24085 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online andrewfi

  • Supporting Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 16438
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Articles About Almost Anything!
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2013, 09:20:36 AM »
el guero, there is a factor to take into account in some estimates and that is what kind of an expat one is. I touched on this upthread with reference to Danchik.

If a person is moving to a new country as an expat employee then that person is often offered a package that includes 'all the comforts of home' it is what I have referred to before as the 'expat bubble'. Such a person does not have a normal life in local terms and the cost of maintaining such a person is huge. Often there is family. Kids will get private education in native language schools, there may well be a car and driver, there will be club memberships for socialising, housing will be in gated communities etc etc. This is not just a Russia/FSU/Moscow thing but is common practice.

The expatistan.com numbers seem to reflect local costs and are genuine but seem often to reflect purchasing from easiest (most expensive) sources and housing is not the same as most local people would live, even when not in the most expensive areas.
"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

Offline Barbossa

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 707
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • Trips: 10-20
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2013, 09:25:07 AM »
Yes,

We have an ex-pat area here in California.  Everyone is charged more.  Living standards are not like the locals.  And the people who live there have different standards than the normal population.   We call it Hollywood.

Offline shakespear

  • Supporting Member
  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7984
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • Status: Just Looking
  • Trips: 20+
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2013, 09:34:52 AM »
Pravda wrote an article on the cost of expats living in Moscow - and they point out that there is usually an expat extra cost to live there.

http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/02-12-2013/126266-cost_of_living_in_russia-0/

I think their basic numbers are not off.  But, I hope their expensive numbers are way off, but knowing how easy it is for expats to pay huge prices, their $15,000 a month in expat communities might be right.

That is serious money, even for all you rich guys.

Wayne

Two classes of Moscow ex-pats.

1)  The senior corporate level expats are the ones getting these packages (far less than 10% of all expats).

2)  The rest of the community ranges from mid-level management at $8,000-$10,000 cash per month (no benefits) on the high end to teachers and tutors who make $1000 cash per month plus basic accommodation on the low end. 

3)  Russia is in a bit of a recession now, plenty of expats are without steady work.
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" - Katharine Hepburn


Offline sashathecat

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1463
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • Spouses Country: Ukraine baby!
  • Status: Married
  • Trips: 5-10
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2013, 10:57:58 AM »
If a person is moving to a new country as an expat employee then that person is often offered a package that includes 'all the comforts of home' it is what I have referred to before as the 'expat bubble'. Such a person does not have a normal life in local terms and the cost of maintaining such a person is huge. Often there is family. Kids will get private education in native language schools, there may well be a car and driver, there will be club memberships for socialising, housing will be in gated communities etc etc. This is not just a Russia/FSU/Moscow thing but is common practice.

This was my experience as a child. Company would move us to a new country and cover all living costs minus food. It was quite nice at the time, but a bit of a shock when we returned to the US and lost many of the perks that normal Americans do not enjoy.

Online andrewfi

  • Supporting Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 16438
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Articles About Almost Anything!
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2013, 11:20:51 AM »
Yeah, when I was at university these were the kinds of jobs that quite a few of us were pulling in. There were particular reasons why that was so and for folks so young. (apart from me - I was old). The thing is that this is level of compensation is necessary in order to make a foreign secondment pay off.

There are quite a few folks who have chosen to stay on in places after their secondment runs out but those are often failed secondments anyway - at least from the employers point of view. They don't want folks who 'go native'. For sure he is right though that life for them has become more precarious but I doubt that it is any perceived weakness in the economy, just that the folks I studied with are now in their early 30's and are taking on the roles that would have once gone to an imported brain. Domestic, well trained and well experienced local brains are a lot less costly and more reliable than the imports.

We have had a few guys over the years hoping to pull off these expat bubble jobs without understanding what is needed to pull it off.
"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

Offline RichyRich

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 634
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Status: Engaged
  • Trips: Semi-Resident
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2013, 12:45:38 PM »
Yes,

We have an ex-pat area here in California.  Everyone is charged more.  Living standards are not like the locals.  And the people who live there have different standards than the normal population.   We call it Hollywood.
Hey, Hollywood isn't that expensive... at least not in my experience, LA in general is quite cheap although taxi's are a damn rip off :o

Offline Baloun

  • Member
  • Posts: 108
  • Country: de
  • Gender: Male
  • Spouses Country: Russia
  • Status: Engaged
  • Trips: 10-20
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2013, 01:01:21 PM »
Quote
While a Russian household, according to the current OECD better life index, spends only an average of 11% of its gross adjusted disposable income on housing and utilities

I find the Russian housing market endlessly fascinating. Most people live in condominiums, which they got for free after 1990. Great for them, but many of them either can't or don't want to pay the HOA fee, that's why many buildings are in bad shape... and it's getting worse every year (20.000 broken roofs in SPB). There is no real housing market since most people own property, and Russian law doesn't know and protect tenants like in the West, that's why you can't vote for instance (at least until a few years ago). The few who own condominiums in the centre of SPB and Moscow can rent it out for ridiculous money and spend the year in Thailand or Goa.
With (almost) free housing and free healthcare the West isn't that golden anymore....

Online andrewfi

  • Supporting Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 16438
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Articles About Almost Anything!
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2013, 01:09:02 PM »

With (almost) free housing and free healthcare the West isn't that golden anymore....
Now you get it! ;)

Although more accurately, the comparison is not to 'The West' but 'The US'. Don't forget that most of Europe has sensible medicine and social housing is not a dirty word.
"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

Offline Slumba

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2345
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • 10:27 AM
  • Status: Just Looking
  • Trips: 1-5
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2013, 02:03:45 PM »
Quote
While a Russian household, according to the current OECD better life index, spends only an average of 11% of its gross adjusted disposable income on housing and utilities

I find the Russian housing market endlessly fascinating. Most people live in condominiums, which they got for free after 1990. Great for them, but many of them either can't or don't want to pay the HOA fee, that's why many buildings are in bad shape... and it's getting worse every year (20.000 broken roofs in SPB). There is no real housing market since most people own property, and Russian law doesn't know and protect tenants like in the West, that's why you can't vote for instance (at least until a few years ago). The few who own condominiums in the centre of SPB and Moscow can rent it out for ridiculous money and spend the year in Thailand or Goa.
With (almost) free housing and free healthcare the West isn't that golden anymore....

Of course, those with say 2 kids, can only pass it on to one of them to live in.  So at some point the advantages you mention will be had by less and less of the population.
Anchors Rewoven

Offline Slumba

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2345
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • 10:27 AM
  • Status: Just Looking
  • Trips: 1-5
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2013, 02:07:04 PM »

With (almost) free housing and free healthcare the West isn't that golden anymore....
Now you get it! ;)

Although more accurately, the comparison is not to 'The West' but 'The US'. Don't forget that most of Europe has sensible medicine and social housing is not a dirty word.

I'll just leave this here for benefit of those of UK extraction - and won't even mention the hardships in Greece that have led to increased suicide, homelessness, prostitution, etc.  or the financial mess that is Spain and the looming crisis in France ... those things that seem "sensible" only last until everyone else's money is gone...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-05/food-poverty-uk-has-reached-public-health-emergency-levels

Anchors Rewoven

Offline Anteros

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7187
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • Status: Just Looking
  • Trips: 1-5
Re: Re: Cost of living in Russia
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2013, 06:39:28 PM »
Is it a practice in the FSU to charge foreigners more for certain things?

Museum entry is one such case. Quite often there is one price written in English and a lower price written in Russian.

And I think that's right. Locals must pay less then foreigners, seems its common thing in many countries, not in Russia only.

Not in Seattle, but if you like I can arrange for you to pay a higher price there... :chuckle:
Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Offline Slumba

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2345
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • 10:27 AM
  • Status: Just Looking
  • Trips: 1-5
Re: Re: Cost of living in Russia
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2013, 12:40:03 AM »

You slay me, Danchik. Your loyalty to the Russian Empire is unquestionable! One of the reasons Ukraine appeals to me is that the people, at least the western Ukrainians, are not mindless automatons, used to kowtowing to authoritarian leaders since the invasion of the Mongols followed by the rise of the Duchy of Muscovy, morphing into the centuries long fascistic-style rule of Tsars and soviet commissars and Putin.

 I never claimed to have ever been to RF. I was simply commenting on cost of living numbers provided by another forum member. I can understand high living costs in desirable locales, such as Zurich, Hong Kong, Singapore, Aspen, San Francisco Bay area, NYC, London, Paris (all of which I have been to or lived in)...but Moscow? Give me a break. When energy BTU prices take their inevitable plunge the Russian economy will collapse like the house of cards that it is.

I would point out a few things ... first, Western Ukraine was part of various countries/empires during the last few hundred years, so, you are right that they won't have the same views as most Russians, from that alone. 

Until the 1860s most Russians were serfs, bound to the land, one step above slaves - yet it was only 90 years later that they launched Sputnik, after surviving a bloody revolution and civil war, 2 world wars and the Holodomor (in Ukraine) - plus the idiocy of the Virgin Lands campaign, the death of thousands or more in building Magnitogorsk and other places, etc.

I don't think it is fair to say Russians are kowtowing mindless automatons - it is certainly not the case of the FSUW from Russia that I have talked to, skyped with, or emailed/IMed.  Even the ones I didn't see a future with, I liked!  And they had interesting views on different subjects, often having a perspective I hadn't thought of before. 

I didn't have much interaction with the guys of course, but there were a few that struck me as basically good guys... the idea that there are no "family men" in Russia and that they are all alcoholics, is a myth.

Concerning Moscow - what little I saw of it, was dynamic and interesting. 

While the price of oil cratering might affect the tsunami of money flowing into Moscow - I would point out that the people who really benefit are the oligarchs, not the common man; and, given the efficient subway system of the Moscow Metro, a person living inside the MKAD (at the very least - I haven't been in the outlying areas) without burdensome rent could get by without a car. 

Actually the total energy costs of living in Moscow have got to be far lower than living almost anywhere in USA; so if there is another oil price shock as there was in the 1970s the average Muscovite will be far better able to handle it than the average American.
Anchors Rewoven

Offline Baloun

  • Member
  • Posts: 108
  • Country: de
  • Gender: Male
  • Spouses Country: Russia
  • Status: Engaged
  • Trips: 10-20
Re: Cost of living in Moscow
« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2013, 03:01:57 AM »
Although more accurately, the comparison is not to 'The West' but 'The US'. Don't forget that most of Europe has sensible medicine and social housing is not a dirty word.

Social Housing doesn't exist here anymore. All privatized thanks to the neoliberal reforms of the last 20 years. If you don't earn enough you can get some help though, but it's a humiliating process (thanks to the neoliberal reforms). And healthcare isn't free of course either. Employees pay ~15% of their monthly income, freelancers like me between 200-600€/month.
If you are young, with a good job (often off the books), don't have to pay rent and live in SPB or Moscow the prospect of paying ~1000€/month for something which you get for free at home doesn't look inviting. But it's amazing how shortsighted this Russian system is. Most of the flats in Russia are shitholes compared to Western flats, and if they don't find a solution for the HOA fees the houses will crumble sooner or later. This will get very expensive, too expensive, for many people. And the Russian healthcare system is good as long as you don't have a serious disease, but as soon as you really need it you are  :censored: ed. That's why many wealthy Russians pay quite a lot of money for treatment in the West. Here in Germany I know a few private hospitals with nothing but Russian patients...!

Offline CC3

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 971
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • Spouses Country: Ukraine
  • Status: Engaged
  • Trips: Semi-Resident
Re: Re: Cost of living in Russia
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2013, 11:57:03 AM »
One of the reasons Ukraine appeals to me is that the people, at least the western Ukrainians, are not mindless automatons, used to kowtowing to authoritarian leaders since the invasion of the Mongols followed by the rise of the Duchy of Muscovy, morphing into the centuries long fascistic-style rule of Tsars and soviet commissars and Putin.

Bravo, CC3. Insulting the population of the whole country?  Good job! :thumbsup: Almost made me speechless.


A speechless Russian?

After being insulted?

 :ROFL:

Molly, you are TOO nice ....
Russia insulted the US when Putin sheltered Snowden, although I rather admire Snowden's rebellious streak. Ask Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky how autocratic and fascist Russia, under Tsar Vlad, has become. By the way, Mikhaik Borisovich is NOT one of the automatons...as there are other millions in Russia who undoubtedly have the courage to NOT join the masses who unquestioningly support the revival of the Soviet Union, innocuously relabeled the Customs Union.

http://www.khodorkovsky.com/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-ukraine-russia-edit-1207-20131207,0,6904099.story

We have mindless automatons in the US, as well, products of the abysmal US public education system, which, as transformed by the socialistic, politically correct NEA teachers' union, is engaged in mass Soviet-style brainwashing of American children. They generally support Sheik Baraka Hussein Obama's increasing one-man rule of the US: 

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/11/05/247718.html

 :uaflag:
The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other *snip* die for his.
George S. Patton

Offline Slumba

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2345
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
  • 10:27 AM
  • Status: Just Looking
  • Trips: 1-5
Re: Re: Cost of living in Russia
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2013, 12:19:22 PM »
Russia insulted the US when Putin sheltered Snowden, although I rather admire Snowden's rebellious streak.

I don't have a lot of love for Putin , but he did the right thing in that case.  Germany and the rest of Europe, supposedly part of the free world, was cowardly in not giving him asylum.
Anchors Rewoven