How much does an Indian software engineer save per year working in the USA?
I'm not a software engineer. I'm a mechanical engineer. I came to US on L1 visa in May 2014. I had 6 years of work experience then. My offer was $70000 + $8000 Sign on bonus + 4 week vacation + health insurance cover + 1 month stay after immediate arrival in 2014. My salary have increased 4% annually ($85000 annually now), which is little above inflation. Got married in Dec 2017. Being in southern US, car was an essential than luxury. I brought a second hand car for $12000 on EMI (it also helped to accumulate credit history) and still driving the same.
Back to my savings part: I used to get around $ 2350 USD bi-weekly. That amounts to $4700 monthly.
Expenses as below:
Rent - $700 for 1 bath, 1 bed room house.
Car EMI+ Insurance + Fuel: $650 approx.
Food: $250-300 including having food outside sometimes in a month
Activities: $200 like golfing, bowling, gym etc
Total: $2000 per month.
I was able to save close to $2500 a month on an average. However, since I had to bring parents to US atleast once in their lifetime and few trips to visit my friends across the US blew up my 1 year of savings easily. Savings further got hampered after I got married. I'm not able to save more than $1000 a month now. Rent have almost tripled since we moved to a bigger house and rental value in school district have increased substantially. In fact, even lifestyle expenses have increased over the years. Although my wife can work here, it is important to take care of kid than working for now.
I used to invest in MF's and stocks back home and continued here too. I invested in FANG companies and ETF's here since 2015. Overall after little more than 5 years of my stay in US, I have net wealth close to $220K (approx 1.5 crores). My net worth depends on stock market since I have atleast 50% of my investments in stock market (directly / indirectly (401K)).
Am I happy about my wealth? Of course, yes. No way I could have earned 1.5 crores back in India with my work experience and occupational field. I'm not in debt, have a wonderful understanding wife. My family comes here once in 2 years or I visit them once a year. I'm able to advance my career. I now lead a small team and work with Indian counterpart.
Overall, moving to US was one of the best thing to happened to me.
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