That's how much an expat and spouse, used to a U.S. salary of $75,000 a year, needs to earn to maintain a similar lifestyle in Seoul these days, according to Runzheimer International, the Rochester, Wisconsin-based management consulting firm that tracks living costs around the world.
Even with cheap shopping on the It'aewon, that makes Seoul the most expensive expat posting in the world right now.
The lowest: Detroit, where two can get by on an annual salary of $40,512, and Calcutta, at $32,065, figures that possibly reflect the wide range of sidewalk accommodations in those cities.
Runzheimer bases its calculations on the cost of housing in neighborhoods favored by expats; transportation (both public and vehicle ownership); and goods and services. But taxes are excluded.
Here's the most recent list:
Buenos Aires 95,252
Sao Paulo 89,231
New Delhi 72,721
Note this: The figures are for two. Kids blow the numbers into the stratosphere. Try $18,000 - that's tuition cost for one high-school kid for one year at the American School of London these days. Students at the American School of Paris pay $14,700 per year, and the cost at the American School in Japan is $15,800. Fees and special-events costs are additional.
World Crass ...
That's the view of Detroit Wayne County Metro Airport that leaps out from our recent survey of auto execs' travel patterns and preferences. According to 34 percent of respondents, Detroit Metro is the world's worst airport, maybe even the world's worst anything.
'Crowded and dirty,' 'Slow, overcrowded baggage claim' and 'Bad attitudes' were some of the comments from execs citing their passage through Detroit's international airport.
Other airports took hits, too, but none came close to matching Detroit's 34 percent share of worst-place votes.
Tokyo Narita scored worst with 9.5 percent of respondents, followed by London Heathrow, Frankfurt, New Delhi and Minneapolis, all tied at 7 percent.
Other dishonorable mentions: Dallas, New York/La Guardia and Amsterdam Schipol.
World's best, according to globe-trotting industry people: Singapore.
But agreement on the question of world's best is much less focused than it is for world's worst: Singapore scored first with only 14 percent of respondents, followed by Chicago O'Hare and Denver, both with 9.5 percent. All in all, 20 airports worldwide received at least one vote for world's best. Detroit got none.
What's most important to the traveling exec? By a definite margin, speedy baggage handling, first with 32 percent of voters. On-time baggage was followed by airport security (28 percent) and travel time to city (23 percent).
In fact, most of you responded, if you can get your bags quickly and not have to spend hours getting to town, you'll forgo having good shopping or a wide choice of food; other activities, such as gyms or, uh, theaters; and even comfortable departure lounges, all of which ranked way down on the 'most important' scale.
(To adjust for Detroit's high concentration of auto execs, survey distribution was weighted so that more than 70 percent of responses came from Europe, Japan-Korea and California.)
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