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I've been offered a few jobs in the U.S., and being a foreigner I really don't know how to calculate my take-home pay. One is a job offer in NYC with a base salary of 100k, a yearly target bonus of 15%, and some stock units, but they only vest later. My employer pays a 50% 401k contribution (I have no idea how 401Ks even work).

My wife would start looking at a job later, since we have to wait for a green card. The employer puts in a GC application right when you start and with my education level and country of birth, my wife should be able to get a work permit about a year after moving to NYC. Therefore, we would be filing jointly and I would be the only one with any income. We also have a daughter who would be my dependent.

I'm trying to figure out what my take home pay would be under the following circumstances:

  1. 100K salary.

  2. Maximum 401k contribution.

  3. Living in the New Jersey or Connecticut suburbs, i.e. being resident in one of these states.

  4. 2 dependents (wife and child).

Typical company bonuses have exceeded the 15% minimum limit quite substantially, but I'm interested in a conservative calculation assuming no bonus.

  • What exactly is the question? Did you try the various paycheck calculators? – littleadv Mar 8 '15 at 14:37
  • I think the question is pretty clear. I've been unable to find a calculator where I can easily plug in my salary, what part goes to the 401k, my state and my number of dependents. Instead they ask for a list of possible deductions that I can claim, none of which I have a clue what they are. – dst Mar 8 '15 at 20:39
  • If you only want to compare job offers in an approximate way, you should be okay even if you don't know what to fill in for those various things, as long as you fill them out consistently for each job offer in the salary calculator. The main variable (other than the amount of money you get) will be which state the jobs are in. If you want to know how much you'll take home in absolute terms you will have to talk to someone with financial expertise (e.g., an accountant) who can help you delve into the specifics of each offer. – BrenBarn Mar 8 '15 at 23:56
  • One website which I used quite frequently was salary.com. They aren't 100% correct but do give an idea. – DumbCoder Mar 9 '15 at 12:57
  • I'm not sure it'd be worth it to have a 401(k) unless you plan to retire in the US. – Andy Mar 9 '15 at 19:14

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