Timing is everything. That 45% less certainly helps a lot - I feel a little relieved knowing that our expenses (apart from the mortgage) seem to be comparable. OK, back to the topic. When quiting a full-time job (and you are in the US) one must also consider losing the company matching 401k. That works out to around $5,000 free money that the company gives me for retirement. Contributions to a 401k come from pre-taxed earnings, which lowers my tax bracket. So if I started out on my own and managed to earn the same amount, I would actually be paying more tax, and I would still need to contribute to a Roth or some other investment vehicle out of my post-tax dollars. What this means is that working for yourself in the US is really, really expensive. Health insurance is expensive and in addition is paid for from post-tax dollars - and the coverage is not as comprehensive (I pay $80 a month for a PPO + vision + dental at the moment). No 401k with the free cash for retirement. And then there's that self employment tax which bit me in the ass last year. Hooray for owing the IRS an extra $3,100 this past April. I think the developers who do not live in the states but are still able to charge in USD for their wares have a great advantage. Perhaps the answer is to continue to work full time in the US, and use the spare change each month to pay a developer and a graphics artist in another country to write the game for you.