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Greetings and salutations - advice required

Greetings and salutations - advice required

Old Aug 8th 2016, 10:16 am
  #1  
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Default Greetings and salutations - advice required

Greetings and salutations,
I have just joined the forum and thought I would say hello and wish everyone a lovely week ahead. My apologies for the long first post !

There might be a possibility that I might receive an offer of employment for a job in Singapore (on local terms) not an expat package which would be very tempting to move from the UK.

However, with such moves, I want to make sure my wife, soon to arrive baby and I are comfortable and not worse off than we would be in London.
This is especially true given my wife will not be working as she will be effectively looking after our baby and might only look for work as a junior doctor after a year or two.
I have read up on a few websites and asked contacts about the expenses that might be incurred which I have detailed below.
I would really like to understand if these are realistic and if there are any glaring omissions. Your advice will be really appreciated.

EXPENSES Monthly ($SGD)
Rent 4,500.00
Food 1,500.00
Transport 500.00
Medical 150.00
Mobile 80.00
Entertainment 600.00
Internet 50.00
Cable 50.00
Clothes 400.00
Gym 200.00
Cleaner 150.00
Holidays 450.00
Sundry 300.00
Electricity 500.00

TOTAL 9,430.00

My place of work if offered the job will be in Changi Business Park. I have read that there are quite a few expats living on the east coast. Can anyone advice which areas these are and how convenient is it to travel to Changi Business Park?

Thanks and we look forward to contributing and moving to Singapore in the near future.

Cheers,
Rom
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Greetings and salutations - advice required

Cleaner???
Not so easy to get a regular cleaner unless you do it by using someone else's maid, which I wouldn't advise.
A live in maid,unless you are lucky these are the only ones available, will cost about S$1200 pm all in.
The maid gets S$600 plus her food plus toiletries, unless things have changed recently.
Our maid eats with us and eats the same food.
Mind you it's a good time to get a maid on board and see if she gains your confidence because if your missus does decide to work you won't want to leave a newly employed maid alone with a new born.

You could save on the Gym costs.
I go to a Singapore Sports centre gym and pay nothing because of this and that.
The equipment is fine for me and there is a machine section with cross trainers, rowers, bikes, steppers and treadmill.
The weights area is bigger than the exercise m/c area and has all the necessary stuff.

It might cost you S$80 pm iirc.

You might not eat and drink out regularly unless you go to food courts, not that there's anything wrong with that, we do, for what you've budgeted.

Overall your S$9400 is OK although some costs might vary a bit.
I suppose you'll also want to save some money.

Is your job providing medical insurance and what about dental?

Ex pats live everywhere. I wouldn't say there are any enclaves or ghettos, like.
If there were I'd avoid them.
Locals are fine as are a few ex pats. You are going to work overseas so you might as well join in.
The other thing about a big group of ex pats is that they do tend to group together a bit wrt their salaries.
You being on local terms might be towards the bottom of that list and some ex pats can tend to lord it a bit.

You'll pay tax on your rent as well.

And there'll be a utilities bill the amount of which will depend on how much air con you use.
We use very little aircon because I'd rather acclimatize and iirc we pay S$120 ish pm.

Last edited by ex reg; Aug 8th 2016 at 12:12 pm.
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Old Aug 10th 2016, 6:33 am
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Default Re: Greetings and salutations - advice required

Not sure what ex reg means about difficulty getting a cleaner, you can get one no problem. I know lots of people that have one and I'm sure you can get lots recommendations on here. Mine for a start! Lots of people with children have live-in maids but that's really a personal choice, I don't like the idea.

Agreed on most of the rest though, the budget below is pretty close, electricity might be a bit high, maybe half that amount and only then if you use AC a lot. If you move to a decent condo the gym might be good enough that you won't need to pay for a separate membership.

Also make sure your job offers medical (it probably will) and make sure dental is covered. If these aren't included you'll need a lot more than $150pm for those, medical is very expensive here.

If you're on a local contract you won't pay tax on your rent. You only pay this on rental income, i.e. if you own a property and rent it out. But that's pretty standard everywhere.

Also factor in your tax - it's not withheld so you need to save up in the year. 15% of your salary a month will give you a nice buffer unless you're really earning big money.

I almost forgot, having the baby here WILL be expensive. It's essentially a private medical operation so even at a public hospital you're looking at around $10k all in, all being well. Costs can spiral if you have any complications at birth. I would recommend you definitely look into this and have baby in the UK before you come over if that's an option!
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Old Aug 10th 2016, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Greetings and salutations - advice required

Thank you ex reg and Luk3yboy for your comments and insight. That does really help clarify things.
Given my wife won't be back at work at least for another year after having the baby, we do not think we need a live in maid and hence us budgeting for a cleaner. Once things are clearer with the job offer, I might Google recommendations for a cleaner and might take you up kn the offer of asking for your recommendation, Luk3yboy?

We are hoping to get medical costs are covered and so I have been told but awaiting exact details and will confirm dental in that. Thanks for mentioning that.
The additional S$150 was more of the one off expenses that might not be covered especially with having a new born.

Agree with your comment about the expense of having a baby in Singapore. We plan to have the baby here in the UK before we move after a month or so. I think it's best for both my wife and baby.

Lots of information gathering at this stage to ensure the move is viable but it's exciting times.

Thanks again.
Rom.
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Old Aug 15th 2016, 2:01 am
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Default Re: Greetings and salutations - advice required

No problem Rom, just ask.

Best of luck!
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Old Aug 17th 2016, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Greetings and salutations - advice required

Hi Rom

I was in somewhat of a similar boat back in 2010; moved to Sg from Auckland (Kiwi expat I know, but thought I'd share my experiences). The job offer was on local terms, no expat package but it was still an upgrade from what I was doing before. The low income tax in Sg did help with my finances.

Fast forward a few years, I had my first baby in Akl in March this year and was enjoying the WellChild Programme and free vaccinations in NZ. Came back to Sg last month and took daughter for 3rd booster shots, costs me almost $500 at local paediatrician. Doctor was very professional and administered the jabs himself so well worth the money but she would've gotten them for free back in NZ. No insurance cover for my kid as I am a student now and partner's existing job does not have medical cover for dependents. Something you might want to ask from your employer.

Hope you get a good offer. Singapore is expensive but worth the move if you get a career upgrade.

Tracy

Last edited by tracy_redbucket; Aug 17th 2016 at 10:20 am. Reason: Added more information
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 9:45 am
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Default Re: Greetings and salutations - advice required

Thanks for sharing the experience Tracy. It is always useful to get some insight from anyone in similar positions to us.
We will most probably be getting the first jabs for our baby while in the UK and then get the next 2 vaccinations in SG. We have confirmation that my proposed employer will cover myself and family within their medical cover provided.

Thanks to everyone for your inputs thus far. They have been invaluable.
The move is looking more and more feasible now. Just need to finalise the details before I sign on the dotted line.
I have just heard about the requirement to pay 52 weeks of NI which I might now need to negotiate with my new employer to consider into my salary package.
Its never easy. Le sigh !

Rom
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 10:45 am
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Default Re: Greetings and salutations - advice required

Originally Posted by singbound View Post
I have just heard about the requirement to pay 52 weeks of NI which I might now need to negotiate with my new employer to consider into my salary package.
Its never easy. Le sigh !

Rom
I think if non res you pay the Class 3 contributions.
Not a lot each month so whatever it shouldn't be a deal breaker even if you have to pay them yourself, now or retrospectively.
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