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Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

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ukgas
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Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by ukgas » Tue, 07 May 2024 12:37 am

Hello all,
We are looking for advice regarding a potential move. We are a family of 5 - kids 1,3,5 with a potential income of 300k combined total (inc. Of any housing and school allowance). After tax this looks like 20k SGD month after 22% tax.

With 3 potential International School fees+ rental for a 4 bed condo, will this be enough?

I understand we won't qualify as foreigners for local schools and probably not HBD.

tiktok
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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by tiktok » Tue, 07 May 2024 9:01 am

This forum is quite dead, suggest you try posting in the British Expats in Singapore facebook group. However, your budget seems on the tight side.
I not troll/wacko/spammer.
Me no expat. Me foreigner.

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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by bxagw » Tue, 07 May 2024 10:46 am

You and your spouse will become grumpy as soon as you move here (we note that the income already includes school and housing allowance). The income at first seems high, however the cost of living here for a family is also high a 4 bedroom condo will cost you at least 7,000 a month located in an area not easily accessible by MRT, perhaps 1 or 2 bus service. School for children, you have such young children it means you could enrol them into daycare or International School. Range of fees for daycare is 2,000 - 3000 / child and for International Schools the range annually varies by age, from around 30,000 to 45,000 per child (price increasing yearly too). The fees do not include school bus and other fees. The utilities, mobile service and broadband service bills here are quite affordable. I'm not sure on groceries expenses for your family because we all have different preferences, but lately the groceries price has seen a steady increase. oh one more thing, baby formula/milk and other children related food/stuff are not cheap in Singapore.

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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by abbby » Wed, 08 May 2024 10:13 am

Doesn't seem enough, probably just leaves you with a slight fee thousands after all the monthly expenses.

Rentals will cost you about 6-7k on average move up further North or northeast for lower rent.
Private buses for International Schools are relatively high depending on your location.
Interntional school fees 30-40k a year
If you are intending to buy a second hand car then you'll probably need at least $100k
Groceries are very expensive unless you buy at the wet markets rather than supermarkets.

I think in Singapore the highest expenditure you'll spend on will be : house rental, car, school fees, private bus fees and groceries.
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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by RimBlock » Wed, 08 May 2024 1:58 pm

Costs vary wildly depending on what you are happy to live with. Same as anywhere really. If you want to live in central areas in SG, London, Manhattan then you are going to have to pay through the nose for it.

My situation is different but hopefully some of the following might be of value to you.

In the east, near a MRT station a 4 room HDB is advertised as around 4-5k rental a month. Public transport is good, safe and fairly fast (especially the MRT). There is one big website for checking prices which I wont link here as it will likely break the advertising rules of this site but you should be able to find it via Google pretty easily.

My costs from the East to the central business district used to run me around $60 / month in MRT journeys.

Whilst you don't get the pool, semi-privacy and kudos of a condo with a HDB, they can be very nice and most communities have public pools (if you can get in them due to all the swimming classes). There are also a couple of water parks in SG which can be good with the kids.

My kids are SG citizens (my wife is Singaporean) but when my youngest started local school last year, there were a number of international children also in her class. Info on international students entry into local SG schools can be found on the MOE site here.

If you really need a car (I have never had one in SG over my 19+ years here) then they are very expensive. Fully agree with Abby on a $100k minimum and you are limited to 10 years use as standard from new (with a few caveats).

Costs for food... Dining out can be expensive, especially for a large family (we have 4 kids). Most locals eat in or go to hawker centres / food courts where food is cheap and fine. A number of companies also provide delivery services from restaurants also but they charge for delivery (or have free delivery subscriptions) and bump up the item costs as well. This can work out to be very expensive.

I tend to cook at home more and supermarket shopping was more expensive than when I visited my folks back in the UK last year but not stupidly so. There are also a lot of on-line delivery options for groceries now.

If you must have a condo and nice car and International School for all the kids then the income will go down pretty fast. If you are ok living more like a local in a HDB and can get places in a local good school, with or without a car you should be pretty comfortable.

Couple of other things to mention are that electricity prices are pretty high (regardless of the international Gas market). We are around $400 / month with only bedroom aircon but we have 6 computers and a few other electric power guzzlers. The other is that medial costs can be high but hopefully your employer will have decent employee medical insurance plans. Local hospitals and clinics are fine. Private hospitals are very expensive. There are also lots of big insurance players happy to sell (oversell) you medical insurance.

Anyway, hopefully some of that helped and good luck.

RB
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ukgas
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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by ukgas » Wed, 08 May 2024 3:38 pm

Thanks. For clarity, not planning on buying a car. Not planning on living in central SG. We hoped to live close enough to take kids to school but yes school bus probably an option - will they be picked up from anywhere?

If going for mid range International School then expecting to pay 6k a month.
Possibly 7k a month rent as highlighted above.

I assumed:
- HBD may be possible but not sure how to find one
- not allowed for local schools as foreigners. Is that right?

Anticipate will have about 5k left for costs at end.

ukgas
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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by ukgas » Wed, 08 May 2024 4:04 pm

Also,
Do we need to consider any additional costs such as medical insurance (which isn't standard in the UK due to the NHS) ? Thanks

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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by RimBlock » Thu, 09 May 2024 2:19 pm

I assumed:
- HBD may be possible but not sure how to find one
- not allowed for local schools as foreigners. Is that right?
Not sure if my post has not appeared for you or you have not had a chance to read it all (it is quite lengthy, as is this one now :D ) but....

Doing a google search for "Rental property in Singapore" should give you online sites with rental prices all over SG for both HDB, condos, Landed Property etc.

Check the link I posted in my previous reply to MOE (Ministry of Educations) article on international students in local schools.

International schools are all over. There is one by us in the East. Have a look at https://www.international-schools-database.com/in/singapore for a list. Hopefully this is not breaching advertising rules as it is a database of schools rather than direct links to the schools sites.

I mentioned medical insurance in my previous post but the TLDNR is that it is best to check with your employers as to what medical insurance they provide as part of your package. Mine allows free doctor visits and meds with a co-pay of $5 for any named family members included plus hospitalisation cover up to a set limit. After seeing what your employer offers you can decide if you need more.

It is also probably worth mentioning that getting PR after some time is probably good, depending on your circumstances, as there are a lot of advantages given to citizens that PRs also enjoy (as well as a few disadvantages, depending on peoples views).

To give an example of costs, my son went for very minor day surgery and we were quoted around 1.5k for the short stay bed (8 - 36 hours) and procedure. This is with a public (restructured) hospital. He gets a 80% Gov subsidy as a citizen but some of these subsidies also cover PRs (there are also some other Gov cover plans that knock this down further). The list can be found at https://www.moh.gov.sg/healthcare-schemes-subsidies. We were quoted $125 - $308 cash after all is said and done which I can probably claim from my work medical insurance.

Sorry I cannot link to more direct sights as it is against the sites rules (and rightly so IMHO). Google is your friend here though as a lot of this information is available on-line.

One other thing to bare in mind is that Singapore has quite a large group of very wealthy individuals. Things that are considered to be high to top tier are priced for this demographic. Just as an example of this, landed property is generally multi-millions to buy if you want something with 15 or more years left on the lease (most properties are leasehold). This also has the knock-on effect of driving up prices of the next tier below (i.e. condos) as people try to show others how well they are doing.

Feel free to PM me if you need more direct info.
Without dialogues, if you tell them you want something real bad, you will get it real bad.

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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by malcontent » Thu, 09 May 2024 8:59 pm

ukgas wrote:
Wed, 08 May 2024 4:04 pm
Also,
Do we need to consider any additional costs such as medical insurance (which isn't standard in the UK due to the NHS) ? Thanks
Most employers here provide basic group medical coverage for foreign employees that would potentially cover your family as well, but this is usually capped at lower 5-digit amounts on a per incident basis and would quickly fizzle out if anything major were to befall you or your loved ones. Check with your employer for details.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 09 May 2024 9:37 pm

RimBlock wrote:
Thu, 09 May 2024 2:19 pm


Feel free to PM me if you need more direct info.
But watch out for financial investment sales pitch referrals. He is aware he is treading a fine line here. If he's not very careful, he will find his RIM BLOCKED for sure.

The last line of the OP's above post is a direct solicitation which is forbidden on this forum.

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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 09 May 2024 10:51 pm

ukgas wrote:
Wed, 08 May 2024 4:04 pm
Also,
Do we need to consider any additional costs such as medical insurance (which isn't standard in the UK due to the NHS) ? Thanks
I ran my own business in Singapore so I wasn't the beneficiary of any company supplied medical policy. However, you should be aware of these items as you review the coverage of your company policy, if any.

1. Lots of Singapore insurance policies (both privately purchased and company provided) cover you only for accidents and illness in Singapore. Take the ferry over to Batam Island (Indonesia) for a round of golf, get injured when a golf ball hits you in the head and you've got no medical coverage. Some people get around this by purchasing travel coverage to supplement their Singapore insurance plan.

2. If you travel much at all out of Singapore, you'll probably find the above solution unsatisfactory. In that case, you'll want to look at "global" policies that cover you anywhere you travel... almost. There are two kinds of global policies... those that cover illness or accident in the USA and those that don't. That's because of the USA's hellishly expensive healthcare system and USA coverage will cost a LOT more.

Even those that don't cover the USA offer you a few days coverage in the USA but if you're planning on being there for any period of time, you'll need to opt in for USA coverage. Like most policies, you have choices about deductibles, items covered, etc. I went with zero deductible, cover everything, and include the USA. Glad I did. Broke an ankle in Vietnam while offroad motorcycling, had an extended stay in the USA while working for a client.

3. You may wish to include evacuation insurance. If you come down with a serious illness while visiting in Sri Lanka, you may prefer to be evacuated to the nearest properly equipped hospital. Of course, you're going to have to argue with the insurance company if the evacuation is required but this does give you an option to get to a proper hospital or to be helicoptered out of the remote jungle in Laos.

4. Finally, you may wish to consider repatriation insurance. This additional coverage guarantees that you will be returned to your home country in the event of catastrophic or long term illness and that your insurance coverage will continue. Think cancer, getting both your legs eaten off by a Bengal tiger... things like that. Most global policies cease to operate if and when you return to your home country, so this coverage, which is quite inexpensive, ensures coverage if you must return to your home country permanently.

Hope that helps in your decisions making.

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Re: Family of 5 - UK to Singapore

Post by nelyanne » Thu, 16 May 2024 12:05 am

You can forget about renting an HDB, only a small percentage of HDB units can be rented out to foreigners (there is a limit set on that).

I agree that this budget is rather tight for a family of 5.

You might also need a maid, which is 1k+ per month, and means that you need an even larger unit.

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