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relocating to Singapore - I got an offer.

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shuld i go or shuld i stay?

go.
12
71%
stay.
5
29%
 
Total votes: 17

CAO
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relocating to Singapore - I got an offer.

Postby CAO » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 2:40 am

Hi.

Background: 29 year old, single, Swedish, MSc, Working for Swedish bank as a foreign exchange trader, 4 years worth of work experience from the States and Sweden.

Case: Got offered a 3-year expat contract. SGD125k p.a. pre-tax + SGD6k monthly housing allowance. Medical care/insurance paid for. 1 trip to sweden for me and myself in economy class per year. On top of this is an annual bonus based on performance (probably in the range of 3-6mths salary).


I currently make a rather comfortable living in Sweden (equivalent of SGD140k gross p.a. but with 50% taxes), with a decent enough apartment and easy access to all the perks of living in Stockholm - downhill skiing and Swedish girls included.


Should I get on the plane to Singapore?


For info: I have previously studied a year in Shanghai so I'm somewhat familiar with the asian lifestyle and rather like it. Even though I realize Singapore is a lot more like Europe compared to China.


Appreciate all answers/views/previous experiences.

Best regards,
CAO

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zzm9980
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Re: relocating to Singapore - I got an offer.

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 8:18 am

CAO wrote:For info: I have previously studied a year in Shanghai so I'm somewhat familiar with the asian lifestyle and rather like it. Even though I realize Singapore is a lot more like Europe compared to China.



You realize wrong. Come to visit Singapore for at least a week, and make sure you leave the Sentosa / Orchard Rd./ Boat Quay / Clark Quay / Marina Bay area during that week. Visit all over. Go to some heartland malls. Take the train to places like Jurong East, Tampines, Yishun, Toa Payoh, etc, and just walk around. Go to East Coast Park and the Beach on a weekend. See everything in Singapore, for better or worse, then decide.

I'd say your offer sounds pretty nice though. Keep in mind on that salary + allowance your tax rate will be somewhere around 10-12%.

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Re: relocating to Singapore - I got an offer.

Postby JR8 » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:34 am

CAO wrote:Hi.

Background: 29 year old, single, Swedish, MSc, Working for Swedish bank as a foreign exchange trader, 4 years worth of work experience from the States and Sweden.

Case: Got offered a 3-year expat contract. SGD125k p.a. pre-tax + SGD6k monthly housing allowance. Medical care/insurance paid for. 1 trip to sweden for me and myself in economy class per year. On top of this is an annual bonus based on performance (probably in the range of 3-6mths salary).

I currently make a rather comfortable living in Sweden (equivalent of SGD140k gross p.a. but with 50% taxes), with a decent enough apartment and easy access to all the perks of living in Stockholm - downhill skiing and Swedish girls included.
Should I get on the plane to Singapore?
For info: I have previously studied a year in Shanghai so I'm somewhat familiar with the asian lifestyle and rather like it. Even though I realize Singapore is a lot more like Europe compared to China.

Appreciate all answers/views/previous experiences.

Best regards,
CAO


I think people who vote should explain why: I voted 'go'.
So your present housing arrangement back home, are you paying rent? Or do you own a place (that you could let out for additional income if away)?

Anyway in general terms I think it sounds like a pretty good offer for your job/age/experience. Is this an internal transfer? That would be nice, as the continuity simplifies a lot of things. A period here would look good on the resume too. Many other smaller pros and cons could be discussed, but this is a yes/no reply.


p.s. I'll take you Swedish girls and raise you :P :wink:
'Girls of Norway - La Perla Kobojsarna'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkxqgMLNVf0

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Re: relocating to Singapore - I got an offer.

Postby JR8 » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:59 am

Re: ZZMs reply. I have a differing angle on this, that I'll add on to his.

Yes I agree a trip here prior to agreeing a relocation would be a good idea. If he is doing an internal transfer such a thing might almost be expected (as it is for everyone's benefit). But if not possible it's not the end of the world.

When I did my first relo here I only experienced a very narrow geographic area. I lived right near Dhoby Ghat MRT (lower Orchard Road). Commuted to Raffles Place, and going outside that area was something of an occasional adventure. Even going to Dan Ryan's near Tanglin Mall (upper Orchard Road) felt like the end of the earth, just a little outside of my comfort zone. Even I laugh about that now, how that might be at all possible, but that's how it was :) I think the thing was I didn't need to go further out for day to day purposes, especially with an average c12 working day. Come the weekend, then of course I could go off and explore more distant places, Bukit Timah, Sentosa, East Coast, McRitchie, Tekka Market, Chinatown, Little India etc...

It was only quite recently, years later, that I've been to a couple of heartland malls. Not because I planned it, but because we happened to be in the area. If you'd suggested I do that on my relo#1 I'd have thought you a bit mad 'I'm getting some scarce down-time here, WTH would I want to go to a heartland mall, or visit Tampines, or Woodlands or Jurong, when it's likely irrelevant to my time here.... etc?'. The only difference I have noticed in such areas that I've noticed, is that a lot more people stare at you, as if you have landed from Mars.

I agree that a few hours pottering around one of these out-lying areas would give you a more balanced insight into what SG is like, but I don't think you need that insight prior to agreeing to relo here.

I think if the OP has seen and tolerated Shanghai, then Disneypore (i.e. here, arguably Asia-lite) should be culturally/socially unchallenging for him.

Just my 2c!

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Postby CAO » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 1:29 pm

Ok, so currently it's 4-4. That is including my own vote for "go".

@zzm9980: I will get the chance to go on trip 3 days paid by the bank, after which I will have the chance to back out of the deal. However: I'm not overly concerned about the fact that Singapore is a diverse country and not exactly Sweden.

@JR8: Thank you for the comment. Yes, I do own my apartment in Stockholm and I will be able to sublet it for a neat SGD2k monthly profit - my company shouldn't take that into consideration though. This is an internal transfer, I already know the boss fairly well, as well as most of the chain of command at HQ in Stockholm.

One issue that I have not raised. My bank will be on the contract for the apartment. This means they will pay for any apartment+utlils up to the sum of SGD6k monthly. So there is unfortunately no way for me to cut costs there. Classical moral hazard dilemma, i think i'll go for the... sgd6000-apartment thank u very much.

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Postby CAO » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 1:33 pm

p.s. I'll take you Swedish girls and raise you
'Girls of Norway - La Perla Kobojsarna'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkxqgMLNVf0


I love Norway as well! Even further from Singapore though... ! :)

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 2:01 pm

CAO wrote:One issue that I have not raised. My bank will be on the contract for the apartment. This means they will pay for any apartment+utlils up to the sum of SGD6k monthly. So there is unfortunately no way for me to cut costs there. Classical moral hazard dilemma, i think i'll go for the... sgd6000-apartment thank u very much.


I think you should factor in utilities in terms of electricity, gas, water, internet, land line etc. And furniture or relocation of your belongings (whether it is covered or not). Then only you can consider how much is the rental you could go for. In this case, probably SGD5k apartment would do.

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Postby CAO » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 3:43 pm

@the lynx: Thanks for heads up regarding this. Do you reckon utilities will run as high as S$1000 a month for a fairly modern 1BR? I'm sure I will be more generous on the a/c than locals are. Still - for S$5k I'm assuming I will be able to get a nice enough apartment and not have to compromise too much with my standard of living compared to Sweden?

Additional info: company pays for all costs involving the relocation. That is: 1mth temporary Service Apartment while looking for a permanent place, they also pay for the shipping of my furniture, as well as storage in Sweden for the stuff I leave behind. Also they pay my plane ticket for the ride over.

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Postby bgd » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 3:50 pm

I voted go.

The offer sounds good financially and career wise. You have an income generating property in Sweden which you can return to so a bit of a no brainer in my book.

This is an opportunity to work in Asia and do it comfortably. Spend anytime on this board and you will see plenty of people trying to get to Sg and having a tough time doing it.

You must be need a break from those Swedish girls and Asia will be a break. :wink:

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 4:14 pm

CAO wrote:@the lynx: Thanks for heads up regarding this. Do you reckon utilities will run as high as S$1000 a month for a fairly modern 1BR? I'm sure I will be more generous on the a/c than locals are. Still - for S$5k I'm assuming I will be able to get a nice enough apartment and not have to compromise too much with my standard of living compared to Sweden?

Additional info: company pays for all costs involving the relocation. That is: 1mth temporary Service Apartment while looking for a permanent place, they also pay for the shipping of my furniture, as well as storage in Sweden for the stuff I leave behind. Also they pay my plane ticket for the ride over.


Note that not all furniture is suitable. condominiums in Singapore are very small, unless you pay more than SGD9k for a spacious ones. And different bed sizes apply here too. Unless your company is not paying for new furniture, I'd suggest not to bring them over because you may find some of them won't fit in some layout. And if you're bringing in European-sized beds, you need to bring the sheets, duvets as well because it will be hard for you to find the right size in Singapore. Electrical appliances too. Different voltage. May as well buy all of them new and spare the headache, since your company is paying for your storage back in Sweden anyway.

If you have a cable channel subscription, land line, electricity, water etc, probably it will hit around SGD500. I'm not sure. It all depends on your usage. But a SGD5000 plus monthly rental will give you comfortable sized 1BR in good location.

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Postby Mi Amigo » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 6:03 pm

Despite the fact that I hate posts which begin with a poll (just a personal dislike, not a criticism of the OP), I voted 'go'. This was on the basis of the following:

1. If you don't go, you'll always wonder what would have happened.

2. The (intra- and extra-curricular) experiences will be good for you, even if it is not all a bed of roses.

3. The package is reasonable and the risks are relatively low.

4. It doesn't have to be (and probably won't be) forever, and it'll look good on your CV.

Good luck.
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 6:08 pm

Great that you can sublet and profit. Do be aware though that it can really sting to let your home and return later as every single scratch can cut like a knife. Save a little money to smarten it up before you move back in. But consider this a hell of a chance to overpay any mortgage and make a once in a lifetime hole or K-O in it, the overall impact of which will play out *for the rest of your life*. [i.e. saving is one thing, but slashing spending is often super tax efficient and simple! etc]. Maybe you will end up leaving here with some good savings, buy a new place back home, and keep the existing place at home as a rental investment (like part of a pension?)... there are LOT’S of opportunities to consider down the road...

Internal transfer = great! You know who you’re dealing with, and have the security of knowing that they’re going to take care of you. Lucky you.

Your bank being the tenant is good. There are some really devious (or just lazy and greedy) landlords here, but I think they’re less likely to mess about with an EU bank than some new kid on the block.

I was given rent allowance, and like you it was ‘use or lose’. No credit if I underspent the budget. So, spend it - simple! You surely can find a very nice place for that money. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting/’needing’ to live within walking distance of work. a lot of people do this. I did first time. Push your comfort zone, get out of the immediate downtown city centre. You get far more for your money: that budget is a studio in town, or a 3 or 4-bedder condo with all facilities (gym, swimming pools, etc etc) 20-30 minutes subway ride away. You decide!!


p.s. Half my genes are nailed to the Norwegian flag-pole, so... however, I do love the Swedes and have friends there. How to describe Swedish birds in comparison to the Noggies? .... ‘earnest goddesses’? lol .... hehehe ...

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 6:14 pm

The poll is also likely to be flawed. Almost any locals cruising in the background will vote for the 'I hate foreigners' option. You 'earn so much', they hate you and vote 'Don't come'. Pathetic but true.

This is an immature, childish, infantile, jealous, bitter, kiasu, bridge that you will learn to cross when you come to it. So meanwhile, COMPLETELY ignore the results of your poll.

[This is precisely why I remarked in my earlier comment this morning, 'people who vote NO, should say why'. Of course the nay-sayers will never explain, they will just silently, anonymously hate, as they usually do :roll: :roll:]

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Re: relocating to Singapore - I got an offer.

Postby maneo » Tue, 15 Jul 2014 8:31 pm

CAO wrote:For info: I have previously studied a year in Shanghai so I'm somewhat familiar with the asian lifestyle and rather like it. Even though I realize Singapore is a lot more like Europe compared to China.

Were you at Fudan?
It sounds like you already have a bit of an adventurer's streak so, yes, by all means, see more of Asia.
I agree with Mi Amigo. The package is pretty good and, besides that, you should save on taxes.

Compared to Shanghai, Singapore is slow-paced and calm, a place to come to & relax. Some interpret this as boring, but it's really what you make of it. SG will be generally cleaner & more civil & it has a greater variety of food.

Singapore is not like Europe, even compared to Shanghai - the description as "Asia-lite" is more appropriate. Some people even come to SG before Shanghai to take advantage of this and get acclimated.

With all the job stuff seeming to be in order it sounds like you can embark on another adventure. Good luck.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:19 am

I voted no, but based on everything you've further clarified and JR8's good points, I'd change that to a "go". Your offer is financially really good for a single guy, especially if you'll have income from the property back in Sweden. No skiing or Swedish girls here, but worst case that's enough money to hire a lot of PNGMK's Eastern European hookers :P


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