Singapore Expats

Can we afford to relocate?

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Re: Can we afford to relocate?

Post by JR8 » Thu, 28 May 2015 2:51 pm

[What follows is probably the longest PS in history :wink: ]

I don’t think I’d refer to a condo as ‘glossy’, more an oasis of semi-sanity :) Smile
I think having a pool is a huge plus. Yes it comes at a price, but esp. a trailing spouse, it allows you to ‘get out of the house, breath, see the sky’.
Also, it can be something of a social outlet. 1st time here I really had no social scene via work as that new branch was a start-up, but instead a social side formed at weekends from say a dozen expats that used to hang out pool-side where I lived. Nothing like that has re-occurred elsewhere in more recent years, but it is possible. Plus, you know how it is if you have children, there’s 10 children in a pool and an hour later half of them are new friends. The children become friends, then it’s an ice-breaker to chatting with the parents... then maybe social events follow, and a condo has BBQ pits/ent areas etc so it follows quite naturally.
Expats here are transient, and I think with that comes.... er, a lack of will to engage with random other expats.... even if you’re from the same country, even if you live on the same floor. I hesitate to call it snobbishness, it’s more a reservedness, a case of ‘either you or I will have left in a year, so what’s the point even trying’. Hmmmm.... [complicated].
I would suggest coming here and renting a condo. If you can afford it do so for your first year, while you find your feet, and get yourself set up. If thereafter when you have a better understanding of society here, and decide to ‘go native’ (hehehe) then do so.
re: Hired-help. I can take care of my home back home entirely by myself. Even with a job with long hours. Plus, homes tend to be smaller here. Back home I’ve got Victorian sash-windows which are cranky and hard to clean, v high ceilings, carpets etc. Here a modern place is so much easier... mostly tile or hardwood floors, lower ceiling heights, materials designed to be easy to keep clean. We have a ‘weekly’ cleaner, 3hrs and she keeps the place immaculate, costs about GBP25. Simple. Meanwhile I focus on more important things like going for a swim, experimenting with ice-cream recipes, and researching outstanding restaurants that sound worth a try, [oh, and my self-employed primary job trading].
Your husband will possibly be working longer hours than you might wish. But that sort of comes with being expatted. I specifically plan something my wife and I can do together every week... a meal out, a hike in a nature reserve, a seafront nature trail and so on. There’s a bit of a sense of having to plan to make time, rather than it just happening like back home. Then once a month we plan on having a really special meal out. Not quite ‘the sky’s the limit’ (when you look at some of the prices here for fashionable new places), but places that feel extravagant and are a real treat. The fun is jointly researching where we go next, reading menus, reviews, figuring out what sounds like a candidate to go on the list for next time. We have one absolute favourite which is simply outstanding that we return to say 3 times a year (I’d go every week if I could, but it can be veeeery expensive if you go for it, so... ), then a short-list of newly found possibilities pencilled in to try in future.
Then on top of that we usually have some form of list of future holidays. Big annual trips, and then say quarterly weekend trips. Right now the last ‘big’ planned trip is Micronesia; small trips have been sub-week or w/e trips to Batam (shopping/F+B), Bali, Lombok, Gili Islands (off Bali), Cambodia, Saigon, Bangkok, Jakarta, Malapascua Island (Philippines). It is like a kaleidoscope of new possibilities, and you have to keep some adventure and ‘treating yourself' going on, to reward yourself for the often pretty taxing lifestyle here.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Can we afford to relocate?

Post by katyjac » Fri, 29 May 2015 11:19 pm

Thank you for should a considered reply! At the moment we are both keen but my husband is worried about coping with 2 kids in a foreign country and who would care for them if I work. We are very fortunate here to have active grandparents. For me, I'd prefer to make the move and return after a few years experience.

We are busy compiling a somewhat huge list of pros and cons but no doubt be back on with a request for even more info soon!

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