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How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

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How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

Postby Akimbo » Wed, 18 Nov 2015 3:12 pm

Hey mods and regular members! Been awhile since I posted in this forum, and I'm sad to say, I'm now pre-planning my goodbyes to Singapore.

I usually always see threads that asks what are you supposed to do, what are you supposed to prepare, and what will you need to search when you first enter Singapore to stay, but rarely on when you get out! :D

The wheels are turning, and I'm leaving Singapore to do a Master's Degree whilst part-time working in my current company's main HQ in Germany.

Now, guys...I am going to start fresh in Germany, by only using the money I get from my sponsorship as well as part-time job, to live and build a new savings account there. I have a few questions on my "assets" if you may call that, that is left here in Singapore. Mainly my bank account in SGD with the local bank, as well as my current savings here...

Yeah, I haven't done the extensive research on building wealth, but I plan to do so in the near future. But I'm not gonna ask about that here...

So some of my question would be:
  1. Should I keep my current UOB bank account, and just leave a certain amount (I think it was $1000) so that it doesn't incur maintenance fee? But then...why do I need to keep it? Is there even an advantage to have a Singapore bank account when you're outside of the continent?

  2. My mom always tell me (which I'm following) to use credit cards for emergencies. At a certain point in my life, I thought having a Visa Debit card (by UOB) was practically it. (I know now that it's different because it doesn't count credit scores...) which it does have its convenience whenever I go pay SISTIC or grocery shopping, or sometimes restaurant outings. I can also use it overseas as needed as long as there's Visa. Trouble is, it's going to expire early next year... Anyone has experience on renewing cards, when your situation actually calls you to move out of the country soon after? Is it even possible to renew like that?

  3. I'm planning to use about 70% of my savings here for low maintenance and low risk investment to guard against inflation. A friend of mine works in Walton Int, and he'll be giving me the gist on this in the next few days to explain to me, but of course I can still back out beforehand. I am of course prepared to leave the money for 5-10 years.

  4. About 20% of my savings I would like to use for a more aggresive investment, but I don't know where to start with this. Any recommendation? Remember, I'm not even in Singapore, and very likely will not be back in Asia for a prolonged period of time...

I'm sorry for all the noob questions, but I've never actually done things like this, and whenever I do ask some of my friends, they are pretty much too financially savvy that I simply don't understand the lingo and couldn't keep up! :(

I hope somebody has some kind of experience like what I'm going to go through, so I can learn from it!

Mods, if my questions are somewhat inappropriate for the location of the sub-thread, please inform me so I can probably move it to a better place.

Thanks everyone!
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Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 19 Nov 2015 6:06 am

I doubt you have enough money for much of that. Frankly I'd take it all with me to Germany or maybe leave a bit with your parents.
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Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

Postby JR8 » Thu, 19 Nov 2015 7:02 pm

Akimbo wrote:I usually always see threads that asks what are you supposed to do, what are you supposed to prepare, and what will you need to search when you first enter Singapore to stay, but rarely on when you get out! :D


I don’t know if you saw a topic I wrote (probably some years back) re: suggestions of what to get before leaving, stuff to take with you? It’s SGn/Asian stuff you’re going to have a hard job finding in Europe. A broad theme might be don’t buy in SG to take with you things like cold-weather clothing, as it’s way cheaper in Europe. Do take things take you’d really miss... Yeo’s paste for chicken rice? Some of it also depends on your cultural background. You can find some limited Asian grocers in Germany, but IME there aren’t many. There are a few in Berlin, it’s a cosmopolitan place, and prior to the wall coming down the universities in former East Berlin were somewhere students from (former communist) Indochina were allowed to go and study. Some of them never returned home, hence they created a demand for their food products.

Where will you be located? There is meant to be something of a ‘Little Tokyo’ in Stuttgart, due to the JPnese car manufacturers. German culture gets more parochial as you head south towards Bavaria, and outside the main internationalised cities it will be very limited if present at all.

-----
Akimbo wrote:
  1. Should I keep my current UOB bank account, and just leave a certain amount (I think it was $1000) so that it doesn't incur maintenance fee? But then...why do I need to keep it? Is there even an advantage to have a Singapore bank account when you're outside of the continent?


I’ve still got my SGn POSB account and used it during the transition stage on my current ‘out-posting’. Opening up local bank accounts, getting internet access, cards, PINs and so on can take a long time. Germany is likely more efficient, but where I’m based it’s taken me c4 months! I’m now able (finally) to fund that local account this week. If I hadn’t the POSB a/c, and a UK a/c I’d have been stuffed.
I can’t think of any other reason to keep a SGn a/c. Though if you intend to return there within say 3.../?yrs then it might be worth it for simplicity's sake. Note: It is increasingly hard to open bank accounts x-border. Once you’re in Germany, if you found you had a real need for a SGn account after closing your UOB one, it’s entirely possible [likely IMO] that if you approached UOB they’d decline you, since you’re no longer resident in SG.


Akimbo wrote:
  • My mom always tell me (which I'm following) to use credit cards for emergencies. At a certain point in my life, I thought having a Visa Debit card (by UOB) was practically it. (I know now that it's different because it doesn't count credit scores...) which it does have its convenience whenever I go pay SISTIC or grocery shopping, or sometimes restaurant outings. I can also use it overseas as needed as long as there's Visa. Trouble is, it's going to expire early next year... Anyone has experience on renewing cards, when your situation actually calls you to move out of the country soon after? Is it even possible to renew like that?


  • a) I’d get a credit card from UOB before you leave, for ‘In case of emergency’. Reason being, once in Germany if you find you have a need for one, you’ll have no local credit-record and any card available to you might be on lousy high-fee/% terms. Also note that credit-cards are perhaps er... slightly taboo in Germany [x-ref: 1930s money-printing and hyperinflation], at least compared to what non-Germans are used to. So again I’d take a UOB one with you. Also note it’s not unusual for some hotels and airlines to need a booking via a credit card, less than previously, but you don’t want to face that and be stuck.
    Re: your debit card. I’d tell them you’re going to study abroad, wish to maintain your account, and intend to return to SG – and request early card renewal. That is what my wife and I did with POSB.


    Akimbo wrote:
  • I'm planning to use about 70% of my savings here for low maintenance and low risk investment to guard against inflation. A friend of mine works in Walton Int, and he'll be giving me the gist on this in the next few days to explain to me, but of course I can still back out beforehand. I am of course prepared to leave the money for 5-10 years.


  • You might want to skim this topic, where DIY investment has been and is discussed. viewtopic.php?f=83&t=104223&p=735078#p735078 The risk you should be willing to accept correlates with your aims and age; so it’s initially a little complex to figure out. But if and when you do it can set you on a clear investment path for years ahead.
    Walton Int – Canadian real-estate investment. No slur on your friend intended, but is he qualified to advise you outside of his own field? If he even suggests you buy his own products I’d run a mile...


    Akimbo wrote:
  • About 20% of my savings I would like to use for a more aggresive investment, but I don't know where to start with this. Any recommendation? Remember, I'm not even in Singapore, and very likely will not be back in Asia for a prolonged period of time...


  • Start with the above topic is my 2c, there’s a looot of thoughts/ideas/links in it. If saving for the long-term it can pay to invest in a market you understand well. If saving for a future pension it can make sense to build that pension where you expect to retire, esp if it’s a place you know well [‘back home’?].

    Akimbo wrote:I'm sorry for all the noob questions, but I've never actually done things like this, and whenever I do ask some of my friends, they are pretty much too financially savvy that I simply don't understand the lingo and couldn't keep up! :(


    ...which suggests to me they’re not qualified to give advice. Again, no slur intended; I’d worked in a US MNC bank for 10 years and was still making uninformed ‘random/un-wise’ personal investments, since I’d only worked on the institutional/trading side of things. It’s only really when I trfd to the Private Client divn that I learned about profiling clients' means and lifetime goals etc. – quite an epiphany :) Anyway, more re: that in the above-linked topic.
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby Akimbo » Fri, 20 Nov 2015 1:53 pm

    Thanks PNGMK for your 2 cents and JR8 for taking the time to write down such a post!

    Anyway, I don't have anything much to bring over. Maybe a few of my favorite books, my desktop PC and clothes that are proper for the summer and for the winter (that I already have) anyway, I won't miss Asian food so much, so no problem with that. I've been longing to get away from all these carbs anyway :) I will search around for that thread of yours when I can.

    I will be located in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg area. If that helps.

    ------------------------------

    1.) About the Bank Account

    I can’t think of any other reason to keep a SGn a/c. Though if you intend to return there within say 3.../?yrs then it might be worth it for simplicity's sake. Note: It is increasingly hard to open bank accounts x-border. Once you’re in Germany, if you found you had a real need for a SGn account after closing your UOB one, it’s entirely possible [likely IMO] that if you approached UOB they’d decline you, since you’re no longer resident in SG.


    Well, I've discussed the bond and also my big boss's (who's German) advice on working there. The soonest I can so called "get out of the country" is roughly 3.5 years from when I arrive. At the very least, in those 3.5 years he won't be getting HR to bug me by saying, "Akimbo, you are ordered to go back to the Singapore HQ. Remember, we're the one that sponsored you while you're studying there"

    I guess I probably keep it open then. Just keep the minimum or so.

    2.) About the Credit Card and the Debit Card renewal

    a) I’d get a credit card from UOB before you leave, for ‘In case of emergency’.Also note it’s not unusual for some hotels and airlines to need a booking via a credit card, less than previously, but you don’t want to face that and be stuck.

    Re: your debit card. I’d tell them you’re going to study abroad, wish to maintain your account, and intend to return to SG – and request early card renewal. That is what my wife and I did with POSB.


    I'll take your advice on the debit card renewal, thanks.

    Can you also help me on how to adult on this? It's embarrassing :oops: , but I think I have some wrong comprehension here on the VISA...maybe it's because...most of my hotel/hostel bookings, plane tickets, paying my Kickstarter pledge, restaurants while I was abroad, e.g. in Aussie, I had used the Debit Card with the VISA, so I thought it "kinda" work as my "credit" card...

    So let's say I don't get the credit card from UOB, and just go abroad with my renewed Debit card. Would that still work?

    What I didn't say above, is that, I actually do have credit cards, but they're supplements which is tied to my mom's name. I don't really wanna bother my parents about such stuff. It's my decisions, my money, you know?

    3.) About the investments

    You might want to skim this topic, where DIY investment has been and is discussed. viewtopic.php?f=83&t=104223&p=735078#p735078 The risk you should be willing to accept correlates with your aims and age; so it’s initially a little complex to figure out. But if and when you do it can set you on a clear investment path for years ahead.


    Ermm...you just linked me to your latest post on that thread, and I don't see anything on the DIY investing on that particular post. Or are you saying I should skim the 34 pages of that thread? Hmm, it's gonna take awhile to do that. I'll do it this weekend.

    Walton Int – Canadian real-estate investment. No slur on your friend intended, but is he qualified to advise you outside of his own field? If he even suggests you buy his own products I’d run a mile...


    Hahaha, yeah well, he's not a native of the area, if that's what you're saying...after I heard his pitch the other day, I'm about half-convinced that everything is pretty sound, but then I start googling and seeing a few articles, and read discussion in forums, which doesn't make it sound good for Land banking schemes. :roll:

    If saving for the long-term it can pay to invest in a market you understand well. If saving for a future pension it can make sense to build that pension where you expect to retire, esp if it’s a place you know well [‘back home’?].


    I'll put that in my mind. I actually have no idea where to retire yet, really...but I do have some money planted back home in Indonesia. Though as of today, it's not enough to retire.

    ...which suggests to me they’re not qualified to give advice. Again, no slur intended; I’d worked in a US MNC bank for 10 years and was still making uninformed ‘random/un-wise’ personal investments, since I’d only worked on the institutional/trading side of things. It’s only really when I trfd to the Private Client divn that I learned about profiling clients' means and lifetime goals etc. – quite an epiphany :) Anyway, more re: that in the above-linked topic.


    They're not professional financial advisors, but at least I learn something like "Before you wanna invest, you MUST know what you wanna do with the money, ergo your life-time goal. Grow it, use it for retirement, guarding against inflation" I never thought of it like that before (That's where the how to adult comes in)

    My close friends pretty much come from all sorts of different backgrounds, not from a single nationality. And when they're talking about stocks, it sounded to me that they know what they're talking about.

    One guy says he's investing for retirement (can't remember which country he's investing it in, but he's from the Philipines) and yet he and his long-term girlfriend plans to go to Ireland after finishing up in Singapore in the next 2 years or so.

    One guy has property back home in Canada, some stock and commodities, but I'm not sure how he handles it, but he's sure as hell don't wanna go back to Canada, but rather stay in Singapore.

    One Malaysian guy (whom i can imagine as being on the same level financially as me) has started going for ETF since last year on STIndex through POSB.

    I'm still pretty level-headed about these things, so not gonna decide soon, but I just feel like I had to decide before I leave. At the very least, I have to guard my money against inflation. Or like what PNGMK said, just bring em over to Germany. Haha.
    Last edited by Akimbo on Fri, 20 Nov 2015 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby bgd » Fri, 20 Nov 2015 2:03 pm

    Good advice on the cc. I closed my UK card and now wish I still had it. Sometimes it's easier to use a local card for online purchases. Also, if you do keep your bank account here, show some activity on it. Something I didn't do on my UK account and it was painful getting it re-activated. Every few months I now do a small transfer between accounts.

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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby Barnsley » Fri, 20 Nov 2015 2:45 pm

    Akimbo wrote:
    I will be located in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg area. If that helps.



    I have friends who live near there and the place is great for visiting as there is lots to see around there. I imagine its pretty good living too.

    If you like wine , then its in the middle of the wine region of that area , and they make some pretty good stuff.
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby Akimbo » Fri, 20 Nov 2015 3:00 pm

    Barnsley wrote:
    Akimbo wrote:
    I will be located in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg area. If that helps.



    I have friends who live near there and the place is great for visiting as there is lots to see around there. I imagine its pretty good living too.


    It's gonna be the life of a university student again! in a foreign land where I only speak lower intermediate level of its language! Gahh!

    Such an adventure once more!
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby JR8 » Fri, 20 Nov 2015 5:40 pm

    Akimbo wrote:2.) About the Credit Card and the Debit Card renewal
    ...
    Can you also help me on how to adult on this? It's embarrassing :oops: , but I think I have some wrong comprehension here on the VISA...maybe it's because...most of my hotel/hostel bookings, plane tickets, paying my Kickstarter pledge, restaurants while I was abroad, e.g. in Aussie, I had used the Debit Card with the VISA, so I thought it "kinda" work as my "credit" card...
    So let's say I don't get the credit card from UOB, and just go abroad with my renewed Debit card. Would that still work?
    What I didn't say above, is that, I actually do have credit cards, but they're supplements which is tied to my mom's name. I don't really wanna bother my parents about such stuff. It's my decisions, my money, you know?


    It figures more where you make a reservation with a small advance deposit, but don't settle the final bill until you have finished with the service. So for example this commonly occurs with hotel reservations (though deep-discounted offers usually require full payment up front, with no chance of any refund). They take a deposit from your card, it's a 'hold' or block on some funds, it's in the background, not a line that will appear on your CC statement. Actually on making such a booking if you then checked your CC a/c online, you would see your available credit had dropped. It's to protect the hotel against you not showing up. Similar reason when you show up to check-in they take a 'print' of your card, that further increases their protection.

    The same also applies with car-hire. They take a deposit, as above, it's to protect them against no-shows, and also damage to the vehicle etc.
    With such things they often don't know what to expect of their customers. So a credit card 'says' you're credit-worthy, what ever happens the hotel/car-hirer has a decent chance of getting what is due from you. If you have a debit card, and don't fully pre-pay, you might only have $1 in the account - how would they know?

    Live example: Hiring a car from Hertz in England https://www.hertz.co.uk/rentacar/custom ... ghtNow.jsp
    Even if you book on a debit card, you cannot pick-up the car without them taking a 'print' of your credit card.


    When I expat'ed to the US, not having a credit card made life really complicated. For example: You couldn't hire a car at all. But it goes further there, if you don't have one in some ways you're severely handicapped - 'What's wrong, no job, no money, maybe a bankrupt?'

    I understand what you mean about a card tied to parents. Fine, keep those cards, that should be all you need. And if one is needed for booking something then use it, and when you arrive at the hotel etc present your alternative card (debit?) and ask if you can be charged on that. Or simply do that at check-out. I've done this several times, make a reservation using a CC (as required), and on check-out pay on a debit card, or debit-card and cash. No entry goes on the CC statement.

    Akimbo wrote:3.) About the investments
    Ermm...you just linked me to your latest post on that thread, and I don't see anything on the DIY investing on that particular post. Or are you saying I should skim the 34 pages of that thread? Hmm, it's gonna take awhile to do that. I'll do it this weekend.


    Ah-oops, I was aiming to link the topic not one specific post. And apologies I'd forgotten the topic had grown as long as that :lol: :oops:
    As I recall the Topic has rather evolved. It started as some occasional daily observations of note in the financial markets. Then geo-politics pops up now and again, esp re: the EU/Euro. Then various posters have described what they invest in and why. You'll see say PrimroseHill outlining her investments. Me talking about the 'HYP' strategy from the financial website 'The Motely Fool' [aka TMF]. Oh, and also me talking about 'client profiling', i.e. understanding clients goals. And I think WD40/Rajagainstthemachine have passed through there, I know Strong Eagle has. Maybe some of those key-words/ids can make finding what you want easier. But in summary, you're sifting chat re: investment strategies, from the daily market chat/news.

    Akimbo wrote:Hahaha, yeah well, he's not a native of the area, if that's what you're saying...after I heard his pitch the other day, I'm about half-convinced that everything is pretty sound, but then I start googling and seeing a few articles, and read discussion in forums, which doesn't make it sound good for Land banking schemes. :roll:


    I meant more along the lines - if his employer sells prairie-land building plots with promises of future sky-scrapers, then check how he might be motivated, qualified or experienced enough to suggest any other investment :)

    Akimbo wrote:They're not professional financial advisors, but at least I learn something like "Before you wanna invest, you MUST know what you wanna do with the money, ergo your life-time goal. Grow it, use it for retirement, guarding against inflation" I never thought of it like that before (That's where the how to adult comes in)


    This is where TMF (as above) might be of use to you. They are pitched at self-investors, and much of their content begins at a 1.01 level. The .com and .co.uk sites also have very broad discussion forums, something of a mine of information.

    Akimbo wrote:My close friends pretty much come from all sorts of different backgrounds, not from a single nationality. And when they're talking about stocks, it sounded to me that they know what they're talking about.


    Hmmm depends. I could go and trade a few $billion of futures in a day [other people's money!], and yet even years later know almost zero about how to invest in stocks etc with a goal of creating my own pension. Example: Even 10 years on after being a futures trader, and still in banking, I got my ar$e royally burned in 'sure-win' Japanese Equity Warrants... :? :lol:

    Akimbo wrote:I'm still pretty level-headed about these things, so not gonna decide soon, but I just feel like I had to decide before I leave. At the very least, I have to guard my money against inflation. Or like what PNGMK said, just bring em over to Germany. Haha.


    I'd not rush into things. Do some reading, and consider your options. And so gain some knowledge and confidence before setting forth with long-term investing.

    p.s. have I a bad memory or did you really say you're Indon but don't like spicy food? :shock: :lol:
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby Akimbo » Fri, 20 Nov 2015 6:14 pm

    Thanks a lot for your advice, JR8! I'll be looking around for more about it then. :)
    JR8 wrote:
    p.s. have I a bad memory or did you really say you're Indon but don't like spicy food? :shock: :lol:


    I am Indonesian, and I don't recall ever saying that I hate spicy food in this forum... :lol:

    Although, to be honest, maybe I did say something like that, but more on "I don't mind spicy stuff, I just don't need spicy sambals to eat my food like all the stereotypical Indonesians". I have a Javanese tongue. I prefer sweet foods. Hahaha.
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby JR8 » Fri, 20 Nov 2015 6:21 pm

    Ah... you wrote: 'I won't miss Asian food so much, so no problem with that.' :)

    One things for sure, in Germany you will find very little Asian food, and veeery little spicy food at all. Not just sambal etc. anything!

    p.s. I hope you like sausages and potatoes ;) :lol:
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby Akimbo » Sat, 21 Nov 2015 4:45 pm

    There will be good Turkish Doner!!! And cheese! I'll get by :)
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby ScoobyDoes » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:30 am

    JR8 wrote:One things for sure, in Germany you will find very little Asian food, and veeery little spicy food at all. Not just sambal etc. anything!

    p.s. I hope you like sausages and potatoes ;) :lol:



    There's no shortage of Chinese or Vietnamese places in central Germany....I'm usually not far from Mannheim, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe etc. as well but yeah, westernized non-spicy and typically, flavourless.

    Akimbo.......like property, which if possible you should never sell but find other uses, bank accounts are always best left open somehow. They will only get harder to open as years go by and you never know when they'll come in handy. Out of four countries I've lived, I still have at least one account in all of them and with internet access it's usually easy to control.

    My account in Malaysia is the hardest to keep alive as online banking gets disabled after 3months of inactivity......needless to say, it hasn't worked for the past 12-18months now as I can't be bothered fixing it but anyway, the money and account are all still there.....according to paper statements.
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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby Aragorn2000 » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:42 pm

    Akimbo wrote:Hey mods and regular members! Been awhile since I posted in this forum, and I'm sad to say, I'm now pre-planning my goodbyes to Singapore.


    I half-expected the topic is about "exit strategies" rather than procedural stuff :D

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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby Primrose Hill » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 1:19 pm

    Manheim is a 90mins train ride into Frankfurt, so, in terms of food or niche items, it's easily accessible. Manheim itself is a quaint town, small, its residents are mainly that big chemical giant.

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    Re: How to Adult 101: Getting out of Singapore!

    Postby alycia » Tue, 24 Nov 2015 10:56 pm

    You should definitely keep your UOB account. Just in case.

    Perhaps open an account with the bank in which your parents can easily transfer money to you from Indo/SG and have discounts on TT rates or something.

    Like if you are going US instead, opening a Citibank account will help as the transfer is easy.


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