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Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

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petesax78
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Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby petesax78 » Tue, 22 Mar 2016 4:32 pm

Hi all,

My wife, son and I will be moving to Singapore next month and I have a few questions to ask, I'm sorry if they have already been asked but would really appreciate your help :D

1/ My wife has been offered a position with a salary before tax of sg$160,000 plus annual bonus of about 20% will this be sufficient to have a good life in Singapore for the 3 of us with a nice condo, live in helper etc?

2/ We were thinking of a budget of sg$5,500 per month for a 2-3 bedroom condo what areas would you recommend?

3/ When renting a property what up front fees do you need to pay? deposit agency fees etc? and do these need to be paid from a Singapore bank?

4/ What are the major costs when first arriving in Singapore?

5/ How easy will it be to set up a Singapore bank account?

Thank you for taking time to answer and if there is anything you think maybe helpful please feel free to share.

Pete

hotandhumid
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Re: Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby hotandhumid » Wed, 23 Mar 2016 12:59 am

Hi Pete,

Firstly, congratulations on your move/assignment to Singapore.
Responding to your questions in turn:

(1) S$160k + 20% is definitely a good salary in Singapore and you should be able to get by quite comfortably on it. You may wish to check the IRAS website on the income tax liabilities but I reckon that they are circa 10-15%. Do the math and you will have a feel of what disposable income you are working with.

(2) should be achievable ... see response in (1). Essentially, you will be paying 40-50% of your income in rent. I think most expats pay around 30-50% ... happy for anyone to correct me if I am wrong here.

(3)-(5) it's probably best if you could get HR to help answer those questions, as some (read: not all, not most) companies provide letters of guarantees/assurances for rental initiations. Major costs to consider relate to furniture, school fees, club memberships. As far as setting up bank accounts go, there should be little problem here.

Hope this bit helps for now.
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Re: Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 23 Mar 2016 8:46 am

School?

On that sort of income you should be saving quite a lot, and you'll need to save more especially if you lose access to some or all U.S. tax-advantaged savings accounts and stop making U.S. Social Security contributions. If you only equal what you were saving in the U.S. chances are you'll be worse off, maybe much worse off. Personally I would dial back your housing budget and/or ditch the live-in maid (in favor of once a week housekeeping), but that's up to you obviously. (Do you have full-time live-in help now?) S$5500/month is quite lavish nowadays for a 3-4 person household.

There's certainly no obligation to spend most or all of your salary, at least not at that income level.

petesax78
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Re: Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby petesax78 » Thu, 24 Mar 2016 1:52 am

Hi hotandhumid thank you for your great replies to my questions we can't wait to relocate. I'm glad to know that the income is sufficient if not comfortable I must admit it's been our concern as everywhere you look there seems to be people talking about very high cost of living (we live in Dubai currently and have done for the past 8 years so we're used to a higher cost of living). We had worked out somewhere along those lines for tax and our thought was the annual bonus should cover the tax costs. I'm planning to find work as well when we arrive and were settled in and as a sales director by profession I would hope to match this level of income as well but we don't want to be reliant on it. My son is only 3 so ideally we will be sending him to nursery a few times per week and have a full time live in nanny to look after him when we're both working.

Thank you again :-)

petesax78
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Re: Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby petesax78 » Thu, 24 Mar 2016 1:56 am

BBCWatcher thank you so much for your response:

My son is only 3 so won't be attending school for a few years but we do hope to enrol him in a nursery for a few mornings per week, and the reason we will be employing live in help will be to look after him when my wife and I are working (we do have a live in nanny/maid in Dubai but unfortunately she is too old to work in Singapore from what we understand 53y/o

We're not from the US were actually from UK living in Dubai for 8 years so we only have off shore savings apart from property in the UK so shouldn't be a major issue.

I'm please that S$5500/month is on the high side and would be delighted to find something cheaper 2-3 bed near my wife's work Novena??

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Re: Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:50 am

Toa Payoh is one MRT stop away from Novena, and it's full of shops including a Fairprice supermarket. There's a condo near the station called Oleander Towers with 3 bedroom/2 bath ~107 square meter apartments listed at about S$3400/month right now. It's a short walk from station Exit D, mostly covered from the rain from the looks of it. (Check it out on the ground, obviously.) There are some nice HDB parks there, too -- a great spot for your 3 year old to play and to meet other kids, mostly local Singaporean kids. I see about 4 preschools also short walks from Oleander Towers.

Near Bishan MRT -- 3 stops away from Novena -- there's a condo called Bishan 8 that I'd also check out on the ground. I don't see a preschool particularly nearby, so in that case it might make sense to arrange preschool near the workplace. But there's plenty of shopping there, including a large mall (Junction 8), a large playground/park, and a public library. Bishan has two MRT lines, so it's very well connected in transport terms. It's a little more expensive -- up around S$3800/month for a 3 bedroom, it looks like.

I would also take a look at the exact workplace location and bus routes to/from the workplace. If she's not going to be working particularly near Novena MRT station then the two examples above probably get less attractive, although they still might be well connected by bus.

hotandhumid
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Re: Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby hotandhumid » Mon, 28 Mar 2016 1:23 am

Hi petesax78,

'twas my pleasure to offer those few cents' worth...
Just one other note - the economy here is expected to slow down considerably this year. Compound this with tighter employment laws tilted against foreigners, securing a second income will be tough. You are best off establishing professional contacts when you arrive as they provide best access through the doors, especially for senior roles.

Either that, or relax and appropriate what it means to be a man-of-leisure. :)

H&H
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Re: Moving to Sing in 4 weeks with wife and 3 year old son questions

Postby JR8 » Mon, 28 Mar 2016 3:06 am

Suggest using this to crystallise your thoughts and priorities. That also allows others to make better informed suggestions.
viewtopic.php?t=101985

p.s. I know Toa Payoh well, including Oleander Towers. But will reserve further comment pending any broader input via the above linked.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


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