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Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

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Hatem
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Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby Hatem » Wed, 27 Apr 2016 8:22 pm

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Last edited by Hatem on Mon, 30 May 2016 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 27 Apr 2016 10:03 pm

Hatem wrote:....I am 26yrs old, I am single....

This is the breakdown of the expenses, monthly:
Rent 1 Bedroom SGD 3,200.00
OR
Rent 2 Bedroom SGD 4,000.00

Who is the extra bedroom for? ;)

Forget the 2 bedroom. Budget S$3,000 and be pleasantly surprised when you can do a bit better.

Health Insurance SGD 170.00

This one is "interesting." I assume this is your estimate of total out-of-pocket costs for medical insurance and unreimbursed medical care. Employer-provided medical insurance is tax free in Singapore, so ideally your employer would provide fantastic, uncapped, global medical insurance at zero out-of-pocket cost. It's in your mutual interest to do that given the tax benefits. Your mileage may vary.

Train/Bus Ticket SGD 200.00

If that's really only train and bus fares, that's too much. It's equal to about $6.60 per day. A "typical" long ride is $1.50, or $3 per work day -- doubtful you're going to be riding more than twice per day on a work day. If you're including a few taxi fares in this amount, I can believe it.

Internet and TV SGD 140.00

This is high, I'd say. M1 charges $39/month for a 12 month 100 Mbps fiber Internet contract, and that includes a home telephone line. If they charge for installation it's not much. Netflix has arrived in Singapore ($14/month for HD), and the local channels are free over the air ($0/month). Rent the occasional movie on iTunes for example ($25/month), and you're all set.

Utilities SGD 300.00

I'd say this is high, too. We're running about S$180/month these days with a family. If you like polar temperatures indoors then you could hit that number.

Mobile phone plan SGD 80.00

High again, I'd say. I'm on M1's prepaid at $23 per 50 days, for reference. I don't know why people get 24 month contracts. Most of the world doesn't, and it rarely makes financial sense here. Yet inexplicably some people do it.

Savings SGD 1,000.00

You should have higher expectations than this.

Groceries SGD 800

That's about $26/day. That seems somewhat high to me for a single guy, unless you have a particular love for expensive imported foods purchased at Cold Storage or Marketplace. Or for alcohol.

Going Out SGD 800

This'll chiefly depend on how much alcohol you like, as with groceries. If it's just a bar budget, that's very roughly 50 beers per month or about 12 per weekend.

How about vacation travel? Disability and/or long-term care insurance? Income taxes?

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby Hatem » Wed, 27 Apr 2016 10:41 pm

Thanks a lot!
Amazing! A very great and helpful insight!:)

Few points:
- The second bedroom was for my mum and dad who would probably come for 2-3 months a year.
But probably it makes more sense to spend 300-400 less and then rent them maybe a room or something when they will visit.
3000 for a single in a condo looks suitable if I take out The Sail, Shenton, etc... - right?:)
- For the Health insurance I am still not aware if the company pays for that.
- Regarding the utilities: I do not like a too cold AC at home, so good to know that I can push this down and save an hundred bucks.
- For the TV it is because I also want to see the european football but again, nice to know the price can be pushed down.
- For the transportation I think that 200SGD would work, a couple of ride a day plus 4 the days I will go play football.
- Thanks for the mobile phone tips!
- Groceries, I think I can push them down a bit as you said and eat at hawkers time to time or markets as I like to do.
- I never drink beer, 2-3 cocktails plus club entrance fee when I go out and finish.
- Regarding the savings: I am not that good :) maybe I can push this up a bit!

Thanks a lot!:)

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby Hatem » Wed, 27 Apr 2016 10:43 pm

Ah - about vacation -
Once a year going back to my town (800sgd round ticket) - plus I would say 3-4 weekends in Thai/Viet/Cambodia/HK and maybe a week somewhere around - like Taiwan, Australia etc...
(15 days of leave only)

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby JR8 » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 3:15 am

So the thing here is an internal relo rather them having to bid for a new hire. I did similar myself a couple of times; just watch they don’t get complacent and try and assume you’ll transfer for less [‘just cos it’s easy’] than it’s worth.
Expat packages, as they once were, are rarer these days, but don’t sell yourself short. You aren’t a local, and neither will your expenses be.

‘I did not have the chance to speak about remuneration yet’

This might be the risk of a mistake you ensure you don’t make on your 2nd relo. It’s ultimately all about the money. Nothing hinges on the possible ‘experience gained’, etc. When ever I’ve lost focus on what is the bottom line then the employer has taken it as a convenient avenue to screw me (this is big Blue-chip Wall St banks, supposedly on my side...). My first relo I was idealistic, by the last I was ruthless. Either way there is a game being played out.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby Hatem » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 4:07 am

Very good points and I totally agree on them.
The only point is that I have asked to be considered for that position and they did not write me at first - so this is the worry I have.

However, I will surely not sell myself short and I would probably rather decline the offer if it goes too far (below) from the amount I specified in the post above.

The request was initiated by me but it is extremely valuable for them ad well considering they do not have to bid for anybody on the market, they do get a resource who implemented already the strategy they want to implement, with a lot of internal network and specific knowledge of internal processes and people - thus I would ask to be paid as much as the position can be paid, ofc according to the company band level / limits.

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby BBCWatcher » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 6:27 am

Hatem wrote:The second bedroom was for my mum and dad who would probably come for 2-3 months a year.

Can they? Most nationalities get 30 day stay permission. Two well separated 30 day stays per year are probably viable. Are you planning to sponsor them for LTVPs?

3000 for a single in a condo looks suitable if I take out The Sail, Shenton, etc... - right?:)

Probably, but...I wouldn't pick the most expensive real estate when you actually choose something. There are places to live that are more fun.

- Regarding the utilities: I do not like a too cold AC at home, so good to know that I can push this down and save an hundred bucks.

And presumably you won't be running the AC at home while you're at work.

Disability/LTC insurance? Income tax? If your mother and father are dependent on you, life insurance?

Figure S$110/year ($10/month) for tenant's insurance if you want to toss that in, sometimes a lease requirement. I like QBE, but there are plenty of options. Air conditioner servicing is often stipulated in leases and will probably cost about $30/month assuming 2 units. Do you want to hire a part-time housekeeper?

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby JR8 » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 2:24 pm

Hatem wrote:Few points:
- The second bedroom was for my mum and dad who would probably come for 2-3 months a year. But probably it makes more sense to spend 300-400 less and then rent them maybe a room or something when they will visit.
3000 for a single in a condo looks suitable if I take out The Sail, Shenton, etc... - right?:)


I understand the idea of wanting a 2nd bedroom. Either it's there for guests and/or it doubles as a study. The alt of a guest sleeping on the sofa or floor only has so much mileage. That applies more so IME for parents, and esp if they're going to be hanging out for months.
What you'll find is SG isn't that geared up for 1-bed accommodation. The govt actively encourage breeding amongst the citizenry, and that is reflected in the lack of 1-bed accommodation. Hence if you do a search for 1-bedders you'll find mostly stuff that's not pitched at locals, in places like you mention The Sail/Shenton etc etc. Down-town/ultra-urban/very-$. They're pitched at shorter-term foreigners, and risk having as little soul as a long-stay hotel.
Do yourself a favour and look at the 'Where should I live?' topic. You might want to broaden your horizons a bit vs considering living within only 100M walk to work. The benefit of moving right out of downtown are many, including not sweating over whether you can afford that 2nd bedroom.

Hatem wrote:- For the Health insurance I am still not aware if the company pays for that.


You should check this carefully. It's unclear where you're from but healthcare in SG is expensive.

Hatem wrote:- Regarding the utilities: I do not like a too cold AC at home, so good to know that I can push this down and save an hundred bucks.


IME if you use air-con then you come to depend on it, and if you don't use it you don't need it.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby JR8 » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 2:52 pm

Hatem wrote:Very good points and I totally agree on them.
The only point is that I have asked to be considered for that position and they did not write me at first - so this is the worry I have.


Ok, well it's good to be aware of the risk now, as nothing compels you to accept any offer to relo. I was in similar shoes to you on my first relo, in that case to Tokyo. I effectively asked to be posted abroad. That was back in the 90s, before home internet, or the web and when they made me an offer with stacks of zeros on it I thought I was rich. Until I got to Tokyo and found out how much everything costs. So, a relo like that (and yours now) is going to demand a huge amount of work, never mind the upheaval to your life. After my first year in JP I *owed* my employer money, and that was after living modestly. My fault for trusting them, but the ground-work you're doing here now will help prevent anything like that happening to you.
So figure out as best you can a budget. Then consider how much you aim to save as well. There is a balance to be found between a) getting a posting for valuable new experience (on the resume) and b) finishing the posting with a material $um in the bank you otherwise wouldn't have gained.


Hatem wrote:However, I will surely not sell myself short and I would probably rather decline the offer if it goes too far (below) from the amount I specified in the post above.


Yes, good! :) The virtue you have is being able to come here and gauge costs. You can also look at cost-of-living converters (Numbeo etc) and get a feel for the likely expenses beyond the headline item of rent.
When I got poled on my Tokyo relo, I don't think it was down to malice on their part. I was the first person of my kind of middling rank they tfrd there ['from the west']. So perhaps they just based an offer on a local package. My point being the employer were quite probably flying blind. And IMO it would be wise to assume yours are too. So do all the research into what to you would be a baseline acceptable package. Then pitch higher... and see how it goes.

Hatem wrote:The request was initiated by me but it is extremely valuable for them ad well considering they do not have to bid for anybody on the market, they do get a resource who implemented already the strategy they want to implement, with a lot of internal network and specific knowledge of internal processes and people - thus I would ask to be paid as much as the position can be paid, ofc according to the company band level / limits.


Sounds like my relo from Tokyo down to SG, they needed me and I knew it. Sounds like you're the man. Play it by showing interest but knowing clearly what your price is.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby Hatem » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 7:19 pm

Again, very good replies guys, thank you very much.
Regarding them:

- Parents: yes, people from my country get 90-days visa arrival.
I have been to Singapore few times in the last few years, and I had no issue in doing that - And I think there will be no issues if they will come one a year.

- Aircon: I have never used it in my life.
I know it would be needed but I am pretty sure I can kinda lower the usage as much as possible, or at least I suppose so.

- The company is a very big MNC, that currently employs many expats.
My only concern is the possible attempt of trying to low-ball me due to the fact that I am coming from a place where the salaries are much lower (but the cost of living too).
However, yes.
I think I am the right candidate for the project they are looking for - Can they get someone else?
Yes, bidding for somebody currently working somewhere else who did something SIMILAR, not the same, who does not know the product, the processes, the frameworks, the people, etc...
So I think I am the right man and they need me, we will see how will this stand.

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 9:56 pm

You need to consider income tax savings. If you can not pay income tax on the Singapore income that can be a very positive effect as Singapore income tax rates are very low (www.iras.gov.sg).

In my MNC there are some Australians' who have come on local packages and are paying for kids in school (USD24,000 pa) and still ahead because of the tax effect.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby Hatem » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 9:58 pm

Can you elaborate? In my calculation I just use the XLS provided by ICA/MOM to see how much would I pay on 100K gross.

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:05 pm

Hatem wrote:Can you elaborate? In my calculation I just use the XLS provided by ICA/MOM to see how much would I pay on 100K gross.


That's probably a few %? How much are you paying in your home country % wise? Find out the procedure for becoming non-resident for tax in your home country (or whether you are taxed on foreign income or if there is a dual taxation treaty if all else fails).
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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby Hatem » Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:46 pm

Yes, few %.
In my country, if you register yourself as a Citizen living in a foreign country, and you do not have any belongings/properties/etc.., you do not pay anything.
(You lose the pension apart from the minimum one as well as the health coverage unless you catch anything that must be treated with some emergency)

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Re: Expenses Breakdown and Salary Suggestion - Company transfer but no expat package

Postby JR8 » Fri, 29 Apr 2016 3:52 pm

Hatem wrote:- Parents: yes, people from my country get 90-days visa arrival. I have been to Singapore few times in the last few years, and I had no issue in doing that - And I think there will be no issues if they will come one a year.


I don’t see a problem with that. What they might find is that SG is a very small place and there is only so much they will find to do. What I have found is that having a spare room in SG is a real perk to offer visiting friends+family, not least because hotels are so expensive. On our last posting in-country I specifically offered the spare room at the disposal of F+F as a kind of Forward Operating Base. So they could arrive in Asia, spend some time discovering SG then travel on/back to various places regionally they likely wouldn’t get to visit otherwise. Example: if you wish to go diving in remoter Asia, Lembeh, Bunaken, Sipidan, Komodo etc then you can count on it being a pretty hellish 2-day journey each-way to/from ‘the West’. There’s a point in life (an age) where that is such a turn-off you won’t do it. Having the chance to break the journey, and having the comfort of regional knowledge of F+F can tip the equation. So they get that advantage, and on the flipside you get to send them a shopping list for stuff to bring from back home :) Plus you perhaps get a whole bunch of reciprocal invites too.


Hatem wrote:- Aircon: I have never used it in my life. I know it would be needed but I am pretty sure I can kinda lower the usage as much as possible, or at least I suppose so.

It depends on where you’re from. But also on the kind of place you live. Lower floor units tend to get less airflow. Units that face towards the sun during the day obviously get hotter too. At our last place we used the air-con for a week or two after we arrived in-country. But air-con is a double-edged sword, since it dehydrates the air too, so it can dry you out and if you have any tendency to snore the result can be using air-con can leave you (via snoring/restless sleep) permanently exhausted.
The other thing with air-con is the sense of ‘fighting the tides’. If you’re used to air-con the moment you go somewhere that isn’t air-conned then you’ll likely have a problem.
So generally I’d suggest trying to adjust to having floor-standing fans. They might only cost say S$40 each, you might only need them a few hours a night. They will pay for themselves within a few weeks.


Hatem wrote:- The company is a very big MNC, that currently employs many expats. My only concern is the possible attempt of trying to low-ball me due to the fact that I am coming from a place where the salaries are much lower (but the cost of living too).

Good, so they have already gained experience of relo’ing in expats.
I see your point re: risk of low-balling. But remember, the choice to accept an offer is always in your hands. I think it matters less what the cost of living is where you come from and more about what it costs to maintain a similar lifestyle in SG. That is not you gaining any advantage at all, merely treading water. Then if your relo is a promotion you should factor in a hike. You are likely also due a hike as (IME/O) most people are not open to such a relo, so your willingness has a premium, akin to some niche skill on your resume.
I see PNGs point ^ about lower taxes in SG. My ex-employer argued that line too, effectively - ‘Taxes are lower there, so we can offer you x [less]’. But to me that was them taking all the incidental advantage of SG happening to be a lower-tax regime. My view was ‘Well shouldn’t I gain some advantage from this fact too?’

Hatem wrote:- However, yes. I think I am the right candidate for the project they are looking for - Can they get someone else?
Yes, bidding for somebody currently working somewhere else who did something SIMILAR, not the same, who does not know the product, the processes, the frameworks, the people, etc... So I think I am the right man and they need me, we will see how will this stand.


Good for you, and good luck with it!
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


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