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Looking to move back to the UK

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby PeanutButterJam » Wed, 18 Jan 2017 1:59 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:
Girl_Next_Door wrote:
rajagainstthemachine wrote:isn't the weather here a good enough reason to Stay in Singapore? I remember feeling miserable when i visited the UK in November, it was cold, clammy and dark.
A compromise could be to live in both places for say 6 months in a year.


That only works if you don't need a permanent job and have an endless pot in your bank account... and if that is the case, I won't pick London as my 6 months home... seriously..


or if you are self employed/have your own business. The thread was about the UK in general though not just London.


Yes that's right Rajagainstthemachine. UK in general, we run our own businesses and need not live near London though that will be nice.

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby PeanutButterJam » Wed, 18 Jan 2017 2:22 pm

I think Singapore has spoilt us. It will be hard for us to move back. :(

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 19 Jan 2017 9:39 am

PeanutButterJam wrote:I think Singapore has spoilt us. It will be hard for us to move back. :(


I totally agreed. Living in Singapore is a little like living in a fantasy land. Life is too easy, or when it gets harder, you can just pay to make it easier. In Europe, you just have to "go figure yourself!".

Some of my friends are moving back because they do not want to continue living in this fantasy, or their kids to grow up in this fantasy.

Going back to Singapore being a fantasy land, pay are really too good in Singapore. When I look at salary survey in London, the equivalent job is paid a lot lesser (even less after tax!). Yet, at the same time, the cost of living in London is not lower than Singapore. I can't help but scratch my head, how do people afford this cost of living? And with the high cost of infant/child care, how do people afford to pay for it?

Looking at simple arithmetic, if I earn $300K per annum in Singapore, the equivalent is £170K per annum with a takehome wage of £100K. And this pay is already a huge paycut given that tax is much higher in UK compared to Singapore. At the same time, based on job search, I have not seen any firm that will pay this amount for the exact job that I am doing in Singapore. I am not sure if I am missing some thing in my calculation, but I don't understand how do expats return back to Europe, survive?

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby PeanutButterJam » Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:44 am

Girl_Next_Door wrote:
PeanutButterJam wrote:I think Singapore has spoilt us. It will be hard for us to move back. :(


I totally agreed. Living in Singapore is a little like living in a fantasy land. Life is too easy, or when it gets harder, you can just pay to make it easier. In Europe, you just have to "go figure yourself!".

Some of my friends are moving back because they do not want to continue living in this fantasy, or their kids to grow up in this fantasy.

Going back to Singapore being a fantasy land, pay are really too good in Singapore. When I look at salary survey in London, the equivalent job is paid a lot lesser (even less after tax!). Yet, at the same time, the cost of living in London is not lower than Singapore. I can't help but scratch my head, how do people afford this cost of living? And with the high cost of infant/child care, how do people afford to pay for it?

Looking at simple arithmetic, if I earn $300K per annum in Singapore, the equivalent is £170K per annum with a takehome wage of £100K. And this pay is already a huge paycut given that tax is much higher in UK compared to Singapore. At the same time, based on job search, I have not seen any firm that will pay this amount for the exact job that I am doing in Singapore. I am not sure if I am missing some thing in my calculation, but I don't understand how do expats return back to Europe, survive?


You adjust your expectations. Live outside London and do a 1-2 hr commute to work. property prices will therefore be lower. Stay at home and take care of your children instead of hiring a FDW.

Send your child to a state school. Everything is free, including textbooks. No extra lessons.
No extra lessons for your children in gym, reading, maths etc. What they get is space to run around be children, go fishing etc.

Daily necessities like milk, meat, shampoo etc are cheaper in the UK. Serious. Clothes are cheaper.

NHS is free but you need to wait forever.

Spring and summer are good months. Winter is bad I admit but still ok. Come on, 3-4 months of "suffering" ....

Cant speak for Europe though.

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 20 Jan 2017 2:07 pm

PeanutButterJam wrote:I think Singapore has spoilt us. It will be hard for us to move back. :(


In a lot of ways yes and you sense it only when you live outside of Singapore, things i miss when i am away are : ( not in any particular order)
1.food
2. the weather even though its hot and humid
3. the cleanliness, safety and the convenience
4. the transport infrastructure, i spent two weeks in Bangalore where i spent literally 3 hours per day trying to drive to my old office and back 27 km each way. I was thinking out loud as to why was I bitching about waiting 5 extra minutes when i miss the occasional bus here?
5. the people, once you get to know locals here and you make friends at some point you realize you have more close friends here than back home..and when i did go back after speaking to some old connections they had well drifted far away..
6. connections to ASEAN countries..

and i don't think I've even mentioned work upto this point..
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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby DrScrumMaster » Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:42 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:I was thinking out loud as to why was I bitching about waiting 5 extra minutes when i miss the occasional bus here?


Oh dear, you've become Singaporean.

I suppose you also rush to get in the MRT carriage as the doors are closing even though another one will be along in a couple of minutes?

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 13 Feb 2017 8:24 am

Just got back from Europe and managed to meet 2 recruiters and catch up with some colleagues. Based on discussions with recruiters, most banks are moving the London jobs to lower cost locations and everyone is maintaining a wait and see attitude towards the Brexit. Bonus payment is coming as well, so it will be clearer in a few months time, on whether HR plans to replace the resignations (usually after bonus are paid) in London or moved them away as well. The recruitment market is also currently very quiet.

In terms of cost of living, uber pricing in London is comparable to Singapore pricing, probably due to the exchange rates. Luxury shops are quiet and it doesn't seems like people are spending money in Europe as much as before.

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby Hidy Ho » Mon, 13 Feb 2017 4:07 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:Looking at simple arithmetic, if I earn $300K per annum in Singapore, the equivalent is £170K per annum with a takehome wage of £100K.


I'm obviously doing something wrong or in wrong line of work ... :???:

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby PeanutButterJam » Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:22 am

Girl_Next_Door wrote: Based on discussions with recruiters, most banks are moving the London jobs to lower cost locations and everyone is maintaining a wait and see attitude towards the Brexit.


I would love to see how the bankers fare in Frankfurt. 8-)

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby Barnsley » Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:43 am

PeanutButterJam wrote:
Girl_Next_Door wrote: Based on discussions with recruiters, most banks are moving the London jobs to lower cost locations and everyone is maintaining a wait and see attitude towards the Brexit.


I would love to see how the bankers fare in Frankfurt. 8-)


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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby aster » Sun, 19 Mar 2017 1:17 am

PeanutButterJam wrote:I dont mind moving to Australia if I could be granted some form of residency. We are now at Stage 0 of planning, but will definitely look into it. Been to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney and Perth seems to be a great place to raise young children.


For starters it depends on whether you need to be *physically* present in either of those cities in terms of your job. If the answer is "no" then you should be looking at the Gold Coast for the best lifestyle and kid-friendly environment in Australia by a light year... nothing else even comes close. And since you have two girls - like myself - then a school like St Hilda's will blow away anything that the UK has to offer in terms of education.

I used to believe that the British educational system is second to none, but in reality it's outdated and has been surpassed by many countries in Europe even. I also used to have my doubts about the Australian system, but after St Hilda's I changed my mind completely - it is the best school my kids have attended across 3 continents.

Regarding residing in the UK, I too thought of that but my last trip in February definitely put an end to that. The climate is simply hideous - it's not just a few bad months and then plain sailing. It's 12 months of wishing you were elsewhere. The winters are miserable, and the summers barely even show up (ironically usually only for a short period in the form of a "heat wave"). This is not "the good life" once you have lived in Singapore. It's just a miserable existence and wishing you could leave asap...

Most other positive aspects of living in the UK quickly dissipate as well. The architecture and smallness of living conditions is astounding by any standards (even Singaporean!), driving is a pain with all the small lanes, slaloming in many residential areas due to parked cars, shopping is fun only for the first month or so (don't we all shop online nowadays?) and pub food literally stops being edible after the first week... and other options don't even compare to Singapore! Seriously, give it a few weeks and you'll be looking at a one-way ticket back to Sing or beyond.

Take a trip to the UK and see for yourself, but pretty soon I bet you'll see that it's not the place to be in terms of lifestyle and long-term living. Politically and economically things have gone downhill as well, with idiots in power and the UK passport about to become as useful as an Albanian one across Europe. If you want to exercise your EU right to live wherever you want (while we still can!), and you enjoy a warm climate, then maybe you can give places like Malta a try - a hidden jem in the EU with a great climate, pleasant lifestyle and friendly people. And good food too. But overall I'd be looking at doing everything you can to stay in Singapore, and if that isn't sustainable then the Gold Coast would easily be my next pick. Especially for the girls, their education, and the amazing lifestyle that the Gold Coast offers.

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Sun, 19 Mar 2017 8:44 am

DrScrumMaster wrote:
rajagainstthemachine wrote:I was thinking out loud as to why was I bitching about waiting 5 extra minutes when i miss the occasional bus here?


Oh dear, you've become Singaporean.

I suppose you also rush to get in the MRT carriage as the doors are closing even though another one will be along in a couple of minutes?


Hahaha no, I never do that in the mrt though.I hate missing buses especially on my work route because the next one takes anywhere between 5-10mins and it's largely unpredictable no matter what your bus app tells you.
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby PeanutButterJam » Mon, 20 Mar 2017 9:22 am

aster wrote:
PeanutButterJam wrote:I dont mind moving to Australia if I could be granted some form of residency. We are now at Stage 0 of planning, but will definitely look into it. Been to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney and Perth seems to be a great place to raise young children.


For starters it depends on whether you need to be *physically* present in either of those cities in terms of your job. If the answer is "no" then you should be looking at the Gold Coast for the best lifestyle and kid-friendly environment in Australia by a light year... nothing else even comes close. And since you have two girls - like myself - then a school like St Hilda's will blow away anything that the UK has to offer in terms of education.

I used to believe that the British educational system is second to none, but in reality it's outdated and has been surpassed by many countries in Europe even. I also used to have my doubts about the Australian system, but after St Hilda's I changed my mind completely - it is the best school my kids have attended across 3 continents.

Regarding residing in the UK, I too thought of that but my last trip in February definitely put an end to that. The climate is simply hideous - it's not just a few bad months and then plain sailing. It's 12 months of wishing you were elsewhere. The winters are miserable, and the summers barely even show up (ironically usually only for a short period in the form of a "heat wave"). This is not "the good life" once you have lived in Singapore. It's just a miserable existence and wishing you could leave asap...

Most other positive aspects of living in the UK quickly dissipate as well. The architecture and smallness of living conditions is astounding by any standards (even Singaporean!), driving is a pain with all the small lanes, slaloming in many residential areas due to parked cars, shopping is fun only for the first month or so (don't we all shop online nowadays?) and pub food literally stops being edible after the first week... and other options don't even compare to Singapore! Seriously, give it a few weeks and you'll be looking at a one-way ticket back to Sing or beyond.

Take a trip to the UK and see for yourself, but pretty soon I bet you'll see that it's not the place to be in terms of lifestyle and long-term living. Politically and economically things have gone downhill as well, with idiots in power and the UK passport about to become as useful as an Albanian one across Europe. If you want to exercise your EU right to live wherever you want (while we still can!), and you enjoy a warm climate, then maybe you can give places like Malta a try - a hidden jem in the EU with a great climate, pleasant lifestyle and friendly people. And good food too. But overall I'd be looking at doing everything you can to stay in Singapore, and if that isn't sustainable then the Gold Coast would easily be my next pick. Especially for the girls, their education, and the amazing lifestyle that the Gold Coast offers.


That's pretty good advice there; thank you! I have never been to Gold Coast but will surely check it out.

We will be back in the UK this July during the girls' summer break; and staying there for 2 months. But it's summer so it might not be a good indication on how terrible the winters are.

Will definitely update here if we eventually move back!

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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby JayCee » Fri, 24 Mar 2017 9:51 pm

Looks like I'm a little late to this party, but I relocated back to the U.K 3 years ago after almost a decade in Asia (not all of it in Singapore) and I can honestly say I don't regret it for a second. Take a look and my old post from a few months ago, I've not changed my opinion since then

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=110387&p=750012#p750012

Regarding schools, if you're going for free schools in the U.K then it won't matter, but private schools here aren't necessarily more expensive than International Schools in Singapore, unless you're in London (but then if you don't need to, you'd be mad to move there out of choice). As an example, I live 30 miles outside London (still have to commute there for work unfortunately) and my 4 year old daughter is starting at one of the top 20 prep schools in the country (according to the Sunday times anyway) in September and the costs are roughly £7.5k a year which seems a lot less than the International Schools at a minimum of $25k (and that was 3 years ago). If she does well, we have good grammar schools here, and if not the local comprehensives are all good too.

People talk about the lifestyle of Singapore but I find myself doing more outdoors activities here because the weather is more bearable (33 degrees every day wasn't my cup of tea and certainly wasn't the reason I stayed in Singapore as long as I did), . In Singapore most people seem to spend their time inside shopping malls and restaurants most of the time!

Anyway, horses for courses, but the U.K isn't a bad place to be (notwithstanding brexit and the xenophobia which unfortunately seems to be taking over the press and government, but that's another discussion)
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Re: Looking to move back to the UK

Postby PeanutButterJam » Sun, 26 Mar 2017 9:50 pm

JayCee wrote:Looks like I'm a little late to this party, but I relocated back to the U.K 3 years ago after almost a decade in Asia (not all of it in Singapore) and I can honestly say I don't regret it for a second. Take a look and my old post from a few months ago, I've not changed my opinion since then

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=110387&p=750012#p750012

Regarding schools, if you're going for free schools in the U.K then it won't matter, but private schools here aren't necessarily more expensive than International Schools in Singapore, unless you're in London (but then if you don't need to, you'd be mad to move there out of choice). As an example, I live 30 miles outside London (still have to commute there for work unfortunately) and my 4 year old daughter is starting at one of the top 20 prep schools in the country (according to the Sunday times anyway) in September and the costs are roughly £7.5k a year which seems a lot less than the International Schools at a minimum of $25k (and that was 3 years ago). If she does well, we have good grammar schools here, and if not the local comprehensives are all good too.

People talk about the lifestyle of Singapore but I find myself doing more outdoors activities here because the weather is more bearable (33 degrees every day wasn't my cup of tea and certainly wasn't the reason I stayed in Singapore as long as I did), . In Singapore most people seem to spend their time inside shopping malls and restaurants most of the time!

Anyway, horses for courses, but the U.K isn't a bad place to be (notwithstanding brexit and the xenophobia which unfortunately seems to be taking over the press and government, but that's another discussion)


So many people have told me it's a bad idea to move back, so much so I'm starting to think it was until I saw your post. Thanks for sharing!


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