How much does it cost?

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first time to SIng

How much does it cost?

Post by first time to SIng » Thu, 17 Mar 2005 3:57 am

My husband got an offer from company and is thinking about relocating to Sing soon from New Jersey.

I have no idea how much does it cost for living in Sing.

I have two sons (6months old and 3 yrs old) and I am full time mother.

1. Cost for intl. preschool (most american expats' would go)
2. Cost of renting a house or apratment(3-4 bedrooms) in convenient location (most family oriented expats are living)
3. Cost of usual american groceries
4. Buying a car/used car (everybody sadi it is not a good idea to buy it, I don't know why - how expensive to having a std. car there?)

We still need to pay all US taxes, so there will be no benefit to reduce taxes.

We have no idea about what is reasonable or not. Any information with some numbers will be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Karen

Singapore Property Search

 

Polar

Welcome to Singapore

Post by Polar » Thu, 17 Mar 2005 9:15 am

Hi Karen,

First of all, let me welcome you to Singapore!

Am not a mother yet, so may not know much about the information that you are seeking. However, there are some websites that i would like to share with you and hope that it may be of certain usefulness to you in someway.

http://www.moveandstay.com/singapore/in ... riates.asp

http://www.gov.sg

www.sas.edu.sg

www.aasingapore.com

www.amclub.org.sg

www.usembassysingapore.org.sg

www.awasingapore.org

Best of luck to you.

first time Sing

thank

Post by first time Sing » Thu, 17 Mar 2005 1:18 pm

Thanks for your help.
I got some idea for education cost and american club fee etc..

How about normal US groceries? Is that more expensive than the US or cheaper?

Ballpark rental cost of 4 bedroom apt(2-3000 sqf) in central location?

Thanks again,

Karen

beenhere10years

Post by beenhere10years » Fri, 18 Mar 2005 5:42 pm

Hi Karen,

I have 3 older kids and a live-in maid and I spend about S$ 500 - $750 on groceries. Cheerios cost S$9. Ben & Jerry's is S $11. Tropicana OJ in a carton is S $7.

Lease a car for sure, do not buy. For a variety of reasons, do not buy. It will cost $2,500 - $3,500 per month to lease.

Apartment will cost S $8 - $ 15K. A house in woodlands, near the school but not advisable will cost the same. Hope this helps.

some help

Post by some help » Fri, 18 Mar 2005 5:54 pm

I'm not sure why someone would advise you to lease a car at a rate of $2,500 - $3,500 per month when you can buy a used car and spend under S$1000 per month on the payment (we do). I would recommend you look into both options before you make a final decision. (For the record, I know you can lease for less than $2500-3500 per month.)

Groceries tend to cost me S$700-S1000 per month but I am including things like diapers in the bill (we are a family of 4 with young children).

We live in a 3 bedroom, 2800 sqf condo close to Orchard Rd. & the rent is S$4500 per month -- so I would disagree with the S8-15K estimate. Yes, you can pay that much but you can certainly get nice housing for a lot less.

Don't automatically assume you will have to pay US taxes -- any salary up to USD$85,000 (or thereabouts) earned in a foreign country is exempt from US taxation. Also, things like housing, transportation, etc. are deductions. Be sure to speak with an accountant about this so you have good understanding of what you will be responsible for tax-wise. Your husband's company should either have relevant info for you or provide accounting consultation to assist you.

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Post by jpatokal » Tue, 22 Mar 2005 11:09 pm

some help wrote:I'm not sure why someone would advise you to lease a car at a rate of $2,500 - $3,500 per month when you can buy a used car and spend under S$1000 per month on the payment (we do).
Because the lease rate includes the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), and your used car payments do not? Leases are also nice if you like to swap your cars a lot.

But even $1000 gets you a lotta taxi rides in Singapore, so think carefully if you really need your own car...

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Car lease

Post by jivintan » Wed, 23 Mar 2005 11:41 am

Hi,

If you buy a used car, you have to take note of the higher interest rate and maintenance cost since its not brand new. In addition, used car may not come cheap as the disposal value is based on the old tax regime which is higher. Thus, new car prices is cheaper now as compared to the past with the changes in the ARF.

Not sure what you are paying for with monthly lease fees of $2500-3000. It must be some huge car. For a normal family size of 2 adult and 3 kid (or 2 kid with a maid), a normal Japanese 1.6 sedan is sufficient and it would cost much lesser (by more than 30% at least) than the range provided earlier.

Unless you need something like a 7-seater MPV, then you would face those lease fees stated.

Rgds.

some help

Post by some help » Wed, 23 Mar 2005 1:50 pm

jpatokal wrote: Because the lease rate includes the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), and your used car payments do not? Leases are also nice if you like to swap your cars a lot.
Of course my used car payment includes the COE cost -- I borrowed the money for the cost of the car which includes the COE. My full payment is a bit under S$1000 per month. Now, that payment does not include the road tax or petrol, but why would it?

beenhere10years

Post by beenhere10years » Thu, 24 Mar 2005 8:06 am

Seems as if 'some help' is suffering from package envy. S$ 4,500 is a very low housing allowance for a young family. For better or worse, very few American families drive Japanese sedans -- minivans and SUVs are the logical choice to transport kids and their friends.

Are you moving from a fairly expensive area in the US? What are you currently driving? What is your housing like now? If you have to take a big step down in lifestyle, then consider your budget very carefully.

some help

Post by some help » Thu, 24 Mar 2005 8:58 am

beenhere10years wrote:Seems as if 'some help' is suffering from package envy. S$ 4,500 is a very low housing allowance for a young family. For better or worse, very few American families drive Japanese sedans -- minivans and SUVs are the logical choice to transport kids and their friends.
lol - how funny. Interesting assumptions you are making, 'beenhere10years.' Out of curiousity, what makes you think my housing allowance isn't 2x what my rent is and that I'm not smart enough to find a large, newly renovated condo 5 minutes walk from Orchard Rd. for S$4500 (which I did) so I can pocket the other 4.5K??

My point to the original poster of this thread was, and still is, don't think you have to have double-digit (or close to it) amounts of money for rent in order to get very nice housing.

beenhere10years

Post by beenhere10years » Thu, 24 Mar 2005 9:20 am

Because most companies consider 'pocketing' the difference the same as 'stealing.' It is highly discouraged by the HR departments in most global firms. The reasoning is that families should be made comfortable without the temptation of trying to save money and ending up in sub-standard housing. That way the bread winner has a better chance of fulfilling his original contract.

Life here can be tough enough without taking a step down in lifestyle. Why make that move? Karen has a choice and needs all the relevent facts. If she's living in suburban New Jersey in a $500K house, she'll need at least S$ 12K to not cry every time she comes home.

some help

Post by some help » Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:07 am

Admittedly, this is a ridiculous argument, 'beenhere10years,' but, I'm a little bored at the moment, so I'll play.

A $500K house in New Jersey would go for half that or less in say, suburban Cincinnati, so is the house in Cincinnati a sub-standard house because it cost less? I think not, it's just in a completely different housing market. My point is, no matter where you live, why would you pay more than you needed to for what you consider acceptable housing? I am in no way suggesting anyone take a step backwards in living standards, but living standards are subjective and it's worth looking at more than one price range of available housing in order to make the most informed decision. Not to mention that it's no great secret that the rental market in Singapore has swung more in favor of the renter since 10 years ago when you arrived, let's not forget that bit of trivia.

BTW, my company holds the lease on the condo & they could care less whether we use the full amount of housing allowance on housing. If we use it all, fine, if we don't use it all, we get the difference and if we had chosen housing that cost more than our monthly allowance we would have to kick in the extra $$$. By your assessment, because my car costs less than my monthly transportation allowance I must be a thief. Ridiculous.

beenhere10years

Post by beenhere10years » Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:30 am

You probably think she should cash in her business class ticket on SQ for economy because: hey! it gets there the same time! There is a greater goal to the life of an expat, I hope, than pocketing a few sheckels.

Karen needs our advice. If my best friend was moving from NJ I'd say, 'get at least 12K. 15 is better.'

As I said earlier, life can be tough here, and even the best housing is fraught with unexpected and ridiculous problems no one in the US could possibly expect.

If she finds something for cheaper, great. My money says she maxs out her budget whatever it is. And by the way, I'm on my 5th residence in Singapore, taking my last place a few months ago at $18K, my lowest rent yet. Oven is broken, fridge freezes everything, pool leaks, etc...

snorty

Post by snorty » Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:32 am

I agree with Been Here. Most cos discourage saving the difference. :shock:

Guest

Post by Guest » Thu, 24 Mar 2005 11:49 am

Man kids make a difference. Glad i'm 18 and freeeeeeeeeee 8)

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