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Is this a good expat package??

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Barok
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Is this a good expat package??

Postby Barok » Sun, 05 Jun 2005 1:39 pm

I’m in the process of negotiating an expat package with my US based company. It’s a two year stint in Singapore and I work in the financial services industry. Here is what has been offered so far:

• Housing allowance (furnished)
• Utilities (water, gas, electricity, garbage, ISP, telephone, etc.)
• Car allowance
• Cost of living adjustment
• Relocation expenses (to & from)
• Trips back to U.S. (was given two trips per year, but trying to negotiate bi-monthly)
• Tax equalization (not sure how this is going to work since from what I understand, taxes are lower in Singapore)
• Health care
• Tuition fees for my child

My expectation was that they would also pay for my home mortgage, since I had no plans on renting it out. I asked about this and I was told that this isn’t something that they normally do. What’s in it for me then if they won’t cover this? The experience alone isn’t enough for me to accept this opportunity. Am I asking for too much or should this be covered in my expat package? Also, should I ask for anything else? It can’t hurt to ask.

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Sun, 05 Jun 2005 2:23 pm

If the experience alone is not worth coming for, then I'd suggest that you not come.

My experience is that expats who are here for the longer haul, some on expat packages, some on local packages, some like me who came here to start a business, are generally very happy being here. They like the people, the differences, the lifestyle. They seem to get along well with everyone.

Then there is the class of expat that is here for two years. They haven't given much thought about what this will mean for family that is uprooted... they haven't thought about living in a foreign culture... it's all about the money and/or career advancement. A lot of these people get here and they don't fit well at all. They want everything to be like home. They want to live, eat, shop, and play where other expats do. Their stay is generally tolerable at best, and it is many of these expat types' attitude that causes locals to call us expats "arrogant".

I don't know which camp you fall into but the package you got is decent (very good, actually) and typical... especially in this day and age... living in Singapore is not a "hardship".

PS: The tax equalization is provided because the US is one of two countries in the world that tax their citizens no matter where they work. Your first $80,000 US is excluded from US income tax... after that taxes must be paid to both the US and Singapore governments.

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k1w1
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Postby k1w1 » Sun, 05 Jun 2005 7:51 pm

I think you have been offered a very fair deal - read around a bit. You're getting a lot more than most expats are being offered. Frankly, I think asking for more (bi-monthly trips home?) is pushing your luck. As Strong Eagle mentioned, if you don't really want to come, then I wouldn't bother with it, since the experience and money won't compensate if you/your family are miserable.

There are heaps of families out here (happily) on lesser deals. There are also plenty of people here with plenty of money, who are very unhappy. This is a great place to come, but you will need to want to, I think.

As for your package: you are being offered a great contract in my opinion.

My 2 cents :wink:

Barok
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Thank you for the feedback...

Postby Barok » Mon, 06 Jun 2005 1:34 am

Thank you very much for your replies. I am basing all of these things that I am asking for based on what I have come to find out from other expat packages already provided by my company.

For example, I have two colleagues where they got a similar package and the company is paying for their apartment back home. The rent on their apartment is only about a couple of hundred dollars lower than my mortgage. Their contract was also the same length. Additionally, these two colleagues of mine had a bigger family (two more kids), and the company had to pay for their tuition fees. The way I see it, if the company can pay $40K more per year for this one colleague of mine, they surely can cover my annual mortgage of about $22K. My position is also two levels up from this colleague of mine. Lastly, this colleague of mine was provided quarterly trips for his whole family (him, his wife and his three kids), although it’s a coach fare.

I didn't mean to insult anyone on this board, just trying to determine what is fair.

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Re: Thank you for the feedback...

Postby Guest » Mon, 06 Jun 2005 2:03 am

Barok wrote:Thank you very much for your replies. I am basing all of these things that I am asking for based on what I have come to find out from other expat packages already provided by my company.

For example, I have two colleagues where they got a similar package and the company is paying for their apartment back home. The rent on their apartment is only about a couple of hundred dollars lower than my mortgage. Their contract was also the same length. Additionally, these two colleagues of mine had a bigger family (two more kids), and the company had to pay for their tuition fees. The way I see it, if the company can pay $40K more per year for this one colleague of mine, they surely can cover my annual mortgage of about $22K. My position is also two levels up from this colleague of mine. Lastly, this colleague of mine was provided quarterly trips for his whole family (him, his wife and his three kids), although it’s a coach fare.

I didn't mean to insult anyone on this board, just trying to determine what is fair.


To put it in a nutshell, You have nothing to lose, only your job! If you are not really bothered about coming to Singapore, then i would certainly push for the extra benefits.

Only you and the company can decide if you are worth it, the knowledge of your colleague having his rent paid, is in my eyes a valid point.

Like the other posters said, If your not bothered about coming here, you will be bothered when you get here, if you don't gear up to the idea, that you and your family will have a wonderful time.

I'll bet my life that all expat tours, put all marriages to the test, if they are not geared up to living here, and a slight weakness pal, and someone else will be having all the fun, at your expense.

This place was originally called Sin City back in the 60's, there is much to do, if you want to do it. Lookforward to it, and not the money!

Yanker

Postby Yanker » Mon, 06 Jun 2005 1:26 pm

It can't hurt to ask them to pay your mortgage while you are away, if you know it's been done before then it will probably be agreed to, right? If not, your housing is paid here and a lot more to boot, so you will still come out on top money-wise. Take the car allowance in cash, and then use taxis, which are all over the place and inexpensive.

Bi-monthly trips to the US? It's a loooong flight. I wouldn't want to do it in business class even. Get a travel allowance in cash that allows you to decide how often you travel.


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