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Yet another moving to Singapore question

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Hosmer
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Yet another moving to Singapore question

Post by Hosmer » Thu, 01 Jun 2006 5:49 am

Hi,

I know similar questions have been asked in previous posts but... both my wife and myself have been offered jobs in Singapore with a combined salary of S$220,000. We are trying to determine our proposed standard of living vs. living in the UK. Our questions are:

- what is the average cost of childcare for a 1 & 4 year-old at a good nursery?
- any recommended bilingual (French/English) schools?
- any info about the Canadian school?
- are nannies an option within this salary range?
- ideally we would like to find a 3 bedroom ground floor flat w/patio and easy access to the metro, would this require a considerable search?
- are neighbourhood sports facilities common?
- healthcare costs? Is there state healthcare or do most companies provide health benefits?
- shipping from the UK? We are covered up to S$4k, is that enough for a small household of goods or just a few suitcases? Any recommended shippers?
- hidden costs/benifits? TV license, Council Tax or child benefits...

and finally the typical forum question... S$220k great/good/adequate amount for a family of 4?

Thanks for assistance!

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Thu, 01 Jun 2006 11:45 pm

In a word, great. To put that figure in perspective, you can get a live-in maid for under S$500/month, so with your salary you can hire 30 nannies and still have enough money left over for the 3-bedroom apartment with good MRT access. (The patio requirement is a bit trickier though, many condos don't have ground-level units at all.)
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Post by kimm » Fri, 02 Jun 2006 10:23 am

A live in maid is not under $500/month.
Levy:$290
Salary:$350 ( phil maid )
Above cost are just what you paid,how abt her foods,
medical bills and other.All this mise are outside cost

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 03 Jun 2006 10:49 am

If you use a Sri Lankan maid it will fall right at $500/mo. Not all want to use the highest priced domestic help.
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Post by Hosmer » Sat, 03 Jun 2006 8:54 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Do most maids live with the family or can they live elsewhere? What is the typical Singaporean scenario? If so, as a 4 person family should we be now looking for a 4 bedroom flat (one bedroom for the maid)? Do most flats accommodate a live-in maid (i.e. somewhat separate with own washroom)?

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Maids room

Post by joop » Sun, 04 Jun 2006 1:45 pm

Most or should I say all full-time maids live with their employers. Most families have a room at the backyard area which is normally for the maid. The backyard normally has a bathroom. However, nowadays the newer condos do not have proper maids' rooms but what we call a -bomb shelter (without ventilation/windows), so you may have to look out for it when you find a place to live.

So you should be looking for what we call a 4+1 bedrooms, or if budget is not a constraint, then you can consider a 5 bedrooms, 1 bedroom for the maid.
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Post by Guest » Sun, 04 Jun 2006 5:23 pm

SMS, does that mean that the Sri Lankan maid only gets $210/month out of the $500 after the levy? Sounds more like slavery...

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Thu, 08 Jun 2006 12:24 am

Anonymous wrote:SMS, does that mean that the Sri Lankan maid only gets $210/month out of the $500 after the levy? Sounds more like slavery...
Yes, that would be a fair approximation; also remember that you can legally keep 'em working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Here's an interesting report from Human Rights Watch on the issue.
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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 08 Jun 2006 12:46 am

Anonymous wrote:SMS, does that mean that the Sri Lankan maid only gets $210/month out of the $500 after the levy? Sounds more like slavery...
If they are Indian Nationals they may only get between $150-$180 per month. plus the levy makes that well under $500/mo :mad:
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Post by uk-kiwi » Thu, 08 Jun 2006 7:23 pm

great help the maid debate is to the OP.

my son currently goes to a pre-school run by a british woman and for 3 mornings a week it is $1500 a term - 3 terms a year following the brit school holidays i guess to coincide with older children. i'm not working at the moment so it's okay but obviously as you're working you won't want to be taking all those holidays off. so you have a choice of going to pre-schools that have a large portion of expats which mostly will do am or pm programmes although our one does a range including 9-3pm but obviously it's quite expensive.

there are no british type nurseries around with, you have to go local to get the full day care and i looked at a 3 and there was one i really liked but it was just a bit clinical...quite a bit cheaper though. your 4 year old is going to be old enough for school and if you check out some of the International School websites you will see that 2 or 3 offer french as a second language from age 4. the canadian school is one of those and i've never heard anything negative about the school by the way which if you check the archives of this site is not to be said about most of the others. for your one year old there's not really any options except i've heard of a place called Babies Inc and another Pat's Schoolhouse that has a baby branch. most pre-schools start taking in when children are 18mths.

maids will cost about $800-900 all up (incl. medicals, one trip home every two years etc) but it seems that unless you and your spouse have flexible working hours it's the only way you can meet your children off the school bus or have them walked to school etc. also, take advantage so that when you get home you can jump straight into your children and not have to worry about dinner, cleaning up etc. if you take your time and choose carefully you can find a filipino with a good command of english and also i know of two myself who have early childhood learning degrees so their employers are lucky!!

as far as $220k goes, i guess that's nearly what comes into our house if you include our housing allowance and we live comfortably and are saving more than we did with us both working in London. medical care is expensive here but ours is fully covered (which i hear is very unusual) so i don't know about the public healthcare system but it's meant to be very good as well. you will get on ok but check out some of those school fees - ugly!!

you shouldn't have trouble finding a 3 bed including a maids quarters on a ground floor. with two young children you probably want more space so go for something pre 2000 to get larger rooms and more family oriented facilities. we live at palm spring and all of the ground floors have patios (lots of french kids too if yours want to be immersed!). check out the property section on this forum website it will give you a really good idea as to what you can afford in your budget.

good luck - feel free to ask any more questions

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Post by riversandlakes » Thu, 08 Jun 2006 10:52 pm

With SOO "much" money do they still make more here than back home? Unlikely, isn't it? :?
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Post by uk-kiwi » Fri, 09 Jun 2006 9:02 am

are you still talking maids...ever been to India?

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Fri, 09 Jun 2006 9:52 pm

riversandlakes wrote:With SOO "much" money do they still make more here than back home? Unlikely, isn't it? :?
$220,000 in Sg goes a lot further than 75,000 pounds in the UK...
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Hosmer
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Post by Hosmer » Sat, 17 Jun 2006 8:20 pm

Thanks for all of the information - especially uk-kiwi. Based on some of the information from this site we've decided to accept the positions in Singapore. We will be moving there in October.

Cheers!

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