I quite agree with all that Shef has said. It is a lot more expensive to live here in Singapore than back in Melbourne (perhaps not as different to Sydney). Accomodation is a big cost, as is schooling, local schooling is a lot different to Aussie schools, but I don't think it would be detrimental at all to go...the kids would probably be ahead not behind of the kids back home when they return, and a lot more enlightened. At least the school year runs Jan to Dec.shef wrote:HI, we too are from Aust (Melb) just arrived last week. While $135k sound like a lot, Singapore is a very expensive place to live, not just International Schools and housing but also your daily staples.
Consider 1 litre full cream milk at S$2.50 - $2.85. Bread 425g loaf (smaller than the Aust 600+g) is S$1.90. Beef starts at S$40/kg for mince.
I am finding it very expensive to have a young toddler who drinks 6 litres of cows milk a week. You may wish to try the local milk at half the price but it is sweetened!!!!! So are most drinks here, not just soft drinks. Formula is not much cheaper unless of course the local sweetened ones.
We too are considering sending our daughter to int school only because of the easier transfer back to Aust or another country. This way the curriculum are more or less the same when they reenter Aust or another country AIS (Aust Int School) and most other International Schools are around $9 - 15K /year for preschool to primary per child. local schools are very different to what we know as schools- veryy academic at a very young age. I am told multiplication and division by age 5 is a must in local schools. Not much play based learning as we are used to.
Given that we are used to a lot of room in Aust, most condos here will seem small unless you are in older apartments and paying a bit more. I am also told that rent for 2006 has gone up by $1k for all condos compared to last year. Expect to pay $4K/mth up if you want room like you are used to in Aust. regardless of location.
I hope I have helped, I am new and I am sure there will be lots of there that will criticise what I have just said. It is so far my experience.
As Shef said, just general day to day items are more than back home, as is going out for dinner at restaurants (although hawker centres etc are great value), if you like a glass of wine be prepared to pay 3 to 4 times what you do back home, even beer is pretty pricey. Cars are a phenomenal price in comparison, but public transport and taxis are way cheaper.
A lot depends on what your salary was back home as well and why you are doing the move and if it is for a set contract or indefinite. Will the company pay for your furniture etc to be moved here andback again? Storage if not? If the salary is pretty much the same then perhaps you should have a big think as you may be going backwards to move.
It is a huge decision to make with a young family but it can be a wonderful experience, and it is a lovely place to live, most condos have swimming pools and it is hot all year round!