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Salary / Housing allowance

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scobie
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Salary / Housing allowance

Postby scobie » Thu, 30 Aug 2007 1:05 pm

I've just been offered a decent job in Singapore, and am wondering what sort of life that could provide over there.

The salary is S$240,000 per annum, but they are offering an additional $6,000 per month ($72k per annum) housing allowance. They have offered to either pay the housing allowance directly to me in the form of salary, or direct to a landlord with any balance not used as rent reassigned to me in additional salary.

It seems a good offer. I've been to Singapore a few times but don't really have a clear idea of costs there.

FYI, I'm a British / NZ subject, currently living in Bangkok.

I'm conscious rents are high in Singapore, but what could 4-5,000 per month get me and my wife?

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muratkorman
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Postby muratkorman » Thu, 30 Aug 2007 2:13 pm

I think the conditions offered are very good. Usually for 4-5 k you can live in a comfortable and central condo with full facilities. Of course there are very luxurious condos where the rents hike, but it is upto you. Food is not so expensive, but there are few items which I consider pricey : Alcohol, cigarette and cheese. Considering your monthly income around 20k, you shouldn't really bother cost of living. I am sure you will be able to save 60% or more out of it (depending on your life style of course). If it is going to be a long assignment, also consider buying a flat or a house. Instead of paying the rent, you can get a mortgage. Hope this helps.
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Superglide
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Postby Superglide » Thu, 30 Aug 2007 2:30 pm

I'd say you're in for a real treat.

It still amazes me though how people on a level of income like yourself are still that ignorant about the country they are moving to.

Other than that, even without the housing allowance, you could rent a condo in downtown and still live like a king with the the rest of your salary.

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Postby scobie » Thu, 30 Aug 2007 2:55 pm

Ignorance is relative, I guess. Like many, I've been there several times (2-3 times a year recently) for work but as you'll know, visiting and living are very different. Staying in hotels, I havent been curious about rental prices. Eating in restaurants, I've yet to wander into a supermarket and do a detailed analysis of the price of cheese. Nor do I have an inkling on things like other usual living expenses which don't hit the radar on business trips.

Ignorant? Yes, I suppose so. Mea culpa.

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Superglide
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Postby Superglide » Thu, 30 Aug 2007 3:13 pm

No worries, you are forgiven my son...

Serious though, I would expect you do a bit of research on the country you move to?

I know, inquiring here is part of the research, so forgiven! :P

Regarding the housing allowance, it will all boil down to the question what you expect: How big a place and what location?

A 3 bedroom condo in downtown with full facilities could cost you anything between 5K to 15K S$ per month, as soon as you move away from downtown it is as usual cheaper.

But still, the property market is completely overheated here at the moment, insanity rules.

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ching
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Postby ching » Thu, 30 Aug 2007 9:02 pm

Hi,

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but scobie's post reminded me of a question I've been curious about for some time.

Is there any difference in tax implications (as far as Singapore tax goes), if the housing allowance is paid as cash versus if the company pays direct to the landlord and gives you just the unused balance as cash?
Tips from expats living in Singapore - http://www.livinginsingapore.org

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 30 Aug 2007 10:08 pm

ching wrote:Hi,

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but scobie's post reminded me of a question I've been curious about for some time.

Is there any difference in tax implications (as far as Singapore tax goes), if the housing allowance is paid as cash versus if the company pays direct to the landlord and gives you just the unused balance as cash?


Here are two links that should help. You will need at least Adobe Acrobat Reader as they are PDF files located on the IRAS Website.

http://www.iras.gov.sg/ESVPortal/resour ... 7final.zip

http://www.iras.gov.sg/ESVPortal/resour ... final1.zip

The short answer is to have the employer provide you the housing as in-kind benefits I believe. This means the employer holds the rental contract and pays the rental themselves. Therefore your benefits are in-kind as opposed to giving you cash which is fully taxable.

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Postby hagar » Wed, 05 Sep 2007 11:13 am

Scobie,

Your package is quite reasonable and many expats do very well on much less. One thing to bear in mind though if you have children International School fees can chew up as much as housing. Depending on the school and ages S20k to 25k per child can be expected.

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Re: Salary / Housing allowance

Postby JaneDoe » Wed, 05 Sep 2007 11:21 pm

scobie wrote:..... they are offering an additional $6,000 per month ($72k per annum) housing allowance.
.....

FYI, I'm a British / NZ subject, currently living in Bangkok.

I'm conscious rents are high in Singapore, but what could 4-5,000 per month get me and my wife?


Hi scobie,

For 4-5,000/month, you will get a 2-BR apartment here similar to the Grand President on Sukhumvit Soi 11 in Bangkok, maybe even better! I hope you're familiar with the Grand Pres so you'll get an idea.


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