Singapore Expats Forum

GBP £70,000 in London Vs S$150,000-180,000 in Singapore !

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

Which option should I take

VP Role with GBP £70,000 in London
5
31%
AVP Role with S$150,000-180,000 in Singapore
11
69%
 
Total votes: 16

ukcontractor
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GBP £70,000 in London Vs S$150,000-180,000 in Singapore !

Postby ukcontractor » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 2:46 am

Hi All,

I am currently struck in a dilemma and need your advice to decide !

I am a British Citizen (Indian Origin) currently working in London.
Now I have been offered two roles starting 2008.

The first one is a VP Position in London on a £70,000 per annum with an Investment Bank with normal benefits like pension etc.

and other one (which is one the way) is an AVP role from another Investment Bank in Singapore for approx. S$150,000-180,000 in Singapore with relocation package covering move & 3 months stay.

Both of these are Top 10 Global Investment Banks, so its becoming very difficult to decide.

I am married with a three year old kid and live in a 2-bed flat (1Hr commute from office).

Any advice is welcome !

many thanks

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Postby butcherf » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 11:12 am

Without wishing to sound rude, honestly if you can't make a decision like that then how do you expect to make tougher decisions at work? As a VP, you really ought to be confident in what you want out of life, work and yourself. The very best of luck.

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Postby ukcontractor » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 2:04 pm

Hi butcherf,

I partially agree with you . . . . but I want to do is to gather as many facts and experiences from others who have done this transition (i.e. Move to Singapore) before I decide.

I think the collective knowledge of people on this forum is far greater than that of an Individual like me !

Anyway thanks for your comments !

regards

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 2:30 pm

ukcontractor,

As I am not British, I would think the first thing you have to decide is which is more important to you. You need to think out your priorities....

What are you looking for?

Position? Would seem that is not the case if you are considering an AVP.

Location? Do you just want to experience Singapore?

Money? With the tax structure in the UK and here in Singapore I think Singapore would be a lot cheaper. Check with the IRAS Site for tax rates (around 10% +/- all in). This would probably make you net higher here than in the UK.

You can figure around 20K SGD/yr per child when that time comes. (Thanks Plavt!) Transport costs and Rental Costs are high unless you look at public transport and HDB Flats (most Expats feel that it's beneath them to live in an Housing Development Board Flat).

Condo prices are going through the roof so depending on your transport decisions, you could find yourself far enough outside of the business district (to meet your housing allowance) to end up with 45 min to 1 hour transport times as well.

I am sure some of our recently arrived and oldtimers from the UK will give you more heads up than this.

sms

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Postby ukcontractor » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 7:32 pm

Hi SMS,

Thanks a lot for your time and detailed response.

So it looks like I should be OK with Position, Location and the net income (Money).

So the only deciding factor left is the Total Cost of living . . .
I was hoping that it would be a lot less there in Singapore than here in London.

We pay around £1000 per month for the 2 bed flat + approx. another £1000 for all bills/insurance/car etc.
The basic medical (GP + A&E) is part of TAX/National Insurance to Government and have private cover for bigger illness etc.

Also the goverment schools are pretty decent here and we can move to a better area (few 100 pounds extra per month in Mortgage/rent) to get into a better school.

So based on your note we will review the housing and schooling costs for now and in future i.e. two kids in school and living in a 3 bed house/flat.

We don't mind living in HDB etc. so that is a good option.

many thanks !

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 9:59 pm

Your best bet at the moment would be to do a review of the first 3 pages of the Forum "Staying, Living in Singapore". Also there are some good threads in the "General" Forum as well. There has been lots of discussion as of late (last 6 months in fact) regarding the escalating rental prices.

For your info, a lot more expats are now looking at the HDB option as recently the government has lifted some of the rental restrictions on them. Now a person can rent out their entire flat as opposed to keeping "one room locked". Prices have risen by about 50% on these but they are still within reason. If you use public transport you will find the connection better as 90% of Singaporeans live in HDB flats. Most of the MRT stations are also in/around the HDB estates. At the moment it looks like the top-end is around 2500/mo but this is very near the business district. 1600/2000 should be more like it for a 4-room flat.

sms

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Postby RobinHood » Fri, 05 Oct 2007 2:54 am

Seeing as you have not provided much information about the culture, work-life balance etc of the respective banks, I am basing my reply on the information that has been provided i.e. the respective salaries and the lifestyle that you will be able to enjoy in the two cities respectively.

Well as you will obviously know, in the UK taxes and cost of living are sky high, apart from income tax there is still council tax, national insurance, plus all your bills and congestion charge etc. In Singapore $180,000 p.a. will get you a very very good lifestyle as taxes are low and living costs are comparatively cheap. You will get to live it up in a nice swanky condo in the heart of town and drive a fast car, and run tabs at the most fashionable bars, if you earn $180,000.

Thats all I can say mate!

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Postby Plavt » Fri, 05 Oct 2007 4:15 am

drive a fast car


Ever heard the words Certificate of Entitllement (COE - look em up)? :P :lol:
Last edited by Plavt on Sun, 07 Oct 2007 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Makan24-7 » Sun, 07 Oct 2007 2:19 am

Before I share my humble opinion with you, I'll assume that the prospects for career advancement in both jobs are equal (unlikely but let's just say for argument's sake they are).

It'll be Singapore for me - at S$180k, assuming you do not take ANY deductions or don't get any relief, your effective tax rate is still less than 11%. In addition, if you can adapt to local tastes, life can be lived comfortably rather cheaply. You'll have to contend with pretty high rents but they won't be much different from London. Public transport including taxis are relatively inexpensive and rather efficient.

Coming from a Malaysian albeit one who has eked a living in distant shores for quite a while, you could argue that I'd have an easier time in Singapore than most other foreigners.

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Postby ukcontractor » Sun, 07 Oct 2007 5:26 pm

Hi Makan24-7, RobinHood and SMS,

Thanks for your replies and advice.

Just to give you some more background - The career growth in London is pretty limited at the moment as there is a big push to reduce headcount and offshore staff to India. e.g. we how have almost 50% less staff in IT than we had 3 years ago. . So they require less and less Managers going forward . . . so the only growth you get is better grade but doing the same/slightly better job. Most of the people here are waiting for their redundancy packages (1 Month for every year worked - 1st 30k tax free).
I have survived all the culls till now . . . .maybe they will stop . . or I might become victim in next few years . . .

And that is one of the reason to explore Singapore . . . as my understanding is that the market over there is still expanding and you might get better grown opportunities over there.

Again many thanks for your responses

regards

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Postby RobinHood » Sun, 07 Oct 2007 9:59 pm

You are absolutely correct about the market in Singapore still expanding. Right now there is a great big push to hire "foreign talent" (i.e. expats) and the Singapore government is behind the scenes encouraging this. Reason being that alot of talented Singaporeans are emigrating overseas and there is a real fear that the workforce is getting more and more diluted by the year.
Therefore Singapore is very expat friendly and if you are qualified and have the right experience etc getting a good job isnt a problem, what's more, as long as you perform to an acceptable level you are almost guaranteed career advancement.

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Postby rails » Wed, 17 Oct 2007 8:40 am

I can't beleive you have been offered this sort of position, when you can't even work out these simple figures.

Of couse you would be better off in Singapore. With this salary you can live like a king, you can travel everywhere. We are managing with less than that, we travel approx 2 times a month (3day trips to Indonesia, Thia, Malaysia) buy expensive meat, eat at expensive restaurants, buy what ever we want and still manage to save money every month.

I spoke to a guy who done the move from London as teacher, he was getting paid more in London then here, but says his living is much better here as the expenses are lower.

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Postby Paul-T » Wed, 17 Oct 2007 11:08 am

Moving to singapore has been the best thing ive ever done. Personally, having come from the UK, i find my money goes a lot further, and package deals like this are always excaptional.

Good luck with the choice, but if i were you, Id move over here!
Thanks, Paul

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Postby ksl » Thu, 18 Oct 2007 4:33 am

:shock: :???: I don't see anything to work out here at all! Well only if you are suitable for the AVP job( British sense of humour :lol: )

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Postby Superglide » Thu, 18 Oct 2007 12:52 pm

I would rather look at what the Singapore experience would bring on the long run. Does it add to your career and resume on the long term?

And the same for the London job.

Singapore is a bit overhyped at times imho. People who have been here know that a VP job here is nothing compared to a VP job back in Europe.

Especially on VP / strategic level, jobs in Europe hold much more responsibility, compared to Singapore. Thus better for the career on the long run.

Just my 2 cents.
If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.
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