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Potentially relocating from Boston - Need advice

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Vern in Boston
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Potentially relocating from Boston - Need advice

Post by Vern in Boston » Sat, 24 May 2008 9:01 am

Hi there...

My wife and I are professionals currently living in the Boston area with our two and a half year old daughter. Recently, my wife, a high level project manager, has been tabbed to open an office for her biotech firm in Singpore. It would be a tremendous opportunity for her as well as a potentially attractive compensation package. Her company will relocate us for 2-3 years and then relocate us back to Boston after that.

As for my situation, I currently work as a Sr. Associate on a private wealth management team for a major investment firm (think Bull). I have been there for seven years and hold a degree from a top US university. We are fairly comfortable (both making well above the S-1 level) and love going to the beach, fishing, snowboarding, and dining out.

This would obviously be quite a change for our family. However, we would really welcome it at this point in our lives, our family fully supports us, and we've started to move on from nervous to excited.

Nevertheless, my questions are as follows:

1. As the trailing spouse, do I need to get an employment pass prior to looking for a job? Or could I come over on a dependent pass and then look for a job upon arrival? Or do companies frown upon DP holders? I'd most likely be pursuing jobs from the states as soon as things are official.

2. Would I have trouble getting an EP or should my background and education be sufficient?

3. How are Americans looked upon in the job market?

4. How are the local beaches? Swimmable?

5. Is there an area of the city where most of the financial jobs are?

6. Would it be possible to secure a condo from the states after my wife visits in July and checks out several developments?

7. Can anyone reccommend any condo developments with a pool and nice expat community feel. Any representitive suggestions would be great. We'd probably have at least 4000-6000 a month to spend for a 3-4BR. I'd most likely be working where the financial jobs are, and my wife would be opening an office whereever the biotech/science community is located (ie. offices with lab space).

8. Most importantly, how's the fishing? :D Would the costs of ownership of a small boat be structured similar to a car?

Well, that was certainly long winded, but any help/answers/suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I'm someone who hates the unknown. Especially, when the unknown is potentially my future home and workplace.

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taxico
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Post by taxico » Sat, 24 May 2008 6:22 pm

small boats would probably cost less than a car, but it really depends on the condition of the boat. how many foot are you looking at? most of the singapore yacht brokers can help you locate a suitable sized/priced craft.

if you want "nicer" beaches, there're lagoons and beaches on offshore islands (20-30 mins away from marina) that tend to make for better swimming and are less crowded. with bathrooms and taps and all...

with a boat you can head out to those islands for a good swim and picnic. you will also need to factor in where your marina's located at... have a tour around each to see if you like the place first.

a boat would also help you catch fish off local waters, that's for sure. otherwise, a small charter would be a coupla hundred singapore dollars for 12 hours...

without a crew, even! take your time. there're enough to occupy you when you first get to singapore without missing the sun sea and sand.

i don't think you will have problem landing a job, but you might take some time to get a job with a likable package.

good luck! (can't help you out with the rest, but i'm sure other replies will come by soon enough)

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maneo
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Re: Potentially relocating from Boston - Need advice

Post by maneo » Sat, 24 May 2008 11:54 pm

Vern in Boston wrote:As for my situation, I currently work as a Sr. Associate on a private wealth management team for a major investment firm (think Bull).
. . .
1. As the trailing spouse, do I need to get an employment pass prior to looking for a job? Or could I come over on a dependent pass and then look for a job upon arrival? Or do companies frown upon DP holders? I'd most likely be pursuing jobs from the states as soon as things are official.

2. Would I have trouble getting an EP or should my background and education be sufficient?
Have you checked if your firm's office here could use your experience and capabilities?
You will have a better negotiating position to get a job before you come.
Vern in Boston wrote:3. How are Americans looked upon in the job market?
What is important is what you bring - what experience and demonstrated capabilities you have.
Vern in Boston wrote:4. How are the local beaches? Swimmable?
East Coast Park is swimmable, though others might complain.
I never let the view of ships offshore bother me.
As mentioned above, going out to the offshore islands would be better.
Vern in Boston wrote:5. Is there an area of the city where most of the financial jobs are?
Financial district is generally around Shenton Way ("the City").
Vern in Boston wrote:6. Would it be possible to secure a condo from the states after my wife visits in July and checks out several developments?
Check with your wife's employer for what help they can provide.
Tell them as much as you can about your needs and priorites.
You may actually want to "secure a condo" during the visit (i.e. house-hunting trip).
Although the housing market has slowed, good rentals may not wait around for you to decide.
Vern in Boston wrote:7. . . .and my wife would be opening an office whereever the biotech/science community is located (ie. offices with lab space).
The biotech/science community is located at Biopolis near the National University and Science Park, which is in the West Coast/Buona Vista area.
Link to SG map:
http://www.map.gov.sg/StreetMap/

Good luck on your job hunt.

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taxico
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Post by taxico » Sun, 25 May 2008 9:43 am

oh, and look out at the rotaries and don't drive like bostonians in singapore. ; )

gotta love that new england accent!

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maneo
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Post by maneo » Mon, 26 May 2008 1:37 am

They're called "roundabouts" here.
:)

In and around the lake . . . .

max's mom
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Post by max's mom » Mon, 02 Jun 2008 2:31 pm

You need to come with your wife on a look see tour first of all- make sure her company will take on the arrangements to get you a work pass too!

Is her company paying part of your rent? Car, etc? Singapore is extremely overpriced! are you also prepared to have a live in maid? that is the norm here. We live in the downtown area and I would not do that with a small child--- no protective devices on the balconies for small kids!

look online and see what the cost of housing here is--~is your wife getting paid in USD or sing dollars? are there any perks in the contract to fly your family home every year for holidays?

do you know you will pay us and Singapore income tax?
will her firm pay for your accountants to take care of this for you?

lots of things to think about!
good luck

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road.not.taken
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Post by road.not.taken » Mon, 02 Jun 2008 4:41 pm

maneo wrote:They're called "roundabouts" here.
:)

In and around the lake . . . .
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there...

Aren't the called circuses here?

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Post by Jeppo » Tue, 03 Jun 2008 9:05 am

max's mom wrote:You need to come with your wife on a look see tour first of all- make sure her company will take on the arrangements to get you a work pass too!
This is completely wrong, a company will only get the work pass for people it's going to employ. No company is going to get a work pass for a trailing spouse. The only thing they may do is help with a dependent's pass or ltsvp.

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Condo suggestion

Post by PhoenixT » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 5:37 pm

In terms of your Q about condo rec's = is your rental budget in USD or SGD? Hopefully it's the former. Rental prices here are CRAZY!
'
One condo you may look into is the Caribbean at Keppel Bay. There are lots of pools and wadding pools for little ones and a good amount of expats here. It's close to an MRT station and right by Sentosa Island where you can go to swimmable beach.

Additionally, it is next to the Marina at Keppel Bay where you will have membership if you're a resident - though I don't know how much it will be to dock a boat there if you end up getting one.

For job search the only advice I can give it get official transcipts of your diplomas and have them handy.

Good luck on your move - it's a great opportunity for your family!

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maneo
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Post by maneo » Sat, 07 Jun 2008 12:59 am

road.not.taken wrote:
maneo wrote:They're called "roundabouts" here.
:)

In and around the lake . . . .
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there...

Aren't the called circuses here?
Yes, the Newton roundabout is called "Newton Circus."
"Circus" in this context works on more than one level.

However, on the Singapore Police Force site discussing demerits for various offences, you can get 4 demerit points for "Failing to give way at roundabout. " :wink:
http://driving-in-singapore.spf.gov.sg/ ... fences.htm

Call it morning driving . . . .


[edited to fix a dyslexic moment]
Last edited by maneo on Mon, 16 Jun 2008 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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taxico
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Post by taxico » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 1:16 pm

in boston, roundabouts are called rotaries.

elsewhere in the united states, they're called roundabouts.

in boston, they drive funny. (please don't hate me!)

except new yorkers. like me. but only cos we don't drive.

---

i don't recommend committing long-term to any particular condo/house until you get here and know the place better.

amisen
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hi

Post by amisen » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 9:30 am

hello there. I saw your post and am replying since I am in a similar situation. I lived in Boston for 13 years and just moved to Singapore a month ago. My husband is just finishing up his MBA from INSEAD. He used to work for a risk management firm in Boston for 8 years prior to coming here. The financial markets are really bad and he's having a hard time finding a job in private banking at the moment. But in anycase, I'm a biotech professional - worked for a biotech firm in boston for 10 years and am looking for something in the project management space in singapore. I've just begun my search since it's been only a month since I moved here.
I won't be able to answer a lot of your questions but the little that I know - rent is through the roof whether you pay in USD or SGD. Also, cars and gas are very expensive.
what biotech company does your wife work for??

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Post by amisen » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 9:46 am

forgot to mention - there are 2 condos (Dover Parkview and Heritage Park ) which are very close to Biopolis. Both these have excellent condo facilities - pools, tennis courts, bbq pits gym etc.
However, most condos in singapore have these basic facilities so you shouldn't have a problem finding something. You just have to decide where you want to be.

The East coast is more residential and is by the water so lot of people like to live around there. The only draw back is it's not connected by the MRT so you'd have to use taxis or have a car. Rents are bit more reasonable on the east coast and you get better value for your money but there is a pay off.

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Post by bruinbear » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 11:34 pm

If you want to fish go to the kelong?

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Post by Icemocha » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 3:10 pm

Getting an EP is easy as long as a company want to hire you. From what I know, the "Bull" is not hiring here at the moment.


4. How are the local beaches? Swimmable?
The locals don't swim in local beaches. It's cheap to fly out on weekends to some of the best beaches in the world just around singapore. In less that an hour, you could be swimming & diving in paradise crystal clear water

Why bother to risk getting stained by oil patches here. I sail to the southern islands, but won't bother swimming in the water. Visibility is bad.


8. Most importantly, how's the fishing? Very Happy Would the costs of ownership of a small boat be structured similar to a car?

Fishing is ok,try the local flavour, the kelong. They are large fish trap in the middle of the sea with living quarters above the traps. You'll enjoy great live seafood when they raise the nets. You can fish anywhere along the kelong, the shade attracts a lot of fishes in the day.

Drop me a PM if you like to visit the kelongs.

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