Wanted to check cost for these in Singapore

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Ebony Chic
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Wanted to check cost for these in Singapore

Post by Ebony Chic » Sat, 05 Jul 2008 10:08 pm

Hi,

my husband has been offered a position in Singapore, and the recruiter has given us some indication on living costs there. We just wanted to double-check the costs because they seem so much lower in the other countries we have lived in so far.

Approximate cost of grammar school education in 4th grade in public school: S$100-S$200

Approximate cost of education in a private school:
S$500-700

Approximate cost of renting a 3 bedroom apartment in Singapore:
S$1300 - S$1700

(I am assuming that above values are per month)

Approximate cost for health insurance for family of 3 people (2 adults, 1 child):
S$1200/year.


We were also told that the total tax liability for 100K would be S$2240. But the same company sent us some tax calculation spreadsheet which indicates that it could be about S$7000, so I guess that the S$2240 was a typo(?)

Still even if the total tax for 100K income was S$7000, it would be a lot less than in the countries we have lived so far.

I checked on apartment rentals in Singapore and it seems that many of the rents are more than the indicated S$1300 - S$1700. But perhaps I am only looking at luxury flats?

In any case if anyone would not mind confirming that the amounts we are given are roughly correct, it would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance:-)

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 05 Jul 2008 10:52 pm

Do a search of the various forums here and most of your questions will be answered. Also, you can check some of the links in my signature links page or the main page of this site. The Parents, Schooling thread has a lot of good discussions re: schooling and this this forum a lot of information re: costs of living.

Here is a link for income taxes:

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore - Tax Rates

After doing a search of the forum threads, if you have a specific question or two that you couldn't find the answer to, ask and someone will help you. There are heaps of information accumulated on this site and most generally ask the same questions.

Meanwhile, welcome to SingaporeExpats!

SMS
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: Wanted to check cost for these in Singapore

Post by HappyD » Sun, 06 Jul 2008 12:29 pm

Hi

I was recently hunting for a place to move to, here in Singapore.
So i gathered quite some information.

This rate quoted by your recruiter of renting a 3 bedroom apartment for
S$1300 - S$1700, it seems to refer to the public flats, which they call a HDB. These are subsidised housing for the locals where they may rent out.

But if you are needing 3 real bedrooms for the family, then it is what they called here, a 5-room HDB flat. Where they say 3 room flat, it means there's only 2 bedrooms, + 1 living hall. So be very careful.

These HDB flats do not come with swimming pools/tennis courts/etc for residents. This is where the mass of locals live in heartlands and you may enjoy mingling with the friendly locals.

Whereas condominiums are truly private apartments that come with these built-in facilities strictly for its residents, not opened to all public. Hence more privacy, and has security guards for that apartment.

From my enquiries with friends/colleagues, a condo 2 bedrm apartment in town area is going for about SGD 4000 - 6000 now, while 3 bedrms about easily SGD 5000 - SGD 8000, depending on location. If you try the suburbs, it may be cheaper.

I heard about HDB 3 room flat (ie. 2 bdrm and a hall) going at about $1500 - $1800 , in convenient area near mrt.

Ebony Chic
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Post by Ebony Chic » Sun, 06 Jul 2008 6:00 pm

Thanks to everyone for your replies, even to you who sent the private mail (sorry, I did not realize that I should have saved the mail after reading if I intended to reply back).

Looks like the tax calculator available from the website provided by you, sundaymorningstaple, is the same as what we got from the recruiter. So the tax on a 100K income seems indeed to be like S$5680. That sure is low!

The information you gave on apartment rents, HappyD, is really useful. We sure do not mind living where the local folks do. We just wanted to make sure we can afford the rent on what-ever apartment we choose, although the income tax being low as it is, this does not look like a major issue.

Now I just need to get an idea on how much groceries would cost per month, although I suspect that it wont be an issue as we don't really buy the most expensive food (meats and things like that) anyway. And the monthly cost for electricity is another issue of interest, just to see how Singapore differs from our current homeland.

cheers

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Sun, 06 Jul 2008 9:12 pm

Hi Ebony - and welcome to the forums...

SMS's TAX stuff is good as always. I'll just add this - Please ensure your country has/doesn't have a double-tax agreement with your home country. This is very important. Some people from the USA, for example get taxed in their home country as well as here. Google or use your search engine of choice (but preferably, your accountant!) can help out there.

Also, ensure you get the salary package calculated on real cost of living allowance differentials - there are many places that offer this information. I cannot release our info as it's copyrighted to us, but suffice to say, if your company is serious about relocating you, they should have this info available. Mercer is a good organisation that do yearly reviews - ensure the package is linked to a reputable COL resource.

I'll defer on rents as we rent a high end flat, not HDB and haven't looked at those. We pay waaay more than the prices quoted in this post.

In terms of food costs - it would help to know what you pay for the following items in your current country, as we can provide a comparison:

price per 100g of:
chicken breast
fish fillet
beef
lamb
pork

price per:
loaf of bread (say wholemeal)
litre of milk
litre of fruit juice
etc

Happy to do a price comparison for you.

HTH, P

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Post by bruinbear » Sun, 06 Jul 2008 10:28 pm

Yah USA does not have a Double Tax Treaty with Singapore. I believe Americans are taxed both in Singapore and also back in US.

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Re: Wanted to check cost for these in Singapore

Post by maneo » Sun, 06 Jul 2008 11:01 pm

Ebony Chic wrote:Approximate cost of grammar school education in 4th grade in public school: S$100-S$200

Approximate cost of education in a private school:
S$500-700
What is your understanding of "private school"?
International schools can be very expensive -- up to $25K/year.


If you are a US citizen or resident, you will be liable for US taxes, too.
However, there is some relief for overseas taxpayers in the form of a tax exclusion.

Download publication 54 for details on eligibility and computation:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf

If your income exceeds the exclusion, then some of the taxes paid to SG may be eligible for foreign tax credit.
http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1116/index.html

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Re: Wanted to check cost for these in Singapore

Post by Ebony Chic » Mon, 07 Jul 2008 4:23 am

maneo wrote:
Ebony Chic wrote:Approximate cost of grammar school education in 4th grade in public school: S$100-S$200

Approximate cost of education in a private school:
S$500-700
What is your understanding of "private school"?
International schools can be very expensive -- up to $25K/year.
When I asked the recruiter about the cost of education in a private school, I had in mind the schools operated by non-public organizations in e.g. Australia where the there are schools operated by the Catholic Church. I would not classify these schools in Australia as "international" schools, as I think they only teach in English and follow the standard Australian curriculum.

But you are right, I found some international schools located in Singapore, and I think all of them cost more than above rate the recruiter quoted to us.

As to the U.S. taxes, I do not know if that would be a problem. We will not be sent by the current company that my husband works for, but are hired by an international company that has an office in Singapore. Also, even though I am an American, my husband is European and it was years since we last lived in the U.S. We are currently living in Switzerland and before this have lived in Australia (2 years), Finland (1.5 years), Sweden (4 years) and some other countries.

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Post by Ebony Chic » Mon, 07 Jul 2008 4:54 am

sierra2469alpha wrote:Hi Ebony - and welcome to the forums...
I'll defer on rents as we rent a high end flat, not HDB and haven't looked at those. We pay waaay more than the prices quoted in this post.

In terms of food costs - it would help to know what you pay for the following items in your current country, as we can provide a comparison:

price per 100g of:
chicken breast
fish fillet
beef
lamb
pork

price per:
loaf of bread (say wholemeal)
litre of milk
litre of fruit juice
etc

Happy to do a price comparison for you.

HTH, P
Hi sierra2469alpha,

Thanks for the welcome!

Here are the prices you asked for from our current homeland, (Switzerland), except for the chicken breast. I will have to get that for you when I go to the store, like tomorrow. All the prices are in Swiss francs. Let me know if you want prices for any other items.

price per 100g of:
-chicken breast:
-fish fillet, salmon: 3.00
-beef: 1.20
-lamb: 5.40
-pork: 1.90

price per:
-loaf of bread, white, 560g: 2.80
-loaf of bread, wholemeal, 320g: 2.40
-litre of milk, non-UHT: 1.50
-litre of fruit juice, orange: 2.50

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Re: Wanted to check cost for these in Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 Jul 2008 11:35 am

Ebony Chic wrote: As to the U.S. taxes, I do not know if that would be a problem. We will not be sent by the current company that my husband works for, but are hired by an international company that has an office in Singapore. Also, even though I am an American, my husband is European and it was years since we last lived in the U.S. We are currently living in Switzerland and before this have lived in Australia (2 years), Finland (1.5 years), Sweden (4 years) and some other countries.
As long as your husband is a non-resident alien of the US, under normal circumstances his non-resident income is not taxable in the US. However, as an American Citizen, your worldwide income is subject to US tax laws. But as Maneo pointed out, with in Income Earned Abroad Exclusion and Foreign Tax Credit, it should minimize the damages. If you don't work then mores the better.

sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Mon, 07 Jul 2008 1:00 pm

Ebony - will get the local prices for you within 24-48 hours. cheers/P

hei guess what
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Post by hei guess what » Mon, 07 Jul 2008 3:20 pm

See online stores

Cold Storage - includes Jason's, Market Place and Shop n Save
http://www.coldstorage.com.sg

Carrefour
http://www.carrefour.com.sg/

NTUC Fairprice
http://www.fairprice.com.sg/

7-Eleven
http://www.7-eleven.com.sg/

Sheng Siong
http://www.shengsiong.com.sg/

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Mon, 07 Jul 2008 4:06 pm

heiguesswhat - you been away? - haven't seen you on the forums for a while.

I was going to suggest that but given I need to do some shopping I thought I'd just take down the prices for them :) Thought it would save them the time from navigating the silly online stores here!

Cheers/P

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Post by frenzal » Tue, 08 Jul 2008 8:25 am

Ebony Chic wrote: Hi sierra2469alpha,

Thanks for the welcome!

Here are the prices you asked for from our current homeland, (Switzerland), except for the chicken breast. I will have to get that for you when I go to the store, like tomorrow. All the prices are in Swiss francs. Let me know if you want prices for any other items.

price per 100g of:
-chicken breast:
-fish fillet, salmon: 3.00
-beef: 1.20
-lamb: 5.40
-pork: 1.90

price per:
-loaf of bread, white, 560g: 2.80
-loaf of bread, wholemeal, 320g: 2.40
-litre of milk, non-UHT: 1.50
-litre of fruit juice, orange: 2.50
Note that those prices are not really comparable to Singapore. Swiss agriculture and food prices are heavily subsidised by taxes (from memory, something like 40% of the cost is hidden with other taxes). In Singapore, you won't be paying much tax

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 08 Jul 2008 9:58 am

I think most of them with the exception of 7-11 are on my links page in my signature. Ebony Chic may also want to venture there to see if there are any other usable links there as well. If she needs special foods, gluten free or somesuch, there are some link for that as well there. Also Butchers as well.
hei guess what wrote:See online stores

Cold Storage - includes Jason's, Market Place and Shop n Save
http://www.coldstorage.com.sg

Carrefour
http://www.carrefour.com.sg/

NTUC Fairprice
http://www.fairprice.com.sg/

7-Eleven
http://www.7-eleven.com.sg/

Sheng Siong
http://www.shengsiong.com.sg/
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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