Any Bostonians in Singapore? Costs of Living comparison?

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lanzi
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Any Bostonians in Singapore? Costs of Living comparison?

Post by lanzi » Sat, 25 Oct 2008 8:59 pm

My husband and I currently live in Boston and are considering relocating to Singapore. What are your impressions on the difference in cost of living between the two?

We are a newly married couple without children, living ia comfortable urban lifestyle in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. We do not have children at the moment, but this is something we plan on in the near future.

Our family income at the moment is USD 160K. How much would we have to make in Singapore to live a similar comfortable living standard?

Thank you

JimH5
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Post by JimH5 » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 1:15 pm

Hi lanzi--

First off, I'm not from Boston, though I've visited and really love the city. My wife, daughter and I are on an expat assignment that started this past January. Prior, we were in NJ for the past 3 years (and 6 out of the past 9).

There aren't many living expenses here that are less expensive than in the US. I don't know what kind of lifestyle you are living, but for us (small family used to shopping at Target, Wegmans, outlet malls & some mid-level dining out), almost everything else is more expensive. And it varies from "mildly shocking" to "outrageous".

Housing, groceries, clothing, entertainment. . .are all more.

MRT travel is wonderful and cheap. Taxis can be costly. Cable TV is cheap. Cell service and internet service is cheap. Energy is expensive. Club memberships are expensive.

You will probably want to negotiate a cost-of-living differential with your employer, to offset some of the higher living costs.

We have started using VPost to ship from Amazon to here, and have saved quite a bit of money over what it would cost to buy books, DVDs and CDs here.

Anyway, Singapore is a great place, it's just not a bargain.
Last edited by JimH5 on Mon, 27 Oct 2008 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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road.not.taken
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Post by road.not.taken » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 4:23 pm

JimH5 wrote:We have started using VPost to ship from Amazon to here, and have saved quite a bit of money over what it would cost to buy books, DVDs and CDs here.
I get these items shipped directly from Amazon, no vPost needed.

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Post by JimH5 » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 5:00 pm

I thought I read the direct-to-Singapore shipping charges on Amazon were upwards of $30, plus a per piece charge of $4. . .

Is it less than that?

I think I spent SG$22.15 to ship (through VPost) 1 hardcover book and 3 DVDs, received last week. . .

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Post by road.not.taken » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 5:09 pm

JimH5 wrote:I thought I read the direct-to-Singapore shipping charges on Amazon were upwards of $30, plus a per piece charge of $4. . .

Is it less than that?

I think I spent SG$22.15 to ship (through VPost) 1 hardcover book and 3 DVDs, received last week. . .
I think it depends on what you are ordering. Just put a wishlist together and see what it spits out. I've bought books many times through amazon, had them delivred here in a few days that were cheaper than Borders. I'd check it out, vPost is one big giant pain in the butt.

JimH5
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Post by JimH5 » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 5:37 pm

I just checked the Amazon site again for shipping to Singapore, and I think I misread the chart before. I was citing the Priority shipping rates instead of Standard.

My VPost experience (1 time user), was a little more work. . .setting up an account, emailing them the invoice for the shipment sent to my US VPost address, and then coming up with a form of payment. I don't have a SG credit card, or eNets account. But I do have a Paypal account back to a US Credit Card, and they accepted that, so I used Paypal.

Anyway, my Amazon experience was just a test, using their SuperSaver shipping, and the whole of the order was still a lot less than I would have spent here, even if I could have found the items.

It went smoothly enough for me to justify another order for some holiday music CDs.


And sorry lanzi for the hijacking. . .perhaps some Bostonians will come aboard to answer your original questions. . .

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 5:56 pm

Hi Lanzi and welcome to the forums here. While Ms. C and I aren't from the US, a few suggestions:

Firstly, many of your questions have been asked before - and we have many ex-USA people here - so using the search facility on the boards here will help us to help you. Obviously, it's important to do as much research as you can while you are negotiating your package, and this is a damn good starting point!

Secondly, if you run into any issues or questions that haven't been answered, then post back. We're a massively helpful bunch here!

Good luck with your research!

Cheers, P

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