Singapore Expats Forum

Need help w/ selling the idea of moving to Singapore

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

mayesie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon, 30 Mar 2009

Need help w/ selling the idea of moving to Singapore

Postby mayesie » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 9:33 am

Hi Everyone,
I'm very interested in relocating my family (5 of us total) from the US (California) to Singapore. Though I know Singapore is currently going through a recession, and a lot of foreign workers have left, I believe Singapore is positioned to recover much more quickly than most other countries.

Unfortunately, my daughter in-law isn't keen about the idea for the following reasons:

- she's an established realtor / lender (11 years experience), and feels she'll need to start all over again if she leaves. She's concerned that it would take a long time to generate the level of income she's accustomed-to. I told her I'd be happy to help out in that area, but it didn't seem to sway her at all.

- culture shock: she's lived in California all of her life, has a Hispanic background, and has no idea how she'd adjust in a significantly different environment. She also has a significant number of pets, and isn't sure what she'd do with all of them.

- her daughter will be starting college in the Fall of 2011. Though there are no definitive plans, I think I can use this as a strong selling point. NUS seems to be widely recognized as one of the finest Universities in the world. She's interested in studying Marine Biology, and NUS appears to have a nice program in tropical marine science.

On a positive note, we agreed to plan a vacation in Singapore, so everyone could have a look (I'm the only one who's been there before).

Here are some of the selling points I plan to use:

- very productive economic environment / great place to be in the future
- great education system (I also have a 9 year-old who can benefit)
- great health-care system
- very low crime / very safe place to live
- tropical weather year-round
- clean place to live, from environmental standpoint
- access to good scuba-diving adventures
- since it's so different from a cultural standpoint, there will be plenty of things to see and do
- my daughter in-law isn't all-that-thrilled about real-estate these days, and this would be an excellent opportunity to get into something else.

Do you think I have a fighting chance of making my sell, or do I need to stop dreaming?

She's very, very serious w/ regard to making sure her daughter gets an excellent college education. I'm hopeful I can use this as leverage.

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10831
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 9:57 am

It's a pipe dream and you should give it up.

a) Even if you were successful in convincing them, if anyone was unhappy after arriving there would be continuous hell to pay until things were made right (going back home).

b) If your DIL wants to do something else, Singapore is not the place to start. You need an employment pass to work here or a good business plan to start and run your own business. Coming over as an apprentice won't work, and those who have come over to work in real estate have found it very difficult.

c) Yes, Singapore has some good universities but many Singaporeans try to send their children to universities in the US, UK, and Australia for a broader education. You need to rethink this angle because the great educations are available elsewhere.

d) You won't want to put your 9 year old in public schools here... it won't work. Instead, you'll be paying lots of tuition for a private school.

e) You have mentioned what you would be doing when arriving. You too, will need an employment pass or an Entrepass for your business.

f) The pets will be a problem. You don't say what kind. Some may not be able to be brought in. All that do come in must go through a 30 day quarantine.

g) Yah, it's tropical... meaning high humidity and no seasons year round.

Take the vacation and come visit. Singapore is a great place to live. But, you should do a bunch of searches on this board and find out more... like jobs, cost of living, opportunities, etc. I think you'll find that your 'plan' is not realistic, that you are trying to coerce others in order to meet your own fantasy/goals.

Allibert
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed, 04 May 2005
Location: Singapore

Well

Postby Allibert » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:12 am

While I csn understand that you might want to come here, for any number of reasons, why do you find the need to have to convince anyone. Assuming you have a spouse and they are flexible, then why not try to come with just the two of you.

Remember your dream doesn't have to be anyone else's dream and probably won't be.

Even if you came alone you could still keep in touch. In this modern world, there's phones, skype, instant messaging and even planes.

By all means bring them for a holiday but if they don't want to come then you would have to decide what's more important - being so close to your family or living where you want to live.

Alan

mayesie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon, 30 Mar 2009

Postby mayesie » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 2:12 pm

Hi Strong Eagle,
Thanks for the dosage of truth. In order to make the move, you're correct in that some significant lifestyle changes would need to be made:

- I'm a Network Engineer who works for a company w/ an office in Singapore. From a financial standpoint, I'd need to 'hold the fort' for at least a year.
With the amount of income I generate (180k per year in Singapore Dollars), this should be doable (though we won't be living like royalty or anything).

- As you mentioned, education in Singapore is bloody expensive. I'd be willing to help my grand daughter in-law w/ her college tuition (~34k Singapore Dollars per
year), though I'd most certainly need to take out a loan. As far as my 9 year-old daughter goes, it seems a good private education runs at ~20k Singapore Dollars
per year.

- It's not realistic for my daughter in-law to bring all of her pets: (3) dogs, (1) cat, and (1) ferret (ferrets aren't even allowed). Since we'd all
be living together (which currently isn't the case), her animals would prove a substantial burden to the household. The dogs are all untrained and ill-mannered....lol.

The reason I feel so strongly about making this move is because I believe the following man who states the Asian economy will provide more opportunities to accumulate wealth:

http://www.allthingsjimrogers.com/2009/ ... nt-page-1/

The more research I perform on Singapore, the more it confirms what Jim Rogers is saying. Singapore is imperfect, but I feel more comfortable w/ taking my chances there!

Unfortunately, the US is doing things that will guarantee another depression. Though everyone is going to get hurt, it seems Singapore / Asia is better-poised to recover.

In the US, there's a real possibility that I'll be spending too much time protecting my wealth, and not enough time growing it.

Thanks again for the excellent feedback!

mayesie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon, 30 Mar 2009

Postby mayesie » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 2:16 pm

Hi Alan,
I went the route you suggested back in 2003, when I relocated my Wife and Daughter from Southern California to Denver. Though there's a 6.5 year difference between my kid and Grand Daughter in-Law, they have a great relationship, and I don't have it in me to split them up again.

The same pretty-much goes for my Wife and DIL.

The dynamics of their relationships are such in-that if the move is to be successful, all (5) of us would need to be involved.

jon0lim
Member
Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu, 25 Dec 2008

Postby jon0lim » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 4:10 pm

If your DIL wants a great college education for her daughter, wouldnt the Ivy League Universities be a better choice?

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007

Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 01 Apr 2009 8:04 am

Wow, so you're hoping to move your extended family? :o That's a tall order, lots of things to consider. You're right to anticipate some mine fields.

This is an awfully big issue, but just a few specifics:

If you're daughter-in-law is use to working and can't get an employment pass here -- yikes. I'm afraid she'll be bored without a job and a child in university. Perhaps a good time to get a second degree?

It's a fairly big leap to grow up in California and just decide to attend university in Singapore. That's a big adjustment in any case, never mind in a different country and culture. What does she want to study? NUS may not be a good fit, you'd really need to investigate this.

Good, in-home domestic help is widely available. A big plus!

Be careful about putting the weather entirely in the plus column -- it can be a little hard to get used to.

It is very westernized in Singapore, but: there is no Wal-mart (I consider this a huge plus, but other's don't), no Home Depot, no Target. The selection of TV is similar, but not he same, you have to work a lot harder to find the shows you want to watch. Produce from California is outrageous (but local produce is cheap). Food in general can be shockingly expensive. I made greek gyros for dinner last night, the chicken was half what you'd spend in the US. The feta was $15 USD :( Obviously a splurge item.

There is a very nice quality of life here that is hard to verbalize. I think if you can sort out the rising college freshman's plans, then it would be worthwhile.

Good luck.

mayesie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon, 30 Mar 2009

Postby mayesie » Wed, 01 Apr 2009 11:01 am

Hi Road,
Thanks for the feedback. The 'soon-to-be' college student wishes to study Marine Biology. Thus, it only seems logical to study on a Tropical Island! NUS has a department that's dedicated to Tropical Marine Science:

http://www.tmsi.nus.edu.sg/

Believe it or not, one of the big obstacles is the daughter in-law's concerns about Women's rights in Singapore. I wasn't aware that Singapore had alot of major issues in this regard, though I recall a story a few years back regarding Female migrant domestic workers. Nonetheless, it seems it would be quite difficult to foster such a productive economy by treating the Women workforce like crap.

I'm well-accustomed to the weather, as I lived in Okinawa for 2.5 years (though I'll admit Singapore is a good deal closer to the equator). I was in Singapore for a short time in July, 1998; the weather seemed pretty similar. The ladies will be ok with it, since it's near water.

My wife and daughter in-law are in the Real estate / lending business. However, I think they may be open to trying other things if necessary.

The good news is that the kid doesn't start college until Fall 2011, so there's plenty of time to make plans if we get serious about this.

Thanks again!

cbavasi
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue, 12 Jun 2007

Postby cbavasi » Wed, 01 Apr 2009 2:48 pm

Why wouldn't you consider UCSD for Marine Biology - isn't that top in the world? What about the tax implications? Other are more well versed about this - but you need to consider this from your overall pay. Also, with 5 of you you'll need to consider pretty big accomodation. The rents are definitely coming down - but still more than you'd pay in California.

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Postby jpatokal » Wed, 01 Apr 2009 2:50 pm

mayesie wrote:Believe it or not, one of the big obstacles is the daughter in-law's concerns about Women's rights in Singapore. I wasn't aware that Singapore had alot of major issues in this regard, though I recall a story a few years back regarding Female migrant domestic workers. Nonetheless, it seems it would be quite difficult to foster such a productive economy by treating the Women workforce like crap.

No no, you don't quite understand how it works. In Singapore, Women have full rights and work along Men as equals. Foreign workers (domestic and otherwise), however, are not considered human and thus nobody gives a sh!t about how they're treated. For example, for humans it's a crime not to buckle up even in the backseat of your car, because God forbid a human gets hurt and stops paying their taxes... but you can cram thirteen Bangladeshis into the back of an open pickup-truck, with some plate glass and cast iron toolboxes as cushions, and the police will give your truck a nice little sticker saying "13 pax".

My wife and daughter in-law are in the Real estate / lending business. However, I think they may be open to trying other things if necessary.

Singapore's "get a job first, then come" visa regime means that this not a suitable place for "trying other things if necessary".
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007

Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 01 Apr 2009 3:04 pm

Also wondering, where will she go to school in the meantime? :roll:

User avatar
Asian_Geekette
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed, 10 Jan 2007
Location: Still based in Singapore but wanders around...

Postby Asian_Geekette » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 7:04 pm

It would be nice if the extended family would be able to be with each other. Perhaps you can treat it this as a whole new Asian adventure together. Though your DIL may not like it if she can't find work here in real estate. If she's open to going back to school for a second degree or an MBA, there's a couple of good schools here.

Well, about the women's rights... I'm a woman and I have a job here. I'm an IT professional so I'm not affected so much about the issues regarding foreign domestic workers. Though I've met a few locals who still have certain stereotypes about my nationality. But when they find out I'm a Filipina IT professional, they just keep quiet. :lol: Of course, compared to other Middle Eastern countries (I have family members living in that part of the world), women have more liberties here.

Good luck with your making your case! Perhaps it would be better if all of you first come to Singapore as tourists for two weeks and try commuting, dining or moving around like locals (go to non-touristy hawker centers, visit an older HDB estate & use the old lifts, take the MRT during peak hours). :cool:
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

jolonicc
Member
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun, 22 Mar 2009

Postby jolonicc » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 7:15 am

I dont see the reason why a DIL with 11 years of experience is still living with mom and dad. Make her a rental deal on your home in CA and move yourself and wife to Singapore. Problem Solved.

soundmeister
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu, 15 Jan 2009

Postby soundmeister » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 11:22 am

Hi mayesie,

In my opinion the best time to move to Singapore is when you are a young couple whose just started or starting a family. That gives you enough time to familiarise yourself with the way things work, make some friends, settle down job-wise and financially before the big expenses (school, daycare, etc.) start.

In your case I can see a significant problem in trying to convince your entire extended family to move along with you. I'm a little unclear why the daughter in law and you need to be a package deal but assume you know best, so leave that for now :)

On the other hand 180K is more than enough to live comfortably in this town. BTW though I love living in Singapore, I can't for the life of me imagine someone from California wanting to move here. The place is the size of one of your larger Silicon valley suburbs :D

mayesie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon, 30 Mar 2009

Postby mayesie » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 12:08 pm

jolonicc wrote:I dont see the reason why a DIL with 11 years of experience is still living with mom and dad. Make her a rental deal on your home in CA and move yourself and wife to Singapore. Problem Solved.


I apologize for the confusion, as she has her own place. However, she lives nearby, and the family dynamics dictate that it would be best if all (5) of us went. The DIL and her Kid are really tight w/ my Wife and Kid.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests