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Need help w/ selling the idea of moving to Singapore

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

road.not.taken wrote:Also wondering, where will she go to school in the meantime? :roll:


Point taken...... which is why I'm doing my due-diligence a couple of years in-advance (barring some great opportunity that's too good to pass up).

mayesie
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Postby mayesie » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 12:11 pm

Asian_Geekette wrote: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:


Thanks for the kind words and suggestions! And yes, I definitely agree that a visit is in-order. I got no resistance in that regard!

mayesie
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Postby mayesie » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 12:30 pm

soundmeister wrote: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


Hi Soundmeister,
Thanks for the feedback. The reasons for wanting to leave the US (and California, in particular) are rather straight-forward:

- more economic freedom / opportunity: the US dollar is going into the tank, and it could take a couple of decades before any sign of recovery is in-sight. I'm not going to place trust my economic future to a bunch of confidence men who are out to squeeze every last penny from me.

- Rather than confront all of the riff-raff that comes w/ a depression (i.e. increase in crime, inflation, food shortages), I'd prefer to avoid it if possible.

Though the whole world is getting hit w/ tough times, I'm thoroughly convinced that Singapore (and Asia in general) will come out of it long before the US. The debt burdens we're faced with are insurmountable w/ the idiotic policies that are being implemented.

Though this may sound naive, I was quite inspired by Jim Rogers' talking about the reasons he moved his family to Singapore:

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

Though I don't have millions upon millions to live the finest lifestyle that's available, could my family not benefit for the same reasons?

Sound Money = Wealth = Opportunity.......Singapore has all of these things, in addition to the items mentioned in my original post.

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Postby mayesie » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 2:16 pm

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all of the excellent feedback. I was contacted by a Technical Recruiter today, regarding some opportunities in Singapore.

In case this gets serious, I want to be prepared to negotiate some cost-of-living allowances. I was wondering if I could get a little help w/ regard to housing / auto expenses / education expenses?

- I’d like a place that’s close to a MRT stop
- I'd like a place that's no more than a 20-minute ride from / to NUS. Does NS9, NS10, NS11, etc meet this criteria?
- I'd require a 4 Bedroom living facility (i.e. condo or townhome), w/ a swimming pool.
- I'd like to stretch my money as far as possible

Based on this info, does somewhere in the S$3500.00 range seem reasonable? Are any furnishings included? Are utilities covered? I viewed the following link for reference:
http://www.singaporeexpats.com/housing- ... ar-MRT.htm

It seems that private school to somewhere like SAS is going to run around S$2000 per month.

I’d like to have a family car….something like a small van. It doesn’t need to be super-fancy…..just something that’s reliable and has AC. What can I expect the monthly vehicle payment to be? I hear that anywhere from S$1000 – S$2000 is standard.

Is auto insurance expensive? I have a clean driving record FWIW!

I calculated some other living expenses (please feel free to comment on these):

S$1500 – Grocery Budget for (5) people
S$1000 – Entertainment / Recreation
S$1200 – Miscellaneous Expenses that I haven’t directly accounted for
S$400 – Monthly Fuel expenses
S$200 – Monthly Cell phone / Internet Expenses
S$100 – Monthly Public Transportation
S$100 – Monthly Auto Insurance

Thus, It seems that the total living expenses will be ~S$12,000 per month. If I include the NUS education, it jumps to ~S$15,000 per month.

Is this about right, or am I skimming somewhere?

Thanks again for all of the help!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 2:32 pm

You will need to add 300-800 for utilities, depending on your aircon and water usage. All looks reasonably close with the exception of the rental. Possibly more if you live in a landed property (house not condo). However, if you use say 30 minutes to NUS instead of 20 then much easier to accomplish. For a 4 BR condo or house with pool Districts 9-11 are generally going to be still above the $5000 mark as these are the 3 prime districts in Singapore. 3BR possibly around $3.5K within 20 minutes but 4BR will be hard even outside the prime 3 within 30 minutes. Another thing you may want to consider is if you plan to send your kids to SAS. The Singapore American School is on the north side of the island and it will make a long bus journey for them every day. They might not be too happy.

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Postby Asian_Geekette » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 2:38 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote: Another thing you may want to consider is if you plan to send your kids to SAS. The Singapore American School is on the north side of the island and it will make a long bus journey for them every day. They might not be too happy.


Or better yet, consider getting a place near the SAS and let the adults do the commute. :P But it's not long. Just a little under an hour. Plus condos are cheaper around Woodlands. :P
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Postby road.not.taken » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 4:50 pm

mayesie wrote:S$1500 – Grocery Budget for (5) people
S$1000 – Entertainment / Recreation
S$1200 – Miscellaneous Expenses that I haven’t directly accounted for*
S$400 – Monthly Fuel expenses
S$200 – Monthly Cell phone / Internet Expenses
S$100 – Monthly Public Transportation
S$100 – Monthly Auto Insurance

Thus, It seems that the total living expenses will be ~S$12,000 per month. If I include the NUS education, it jumps to ~S$15,000 per month.

Is this about right, or am I skimming somewhere?

Thanks again for all of the help!


*Hmmm...

A good start, but what about:

cable tv or itunes?

travel and trips home? (singapore gets real small, real fast)

school bus costs (most kids do not take public transportation to SAS - just keep it on the back burner for when you make your decisions)

a maid? (you may think you don't need one, because you may not be used to having one, but it is a different culture here and with your D-in-L working, and a little one still at home...)

medical expenses? dental?

Vet bills?

first time initial costs to re-outfit your home? (electronics, trash cans, paint, hooks, etc...)

spending money for the kids ?(mine get $100/week for lunch at school and incidentals ~ add on top of that school trips, prom, AP exam fees, SAT fees, prep classes, school supplies, bass lessons, sports fees, uniform costs, etc...)

I concur with SMS, you might want to ask for a more generous housing allowance. If for no other reason so you can negotiate that gardening, air/con maintenance, pest control are all included (if applicable) in the rental and not coming out of your pocket. If you end up in a house there are a lot of incidental repairs that are ongoing, some will be your responsibility. The tropics is tough on metal, appliances, leather, etc...

I disagree with Asian_Geekette, I think you'd be absolutely miserable in the Woodlands.

Here's the last hoop you have to jump through: if your daughter in law and her daughter hate having frizzy hair --I'm being completely serious -- if they hate having 'big' hair --- it's all over. For people with curly or wavy hair, Singapore is just one big, long, bad hair day. I have straight hair, that is why we've made it work this long. Good luck.

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Postby soundmeister » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 12:04 pm

Geez, people with 15K expenses per month...looks like I crashed the wrong party :???:

No offence mayesie :)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 2:18 pm

No comment. Other than I wish my salary was as much as some of their housing allowances...... being cash poor sucks. :wink:

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Postby Forks » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 2:42 pm

Getting jobs and the situation sorted before you come here is definitely a good idea but Singapore bouncing back quickly from this is a little harder to see happening.

But with 15K salary plus you shouldnt have too much trouble living here but getting a housing allowance, and making sure all the small details are covered will make the stay bearable.

IMHO I think Singapore still has a way to fall and given the stories that are circulating in the papers and online at the moment it sounds like the average SGPer is as worried as expats are. Until the US sorts out its toxic assets no one is going to stop holding their breath and until they exhale the economy is unlikely to get back on its feet, just to much uncertainty.

Personally I am thinking about going home at the end of the year not because of the economy but more because once you add to Singapore all the worries about life here it looses some of its shine and even the $ dont really make it bearable.
Poking, poking everywhere...

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Postby jon0lim » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 6:34 pm

mayesie wrote:Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all of the excellent feedback. I was contacted by a Technical Recruiter today, regarding some opportunities in Singapore.

In case this gets serious, I want to be prepared to negotiate some cost-of-living allowances. I was wondering if I could get a little help w/ regard to housing / auto expenses / education expenses?

- I’d like a place that’s close to a MRT stop
- I'd like a place that's no more than a 20-minute ride from / to NUS. Does NS9, NS10, NS11, etc meet this criteria?
- I'd require a 4 Bedroom living facility (i.e. condo or townhome), w/ a swimming pool.
- I'd like to stretch my money as far as possible

Based on this info, does somewhere in the S$3500.00 range seem reasonable? Are any furnishings included? Are utilities covered? I viewed the following link for reference:
http://www.singaporeexpats.com/housing- ... ar-MRT.htm

It seems that private school to somewhere like SAS is going to run around S$2000 per month.

I’d like to have a family car….something like a small van. It doesn’t need to be super-fancy…..just something that’s reliable and has AC. What can I expect the monthly vehicle payment to be? I hear that anywhere from S$1000 – S$2000 is standard.

Is auto insurance expensive? I have a clean driving record FWIW!

I calculated some other living expenses (please feel free to comment on these):

S$1500 – Grocery Budget for (5) people
S$1000 – Entertainment / Recreation
S$1200 – Miscellaneous Expenses that I haven’t directly accounted for
S$400 – Monthly Fuel expenses
S$200 – Monthly Cell phone / Internet Expenses
S$100 – Monthly Public Transportation
S$100 – Monthly Auto Insurance

Thus, It seems that the total living expenses will be ~S$12,000 per month. If I include the NUS education, it jumps to ~S$15,000 per month.

Is this about right, or am I skimming somewhere?

Thanks again for all of the help!


Getting to NUS from NS9, 10, 11 within 20minutes is not really feasible as the nearest MRT station to it (Buona Vista) will take at least 30mins to get to from NS 9(Woodlands). NS10(Admiralty) and NS11(Sembawang) are even further away. One more thing you must note is that getting to NUS from Buona Vista still requires a 5-10 minute bus ride.
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