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Rich / Poor expats?

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mameha
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Rich / Poor expats?

Postby mameha » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 4:32 pm

I have an offer to relocate to Singapore with my family, but it will not be on a typical "compensation package" (with high salary etc). It will be as a "local hire" (just like regular singaporean).

I am a little worried I will be in the small minority of "poor expats" and will be snobbed by most of my peers when they find out I am not working for Megaglobal Inc.

Some questions:
1) Are there many European/American foriegners working in Singapore as local hires? Or is it 99% short term expats with big salaries and company condos?
2) If I am offered a salary of S$90,000 per year, does this compare well to average salary for a 31 year old IT professional?

Thanks.

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Postby zjules » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 4:57 pm

hmm, that is probably double what most of the local hired IT professionals at my place get... doesnt sound bad at all.. depending on what youre doing of course, and your other obligations

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 6:18 pm

I'd say you are looking a expat salary but without the expat perks. You'll be fine. Actually, with rentals coming down you can do very well, unless you have school aged children and are looking to put them into International Schools. If that's the case, you are going to come up short as schooling will cost you from 12~20K/child/year unless you put them in the local school system, which is probably not a good idea unless you are planning on staying here for a long time..

The median household income in Singapore is only around 40K/year so you can use that as a guide. (Not the median salary but the median household income).

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QRM
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Re: Rich / Poor expats?

Postby QRM » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 7:42 pm

mameha wrote:I am a little worried I will be in the small minority of "poor expats" and will be snobbed by most of my peers when they find out I am not working for Megaglobal Inc.


Who cares what other people think, if they judge you by the size of your wallet then you are better off without them.

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Postby ksl » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 9:34 pm

90k is an expat salary, rents have dropped, you will manage just fine, there are a number of expats from the west employed on local salaries half of what you get, and you shouldn't give a toss about your peers, who needs them, if they only think how fat the wallet is!

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Postby jolonicc » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 6:45 am

I am in the same boat as you, look at the tax site for Singapore. Depending on your current salary and what you normally write off, house, kids etc....you may actually be getting a raise and not know it.

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=1658


Mine was a net gain.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 7:29 am

Usually is.

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Postby mameha » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 8:09 am

I dont know my S$ salary yet - $90K is my current salary converted to S$ from Japanese yen. When I move there, maybe the company will reduce it if they feel cost of living is lower in Sing than Japan.

My kids are 3 now. When they turn 6, if I send them to a regular singapore primary school will they be "out of place"? (For secondary/senior school we would likely go back to the UK.)

mameha
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Postby mameha » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 8:15 am

More questions:

2) If I live in a condo is there much "community" there? Is it easy to meet other people? (expats or locals we do not discriminate). I imagine everyone out there on sunday having BBQ by the pool, I wonder if it is really like that.

3) Are there any condos that are known for having many Japanese? (my wife is JP).

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Zeenit
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Postby Zeenit » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 9:13 am

Aspen Heights on River Valley Rd is a popular with Japanese families. Also the supermarket in Liang Court is a Japanese Store.

Good Luck
Zeenit

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road.not.taken
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Re: Rich / Poor expats?

Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 10:50 am

mameha wrote:I am a little worried I will be in the small minority of "poor expats" and will be snobbed by most of my peers when they find out I am not working for Megaglobal Inc.


This might have been the case 15 or 20 years ago, but expats from all over are compensated in a variety of ways now. I had a friend that moved here in the mid 90s with a start up media company. They were their first 'expats'. Boy, did the company get it wrong --misjudged everything: cost of living, flights for home leaves, housing, car, etc... It was hard on them when everyone they knew had an allowance of $5K or more and they had $1K. The were on a 'package' and compensated accordingly. But the package was a joke. I think you're much better off.

The only thing I'd worry about are your repatriation costs, put away some money ear-marked for that so you don't get caught short at what will already be a very stressful time. Good luck!

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Postby durain » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 11:00 am

2) If I live in a condo is there much "community" there? Is it easy to meet other people? (expats or locals we do not discriminate). I imagine everyone out there on sunday having BBQ by the pool, I wonder if it is really like that.

how you meet people depends on your social skills. most condo will have a bbq area which you can use.

3) Are there any condos that are known for having many Japanese? (my wife is JP).

expats are everywhere in singapore so it is hard to pin point a condo with a type of expats living there.

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Postby jpatokal » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 11:10 am

mameha wrote:I dont know my S$ salary yet - $90K is my current salary converted to S$ from Japanese yen. When I move there, maybe the company will reduce it if they feel cost of living is lower in Sing than Japan.

Are you telling me you agreed to transfer without settling the salary first? :shock:

And yes, cost of living in Sg is cheaper than Japan, but the number one rule of transfers is to never, ever accept a lower salary -- or you will find it impossible to climb back up when you return to the UK.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

mameha
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Postby mameha » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 12:04 pm

I haven't agreed to move yet, we have some options and Singapore is the one most attractive to us. Shortly I will find out the salary package and make final decision.

I am interested to know more about condo social life, I guess it varies from place to place but some stories based on real experience would be interesting.

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Postby jpatokal » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 6:06 pm

mameha wrote:I am interested to know more about condo social life, I guess it varies from place to place but some stories based on real experience would be interesting.

"Condo social life"? condos are apartment blocks, odds are you'll never even learn the names of the people you live next to. But finding people to hang out with is rarely a problem, expats tend to be a pretty gregarious bunch and a large portion of this very site is devoted to getting together.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague


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