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Rich / Poor expats?

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ScoobyDoes
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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 10 Apr 2009 2:13 pm

But you'll notice it's always the wives making the first move ;)

You want to find Japanese......maybe have a look at some condos within an easy commute to the Japanese International School, Western side.

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Postby splat » Fri, 10 Apr 2009 3:06 pm

I thought the Japanese school was out east? In any case you will meet people easily, we are all in the same boat and people are very friendly. I live out east and there are quite a few on local packages with their kids in local schools. They are all happy. It can be done and you will find friends with the same kind of package/or non-package as you.

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maneo
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Postby maneo » Fri, 10 Apr 2009 3:37 pm

There is a Japanese Primary School on Clementi Road, opposite NUS.

Many Japanese families live in the West Coast area.

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Postby splat » Fri, 10 Apr 2009 4:19 pm

just googled it - there is a Changi campus also. I was looking for houses out east a while ago and kept finding ones "near the japanese school." The condos advertising were in Tampines/Pasir Ris.

I didn't realise the main campus is out west!

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Postby EADG » Sun, 12 Apr 2009 12:22 am

not like it used to be - the rents got too high and many Japanese had to move out, many get fixed allowances and AH exceeded that

friends of mine living there say the demographics have changed to more Indian families

this could change with the renst coming down though


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

Good Luck
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Postby EADG » Sun, 12 Apr 2009 12:26 am

agree with the last two points as well as the one about condo social life, but not with the first - the housing here exceeded what I knew in Japan in the past few years, and the taxis, depending on when you take them, are catching up

re your salary, there is a wide range depending on your industry and experience - jp is right in that I also know many IT people in the 90k neighborhood, as well as above and below that, again, depending on your role

you also have to take into account that the yen is still the better currency of the two to hold

what might address mameha's interests more is the neighborhood not so much as the actual condo, so better to be in the Harborfront, HV, CQ, Robertson, or other areas with a lot of restaurants in walking distance

jpatokal wrote: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.
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Postby jpatokal » Tue, 28 Apr 2009 5:44 pm

EADG wrote:agree with the last two points as well as the one about condo social life, but not with the first - the housing here exceeded what I knew in Japan in the past few years, and the taxis, depending on when you take them, are catching up

The price of "an apartment" in Singapore is (was?) indeed catching up to Tokyo, but you get a hell of lot more bang for your buck here -- my living room alone is about twice the size of the Tokyo studio I used to live in, and I shudder to think how much a 1300 sq.ft. condo with a swimming pool would cost in Tokyo.
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Postby cavalier » Tue, 28 Apr 2009 9:44 pm

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


I know that the area around Pine Grove (near Pandan Valley Road) has a ton of Japanese and their children living there. There are a bunch of condos there that might be worth checking out.

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Postby maneo » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 5:11 am

Blue Horizon on West Coast Crescent, next to Waseda Shibuya High School.

So cute to see all the little kids line up for the bus in the morning.

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Postby OogieBoogie » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 9:45 am

Most important is not esteem of your peer, but your self esteem, and living comfortably according to your standard. It's really not important what other people think as long as you're happy with your life.

Stuff like having a big fancy car or a living in maid can easily be avoided, and your everyday life will still be very nice, even if some will think you're a freak. Some expats totally lose it...

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Postby quidsin » Tue, 12 May 2009 10:31 pm

Let me give you some figures to make it easier, assuming you earn $90k.

Monthly salary:
Gross = $7,500
Net = $7,000

Expenses
3 bed condo - $3,000
Utilities - $300
Internet/phones/TV - $300
Groceries - $1000 - $2000
Schools - $200 (local) - $3,000 (int'l)

Optional expenses...
Maid - $700
Car - $1000

Hope this helps

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Postby LoriW » Thu, 14 May 2009 7:02 am

Ouch quidsin!! BIG OUCH!! That essentially leaves NOTHING for spending money/fun/saving!!

In that case, I'm beginning to wonder, apart from the experience, what on earth is the point of working abroad!!

By my calculations ........

$1500 rent + broadband/landline
$300 utilities
$1500 food (supermarket+ hawker centre takeaway)
$1000 good school but not international
$700 Maid

And NO CAR is a bit better but still eats a fair way into a salary!

I think that a daily maid is more expensive than a live in but many live in maids can be rather problematic since they may be from very poor parts of South East Asia. A good maid is an absolute treasure - one cousin in particular had the most amazing treasure that I simply wanted to put in my suitcase and bring home with me!!

The lifestyle in singapore is geared more towards paid domestic help rather than the fancy domestic appliances we are used to in the UK! I have a good quality (Miele) dishwasher and washing machine at home - front loading washing machines are a rarity and dishwashers even more so!!

Yet while we have been on holiday, it's very much a matter of at night throw your clothes in the laundry bin and hey presto, when you get home the following afternoon, it's all washed and pressed! Not only that, but if we haven't made arrangements for dinner, a meal will be ready for us along with all the washing up done!

I used to feel a bit guilty or weird about this - since I do all the washing and cooking and have a cleaner for 2 hours a week at home! However, my family tell me that it is very much the way of life in the Philippines and Indonesia in particular for young women to marry, have their first child then go to Singapore to work in domestic service as a way of making a bit of cash!

My cousin's maid is almost considered a wealthy woman back on Sumatra! She owns a palm oil plantation ( OK very enviromentally unfriendly) which is run by her husband. She has been with my cousin's family for about 8 years and is very much a part of the family as far as the children are concerned!

So ..... as far as the rich/poor expats question goes ........ $7500 a month probably puts you in the "fairly comfortable" bracket but nowhere even close to the "rich"!! $7500 is probably the average household income for a Singaporean family ........... does that equate to about $45 - 50k pa in terms of value in the UK for household income??

If I were a parent and trying to bring up a family on that here in the UK, I'd be living VERY frugally!! My partner and I have chosen to not have a family and have a combined income of considerably more than that and we are "comfortable" but absolutely NOT rich!!

With my new job in Singapore, I will be on $6500 which after tax will be significantly more than I'm bringing home as my salary alone now. For me, surely the rewards for being 6000 miles from home have to be financial?? I'm terrified of spending all that on simpy surviving!!

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ScoobyDoes
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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 14 May 2009 10:38 am

quidsin wrote:Let me give you some figures to make it easier, assuming you earn $90k.

Monthly salary:
Gross = $7,500
Net = $7,000



I think with the allowances for a wife and kids, taxation at that level is below 5%, certainly i was about 5% over all but the rest is pretty close, budgetery, for having the "standard" lifestyle of condo & Cable.

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Postby jpatokal » Thu, 14 May 2009 10:45 am

LoriW wrote:So ..... as far as the rich/poor expats question goes ........ $7500 a month probably puts you in the "fairly comfortable" bracket but nowhere even close to the "rich"!! $7500 is probably the average household income for a Singaporean family ........... does that equate to about $45 - 50k pa in terms of value in the UK for household income??

FYI, median household income in Singapore in 2007 was $4,870. Quite a few families make do with under $2000/month... :o
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Postby LoriW » Thu, 14 May 2009 3:09 pm

FYI, median household income in Singapore in 2007 was $4,870. Quite a few families make do with under $2000/month...


OK, apologies .......... I suppose, I don't mean median, I'm probably looking at perhaps a family in a similar position to people wanting to relocate where one or both partners are professional people.

If I look around me now at work - the lowest qualified is a graduate with 2 years experience, the highest a PhD with 20 years. I'd say that the "average household income is about £40Kpa. That is where I'd say my figure of $7500sgd a month comes from for an equivalent family.

So from that point of view, the British family would also be spending probably most of their household income on day to day living - and things to make life easier - a cleaner, a childminder/day nursery, perhaps someone to do the ironing.

Of course it's possible to live on less - MUCH less. However, IMO, surely if you give up your life at home to move to a different country short term for work you aren't usually doing it just for fun and you would like a bit of "extra comfort"?

Perhaps I have a slightly bigoted middle class point of view?


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