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Moving for work - initially excited, now apprehensive. Help!

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heatherandrichard
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Moving for work - initially excited, now apprehensive. Help!

Post by heatherandrichard » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 3:12 am

Hello all,

I've been browsing this forum for the last week or so and must say it is excellent. I value your advice and anticipate your feedback as i'm due to be relocated very shortly and know very little about life in Singapore.

I work for a start-up company, although well-backed financially, and a position in Singapore has become available. I've been told that i'd need to move in the next 3 weeks. My wife will also be joining me.

Although i'm yet to see the official contract (as I said it all seems very last minute) I have had a verbal salary offer and would like to know how I would fare in the city. I'd also appreciate any help with what to expect with relocation package so i'm armed when it comes to negotiating.

I'm currently on £25k per year in the UK, and my new deal will work out at approx $90,000SGD per year (an increase of approx $36,000)

I'll be working on Orchard Road. Ideally i'd like a flat within walking distance and from what i've seen online, i think i'll struggled to find one for $3k per month ($36,000) per year. Based on that, I wouldn't really be getting an increase at all.

I then need to look at the costs of living vs the UK, as I may actually be worse off over there than staying. Could somebody tell me what the take home pay (after tax) is on $90,000?

Flights home as part of the package seem to be the norm, and a lot seem to offer health insurance. I've never been to Singapore before either, and will never get to see the area before I agree so I'm planning on asking to be put up in a hotel for the first 3 weeks to find a house, and have the first week as holiday so i can familiarise myself with the area.

Thanks for taking the time out to read this. Any help or info would really help to put my mind at ease.

Thanks.
Last edited by heatherandrichard on Wed, 08 Apr 2009 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Heather & Richard

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hexadecimal
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Post by hexadecimal » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 3:29 am

Hi @heatherandrichard,
I have almost same situation as you, but wating for the work pass.
I think u can use
http://www.salary.sg/2007/income-tax-calculator/
for taxes. So far I know u pay the tax yourself once a year. What is your profession, how much work experience do you have? And in which city have been working in UK?

heatherandrichard
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Post by heatherandrichard » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 3:36 am

Hi,

Working in IT, SEO. 2 years experience, working in Newcastle.

What about yourself, where are you from, and have you had an offer yet?
Heather & Richard

heatherandrichard
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Post by heatherandrichard » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 3:38 am

Hi again,

Your chargeable income is $90,000
Your gross tax payable is $4,560.00 after the 20% tax rebate.
Your effective tax rate is 5.07%.

Is this right? I was under the impression the tax rate was 12-15%
Heather & Richard

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hexadecimal
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Post by hexadecimal » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 3:46 am

SEO Search Engine Optimization?
My sector is IT too, Software Engineer, mostly a web developer,
my offer is almost half and I have almost 2 years experience however I don't care money that much and since I am single I think I'll survive easily, and experience will be more important.

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Post by heatherandrichard » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 4:11 am

Cool,

Well where abouts are you from? how old are you and when are you planning on going over? would be good to meet up for a drink over there!
Heather & Richard

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hexadecimal
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Post by hexadecimal » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 4:40 am

Hi,
I am from Turkey,
26 yo,
I am still waiting for the pass, I hope I'll be there like in May if I get the pass. ;) Sure would be cool...

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Moving for work - initially excited, now apprehensive. H

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 7:15 am

heatherandrichard wrote: I'm currently on £25k per year in the UK, and my new deal will work out at approx $90,000SGD per year (an increase of approx $36,000)

Considering the costs of living in London, and Singapore, the uplift is quite okay as Singapore is really not a 3rd world country. It's much safer, cleaner and more efficient (gov't)

I'll be working on Orchard Road. Ideally i'd like a flat within walking distance and from what i've seen online, i think i'll struggled to find one for $3k per month ($36,000) per year. Based on that, I wouldn't really be getting an increase at all.

I would have to question why you would want to live within walking distance. Here it's not the same weather as in the UK. This is the tropics, It's hot & humid at the best of times and wet, hot & humid the rest. And with public transport at your fingertips, (MRT has 3 stations along the Orchard road belt with an additional one further down which is a hub as well. A 15 minute ride via MRT will put you into a area that you can probably afford although it depends on how you want to live (type of abode). But if you are young and don't have any children you can do it quite easily and with the current mess, rents are coming down daily. It's do-able. Are you living at home with your parents? You are not paying any rental in the UK?

I then need to look at the costs of living vs the UK, as I may actually be worse off over there than staying. Could somebody tell me what the take home pay (after tax) is on $90,000?

This has already been answered well. Income taxes are extremely low here. Everything else is taxed to death though. Hopefully you don't smoke and are a moderate drinkers.
sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by ukdesigner » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 12:49 pm

What you need to bare in mind is that 90k at the moment is worth about £41k whereas last year it was worth £30k.

There has been a massive reduction in the exchange rate so take that into consideration.

As sms says you don't have to live close to orchard road. The MRT is excellent here and buses are frequent too and air conditioned.

Cost of living here is massively cheaper than the UK. Gas, Leccy & water is way less than you'll be used to paying.

Your biggest expense will be alcohol (really really expensive here) and cigarettes if you smoke.

Shopping at supermarkets are also expensive here. If you don't mind eating at hawker centres it's alot cheaper and you'll also integrate with the local community plus the food is great.
Don't p*ss me off! I am running out of places to hide the bodies.

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Post by Asian_Geekette » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 1:34 pm

ukdesigner wrote:
Your biggest expense will be alcohol (really really expensive here) and cigarettes if you smoke.
Or if you would frequently travel or know someone who does, you can get the alcohol a bit cheaper in the Duty Free Shops. :lol: :P
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

heatherandrichard
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Post by heatherandrichard » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 3:03 pm

Thanks very much for the info. We are young without kids, and don't drink an awful lot :???: so we should be ok.

Where would you recommend searching for housing then? And are these online prices what you would expect when searching for a place in singapore?

Also, did anyone get flights home in their package?

Regards
Heather & Richard

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Post by MamaCass » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 7:43 am

I have lived as an expat twice and flights home were covered both times. One was a US based company and currently a UK based company.

Good Luck

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 9:41 am

Regarding MamaCass' statement, make sure it's spelled out in the employment contract as to the number of trips home per year (minimum one - Preferably two) and the Pax to be covered (preferably the whole family).

For that matter, all perks should be spelled out in the contract BEFORE signing on the dotted line. Especially things like moving expense because at the moment you shouldn't burn any bridges when coming over here. There already been cases of new expats being here a more or couple of months and then being dumped. Nobody knows how far down the current economic mess is going to go or for how long. What is a healthy company today may go belly up next week if "their" clients go belly up and this is especially true for start-ups who usually only have a few nice contracts initially to get them started. Even if their client is a big company who knows (think Enron, possibly GM next week, etc.). Forewarned is forearmed! :-|
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

LoriW
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Post by LoriW » Sat, 11 Apr 2009 3:17 am

I'm due to move in July - same sort of mixed feelings excited and terrified, although I shall be moving without my partner.

I'm going to be on a local terms contract - so no relocation or trips home, although I'll have a healthcare plan included in my contract.

I really don't understand the tax situation at all though - the IRS website calcuation seems to come up with a ridiculously tiny figure although I was expecting about 15%.

I suppose I'm in a slightly better position than the average expat since I'm british born to Singaporean parents and know the country and culture very well having visited regularly since I was tiny and have family there.

It's just the actual logistics of moving and living .......... banking?

Singaporean banks seem to expect you to keep a substantial balance or they charge you but pay you no interest?

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Post by splat » Sat, 11 Apr 2009 10:15 am

heatherandrichard wrote: Where would you recommend searching for housing then? And are these online prices what you would expect when searching for a place in singapore?
Regards
With the online prices you can offer 20% less than asking and find a place. We did. Some will say no, it depends how over priced the asking price is, but most of my friends who are renewing right now got at least 20% off asking prices.

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