Singapore Expats Forum

Shall I take this offer

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

Anniefreckles
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Shall I take this offer

Postby Anniefreckles » Fri, 26 Nov 2010 9:07 pm

Hello everybody,

I have been offered a position in Singapore.
I have never been in Singapore before and I have no idea what costs are involved. I would appreciate any suggestions and advice.

It will be me & my partner only (my partner is currently self employed as web designer - and very good at it too I might add).

My partner would want to move his business to Singapore, reading the posts regarding this it looks like he would need an Entrepass, however we don't have the SG$50000 for a capital investment, are there companies that provide this service for a fee (as there are here)?

The employer has asked for a fast response, so any information provided would be most appreciated.

AnnieF
Last edited by Anniefreckles on Sun, 16 Jan 2011 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BillyB
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Postby BillyB » Sat, 27 Nov 2010 9:14 am

It's a very average expat package, but if you want to live in a 2 bed place near orchard you'll need a bigger housing allowance or use some of your salary to offset the difference.

For a modern 2 bed place in the O.R area you would be looking at between $4-5k rental per month.

For tax look at the IRAS website - covered in this forum quite a number of times, as are most of the questions you are asking.

Many of your answers are dependent on your lifestyle. But if you plan on going out and eating out frequently, travelling etc, then out of $7k (assuming you are the main earner until your fella set's up his business over here)you will be left with very little to save.

As for your other half's business. I'm sure he will be able to keep his existing clients if he is that good. Just bear in mind that web design companies are ten a penny in Singapore and you've got to compete with the outsourcing option of using Indian based companies who will do the same level of work for 10-20% of the cost.

Your holiday entitlement is fantastic. The norm here is 12-14 days per year so to get 20 is very generous particularly in the retail trade.

I could be wrong but I don't believe you will face any issues living together - maybe someone else can add clarity to this as i don't fully understand your question.

I would do some more research as Singapore isn't for everyone, despite it being a great Country to live, and its a big commitment to re-locate, especially for your other half. You need to ensure he meets the criteria to bring his business to Singapore and that you have adequate capital, although I believe there are other routes you can go down if you have an existing client base. Perhaps someone can expand on this.

Hope this helps and good luck with things!

Anniefreckles
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Postby Anniefreckles » Sun, 28 Nov 2010 10:30 am

Thank a lot Billy B. What is a good expat package? My partner had the same issue here but you pay for what you get. 50% of his clients are those who went for a cheaper option and weren't happy with the result.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Nov 2010 11:21 am

How long is a piece of string? The median household income in Singapore is around 5,500/mo. The median Income per working adult is around 3600/mo. 85% of Singaporean own their own homes.

Anniefreckles
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Postby Anniefreckles » Sun, 28 Nov 2010 6:52 pm

sundaymorningstaple- I appreciate your point but this is not about what Singaporean earn or what Singaporean have.

It means that I am going to give up what I have/earn at the moment and take a job in a new country that I have never been before. I am not aware of cost of living in Singapore, all I hear is that Singapore is a very expensive country, so numbers are irrelevant. This is like when I moved to Dubai, my friends back in UK thought I am so lucky, earning double what they earn and don't pay tax.

But the reality is something else, rents are very high here unless you live in the middle of no where and share the accommodation. Everything is expensive here since everything is imported, easily double the price you would have paid back home.

I live in a nice area in a 2 bedroom apartment. Will I get the same in Singapore by accepting this offer? If I am going to have a life with a lower standard than what I already have, then I don't see the point of moving to another country and go through the hassle of relocation.

Thanks for your comments though.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Nov 2010 7:10 pm

Again, it's all subjective isn't it. Your idea of a nice two bedroom apartment/condo might cost 5 to 8K/month. But again, your idea of a nice place might only be 3-5K/mo because we don't know you or your definition of nice. My advice? You really need to do a search of this site as the cost of living has been described by dozens here along with each one's "ideal" guesstimate of costs here (rental costs are very volatile from quarter to quarter) . There are as much variations as there are hairs on your head (assuming you are not bald like me). Additionally, I would strongly recommend making an exploratory trip here to gauge for yourself the types of accommodation that are available and at what price ranges. Also, visit our hosts main page and run through their offerings (they are a real estate portal).

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 29 Nov 2010 8:47 am

You should start by googling property websites to have an idea on how much rental is going to cost.

FYI, Orchard is definitely not a cheap area to stay. Not trying to sound condescending but there is no way you are going to be able to afford a house/villa there. A decent house/villa around Orchard will set you back from $15-30K/month. Like previous posters have said, a brand-new 2 bedroom can cost between $5K-8K. That's almost the entire amount of your basic salary. But at the same time, an older apartment may cost between $3-5K. Note that rental is likely going to be your highest monthly expenses.

Eating out can be cheap (as cheap at $5/person/meal in a food court) or expensive ($30/person in an average restaurant to $200/person in a fancy restaurant). I'm not sure how do you define "doing activities". For traveling, Singapore is a very accessible country. Flying around the region can be fairly cheap as there are alot of budget airlines and you can pay as little as $30-50/night for accommodations and $200-300 for air flights to nearby cities.

Depending on the landlords, dogs may/may not be allowed in rental accommodations. However, dogs are generally not allowed for hotels (your first month stay).

While the employer may be a very very high luxury brand, it doesn't mean every employee get very very high pay. Every company will have its corporate structure, and I am not sure how high a corporate ranking is, a store manager. You might want to find out more about your corporate ranking as well.

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Re: Shall I take this offer

Postby JayCee » Mon, 29 Nov 2010 2:02 pm

Anniefreckles wrote:The employer is a very, very high luxury brand.

By decent, I mean live in a nice area, (Orchard looks to be the place to live), minimum 2 bedroom apartment (preferably a house/villa), can afford to eat out, do activities, travel, saving....

Are dogs allowed in rental accommodations?

How many % tax do I need to pay?

How difficult will it be as an unmarried couple to set up house together (Dubai makes it hard).


Taking a wild guess here, but I'm thinking either one or the new Prada or Gucci stores that will be opening up soon at The Paragon or Marina Bay Sands?

If so I can see why you're thinking of living at Orchard but personally I would never live in that area, just don't see the fascination of living in a very busy, noisy and very overpriced concrete jungle. Same goes for Novena and Newton. I've met expats who move there, work in CBD or Orchard and socialise in the same areas, then complain about Singapore being boring having only seen about 5% of it, seems a bit of a waste to me but to each their own I suppose. Anyway, if you want a house forget about Orchard road, in fact forget about a house altogether and just go for the 2 bed flat option instead, move a bit further out (East coast in one direction or Buona Vista/Holland in the other) and you should be able to get a 2 bedder for 3-4K depending on how old the building is and the facilities. For HDB it would be a bit cheaper.

For dogs - depends on the owner but I see lots of dogs at my condo and I saw lots at my old condo too so I don't think you'll have any major hassles.

Tax - google is your friend

No problem at all moving into a place with an unmarried partner, I do it with my girlfriend and both our names are on the lease, this is Singapore not Malaysia :wink:

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Postby Anniefreckles » Mon, 29 Nov 2010 2:34 pm

Thanks a lot to everybody who made an effort and gave me some ideas about Singapore.
I wish it was Prada or Gucci but it is not and I the position is office based. I picked Orchard after doing some research on internet and it seemed it is central and most expatriates live there, East Coast is the same but apparently far from my office. Apart from that, I have no idea about Singapore. However, somehow I am getting an idea. Any other information is highly appreciated.
All the best...

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Postby lumi » Wed, 01 Dec 2010 11:13 pm

I'm a recruiter and have placed alot of people in Store Manager roles in Singapore. I can tell you that your offer is quite a good one and that many people earn far less in the same role with luxury brands.

I know the salary structures of pretty much all the luxury brands in Singapore so feel free to send me a PM if you want more specific info about your offer. I also used to live in Dubai so if you tell me which are you are living in I will be able to give you an idea of the equivalent here in Singapore :)

Anniefreckles
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Postby Anniefreckles » Thu, 02 Dec 2010 6:46 pm

Thanks lumi, I am not going to work as store manager, the position is office based but somehow I will be involved in store's performance.
I live in JBR, Sadaf in a 2 bedroom apt with full see view.

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Postby lumi » Thu, 02 Dec 2010 8:18 pm

Is it a Retail Manager role then? Retail Managers of course earn more than Store Managers but it's a bit tough to comment on salary without knowing the exact role.

I know JBR - one of my friends lived there and it's quite nice! The view certainly won't be as nice in Singapore but it you like buildings and lights then there are some alright ones I guess. The interiors of apartments in Singapore (and by that I mean the finishings) are much better in my opinion compared to Dubai. You get alot of sloppy work in Dubai with freshly laid tiles not being even or being cracked for example even in the nicer and more expensive apartments.

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Postby ksl » Thu, 02 Dec 2010 11:27 pm

Take the offer, what have you to lose really? Life is up and down, so it will test your resilience. You can go anyplace you want in Singapore within 30 minutes, the infrastructure is excellent, so the only worry you have, is can you afford to live here on what you have been offered, and the answer is a very simple yes and if on arrival you feel that you cannot afford to live here, you can make plans to move on.

Accommodation is expensive, if you rush into the trap, that most people do. It's understanding the shark infested waters, by reading the horror stories on Landlords, you need to be worried about. Take your time and you will find a reasonable place to live HDB being the cheapest, Within 25 minutes of your work place.

You need a full recce of any selected area, before you decide, so wait and look around, there are a couple of cheap hostels, and back packer places around the 35 to 45$ a night. Leave your stuff in the extra storage units and take your time to find a place to live if you think you will be financially stretched. You can find 2 bedroom HDB under 1800, but you also have to be careful of the schemers, people that offer these places to rent, they take a deposit and do a runner.

So the checking of apartment ownership is a must, with HDB, the same scam happens with condo's too. This is a get rich quick Country at the expense of naive expatriates.

Agents you must be also cautious of. Other than that your income is doable

Anniefreckles
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Postby Anniefreckles » Wed, 08 Dec 2010 4:07 pm

Many thanks to all of you for your advice.
I have now accepted the offer and will be moving to Singapore within 6 weeks. The offer has been amended and I feel more comfortable now. Wish me luck. Cheers, javascript:emoticon(':D')


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