Working and living in London or Singapore?

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Living and working for a Bank in Singapore or Living and working for a Bank in London?

Poll ended at Wed, 20 Apr 2011 11:42 pm

London
3
43%
Singapore
4
57%
 
Total votes: 7

roni_indian
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Working and living in London or Singapore?

Post by roni_indian » Sun, 10 Apr 2011 11:42 pm

Hello,

I have two job offers from two reputed banks one in London and the other in Singapore.

In terms of work, they are more or less same...

Money wise, I would make around 42000 GBP (before tax) in UK and around S$68000 (before tax in Singapore)

I am single and need suggestion on which would be a better place to live in and save money... Only issue is that, I am not too keen to share a flat / house and would want to live on my own..

I like travelling... I like eating... I want some peace too.. And I am from India...

I am thoroughly confused... :-( please help!!

Thanks!

Roni

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Post by revhappy » Mon, 11 Apr 2011 12:00 am

Hmm.. thats interesting. There are many aspects to consider, if its only money then its easier. Even then it depends on whether you want to save more or enjoy life more or a balance of both.

You need to find out the after tax amount that you make in both places and then check out the cost of living in both places.

Then there it the aspect of weather. If you like the whole house for yourself then London will be better as you can stay further away and rent a 1 bedroom flat for cheap. SG you will have to rent a 2 bedroom HDB or a Studio condo which will cost you more than 30% of your salary. Cost of most comodities should be same or cheaper in London. Public transport is cheaper in SG but owning a car is more expensive but owning a motorcycle is cheap.

If I was in your place I would choose London mainly due to the fact that its a different continent. Singapore is just like Chennai in India, in terms of the weather. Here you wouldn't really feel away from home. Its like just a modern Indian city. London on the other hand is a totally different experience if you are from south asia. You have access to such wonderfull places in Europe. Even in terms of job opportunities, London should be much better to switch jobs and billing rates there are much higher than here especially if you in IT. As you mentioned its in a Bank, I am not sure if its IT or not. But in general the work culture in London is better,7.5 hours a day v/s 8 hours here. Here opportunities are few and far in b/w and you will feel stagnated after sometime.

Thats my 2cents/pence :wink:
Last edited by revhappy on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by roni_indian » Mon, 11 Apr 2011 12:04 am

Thanks... That was useful..

I am not going ot be in IT.. I will be more into Risk..

FYI Post Tax Income London ~ S$5200 and that in Singapore company its S$5500

Europe is a major reason which is confusing me a lot... The opportunity London will give me to travel and see some Europe... That Singapore will not give me.. But Singapore wins hands down when it comes to flying back home!

Any more suggestion?

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Post by revhappy » Mon, 11 Apr 2011 12:13 am

roni_indian wrote:Thanks... That was useful..

I am not going ot be in IT.. I will be more into Risk..

FYI Post Tax Income London ~ S$5200 and that in Singapore company its S$5500

Europe is a major reason which is confusing me a lot... The opportunity London will give me to travel and see some Europe... That Singapore will not give me.. But Singapore wins hands down when it comes to flying back home!

Any more suggestion?
I wouldnt consider flying back as such an important factor. It takes 8 hours to get from london to mumbai/delhi and it takes 4.5 hours from SG. Flight cost wise its 600SGD vs 400Pounds I guess. So depending on the frequency of travel, you need to decide.

With salary being same at both places, and the potential to get a much higher salary growth in London, that would be my obvious choice.

EDIT: If you like to eat out everytime then London will be expensive and Singapore will be cheaper. If you can cook yourself then you can save a lot more money in London.

Remember London has a higher cost for labour, so anything that involves services it will be more expensive in London for example eating in a restaurant, going by taxi, even haircut, lol.

So if you are the DIY kind of person then London gives you more bang for the buck. If you like everything taylor made and served to you come to SG.

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Post by Saint » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 1:29 pm

My opinion,

The novalty of living in London will soon wear off when you fined out just how expensive the cost of living is. A half decent one bed apartment in say South London will cost you GBP800pcm and then add on another 150 for Council Tax and bills. Yes you can get cheaper but they will be bedsits and not particularly close to a tube or main line station. A monthly travel card will set you back approximately 150 depending on the zones you need. That's before you even look a eating/drinking out, taxis, cinema etc

Other points to consider

Safety, no comparison
Efficiency, no comparison
Cleanliness, no comparison
Weather, no comparison

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Post by BillyB » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 1:42 pm

Saint wrote:My opinion,

The novalty of living in London will soon wear off when you fined out just how expensive the cost of living is. A half decent one bed apartment in say South London will cost you GBP800pcm and then add on another 150 for Council Tax and bills. Yes you can get cheaper but they will be bedsits and not particularly close to a tube or main line station. A monthly travel card will set you back approximately 150 depending on the zones you need. That's before you even look a eating/drinking out, taxis, cinema etc

Other points to consider

Safety, no comparison
Efficiency, no comparison
Cleanliness, no comparison
Weather, no comparison
Big +1

I've done the rounds with banks and IM's in London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore. If you are young and into socialising / networking and building your profile, HK or possibly London is the place to be. If you are into a great living environment, slightly less frenetic pace and quality of life then Singapore wins hands down.

Also consider the reputation of both houses and opportunities for internal horizontal and vertical movement.

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Post by bethnalgreen » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 2:45 pm

When I first moved to London I was single and earning about the same salary as your offer and had an amazing time. I didn't find the cost of living on that income at all bad. I don't get the sense that you would have the same lifestyle in SG on the salary offered here. Recent data is showing that cost of living in SG is now higher than London. In London I also had 6.5 weeks annual leave (which is common) and travelled all over Europe. The working hours are much more manageable than in SG, so you can do things outside of work too. Although shops are not open as late if you are a shopping lover.

I would suggest you to reconsider wanting to live on your own at least at the beginning. In London many professionals live in shared accomodation and it is actually a great way to socialise and meet people when you are new to the city. It also enables you to live in a better location for reasonable rent. Shared houses in London are bigger than in SG, often with gardens as well. It is very common to get a break clause after 6 months rental, so you can always try shared accomodation and move if you don't like it.

Also, I agree with the other poster in terms of career opportunities. In my field having London experience opens many more doors than SG experience, so you will probably find it is better for your career in the long run. Anyway, the financial sector in SG frequently recruits from the UK, whereas the reverse doesn't happen often. So, if you hated London you could still easily come to SG at a later date. Getting a job offer from SG to move to London is less likely.

One thing to note is that no matter where you live, the first time you move from home is very difficult. It can take a year or more to adjust. Homesickness is very real and can be overwhelming. It doesn't matter whether you are somewhere similar or different to your home, you still feel it. In that sense it is helpful if you already have friends or family in your adopted home. Or, you could join groups like sports clubs or take a class outside of the office to meet people. I left my home country in almost 20 years ago and have lived in 7 countries since then... it does get easier - but the first time is the hardest! Good luck.

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Post by BillyB » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 4:39 pm

bethnalgreen wrote:When I first moved to London I was single and earning about the same salary as your offer and had an amazing time. I didn't find the cost of living on that income at all bad. I don't get the sense that you would have the same lifestyle in SG on the salary offered here. Recent data is showing that cost of living in SG is now higher than London. In London I also had 6.5 weeks annual leave (which is common) and travelled all over Europe. The working hours are much more manageable than in SG, so you can do things outside of work too. Although shops are not open as late if you are a shopping lover.

I would suggest you to reconsider wanting to live on your own at least at the beginning. In London many professionals live in shared accomodation and it is actually a great way to socialise and meet people when you are new to the city. It also enables you to live in a better location for reasonable rent. Shared houses in London are bigger than in SG, often with gardens as well. It is very common to get a break clause after 6 months rental, so you can always try shared accomodation and move if you don't like it.

Also, I agree with the other poster in terms of career opportunities. In my field having London experience opens many more doors than SG experience, so you will probably find it is better for your career in the long run. Anyway, the financial sector in SG frequently recruits from the UK, whereas the reverse doesn't happen often. So, if you hated London you could still easily come to SG at a later date. Getting a job offer from SG to move to London is less likely.

One thing to note is that no matter where you live, the first time you move from home is very difficult. It can take a year or more to adjust. Homesickness is very real and can be overwhelming. It doesn't matter whether you are somewhere similar or different to your home, you still feel it. In that sense it is helpful if you already have friends or family in your adopted home. Or, you could join groups like sports clubs or take a class outside of the office to meet people. I left my home country in almost 20 years ago and have lived in 7 countries since then... it does get easier - but the first time is the hardest! Good luck.
Some good points but not sure I agree with some of things you said.

The guy is in finance in middle office - you'll work much harder in London even in a middle office role and even if working for the same house. SG culture is very, very different in that respect, much more geared toward in at 8.30 and done by 6.00 on the dot. In fact you'll find the whole working culture across banking extremely different in SG - hours are much more employee friendly with the exception to HK which involves much more after work stuff. In London, do those sort of hours and you'll be out on your ar*e in a month!!

Not sure about your comment about living in London and travelling around. I think you need to travel frequently to get out of London, although people say the same about SG!!
SG as a hub you have flights to all over SE Asia, can reach Australia in 6 hours, India in 5, Africa and North Asia in 4-6 etc. In London you have the option of Europe within those flying times and thats about it.

But it's swings and roundabouts. Everyone is different. I find London so much less appealing than Asia and particularly SG; maybe because I lived there for 6 years and my priorities have changed somewhat. Give me better weather, fresher food, lower taxes, safer streets, more respectful kids, cleaner environment and more efficiency any day. For me, you can't put a price on your GF wanting to walk round to the garage at midnight and having the peace of mind that she is completely safe.

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Post by OdinZA » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 6:53 pm

6.5 weeks of leave in London is very unusual. 5 weeks is about standard with the option to buy more.

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Post by roni_indian » Sun, 17 Apr 2011 1:42 pm

Saint wrote:My opinion,

The novalty of living in London will soon wear off when you fined out just how expensive the cost of living is. A half decent one bed apartment in say South London will cost you GBP800pcm and then add on another 150 for Council Tax and bills. Yes you can get cheaper but they will be bedsits and not particularly close to a tube or main line station. A monthly travel card will set you back approximately 150 depending on the zones you need. That's before you even look a eating/drinking out, taxis, cinema etc

Other points to consider

Safety, no comparison
Efficiency, no comparison
Cleanliness, no comparison
Weather, no comparison


When you talk of Safety, Efficiency, Cleanliness and Weather... I suppose its more or less same in both the places.. Though I hear crime rates are increasing in London everyday and cleanliness is no where close compared ot what it was historically..?

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Post by roni_indian » Sun, 17 Apr 2011 1:46 pm

OdinZA wrote:6.5 weeks of leave in London is very unusual. 5 weeks is about standard with the option to buy more.
6 weeks is standard.. My current organization is headquartered in London and it gives 6 weeks to its employees in UK and so does the other Bank where I have got a job... Same holiday deal..

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Post by roni_indian » Sun, 17 Apr 2011 1:59 pm

BillyB wrote:
bethnalgreen wrote:When I first moved to London I was single and earning about the same salary as your offer and had an amazing time. I didn't find the cost of living on that income at all bad. I don't get the sense that you would have the same lifestyle in SG on the salary offered here. Recent data is showing that cost of living in SG is now higher than London. In London I also had 6.5 weeks annual leave (which is common) and travelled all over Europe. The working hours are much more manageable than in SG, so you can do things outside of work too. Although shops are not open as late if you are a shopping lover.

I would suggest you to reconsider wanting to live on your own at least at the beginning. In London many professionals live in shared accomodation and it is actually a great way to socialise and meet people when you are new to the city. It also enables you to live in a better location for reasonable rent. Shared houses in London are bigger than in SG, often with gardens as well. It is very common to get a break clause after 6 months rental, so you can always try shared accomodation and move if you don't like it.

Also, I agree with the other poster in terms of career opportunities. In my field having London experience opens many more doors than SG experience, so you will probably find it is better for your career in the long run. Anyway, the financial sector in SG frequently recruits from the UK, whereas the reverse doesn't happen often. So, if you hated London you could still easily come to SG at a later date. Getting a job offer from SG to move to London is less likely.

One thing to note is that no matter where you live, the first time you move from home is very difficult. It can take a year or more to adjust. Homesickness is very real and can be overwhelming. It doesn't matter whether you are somewhere similar or different to your home, you still feel it. In that sense it is helpful if you already have friends or family in your adopted home. Or, you could join groups like sports clubs or take a class outside of the office to meet people. I left my home country in almost 20 years ago and have lived in 7 countries since then... it does get easier - but the first time is the hardest! Good luck.
Some good points but not sure I agree with some of things you said.

The guy is in finance in middle office - you'll work much harder in London even in a middle office role and even if working for the same house. SG culture is very, very different in that respect, much more geared toward in at 8.30 and done by 6.00 on the dot. In fact you'll find the whole working culture across banking extremely different in SG - hours are much more employee friendly with the exception to HK which involves much more after work stuff. In London, do those sort of hours and you'll be out on your ar*e in a month!!

Not sure about your comment about living in London and travelling around. I think you need to travel frequently to get out of London, although people say the same about SG!!
SG as a hub you have flights to all over SE Asia, can reach Australia in 6 hours, India in 5, Africa and North Asia in 4-6 etc. In London you have the option of Europe within those flying times and thats about it.

But it's swings and roundabouts. Everyone is different. I find London so much less appealing than Asia and particularly SG; maybe because I lived there for 6 years and my priorities have changed somewhat. Give me better weather, fresher food, lower taxes, safer streets, more respectful kids, cleaner environment and more efficiency any day. For me, you can't put a price on your GF wanting to walk round to the garage at midnight and having the peace of mind that she is completely safe.
BillyB -

I have a question.. I have heard that British employers are much more professional and they come to work a dot 9.00am and finish everything by 5.00 - 5.30pm (latest) - no extension, no weekend working, taking holidays is in their culture and no one really objects to 2 full weeks of holiday...

But on the contrary working in Asia would mean extending to make your boss happy -> long hours... no leaving before team members start leaving.. so typically the 9.00 - 6.00 is not in practice in Singapore...? In short, they rip you apart and extract much more out of you when it comes to work than is the case in UK?

Please comment and clarify since you have worked in different places...

Thanks!

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Post by BillyB » Sun, 17 Apr 2011 2:06 pm

roni_indian wrote:
Saint wrote:My opinion,

The novalty of living in London will soon wear off when you fined out just how expensive the cost of living is. A half decent one bed apartment in say South London will cost you GBP800pcm and then add on another 150 for Council Tax and bills. Yes you can get cheaper but they will be bedsits and not particularly close to a tube or main line station. A monthly travel card will set you back approximately 150 depending on the zones you need. That's before you even look a eating/drinking out, taxis, cinema etc

Other points to consider

Safety, no comparison
Efficiency, no comparison
Cleanliness, no comparison
Weather, no comparison


When you talk of Safety, Efficiency, Cleanliness and Weather... I suppose its more or less same in both the places.. Though I hear crime rates are increasing in London everyday and cleanliness is no where close compared ot what it was historically..?
Are you nuts?!!

The weather in London is crap, its filthy, nothing works, tax is high, the government is clueless about running a Country efficiently. Crime rates in London are high and growing. There is gun crime, stabbings, street crime, fighting, the kids are little sh*ts.

Singapore is the complete opposite. There is obviously crime in places but leave your wallet in a bar in Singapore and you have a 95% chance of getting it back, cash included. Leave your wallet in a bar in London and you'll get home and find the thieves have found where you live and robbed your house too!!

You seriously need to do some more research on both Countries as your views are quite naive and mis-informed.

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Post by roni_indian » Sun, 17 Apr 2011 2:13 pm

BillyB wrote:
roni_indian wrote:
Saint wrote:My opinion,

The novalty of living in London will soon wear off when you fined out just how expensive the cost of living is. A half decent one bed apartment in say South London will cost you GBP800pcm and then add on another 150 for Council Tax and bills. Yes you can get cheaper but they will be bedsits and not particularly close to a tube or main line station. A monthly travel card will set you back approximately 150 depending on the zones you need. That's before you even look a eating/drinking out, taxis, cinema etc

Other points to consider

Safety, no comparison
Efficiency, no comparison
Cleanliness, no comparison
Weather, no comparison


When you talk of Safety, Efficiency, Cleanliness and Weather... I suppose its more or less same in both the places.. Though I hear crime rates are increasing in London everyday and cleanliness is no where close compared ot what it was historically..?
Are you nuts?!!

The weather in London is crap, its filthy, nothing works, tax is high, the government is clueless about running a Country efficiently. Crime rates in London are high and growing. There is gun crime, stabbings, street crime, fighting, the kids are little sh*ts.

Singapore is the complete opposite. There is obviously crime in places but leave your wallet in a bar in Singapore and you have a 95% chance of getting it back, cash included. Leave your wallet in a bar in London and you'll get home and find the thieves have found where you live and robbed your house too!!

You seriously need to do some more research on both Countries as your views are quite naive and mis-informed.
Thanks Billy!

Weather - 4 seasons and so I thought its kind of better...
Safety - Crime rates I know are rising everyday...
Efficiency - Thought given that I come from India, it will be better any day.. But yeah, Singapore is better as I read and understand..

Thanks for clarifying!

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Post by BillyB » Sun, 17 Apr 2011 2:18 pm

roni_indian wrote:
BillyB wrote:
roni_indian wrote:

When you talk of Safety, Efficiency, Cleanliness and Weather... I suppose its more or less same in both the places.. Though I hear crime rates are increasing in London everyday and cleanliness is no where close compared ot what it was historically..?
Are you nuts?!!

The weather in London is crap, its filthy, nothing works, tax is high, the government is clueless about running a Country efficiently. Crime rates in London are high and growing. There is gun crime, stabbings, street crime, fighting, the kids are little sh*ts.

Singapore is the complete opposite. There is obviously crime in places but leave your wallet in a bar in Singapore and you have a 95% chance of getting it back, cash included. Leave your wallet in a bar in London and you'll get home and find the thieves have found where you live and robbed your house too!!

You seriously need to do some more research on both Countries as your views are quite naive and mis-informed.
Thanks Billy!

Weather - 4 seasons and so I thought its kind of better...
Safety - Crime rates I know are rising everyday...
Efficiency - Thought given that I come from India, it will be better any day.. But yeah, Singapore is better as I read and understand..

Thanks for clarifying!
Apologies - I was a little harsh on the last post calling you naive. To me Singapore is a no-brainer. I'm British but think we have a alot to learn about running a Country and really find little, other than family and friends, appealing about the U.K.

I'm replying to your PM as we speak.

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