is Singapore just too expansive for a family ?

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Snokie
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is Singapore just too expansive for a family ?

Post by Snokie » Wed, 04 May 2011 3:34 pm

Hi,

we are a family of four and about to decide if we move to S or not. The kids have already had some years English courses at school but I don´t think they are fluent enough to survive in a English speaking school but looking at the fees for GEES that sums up to about 1900 per month. Adding the costs for a (cheap) flat for the four of us and I´m close to to say... "game over". I have not yet negotiated the salary. I think it could be something around 6000. Reading the threads about living costs in S is a bit scary.

Any similar experience ? Need some help with my decision to move with the family.

Cheers,
Snokie

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Post by beppi » Wed, 04 May 2011 4:20 pm

International schools are very expensive, and can get away with it because the stereotypical "Expat" (although getting rarer, they do still exist!) gets such expenses paid as part of the package.
The local schools aren't altogether bad (IMHO better than the ever declining standards in Europe) and affordable. Kids adapt fast, and you may place them a year lower than they would otherwise be to ease the transition.
Other than that (and rent, which is comparable to Europe's most expensive cities), life here is same or cheaper than at home.
S$6000/month for a family of four is not much (assuming no other benefits in the package), but possible to get by. We spend much less (family of 3). PM me with more questions (gerne auch auf Deutsch).

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aster
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Post by aster » Thu, 05 May 2011 10:20 am

Rent is the big one over here. If you get a nice salary package that includes rent then you're pretty much set over here. Otherwise it will be a considerable burden on your monthly budget.

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Re: is Singapore just too expansive for a family ?

Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 05 May 2011 5:01 pm

Snokie wrote:Hi,

we are a family of four and about to decide if we move to S or not. The kids have already had some years English courses at school but I don´t think they are fluent enough to survive in a English speaking school but looking at the fees for GEES that sums up to about 1900 per month. Adding the costs for a (cheap) flat for the four of us and I´m close to to say... "game over". I have not yet negotiated the salary. I think it could be something around 6000. Reading the threads about living costs in S is a bit scary.

Any similar experience ? Need some help with my decision to move with the family.

Cheers,
Snokie
Does your employer seriously think you and your family would take a step down in your standard of living to move so far from home? Unless it's a huge promotion (in title only obviously), I can't see why you would do it. It's hard enough to move to a new culture, but to add to that what essentially is tantamount to a cut in pay? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, especially in this time of fluctuating currencies. With a weak US $ our buying power has definitely taken a hit recently. If you know your standard of living will drop, and you just want to do it for the 'adventure' then I guess you could give it a whirl, but I wouldn't let your company take advantage of the situation. Expat packages may be shrinking or even disappearing, but that doesn't mean your income (and the money you won't be saving) should be compromised if you have a decent job at home. If you were desperate, well that's another kettle of fish.

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Thu, 05 May 2011 6:31 pm

Whilst S$6,000 may be on a par with what you earn back home, and we consider tax is much lower in Singapore than just about everywhere else there are some serious costs that need to be looked at.

The S$1,900 you mentioned for the GESS is for one kid only, so double it.
Housing, a cheap HDB with 2-bedroom is around $1,600-$2,000.
Car...... do you need one? Consider another $1,000 per month.
Sundry expenses (Food/TV/Internet/Utilities) may be another S$500 monthly.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

SIR Stirling Moss OBE

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Re: is Singapore just too expansive for a family ?

Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 05 May 2011 7:01 pm

Snokie wrote:Hi,

we are a family of four and about to decide if we move to S or not. The kids have already had some years English courses at school but I don´t think they are fluent enough to survive in a English speaking school but looking at the fees for GEES that sums up to about 1900 per month. Adding the costs for a (cheap) flat for the four of us and I´m close to to say... "game over". I have not yet negotiated the salary. I think it could be something around 6000. Reading the threads about living costs in S is a bit scary.

Any similar experience ? Need some help with my decision to move with the family.

Cheers,
Snokie
Really need more information about current living style, current salary, current educational set up. As a rule, you should not take less than what you are making now, otherwise, when you do finally return, you will be behind the pay scale of your home country.

If you are offered S$6,000, this is only E3,275. S$6,000 is not enough to get a P1 pass. If you are not degree'd you may have difficulty in getting approved for any employment pass.

My view is that for S$6,000 and two kids, it really is game over... unless you are currently living in relatively poor conditions, and are OK with living under modest circumstances in SG.

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Snokie
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Post by Snokie » Thu, 05 May 2011 11:23 pm

I´m likely too conservative with my salary estimation. Will have some talks about this next week.

I found this link also helpful: http://sat.mom.gov.sg/

Thanks a lot.
Much appreciated that you shared your thoughts on this.

Snokie

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Post by scarbowl » Fri, 06 May 2011 4:45 pm

beppi wrote:International schools are very expensive, and can get away with it because the stereotypical "Expat" (although getting rarer, they do still exist!) gets such expenses paid as part of the package.
The local schools aren't altogether bad (IMHO better than the ever declining standards in Europe) and affordable. Kids adapt fast, and you may place them a year lower than they would otherwise be to ease the transition.
Other than that (and rent, which is comparable to Europe's most expensive cities), life here is same or cheaper than at home.
S$6000/month for a family of four is not much (assuming no other benefits in the package), but possible to get by. We spend much less (family of 3). PM me with more questions (gerne auch auf Deutsch).
We moved here from Europe where International School fees are easily 40% higher than Singapore. So that isn't the real issue. Housing costs, though, are easily higher here than much of Europe and pretty much anywhere in the States other than California or NY.

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Fri, 06 May 2011 5:37 pm

scarbowl wrote: We moved here from Europe where International School fees are easily 40% higher than Singapore. So that isn't the real issue.

Well it's quite a serious issue if you come from Europe in the first place and get schoolong for free so it's already infinately more expensive.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

SIR Stirling Moss OBE

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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 06 May 2011 6:26 pm

Ain't that the truth! It's one of the reasons companies always picked up the tab for school. It costs $25K here to get the same education you'd get at a decent public school at home. Globalization has changed education in so many ways. As the parent of children applying to universities in the US, I can tell you it's not always for the better. No one country holds a monopoly good education, it's just whatever the best is your family can afford in the end.

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