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Another Expat Package Question

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

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 5:04 pm

If your nick is an indication as to where you are from, then that is a sizeable chunk of change, considering S/S taxes, New York State Taxes and New York City Income taxes (I assume New York City still has an Income tax return). But yeah, you're right about the tax exclusion. Now everybody who has net taxable income over 91,500 will pay the same rate of tax to start with as whatever the tax rate would have been had there not been any exclusion whatsoever. So, being Single would have one savings of $20,302, but your starting tax rate on the taxable amount would be 28% on the first $80,350 and 33% on the next 200,00+ or thereabouts.

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Postby Brooklynjenn » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 4:34 am

First, I want to thank everyone for the great advice. We got our package, and it was great, covering everything we had discussed here and more. You all really helped us know what we needed and to recognize what a great deal they offered us. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 6:55 am

Thanks. Despite our acerbic remarks at times, we are here to help those who try to help themselves. Glad we were able to help this time. Expectations and realizations often do not go hand in hand any more. Especially without having knowledge from the ground as it were. Most of us "old timers" have from 3 to 30 years experience of most facets of this "Little Red Dot".

Hope you have a smooth transition here. Good Luck.

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Postby BillyB » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 8:55 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Thanks. Despite our acerbic remarks at times, we are here to help those who try to help themselves. Glad we were able to help this time. Expectations and realizations often do not go hand in hand any more. Especially without having knowledge from the ground as it were. Most of us "old timers" have from 3 to 30 years experience of most facets of this "Little Red Dot".

Hope you have a smooth transition here. Good Luck.


It's nice when someone takes the time out to feedback

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 9:24 am

:cool:

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 7:03 pm

Brooklynjenn wrote:Wow, thank you so much for the detailed and thoughtful responses! I will definitely take these things into consideration, some of which I hadn't considered. We may not be able to rent out our house for the mortgage here, and it is an extremely difficult time to sell here. I believe we would be underwater on our mortgage. I am certainly not up for home schooling, so we'll definitely need a good school.

What the poster said about losing money coming back to the US is a concern. I know one guy just came back from Asia and lost $75,000 from his salary. HR told him there was a bump in pay for the Asia post that you lose coming back. I suppose if you get the bump on the way there it works out, but it is definitely something to work out in advance so there are no surprises. We are also of the opinion that the loyalty doesn't go both ways anymore, having experienced it first hand at the last company.

I do think there is some merit to living outside Orchard or it's neighboring districts, but he also works awful long hours and 30 minutes each way is an hour lost seeing the kids. The office is near Raffles. Is there a district within a 20 minute subway ride or walking that we should also be considering? Is the East Coast a viable option?

Thanks again for all the information. It is indeed helpful.



The East Coast can be great for a lot of reasons (recreation facilities, breezy (though I never really believed this), lower prices) but it is a tough commute if there is even a slight chance your kids going to SAS.

We lived in both the heart of Orchard and in true neighborhoods a little further afield. Both have their advantages but being able to walk everywhere is a convenience that is hard to measure. Since your kids are so little, all you really need is a great pool and playground and some playmates.

Our original package, a long, long time ago included:

Home leave flights twice a year
Housing equalization/housing allowance
International school tuition for all our kids (bus was never covered)
Serviced Apartment/Hotel for 6 weeks while we found a place to live
Car allowance
Club membership

And while this is considered obscene by today's standards, it was pretty much straight down the fairway at the time for people in similar positions. Singapore was still considered a hardship posting at that time, and was in fact still classified as 'third world.' Why it's relevant now, is because, for all my husband's subsequent jobs in Singapore (3? 4? I've lost count) his compensation had to remain fairly constant. It's a blessing and a curse, because it's almost impossible to perpetuate, but at the same time the precedent your original package sets can be used as a bargaining chip later on.

What Strong Eagle said is very true ~ I know plenty of people who used the local standard of compensation to guide theirs which made it almost impossible for them to move home. They all took huge hits. This should never happen. I'm not sure what the relevance of what the average local income is when deciding how to compensate an expatriate on a 2 year contract? It's helpful to better understand the country, but should not have a bearing on what you take home. The whole point of an expat package is to insure success of the employee in a foreign posting and a smooth transition back to the home country.

I also know lots of people that didn't hang on to any real estate back in the US/UK/Australia and basically got priced out of the market. They can't afford to buy the house they were living in before they moved. Even with prices coming down, this needs to be safeguarded against.

There are so many hidden costs associated with being an expatriate, and then later some savings, but there is a learning curve which is why some companies compensate on a sliding scale. They know it'll take 6 months or so before you figure out where to shop, for example.

Don't forget to ask for full repatriation as well. This can be very expensive, and is often overlooked. If you get a paid homeleave, where is it to? Can you fly into SFO and be home or is OAK better? Or SJC? Now is the time to clarify. Do you get cash or do you get tickets? Also important.

Good luck with all of it, it sounds like you're doing all your due diligence, which is great. And keep asking questions despite the ruffled feathers!

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Postby richie303 » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 10:48 am

Good Luck, with the kind of package you are talking about, life in Singapore should be very simple and enjoyable for you!

Should we ever bump into you, remember, we are the dishevelled ones eating at the Hawkers and living in the outskirts :P

(I'm only Jealous, I am sure your husband deserves the rates he is paid... Still jealous though :P)

Really, good luck! hope it's everything you want in life!
Richie - East Coast Superbabe...

infinity8
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Postby infinity8 » Fri, 05 Aug 2011 3:02 pm

I think Orchard is a really pricey area to live in, on average most people take 40 mins or so to commute to work each day. it's not a huge problem if you don't get a car but it can get really packed on the trains at times


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