Singapore Expats Forum

Confused Brit Family looking to come to Singapore

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.

Sponsored by:
Image
The Club Residences

symodan21
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon, 18 Jul 2011
Location: Macclesfield
Contact:

Confused Brit Family looking to come to Singapore

Postby symodan21 » Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:28 pm

Hi,
I have been offered the chance to move to Singapore and set up an office for my company, selling Pharmaceutical Equipment. The local market is strong SE Asia, so they are keen on opening an office.
My issue is I dont think with the cost of rent and education we will be able to afford to relocate. Here is why and maybe some of you can advise me if I am wrong.

Ok so we are mid 30s couple and have 1 boy 9 and 1 girl 5

In effect I suspect my take home will be around 7.5K which is better than home.

If we look at Rent a 3 bed apartment near an MRT with decent facilities pool gym bbq area etc looks to be about 3-4K. (if we are to move we want an improvement in our lively hood enjoy the heat etc)

Then if we wanted to educate privately for 2 looks like 60-80K a year (I wont get money for this I suspect from my employer).
How do people afford private education there must be some mega earners which I know we wont be.
Also my wife runs a web business in the UK and will continue to do so from Singapore but wont take a salary that will be paid in the UK.

Everything else cost of living wise seems ok, but either we use the local schools (which Im not against from the education purpose it will be better than UK standard) but it worries me that being an expat child in a local school will be hard for them?

Also where near and MRT is good for families to live given my budget 2-4K a month rent?

Thanks so much hope as a first post ive not broken any rules!!!

Dan
Thinking of a move out to Singapore welcome the help and advice.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 1:14 am

You can manage okay, though condo's are expensive.

You could find HDB probably 3 bedroom between 2 and 2500....

I'm also a Brit and not on expat terms, the local school is fine, the kids adapt very easy and there are many expat kids in local school too. Though you cannot pick and choose school, that is a problem as Singaporeans and their families get first priority our daughter had 1 hr travelling on the school bus, the last to be dropped off, though the school was good.

We have looked at condo's and to be honest we found them far too small like the chicken huts in UK. So we eventually purchased older HDB.

Local facilities 2 X 50 meter pool and a community centre 10 minute walk for us is no problem, though we have a car. Cost of living is increasing all the time, so 7.500 is workable but it's expensive eating out in western restaurants, You need to squeeze more from the company otherwise it appears they are screwing you especially in Pharmaceutical Equipment!

Officially your wife would have to declare the internet business even if it is in UK, 183 days residential status and she will fall under Singapore tax laws and business registration laws, she will be able to swap the dependant pass for a Letter of Consent to run her internet business, You will have the first 183 days to get that sorted. I think the threshold is $22K before tax is payable, not sure, though the tax on income earned overseas maybe tax free in Singapore if it's paid overseas you would need to check or maybe SE can help you out on that question.

JayCee
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 981
Joined: Mon, 04 Aug 2008
Location: Not Singapore

Postby JayCee » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 10:12 am

You can manage, but you won't have a particularly high standard of living.

As you say you want an increase in your standard of living I'm not even going to mention HDBs as I don't think living in an HDB estate is an increase as it doesn't provide anything you wouldn't have in the UK.
If you pay 3-4K for a condo, that leaves you roughly 3.5K a month for everything else (and don't forget you need to save some of that for your tax bill at the end of the year).

Local schools are cheaper than international ones but they're still not free, as a foreigner you're looking at upwards of 500 for your two kids for the fees. I'm also not of the opinion that they will be better than the ones in the UK, especially in Macclesfield (where I was born), as they don't teach kids to think independently like western schools (hence why anyone with any money here wants to send their kids to International Schools or abroad). Not to mention the numerous after-school tutorial centres that all and sundry send their kids to, which will cost you too if you want your kids to attend (which they may need to to keep up with the rest).

Throw in your utilities (250+ as I would imagine you're going to be running the aircon as you won't be used to the heat) and your internet/cable tv (100+), aswell as food (western food is expensive, and I doubt you can get a 5 year old and a 9 year old eating hawker food every night), kids clothes etc... and you're not going to have much left over at the end of each month.

Don't even think about buying a car, the prices here are the highest in the world.

Of course, you have your wife's business too, although if she's paid in pounds you won't be getting much of an exchange rate what with the GBP/SGD rate being the worst it's ever been at the moment, so I don't know if you want to move that money here or leave it in the UK for when you move back.

Unless they're prepared to bump you up to at least 10K a month I'd personally I'd be inclined to stay in the UK, the weather might be crap but moving halfway across the world just for that is a bit of a risk IMO
Last edited by JayCee on Tue, 19 Jul 2011 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
I HAVE MASTERS!

User avatar
boffenl
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 10:14 am

Singapore "local" schools are good--my daughter is 9 and in Primary 4. She has always attended local school so I don't have a comparison for International Schools. We're impressed with the level of instruction and extra curricular events and its certainly better than the US and Canadian standards back home.

You need to come visit to do a 'Look-See' at the condo facilities and schools. Size is relative--I walked into an old HDB and didn't want to leave, of course I live in a 3 room (2 bedroom) built in the 1970's. Even newer HDBs and condos make the old pigeon hole comments seem more like mouse holes. You didn't mention a car, and you can get around without one. MRT is good, especially with little people (little emperors here). Good luck, but try to get as much as you can!

User avatar
Saint
Director
Director
Posts: 3535
Joined: Thu, 16 Jun 2005
Location: The Juban Stand, Boat Quay
Contact:

Re: Confused Brit Family looking to come to Singapore

Postby Saint » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 11:51 am

symodan21 wrote:Also my wife runs a web business in the UK and will continue to do so from Singapore but wont take a salary that will be paid in the UK.


What do you mean by your wife won't be taking a salary paid in the UK? Do you mean it will be paid into a Singapore account? If so this is actually illegal in Singapore unless your wife has the appropiate employment pass/ set up a Singapore company etc etc.

symodan21
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon, 18 Jul 2011
Location: Macclesfield
Contact:

Postby symodan21 » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 4:39 pm

[quote="JayCee"]You can manage, but you won't have a particularly high standard of living.]

Thanks JayCee, normally I wouldnt want to give my salary details, but I think in this case its worth to do so because then I can see what my actually worth should be.

I was basing my 7.5K on after tax, I used a gov spredsheet. I would hope for a salary of between 100-120K

We see this as a posting rather than a life long move, and we have been through a similar experience of going to the USA (North Carolina Hot and Sticky) before it fell through weeks before the visa was due. so in our minds we have a good feel for what it takes to move.

If anyone knows what a Sales Manager covering Sing and SE Asia should expect, realistic! Then Id welcome the feedback as the company told me you tell us what you need salary wise. But I cant just say $200K as thats double what I get now! I dont think there that keen!
Thinking of a move out to Singapore welcome the help and advice.

symodan21
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon, 18 Jul 2011
Location: Macclesfield
Contact:

Re: Confused Brit Family looking to come to Singapore

Postby symodan21 » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 4:42 pm

Saint wrote:
symodan21 wrote:Also my wife runs a web business in the UK and will continue to do so from Singapore but wont take a salary that will be paid in the UK.


What do you mean by your wife won't be taking a salary paid in the UK? Do you mean it will be paid into a Singapore account? If so this is actually illegal in Singapore unless your wife has the appropiate employment pass/ set up a Singapore company etc etc.


I mean she has a web based business that she will keep a salary in the UK, paided into our UK bank account (this will help cover things in the UK like Mortgage payments if we dont rent), this will be sub the UK tax level the profit gets re invested each year to grow the business. So I believe it will be below the Singaporian level of $22K a year as well. I will have to check out the local law properly of course
Thinking of a move out to Singapore welcome the help and advice.

symodan21
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon, 18 Jul 2011
Location: Macclesfield
Contact:

Postby symodan21 » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 4:50 pm

Talking of cars, the company mentioned a car, but would I be best skipping a car and getting travel passes for myself and my family? Ive had a car since I could drive so it would be strange, but the walking would help shed a few pounds.

I am coming back to Singapore in September for work, hopefully at the time of the GP, as my cousin is track manager or something like that so ill try to blag some free tickets! Anyway aside from work the main aim will be to discover as much as I can in the 4/5 days I will have. I hope by searching on here I can find some groups / organisations that will guide me in my quest.
Thinking of a move out to Singapore welcome the help and advice.

JayCee
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 981
Joined: Mon, 04 Aug 2008
Location: Not Singapore

Postby JayCee » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 5:18 pm

symodan21 wrote:Thanks JayCee, normally I wouldnt want to give my salary details, but I think in this case its worth to do so because then I can see what my actually worth should be.

I was basing my 7.5K on after tax, I used a gov spredsheet. I would hope for a salary of between 100-120K

We see this as a posting rather than a life long move, and we have been through a similar experience of going to the USA (North Carolina Hot and Sticky) before it fell through weeks before the visa was due. so in our minds we have a good feel for what it takes to move.

If anyone knows what a Sales Manager covering Sing and SE Asia should expect, realistic! Then Id welcome the feedback as the company told me you tell us what you need salary wise. But I cant just say $200K as thats double what I get now! I dont think there that keen!


If they're not being too stingy and asking you what you need then I'd be inclined to tell them this:

- International School fees for both kids (because you want your kids to stay on the same curriculum as they are on now in preparation for when you go home, if they go to local school it's different)
- car (you don't need one, but worth a try saying you do as you're coming from a part of the UK where it is essential to have one, not somewhere like London where people are used to using public transport)
- once year flights home
- salary of 100-120K (whatever you're happy with)
- medical insurance

You could try for housing too but that might be pushing it. I'd give up the car if necessary but would stick to your guns on the other things. This way your salary isn't much more than currently so they can't complain that you're asking for double, but you're getting the things taken care of that are essential such as your kids schooling.

Good luck
I HAVE MASTERS!

E-CBS
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 11 Feb 2011
Location: Singapore

Postby E-CBS » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 6:04 pm

Joining this conversation as I am in a similar situation with regards to the amount offered for a job in singapore and although there is lots and lots of information out there I don't feel comfortable with what I think I can get..

We have 3 kids of which 1 I want to have at an international primary school and 2 to a local secondary school.

My wife wants to work too and will have to find a job once we have settled.

I'm going to share data that I hope is helpful for others and I'm at the same time requested others to shoot at it if it is wrong..! By this I hope to help others in this process and get helped to correct it as we go along.

First I saw the topic starter mentioning 7.5k take home after tax for 100 to 120k per year. I'm sure that is based on calculations but when I check http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=1190
I get to 7.8k after tax for 100k and 9.3k after tax for 120k. Can someone advise these numbers are correct?

I am somewhat confused by the information I have seen so far on local school fees. International ones are clear and can be found on the school website.
Can someone confirm that for an "expat" secondary school student the monthly fee is $486?
http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissi ... chool-fees

With what I know t this stage I have done an excel overview with more data such as rental costs, food, insurance etc etc..
I can share this data for helping others as the model works fine and as said I'd like people to shoot at if anything is wrong.

lukeduke
Member
Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed, 20 Jul 2011

Re: Confused Brit Family looking to come to Singapore

Postby lukeduke » Wed, 20 Jul 2011 2:30 am

I would be keen to hear if your information is correct.

I am potentially -(paperwork to sign) coming out September however my family wont join me until February. being ex-royal Navy and having lived around the world I can handle a 6 month commuting stint. My biggest concern is schooling for my two kids , costs and where to live...(which will be close to the school I hope!)

User avatar
boffenl
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Wed, 20 Jul 2011 9:24 am

Primary school fees are $33 for PR per month--the best deal in Singapore. Not sure if it is different for Work permit holders or not--I assume it's the same. Sorry I can't comment on secondary school but I'll ask around.

E-CBS
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 11 Feb 2011
Location: Singapore

Postby E-CBS » Wed, 20 Jul 2011 3:26 pm

Hi boffenl

Thanks for checking that out.

I'm still confused though :???:

Information here suggests
http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissi ... chool-fees

that for primary a PR pays $51 and an international student (the parent of the international student if the parent is working / staying in Singapore
) pays $356

User avatar
boffenl
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Thu, 21 Jul 2011 5:52 pm

Hummm, not sure, just checked my "bill" from the Ministry and it's $33 bucks. Maybe that's for next year? I know they're raising fees again next year (2012). But I pay $33 for Primary 4--used to be around $14 until a few months ago.

E-CBS
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 11 Feb 2011
Location: Singapore

Postby E-CBS » Thu, 21 Jul 2011 6:09 pm

Yeah, the $51 is for 2012.
Are your children on a PR?


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests