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Confused Brit Family looking to come to Singapore

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 01 Aug 2011 1:44 pm

And other have thrived and flourished here. So take all our replies with a grain of salt. :wink:

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boffenl
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Postby boffenl » Mon, 01 Aug 2011 4:20 pm

Do I miss my 3000 square foot home, pulling up in front of the supermarket in my huge SUV, American food with no pork and beans, my extended family and the right to say anything I damned well please? Yes, sometimes. But I treasure the the safety of Singapore as I'm raising a 'tween girl and the outstanding local education system.

I also HATE the heat, but since it's been over 100 degrees in my "hometown" for 10 days out of the last 12, I'll take the SG heat--plus, no snow to shovel in 130+ days.

Yes, there is a lot to get used to, and some people love the opportunity to be an unexpected adventurer. Others are here for the professional advancement and opportunities afforded our families.

It's a very tough decision. But I agree, hop on a plane and check it out. Tourist visits don't cut it when you have to live and breath the real Singapore

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Postby imogenben » Wed, 10 Aug 2011 11:12 am

UnexpectedAdventurer wrote:Hi Dan,
Making the decision to relocate is tough, especially sight-unseen.
We've been in Singapore for 14 months and we're planning to leave. The rent is so high here that we're not saving. We love our tiny little house but the commute is killing me. It's only an hour each way, but the waiting around time and the rudeness of the local commuters is just too much for me. Plus, it's only 12 minutes to get to work in a taxi, so the inefficiency of it all is grating.
HDB flats look horrible. They're concrete dog boxes and the lifts smell like toilets. I didn't even consider them.
I would strongly suggest you jump on a plane and come to Singapore to have a look at the housing options, feel the heat here (I HATE it) and go visit some schools. I would NOT expect a child to commute one hour to school, that's outrageous. Nor could I afford to shell out for an International School. Our daughter isn't 2 yet, so we didn't have to make schooling choices.
I have found working and living in Singapore to be hot, sweaty and soul destroying. You really need to love your job or be paid a lot to work here. And have a company car.
I'll probably get a lot of flak for posting this. But that's my advice from our year and a bit of living here. We'd visited Singapore many times as tourists, and relied on advice from colleagues and online forums. But only you know what you can put up with/enjoy.
Best of luck!


Hey, at least you are brutally honest. :wink: I agree it is tough to live like a local. But at least we get to leave if and when we want to.

movingtospore
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Postby movingtospore » Thu, 18 Aug 2011 9:10 pm

Just my 2c, but IMHO if your company is sending you here they owe it to you to put you on a decent enough package that you can 1) put your kids through school and 2) save a bit for when you're old and grey. If they want an expat managing their office here that's part of the cost of doing business. It is NOT easy to get a spot in local schools these days for expats, and as the posts above mentioned there are costs there too. So, if I were you I would take a proposal to your company that they pay for schools, period. The other stuff is gravy - expats don't need all the ridiculous extras they have had here over the years. But schools and good health insurance are a must.

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Mi Amigo
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Postby Mi Amigo » Sun, 21 Aug 2011 1:43 am

I agree with the PP and would give the OP the same advice that was given to me many years ago - don't sell yourself short. For sure the landscape has changed in recent years and the 'traditional' expat packages of old are much rarer nowadays, but nevertheless I do think some negotiation with the company is recommended. Moving to Singapore and the time spent working here will (hopefully) be a great experience, but the employer should also take into account the fact that you and your family are giving up a lot as well. I'd suggest asking for some of the 'usual' items - e.g. one month's paid Serviced Apartment on arrival (to give you time to find a place to stay for the longer term), education, transport and housing allowances, health insurance (this is a must IMO), etc.

Obviously a balance has to be struck and you certainly don't want to appear greedy, but in many cases employers are not very familiar with the typical packages that are put together for employees relocating to a place like Singapore. As the old saying goes, if you don't ask, you don't get. And since you are willing to make the move and help the company, they should be prepared to recognise that and reward your dedication in a way that will make your stay more comfortable and fruitful.

Good luck from a fellow Brit who made the move some years ago and is very happy that he did so.
Be careful what you wish for

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Sun, 21 Aug 2011 4:26 am

movingtospore wrote:Just my 2c, but IMHO if your company is sending you here they owe it to you to put you on a decent enough package that you can 1) put your kids through school and 2) save a bit for when you're old and grey. If they want an expat managing their office here that's part of the cost of doing business. It is NOT easy to get a spot in local schools these days for expats, and as the posts above mentioned there are costs there too. So, if I were you I would take a proposal to your company that they pay for schools, period. The other stuff is gravy - expats don't need all the ridiculous extras they have had here over the years. But schools and good health insurance are a must.



Ridiculous extras?

People will be demanding servants next.

revhappy
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Postby revhappy » Sun, 21 Aug 2011 12:55 pm

Singapore's cost of living especially the rental has now gone through the roof. I feel Singapore has lost its attractiveness as an expat destination.

I am really hoping a strong recession hits here and crashes the property market. :roll:

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nakatago
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Postby nakatago » Sun, 21 Aug 2011 1:04 pm

revhappy wrote:Singapore's cost of living especially the rental has now gone through the roof. I feel Singapore has lost its attractiveness as an expat destination.

I am really hoping a strong recession hits here and crashes the property market. :roll:


As soon as the gahmen kicks out most of the foreign talent and the foreign "talent."


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