Some general advice/recommendations about living here!

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Jadesy
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Some general advice/recommendations about living here!

Post by Jadesy » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 9:56 pm

Hi folks, this forum is great and I’ve been lurking around and reading all the threads for a few weeks. I was hoping that you would be able to help me out with some questions that I have, which I am still confused by, even after reading other answers on here!.....

Background:
My work are transferring me to Singapore for 1 year from Scotland (BIG change in the weather!). Arriving around start of December 2011. My boyfriend will also be joining me.

Questions:
1. There are no weird rules where an unmarried couple are not allowed to rent a property together are there? (I’m thinking of the type of regulations in Dubai when I ask this)
2. What’s the best way to manage healthcare. Should we just wait for something to happen and then go along and pay, or do you advise a monthly plan (if there is one) etc.
3. Any recommendations for doctors/dentists/opticians please?
4. Who do you use for contents insurance. Normally when I’m on hols, I’d get travel insurance, but this isn’t the same as a holiday, so hoping for some advice on who you’d use for your insurance?
5. Any recommendations for hairdressers?
6. Did anyone use a shipping company to move from UK to Singa – if so, would you recommend someone?

Ok thanks a lot, I’ll stop there for now. Thank god for the internet though, and having this sort of resource to make it easy!

Singapore Property Search

 

cxxx
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Post by cxxx » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 11:39 pm

Hey, I'm from Scotland too, moved out in Feb this year, the weather takes a bit of getting used to!

In answer to your questions,

No dubai like rules for unmarried couples (worth investigating employment pass options for your partner though)
Most employers provide medical and dental (chargeable to the employee) for staff and partners/family etc, not had to go to the doctors yet but think it's pretty expensive
Doctors/dentists are everywhere so probably easier to research this once you know where you will be living or working, there are a few chain type places that seem popular with expats
I haven't got insurance, can't help with that one
Salons again everywhere, I go to Sabun cabane (prob spelt that wrongly) in tanglin mall for my highlights, be prepared to fork out a small fortune if your blonde!
Our relocation was all arranged by my partners employer which was fab, they sent pickfords to move all our stuff, took about 6 weeks to arrive and was all in one piece and I was happy with the service etc.

Hope this helps

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Post by beppi » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 5:54 pm

cxxx wrote:be prepared to fork out a small fortune if your blonde!
I am blonde (male) and pay S$10 for a haircut just like everybody else in the heartland.

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JR8
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Re: Some general advice/recommendations about living here!

Post by JR8 » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 8:02 pm

Jadesy wrote:Hi folks, this forum is great and I’ve been lurking around and reading all the threads for a few weeks. I was hoping that you would be able to help me out with some questions that I have, which I am still confused by, even after reading other answers on here!.....

Background:
My work are transferring me to Singapore for 1 year from Scotland (BIG change in the weather!). Arriving around start of December 2011. My boyfriend will also be joining me.

Questions:
1. There are no weird rules where an unmarried couple are not allowed to rent a property together are there? (I’m thinking of the type of regulations in Dubai when I ask this)


You need to be resident to lease a property. So sounds like you'll be ok. But on what basis is your boyfriend going to be 'joining you', i.e. visa?

2. What’s the best way to manage healthcare. Should we just wait for something to happen and then go along and pay, or do you advise a monthly plan (if there is one) etc.
It depends on your attitude to risk I suppose. We just went to the doctors when we had to. Insurance just amortises health costs with a fat margin on top to pay the spotty teenage sales-person. Over to you!

3. Any recommendations for doctors/dentists/opticians please?

We used our local doctor on the next door HDB estate. He was good and it cost peanuts really.
Dentist? I use Dr. Adeline Tan, Rochor Dental Clinic, 175 Bencoolen St., #01-54 Burlington Sq 6338-2305. But do note I originally picked this practise at randon out of the Yellow Pages at the time, as it was next to where I was staying. Still that said, I am very impressed with their service.
Opticians. Can't help. I'm still 20/20.


4. Who do you use for contents insurance.

What ever kind of insurance you want in SG it will cost a lot more than in the UK, as the market is very uncompetitive. We never had such cover in SG. In fact I've not had such cover for c. 20 years. I just spent what would be a year or two's premium on making my home like Fort Knox. Simpler.


Normally when I’m on hols, I’d get travel insurance, but this isn’t the same as a holiday, so hoping for some advice on who you’d use for your insurance?

I was pondering this earlier today as it happens! When I used to be based in Europe and travelled, I'd get insurance, and have vaccinations, and take anti-malarials etc. But when I moved abroad I did none of this. In fact no one based in say SG seems to have vaccinations, anti-malarials and so on, it seems to be a 'thing tourists do'. Despite having roved the world I have yet to meet anyone who has ever been inflicted with the ailments tourists commonly take precautions against. Go figure!


5. Any recommendations for hairdressers?

QB House, $10. Simple.


6. Did anyone use a shipping company to move from UK to Singa – if so, would you recommend someone?

Pickfords. But you want to meet and get a quote from at least three companies.

Ok thanks a lot, I’ll stop there for now. Thank god for the internet though, and having this sort of resource to make it easy!

Good luck. December is going to be some change from Scotland to SG!

Jadesy
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Thanks!

Post by Jadesy » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 8:49 pm

Thanks guys, this is good and useful info.

When you say you have to be resident to rent, do you mean I'll have issues in that i'm only going to be there for a year?

I'll get in touch with a few Movers - but sounds like Pickfords know what they are doing.

I don't think healthcare will be covered by my employer, as the request to go to Singapore came from me, and not so much from the business, so it's all being treated a little different to a normal relocation (hence why we don't want to fork out loads for stuff!) Will have to have a think about it.

Boyfriend will either be contracting with his current company, or possibly working for a company in Singapore (discussions underway) but he's looked at the Visa's and seems like it'll all be fine.

Funny to find another Scot on here!

Any recommendations on what to do with mobile phones, etc? I'm about 4 months in to a 2 year contract over here (ugh) so bit stuck there, but just wondering what you guys did for mobiles when you moved over? Might just get a pay as you go Singapore one to do that.

Thanks
Sarah

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Re: Thanks!

Post by beppi » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 9:03 pm

Jadesy wrote:When you say you have to be resident to rent, do you mean I'll have issues in that i'm only going to be there for a year?
You need a residence visa (e.g. EP) to be allowed to work here, so you'll be fine renting. One year is also the minimum rental period most landlords would agree to (after some haggling that starts with 2 years).
Jadesy wrote:I don't think healthcare will be covered by my employer, as the request to go to Singapore came from me,
If your emplyer already has employees in Singapore (as he usually must to be allowed to hire foreigners), there will be a system for them that you follow. Almost all employers here provide some kind of health coverage for their employees.
Jadesy wrote:Boyfriend will either be contracting with his current company, or possibly working for a company in Singapore (discussions underway) but he's looked at the Visa's and seems like it'll all be fine.
Foreigners here cannot legally contract or freelance. Only full-time employment with a local company (who applies for the respective visa for this) is allowed.
Jadesy wrote:Any recommendations on what to do with mobile phones, etc?
You press the number of the person you want to call, then hold it on one side of your face and talk into it.
Whether you opt for pre- or post-paid is up to you, both are easily available here.

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 9:13 pm

Beppi covered most things.

re: Mobiles. I tried to keep my number after moving. That meant having to make one PAYG call at least each 6 weeks.

Then one day I found all my credit had gone (my a/c was hacked), raised the issue with Carphone Warehouse, they started a check on my account, but due to inactivity (due to having no credit!) they deleted my phone number I'd had for 10 years before resolving my query. Grrrr was the least of it.

Anyway. Get a PAYG SIM in SG, it is simple. (Most contracts seem to come with phones and 2 years seems standard).

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Post by Barnsley » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:14 am

beppi wrote:
cxxx wrote:be prepared to fork out a small fortune if your blonde!
I am blonde (male) and pay S$10 for a haircut just like everybody else in the heartland.
I pay 16$ , try and support the local shop :D
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Post by Tonka » Sat, 03 Sep 2011 3:31 pm

Hi,

We have just moved here about 6 months ago. And love it. My husbands work helped us with the paperwork for the employment pass. Well they printed it out for us and signed the bits that they needed to sign. They also filed it. It was a smooth process.

Renting is trickier. But if you find a good real estate agent who understands the market and what you want then no problems.

Health insurance was interesting. My husband has great coverage through his work. The full monty. However they wouldn't cover myself and our 2 year old son. And we needed to figure it all out pretty quick as my son got virus after virus when we first arrived. We found that the Dr's on a whole are good and reasonably priced.. I got lots of quotes about health insurance and settled on NTUC hospital cover. Basically it means that we have to pay to go to the Dr's etc but that if myself or my son needs to be admitted over night into hospital we are covered. There are varying degrees of coverage etc. But for a year's worth of hospital cover we paid around $650 for the two of us. This is a very simplified breakdown of things.

Goodluck.

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Re: Some general advice/recommendations about living here!

Post by luminoso » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 5:03 pm

Jadesy wrote: Questions:
1. There are no weird rules where an unmarried couple are not allowed to rent a property together are there? (I’m thinking of the type of regulations in Dubai when I ask this)

Absolutely no such rules in Singapore


2. What’s the best way to manage healthcare. Should we just wait for something to happen and then go along and pay, or do you advise a monthly plan (if there is one) etc.

There is no nationalised healthcare in Singapore. Depending on the severity of your illness you can visit a GP (S$25-50 per visit), an A&E clinic (S$80-120 per visit) or a consultant specialist (S$300 and up per visit). Major surgery, if required, costs a bomb. So you would be better served if you had insurance.


3. Any recommendations for doctors/dentists/opticians please?

Raffles Medical Group has branches all over the country and generally provide a great service. For opticians, try Optical 88 or Capitol Optical.

4. Who do you use for contents insurance. Normally when I’m on hols, I’d get travel insurance, but this isn’t the same as a holiday, so hoping for some advice on who you’d use for your insurance?

Sorry can't help here


5. Any recommendations for hairdressers?

Kim Robinson at Takashimaya is the best but be prepared to pay upwards of S$150 for a haircut, up to $300 if you are served by a more experienced stylist. For a cheaper, safer option, go for Toni & Guy. They are a trusted international brand.



6. Did anyone use a shipping company to move from UK to Singa – if so, would you recommend someone?

Yes, I highly recommend Seven Seas. They are a great company with a great service that includes door-to-door delivery. They pick up at your home in the UK and ship to your home in Singapore.




Ok thanks a lot, I’ll stop there for now. Thank god for the internet though, and having this sort of resource to make it easy!
See the above. Hope it helps.

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Post by ksl » Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:47 pm

(S$300 and up per visit).
This figure is not quite right for specialists, as I have seen several top specialists in their field, from heart specialist who i still frequent on a 6 monthly basis. Skin specialist, and rheumatoid arthiritis specialist all of which have been closer to $100 give or take 30$ either way, depending on time it takes per visit. and I don't get subsidies.

Any operation in Singapore is very expensive compared to Thailand, and Taiwan, which maybe half the cost. I have also had quotations from both Countries for the angiogram. Minimum with no balloon or stint just a measurement of blood flow is 10 to 12k in Singapore and almost 5k in Taiwan.

Though the service in Singapore is top notch and dedicated to Tourism travellers, with best accommodation on the wards which maybe close to $300 a night

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Post by Mi Amigo » Thu, 15 Sep 2011 12:13 am

On the home contents insurance question, we've used NTUC Income for some years and their premiums are reasonable.
Be careful what you wish for

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Post by ksl » Thu, 15 Sep 2011 1:40 pm

I normally tip my hairdresser 2$ as 10$ for a haircut is a little on the cheap side, or used to be when it was $3 to the pound.

Insurance policies always check the small print.

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