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Job offer to spend 1/3 year in Singapore

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jollymolly
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Job offer to spend 1/3 year in Singapore

Postby jollymolly » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 11:58 am

I received an offer for a job which will be in the US for 2/3 of the year and in Singapore the other 1/3 of the year. The offer provides a decent salary and a housing stipend of $1500 USD/month while in Singapore. Will that housing money be enough to find a place to stay in Singapore for the short time I'm there? Or are all leases longer than that? If that amount isn't enough money, how much would typically be required per month for housing?

What websites would you suggest I look at for finding apartments/flats/roommates?

Also, does anyone else have any advice for living in Singapore when your spouse is back in another country? I'm not sure if this is the best situation for me, but it seems exciting. I have never been so far away from my spouse though and for such a long time.

Thanks!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 12:23 pm

I would suggest you use the search engine at the upper right side of this page just under the Profile link. These things have been discussed ad nauseum.

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Postby jollymolly » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 12:37 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I would suggest you use the search engine at the upper right side of this page just under the Profile link. These things have been discussed ad nauseum.


I did and I only found threads saying cost of housing for HDB housing. I don't qualify for that do I?

Can you please direct me to the threads you are speaking of that discuss short term housing costs?

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 12:41 pm

jollymolly wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:I would suggest you use the search engine at the upper right side of this page just under the Profile link. These things have been discussed ad nauseum.


I did and I only found threads saying cost of housing for HDB housing. I don't qualify for that do I?

Can you please direct me to the threads you are speaking of that discuss short term housing costs?


Look up 'serviced apartment'

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Re: Job offer to spend 1/3 year in Singapore

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 4:11 pm

jollymolly wrote:I received an offer for a job which will be in the US for 2/3 of the year and in Singapore the other 1/3 of the year. The offer provides a decent salary and a housing stipend of $1500 USD/month while in Singapore. Will that housing money be enough to find a place to stay in Singapore for the short time I'm there? Or are all leases longer than that? If that amount isn't enough money, how much would typically be required per month for housing?

What websites would you suggest I look at for finding apartments/flats/roommates?

Also, does anyone else have any advice for living in Singapore when your spouse is back in another country? I'm not sure if this is the best situation for me, but it seems exciting. I have never been so far away from my spouse though and for such a long time.

Thanks!


If you get a roommate/share a place, that will be enough. Do a search and you'll find tons of websites for looking for this arrangement.
If you get a Service Apartment, you'll be able to afford a place in Geylang, and that is about it. And not the "nice" half on the high numbered lorongs.

Are you a US Citizen or green card holder? If yes, be aware you will pay full US income tax on your time in Singapore, in addition to the 15% you will need to pay the Singapore government.

If you're not US Citizen/green card holder, you'll only pay US income tax on your time in the US, and then 15% Singapore on your time here.

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Re: Job offer to spend 1/3 year in Singapore

Postby JR8 » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 4:25 pm

zzm9980 wrote:If you get a roommate/share a place, that will be enough. Do a search and you'll find tons of websites for looking for this arrangement.


Would that be legal though, as he won't have residency? I recall when the EPEC scheme was axed (or the in-the-works EPECs had their LTVP entitlement cut to 3 months) we concurred here that there was a double-whammy, those on the 3 month LTVPs would have to stay in serviced accommodation or a hotel.

If the OP needs the latter then his budget is inadequate (S$63/day!).

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Re: Job offer to spend 1/3 year in Singapore

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 4:35 pm

JR8 wrote:If the OP needs the latter then his budget is inadequate (S$63/day!).


You can find places in Geylang for under that! :p

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Postby nutnut » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 5:19 pm

And if you are here for a 1/3 of a year then who is employing you? US company or Singaporean company? you will need more than a 90 days stvp for that if all in one go!! Or is it a few weeks at a time?

Has your employer considered that? A Serviced Apartment/Hotel will be $100 SGD a night + unless you stay in somewhere that zzm suggests, in which case I would not take the job ;)

$1500 USD would not do it! you'd need at least double that unless they are arranging it for you!
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Postby jollymolly » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 9:29 pm

A US company is employing me and paying me USD in the US, so I would just pay US income tax then right? They dont provide housing in Singapore and don't have any places lined up right now, but are hoping to have a better idea of where people would live by next year ( when we arrive there).
I'm just trying to figure out if $1500 would be enough or if I will need to dip into my salary more too, which will be hard to do because I'll still be paying for my US place too.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 9:40 pm

jollymolly wrote:A US company is employing me and paying me USD in the US, so I would just pay US income tax then right? They dont provide housing in Singapore and don't have any places lined up right now, but are hoping to have a better idea of where people would live by next year ( when we arrive there).
I'm just trying to figure out if $1500 would be enough or if I will need to dip into my salary more too, which will be hard to do because I'll still be paying for my US place too.


I think the conclusion is that US$1500/mo will get a mattress on the floor in a doss-house in the red-light district. ZZM can clarify - he seems to be the resident expert on such places ;)

More seriously though it is hard to know what your expectations are. Are you say aged 21 starting out and willing to put up with discomfort? Or are you getting on for 40, established and need your comforts? Just two points on the possible spectrum.

Some more personal background would be helpful to put things in perspective for you.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 11:37 pm

jollymolly wrote:A US company is employing me and paying me USD in the US, so I would just pay US income tax then right? They dont provide housing in Singapore and don't have any places lined up right now, but are hoping to have a better idea of where people would live by next year ( when we arrive there).
I'm just trying to figure out if $1500 would be enough or if I will need to dip into my salary more too, which will be hard to do because I'll still be paying for my US place too.


If a US company is paying you in USD and you are working in Singapore for that company, they will need to have a legal entity to employ you. If you are a rep, that is, performing activities that do not earn income, but explore business opportunities, then a rep office is all they need to do. If you are performing activities for a client that results in revenue, then the US company must form a Singapore company.

They need to have a legal entity so that you can be legally entitled to residence here. No legal entity on the part of your company and you cannot be legally entitled to work. You are limited to 90 day visas (which you can probably sneak by with, if judiciously handled) and Serviced Apartments, which cost a hell of a lot more than their proposed allowance.

Either way, if you are living in Singapore, and earning dollars as a result of your work in Singapore, you are obligated to report income and pay tax here, even if your check is deposited elsewhere. See

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1192

You will pay Singapore tax at the non resident rate and will pay US tax without the earned income exclusion because you don't meet time requirements (at the least).

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 04 Apr 2012 10:52 am

jollymolly wrote:I'm just trying to figure out if $1500 would be enough or if I will need to dip into my salary more too, which will be hard to do because I'll still be paying for my US place too.


If you are maintaining residence in the US then your entire housing allowance is a complete tax write-off for your US based company on their US corporate taxes. They should be willing to give you a lot more.

A realistic budget for a half-way decent Service Apartment (Think Residence Inn or one of the 3/4 star chains in the US) would be USD $4500/month. Nothing you'd want a family in, but so-so for yourself. I know someone who stayed at one next to Paya Lebar MRT and can get you in contact if you'd like more info.

Also consider your food allowance. Are you getting one? Normally I wouldn't even ask, but if your company realistically only offered USD $1500 for housing, that tells me they have their heads in their asses and probably haven't thought about food. I'd say US $1500 for food for a month would a minimum amount, unless you're expected to eat hawker centers every meal.


And JR- I only know this because I had a friend from the US who was "travelling the world" on a budget ask me about one. She was trying to find a hostel , and asked me if "Geylang Lorong 4 Service Apartments" (or something similar) would be safe for her. (Single asian american female, late 20s, looks late teens). I advised her while Singapore is safe, that is one of the few areas she might feel a bit uncomfortable staying at ;)

I think the rate was like S$55 a day with Internet.

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Postby jollymolly » Wed, 04 Apr 2012 11:55 am

I'm almost 30, married, but my spouse won't be with during the time in Singapore. As such, I'm fine living in a small space like a studio or even something similar to a college residential hall. I just want it to have A/C and to be free of cockroaches (I have allergies). I'm willing to have a roommate if it allows me to live somewhere nice.

I've seen pics of some Serviced Apartments and they look amazing. I would love to live in a high-rise with a luxurious swimming pool and fitness center, but budget is more important to me, so I'm not sure if those would be affordable unless I found a few roommates. Is there something like craigslist in Singapore for finding roommates or apartments?

I'll be working near the Queenstown/Clementi areas.

I do get a food per diem of $1500/month too. I heard food was pretty inexpensive in Singapore, so I was hoping to use some of that toward housing if there is money left over. That amount of money seems like so much to me for food for 1 person, but are you all saying that won't go far? I live off of only a few hundred a month here in the US for food.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 04 Apr 2012 12:26 pm

You can survive on $20 a day (or less) if you like Asian foods and can eat in hawker centres. for $50 a day you can pretty much not worry, in fact, you won't spend $30/day unless you try, or have to eat in upmarket Restaurants.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 04 Apr 2012 4:24 pm

Yeah, what SMS said. In my experience, food will be $3-5 per meal on the low end (Hawker centers), but then about $25+ per meal for anything moderately nice sit down. Not a lot in the middle, except places in malls that charge double what hawker centers charge for the exact same food.


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