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Comparing salaries between London and Singapore

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

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Wed, 08 Aug 2012 5:34 pm

Probably you can save here and there but until you are in Singapore and know what is it all about with your hands on you will never know. A bit more fancy dining is really affordable and enjoyable - probably thanks to your kids you will save here even if being tempted (this is what happened to us). Also surely you would like to travel around and with the kids you would not really go for some backpackers hotels especially that all the top names in the business are again pretty affordable. In other words I would add 5-8k a year for a holiday budget :)

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Postby nutnut » Wed, 08 Aug 2012 5:40 pm

you could actually get a decent condo for around $4.5K a month rather than $6K, but you'd need to do a bit of shopping around, the difference in price is massive depending on age of property normally.

I don't know if you would ever consider a maid? that'll set you back about $1K a month, but, if you get a good one, it's worth every penny.

everything else seems about right...

$225 should be sufficient, much less and you may "struggle" in that kind of environment.
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Postby guyg » Thu, 09 Aug 2012 7:34 am

I'm in a similar situation moving to Singapore next month from london with family in my case both my wife and I have relocation packages from our respective companies so it's not the same but having lived in Singapore before and been a frequent visitor over the years I don't think moving on 200k sgd would damage your living standards you may simply have to rebalance them a little but the life experience is well worth it. We see a car in singapore as unnecessary but as a compromise u should probably plan to live near a handy MRT. As per a previous post you should really consider a condo, they have great facilities and there is more likely to be a community feel.

Also if your wife currently works I assume there will be some savings in terms of childcare that u currently have to pay in uk

I think many expats might forget just how expensive London is and how high taxes are.

Only you will be able to reasses what represents "value" in Singapore but If you are already quite frugal u have no need to worry

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Postby guyg » Thu, 09 Aug 2012 7:51 am

Another thing...
At least consider local schools from what research I have done International Schools are poorer than equivalent public schools in uk whilst local schools are supperior also your kids will learn mandarin. Singapore schools consistently top international rankings and there are signs they are addressing the over empasis on rote learning
We are hoping to ultimatly send our 7 month old son to a local school but again our situation is a little different because his mother is Singaporean, I'm British and went to a public school and would never consider a free school in london but I'm reserving judgement on Singapore until I get a chance to see them.

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 09 Aug 2012 10:34 am

guyg wrote:Another thing...
At least consider local schools from what research I have done International Schools are poorer than equivalent public schools in uk whilst local schools are supperior also your kids will learn mandarin. Singapore schools consistently top international rankings and there are signs they are addressing the over empasis on rote learning
We are hoping to ultimatly send our 7 month old son to a local school but again our situation is a little different because his mother is Singaporean, I'm British and went to a public school and would never consider a free school in london but I'm reserving judgement on Singapore until I get a chance to see them.


Local schools are as good as/superior in many cases, but it seems to be extremely difficult for foreigners to get into the ones they want, which is why it's often not recommended.

Previous comment on the tax rate is a good one though. You will only pay S$20,750/~10.5% income tax on the first S$200k income you make in a year(before possible deductions, but they aren't significant). In the UK I suspect you'd be paying closer to 45-50%.

And it really just is a re-shuffling of your life-style. Some people can handle it just fine (I did), others can't. If you expect the equivalent in everything from an upper-middle class lifestyle in the West, it will be expensive and you'll still not get everything. Can you live in a normal condo, or do you need one with all of the upscale western equivalents for bathroom and kitchen? Can you shop in an NTUC and accept the compromises (regional variations or items that just don't exist), or do you have to buy everything at Cold Storage (or $+) to get the 'western' items? A box of Cheerios here is over S$11. But there are plenty of other cereal brands for less than half that.

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Postby v4jr4 » Thu, 09 Aug 2012 10:50 am

zzm9980 wrote:Local schools are as good as/superior in many cases, but it seems to be extremely difficult for foreigners to get into the ones they want, which is why it's often not recommended.


Extremely difficult? How so? I thought the curriculum is the same as whatever they (foreigners) learned in their previous school.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 09 Aug 2012 2:32 pm

They are difficult to get into because of space and priority given to locals, then PRs, and then, if any spaces left, balloting among the remaining students (but locals still get priority in all classes). Additionally, certain schools are "supposedly" better than other (historically but not necessarily so any more as all follow the same curriculum). The teachers in most schools aren't so much teachers as they are class managers that just give out homework and let the kids' parents spend a fortune on tuition instead. But that's a grouse of a different nature. The results are there, however.

Both of my children when through the local system from K1 through O/N levels.

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London vs. Singapore

Postby ringo100100 » Tue, 14 Aug 2012 9:25 pm

I think S$200k will be similar to your UK income. The increased cost is offset by the lower tax. I took a 25% cut on my gross to come to Singapore in 2005. Now I earn many multiples of my UK salary. I am glad I never listened to those who said: "do go unless you get a raise".

Opportunities in Asia are much greater than in UK at the moment.

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Postby ThinkDifferent » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 3:21 am

JR8 wrote:The question then, is does SGD 200,000 as a package (inclusive of all allowances) get us to where we need to be?

No! As that is less than you are earning in England.


Wrong. It is actually more than what he is earning in England.

Singapore tax for this salary is around 12%, whereas in UK it is around 35%.

To be exact, his 95K+ wife's 35K gives around 11.2K USD / month net.

200K in Sing will add about 10K of CPF money on top., and 210K is around 12.5 K USD/month net.


Not to mention that living standards in UK are way lower than in Singapore.

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Postby Mi Amigo » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 11:20 am

ThinkDifferent wrote:Not to mention that living standards in UK are way lower than in Singapore.

Er, that's a bit of a blanket statement; on what data do you base this claim?
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 11:30 am

Yeah, I believe the scenario is "London" not the UK in general. Big difference. Kinda of like the difference between district 9 or 10 and 23 here in Singapore or 9 or 10 and JB.

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Postby ThinkDifferent » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 11:47 am

Mi Amigo wrote:
ThinkDifferent wrote:Not to mention that living standards in UK are way lower than in Singapore.

Er, that's a bit of a blanket statement; on what data do you base this claim?


I base this claim on living in both London and Singapore for an extended period of time.

Singapore, assuming same amount of money and same distance from the city centre, will get you more comfortable life style (better apartment, cleaner environment, cheaper and yet more reliable/safe transportation etc.).

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Postby Mi Amigo » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 12:04 pm

Fair enough, but at the end of the day that is a subjective opinion based on your particular experiences. The published data around this is mixed - for example, this site shows a slightly lower overall cost of living index for Singapore compared to London, although it does state "Local Purchasing Power in London is 10.65% higher than in Singapore." Whereas in this 2011 Quality of Life Index the UK is ranked 9th and Singapore is ranked 92nd.

TBH, my own experiences don't tally with these rankings, but my overall point is that I think it's wrong to make a blanket statement that "living standards in UK are way lower than in Singapore." For some they may be; for others, definitely not.
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby the lynx » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 1:26 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:Whereas in this 2011 Quality of Life Index the UK is ranked 9th and Singapore is ranked 92nd.


...And I thought I'm quite comfortable living here :o

Probably in comparison to my home country :P

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Postby Mi Amigo » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 1:42 pm

Yeah, I'm quite comfortable living here too, and the rankings are based on various factors that may or may not affect invididual people. But the point is that things are not always clear-cut enough to make such a generalisation as ThinkDifferent did.

People come to this site looking for help and I think we should all try to give information that is as realistic as possible. If a person in London automatically assumes that they will have a better standard of living just by virtue of moving to Singapore, they may be disappointed. If they are able to negotiate a nice expat package with allowances for housing, transportation, education, etc. plus a nice salary hike, then the chances are they will see a significant uplift in overall their standard of living. But as we all know very well, the costs of living here (shopping, eating out, utilities, transportation, etc.) have gone up considrerably in recent years, as have some of the 'irritant' factors discussed elsewhere on the forum. So, with all due respect to ThinkDifferent, we need to be careful about how we position the red dot vs. other places.
Be careful what you wish for


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