Two of my friends have refused transfers to Singapore

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
Segue
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 1:09 pm
Location: Singapore

Two of my friends have refused transfers to Singapore

Post by Segue » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 1:50 pm

Over the last few months, two friends have received offers to come to Singapore to relocate with their current companies. While they were not offered the full-on expat package, in both cases they were offered relocation and minor housing allowances - the allowances were really baseline - not enough for full rent in the CBD but at least would have cover a portion of cost of living differentials versus where they come from.

So, in both cases they took a trip here to check things out before accepting the offer. Initially they thought their packages were "generous" but after speaking to some housing agents and seeing the condos they could afford, visiting the International Schools, looking at car prices and experiencing the cost of living in general, both of my friends declined the transfer offers.

Of course its easy for many of us who have been here for a while and gradually come to accept inflation. I have to admit, if I were a newbie coming now it would be a shock unless I was on one of those gold-plated expat packages.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39562
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 2:34 pm

Yep, I'd have probably not come either.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

User avatar
nutnut
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1854
Joined: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:20 am
Location: The Mainland....

Post by nutnut » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 5:06 pm

So how?

Is this just a FYI?
nutnut

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39562
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 5:24 pm

I'd say pretty much.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

offshoreoildude
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 9:45 pm

Post by offshoreoildude » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 7:27 pm

Good on them. Of course others from other less well off countries will continue to erode the expat package basis in order to get out of their home country or get a job.

Segue
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 1:09 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by Segue » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 7:40 pm

nutnut wrote:So how?

Is this just a FYI?
Just to start a dialog :D

I'm always wondering how the locals survive. I make pretty good money but still I have to sacrifice a lot to be here relative to my lifestyle when I arrived here 7 years ago. I mean I can just one day pack up and leave this place when I'm fed up with it, but most locals are kind of stuck.

It seems you really have to be in the high paying sectors like financial services to afford a decent lifestyle. Either that or be independently wealthy like a Jim Rogers. I remember the vision that Singapore wanted to become the Monaco of Asia. I think they have achieved this goal.

User avatar
durain
Director
Director
Posts: 3666
Joined: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 8:15 pm
Location: Location: Location: Location:

Post by durain » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 7:58 pm

the grass is always greener on the other side...

vishalgupta2
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 1:12 pm

Post by vishalgupta2 » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 9:36 pm

durain wrote:the grass is always greener on the other side...
I came to Singapore in May on P1 from US and I must say.

I am not on the gold/platinum package but still paid decently.

It's really expensive here, especially the housing, cars etc. I do understand that if I was to compare Singapore directly to US cities, it's not expensive, but in the US you can live in a town close to big cities and much more affordable prices and drive in to the city for work.

I find the food a bit cheaper in Singapore though the quality is way below what I used to get from my csa in US.

Why am I in Singapore? I like the city, especially my wife being a housewife likes the fact that everytime she opens a window she sees more people than she would see in a year in the US.

Singapore has the unique advantage of being close to India so if there is a event in the family or the family needs help, its much more easier.

This was my story, now from the topic of the post, I have been wondering how do people like Admin/office assistants etc survive on their 1.5-2k paychecks?

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 2:59 pm

Post by Brah » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:12 pm

This is a good and timely thread, I'm glad to see it and thanks to the OP.

So....it has not only already begun, now it's making it to the general public.

And this is just the start. At least that's what it seems like from all I've been hearing.

Re the two who turned down their offers, this seems more from a cost perspective - there are intellectual / cultural / cosmopolitan consideration some may overlook, especially if they've never lived overseas and/or depending where they are from - the intellectual and cultural aspects one gives up to be here. For those it may only take being here to see it.

Sure to be flamed by that comment as whinging, which it's not, for example, culturally, I was in Tokyo recently (unfair comparison, I know, but, ) and saw the usual long and impressive list of coming music events - Classical, Rock, Jazz, R&B. Here we get old retreads on their last legs like Toto, Duran Duran, New Order - some of that stuff I really like in their heyday, but a lot of acts don't make it here.

Intellectually, comparing Singapore's IS vs. Japan's Metropolis is not unlike comparing a high school newsletter vs. a newspaper. the dumbed-downess is pervasive and soul-draining.

Fashion-wise, while there are a lot of wacky-ly dressed people in Japan, and they have their fair share of unfashionable people walking around, me and mine felt pretty out of touch there, with so many good-looking and well-dressed oshare people everywhere. While I'm not so fashion-minded, I don't like looking like I buy all my clothes in a suburban mall. That was a wake-up call....

Edits: fixed incomplete post
----------------------------------------------------------------
Re vishalgupta2's post:
Interesting that you find food cheaper here than in the States, I always have thought otherwise. There is cheap cheap stuff like in food courts, but as I don't eat that stuff I do my comparisons about more mid-range dining, and I think it's cheaper, better value for money, and much more variety in the States. Agree with you re the quality

I'm not saying that because I'm from there, but that's just my observation and opinion, others are free to disagree.

I would disagree re the cost of living being more expensive in the States than here, except perhaps in Silicon Valley, midtown Manhattan, or sect few other places.
Last edited by Brah on Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8348
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 11:23 pm
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children

Post by nakatago » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:22 pm

I have one point against living in Singapore: it's too small. Because of that (and it can't be helped), the country has its unique challenges that just are absent in other countries. And a lot of us here--foreigners AND citizens--are already feeling the consequences of failing to address them. Like I said, it can't be helped.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

vishalgupta2
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 1:12 pm

Post by vishalgupta2 » Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:42 pm

Brah wrote:
----------------------------------------------------------------
Re vishalgupta2's post:
Interesting that you find food cheaper here than in the States, I always have thought otherwise. There is cheap cheap stuff like in food courts, but as I don't eat that stuff I do my comparisons about more mid-range dining, and I think it's cheaper, better value for money, and much more variety in the States. Agree with you re the quality

I'm not saying that because I'm from there, but that's just my observation and opinion, others are free to disagree.

I would disagree re the cost of living being more expensive in the States than here, except perhaps in Silicon Valley, midtown Manhattan, or sect few other places.
Well, Silicon Valley, Manhattan, Boston are the areas I meant when comparing cost in cities. I lived mostly in Boston burbs and a bit in San Mateo (SFO area), and as I said even though the cities are expensive, you can live like 30 miles off the city in the US to cut down on cost.

For the food, I find cheap fast food a bit cheaper here (though I am not big on that) and in the US, I used to get my produce from my local csa which is probably the best veggies/fruits you can get but very expensive. I am a vegetarian and can't comment on the cost of meat but thinking about it now, I realize that my thought about food being cheaper may be total crap as my sample is only veggies/fruits and I am comparing against csa.

I take back my words on food cost.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6865
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:35 pm
Location: Once more unto the breach

Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 24 Aug 2012 1:58 am

vishalgupta2 wrote:
Brah wrote:
----------------------------------------------------------------
Re vishalgupta2's post:
Interesting that you find food cheaper here than in the States, I always have thought otherwise. There is cheap cheap stuff like in food courts, but as I don't eat that stuff I do my comparisons about more mid-range dining, and I think it's cheaper, better value for money, and much more variety in the States. Agree with you re the quality

I'm not saying that because I'm from there, but that's just my observation and opinion, others are free to disagree.

I would disagree re the cost of living being more expensive in the States than here, except perhaps in Silicon Valley, midtown Manhattan, or sect few other places.
Well, Silicon Valley, Manhattan, Boston are the areas I meant when comparing cost in cities. I lived mostly in Boston burbs and a bit in San Mateo (SFO area), and as I said even though the cities are expensive, you can live like 30 miles off the city in the US to cut down on cost.

For the food, I find cheap fast food a bit cheaper here (though I am not big on that) and in the US, I used to get my produce from my local csa which is probably the best veggies/fruits you can get but very expensive. I am a vegetarian and can't comment on the cost of meat but thinking about it now, I realize that my thought about food being cheaper may be total crap as my sample is only veggies/fruits and I am comparing against csa.

I take back my words on food cost.
Organic foods (fruits and vegetables especially) are significantly cheaper and better quality in the US, per my wife. This is comparing NTUC and ColdStorage vs Whole Foods, which has the nick-name of 'Whole Paycheck' in the US :)

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6865
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:35 pm
Location: Once more unto the breach

Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 24 Aug 2012 2:00 am

Segue wrote: I mean I can just one day pack up and leave this place when I'm fed up with it, but most locals are kind of stuck.
And this is a lot of why they're turning so hostile to foreigners. :)

vishalgupta2
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 1:12 pm

Post by vishalgupta2 » Fri, 24 Aug 2012 3:24 am

zzm9980 wrote:
vishalgupta2 wrote:
Brah wrote:
----------------------------------------------------------------
Re vishalgupta2's post:
Interesting that you find food cheaper here than in the States, I always have thought otherwise. There is cheap cheap stuff like in food courts, but as I don't eat that stuff I do my comparisons about more mid-range dining, and I think it's cheaper, better value for money, and much more variety in the States. Agree with you re the quality

I'm not saying that because I'm from there, but that's just my observation and opinion, others are free to disagree.

I would disagree re the cost of living being more expensive in the States than here, except perhaps in Silicon Valley, midtown Manhattan, or sect few other places.
Well, Silicon Valley, Manhattan, Boston are the areas I meant when comparing cost in cities. I lived mostly in Boston burbs and a bit in San Mateo (SFO area), and as I said even though the cities are expensive, you can live like 30 miles off the city in the US to cut down on cost.

For the food, I find cheap fast food a bit cheaper here (though I am not big on that) and in the US, I used to get my produce from my local csa which is probably the best veggies/fruits you can get but very expensive. I am a vegetarian and can't comment on the cost of meat but thinking about it now, I realize that my thought about food being cheaper may be total crap as my sample is only veggies/fruits and I am comparing against csa.

I take back my words on food cost.
Organic foods (fruits and vegetables especially) are significantly cheaper and better quality in the US, per my wife. This is comparing NTUC and ColdStorage vs Whole Foods, which has the nick-name of 'Whole Paycheck' in the US :)
We used to get our veggies and some fruits from a farm share up in Nashua, NH (CSA or community supported agriculture as we call it). Farm shares are quite expensive (We paid, about 600 for the summer share of veggies).

I understand that farm shares vs NTUC is not apples to apples, thats why I said, I take my words back as my comparison is totally wrong.

I happily agree that Singapore veggies/fruits are even more expensive than Whole foods and not even close in quality/freshness.

sensei_
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Perth, Australia

Post by sensei_ » Fri, 24 Aug 2012 8:03 am

zzm9980 wrote:And this is a lot of why they're turning so hostile to foreigners. :)
You mean you would stay and fight on? I certainly wouldnt.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest