Singapore Expats Forum

Offer to move to Singapore from UK. Advice Sought

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.

Sponsored by:
Image
The Club Residences

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Offer to move to Singapore from UK. Advice Sought

Postby stuckmojo » Tue, 19 Mar 2013 5:07 pm

Hi All,

After reading this forum for a few weeks, and learning as much as I could about Singapore, I decided to stick my neck out and ask for some advice.

I am a currently UK based Senior Projects Manager in the PetChem industry and have been offered the opportunity to move to Singapore with my wife at the end of this year.

So far, there is no clear money shot to look at, other than:

- There will be a cost-of-living adjustment to my salary.
- There will be a housing allowance (but don't know how much)
- There will be a transport allowance (no idea how much but surely not enough to own a car)
- Medical is covered

I am currently lucky enough to live far from London and enjoy a great lifestyle due to the relatively low cost of living.

I will visit Singapore on a "scouting" trip with the miss next week and will get a glance of what it's like. However, I am deeply worried about cost of living and ending up worrying too much about money and not enjoying life there.

In other words, if I decide to come to Singapore, I want to be able to save, quite a lot, end still enjoy a decent lifestyle (albeit without car)

I know that talking about money is a crude thing at the best of times, but, in a nutshell, is it worth it?

I appreciate there is very little detail in my post, but I am just testing the water.

Thanks in advance.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Tue, 19 Mar 2013 7:46 pm

There are a few ways you can try and guage it:

- Use an international cost-of-living adjustment ('COLA') table. The big employment agencies publish them (try Hays/Hayes? and Reed, and so on). Check the link in there tag-line of the poster/moderator: 'Sundaymorningstaple'. He might have a link to one in his FAQ. Otherwise try Googling for one.

- Consider what size home and commute you have in the UK, then search for similar size properties/commutes in SG. You can start via our hosts on this site. You can find commute times on www.smrt.gov.sg.

- Look at job listings in SG, and try and identify positions similar to yours, and if the remuneration is outlined.

- Lastly. When they do make you the offer, ask them what the basis of the calculation was, and then double-check it for reasonableness.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Tue, 19 Mar 2013 8:29 pm

Many thanks for your feedback, very valuable info there.

I know already I could never afford the type of house I rent in the North of England all included for circa 2,000$S. I would expect the same house to be about 4 to 5 times more, which, even in the most optimistic case, would not be covered by the housing allowance.

The car, forget about it. I'll store it until I come back (since it seems I can't take it with me).

In the meantime I will look at the tables and links.

Thanks again.

Any more feedback is always welcome

BoroBoy
Regular
Regular
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri, 27 Mar 2009

Postby BoroBoy » Thu, 21 Mar 2013 10:50 am

It also depends on how you compare lifestyles. In Singapore you won't have a car and a big house but in the UK you won't have an outdoor pool you can use every day of the year and the ability to fly to Bali and Thailand for the weekend.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9320
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Thu, 21 Mar 2013 1:00 pm

stuckmojo wrote:Many thanks for your feedback, very valuable info there.

I know already I could never afford the type of house I rent in the North of England all included for circa 2,000$S. I would expect the same house to be about 4 to 5 times more, which, even in the most optimistic case, would not be covered by the housing allowance.

If you are talking about a house, detached, small garden, inhabitable condition, not so far from the central district it will be a factor of 7-10.

Do you know where are you going to work? Practically all petrochemical industry is within Jurong Island. If this would be the case and you are not obsessed living central you can probably rent a very decent apartment, high floor, sea-view, West-Coast or further towards the East, for something in the range 5-10k depending on your floor size / No of rooms requirements.


The car, forget about it. I'll store it until I come back (since it seems I can't take it with me).

A middle-size car will cost you ~2k monthly all inclusive. If you plan to have kids you should consider having it. If not, then not :)

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Thu, 21 Mar 2013 4:05 pm

Thanks for the feedback, I don't think I will be able to afford a house or anything like what I have now in the UK. However, the pool and other things surely make up for it.

I won't be based on Jurong but I am sure I will have to be there very frequently.

A 3bed flat would probably be all we need. No kids yet but two pets (cat and dog )

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35183
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 21 Mar 2013 4:27 pm

stuckmojo wrote: No kids yet but two pets (cat and dog )


Be sure the read the following thread(s)/sites:

ftopic36703.html

ftopic75411.html

ftopic87447.html

http://www.ava.gov.sg/AnimalsPetSector/ ... sPersonal/

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6842
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 21 Mar 2013 5:14 pm

You shouldn't be too shocked if you find out your "cost of living adjustment" isn't very high, or is even down, if it isn't including a pay raise at the same time. A lot of MNC don't rate Singapore COL very high for some reason (probably the very low tax rate). My company pays me about 40% less than I would make if I was in California at their HQ, even though everything costs more.

That said, Singapore income tax rates are some of the lowest in the world. You'll pay about <5% on your first S$100k.

This site is good:
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Thu, 21 Mar 2013 5:49 pm

stuckmojo wrote:The car, forget about it. I'll store it until I come back (since it seems I can't take it with me).


If it is something rare, why not?

But if it is something more standard, why store it for years? You could be away longer than you currently believe. It's depreciating, and if you're paying to store it > double whammy.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Fri, 22 Mar 2013 3:57 pm

zzm9980 wrote:You shouldn't be too shocked if you find out your "cost of living adjustment" isn't very high, or is even down, if it isn't including a pay raise at the same time. A lot of MNC don't rate Singapore COL very high for some reason (probably the very low tax rate). My company pays me about 40% less than I would make if I was in California at their HQ, even though everything costs more.

That said, Singapore income tax rates are some of the lowest in the world. You'll pay about <5% on your first S$100k.

This site is good:
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/


thanks for the info. It looks like the cost of living in Singapore is nearly double that of the North of England. Looking at rental prices and private transport, I can see why.

I am eagerly waiting for my HR department to let me have a view of the generic package they have for managers at my level.

COL adjustment should be definitely positive. No point in even looking otherwise.

The car itself has sentimental value to me, I paid relatively little for it and can't bring myself to sell it. I have looked at maintained storage, so there are options.

Thanks again for the info. I am looking forward to visit in 2 weeks.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6842
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 22 Mar 2013 11:12 pm

stuckmojo wrote:COL adjustment should be definitely positive. No point in even looking otherwise.


The site I linked shows real-world COL, not necessarily what your HR will use. Your HR will likely see that you pay 40%+ tax in the UK, but only 5-10% in Singapore and factor that against you. You have to realize locals (citizens) get heavily subsidized housing, so average salaries are often much lower.

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Sat, 23 Mar 2013 10:34 pm

Plus what would this person actually be allowed to own? I.e. the difficulties for foreigners owning landed property.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sat, 23 Mar 2013 11:21 pm

Brah wrote:Plus what would this person actually be allowed to own? I.e. the difficulties for foreigners owning landed property.


Good reason to keep Rent Allowance totally incremental/additional to negotiation of base salary

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Fri, 05 Apr 2013 9:12 am

Update.

Thanks everyone for the precious advice. I am still in Singapore and the package offer came in.

Salary is 20%plus in gross terms - more in net I understand
housing around 5k
transport has something but not enough for a car (as I expected)
schooling for kids more than adequate.
Et cetera

All in all, I am happy with the offer, the only thing is of course ensuring my wife is happy to relocate here. That is the most important thing.

Now I am already worrying that my full UK bike licence won't get me into the Moto Guzzi I want due to some strict licence swap regulations (I have the international licence too)...

I will keep updated.

Thanks once again for the invaluable insight.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6842
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 05 Apr 2013 9:23 am

stuckmojo wrote:Now I am already worrying that my full UK bike licence won't get me into the Moto Guzzi I want due to some strict licence swap regulations (I have the international licence too)...


You should get it no problem. I had a full license from California. At the time I converted, the lady just asked me what I'm qualified for and took my word for it. I doubt she had all of the california license codes memorized to know.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests