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Physician in US considering Move to Singapore

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BedokAmerican
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Postby BedokAmerican » Wed, 29 May 2013 5:37 pm

You sound like a Libertarian, although I could be wrong. Lots of libertarians in the interior western U.S.

It's interesting to note that the US military has a presence at Paya Lebar Air Base and Singapore naval base. Not that it's a big deal, just figured I'd mention it.

As far as the government here goes, it's privatized the post office and the transit system. In my opinion, thats not a good thing because its accountable to NOBODY. Postal delivery is ok, but sometimes not too efficient. You often have to go to the post office to pick up stuff they "tried to deliver," even though they didn't really try. They'd rather just put a piece of paper in your box so they don't have to ride an elevator or walk up stairs.

The MRT trains are good, but buses don't come on time. Often I'll wait for a particular bus and 3 times in a row the same bus number will come by. Huh?

Anyway, sorry if that's off topic but since the gvt was mentioned, I figured I'd toss this info in.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 29 May 2013 6:05 pm

Yes, the US and Singaporean military co-operation should be noted. It is quite significant and extensive cooperation given Singapore's small size, and definitely their desire to increase it. They're literally* being the drunk sarong party girl (Go ahead and Google that, OP) spreading her legs for what she hopes will be her wealthy Ang Moh catch.

Besides the examples noted above, Singapore Air Force has a squad stationed permanently in Montana for joint training. Google Maps up until very recently showed CVN-72 (USS Abraham Lincoln) docked at Changi Naval base; that's how often US ships are here. If the US needed a drone base in South East Asia, you can rest assured Singapore would have it built before the ink was dry.

*- The common usage definition, not the proper original definition :p

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Postby Brah » Wed, 29 May 2013 9:05 pm

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:
Brah wrote:And for conspiracy theories, SE sees through the BS here and back home pretty well.


Thanks and I'm happy to keep it going until the SE board grows weary of it.

SE is one of the key posters on this board, not a board.

Hey, it's not a hardship posting, and of those friends of yours who think the idea is odd, how many of them have lived overseas?

It really comes down to your stage in life, if it ends up in a potential setback to go off the US grid for a few years. As modern as the place looks on the outside, it's still a relative backwater, some are actually here because of that.

It will slow you down when you return to the rate race, I've been away too long to know how long an if one eventually recovers from that.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 29 May 2013 9:55 pm

Sadly, there is often some confusion because a newbie is not yet familiar with our penchant of doing the Singapore thingy of shortening nicks. Strong Eagle's initial, while SE are also the shortened form for SingaporeExpats which the OP would be clued in about already.

CotW, Strong Eagle is another moderator who recently moved back to Houston after 8 years here with his own company. (He's still a moderator).

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 May 2013 10:22 pm

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:
ecureilx wrote:
CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:..
The question for now is, can a guy who just wants to work, keep his mouth shut about local issues and have a good time do well in Singapore?


me says, yes...

A recent addition to the attractiveness of Singapore is the growing number of Budget carriers, or LCCs, and that means, if you have little spare cash, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and all over the region can help you unwind .. if you find Singapore congested ;)


All shapes and sizes, ecurelix, all shapes and sizes :cool:

Take a note that both ecurelix and WD40 are a bit like extended locals. With no offense intended on my side, they are much more enthusiastic and tolerant to many things normally driving an average Westerner pretty crazy. Yes, this is a very good place to stay and travel around but I wish you good luck to painlessly adapt to the local culture including what you may encounter at work.

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Postby Wd40 » Wed, 29 May 2013 10:44 pm

x9200 wrote:
CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:
ecureilx wrote:
CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:..
The question for now is, can a guy who just wants to work, keep his mouth shut about local issues and have a good time do well in Singapore?


me says, yes...

A recent addition to the attractiveness of Singapore is the growing number of Budget carriers, or LCCs, and that means, if you have little spare cash, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and all over the region can help you unwind .. if you find Singapore congested ;)


All shapes and sizes, ecurelix, all shapes and sizes :cool:

Take a note that both ecurelix and WD40 are a bit like extended locals. With no offense intended on my side, they are much more enthusiastic and tolerant to many things normally driving an average Westerner pretty crazy. Yes, this is a very good place to stay and travel around but I wish you good luck to painlessly adapt to the local culture including what you may encounter at work.


Thanks for the compliment. I agree. Singapore is known as Asia for beginners. Considering that I am from a tougher Asian country for me its been a cake walk adapting here. I wont say the same about me adapting into a western country, in the same manner though. Same ways its not as easy for a westerner to adapt in Singapore.

But then hey if you can't adapt with Singapore, you can't adapt anywhere in Asia ;)

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Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Fri, 31 May 2013 9:55 am

Thank you all for your input and perspective on a potentially life changing decision.

If I might trouble you with an OT question, though, what is this CPF or Singapore version of social security? My understanding was I would pay a 15% flat tax to IRAS. (I have an accountant in US who can advise on US laws on income abroad, but he isn't familiar with Singapore.)

What other taxes beyond the 15% would I owe the Singapore government assuming I become a PR vs NPR?

Sorry if this has already been discussed elsewhere.
"Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."
H.L. Mencken

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 31 May 2013 10:45 am

x9200 wrote: .. With no offense intended on my side, they are much more enthusiastic and tolerant to many things normally driving an average Westerner pretty crazy ...


Yep, like when I was in wet market, the Fish monger looked at me and asked loudly and sounding pretty rude "What you want ah ?? "

My other half gave him the look, and I quickly told her to cool it .. as it is how some natives talk .. perfectly normal for them to sound rude and loud .

She didn't believe me until the fish monger cleaned the fish and did an excellent job cleaning the fish and added a discount etc and threw in some seasoning powder too.. which he wouldn't do if he was a real rude bastard .. :)

Never loose your cool .. and even though some natives sound rude, they aren't .. it's just how they speak ..

Welcome to cross-cultural 'communication in Singapore' ;)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 31 May 2013 11:02 am

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:Thank you all for your input and perspective on a potentially life changing decision.

If I might trouble you with an OT question, though, what is this CPF or Singapore version of social security? My understanding was I would pay a 15% flat tax to IRAS. (I have an accountant in US who can advise on US laws on income abroad, but he isn't familiar with Singapore.)

What other taxes beyond the 15% would I owe the Singapore government assuming I become a PR vs NPR?

Sorry if this has already been discussed elsewhere.


Singapore Income Tax laws are simple, easy, low and black & white, unlike the Internal Revenue Code. Start here and almost everything will be explained......

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page01.aspx?id=88

CPF is only for citizens or permanent residents.

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 31 May 2013 11:04 am

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:Thank you all for your input and perspective on a potentially life changing decision.

If I might trouble you with an OT question, though, what is this CPF or Singapore version of social security? My understanding was I would pay a 15% flat tax to IRAS. (I have an accountant in US who can advise on US laws on income abroad, but he isn't familiar with Singapore.)

What other taxes beyond the 15% would I owe the Singapore government assuming I become a PR vs NPR?

Sorry if this has already been discussed elsewhere.


No, once you're here over 183 days (or on an employment pass with at least that much validity) you'll be a tax resident. Your actual rate will be significantly lower until you're making north of $360k a year.

If you become a PR, you must contribute to CPF. Your contribution ramps up over three years, to a maximum of 20% of the first $5000 per month. So $1k a month.

Your employer is required to match something like 85% of it. It is pre-tax and a portion can be used towards real-estate, so it's not entirely terrible if you actually plan to become a PR and purchase property. But don't put the cart before the horse. Get here and make sure you like it before you make assumptions about becoming a PR. As we mentioned, Singapore is increasingly xenophobic. Lowering PR approval rates reflect that.

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Postby Brah » Fri, 31 May 2013 10:28 pm

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:Thank you all for your input and perspective on a potentially life changing decision.

My question to you still is, it the push to leave there so strong, or is it the pull to come, or both?

I have what is probably a skewed view, and not sure how accurate it is, but although I've been hearing that the economy there is getting better, it still seems shaky to me, as in too shaky to go back without incurring a lot of risk. Plus you said you were doing well there.

Not to put you off an international jaunt, which is usually a Good Thing, but there is return risk.

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Postby Sooner8 » Sat, 01 Jun 2013 10:15 am

zzm9980 wrote:If you become a PR, you must contribute to CPF. Your contribution ramps up over three years, to a maximum of 20% of the first $5000 per month. So $1k a month.


What if someone, lives off dividends and/or cap gains? Is the 20% CPF contribution still paid on the 1st $5000 income even though it did not come from salaried compensation?
‘While at Raffles, why not visit Singapore?' Indeed.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 01 Jun 2013 12:58 pm

No. It's only paid on wages. If you "business" is investing you may be required to pay into Medisave but not CPF.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 01 Jun 2013 1:02 pm

Sooner8 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:If you become a PR, you must contribute to CPF. Your contribution ramps up over three years, to a maximum of 20% of the first $5000 per month. So $1k a month.


What if someone, lives off dividends and/or cap gains? Is the 20% CPF contribution still paid on the 1st $5000 income even though it did not come from salaried compensation?


No. Capital gains aren't even taxable in Singapore. Dividends are though, but there will not be a mandatory withholding for CPF from them.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Sat, 01 Jun 2013 4:53 pm

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:Thank you all for your input and perspective on a potentially life changing decision.

If I might trouble you with an OT question, though, what is this CPF or Singapore version of social security? My understanding was I would pay a 15% flat tax to IRAS. (I have an accountant in US who can advise on US laws on income abroad, but he isn't familiar with Singapore.)

What other taxes beyond the 15% would I owe the Singapore government assuming I become a PR vs NPR?

Sorry if this has already been discussed elsewhere.


As a side note (and you might already know this), there are some US tax preparers in Singapore. On the US embassy's web site, there is a list. Also, you probably already know that 12.5% of your annual income here up to $113,700 USD, which is about $14,000, must be paid each year into the US Social Security system.


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