Singapore Expats Forum

Physician in US considering Move to Singapore

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

Hannieroo
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 996
Joined: Tue, 22 Jan 2013

Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 03 Jun 2013 11:27 pm

I wouldn't be able to comment on police brutality because I most certainly haven't seen any but you occasionally get the feeling the taxi driver or whatever doesn't like caucasians. But it's not all the time everywhere. I'm finding assholes are just as prevalent here as they are in the US, UK or anywhere. As are nice people. Treat as you find.

But, dude, if you're allergic to fish be prepared to eat a lot of burgers and steak. That's my biggest gripe. Starvin' Marvin. FFS. Stealth fish everywhere.

Move because you think it will broaden your horizons, move because you are bored of your view, move because you really like 100 lb women or rice. Don't move because you feel the need to hide from your government because, quite frankly, this ain't France. It's not free, the laws change a lot and expats are not the most popular flavour in the basket. This empire's sun has set.

CitizenOfTheWorld
Member
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 27 May 2013
Location: USA

Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Mon, 03 Jun 2013 11:53 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:entitled to 40%


Where did you get that number?


Well, the top rate was 35% and is going up to 39.5% this year. Add to that Social Security and the 'self employment tax.' Then add to that the federal gasoline tax of 20 cents a gallon. Add to that the various airport "9/11" taxes (yes, you actually are paying for radiation or 'magnetic scanning' or to have a civil servant grope your crotch.)

Then move on to state taxes. Fortunately, Nevada has no state income tax, but most states do, and that's on top of a sales tax, 8.25% here. If you live in Cali, New York or Hawaii, then you are probably past the 50% mark. And the sad fact is, most people don't even think about it. Which is the whole idea, to keep the public distracted as they would surely be mad as hell if they thought about it. Or to make them feel greedy for not wanting to pay so much. Or to make them think that they are being cheated, NOT BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT"S ACTUALLY TAKING THEIR MONEY AT GUN POINT, but by those 'lying cheating f*cks' who feel they've had enough of it and manage, at the risk of harassment and prison, to keep a little of their wealth hidden. Now I can't stand Romney and would never have voted for him. But it didn't bother me at all that he manged to pay only 13% tax. I just wish I could afford the top flight lawyers, accountants, etc needed to do that myself.

And for this you get a gigantic military industrial complex, bailouts of the to big to fail financial institutions, and a huge army of federal bureaucrats with the power to torment you if they feel like it, and who get payed, on average, more than people working in the private sector.

Anyway, sorry about that. The point of the thread wasn't to turn into s b*tch session, but to evaluate and compare life in Sing with life back home.
"Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."
H.L. Mencken

User avatar
Sooner8
Member
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri, 03 May 2013

Postby Sooner8 » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 12:07 am

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:
Now I can't stand Romney and would never have voted for him. But it didn't bother me at all that he manged to pay only 13% tax. I just wish I could afford the top flight lawyers, accountants, etc needed to do that myself.


Dear Leader did not pay that much more either. Paid a bit more in % mainly due to a lot less in Charitable donations.

What gets my goat is the likes of Buffet who push for higher tax rates. He never advocates anything that would close tax loopholes that he and others of his ilk use all the time. He is so free to pay extra to the USG but I bet he never has. Your typical US elite - the do as I say not as I do types.

BTW, efforts to reduce tax obligations, using current tax codes, is perfectly legal. Neither Romney (pilloried for political expediencies) nor the Great Leader, did anything illegal. Tim Geithner, just forgot to pay his dues. All animals are equal, some are more than others.

Tax evasion (see Marc Rich and his type) is illegal and we ought to get these guys on to a guillotine (financial one that is; not a presidential pardon) and then sent to live their lives out in Yemen or Somalia.

Top rate is 39.6%. Cap Gains is 20% then tack on 3.8% more to fund ObamaCare. And the top doofus Congressman of all times, Alan Grayson (D-FL orlando area) had the temerity to say recently, "of course we need these additional taxes to pay for ObamaCare". And he said it with his trademark smugness.

So, question is does SIN have such arrogant imbeciles who love to take money away from hard working citizens and PRs? Or are they all in the opposition party?
‘While at Raffles, why not visit Singapore?' Indeed.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10889
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 6:31 am

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:entitled to 40%


Where did you get that number?


Well, the top rate was 35% and is going up to 39.5% this year. Add to that Social Security and the 'self employment tax.' Then add to that the federal gasoline tax of 20 cents a gallon. Add to that the various airport "9/11" taxes (yes, you actually are paying for radiation or 'magnetic scanning' or to have a civil servant grope your crotch.)


You have produced a mish mash of fuzzy thinking in your attempt to damn all government in the USA. Allow me to point it out.

39.6% is the top tax rate and it is applicable to incomes in excess of $400,000. 35% for 388,350 and up, and 33 for 183,250 and up. The average tax percentage paid in the USA for all quintiles is 17.4% Lowest quintile is 1.0%, highest is 23.2%. Top 1% of earners paid 28.9%.

Federal gasoline tax is a user tax. Who is supposed to pay for highway maintenance? The tax is actually too low; it hasn't been adjusted for some time. You want to drive places? You want people to come to your business. You want goods delivered? Well... news flash... it costs money to pay for roads and bridges.

Yes... you pay airport taxes to be body scanned... and to to have your luggage scanned... and to have flight controllers guide your plane... and to have the FAA ensure that flight safety requirements are met. It's a use tax again. The biggest travesty here is that Congress is stealing funds from the airport tax for non airport issues. And... it is the bloody "small government" Republicans who introduced the TSA. It was signed into law by George Bush in 2001.

Then move on to state taxes. Fortunately, Nevada has no state income tax, but most states do, and that's on top of a sales tax, 8.25% here. If you live in Cali, New York or Hawaii, then you are probably past the 50% mark. And the sad fact is, most people don't even think about it.


How are state services supposed to be supported? Why, through state taxes, by jingo! There is always an ongoing debate as to the best taxation method, and I prefer a VAT tax on all goods and services as the best way. Why single out income tax? There are property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes.

You are correct about one thing, though. People will pay about 59 percent of total income in taxes although 15.3% of that is social security. In this world however, what are the alternatives? How do you plan on funding police, fire, and the courts? What about highways and bridges, waterways, and airports? How do you want to fund them? What about parks, historic monuments? Or the big question of them all... how do you plan on funding the military, whose budget is larger than the next 70 countries combined?

Which is the whole idea, to keep the public distracted as they would surely be mad as hell if they thought about it. Or to make them feel greedy for not wanting to pay so much. Or to make them think that they are being cheated, NOT BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT"S ACTUALLY TAKING THEIR MONEY AT GUN POINT, but by those 'lying cheating f*cks' who feel they've had enough of it and manage, at the risk of harassment and prison, to keep a little of their wealth hidden. Now I can't stand Romney and would never have voted for him. But it didn't bother me at all that he manged to pay only 13% tax. I just wish I could afford the top flight lawyers, accountants, etc needed to do that myself.


So, it's a conspiracy to keep people distracted. And it bothers me a lot that Romney got away with 13 percent... and probably less than that. He does something that you will never get to do... and that is call all earnings from his investment portfolios "carry interest" when in fact the majority of the invested money belongs to someone else. Worse, Congress is bought and paid for when it comes to this tax issue... Republicans more so than Democrats but both guilty.

And for this you get a gigantic military industrial complex, bailouts of the to big to fail financial institutions, and a huge army of federal bureaucrats with the power to torment you if they feel like it, and who get payed, on average, more than people working in the private sector.

Anyway, sorry about that. The point of the thread wasn't to turn into s b*tch session, but to evaluate and compare life in Sing with life back home.


This is one thing we agree upon... out of control military spending, with little hope of paring it back because not one Congressperson will ever cut spending in their own district.

As for the "army of federal employees", the numbers look like this. Total federal employees are about 21,925,000 or about 6.9% of the population in 2012. This percentage is actually lower than for any previous president whose numbers were all above 7%.

How do those numbers break out? 34.2% are defense related, 14.7% are veterans affairs. 48.9% of all federal employees are military related. 9% belong to Homeland Security, 5.7% to Justice.

It's very difficult to support the argument that federal employees get paid more than the private sector. There are studies that show the exact opposite.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 8:13 am

Sooner8 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:I'm not sure what 1st amendment assault you're referring to, but the US citizen's rights to Freedom of Speech is still much stronger than almost anywhere else in the world.


Yes, on the face of it that is true. Try saying something that goes against the grain of PC types, and see where it lands you. You'll be labelled "racists" in a NY minute and then it be labelled as a hate crime.


Thats hyperbole. If you say racist things while committing a violent crime (or inciting one), then yes it can turn into a hate crime. But just saying things on their own won't get you thrown into jail.

As opposed to much of Europe, for example, where Nazi ideologies will get you thrown into jail.

In Singapore, it can also get you fined heavily or thrown in jail.
Last edited by zzm9980 on Tue, 04 Jun 2013 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 8:27 am

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:
What in particular bothers you in Singapore regarding loss of freedom? The total surveillance? Police brutality? Deos it bother every expat or do some just not care about it? Please explain.


Mostly the blatant restrictions on freedoms of expression and speech, and the ingrained discrimination. Go read about the Chinese bus driver's strike, and especially the comments on the articles. Chinese bus drivers were paid less and housed in worse conditions than some of their other foreign peers. That was apparently "ok" because they're Chinese and they're lucky to be here.

Then conversely, someone can post a negative comment about the wedding traditions of Malaysians on their own personal Facebook page, and lose their job (I'm OK with that part), get fined, and then ridiculed out of the country.

The government is blatantly a mechanism to enrich a small entrenched elite. At least in the US the politicians try to be discreet (most of them). A lot of the people realize this, and the "opposition" is rising in popularity. But they're so blatantly incompetent and have no plan on what to do if they actually did gain power it is laughably sad. Most of the eligible voters are short-sighted and ignorant of anything outside their own tiny little bubble so they can't see this.

Singapore itself is amazingly boring and has nothing to do. The very few things that do exist are bad copies of their western counterparts, and tend to be expensive and overcrowded (say any type of restaurant or cafe that is supposed to have some character). This coupled with the heat will just make you depressed.

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:Ok, maybe Chicago. In NYC a studio will run you 1600 USD a month if you are willing to commute from Brooklyn. About 2000 USD if you're looking for the 'cheapest' part of Manhattan. If you want a one BR, add 600-1000 per month. With public transport, I really wont bother getting a car at all, so non-issue.


Sounds like the very low end of the rental market in Singapore.

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:I can't speak to that. I had figured fully trained physicians would still be wanted, but I don't know. As for exit taxes, luckily, Uncle Sam can't tax what I don't have.


Check with the relevant Ministry to make sure your degree/credentials will even be honored. You also mentioned living off of capital gains and dividends, so I assume you have something stashed. The exit tax is the IRS's estimate of the 'fair market value' of *all* of your assets if you were to liquidate it at that point in time. You're charged the rate as if that was income that year, not capital gains.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 8:32 am

Brah wrote:
CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:Again, what bothers you most? I agree, Hong Kong is simply beautiful with the hills and the view of the skyline. Sing just doesn't have that.


Doesn't have the smog of HK either.


I have an easier time breathing in HK or China than I do in Singapore thanks to the heat+humidy and third-world motorbike smell.

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 8:50 am

Put it this way: if you get sick and tired of the density, the crowds and the high property prices, you don't have the option of moving into the suburbs or into the country. If you want to get away from the city, you have to get away from the country.

Move to Singapore and try it for a couple of years but don't make it permanent yet. See how things turn out. If you like it, good for you. If you don't, at least you didn't burn any bridges.

CitizenOfTheWorld
Member
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 27 May 2013
Location: USA

Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 10:18 am

@ Strong Eagle,

I'm glad we agree on the military spending and destructive foreign wars as that is the most important thing, which is why I would never vote for a warmonger like Romney, McCain or any of their fellow travelers. And at the very least, I doubt Singapore will ever attack another country (perhaps it will send a token force on one of Uncle Sam's adventures as a butt kissing move)

21 million federal employees may be 7% of the POPULATION but it is easily 20% of the work force. And then there are state, municipal and local employees as well. All together easily 1/3 of the workforce and the other two thirds have to generate the wealth to pay them.

After all is said and done, after all office expenses, I'm paying 35% tax to the federal government. SS, medicare, self employment tax, on top of the 35% rate. If I lived in California, it would be a lot worse. You can DEFER some taxes via a retirement account but eventually that gets taxed too. If I could use Romney's trick, I would in a heartbeat. But if I can't, I don't begrudge him for it. To make things "fair" I want to be able to pay lower taxes. Otherwise, it's like saying, if I'm mugged, I want you to be mugged too 'just to be fair.'

Re "usage taxes" I have no problem with that per se. The issue though, is that after shelling out that kind of money in income tax, I STILL have to pay for those services of government that might actually be useful. As the question often arises "Who will build the roads?!?!" As for the problem of income taxes, I should be able to keep the fruits of my labors without having to surrender it for fear of going to prison. I shouldn't have to report every last penny I make in a "free society." If I'm a business owner I should NOT be forced to be an unpaid tax collector for the government and withhold my employees' salaries.

As for state taxes, somehow texas, Nevada, and several other states have no income tax and yet manage to provide some basic services and are not on the verge of bankruptcy as is Cali. Funny how it's the high tax states that always have budget problems and not the low tax ones.

Incidentally, there was NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX AT ALL before 1913, so for the first half of it's existence the country did just fine without it. The federal government also raises plenty of money via import tariffs and excise taxes, in addition to the income tax. If it were to shrink to its 1995 size, it could eliminate the income tax entirely.

As for salaries of federal employees, a new TSA screener starts at about 37k per year with benefits and its hard to get fired. Now what job in the private sector that requires minimal education or skills and entails no physical risk pays that much?
"Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."

H.L. Mencken

CitizenOfTheWorld
Member
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 27 May 2013
Location: USA

Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Tue, 04 Jun 2013 10:21 am

nakatago wrote:Put it this way: if you get sick and tired of the density, the crowds and the high property prices, you don't have the option of moving into the suburbs or into the country. If you want to get away from the city, you have to get away from the country.

Move to Singapore and try it for a couple of years but don't make it permanent yet. See how things turn out. If you like it, good for you. If you don't, at least you didn't burn any bridges.


Indeed. That's what I will do, assuming I go at all. Still waiting for a specific compensation package. No bridges burned, will maintain all state medical licensees, etc.
"Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."

H.L. Mencken

Dave954
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri, 07 Jun 2013

Postby Dave954 » Fri, 07 Jun 2013 9:06 pm

Citizen,

I too am a physician and have similar political beliefs. I worry about the Affordability Care Act severely decreasing the quality of US health care. Just out of curiosity which recruiter did you use? You can PM me so as to not violate the forums rule about advertisement.
Funny thing about Vegas was that I was about to practice at UMC and was getting ready to buy a house in Henderson right before the housing bubble burst. I'm glad to have dodged that bullet. Thanks.

Dave

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34864
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 07 Jun 2013 10:25 pm

tic...toc...tic...toc....

Isn't it funny about how some posts just seem to have a certain pong to them.....

moderator

CitizenOfTheWorld
Member
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 27 May 2013
Location: USA

Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Sat, 08 Jun 2013 4:17 pm

Well, I got my offer and it was more generous than I had expected. I was almost hoping for a weak offer to make a tough decision easier. Now it's time to fish or cut bait.

Odd. It was just a crazy idea before. Now that it's real it's a little scary.

David,check your inbox.
"Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."

H.L. Mencken

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1956
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Sat, 08 Jun 2013 10:21 pm

So what is your time frame?

CitizenOfTheWorld
Member
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 27 May 2013
Location: USA

Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Sun, 09 Jun 2013 3:52 am

Brah wrote:So what is your time frame?


I have to let them know by the 14th Singapore time.
"Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."

H.L. Mencken


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest