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Anyone lived in Singapore?

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#1 WaitForMe

Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:13 PM

A bit of a random conversation with DH last night, that turned to talking about moving to Singapore for a year or so just for the fun of it.

I think because my job sucks so much atm but I actually really like the idea, but I don't really know much about Singapore at all.

So I'm just curious, whats it like to live there?

We have two kids, a 7yo and 3yo. I'm pretty sure we would be able to get work easy enough.

#2 -Belinda-

Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:24 PM

My brother did a couple of years there with a baby.  And we visited for visited 3 weeks. Expensive in terms of housing and other living expensives, like food, but otherwise very easy. Good healthcare,  large expat community and schooling options, outstanding public transport. Very humid!!!

#3 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:37 PM

Yes, I have for 2 years plus am married to a Singaporean.
You need a work visa from a company wanting to sponsor you. Small companies often cannot as there us a ratio of foriegn foreign employees to locals. So that limits you to big companies.
You need to be earning big bucks. It costs around $25K+ per child to attend the Aystralian International school. Rentals are $ 4K + per month for a condo apartment.
Meat apart from chicken is expensive, because it's all imported plus things like fresh milk...
Cars are also eexy. They cost over $100k due to COE cost and cars are only allowed up to 10 years old. There is also congestion charge tolls. You may want to skip using a car and just use public transport and taxis.
Childcare is very limited as people hire maids instead of using child care centres. They are live in mostly and I personally do not like the practise ( yes I lived with a maid to care for DHs 90 old grandmother). They are paid very little and are often treated very badly, often their first year of wages pays off their airfare and maid agency fees.
Singapore looks lovely but you can easily fall into the expat trap of the extreme wealth people have ( cash, credit card, car, condo) with everyone seemly jetting off on holidays all the time, the designer brand stuff worn everywhere.
Positives is that it's a great place to travel from as a hub, is an easy intro to Asian countries, expats, especially Australians and Nzers are friendly and easy to make friends.
But make sure uou earn the money like over 200k at least. DH was on alocal wage and it wasn't enough, so we kept staying with grandma, hence we only did 2 years.

#4 *melrose*

Posted 15 September 2019 - 07:33 PM

Nope I wouldn't live there it cost a fortune!we went there for a 3 month holiday and that was bad enough.

#5 WaitForMe

Posted 15 September 2019 - 08:38 PM

We should be able to get decent wages there, but its a good point - we would need to do our research to work out exactly what we need.

#6 Apageintime

Posted 15 September 2019 - 08:40 PM

A friend did for a long time. The biggest hurdle will be getting work, and a visa. Expat packages aren't what they used to be, and unless you're on a very high income, or can get it included in your package, housing and schooling are going to be crazy.

#7 WaitForMe

Posted 15 September 2019 - 08:47 PM

Kiwi Bicycle, I just had a look at the Australian International School's site, it would cost $46k for the first year up to year 5! I guess thats in Singaporean dollars though which means its $49k Australian...

Its somewhat less for returning students but still crazy prices, I guess they have a pretty transient student population.

#8 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 16 September 2019 - 08:13 AM

 WaitForMe, on 15 September 2019 - 08:47 PM, said:

Kiwi Bicycle, I just had a look at the Australian International School's site, it would cost $46k for the first year up to year 5! I guess thats in Singaporean dollars though which means its $49k Australian...

Its somewhat less for returning students but still crazy prices, I guess they have a pretty transient student population.

Yes, it's coming up to 9 years since I was there. So prices have gone up. So many of my Singapore friends have gone home as it's crazy bad. DH had a former collegue come up while we were there with his family.  The wife and 2 little kids lasted 4 months before she went home to live with her parents and he followed after completing 12 months. He thought a 150k package was enough. She though she could get a job as a teacher ( just graduated). Nah. They couldn't do it.

#9 lizzzard

Posted 16 September 2019 - 08:35 AM

I know a few people who have been burned when negotiating transfers and not realising their money doesn't go as far. The savvy ones get the big costs included in their package - namely school and housing. I'm about to commence a 12 month project there. For a few reasons I've arranged it so DH and kids stay here, and I'm basically doing FIFO from Australia....It's way more economical for us.

Edited by lizzzard, 16 September 2019 - 08:36 AM.

#10 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 16 September 2019 - 09:31 AM

Yes Lizzzard. One of my Australian buddies over there from Australia is a hotel manager for a major chain. He didn't take his wife and kids over and lived in a hotel room onsite in Singapore and just travelled back for long weekends etc. He found that this most cost effective way to do this.

#11 charmed30

Posted 16 September 2019 - 09:54 AM

I lived there for 10 years. Almost everything's ridiculously expensive. Cost wise, not a good place for a family. But the country's very safe and has a very good public transportation.

#12 It's Percy

Posted 17 September 2019 - 01:13 PM

You need a good expat package to live in Singapore. You need to have kids schooling and accommodation covered otherwise its just crazy expensive.

As for the schools, they are incredibly expensive and hard to get into. We lived in KL and had a few friends where the husband was working in Singapore and the wife and kids still in KL as they couldn't get them into a school there. If your kids have any learning issues, you're much better off staying here.

#13 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:59 PM

A friend has lived there for 16 years, is coming back to Australia at the end of this year (her children will be starting Yr 7, Yr5 and Yr 3 next year). They had been living in Singapore for a while before they had their first child (whom she signed up into the preferred schools as soon as she could).

My friend absolutely loves living in Singapore but costs have increased in recent years and she says it's no longer cost effective for them to stay there for much longer. When they come back to Australia, they are looking to buy in Sydney/Brisbane and will likely pay a deposit of at least 50%. She is already lamenting the loss of her maid and she hasn't left Singapore yet....

#14 LoveMyMuffins

Posted 17 September 2019 - 05:05 PM

If you are both going to be working full time, then factor in $600-1000pm for a live in helper (provided you feel comfortable with one). No after school or vacation care for international schools. You will be responsible for all meals, health etc while she lives with you.

3 year old childcare 1-2k a month. 7 year old school $18-60k a year depending which school.

Edited by LoveMyMuffins, 17 September 2019 - 05:10 PM.

#15 WaitForMe

Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:12 PM

Yeah theres no way I could cope with a live in maid/nanny, especially in what will probably be a small condo.

Ok, ok, the money side is crazy. It doesn't really phase me though, if we don't get jobs that cover the costs then we just wont do it.

It wont be for another couple of years anyway, just a bit of a pipe dream.

#16 It's Percy

Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:05 AM

Oh and you couldn't just rock up without a job and expect to be able to work. You need to have a job before you go and have a visa too.

#17 mayahlb

Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:27 AM

My BIL/SIL live in Singapore. It's crazy expensive and the only way they do well is the fact that most of the costs (housing, school for 3 kids, car) are part of BILs expat package. The house is something like 15K/month, schooling, is eyewatering expensive, something like 50K a child. SIL hasn't got a job because the rigmarole in getting one is not worth it for her, especially as BIL is not necessarily even around most of the week or weekend. Then again there is talk of the company sending them to Europe or Japan because it is cheaper...

She does say it is nice a safe, the kids walk home without her stressing about it, it is clean. Food is expensive though and she ends up buying all the kids clothes and shoes when they visit Australia or the UK.

Edited by mayahlb, 19 September 2019 - 11:28 AM.

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