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Sideways Rich

Original Poster:

1,074 posts

60 months

[news] 
Saturday 14th January 2012 quote quote all
Hi All, some very useful info in this section on Singapore, I am going to be discussing a potential role where I can choose to be based in HK or Singapore?

Having never been to either I'd really appreciate some insight from those that have made similar moves, cost of living, lifestyle etc in each.

Thanks in advance,

XJSJohn

13,842 posts

102 months

[news] 
Sunday 15th January 2012 quote quote all
Hong Kong much more "work hard play hard", very much a place to be when single

Honkers is also much more crowded, but probably a lot more going on, more space in Singa so definitely better with a family.

I don't have much experiance of Honkers other than occasional business travel so will let others expand.

Sideways Rich

Original Poster:

1,074 posts

60 months

[news] 
Sunday 15th January 2012 quote quote all
Thanks XJS John, Interesting, my initial reaction was that I would prefer Singapore.

The tax rates look comparable (HK seems to be between 0 & 15% and Singapore 3.5% to 20%) are there any significant differences in terms of cost of living between the two? Scanning another thread on Singapore the general consensus seemed to be £2k GBP per month and upwards to rent somewhere half-decent with good transport links in Singapore. How does HK compare?

Approx how long does it take to obtain an EP (think thats the correct terminology) for Singapore and would my wife (i'll be getting married just before moving if it goes ahead) automatically qualify for an EP as well?

Thanks - lots of questions, I was only asked about the potential move on Friday..

XJSJohn

13,842 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 16th January 2012 quote quote all
your housing budget is about right, you will get a mot more property for your money in singa than in honkers i gather.

EP takes about 1 month from application from what i have seen, and if you are on more than about $10k is garunteed in most cases. your wife will get a dependants pass when you get your EP.

bing o has lived in both Honkers and Singa reasonably reciently so will be able to give better comparrisons.

dom9

3,535 posts

92 months

[news] 
Monday 16th January 2012 quote quote all
I would be dead by now if I'd have lived in Honkers...

Married = Singapore.
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XJSJohn

13,842 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 16th January 2012 quote quote all
dom9 said:
I would be dead by now if I'd have lived in Honkers...
or well preserved in an alcohol bath!!!!

Bing o

15,184 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 16th January 2012 quote quote all
XJSJohn said:
your housing budget is about right, you will get a mot more property for your money in singa than in honkers i gather.

EP takes about 1 month from application from what i have seen, and if you are on more than about $10k is garunteed in most cases. your wife will get a dependants pass when you get your EP.

bing o has lived in both Honkers and Singa reasonably reciently so will be able to give better comparrisons.
No real comparison. HK is slowly becoming Chinesified (this is not a Good Thing). You pay a st load of rent for a st box. Unless you like going out drinking and whoring, there really isn't much to do as their are limited sports facilities (ie golf, soccer etc). WOrk hours are longer too for some reason.

Singapore - you can afford a nice 2-3 bed with room, outside facilities like a pool, gym etc. There is more for the wife to do (although she should try and find some kind of work to keep the boredom at bay). Cheaper and better transport links to SE Asia, same flight time home, and no typhoon season, plus it's more of an outdoor lifestyle despite the heat. Tennis, running, sailing, golf etc are much easier in SG than HK. I had 3 offers to move to HK for every one I had for SG, but even without my personal circumstances I had no desire to move to Hongkers. HK is great for a long weekend, but that's it IMHO.

dom9

3,535 posts

92 months

[news] 
Monday 16th January 2012 quote quote all
Bing o said:
HK is great for a long weekend, but that's it IMHO.
Nail -> Head

You live in Singapore and visit HK, not vice versa!

I may not even bother with HK7s this year as I'm scared what I might do to myself as it will be my first weekend back on the sauce after my fight!

KGB1

229 posts

114 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th January 2012 quote quote all
Interesting comments, just to add my 2p;

I lived in Singapore from 1995 to 1998 and I have lived in Hong Kong since Jan 2006. Personally I would choose HK every time, main reasons;

- weather
HK has 4 seasons, the autumn and spring are superb, low humidity 20 to 25 degrees and perfect days. Winter is OK temp gets down to single figures just but it is fine. Summer can be hot but no more uncomfortable than Singapore.

- Space
John XJS said HK is smaller than Singapore, not true including Kowloon and New territories HK has much more space and some really nice villages to drive to and explore. I found Singapore just too small after a couple of years.

- China
amazing place to visit at weekends (I lived there for 7 years too) easy to get visas and get across the border. for golfers Mission hills is brilliant.

- Others
tennis, football, rugby, car owners clubs, fantastic public transport etc etc.

actually either one is a whole lot better than UK these days I guess!!!


Kev.

Leithen

3,387 posts

150 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th January 2012 quote quote all
No idea what SIngapore is like, but the smog in HK is a real minus point, especially if you have a family.

XJSJohn

13,842 posts

102 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th January 2012 quote quote all
Leithen said:
No idea what SIngapore is like, but the smog in HK is a real minus point, especially if you have a family.
Sadly Singapore has "the haze" in may and June, this is where most of Sumatra burns off the stubble in their rice fields and the haze falls on Singapore, it is however, much lower pollution than Honkers.

Fair point on space in Honkers, guess as I only go there for work / drink I only think of the island and the bit youncan see the other side, but most of us do our driving up in Malaysia, and golfing trips there or Indonesia,

Sideways Rich

Original Poster:

1,074 posts

60 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
Thanks Gents, this is all very useful info pls keep it coming.

On a slight tangent, what is the uplift (if any) for Singapore salaries vs UK (tax rate is attractive enough but cost of living looks a bit higher than UK)?

XJSJohn

13,842 posts

102 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
Sideways Rich said:
On a slight tangent, what is the uplift (if any) for Singapore salaries vs UK (tax rate is attractive enough but cost of living looks a bit higher than UK)?
GBP is worth bobbins now, assume everything on a SGD3 - 1GBP, then add minimum 25%, as it will cost you to set up and learn, also they are asking you to come here, and you still want to put money aside for the retirement etc.



Sideways Rich

Original Poster:

1,074 posts

60 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
XJSJohn said:
GBP is worth bobbins now, assume everything on a SGD3 - 1GBP, then add minimum 25%, as it will cost you to set up and learn, also they are asking you to come here, and you still want to put money aside for the retirement etc.
Thanks, so for ease of illustration, a 100k GBP salary should equate to an ask for 375k SGD (3x +25%)?

Berw

1,640 posts

88 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
And remember the wife wont work and you need to pay school fees if you have kids. 100k doesn't go far in expat market.

XJSJohn

13,842 posts

102 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
Sideways Rich said:
XJSJohn said:
GBP is worth bobbins now, assume everything on a SGD3 - 1GBP, then add minimum 25%, as it will cost you to set up and learn, also they are asking you to come here, and you still want to put money aside for the retirement etc.
Thanks, so for ease of illustration, a 100k GBP salary should equate to an ask for 375k SGD (3x +25%)?
that would be along the lines ....

think -


$50k housing (minimum)
$25k / nipper schooling
$16k car (average saloon)
$12k other transport (taxi / bus / MRT etc)
$12k bills, utilities, insurances
$40k tax bill

thats $150k straight away without even trying.

eta - its a good starting point to open negotiations for a package, there is a trend towards all cash deals now, but traditionally you got a housing, schooling, car allowances etc.

Also don't forget to factor in trips home, they can come to thousands and the actual cost of moving out and back, but this should be covered by your employer.

I have done a thread somewhere on here in the past that gives a good breakdown of expenses in singa, that may help.

Here, a few links from when i have done this before wink

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

Edited by XJSJohn on Thursday 19th January 00:42

KGB1

229 posts

114 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th January 2012 quote quote all
Probably similar in HK.
To live comfortably;
100K (GBP) minimum salary + benefits (housing, schooling, car, flights etc)

Or a cash deal worth 150K to 200K minimum.

(XJS John; I remember those ferry trips over to Batam every Saturday just to lose a dozen golf balls and the motorcycle trips up to Johor race track....good memories.......but still prefer HK Ha ha!!)

Dollar Bill

17 posts

158 months

[news] 
Friday 16th March 2012 quote quote all
Hong Kong, exciting place to visit, not so good to live with a family. Air quality poor, schools expensive, accommodation expensive and small. Singapore not so exciting to visit, but good place to live. Air better, but hot and humid all year round. Schools great (but still expensive), income tax at 20% with no capital gains tax. Cars are ridiculously expensive due to tax, but gas is cheap. I've lived in Singapore for past 15 years and do not plan to leave. Either place is better than most.

V6GTA

1,150 posts

80 months

[news] 
Thursday 22nd March 2012 quote quote all
Singapore is much nicer that HongKong. I am here right now on a business trip. Very clean, low crime rates, some lovely cars about...

Was out to lunch early and saw a 599 GTO and a LP-670 SV

XJSJohn

13,842 posts

102 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd March 2012 quote quote all
V6, hope you enjoy Singapore!!

Dollar Bill, damn, you have that garage in Singapore? That's a lot of road tax if so!! hehe
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