Guide To Living And Working In Singapore
Made up of 63 islands, Singapore is a highly developed south east Asian country. Much of the land is urbanised and it’s stable politics and open business policies makes Singapore an attractive place to work and develop business.
Most ex pats tend to move into Condominiums. They will have facilities like large swimming pools, tennis courts and play areas for children. These are often good places to socialise with other ex pats. The costs of living in a private 3 bedroom condo ranges (depending on area) between £3,000 a month to £7000.The costs for a 1 bedroom apartment, again depending on location, ranges from £900 to £1,200 per month. You can live on the cheaper side by renting a room in a private apartment for between £400 and £900.
Running your own car in Singapore is by far the most expensive form of travel. The government has imposed heavy taxes on private car ownership in an effort to reduce road congestion and pollution. However, travelling around Singapore on public transport has been made very easy thanks to the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and Bus services. If you
need to commute to work and plan to travel around at the weekend you will expect to be paying around £150 a month. A bonus in Singapore is the taxi services – they are extremely efficient and relatively cheap.
Luckily, food is not very expensive in Singapore, to eat in or to eat out. Basic meals at home should come to no more than £100per month. You can eat out at one of the (many) hawker centres and food courts (see right). You can eat at one of these for as little as £2. A meal at a restaurant will cost you about £10 – 20 per person for fairly basic meals. For those who wish to live a more lavish lifestyle, Singapore has a string of fine dine restaurants from Japanese to French cuisine.
Singapore Schooling Costs
Schooling standards are high in Singapore where you can choose to send your children to state schools or international schools where your children learn an internationally recognised curriculum. State schools will cost you £125 – 175 a month for primary education and £175 – 250 for secondary education. International schools will cost around £6,000 – 15,000 a year.
Singapore Population / Religion
Singapore is populated by Chinese, Malays, Indians, Caucasians and Eurasians. 42% of the population are foreigners and its culture reflects that of the variety of different nationalities living there. Most people speak English, other common languages are Mandarin, Malay, Tamil or Singlish (Singapore Colloquial English). The Government of Singapore is democratic and claims its policy is based on meritocracy. Singapore is generally ranked fairly high for political and civic freedoms.
Singapore Public Holidays (based on 2016 dates)
- 1 January – New Year’s Day
- 8 – 9 February – Chinese New Year
- 25 March – Good Friday
- 1 May – Labour Day*
- 21 May – Hari Raya Puasa
- 9 August – National Day
- 12 September – Hari Raya Haji
- 29 October – Deepavali
- 25 December – Christmas Day*
*The following Monday will be a public holiday
Singapore Health Care
Your health is certainly in good hands in Singapore, with its health-care system being ranked 6th in the world by the WHO in 2000. It is not a legal requirement for employers to offer health insurance for their employees but many companies will add this to their employment packages. Most Singaporeans buy their medical insurance through a state insurance scheme called Medisave, this covers most big treatment costs. The
money that goes into these accounts are tax-free, gain interest and become part of the person’s estate after they pass away. However, most expatriates will invest in private healthcare which will be more costly.
Singapore’s personal income tax rates for resident taxpayers are progressive. Read more on Singapore taxes here.