Settling down in Singapore

So, have you got an air ticket to travel to Singapore with a resident permit to live and work in Singapore?  If it is so, you’d obviously be curious to know more about the city state and how to settle down there.  It is important to know many things about the country you are immigrating to, including housing, public transport, education for the children, finances, taxes, shopping or buying or renting a car.
As far as settling down in Singapore is concerned, there are no complicated facts involved.  Governance is quite smooth and most of the information is just a call away or available on the Internet.  However, some of this information should be handy, before you even land in Singapore.  For example, Singapore is quite intolerant about drug trafficking and it is illegal and punishable offense to carry even the small amounts of drugs inside the country.  The next array of information is related to basic amenities, such as housing, temporary accommodation, applying for water, electricity, phone connection and cooking gas.  This article would provide you brief information on all of these topics.

Housing
in Singapore, housing can be categorized into three main housing types: low-cost housing, apartments, and serviced apartments.  Low-cost housing is available in suburban areas and is known as SHIFT.  Given excellent transportation facilities in Singapore, this option is not bad at all.  If you want a luxurious apartment in urban part of the city, you can get it by paying some premium price for it.  You can also go for apartments known as serviced apartments on a temporary basis.

Hotels
As far as hotels are concerned you would find all types of hotels from economic to luxury, based on your choice as temporary accommodation.

Telephone Services
Singapore offers fixed line telephone, mobile subscription and public phone services.  To apply for fixed line telephones, which often come with Internet connection, you need to deposit $300 and submit your documents such as passport and work permit or other residential passes to SingTel Retail Shops or authorized dealers of SingTel Mobile.  Corporate discounts are available on behalf of the employer to go for prepaid or postpaid mobile phone subscription, which comes at attractive call plans.  However, there is a contract for one or two years and terminating this contract may result in heavy penalties.

Home furnishing and decoration
Singapore is a modern city, which offers excellent home furnishing items and furniture.  You can also take a few items on lease.
Education
As far as education of your children is concerned, there are various ethnic and international schools in Singapore, along with some schools with special or vocational training.  There is no dearth of play schools, nurseries and kindergartens for small kids.

Getting Domestic Help
Hiring a maid servant in Singapore is not very expensive, given the fact that it becomes extremely important for working couple.

Cost of living
Apart from cars and properties, everything else is quite affordable, which includes grocery, clothes, entertainment, food and other basic goods.  You must be familiar with the fact that Singapore is a shopping paradise and basic goods are competitively priced at local supermarkets and other places for expatriates, which provide good discounts.

Water, Electricity & Gas supply
To avail water, electricity and gas supply, you need to contact The Public Utilities Board (PUB).

Postal Services
Postal services are quite affordable, efficient and rapid in Singapore, even if it is as small as a grocery item.

Health Care
Singapore offers affordable healthcare, both at private and public hospitals, which are equally competitive and advanced.  Healthcare coverage is also offered through employers and private insurance operators.

Cost of Living in Singapore – some do’s and don’t’s

Singapore is among the top 10 cities when it comes to expenses for expatriates. It is also one of the 5 most costly cities in Asia allowing with Tokyo, Hong Kong, Osaka, and Beijing. The maximum costs are incurred in case of rent, schooling and transport. However, there are several ways of minimizing cost of living in Singapore.

Rent costs can be reduced if several people share an apartment or if they live in HDBs (Housing and Development Board. One more option could be staying away from downtown Singapore. However, such a move is unlikely to be much effective as real estate prices in the south Asian country are always on an upward curve.

There are several other factors that play an important role in determining the costs and standards of living in Singapore – the condition and location of the property in question. It is advisable that people opt for public transport in the country as purchasing and maintaining private vehicles is a costly affair.

Fees at international schools in Singapore can approximately range from S$6,000 to S$20,000 on a yearly basis. Such expenses could have a significant bearing on one’s budget in Singapore. There are good job opportunities in Singapore.One can refer to the job sites or can take the help of the placement consultants of Singapore in order to get a good job.

As per estimates of Singapore Education, international students end up spending almost S$750 to S$2000 per year. In case of students who have scholarship facilities and whose accommodation expenses are taken care of monthly expenses could range from S$200 to S$300 approximately.

When it comes to comparison housing costs are significantly more for people who move over from countries such as Philippines or India. Various agencies such as Xpatxperience have analyzed that it is necessary to earn at least S$78,000 per year to meet expenses and maintain a decent lifestyle.

Tax is an important consideration while determining the expenses in Singapore. Taxes are lower in Singapore compared to the rest of Asia, Europe and Australia. It is advisable for overseas professionals to ask for school and housing expenses to be covered while deciding on their salaries.

Residents should also avail FairPrice while shopping for groceries. In case people want to stay fit they should go for community gymnasiums. For other personal expenses such as books purchasing second hand books to start with or renting them can be recommended.

The rates for housing properties within the main city vary from $4000 to $25,000 depending on the type of property. For residential properties outside the main city, rates range from $1500 to $6000.