If you are thinking of starting a new life in Singapore, have an upcoming job assignment in Singapore that will require you to spend an extended period of time in this awesome city-state, or are planning to stay with family and friends, there are plenty of things to consider before relocating to Singapore. Here are some of the most important factors to consider for a smooth and hassle-free move.
It’s Cheaper Than You Realize
Despite being named by The Economist as the world’s most expensive city for four years in a row, you will be glad to hear that it’s possible to live cheaply in Singapore with the right strategies. If you can live without many of the luxuries here, like filet mignon, imported cheese, and high-end dining experiences, you can make your money stretch further than you might think.
The local food outlets found outside of the hustle and bustle of the city and the public transport are reasonably priced. And if you are working in Singapore, the low-income tax compared to the US and Europe means that you can have a sizeable amount of income left at the end of the month if you spend your money wisely. If you are coming with your family, there are many things to do with your kids.
Finding Somewhere to Live
PropertyGuru, the number one property search site for Singapore and Malaysia, is the best place to look for your ideal place to live in Singapore. Using PropertyGuru, you can find Florence residences and homes that are available to buy or rent in many of Singapore’s most popular developments. Finding the right place for you might not always be easy, however, since property prices in Singapore can be quite high.
It’s worth looking for a short-term accommodation before you arrive to give yourself some time to find somewhere more ideal. When looking for property, be sure to find somewhere that is close to public transport stations. You can find several exceptionally serviced apartments to stay in across the island while you are looking for somewhere more permanent that suits your needs.
If you are considering permanently moving to Singapore or living there long-term, it’s a good idea to secure work before you arrive. Strict employment laws in Singapore can make finding work after you arrive more difficult than you might imagine, including a lot of regulations around foreigners working here. The best thing to do is to secure an offer in principle for employment before you make your way to the country. You will need to do this to get an employment pass from the Ministry of Manpower.
Public Transport and Getting Around
There is little chance that you will require a car in Singapore, since the small size of the country means that the authorities have invested heavily in public transport over the past few years. Trains are some of the cheapest and the most efficient options. They are usually very reliable and frequent. In fact, twenty-minute delays on the trains are so rare that they have even made the national news.
Purchasing a car and getting your international drivers license for personal transport is possible, but it is not cheap, with new models many more times expensive than you would expect to pay in the rest of the world. Once you have purchased a car, there are further expenses to contend with, including the Certificate of Entitlement, which will cost you almost as much as the car itself.
Wherever you go in Singapore, paying for what you need is easier than ever, since the country has embraced debit and credit cards more than pretty much anywhere else in the world. Whether you’re traveling in a taxi, using food courts, shopping in a mall, or picking up the essentials in a supermarket, Singapore is quickly moving towards becoming a completely cashless society. That being said, there is still the option to pay in cash in most places if you prefer – and the bank notes here are some of the cleanest that you will find around the world.
The hot weather is another key thing, so make sure that you prepare yourself first before relocating to Singapore. Due to its location at just one degree north of the equator, Singapore definitely has a tropical climate with temperatures that are consistently higher than 30 degrees Celsius along with plenty of humidity. Whether you’re packing clothing to take or going to buy a new wardrobe once you arrive, light and cool clothing is a must, and be sure to take plenty of sunscreens.
Thankfully, air conditioning is available in almost every building you’ll visit.
Singapore is a clean, modern, and developed island state that is becoming more and more popular with ex-pats. Whether you’re looking for an extended stay or a permanent change of location, be sure to keep these factors in mind before making the move.