Pros And Cons Of Moving To Singapore – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
When considering a move abroad, it can be all too easy to assume that a rosier life awaits. Sometimes, it could be a challenging process, and it could be easy on the other side. Nevertheless, all serial expats will attest that every cities and country today have their plus and minuses. So, what exactly do you want!
Well, many would say they want to relocate abroad for the social amenities and the life it offers. However, the reasons to live abroad are beyond that. That’s why this guide is meant for expats who are still hovering on the fence and are still weighing up the positives and negatives of relocating to Lion City.
Living in Singapore is incredibly amazing! Expats from around the world move to Singapore in large numbers. This is because; Singapore is a great location to raise a family, and there’s the availability of high-quality education, low prices of homes, and strong security measures. Does that sound interesting?
If you answered yes, it would be better to read further to understand the concept of living in Singapore. The standard of living in this city is notoriously high, and the healthcare facilities are second to none. Also, there’s no shortage of expat groups, bars, restaurants, outdoor activities, and clubs throughout the city.
Of course, in this article, you’ll understand more than you could ever imagine. We will walk you through the concept of living in Singapore in today’s 21st century. Not only that, but you’ll also understand the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and travels in the country. Read further to get a glimpse of it.
Living in Singapore as an Expat
While Singapore offers a very high standard of living, the survey disclosed that it remains on the list of the top ten most expensive cities in the world. This means expatriates who seek living conditions similar to what they enjoy in their home country will find that properties are very high in the city.
In addition, alcohol is also taxed at a high rate, entailing that those expats who like to visit bars will find that maintaining a social life here is expensive. On the whole, food and groceries are pretty reasonable, and expatriates who are prepared to dine will discover that they can’t do it cheaply.
Our ultimate guide contains detailed living costs across different types of lifestyles and living options in Singapore. Because our guides are written by expats who live in the country, you can be assured that you have the information you really need when moving to Singapore. Below are some interesting facts.
Facts about Living in Singapore
From Singapore’s diverse socio-cultural community to the clean and eco-friendly urban environment, this city boasts some of the highest living standards in all of Asia. According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, the country has been deemed the happiest country in Southeast Asia, among notable facts. Without further ado, let’s quickly walk you through some interesting facts about this country.
1. Fantastic Transportation System
The Changi Airport in Singapore has been named several times as the world’s best airport for seven consecutive years. Aside from this fact, the country offers train, light rail, and bus services to get you around. Again, it’s praised for being clean, air-conditioned, and cheap. In the city, you can as well explore different ways of taking a taxi, which is comparatively cheap and safe.
2. Safest Country in the World
Many expats cite the safe of the country as one of their favorite things about moving or living in Singapore. In the Expat Insider 2019 survey, research made it known that Singapore ranked first in the world for personal safety. It is also regarded as ‘safe for women,’ as one Malaysian woman pointed out in the survey. Meanwhile, people in Singapore also praise the safety of the buses and light trails.
3. Delicious and Diverse Foods
If you’ve been craving delicious and diverse cuisine, this is the right place to visit. Many expats in the country enjoy the food because there’s primarily a mix of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. Luckily, Singapore is so popular among expats, and you’ll be able to meet people from around the world.
This way, joining the world’s largest expat community is a great way to meet people when you arrive in the city. Besides, you can join groups, and attend events open to the whole community and meet someone completely different from yourself.
4. Learning a New Language
While you’re relocating to Singapore for the first time, don’t worry about learning a new language. This is because; English is the official language of business in Singapore, and you certainly won’t have any problems communicating with the locals or getting around and adapting to your new surroundings.
5. A City of Waterfalls
History, according to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore, made it known that the first man-made waterfall was built at Jurong Bird Park in 1971. Dropping from a height of 30 meters, this waterfall is said to be the tallest waterfall in an aviary to date. Well, that’s not all, but you’ll also find new summits to explore at the Cloud Forest Gardens by the Bay.
6. World’s Greenest Cities
This city of skyscrapers is also one that is filled with tons of lush greenery. Moreover, nearly half of Singapore’s land area is under green cover, and there are pockets of undiscovered plant life housed in the most unusual places in the country. Aside from this fact, Singapore is home to over 2,100 native vascular plant species.
7. Fastest Pedestrians in the World
Perhaps as a result of living in such a fastest-paced, lively city, Singapore currently holds the title of having the fastest pedestrians in the world. In a study conducted by the British Council, observing various cities in the world, Singapore has been ranked top of the list with an average walking speed of around 6, 15 kilometers per hour.
8. Singapore Consists of Sixty-three Islands
Unlike other countries that have more than 10 to 15 islands, Singapore is no doubt having 63 islands. With that being said, the territory that Singapore is made up of consists of one main island and sixty-two other islets. Meanwhile, since the country gained independence in 1959, it has undergone massive land reclamation by creating new land for oceans, lakes, and even rivers, which has increased its total size.
9. Singapore Kindness Movement
The Singapore kindness movement is a charity that was established to focus on teaching adults and children the value found in being kind, polite, ethical, and having good manners. The campaign was inspired by the 1996 Prime Minister’s New Year message that emphasized the need for Singapore to become a compassionate society. Moreover, Singapore has been found to be the least corrupt nation in Asia today.
10. Love of Trees in Singapore
With their supertrees that are famous worldwide and the fact that over 5o percent of their land is dedicated to planting life, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Singapore has a National Tree Planting Day celebration usually held on the 7th of November. During this day, everyone from the Prime Minister to young children plants trees, and the day is enjoyed and celebrated by all citizens, including the foreigners.
5 Tips for Moving to Singapore
An international move is a big transition that requires a lot of preparation, planning, and guides. You might have heard that Singapore is easy, but its travel process and procedures could drain you. To reduce the stress that comes with this life-changing method, check out the tips to travel below.
Ensure You Have a Good Job
As an expat, you should know that the Singapore job market is highly competitive. This is because; the combination of highly educated local Singaporeans and career-development-minded expats are already in the city. And many expats move to Singapore because their companies ask them to do so. With that being said, it would be better to have a job before relocating to this country.
Decide Where to Live
Singapore’s housing market is certainly in flux, with available standard houses and shifting rental prices. Although moving to a new country can relatively be an overwhelming experience, but we advised you to check the right place to live. Below are some of the best places to live in Singapore as an expat.
● Tiong Bahru – The Tiong Bahru is a heritage housing estate that’s rich with retro charm. The city planning designed the streets in an excellent interlocking horseshoe shape, enclosing the community center. Also, it’s located only about 15 minutes outside of the city center.
● Holland Village – Holland Village is one of the most popular areas for expats. While Holland village is home to lots of families, it still has a very eclectic feel with a variety of bars, local shops, and Western restaurants. Also, it put expats in proximity to some very good schools and a wide range of housing options.
● Tanjong Pagar – The Tanjong Pagar boasts many of the classically beautiful shop house storefronts that maintain Singapore’s Malay heritage and give the city a sense of beautiful charm. Located just outside the central business district, the neighborhood is home to bankers and agency suits. However, the neighborhood offers an incredible lifestyle and several amenities-rich condo options.
● Sentosa – The Sentosa is pretty good for expat that wants a low-budget lifestyle. It can be a beautiful high-end option with the beach right out your windows. In fact, locals say that the community has a real neighborhood feel, including access to a golf course. Also, this town is easy to access by both car and a special tramline that connect to the overall MRT system.
● Geylang – The Geylang is a decidedly more local area, perhaps even more than the authentically Chinatown. It’s about 15 minutes outside the city to the East, and many people appreciate the gritty charm that comes along with the neighborhood. Aside from this fact, the Geylang also offers a mix of HDBs and condos with fewer units and less sprawling grounds.
Pros and Cons of Moving to Singapore
While Singapore is one of the leading destinations for expats, it was ranked the top in the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey in recent years. This country offers fantastic career prospects, particularly in the finance sector, which is why so many families find themselves in a position to move to the city. Now, take a look at the pros and cons below to know more about the country.
From our research, we understand that Singapore is known to have family-friendly locals. So, if you’re moving to this country for the first time, be assured of having a good welcoming. Aside from welcoming locals, you can also experience a plethora of water parks, education centers, sports facilities, and open green spaces to while away the days.
High-rated Level of Education
This also constitutes another benefit of moving to Singapore in today’s 21st century. The level of education is high, and there are plenty of international schools to choose from, which help children integrate quickly and begin making friends. The British international schools follow the same curriculum as the UK, so if the relocation is not permanent, it’s an excellent way to maintain a level of relationship.
Singapore Healthcare System
The Singapore healthcare system is no doubt an incredible one. Expats will enjoy both the private and public services, but those on a work pass may not be granted, and the cost to go private is pretty much expensive. This means expats can enjoy free healthcare facilities as the locals in Singapore.
Cultural Diversity in Singapore
Since we all knew Singapore as a home to a wide range of cultures, religions, and ethnicities, they are celebrated all over the world. Their food also comprises of many cuisines, influenced by the different communities. Additionally, Singapore’s official languages include Mandarin, Tamil, Malay, and English. Moreover, English still remains the most common language used that unites the different ethnic groups.
Safety and Security Measures
Among the most comforting aspects of living in Singapore is the feeling of safety and security. In recent years, Singapore was ranked second on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index. On several occasions, many locals and expats have accidentally left their phones/passports/wallets in taxis or restaurants, and they’ve always been kindly handed back to them. So, faith in humanity is restored here.
Cleanliness in the Country
Food and drink are prohibited on public transport in Singapore. And with this, the MRT is pristine compared to the London Underground or NYC subway. Overall, Singaporeans value discipline and are highly law-abiding citizens. This way, the streets are kept clean and are well maintained. So, just make sure you’re equally respectful and dispose of your trash correctly when moving to the country.
Easy Access to Transport System
Another great thing to explore in Singapore is the easy access to endless amounts of fantastic travel destinations. In this country, there are many must-see spots, and we recommend taking advantage of the numerous public holidays to plan your long weekend trips. More so, be sure to plan as travel fares may increase during the holidays.
Weather in Singapore
With Singapore located immediately in the north of the equator, the temperature barely drops below thirty degrees Celsius. This means you might expect summer all year round with the odd tropical rainfalls. I remember one time it fell to around 26 degrees, and all the citizens were freaked out, exclaiming how cold it was.
Architectures and Public Holidays
Another surprising benefit of moving to Singapore today is the architectural gems scattered over Lion City and the public holidays. From colonial heritage buildings and Chinese Shophouses to unique and futuristic landmarks, you’ll definitely enjoy seeing Singapore architecture.
However, there are loads of public holidays in Singapore each year. As an expat, this could help you make the most of your trips throughout the year, whether they’re long or short-haul. Therefore, if you’re planning a trip around public holidays, be sure to book your flights up to six months in advance as the flight’s increase over these busy periods.
Low Tax Rates
Singapore’s low taxes and other incentives for foreign investors qualify the country as a tax haven. However, it levies 20 percent on personal incomes in the highest tax bracket, and it does not tax capital gains. With this kind of tax policy and a location that makes it a gateway for companies to expand into emerging Asian economies, it has become a global hub for international investment and commerce.
Hot for Outdoor Activities
One of the downsides of Singapore’s climate is that it makes it very difficult for expats to enjoy outdoor activities without dripping in sweat. Don’t get it twisted; afternoon walks and picnics in the park are still possible, but you have to time it well to avoid the midday roaring temperatures.
Work-life Balance in Singapore
In recent years, Singapore was ranked among the bottom 10 in terms of work-life balance. It’s also ranked the second most overworked city in a study of 40 cities. So, if you work for a local company, standard leave is 14 days, while overtime is usually expected with no extra pay.
Groceries Are Expensive in Singapore
As for supermarkets, the prices at Cold Storage are higher compared to other grocery stores. However, you’ll be more likely to find your western home comfort foods in Cold Storage. Meanwhile, expect to pay around double the usual price in this store. Aside from this fact, going to a wet market is more fun than going to the supermarket, and it’s certainly a must-see tourist attraction for an authentic cultural experience.
Car Ownership in Singapore
It’s so freaking expensive to own a car in Singapore. Surprisingly, I’m still in disbelief at how many vehicles are actually on the roads. Well, it has been consistently ranked as the top few most expensive countries to own a car. And it’s three times more expensive than in Europe/U.S, which is why most expats stick to using public transport.
Alcohol Price in Singapore
Booze comes at a price in Singapore, so you should expect to pay between $13-$25 for a drink at a bar or restaurant. At the same time, buying alcohol at supermarkets is generally cheaper. However, do note that you can’t buy alcohol in stores or drink in public after 10:30 pm in Singapore.
Frequently Asked Questions about Singapore
What should I expect from Singaporean culture?
Singapore is a multicultural society comprising of Chinese, Indian, and Malay ethnicities. However, it’s important to learn more about the specific traditions associated with each culture. Besides, the major religions in the country find their expression in the celebration of major festivals.
Where can I meet fellow expats in Singapore?
There’s little reason to feel too homesick in this cosmopolitan city, as many expat clubs and associations cater to Singapore’s extensive expat network. You can also check the list of towns and areas mentioned in this article to find the best place to meet expats.
Does it snow in Singapore?
Of course, no since the country lies near the equator, Singapore only enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year. Meanwhile, it does not have seasons like winters, autumn, or spring because it’s usually summer all year round.
Is Singapore a part of China?
No, Singapore was never part of China, but it has a sizeable Chinese population because of the ancestors that migrated to China years ago. To know more about the relationship between China and Singapore, follow our platform for relevant updates.
Does Singapore have beaches?
Of course, yes! There are many beaches since it’s an island country. If you miss some beach time in Singapore, you can head to Sentosa Island to explore several beautiful beaches and outdoor activities.
Living in Singapore is something that many expat dreams of because of the considerable lifestyle. It might be a small country, but it has everything needed to enjoy your stay. Refer to the concept above to weigh the pros and cons of moving to the country in today’s modern age. Check this platform for more updates!