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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

I have received an initial offer of about 100.000$ (US) per year in order to move to Singapore. This is the gross amount and includes also my bonus which I suppose would be 10-15% of the above amount.

Would this amount be enough for a family of 4 (me, my wife and 2 children around 4 years old) considering all the necessary costs (rent, school for kids etc, grocery)?

I don't need to accept this offer and I can always try to ask for more but I would like to get your honest feedback on this. I don't care for a luxury way of life but I want my family to have a good standard of living.

Also would Singapore be a good choice overall for a family?

And finally how easy would it be for my wife to get a job? She is an editor in chief on a publication office.
 

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Would this amount be enough for a family of 4 (me, my wife and 2 children around 4 years old) considering all the necessary costs (rent, school for kids etc, grocery)?
It would be enough, yes, provided you are careful about both school and housing costs. Those will be, by far, your biggest expense items. You will not be getting a private automobile (nor should you). Singapore is the most expensive place in the world to own and operate a private automobile.

Let's start with school. The lowest cost option is public (government-supported) school. Foreigners have the lowest priority placement, and placement is not guaranteed. You have to be extremely flexible about school choice, and your children may have significant travel distance to/from public school. If they are in different grades they may be in different schools, perhaps even widely separated. Monthly school fees are currently S$513 for primary school and S$670 for secondary school per child, plus there are a few additional expenses. Figure about S$2 per school day per child for public transit to/from school. Private school fees are much higher. Private schools catering to the Indian community start at approximately double the fees I just described, and then they rapidly go up from there for other private schools. Fortunately the quality of schooling in Singapore is generally good or excellent. As far as I know there's no Greek school, unfortunately.

In terms of housing you'd probably start at about S$2000 per month for a HDB (public housing) rental unit located in a non-prime area, then rental prices would escalate from there to as much as you want to pay. A two bedroom condo in a prime area and with a pool can easily reach S$5000 per month or more, so there's a wide variation. I would strongly recommend you try to find an HDB unit in order to keep costs under control, or at least you look at several HDB units. HDB units tend to have fewer and smaller bathrooms, in particular, compared to what many foreigners are used to. They can be fairly spacious by Singapore standards, however.

Make sure you live within easy walking distance to a FairPrice supermarket specifically.

If you add up HDB housing and public schooling you get to about S$40,000 as the starting minimum for your family size (I would estimate), and you can certainly spend more on those two items. Add some taxes and of course other expenses (like food, medical insurance, medical expenses, and a family trip or two to Greece, as notable examples). Public transportation is extremely affordable, fortunately. The point is you can certainly make US$100,000 gross income work in Singapore, but you have to manage those two big expense categories carefully, always.

Also would Singapore be a good choice overall for a family?
Yes, I think so. Singapore is routinely ranked as the most livable city in Asia, and Asia is a big place. However, no place is perfect for everyone. Singapore is extremely urban (which some people don't like), there's no skiiing (and no snow), and some people consider it to be too focused on consumerism and wealth, as examples. On the plus side it's extremely safe, it's urban (which offers many advantages too), has good air and water quality, has less corruption and more honest business dealings than the vast majority of countries, and it has a fascinating and wonderful diversity of languages, cultures, religions, ethnicities, cuisines, etc.

And finally how easy would it be for my wife to get a job? She is an editor in chief on a publication office.
Singapore's unemployment rate is extremely low -- well below 3% at last report -- so in that sense it's easy to find a job. However, your wife would either need her own Employment Pass (EP), meaning a sponsoring employer, or a Letter of Consent for her Dependent Pass (DP). Neither is guaranteed. Just to avoid all doubt, do not even think about working in Singapore without immigration/employment permission. As long as you play by the rules, Singapore is very relaxed and welcoming. But if aroused the Singapore government can be extremely harsh. This is a country that executes for drug offenses, for example. It's a country that canes Americans who overstay their visas, or Swiss bankers who spray graffiti on subway trains (as other real examples). Singapore is much more laid back than in past years, but there are some lines that shouldn't be crossed.

Anyway, in my view you should base your decision on only your projected income and family lifestyle expectations. Your wife's possible income should be ignored for purposes of making a decision since her employment is not guaranteed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and thank you for the prompt reply.

My biggest concern is the cost of education and considering that my children will have to attend an international English school (due to the local kids priority strategy) the cost for both children may be up to $50.000 which is simply not affordable for us.

Is this there another option for private English schools?
 

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The salary you are offered is far above the average for a comparable family in Singapore - so if you cannot make it on that pay, something is wrong with you.
That said, as other posters pointed out, the main cost drivers are rent (at S$3000-5000/month for a reasonable, but not too luxurious place), school (S$1500-3000/month per kid for an international school - note that there are waiting lists even in private schools, so your choice might be limited!) and car if you choose to have one (this is not at all necessary in Singapore!.
Your wife will only find a job in her field (editing) if her mother tongue is English or she is equally fluent in the language.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the reply. There is nothing wrong with me. And I don't care for a luxurious life at all. I just want to be able to provide a good life to my family so this is why I am asking all these questions and any feedback is more than valuable.
 
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