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Hi all. I have an opportunity to move to Singapore as an International School teacher next year. The offer is for S$6000 per month. They will pay my wife S$3000 per month (she will be in the office). I know this is not incredibly high, but they are including basic health care for both of us as well as annual flights home. I know half the battle is getting a company to hire you AND your partner on international contracts. We have ticked that box, but what worries us is that there is no rent allowance. I don't think they offer end of contract grautity payments either. It would just be a clean $9000 per month and that is it... We know rent alone will set us back a good $2000 at least... Does this sound like a good deal?

Furthermore, does anyone know what a typical International School teacher earns over there? It would be good to know if the $6000 is high, low or average for that part of the world. Any info would be much appreciated :)

Cheers.
Craig.
 

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Fyi, it is the norm for Singapore employers to pay a "13th" month salary at the end of each year. This may be further supplemented by an additional, non-guaranteed bonus, which is normally determined based on company and personal performance evaluations. Most Singaporean employees expect these as part of their packages, and would be stipulated in the employment contract if included. I do not know whether expat contracts normally include them, especially in your case of an international school where the majority of employees would be expats and following perhaps different norms. More information on such payments are available at Variable Wage Components - Ministry of Manpower.

Hope this helps a little...
 

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A typical local high school teacher earns S$4000-5000/month, and the average household income is just over S$5000/month in Singapore.
If you and your wife cannot survive on S$9000/month, you should question your spending choices.
 

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Don't forget to subtract income taxes when considering your income.

I agree with Beppi. A combined pre-tax income of S$9000/month (plus health insurance) is quite viable. You can live comfortably in Singapore with that sort of income. With a child it starts to get more "interesting."
 

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Yes that amount is actually more than enough to live in SG- unless you have an expensive lifestyle, of course
 

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I beg to differ. I am an international teacher on an expat contract and although your salary is OKish (even that is on the low side), you need to get housing on top of that. Singapore average income is pretty irrelevant as they get subsidised gov't housing, huge tax breaks, cheap medical etc - none of which expats are entitled to. You will need at least $3k for housing unless you are willing to rent an HDB which is public housing. If you haven't come from public housing in your own country, you're unlikely to want to live in it here when most other expats are living in condos with swimming pool and other facilities. The fact that they will give your wife a job is a big bonus and bumps up our salary but I can't help thinking they are being unfair not giving you housing as that is pretty standard for overseas hires at all other international schools schools.
 

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I think everyone posting understands the cost of housing and its fraction within a $9000 income.

Comparisons of Singapore's public housing to other countries' public housing are misleading at best. HDB rentals also frequently have amenities such as pools or at least very nearby community centres. That's certainly true of the HDB housing in my neighborhood -- the community centre and its facilities beat everything the private sector offers, though fortunately the community centre does not discriminate. Exactly like private sector housing, you can choose the housing with the amenities you wish (and wish to pay for within your housing costs since amenities are never free). There's a wide variety and at various price points.
 

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Ok - I think we will just have to agree to disagree on whether it's a decent offer. I've worked at 3 international schools here, ranging from third to first tier and not one has offered such a low salary or expected overseas hires to survive without a housing allowance. Each of my jobs offered a gratuity too. (Remember you won't be contributing to a pension and neither will your employer) The only good thing I can see about the job is the annual flights home.

OP - good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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For the record (and the sake of contradicting an Expat with apparent entitlement complex):
- Newly built HDBs are NOT government subsidized, just sold at cost price (independent of market forces). They still cost more than comparable flats in most other countries. Second hand HDBs are sold at prices set by supply and demand (also not subsidised) and cost 2-3 times more than the new ones. The only subsidy is a grant of up to S$40000 for first time buyers with lower incomes (below S$5000/month). As a percentage of the flat price, this is not huge (typically 5-15%).
- Foreigners pay exactly the same tax rates and get the same tax breaks as locals, except of a (small) deduction for locals who served in the military.
- Locals get subsidised rates in government hospitals, but pay the same as foreigners in private ones. The better hospitals are private, as are almost all doctor's clinics you'd visit for a small illness. Health insurance (which is usually given by employers as part of the package) is also the same for foreigners and locals at all companies I know of.
 

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Ah - that old trick. You don't agree with a poster so you begin your response with an insult. Nice.

I don't disagree, public housing is expensive and better quality than in most countries. You forgot about the locals ability to use CPF to pay for it which makes it manageable for them. However, as an expat teacher you should expect to earn enough to live in private housing. Every school I know of offers this. It's not about entitlement, it's about understanding that this is standard in International Schools here.

No foreigners don't really pay the same tax as locals, since locals get CPF which is tax free and significantly reduces your tax bill. Locals get several allowances too and if you have children (which I know the op doesn't) the allowances and rebates are huge. So yes, the tax rates are the same but the allowances and rebates are significant. Plus the CPF acts as a pension.
 

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CPF is a kind of social security fund and the contributions actually reduce encashed income. Foreigners do not have this compulsory deduction (20% of gross income) and thus get morecash in the bank than locals.
The only child allowance only locals get is a one-time S$4000 grant for the birth. Everything else is the same for foreign kids.
 

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Hi all. I have an opportunity to move to Singapore as an International School teacher next year. The offer is for S$6000 per month. They will pay my wife S$3000 per month (she will be in the office). I know this is not incredibly high, but they are including basic health care for both of us as well as annual flights home. I know half the battle is getting a company to hire you AND your partner on international contracts. We have ticked that box, but what worries us is that there is no rent allowance. I don't think they offer end of contract grautity payments either. It would just be a clean $9000 per month and that is it... We know rent alone will set us back a good $2000 at least... Does this sound like a good deal?

Furthermore, does anyone know what a typical International School teacher earns over there? It would be good to know if the $6000 is high, low or average for that part of the world. Any info would be much appreciated :)

Cheers.
Craig.
$9000 in total income is quite high as a singaporean's point of view. If it only is 2 person then I will say get a 3-4 room HDB flat which on average costs 800-1300 a month as rent. Depending on where you are staying the cost of rent will vary. Cost of living in SG is abit on the high side so you might want to consider taking notice of your weekly expenses and spendings.
 

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If it only is 2 person then I will say get a 3-4 room HDB flat which on average costs 800-1300 a month as rent.
If you are talking about rent for the whole flat, I have to ask: Where have you been in the last 15 years (i.e. since rents were that low)?
If you are talking about rent per room, you are approximately right (although S$1300 is a bit on the high side for an HDB room).
 

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If you are talking about rent for the whole flat, I have to ask: Where have you been in the last 15 years (i.e. since rents were that low)?
If you are talking about rent per room, you are approximately right (although S$1300 is a bit on the high side for an HDB room).
Like i said depending on where you are living cost will vary. I was referring to places like Sengkang, Hougang areas... Room wise the cheapest i have seen is 300/mth... whole units wise I have seen around$1000+++ for 2/3 room flats which are also small sized units too...
 

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The lowest for a 3-room HDB flat in reasonable location (NOT 30min walk from the next MRT and no bus stop near) is slightly below S$2000/month nowadays. (If you disagree, please post links to ads at lower prices.) 2-room HDBs are rare.
Offers of S$300/month are for a bed in a shared room (2 to 6 people in one room). Many foreign workers live in such arrangements.
 
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