Want to move from Bay Area to Singapore

Jun 19, 2019 40 Comments

Hi,

I’m currently living in the Bay Area with my husband. We recently visited Singapore and we both really liked the lifestyle there. We are considering relocating there to be closer to our family in India.

I was wondering has anyone moved from Bay Area to Singapore here?

My husband works for Apple as a senior software engineer, and I am a contractor with Google. Our annual income is about $300k+
Do you think we would be able to get this salary in Singapore? I’ve heard the salary is a lot less there. Also, does anyone know what exactly an “expat package is”

We want to move but we don’t want to take a huge pay cut. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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TOP 40 Comments
  • Facebook hueheidduj
    Of course not, why do you think you can make the same at a place with much lower tax and much lower cost of living?
    Jun 19, 2019 3
    • Apple PQPN17
      Singapore cost of living is not much lower compared to Bay Area
      Jun 19, 2019
    • Facebook FBKids
      Do you live in Singapore?
      Jun 19, 2019
  • Facebook FBKids
    Easy to beat that comp after tax...
    Jun 19, 2019 7
    • Visa / Eng MzkG80
      May I know how much is for L3 and L4 at Sgp office? I am looking at L4 position or at the higher end of L3.
      Jun 20, 2019
    • Facebook Myhsh
      FB doesn’t hire L3 for external hire. L4 should be S$200k - S$250k.
      Jun 20, 2019
  • Compass yuka
    I lived in Singapore for a year while working on assignment in advertising. The place is flat out amazing. Granted this was 5 years ago, but still the city is incredible. So clean, diverse and modern. I’ve never felt so safe before, even walking around late at night.

    The laws and authoritarian-esq government is quite strict but for the average person there is no issue.

    You can easily jump on a plane at Changi and head to any country in South East Asia for almost nothing (as you would have seen).

    The expat community is lively and very welcoming. It’s a great mix of people who genuinely look out for each other.

    The toughest part is getting acclimated to the heat, but pretty much all buildings have aircon on full blast.

    A great neighborhood to check out is River Valley, you’ll be right in the mix with the Quays and Orchard road.

    COL is definitely high but not terribly far off SF. You can find neighborhood spots and get amazing cheap eats or go all out and visit some hawker centres
    Jun 19, 2019 4
    • Apple G218d245
      What about dependents? Are they allowed to work?
      Jun 20, 2019
    • Compass yuka
      Bit of a delay, I can confirm huawd’s comment about alcohol. It is very very expensive. Like $20 for a 6 pack of tiger expensive.

      My alcohol consumption went down quite a bit during my time there just because you don’t want to be hungover in that heat.

      In terms of dependents you’ll need to double check with the MoM. They have varying rules but typically you can get a letter of consent from the government if you are a dependent on an employment pass.

      Some more comments about SG:

      If you’re a runner it’s incredible. Running at night the whole city is lit up and the views are spectacular while running along the river towards the city.

      The metro is also easily the best I’ve ever ridden on. Extremely clean and orderly. Trains are never late, and also extremely safe while being very very cheap. It’s the best way to travel to and from the airport. It’s in a whole other league compared to BART or the subway in NY. Plus they don’t derail every other day, looking at you the L.

      Internet and media is meh, for the average citizen this is where you feel the reach of the government. Sites are blocked for silly reasons like: disrespect of family values. Sites on this list are tor, torrent sites, pornography, gambling, etc. TV is quite funny too, there is a focus on positive programming, commercials are quite wacky and free speech is definitely limited.

      Punishment on crime is very harsh. (It’s how they keep stability and ward off bad behavior) Even petty crimes, luckily as long as you don’t go asking for trouble or acting like a complete idiot you’ll be fine.

      Also LKY is a god there. He transformed the country from a shipping port city to a modern international powerhouse, so don’t be surprised if you hear his name come up.
      Jun 22, 2019
  • Uber
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    I did that move recently and so far I have been very happy with my decision. There is a good amount of information on Blind. You may have to take a pay cut. But the COL is proportionally low and the tax rate is low as well.
    Jun 19, 2019 1
    • Google nrvD43
      What company did you join in Singapore?
      Jun 19, 2019
  • Microsoft Wela
    It’s a good idea, you may start with less TC bit because taxes in Singapore is just 10% so you save as much as US, there are so many tech companies like Grab etc
    Jun 19, 2019 0
  • Facebook hhhhhhdft
    One thing to consider is that Singapore permanent residency has become extremely hard to get for Indians recently. I was evaluating a similar move, but decided against it since there was no clear path to becoming a permanent resident. Although a nice thing is that unlike the US, your parents can stay with you in Singapore as long as you have a valid visa.
    Jun 19, 2019 2
    • Google FgLS68
      OP
      I’m a US citizen, would it be easier to get permanent residency?
      Jun 19, 2019
    • Facebook hhhhhhdft
      The thing with Singapore is that they don’t have clear public guidelines on what helps in getting permanent residency. The idea is that they don’t want people to game the system the way it happens in the US. In general in recent times they have been pretty strict on immigration since it’s a small island with limited resources. Your best bet is asking any friends/family who moved to Singapore and had US citizenship.
      Jun 19, 2019
  • Groupon OldVirus
    I moved from NYC to Singapore for two years on assignment. I had a great expat package and I loved my two years in Singapore what an amazing country. But let me tell you Singapore is really expensive. The cost of living is more expensive than the Bay Area. For two years in a row Singapore was bored the most expensive city in the world (over Hong Kong or Tokyo).

    Feel free to message me—I can share more details about my experience and answer any questions you may have.
    Jun 19, 2019 2
    • Facebook FBKids
      You can easily travel to nearby countries
      Jun 19, 2019
    • Amazon pqTK78
      What pay decrease did you see going from NY to SG? I’m hearing taxes are low inSG but what about double taxation? Doesn’t that offset the lower tax?
      4d
  • New vrkB54
    I can tell you the Indian food here is superb if you didn't already know that
    Jul 12, 2019 1
    • Marvell tjdarrr
      Where do you work in Singapore?
      Jul 12, 2019
  • I heard, not sure if true, that Apple IST has an office in Singapore. Have him to ask around.
    Jun 19, 2019 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • New / Eng alpha9
      So combined savings is 100k+?
      Jun 19, 2019
    • Google FgLS68
      OP
      Why do you ask?
      Jun 20, 2019

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