Are You Financially Ready to Move to Singapore

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Singapore has been rated as the best place in the world for expats, but Malaysia isn’t far behind. 55% of expats live in a home they consider nicer than before they moved to Malaysia and 61% find it’s easy to make friends.

Before you make the leap, you need to make sure you are financially ready. Depending on where you currently live, you may be looking forward to lower living costs in either Singapore or Malaysia. Getting your finances in order and understanding all the costs should be your priorities prior to take off.
Singapore Skyline

Living Costs: Malaysia

Despite being a modernized country with plenty of luxuries, Malaysia offers relatively low living costs compared to Europe, Australasia, and North America. It is estimated that a single person could live comfortably in Kuala Lumpur for $470 USD a monthFor that amount you will have a comfortable room in a modern, furnished apartment, you will eat well, and you’ll still have money left over for entertainment and travel.

For additional context, a mid-priced meal for two will cost around $17, while a cheap meal out could come to just $5 per person. Shopping in the local supermarkets and cooking from home makes life affordable for most people on an average American wage. As long as you have enough for several months’ worth of rent and living costs, then you should be all set to make the move. 

Living Costs: Singapore

Singapore is significantly more expensive than in Malaysia. A 480 square foot studio in a reasonably priced area will set you back around $1350. For this reason, you will need to consider having a larger savings account to fall back on if you haven’t secured employment when you relocate.

However, you will still likely find that some Singapore living costs are cheaper than in your current town. For example, a monthly travel ticket is $70 and allows you unlimited movement around the country. And you can buy a movie ticket for less than $9.

Moving For Work Opportunities

For speakers of English, jobs in both Malaysia and Singapore are easily found. These places are outward looking and international, with many jobs in the finance industry for expats looking to advance their careers. The Malaysian government has set up a department called TalentCorp, which is aimed at attracting highly skilled foreigners.

As a resident of Malaysia, you will also be entitled to certain tax incentives. For instance, if you earn less than $2000, you will receive tax relief of $491. You are entitled to $245 for each unmarried child in high school. If your child is over 18 and studying in Malaysia, you can claim $980 in tax relief. So even if you end up with a relatively low wage job, you will still be able to live comfortably as a resident with government support.

Depending on your country of origin, Singapore could also offer enticing tax relief. Agreements have been made with Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom, among others. This means that residents of these nations can relocate to Singapore without fear of double taxation. While Singapore has a progressive taxation system, you will never pay more than 22%. This makes it extremely competitive compared to many European and North American countries which have tax brackets upwards of 30%.

If, however, you have migrated to this part of the world for a different lifestyle and want to avoid the typical job path, there may be alternative income sources. For instance, you may be a retiree looking to pursue a passion and earn a little money on the side. With fast and rapidly improving internet connections in all major towns, you could join the quickly growing digital nomad community. Whether offering marketing, writing, or online tutoring services, it is easy to find a side hustle in Singapore and Malaysia. Look at sites like remote.co, Virtual Vocations, and Jobspresso. They offer work for everyone regardless of location. You can stay productive into old age while living in one of the best countries for expats.

Moving for Retirement

Malaysia is popular among retirees due to the ease of moving there. The MM2H program allows a residence visa, with multiple entries into the country across a 10 year period. That means that once acquired, there is no bureaucracy to deal with for a decade. Furthermore, pensions are tax-free. Malaysia has a relaxed and peaceful culture, which is open and welcoming to all people. Similarly, there are no visa requirements for retirees wanting to move to Singapore. This cuts out the time-consuming paperwork, uncertainty while waiting for approval, and the fear of deportation. Singapore is renowned for its high-level private healthcare. Consider paying for this if you can afford it. 

Although most expats report positive experiences when relocating to Malaysia and Singapore, this will only be the case with thorough planning. Be aware that living costs between cities can vary significantly. Make sure you have the savings to pay rent while you secure local workOnce you are earning a good income, you can maintain a high quality – and stress-free  life. 

A great place to begin researching an expat life in Singapore would be with our City Guide and Neighborhood Explorer. Both are full of information related to housing costs, healthcare, transportation, and lifestyle.

Expat Life

Game of Thrones: Cost of living and real estate comparison

Adam Vagley @goodmigrations

The countdown to the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones has begun and unless you’ve been living beyond the wall for the last 8 years, you’re probably aware of the exuberant excitement for the premiere.

One of the joys of the show is the incredible film locations that make us feel like we’re in a real world King’s Landing, Dorne, or other faraway parts of “the known world”.

So we thought we’d jump on the GoT bandwagon and show you what it would cost to live like royalty in a real palace in the real world. (Hey HGTV, take note: it’s time to start a Castle Hunters television series. We know Jon Snow would be a fan since he needs some decor inspiration — black fur just isn’t a great look in summer months.)

So here it is, the Game of Thrones Real Estate Comparison.

Game of Thrones Cost of Living Comparison Infographic

 

KING’S LANDING
Film location: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Are there castles for sale here? Yes.
The Palace Soderini is located within Dubrovnik’s walls. It’s got true royal roots since it was built for an exiled member of Florence’s ruling Medici family. It’ll cost you just over $2.5M. That’s €2.2M.

WINTERFELL
Film location: County Down, Northern Ireland
Are there castles for sale here? Yes.
Live like a king in Gilford Castle. With 15 bedrooms and 207 acres, there is plenty of room to spread out.  Spend days hunting on your land or fishing in the river that cuts through it. There are stables, a kennel, and a sawmill on site as well. The cost to live here? $3M or £2.3M.

MEEREEN
Film location: Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco
Are there castles for sale here? Not exactly.
Ait-Ben-Haddou doesn’t have any comparable real estate, so we went to the nearest city in Morocco, Ouarzazate. There you’ll find the over-the-top 7th Art Palace, which was built by a movie producer. Each bedroom is themed after a famous movie, such as Cleopatra and Gladiator. This piece of life imitating art will cost you $2.9M (€2.5M).

DORNE
Film location: Seville, Spain
Are there castles for sale here? Si.
While it doesn’t have the Water Gardens, this 10,000 square foot palace with 145 acres of land does have olive groves. Living like the Martells (RIP) will set you back $6.7M (€6.0M).

HIGHGARDEN
Film location: Cordoba, Spain
Are there castles for sale here? Mas o menos.
Lady Olenna Tyrell (also RIP) would approve of this spot since nobility used to own this nine bedroom palace. It’s also the most expensive home on our list; costing you $11.4M (€9.8M). Even the name – “Palacio de Cordoba” – sounds upscale.

BRAAVOS
Film location: Šibenik, Croatia
Are there castles for sale here? Not exactly.
The free city of Braavos…er, Šibenik is fresh out of palaces and sword fighting (the palaces have been turned into museums and the swords are in those museums), but you can still get a palatial six bedroom modern villa in this coastal medieval town. You’ll just need to pony up $1.8M (€1.6M) for the beautifully named – and situated – Villa Novitas.

THE EYRIE
Film location: Meteora, Greece
Are there castles for sale here? Nope, nothing castle-like here besides a UNESCO monastery perched on a mountain, which is a pretty stunning sight.
We’ll admit it: we just picked out the first awesome villa we found. It’s nowhere near Meteora. But it is stunning. Meet The Venetian, situated on the western Greek island of Lefkada. If House Arryn could get a mulligan, they’d probably choose to live here. The price? $2.8M (€2.5M).

Artwork:
Super awesome GoT location icons by Lucía Gómez Alcaide
www.lucecitagmz.com

Real Estate Listings:
King’s Landing: https://bit.ly/2FnRzJs
Winterfell: https://bit.ly/2ukBgIg
Meereen: https://bit.ly/2KHrOFt
Dorne: https://bit.ly/2Uj5niI
Highgarden: https://bit.ly/2MMDCHi
Braavos: https://bit.ly/2UjDR4K
The Eyrie: https://bit.ly/2LJJIYL

Humorous

How Tech is Changing International Relocation

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Moving overseas can be a difficult decision for many. Whether one is moving for studies, employment or simply a lifestyle change, they will have a few things to consider. These factors include the cost of living, family, the level of security in the foreign land, and expected benefits of the relocation.

Why Employees Avoid Moving Overseas

Workers that have not lived abroad before can be especially skeptical of their first major relocation. Overseas moves can be expensive and stressful, not to mention a potentially drastic culture shock in their new home country.

The employer should take care of any logistical concerns, as well as, prepare them emotionally for their new destination. There is a rise of “relocation counseling,” counseling specializing in the treatment of those who have recently been hired, transferred, or transitioned to an unfamiliar city or environment, in overseas relocations. (Relocation counselors make a decent living if you’re thinking of a career change.)

The employer must also ensure the worker maintains a comparable standard of living in the new country. Typically, this is done with increased financial incentives or bonuses and monitored through satisfaction surveys. And let’s not forget about the children. Employees with kids want reassurance that their children will attend quality schools and their education won’t be compromised. Without the above,  the employee is unlikely to take seriously or accept an offer to move abroad. Read more…

News Technology

How to Keep Your Phone Number When Moving Abroad

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

*Originally published on September 15, 2017 but has since been updated to reflect new information.

A decision many expats must make is how to stay connected with family and friends back home after they move overseas. For individuals moving within the EU, the dilemma of keeping a phone number when moving to a new country is not as great and sometimes not present at all. If you live anywhere in Europe and are planning on moving elsewhere in Europe, Africa or Asia (with the exceptions of Japan and Korea), your phone will work. If you are moving to the Americas, make sure your phone has the 1900 and 850 MHz bands. For those of us trying to keep our USA phone number when moving abroad though, it’s a time of frustration and lots of research.

 How to stay connected overseas Read more…

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your International Moving Company

Adam Vagley @goodmigrations

It pays to hire the right international mover. A bad mover can cost you hundreds of dollars more than you planned for – there are plenty of horror stories out there of people who got low quotes and then had to shell out more money once their stuff was picked up, or of shipments getting moldy because they weren’t packed properly.

We’ve already talked about why you shouldn’t find an international mover using any of the popular review sites. But once you’ve done your research and found a handful of good movers, what questions should you ask to vet them?

In this post, we’ll share the top ten questions you need to ask any potential mover during the different phases of choosing who to hire. With the help from our international moving partners, we’ve compiled the best advice. 

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your International Mover
Read more…

© 2019 GoodMigrations LLC. All rights reserved.

The GoodMigrations logo and the Cost/Time/Condition metric are service marks of GoodMigrations LLC. Terms  Privacy Policy