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Is Living in Singapore Right For You?

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Asia’s “Silicon Valley” is becoming one of the hottest destinations for young professionals and even Western families whose parents work in cutting edge industries. With its melting hotpot of culture, delightful nightlife, and innovative public works and systems, many foreigners believe the cost of living in Singapore is quite high – and they are correct.

However, an expensive country isn’t without its benefits. Proper allocation of public funds have helped Singapore’s infrastructure to grow and adapt the latest technological solutions improving the quality of life enjoyed by every citizen. But still, it’s a huge dent on anyone’s budget. So, is living in Singapore right for you?

Here are five important factors you should consider before making a decision.

Plenty of Options But Rent Can Be Expensive

Many foreigners and young Singaporeans include as part of their life plan to invest in good homes. In response, the country’s developers have made available high-rise condominiums dominating many urban areas in the country. While all locations in the country have a good balance of vegetation and urbanity, almost anywhere is a great place to live in Singapore.

Aside from condominiums, you have a choice to live in a Singapore Housing Development Board (HDB) flat, which will cost less but will require you to comply with several requirements before moving in. Privately-owned condominiums are still affordable but have their own specific set of rules too. Additionally, if you’re not satisfied with your first ocular, you have dozens more to choose from.

However, do take note that the rent can be as high as Western rates or beyond.

Singapore One of the World’s Most Costly Countries To Live In

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore has dominated the list of “World’s Most Expensive City” for a fifth time in a row. In 2019, the country shared the top spot with Hong Kong and Paris, two world-class countries.

While it might make Singaporeans proud of this feat, it guarantees expatriates and foreigners that in exchange for a unique and beautiful city to live in with low crime rates, beautiful and reliable infrastructure, and a great night scene, they’ll have to shoulder some costly monetary consequences daily.

Young Singaporeans Worried About Living Costs

If expats feel that living costs in Singapore might be a challenge, young Singaporean professionals are struggling similarly as Western yuppies on securing their personal property or even just paying the rent. In an expensive Singapore property zone such as Orchard Road, tenants need to pay S$3,254 on a monthly basis. That’s quite a dent even for foreigners working in Singapore.

Most young Singaporeans look for alternatives. A “normal” Singaporean neighborhood apartment costs about S$2,522 in rental fees. Meanwhile, sharing an 85 square metre flat with a buddy can cost foreigners a small S$159 monthly charge. However, their privacy is semi-compromised. Here’s Expatistan’s list of prospective minimal cost of living figures if you intend to live in Singapore.

Commute or Face the (Pricey) Consequences

When in Singapore, do as Singaporeans do. You’ve probably nailed down the first part (and your possible primary reason to move in the country), which is to work a stable job in the country. The next thing: travel as the locals do. Fortunately, there’s plenty to love about Singapore’s commuting infrastructure and culture.

If you’ve gone on a Singapore tour before, some backpacking tour guides have led their groups to ride the MRT and bus lines. The system is that efficient. While you have a choice to own your own vehicle or ride a cab to work daily, commuting is the best way you’ll save money. And if you can use the commuting system well, living in Singapore is definitely right for you.

Guaranteed Public Transportation Efficiency

In 2018, McKinsey reported in its “Elements of Success: Urban Transportation Systems of 24 Global Cities” that Singapore has one of the best and low-cost public commuting systems in the world. The analysis highlighted how the public infrastructure’s management, efficiency, and sustainability align towards long-term benefits for the entire country.

But that’s not all. The report compared Singapore’s personal, public, shared, cycling, and walking travel infrastructure with Hong Kong , Singapore, Greater Paris, Moscow, and Seoul, which are five of the best cities existing in the world today. The result: it stands out as one of the best and most accessible.

Private Driving: A True Luxury

There’s still a unique feeling when you own and drive your own vehicle. It might just be the privacy you have or the convenience of having your own transportation system you can count on at any time. While it’s possible to own a car in Singapore, it has many hurdles that foreigners have to go through before they can start the ignition system.

All Singapore-sold cars have an open market value (OMV), which makes it affordable at first glance. However, car buyers have to pay for an Additional Registration Fee (ARF), Excise Duty, GST, Certificate of Entitlement (COE) and the Dealer’s Margin. This makes a S$25,000 car with an OMV Price go up to S$100,000 or more with everything on top of it according to the calculations of Dollars with Sense.

Therefore, you’re definitely living it rich in Singapore upon owning any kind of car at all!

Travel Anywhere In The World

Singapore is not just a hotpot of culture. In fact, it is the travel hub capable of sending you virtually anywhere in the world. According to Changi Airport’s statistics, about 5.91 million passengers landed in the airport as arriving in-destination or waiting for a connecting flight in July alone. Many airlines use Changi as an interchange airport for flights that head to the United States, Europe, and other countries.

If you plan to travel the world but cannot afford a full-fledged European trip and choose to visit countries one at a time, then Singapore is truly a perfect place for your travel-starved soul!

Long-Range Direct Routes

According to Skyscanner, as of 2017, Changi Airport has direct long-range flights that head to London, Mauritius, San Francisco, Düsseldorf, Nadi (in Fiji), and Canberra. These direct flights are time-saving and affordable especially if you have engagements across the Western and Eastern seaboard. If you think about it, you can just sleep on the hours-long flight and arrived energetic and ready to see the sights during your travel!

Get To All Asian Destinations from Changi!

It’s long-range flights to the US, Europe, AU, and South America are remarkable, but when you live in Singapore, you can have short direct flights to China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, The Philippines, Indonesia, and almost all Asian countries. The best thing about it? It’s not that expensive if you’re coming from Singapore to any Asian country. So, plan that Asian trip soon!

Excellent But Limited Cycling Routes

There are plenty of fitness gyms and sports-oriented fitness centres in Singapore’s cities. However, cycling routes are limited. But, the country makes up for it in quality. Bikers will definitely love the trails in Chestnut Nature Park, Coney Island, Ketam Bike Trail, Kent Ridge Bike Trail, and others. It’s less than a dozen, but they are lengthy and offer some of the best sceneries in Singapore (and you can access them for FREE!)

Top Quality But Reasonably Costly Healthcare

Many people travel (or are flown to) Singapore because of its cutting-edge medical technologies. If you live in Singapore and become a naturalised citizen, you earn subsidised medical care from the government. This means you pay less or even none at all for your healthcare.

However, until then, you’ll need to pay for health insurance to cover possible incidents where you need medical support. Healthcare in Singapore is quite affordable, but it can be expensive in some cases.

The True Cost of Singapore Healthcare

In its report in 2018, Pacific Prime listed that consultation in a Singaporean Public Hospital costs about S$1,778-S$3,324.

An admission can cost about the same amount for any form of disorder or injury in public hospitals

If your injury has left you in need of emergency surgeries, you’re looking to spend about S$4,071-S$5,731 while resting in a medical ward (which isn’t a private room) in public hospitals.

You can use private hospitals if you feel more comfortable doing so. However, you’ll be spending double or even beyond the amount you’ll spend with public hospitals. On the other hand, the guaranteed quality of treatments is one of the best in the world.

A Passion For Improved Health Technologies

Singapore’s Ministry of Health is dedicated to delivering consistency and improvements to its healthcare system and technologies. According to its website, it works with public and private medical researchers to continue developing new and improving existing medical technologies and best practices to provide the best healthcare in the world. While it’s costly, you’re sure you’re always in good hands if you’re living in Singapore.

Once You’ve Decided to Settle In, Make Sure You’re Safe Traveling Outside Singapore!

If you can manage the cost of living in Singapore, you can definitely call it a great home to live in that continuous to improve and inspire on a daily basis. Once you’ve settled into your new home and plan to travel around Singapore, make sure you and your family are always safe in your travels.

Just like Singapore’s healthcare and swift traffic system, AXA’s Personal Accident Insurance addresses all your insurance needs. If you’ve suffered from any accident or medical problem, you can get up to S$1,000,000 in coverage. You can know more about it by clicking here!

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