SINGAPORE: Singapore has seen a remarkable 13.1% increase in its expat population, surging from 1.56 million in Jun 2022 to 1.77 million in Jun 2023, as per MoneySmart.
The city-state’s appeal lies in promising work opportunities and a contemporary lifestyle, making it an ideal destination for those considering a move.
For a successful transition to Singapore, planning is key. Here’s an expat’s guide to moving to Singapore to secure a job and manage finances for a smooth relocation.
Tips for Getting a Job Offer for Expats
- Conduct Informational Interviews: Reach out to industry professionals for informational interviews. This provides real-time insights into market-rate compensation and valuable industry knowledge.
- Clarify Role Designation: Before applying, ascertain if the role is intended for expats. Employers often designate roles for specific reasons, such as immigration requirements and budget considerations.
- Emphasise Commitment: Communicate your commitment to moving during the interview process. Reassure recruiters and hiring managers of your genuine interest in relocating to Singapore.
- Be Compensation-Aware: Understand that compensation ranges can vary. Be prepared for discussions on salary and benefits. Utilise online sources like Mycareersfuture and Glassdoor to validate compensation hypotheses.
Financial Planning for Expats
Moving to a new country requires careful financial planning. Here are essential steps to ensure financial stability in Singapore.
- Before Moving: Set up a virtual mailbox and phone number for financial transactions. Create a budget using the 50/30/20 rule.
- Housing Security Deposit: Allocate funds for a housing security deposit, considering private condos and HDB flats.
- Basic Financial Services: Open a bank account with options like DBS Multi-Currency Account or UOB. Consider Interactive Brokers for investments.
- Health Insurance: Evaluate employer-provided plans and, if needed, buy private medical insurance. Be cautious with financial advisors and consider modular coverage for cost savings.
Tips to Save Money for Expats
Expats in Singapore enjoy unique savings and tax benefits. Understanding these can significantly impact financial decisions.
- Supplemental Retirement Scheme: Invest in a tax-advantaged account for tax deferral and benefits upon retirement.
- 0% Capital Gains: Expats benefit from 0% capital gains on investments as Singapore tax residents.
- Tax Reliefs: Leverage personal income tax deductions, such as Qualifying Child Relief and Working Mother’s Child Relief.
Automating Finances Across Borders
Simplify financial management by automating transactions between your home country and Singapore.
- Set Up Local and Home Accounts: Create accounts in both locations based on your needs.
- Money Transfer Solutions: Use online transfer apps like Wise to link and schedule transfers between local and home accounts.
- Scheduled Payments: Automate credit card payments and investments for a hassle-free financial routine. /TISG