Singapore is one of the most popular countries in the world for ex-pats and it’s easy to see why. It has world-class infrastructure, a vibrant and diversified economy, and cultural ties to the west.
It’s also one of the cleanest countries in the world with very welcoming residents. But Singapore isn’t a paradise, however, and life in the country can be difficult if you’re not ready for the challenges that come with it. So, is Singapore a good place to relocate?
Singapore will Make You Feel at Home
One of the best things about Singapore is how easy it is for a foreigner to adapt to social life. Singapore is extremely diverse and full of ex-pats from all over the world. Many of them also have the same goals and gravitate around the same sectors. This will allow you to meet like-minded people both from the country and from all corners of the globe.
Singapore is Expensive
Now, let’s take the elephant out of the room. Singapore is expensive. From the rent to buying a car, or buying food, Singapore is much more expensive than pretty much anywhere in the world. But it is also more modern and developed, so that’s a trade-off you have to be ready to make. Wages in the country are also much higher, so you will have to adjust your cost of living based on what you expect to earn.
There are plenty of ways that you can save money if you’re living in Singapore. For food, it would be wiser to go to small mom-and-pop grocery stores than bigger chains. Ethnic grocery stores are also a good option. And forget about buying a car if your goal is to save. Instead, you’ll need to get familiar with the train and bus system in the country. Thankfully, it runs like clockwork and will get you everywhere in the country fast. And you won’t have to deal with as much traffic.
Singapore is Great for Children
If you were thinking of coming in with your family, Singapore is a great choice. The city was made with families in mind and children are welcome virtually anywhere. There are tons of great activities for families, so you’ll never run out of things to do. Places you should check out include the Singapore Zoo, the Science Center, and Jurong Bird Park.
Finding Schools is not the Easiest
One thing you have to know, however, is that getting a spot in a Singapore public school can be difficult. They often have very long waiting lists, which can get frustrating. This is why you need to apply as early as possible and look at private and international schools as well.
With that being said, public schools in the country are world-class, and if you’re lucky enough to get a spot, your children will get access to the same level of education as locals, if not better. It has some of the best international schools in the world as well, and these could be a good option if you want your children to follow the same curriculum as back home.
Singapore if Incredibly Safe
No matter your age or gender, you will feel safe in Singapore 24/7. The country scores near the top of the safest countries in the world on virtually all metrics, whether it’s violent crime or crimes against property. Laws are also very strict in the country, which certainly helps keep the crime rate low.
Limited Real Estate Options
Buying real estate as a foreigner is a bit tough in the country, but not impossible. You can own property and not have to go for a long-term lease like in other neighboring countries, but many units are off-limits to non-citizens or permanent residents. One example is HDB units.
HDB units are public housing units that are reserved for Singaporean residents. You also have BTO HDB units that will be built once certain reservation quotas are meant.
There is an exception, however, if you are married to a Singaporean citizen and meet certain requirements. If you do, then you are free to look at things like HDB units, BTO units, and other units like executive condominiums.
If you’d like to learn more about HDB BTO units, we suggest you check out Property Guru. You’ll get a clearer idea of what these are exactly and some of the major projects in the country. The site lists some of the most important facts about these projects such as the number of units, configuration, and some information on what type of buyers would be eligible.
Singapore can be a great place to relocate if you’re a young professional, entrepreneur, or getting ready for retirement. It does have a few drawbacks, however, so know what these are before you make your move.