If you choose to relocate to Singapore from the UK, you are making a popular and increasingly sensible decision. After all, this is regarded as the easiest Asian city for UK ex-pats to adapt to, while it is also a safe and family-friendly location that delivers an exceptionally high standard of living.
Mercer’s cost of living survey regularly lists Singapore as one of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, entering the top five as recently as 2015. This means that you will need to plan your finances carefully when moving to Singapore, whether you are relocating for work or as part of ambitious retirement plans.
Managing Your Finances When Relocating to Singapore
So, here are some key tips to consider when relocating to Singapore, as you look to make a seamless financial transition to living abroad:
- Allow Time to Accumulate Savings
Let’s start with the basics, as the cost of living and purchasing property in Singapore is noticeably high. In fact, Morgan Stanley has predicted that Singapore’s property prices could double by the year 2030, with sustained hikes forecast for 2018 and beyond.
This means that you must allow time to accumulate savings and organise your finances, and you may need expert assistance to help with this. Wealth management firms such as Tilney can fulfil this role, as they combine financial advice with investment options to help optimise your capital and build savings for the future.
- Understand the Intricacies of Currency Fluctuations
While the British pound (GBP) has currently enjoyed two-week highs against the Singapore Dollar, the spectre of Brexit may cause the continued devaluation of sterling over time. This means that buying Singapore currency and translating your wealth may prove difficult, which is why you must monitor macroeconomic trends and ensure that you transfer your money at the optimum time. Similarly, you must also try to convert currency without incurring huge fees, as these can also eat into your accrued capital.
- Consider the Miniscule Costs of Living
Even with savings and a pronounced understanding of finance, relocating to Singapore can still be challenging. This is because there are small details associated with day-to-day living that must be attended to, and these seemingly insignificant costs can quickly accumulate over time.
Singapore has its own, unusual form of TV licence, for example which is a generic tax applied to anyone who owns a television. This must be paid annually, so you must have a full understanding of costs before completing your move.
James Hendrickson is an internet entrepreneur, blogging junky, hunter and personal finance geek. When he’s not lurking in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find him in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. James has a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelors degree on Sociology from Earlham College. He loves individual stocks, bonds and precious metals.