Living, retiring and earning in
There's much to be said in favour of visiting Singapore,
the tropical (in fact
equatorial as it's less than 100 miles north of the Equator)
island state in Southeast Asia which comprises an island of
700 sq km and 63 smaller offshore islands. However, not many potential expat retirees in
South East Asia choose Singapore
for permanent retirement for various reasons.
Expatriates who do so are
likely to be
already living and working there, or people with the ability and desire to invest
a million Singapore dollars (about US$740,000 in Aug 2010) in the Singapore
economy. The country does have a
stable political and financial economy with a sophisticated banking system; wealthier expatriates
Singapore a suitable place for
Singapore is also in a very convenient and
accessible regional location as it is a major
aviation hub for numerous other destinations in Asia and beyond. Singapore Airport is an
extremely well-appointed and comfortable transit point – far better than
newer KLIA in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport.
It's likely that Changi Airport
will remain the best in SE Asia for the foreseeable future – a reputation it richly
deserves. Check fares for discount
flights to Singapore.
Hotel Accommodation in Singapore (in
US dollars. US$1 = SG$1.35 in 2010)
Singapore is famous for its hotels and
shopping centres, especially in the Orchard Road area. While the general
cost of living is not excessive compared to other world capitals, hotel
accommodation is generally quite expensive compared to most SE Asian cities.
There are also
near Singapore Airport and the East Coast of the island.
Singapore accommodation and
Low budget travellers
might not be too impressed at what they can get at the lower end of the
accommodation range in Singapore. However, backpackers are made to 'feel
at home' in hostel accommodation
paying as little as $18. The
Fragrance Oasis Hotel
at about $55 is one that might suit the cash-strapped. It gets mainly
positive reviews from guests. Slightly more expensive is the
Lion City Hotel
also with mixed reviews.
In the middle to high range (high
compared to other Asian cities), there are hotels for around $100 such as
the Aqueen Hotel Lavender. For
those who like to stay in 'big name' establishments, the
Singapore Hilton has an excellent
reputation with rooms from $200 to $500 per night.
Then of course Singapore is home to the world famous
which might set you back over US$600 per night. An alternative is the
also luxurious but more modern high-rise Fairmont Hotel also known as
Raffles Plaza (right) with magnificent views over the city and Marina.
More modestly priced, it's $175 for a premier room when you
Singapore for Retirement or Permanent Residence
For retirees on a modest pension, there are
few if any low-priced residential hotels in the city.
Serviced apartments are available for short
or long term.
Most of those who spend a number of years
working in Singapore soon realise some of the negative or less
desirable aspects of retirement there. For one, Permanent Resident status has to be
for and granted during a working contract and before the age of
50. Without that foreigners must invest a minimum of SG$1 million
(around US$740,000 in August 2010) in the
Singapore can be considered as an
and possible tax haven for foreigners. Apart from local and
regional institutions like DBS and MayBank, major foreign and international banks
like ABN-Amro, BNP, Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, along with
many others, all have branches in Singapore. However there's no
need to become a resident to take advantage of its financial security. Funds can be
deposited or invested in Singapore's banks by foreigners. See more on our Banking
Earning Income in Singapore
is easily done by anyone with an internet connection. Look no further for
advice on this than Singapore's extremely successful online entrepreneur,
Ewen Chia.with a best-selling book at Amazon about how he hade his first
If you're looking for a guaranteed online income system but you hate the
idea of trying to sell something, Ewen will show you innovative ways to
create guaranteed profit streams that will provide you with money
every single day. For example his
No Sales System shows you how to make money
with or without a customer base or your own products. For anyone wanting to earn a
living working from home, this is the man
to learn from.
tourism (there are lots of things to see and do
in Singapore, even on a short stopover) are the mainstays of Singapore's
vibrant economy, rather than relaxing retirement facilities. Singapore prides itself on
its cleanliness, transparency and efficiency of its government services and infrastructure
and its financial and economic stability,
especially compared to some of its neighbours. Many rules and
regulations apply not only to foreigners but also to native Singaporeans.
Working and living in Singapore
may be enjoyable for younger expats usually on foreign contracts, who may form social groups
with peers in similar occupations, but there is not much in the way of entertainment,
beach or nightlife such as can be found in places like Thailand, the Philippines,
Malaysia or Bali for example; not a lot to attract Western retirees with too much time on their
hands. There is little respite (such as mountain 'getaways' or good
beaches) from the year-round humid climate; Singapore is
only one degree (about 70 miles or 110 km) north of the
Singapore has excellent public transport
road systems, fine hotels with a la carte and buffet restaurants, a great variety of food,
especially fresh seafood, multi-storey shopping arcades, foreign book stores and
among the best in the region, plus
plenty of local attractions. English is widely spoken and is a compulsory
second language taught in all schools and colleges. However 'Singlish'
as spoken on the street may sound strange and incomprehensible at first as
it incorporates Chinese and Malay words too.
The above features of Singapore can be welcome relief from daily life in
some of the nearby locations
where foreigners retire such as
Kuala Lumpur or Penang in Malaysia, Jakarta, Bali (Indonesia); even Lao
or Thailand. Singapore is popular for a 'visa run' for expat
residents of some of these places too, or just for a few days break in
relative 'civilisation', where most things work as one would expect – well,
almost! Singapore is definitely part of Asia and its people a mix of ethnic Chinese,
Malay and Indian groups, all embracing different but essentially
Eastern cultures, with many differences
from Western ideas and thinking.
There's no doubt
Singapore is a
place to visit or
spend a vacation.
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