It comes to me as no surprise that Singapore has yet again, for a fourth year in a row, taken out first place as the expat destination of choice in both the Atlas Wealth Management Survey and the Expat Explorer Survey carried out by HSBC. Both the competitive salaries and quality of childcare and education were cited as key benefits, while the lack of work-life balance and the high cost of living were flagged as the cons of life in the lion city of Singapore.
I first moved to Singapore over 5 years ago and have no short-term plans of repatriating to Australia. With both surveys awarding this city state as the most favourable expat destination, I thought I would outline the top 10 things I love about life in Singapore. Firstly, I should point out that I don’t have any children and therefore the quality of the education system here will be a notable absence from the list.
- The Aussie Expat community
Being a financial planner to Australian expats allows me to meet a wide range of people here and it clearly outlines the common experiences and goals that we all share. The vast majority of expats have moved to Singapore to either progress their career, start out in their profession or propel their overall personal financial situation. Whether they’ve lived here for 10 months or 10 years, I personally find the openness and willingness to connect and share ideas and experiences amongst the Australian expat community here to be a truly valuable asset.
The Aussie expat community is also what makes my job so enjoyable. The capacity to truly grow and accumulate wealth in Singapore is unlike many other destinations and a key motivation for many to move here. The diversity of my clients here and abroad, and the desire to truly make smart life-changing financial decisions makes it a pleasure to get up and get to work every day.
- The many, many dining options available
No list of top benefits of life in Singapore would be complete without mentioning the vast array of dining options here in Singapore. Whether you’re looking for a $3 local meal and experience at a hawker market, or a $300 steak, Singapore has got you covered. Personally, I find that with many new restaurants and food options opening on a regular basis, there is always something new to try here.
- It’s incredibly safe
While no country could be truly free of crime, there is nowhere that I’ve felt more at ease for both my own safety, and that of my partner, than in Singapore. While Australia is not what I would consider a dangerous place to live, I would certainly think twice before roaming around many of the city hotspots during late hours of the evening. In Singapore, however, I’ve never had the need to give much thought to the time of the evening or location.
- Frequency of the public transport system
The frequency of the public transport system in Singapore is something truly to be admired. It’s also set a very high standard when I visit other destinations, particularly when visiting the outer suburbs of Perth and waiting over half an hour for the next train to arrive. Of all of the cities around the globe that I’ve visited, I would have to say that the cleanliness, speed and efficiency of Singapore’s MRT and bus network comfortably sits in first place.
- The weather…in the mornings and evenings
One of the common gripes that we see mentioned about Singapore is the humidity, and there’s no denying it, it is a very humid place to live. What I do love about the weather, however, is not walking to visit a client in my suit, but both the warmth of the mornings when I’m heading to the gym before work and the balmy evenings for a BBQ with clients and friends. This certainly beats the cold Perth mornings in winter trying to get in a run before work.
- The airport…truly the best in the world
Given that I travel quite regularly to visit clients, I get to see and experience a number of airports across the globe, and it’s easy to see that when it comes to efficiency, Singapore’s Changi Airport is a clear winner. Ignoring the fact that it has its own Butterfly Garden, Fish Spa and kids’ playground, the speed in which I can land and be home and getting unpacked is truly unparalleled across the globe.
- The stability of the Government
While this may not be one of the most exciting topics, it truly is a contrast to the Australian political system these days and allows for a much more stable economy and less uncertainty in the marketplace.
- It’s mostly always open
If ever we need something from the grocery store, or looking to grab a bite to eat late in the evening or early hours of the morning, there is generally always somewhere open. This certainly makes life in Singapore much easier, and while Australia is making small steps to change this it clearly has a long way to go to catch up.
- The famous Sunday brunch
For some expats the Sunday brunch in Singapore is almost a religious weekly requirement, while for myself it’s generally on the list for visiting friends and family. The quality of the food, and the relaxing atmosphere of a Sunday brunch in Singapore makes for a great experience every time.
- It’s still close to home
One of the key reasons we selected Singapore to be our expat destination, was the proximity to home, which for myself is Perth. If there’s one thing I miss about the most isolated city in the world, it’s our family and friends, and being just a short 4 – 5 hour flight away allows us to visit quite easily. This also means that we can still get to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world quickly as well as enjoy a reasonably-priced vino from Margaret River.
Moving to Singapore has been both a challenging and rewarding experience personally, and I could not recommend it highly enough for other Australian expats or those considering a move offshore.
To your financial success!
Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner with Australian Expatriate Group of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to Australian professionals in Singapore. Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd – No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3
Australian Expatriate Group is a division of Global Financial Consultants in Singapore providing specialist advice to Australians living abroad.
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