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1661 posts

Uber Geek

#113566 20-Jan-2013 20:14
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Has anyone worked overseas as expats?  I was asked by some friends to consider Singapore.  Did some reearch and I found that there are some other western countries that offers a higher wage maybe but when you compare to some countries like Singapore which might be known as a financial hub, more of a heppening place and one of the economically successful places in SE Asia.  The wages are not that high, managers are paid at 60k including the big firms.  The really good wages are for those really high fliers.  For foreigners.  Unless maybe the person is from overseas highly sought after and they get a special expat package.

The daily expenses might be a bit cheaper than NZ if one doesn't look for imported/tourist goods/services well they do have a bit more local competition it may be a tad cheaper, faster all you can use broadband, haha, but the wages might be up to 50% less.   

Now I feel the situation in NZ isn't as bad it is portrayed out ....

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301 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #747959 20-Jan-2013 21:42
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Did I.T. contracting work in the UK in the mid-2000's (before the recession). I made way more than I could in NZ. We didn't live in London either so the cost of living wasn't too bad. The only reason to come back is that the cost of buying a house (more specifically a stand-alone house) is astronomical compared to NZ & we didn't fancy living in a terraced house.

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Ultimate Geek

  #748058 21-Jan-2013 08:46
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I'm also interested in the answers here. My partner and I are looking at doing a working OE at some point in the year 12-24 months. It's pretty much decided that we'll be heading to some place in Europe (more than likely not the UK). We've been looking at Germany recently. Would be a good central hub for travelling to other parts of Europe. Haven't looked at jobs/wages yet so it will be interesting to hear from others on their experiences.

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Uber Geek


  #748064 21-Jan-2013 08:53
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I would say if you are planning to work in Asia, be prepared to work overtime on a daily basis (as this is the norm; no one finishes "on time").

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Ultimate Geek

  #748087 21-Jan-2013 09:48
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If you did go to Singapore try to get accomodation as part of the package as that will be your number 1 expense by far.

You can also save money if you live like a local (but not saying go the whole way). Also can save too if go shopping just across the border in Malaysia.

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Master Geek

  #748106 21-Jan-2013 10:21
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You should be aware that personal income tax in Singapore is about 2%. So a 60k package isn't that bad.

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Uber Geek

  #748113 21-Jan-2013 10:29
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It seems some of the western places have better wages like the UK esp in the days when the exchange rate was 3:1, other places like Aussie and the USA maybe in the past ..

60k is generally for managerial roles unless you are a specialist in an area.  In NZ 60 to maybe even 80k may be non manager.  As an idea of the gap between the countries.  In Singapore, grads start out 30k a year, polytech grads might even be 20k.  I know someone who graduated 15yr ago .. family, children etc .. maybe a common type, he gets juts under 50k.

Yep, in the mid 2000s, to say in London cost me $75NZ at a dormitory .....

RE: accom. Yeah. There are expensive condo's which unless I am a specialist/manager won't be able to afford it.  Then there are the common apartment styles studio styles...  Cost not too bad I see.  $250/week for rent those places.  Food prices a bit cheaper than NZ if you go the local way yeah - more if you want that steak and no car it's really expensive.

Ok - yeah it is about 2% provided one has worked a bit longer in that period.  Still the wages are quite a bit lower than NZ before tax, despite the 2% tax rate.  Unless I am high up...

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Uber Geek

  #748118 21-Jan-2013 10:34
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I would be very interested, esp places like USA, Canada, do they compare. from my travels, i found cost of living to be very similar to Auckland..


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Uber Geek


  #748119 21-Jan-2013 10:42
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Krishant007: I would be very interested, esp places like USA, Canada, do they compare. from my travels, i found cost of living to be very similar to Auckland..

Cost of living maybe similar in Sydney but Melbourne living is cheaper than AKL (rent, power, gas, groceries and eating out) - thing is Sydney salaries are loaded accordingly, so..

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Uber Geek


  #748144 21-Jan-2013 11:37
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Xile: You should be aware that personal income tax in Singapore is about 2%. So a 60k package isn't that bad.

Also Sales Tax (GST) is only 7% in Singapore vs 15% in NZ, so yes 60K in Singapore goes a lot further than 60K in NZ.

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Uber Geek

  #748156 21-Jan-2013 11:46
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Xile: You should be aware that personal income tax in Singapore is about 2%. So a 60k package isn't that bad.

Also Sales Tax (GST) is only 7% in Singapore vs 15% in NZ, so yes 60K in Singapore goes a lot further than 60K in NZ.

But the .. jobs have diff pay scales.  In NZ up to 80k might be non manager positions in a larger organisation but in SG a manager may start at 60 or 70k.  Works better for more senior roles thou given the tax structure not so well for the common employee.

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Ultimate Geek

  #748522 21-Jan-2013 22:34
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Everywhere is different. Always there are some plus points and some minuses. The important thing is to avoid the places where the minuses matter to you.

Much of Europe will offer good opportunities. There is a recession on but I still get emails asking me to return and I see that former clients from my contracting times keep sniffing at my Linkedin profile.

Apart from Spain, Portugal and Italy, all of Western Europe has plenty of work opportunities for English speakers.

You can make a lot of money overseas but you can spend it all too. If you go for financial reasons then you will need to be disciplined in order achieve your goals.

I think that the main reason to go is for the experiences.

Germany is great, Munich especially though if you think that it is hard to find a place to rent in Auckland, you should try Munich.

I wrapped up my big OE (53 years) with 13 months in Dublin. Another great experience, not what I had expected but a lot of fun.

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