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 (~US$700,000 in 2017) in the local economy. The country has a very stable political and financial economy and sophisticated banking system; wealthier expatriates find Singapore a suitable place for offshore banking. It's also possible to store gold bullion in Singapore through a reliable UK company like BullionVault.
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. Changi, Singapore's Airport is an extremely well-appointed and comfortable transit point – better than Malaysia's KLIA in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. Changi Airport may still be the best in SE Asia – a reputation it deserves. Check fares for discount flights to Singapore.
Hotel Accommodation in Singapore (prices in US dollars. US$1 = SG$1.45 by 2017)
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 and a serviced apartment may be a cheaper option for the longer term.
There are also hotels near Singapore Airport (Changi) and the East Coast of the island.
Singapore accommodation and attractions
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 'colonial' Raffles Hotel 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 the Raffles Plaza (right) with magnificent views over the city and Marina. More modestly priced, it's $175 for a premier room when you book online.
Singapore for Retirement or Permanent Residence
For retirees on basic or modest pensions, there are few suitable low-priced residential hotels in the city. Serviced apartments are available for short or long term. Related publications: Singapore for Expats.
Most of those who spend a number of years living and working in Singapore soon realise some of the negative or less desirable aspects of retirement there. For one, Permanent Resident status has to be applied for and granted during a working contract and before the age of 50. Without that foreigners must invest a minimum of SG$1 million (about US$690,000 in 2017) in the Singapore economy.
Singapore can be considered as an offshore banking 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 page.
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 on Amazon about how he hade his first million dollars. When investing in an IRA backed with precious metals,investors should do their due diligence before choosing a gold IRA custodian to deal with,this is why they should check out if there are any complaints lodged against these companies ;for instance, Regal assets complaints is a good example of the reviews they should read before choosing an investment firm.Investors should make sure to compare between different gold IRA companies to pick up the best deal.
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.
Investment, business, shopping and 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 Equator.
Singapore has excellent public transport and 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 medical facilities. 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 where Hua Hin is a beach resort situated 200km south of Bangkok, the city has seen a boom in International developers & Thai developers over the last decade. This makes Hua Hin an ideal place for your retirement home, beach home or holiday home in the sun. Guide to buying best properties for sale in Hua Hin with expert team of property agents in Thailand. Whether it is a beach condo, sea view home, mountain breeze area or city area, we will find you the best deals in Thailand property market. We provide professional consultation to fulfil your purpose of acquiring real estate property in 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.
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