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Singapore’s steep cost of living stretches expats’ salaries

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British and European expatriates living in Singapore are concerned about the rising cost of living in Singapore outpacing their salary growth.

This observation was part of Standard Life’s second survey for expatriates in Singapore, which studied saving, spending, and investment habits of expatriates.

Half of the study’s respondents admitted the growth in their pay package does not match the rising cost of living in Singapore, while the same number admitted they only set aside less than 10% of their monthly income towards long-term savings.

This is despite 80% of expatriates earning more than they did before moving to Singapore.

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While 47% of respondents expressed nervousness about their post-retirement financial situation, this did not seem to translate into action, as 90% prioritised lifestyle spend over saving for retirement and children’s education.

Of this, 88% put one-fifth of their monthly income towards vacations, while another fifth puts it into short-term lifestyle savings, consistent with last year’s findings.

“A greater number of savers are earning and saving more in Singapore than they did before coming here, but the increase in earning power and disposable income, coupled with greater saving potential, have unexpectedly been offset by rising costs of living,” Neal Armstrong, CEO and principal officer of Standard Life Singapore, said.

“It is of concern that many expatriates view financing family commitments and retirement planning as mutually exclusive saving goals.”

Image: Shutterstock


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