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Many rules for personal finance success remain the same wherever in the world you are. However, there are ways to ensure that when you move on from Singapore and return ‘home’, you have more than some hazy memories and a Chinese sideboard to take with you. David Reynolds, Partner, Select Investors shares some tips on how to keep on top of your finances while living an expat life overseas.
#1: Save 20% of your income
You now live in Singapore, and you’re probably paying less income tax than you are used to, or than you would in Australia, New Zealand, UK, or many other countries. Don’t let that opportunity pass you by. It’s easy to ‘increase your lifestyle’ when receiving this ‘pay rise from the inland revenue’. The people who are the most successful with their finances will be saving the extra funds and accelerating their wealth building. If you can, don’t stop at 20%, but it is a great rule of thumb.
#2: Mind the gap
Unless you’re a Singapore Citizen or PR, you likely won’t have any automatic retirement savings, such as a Superannuation or Pension. These are often the prime earning years of your life, don’t let a gaping hole appear in your compounding growth of retirement savings. Plug that gap, and make sure you’re putting those monies that would be invested back home into investments.
#3: Be mindful of your future tax
One of the many brilliant things about living in this island city-state is the opportunity to invest and make capital gains without liability for capital gains taxes. When you leave Singapore, this will no longer be the case and you will be likely back to a more onerous regime. Depending on where you’re heading next there could be an opportunity to protect those tax-free benefits for the long-term, and even for succession planning. The earlier in your time here that you start, the better, don’t leave it too late and regret not doing it earlier. Maximise all tax-efficiencies for the long-term as early as possible.
#4: Manage your company shares risk
Many people receive share awards as part of remuneration. After a few years this can build significantly and become a major part of your overall net worth. It’s important to divest periodically to avoid the concentration risk of relying on the performance of one company, whomever they may be. They pay your income and are responsible for your net worth, what would happen if it all ended?
#5: Avoid the high risk, be patient
With the ease of setting up trading accounts these days, everyone is an armchair tipster and it’s tempting to try to get rich quickly, by taking too much risk. It’s best to avoid buying and selling individual shares, and definitely very dangerous to use leverage (like CFDs – Contracts for Difference) or Foreign Exchange Trading, as the risk scale becomes incredibly high and probability states that you will lose more than you make. It will take too much time, energy, and stress. Invest in more diverse strategies that are likely to make you rich, slowly, like mutual funds or passive index funds.
#6: Don’t buy the future family residence too early
It’s tempting, and once you start looking, it’s amazing how you find that ‘one’ that you must buy. It likely won’t provide you with the best yield and being a cost centre and tax burden that you don’t need. Save buying the property until you are moving back or have actually moved home. It will save you money and stress.
#7: Don’t move your money using the bank
Your bank can take advantage of your loyalty. They generally do not offer you the best exchange rates, even if you are a ‘premier’ customer. Don’t fall for ‘zero commission’ marketing, as no broker charges commissions. Banks and brokers make their money at the spread between where they buy the currency, and then sell the currency to you. Shop around different brokers and get the best deal.
The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.
The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances. You are advised to seek independent tax advice from suitably qualified professionals before making any decision as to the tax implications of any investment.
The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Members of the St. James’s Place Partnership in Singapore represent St. James’s Place (Singapore) Private Limited, which is part of the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group, and it is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and is a member of the Investment Management Association of Singapore and Association of Financial Advisers (Singapore). Company Registration No. 200406398R. Capital Markets Services Licence No. CMS100851. St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group Ltd Registered Office: St. James’s Place House, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1FP, United Kingdom. Registered in England Number 02627518.
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Things are looking up for ANZA Ladies Night March!
Join us on 20 March as we head 29 floors up to Cooling Tower Rooftop Bar. Sitting aloft Carlton City Hotel, it’s the perfect spot for ANZA Ladies to come together for discounted drinks, the chance to make new friends, and have a bit of a giggle.
Get set for a 3-hour free flow of beer, housepour wine, prosecco, spirits, and soft drinks for $45nett from 6.30pm – 9.30pm. In addition, we’ve bagged a 15% F&B discount on food and nibbles just for you.
Flying solo or with a flock, the ANZA team will be there to welcome you on the night, so come up to Cooling Tower Rooftop Bar and join us!
Time : 6:30pm – 9.30pm
Venue: Carlton City Hotel Singapore, 1 Gopeng St, Level 29, Singapore, 078862
The holy month of Ramadan marks the lead-up to Hari Raya and kicks off this year‘s Kampong Gelam Ramadan Bazaar at One Kampong Gelam. Stretching for almost five weeks from 2 March – 5 April, 2pm – 11pm, the fourth edition of this annual celebration is set to be bigger and better than ever.
Revellers can look forward to over 100 F&B and retail vendors selling delicacies and handicrafts, live cooking shows, light projections, traditional dance performances, and much more spread across Kandahar Street, Muscat Street and Baghdad Street in the heart of Kampong Gelam.
Always buzzy and beautiful, this event on Singapore’s packed cultural calendar is not to be missed. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere, sample local food, and enjoy the fun as the sun goes down around Bugis and the good times begin. Here’s what to look out for:
1. Light projections
This year’s Ramadan Bazaar happens to coincide with Sultan Mosque’s 200th-year celebration, so prepare for even more spectacular light projections in commemoration of this. Look out for fancy shapes shining onto the walls of Sultan Mosque every Friday to Sunday of the bazaar at 7:30pm.
2. Local films
Settle down for screenings of local documentaries and web series in Sultan Gate Park every night between 5:30pm – 10pm. Grab a takeaway before you pitch up and enjoy an open air screening as you dine. Documentary themes include travel, horror, and taboo (oooh!).
3. Live music
Not a film buff? Malaysian singers Tomok and Alif Satar, plus local talent Taufik Batisah are just some of the acts you can look forward to who’ll be putting on live performances and serenading you as you shop.
4. Cool art
This year’s bazaar will see the unveiling of the “Three Arch Design” art exhibition, also at Sultan Gate Park. These arches tell the lesser-known stories of the history of Kampong Gelam and come with a web series that visitors can watch online via QR codes on the arches.
5. Food, glorious food!
For now there are 80 F&B stalls and food trucks lined up to serve all manner of global culinary treats so no-one’s going to go hungry. While specifics remain under wraps, mainstays such as Broti and Kream will be returning.
6. A mass iftar
Want to be a record breaker? Take part in a scheduled mass iftar on 23 March at 7pm. Space is being made for 1,500 participants over 240 metres of Arab Street. Everyone is welcome and proceeds of the iftar will go to Sultan Mosque and other beneficiaries.
7. Bike action
On 17 and 24 March, more than 200 bikers will be riding from Ford Road to Kampong Gelam in a bid to give back to the community. The funds raised from the merch sold to bikers will be distributed to the event’s charity partners too.
8. And there’s more!
If you’re interested to discover more about the history of Kampong Gelam and the holy month of Ramadan during this special time, check out ANZA Tours. Our Kampong Gelam Ramadan Food Bazaar and Islamic Heritage tour on 26 March focuses on the people who settled in the area back in the day and continue to practice Islamic traditions. You’ll see mosques, learn about the bazaar, and visit specialty shops. Log on here for more info and to sign up.
Find further updates about the bazaar on Instagram here. Note that the bazaar will end on 5 April, four days before the end of Ramadan, as the organiser wants to make sure the precinct is in “tip-top condition” for prayers.
Join us at Boomarang for morning tea and to learn more about the ANZA community.
For those new to Singapore or even if you’ve been here a while, come and join us for morning tea!
Thriving in Singapore, an event that welcomes ANZA New Members, will be held 9:30am – 11:30am on Wednesday, 20 March, at Boomarang, Robertson Quay.
For newbies, Thriving in Singapore is a brilliant opportunity to find out about the important legal and financial implications of living in the Lion City, including all you need to know about critical guardianship documents that parents need to put in place. Also, get informed on any latest medical issues and where to find medical support should you need it while living here.
Stand a chance to win a T2 Tea Gift Pack from our Premier Partner Select Investors, a bag full of Ego products and a dining voucher worth $180 by Santi’s.
The morning will wrap up with tea overlooking the scenic Singapore River. We welcome you to linger longer to enjoy the venue and the Boomarang menu.
We promise a lovely morning and a warm welcome to ANZA. If you’re flying solo don’t be shy, the ANZA team will be there to greet you.
Langkawi is always a good idea. Less than a two hour flight from Singapore, it’s a stress free destination and favourite of the long-weekend crew looking for a fly’n’ flop. But away from the alluring beaches, there’s a whole world of historical, biological and cultural heritage, and Temple Tree Resort Langkawi embraces it all.
The resort is like no other. Consisting of eight distinct heritage houses, the designers of Temple Tree sourced each home from across Peninsular Malaysia and relocated it to Langkawi. That’s right – they carefully took each building apart, transported it for miles, and rebuilt it as a time capsule with all of the original external features retained. Aged 80 to 120 years old, each house is beautifully restored and symbolises a unique facet of Malaysia’s cultural mosaic, showcasing styles from Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, and Euro-Asian traditions. The stilted structures, open verandas, high ceilings, wooden floors, ornate tiles, and wood carvings add a touch of nostalgia, captivating visitors and feeling like a tapestry of time. All of this makes the resort ideal for multi-generational families seeking ample space to connect whilst on holiday. For our group of seven adults, it was like stepping into a bygone era.
My housemate and I were delighted to discover Straits House, complete with a private swimming pool and large garden, was to be our sanctuary for the duration of our stay. Ideal for large families or groups of up to eight, Straits House boasts four bedrooms, each with ensuite bathroom. A spacious living room, private pool, and lush gardens create an inviting atmosphere. Outdoor dining is encouraged on the generous deck, and Temple Tree’s onsite chef stands ready to craft culinary delights.
Negeri Sembilan House
Formerly a family home in Mantin, this raised single-story house is now a luxurious suite with two bedrooms and a sweeping front veranda. Great for families of four, it offers a glimpse into the architectural beauty of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan.
Originally a Chinese farmhouse with Taiwanese design influence, charming Johor House boasts a rosy exterior that began its journey in Batu Pahat, Johor, around a century ago. The family’s legacy is palpable in the design, with a family portrait adorning Johor 2. This property accommodates up to five guests across two spacious suites, both boasting glorious verandas.
Built in the 1920s by Arab goldsmiths, Colonial House is a grand home that once stood proud in George Town, Penang. It blends East and West where Peranakan floor tiles and intricate European cornices tell a tale of cultural fusion. Ideal for multi-generational family stays thanks to varying room formats and living spaces.
Reflecting 131 years of British influence, Penang House intertwines local, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic elements. Erected in the 1930s next to Gurney Drive in Penang, the original exterior colours and entrance still stand strong. Its two 70sqm suites connect with double doors yet maintain separate entrances and living spaces.
Originally a spacious Malay artisan’s dwelling from 1900, Plantation House evolved into a grand two-storey colonial-style abode. Built on Penang Island’s plantation area, it was later acquired by a Chinese Hakka family in 1920, earning the moniker “Tua Chua” or big house. Today, it comprises six suites and common areas include lounge spaces and a semi-open-air courtyard.
For solo travellers or couples seeking quiet downtime, the Estate House provides a cosy haven. This long single-story building, originally from Pasir Puteh, Ipoh, is reminiscent of plantation estate lodgings from the early to mid-20th century. Terracotta floors, white walls, and thick wooden beams all add to the charisma. Some suites offer a private bathtub and a small garden made for afternoon tea.
The Grand Dame of the resort, Ipoh House is an absolute gem dating back to the early 1900s. Divided into two parts, the back section flaunts Aceh-style architecture from 1900, while the front exudes the colonial style of 1903. Today, Ipoh House is a chic retro restaurant bar and reception lounge. The bar, strategically positioned in the middle, offers a stunning 360-degree view of the entire resort.
Temple Tree Resort’s commitment to preservation extends beyond the exterior of the homes, encompassing thoughtfully curated interiors that retain the original charm while providing modern amenities. Luxurious bedding, fully air-conditioned spaces, and contemporary conveniences like WiFi, digital entertainment, and optional TV streaming services, are all on tap if you need them.
During our four day stay, our dining experiences at Paloh Restaurant & Bar housed in Ipoh House took us through a mix of both local and international flavours. This all-day restaurant and bar offers a buffet or A La Carte breakfast, and à la carte lunch and dinner. The menu is a delightful fusion of cuisine, showcasing signature dishes like Paloh Nyonya Laksa, Ikan Bakar, Paloh Nutri Salad, and homemade pizzas. We enjoyed heritage-inspired dishes such as Daging Salai Cili Api (Negeri Sembilan), Char Kway Teow (Penang), Ipoh Hor Fun (Perak), Curry Debal (Melaka), and more.
As the sun clocks out, Paloh Restaurant & Bar goes into full glow-up mode serving innovative bites, drinks, and good vibes. The beverage menu has an impressive wine list, plus cocktails that are liquid poetry. One of the highlights was Monday’s “Music Under the Stars” when the garden turned into party central with the resident band, Lamh & Co., dishing out tunes from every corner of the universe: think acoustic guitars and sound bell drums in a musical love affair. This allowed us to belt out our best sing-along efforts under the Langkawi night sky.
Nestled within serene surroundings, Temple Tree Resort offers easy access to adventure activities and provides a haven to those seeking relaxation. Upon entering its peaceful embrace, the bustling hub of Cenang Beach fades away rapidly. The resort provides two lap pools – one within the lush gardens and another in the Straits House – inviting guests to unwind and cool off. For those seeking ultimate chill, Temple Tree Spa awaits, offering long list of massages.
Yoga amidst heritage
Our journey into Zen unfolded as soon as we awoke thanks to the soothing sounds of nature. Keen to maintain serenity, we rose early for a transformative yoga session held in the Colonial House where others in our group were staying. Our session was guided by seasoned instructor Mohamad Jamil bin Mohamad Salleh (Jamil). Upon admitting our collective lack of bendability, Jamil quickly reassured us that his teachings were centred around breathwork, and each person’s unique journey of self-discovery and inner tranquility. The harmonious blend of Hatha and Yin yoga, presented in a basic class, offered insights into both physical and mental wellbeing.
Creative Expression with Batik Lagenda
Following lunch, we embraced our artistic flair through Batik Lagenda, a family-operated venture led by Nordi Bahrin and his mother. Focused on exclusive batik sessions, they provided a cultural immersion into this art form. During the two-hour session, we delved into the cultural history of Batik and learned techniques before unleashing our individual creativity and bringing our artistic visions to life. We ended the session with a framed creation of our artwork to take home.
Pantai Cenang Beach
Dragging ourselves away from the paradise of Temple Tree wasn’t easy. However, the siren calls of Pantai Cenang Beach, just a breezy 10-minute stroll away, was too tempting to resist. This beach offers a smorgasbord of activities to suit all holiday makers. You can dive into a variety of water sports, join in a beach game, or just become one with your beach towel and soak up the sun. As night falls, the beach transforms into a vibrant strip of bars and restaurants. When the night sky decides to show off, you’re treated to a mini-fireworks spectacle – Langkawi’s own nightly light show. Nearby, ‘beach buskers’ perform captivating stunts, adding a touch of magic to the post-sunset ambience.
The Cliff Restaurant
The Cliff Restaurant is Langkawi’s culinary and social haven. Overlooking Pantai Cenang beach, we started with a delightful session of cocktails against the backdrop of a stunning sunset before venturing indoors to savour local culinary treasures. The cuisine, marked by its freshness and flavours, adds an extra layer to The Cliff’s overall allure. theclifflangkawi.com
Shop, shop, shopping!
Take a leisurely walk to Cenang Mall, the big player in the local shopping scene, staying alive and buzzing till late. Pantai Cenang Beach isn’t just a beach; it’s a blend of nature doing its thing, a dash of adventure, some seriously tasty local eats, and nightlife that’s more laid-back fiesta than all-night rave. Consider this your open invitation to the chill side of life!
Dream Forest Langkawi
For those seeking a magical escape, enchanting Dream Forest awaits. Stroll amongst suspended walkways offering panoramic views of the verdant canopy and enter hidden caves filled with secrets and wonders. Enjoy educational exhibits, and engage with interactive displays to deepen your connection with the great outdoors. Choose from well-marked trails catering to different fitness levels. Conveniently located in close proximity to Temple Tree resort, Dream Forest is a fabulous evening out for families looking for a unique and scenic adventure away from the buzz of urban life.
Verdict: Temple Tree Resort Langkawi offers a harmonious blend of historic charm, modern amenities, and natural wonders. From relaxation amidst heritage to the enchanting escapade of Dream Forest, every moment becomes a timeless journey. Whether seeking adventure or tranquility, a stay here with its surrounding attractions promises an immersive experience, creating memories that linger long after your Langkawi adventure concludes.
Lot 1053, Jalan Pantai Chenang, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.
Canadian International School (CIS) secondary student Joseph T. shared a glimpse of his timetable and day-to-day activities at CIS, saying, “My day kicks off at 8.30am with Advisory where my advisor checks in to see how I’m doing. We can chat about anything, whether it’s challenges I’m facing in school, or just life in general. I also take this time to go over my goals and get the lowdown on school activities.
The rest of my day is structured around four subject blocks, each lasting 80 minutes. We study Middle Years Programme (MYP) subjects, like languages, science, art, and we have cool programmes like experiential learning that keep things interesting. Classes are challenging but really engaging. I like to jump into discussions and group projects are fun. The best part? We’re not just buried in text books; we get our hands dirty in labs or head out of class to apply what we’ve learned.
Once the third period is over, it’s time for lunch – my favourite part of the day where I can break from the grind and hang with my friends at the café. Sometimes we’ll play table tennis.
There’s also a 40-minute SMART (Student Maximising Achievement, Responsibility, and Time) period where I have the chance to choose my own adventure. I usually go for student council meetings, team up with friends to work on my Service Action project, or meet with castmates to prepare for our next musical “The Addams Family” where I’m playing the role of Pugsley.
Even though classes wrap up at 3:30pm, I often stick around for swim practice with the huskies or meet with my teachers for extra help. They’re always there to give a hand.”
“Classes are challenging but really engaging, and group projects are fun”
Route to becoming university-ready
By Secondary Principal, Daniel Smith
On top of providing a holistic learning experience, CIS offers long-term support to prepare students like Joseph for life after graduation. During Advisory, students formulate academic goals that are continuously reviewed throughout the year. Teachers, university advisors, and counsellors constantly engage with students, offering support at every step of their journey within and beyond CIS.
Secondary Principal, Daniel Smith, shares that most recent CIS graduates appreciated the role the school played in shaping their university path. One student noted that she acquired essential organisational skills and others highlighted that the opportunity to gain a deeper self-awareness and the ability to identify their academic strengths helped them to select university courses.
He adds, “Our school’s vision speaks specifically to the potential for all students and our desire to feel ownership of their future. With the many paths our students take, we are building foundations for them to be prepared for the known and unknown challenges of the future.”
Learn more about CIS’s secondary programme and experience the Canadian spirit firsthand at our upcoming Open House.
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Moving to Singapore as an expat can be both exciting and daunting. Singapore is a vibrant city known for its status as a global financial hub and its diverse cultural melting pot.
To help expats make a smooth transition to life in Singapore, a comprehensive guide is provided by our friends at Pacific Prime CXA, covering essential information about the Lion City.
Expat Essential 1: Immigration Regulations
Expats can also bring their families by applying for a Dependant’s Pass (DP), whose validity depends on that of the primary EP.
Expat Essential 2: Work Environment
Work-life balance is increasingly prioritized by employers in Singapore, and flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and flexi-time, are common.
Expat Essential 3: Housing
Housing options in Singapore range from high-rise flats to landed properties like bungalows. However, due to the influx of foreigners, the demand for housing has increased, and the cost of living is high.
Expat Essential 4: Culture & Language
Singapore’s culture is a unique fusion of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western influences. English is widely spoken and used for business and administration; Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil are also spoken.
Expat Essential 5: Healthcare
Expats in Singapore are required to have health coverage, which is commonly provided by employers. Some may opt for private health insurance.
Singapore is known for its excellent public and private hospitals, and primary healthcare services are accessible through various clinics and outpatient facilities.
Expat Essential 6: Education
Singapore offers a wide selection of public and private schools, including international, local, and specialized institutions.
The education system in Singapore emphasizes STEM subjects while also giving importance to language, art, music, and sports education.
Expat Essential 7: Transportation
Singapore has an extensive and reliable Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system and a comprehensive bus network. Taxis, ride-hailing services, bikes, and electric scooters are also available.
Owning a car in Singapore is rare among expats due to the high cost of ownership and strict regulations.
Pacific Prime CXA as Your Healthcare Partner
By opting for comprehensive private health insurance in Singapore, expats can reduce out-of-pocket expenses and paperwork through direct billing.
Pacific Prime CXA offers a variety of insurance plans, including international and expat health insurance, and family health insurance. Their team of experts can customize a policy based on individual needs and budgets.
Pickleball is taking the world by storm!
Played on a court with players of two or four, it’s fast moving, heaps of fun, and will get your fitness levels up! It might just be your new sporting obsession.
Sessions will include a series of drills. The objective is for you to learn the techniques of Pickleball and finish the course able to play a game, know the basic rules and scoring system. There will be the option to stay on for 30 mins of play after the coaching session.
Venue: 51 Telok Ayer (Downtown MRT at the bottom of the building)
Clinic Duration: 4 weeks (1, 8, 15, 22 March)
Time: 10 – 11:30am (you will have the option to stay on and have a hit afterwards)
What to bring: towel, plenty of water, dress in appropriate sporting attire, court shoes are recommended, otherwise minimally running shoes. Bats and balls will be provided
Please join the WhatsApp group (updates, including weather postponements will be posted here). The link will be provided on your confirmation notice after you have completed registration
Enter the Global Financial Consultants prize draw and stand a chance to win a wine fridge complete with quality Australian wines. This sleek cooler guarantees perfect chilling for your wines, offering a delightful tasting experience. Elevate your wine enjoyment today!
Founded by Bruce Barron and Ian McMahon in 1997, Global Financial Consultants originated in Sydney, Australia, and relocated to Singapore in 2003. Their mission for the past two decades has remained constant: safeguarding your financial security and providing trustworthy and comprehensive solutions for the future thanks to a diverse and knowledgeable team of consultants. Regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), they provide reliable financial planning advice for Singaporeans, expatriates, and corporations.