Migrating to your dream city
As much as we love Singapore, most of us have, at some point, dreamt of just packing up and moving to somewhere new and exciting. Unfortunately, getting a grasp of just how much it costs to buy a house overseas and getting an idea of the cost of living can be a daunting task.
But not to worry, we’ve picked 8 of the most talked-about migration destinations among Singaporeans and listed down living costs* and the type of housing you can get for the price of a regular $500,000 SGD 3 bedroom flat:
*Note: To sum up a rough cost of living, we used the cost of a Volkswagen Golf and the price of essential groceries (like chicken, eggs, bread and potatoes) as benchmarks.
1. New Zealand (Wellington)
New Zealand’s new working visa has put Australia’s outdoorsy neighbour on the map as a migration destination, especially for young Singaporeans. Its capital, Wellington, is a hit with millennials who’ll be right at home in the artsy city centre.
One of the biggest draws for Singaporeans has got to be Wellington’s spectacular natural beauty. Picturesque mountains, lakes and nature trails are all just a short drive away, and are some things we’d never be able to experience in SG. After all, there’s a reason why The Lord of The Rings was filmed here!
What you can get for the price of a flat: A comfortable family home with a large garden
Cost of a car: S$34,000
Cost of groceries: S$22
2. Australia (Melbourne, Perth)
Image credit: Johann Dique
Melbourne has topped the list of the world’s most liveable cities, so it’s not surprising this cultural melting-pot is a top choice for Singaporean expats.
Like New Zealand however, eating out in Melbourne is a pricey affair. But because of the abundant farmers markets with incredibly fresh and cheap produce, you’ll find yourself eager to cook up a storm at home. Another bonus is that cars are loads cheaper and also the best way to explore the neighbouring areas, like the gorgeous Yarra Valley.
But if city living just isn’t your thing, head west to Perth and enjoy the laid back city’s slow pace of living. One of the best parts of living here has got to be easy access to city’s beautiful beaches - so drive down to the coast and pack your boardshorts and bikinis for a spot of sand, sand, and surf.
Cost of a car: S$28,000
Cost of groceries: S$19 (Melbourne), S$18 (Perth)
3. United States (San Jose, California)
Image credit: Alliance Manufactured Homes
If your idea of The American Dream isn’t a shoebox apartment in pricey New York, move west to tech hub of San Jose, which is considerably cheaper and definitely more laid back thanks to its large population of young, tech-savvy millennials.
While the city might be located in the tech-hub of Silicon Valley, San Jose residents know how to have fun too. The city is home to a slew of nightclubs, bars, and award-winning restaurants and even Din Tai Fung!
But despite its high-tech facade, the neighbourhoods like Willow Glen and Silver Creek manage to invoke a cosy, small-town feel.
What you can get for the price of a flat: a large family home
Cost of a car: S$27,000
Cost of groceries: S$19
4. United Kingdom (Brighton)
Image credit: Tony Mould
Escape the bustle of London and make the quaint seaside resort of Brighton your home. In addition to rustic seaside living, Singaporeans will enjoy a true taste of Brighton hospitality - the town’s residents are a remarkably open and tolerant bunch.
In addition to hosting major Pride events, the town has its own buzzy music scene that champions local artists like Bat For Lashes and Royal Blood. If you thought London was the only “happening” place in the UK worth migrating to, think again!
The view isn’t too shabby either! Image credit: The Telegraph
And if you ever feel like you miss city living, central London is just an hour away by train - perfect for a weekend shopping trip!
What you can get for the price of a flat: A cosy single bedroom flat
Cost of a car: S$34,000
Cost of groceries: S$14
5. Canada (Toronto)
Image credit: Jason Baker
Canada is also a prime destination for Singaporeans because of its general safety and migrant-friendly population. And if you’re a city kid through and through, Toronto’s vibrant city life won’t feel too far from home.
Toronto prides itself on being an inclusive and welcoming city and is home to many Chinese, Indian, and Italian immigrants. Like Singapore, this mash-up of cultures has created a vibrant food and arts scene - a rojak if you will!
What you can get for the price of a flat: A quaint landed property
Cost of a car: S$26,000
Cost of groceries: S$16
6. Thailand (Bangkok)
If it’s street food, a tropical climate, and a lively city you’re after, you can’t go wrong making a move to the bustling city of Bangkok.
Come nightfall, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in the city’s nightlife districts of Sukhumvit, Khao San Road, and Ratchadaphisek - the latter being more popular with the locals.
What you can get for the price of a flat: A large bungalow
Cost of a car: S$43,000
Cost of groceries: S$10
7. Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
Kuala Lumpur may not be as exotic a destination as the other places on the list, but the affordable cost of living there is a huge draw.
We’re familiar with Malaysia as our neighbour up north, so most Singaporeans won’t experience too much of a culture shock and won’t have much difficulty adapting to the lifestyle in KL. And while we’re all super proud of our local dishes, we gotta admit that the Malaysian food scene is a worthy competitor.
Best part? If you ever do feel a little homesick, Singapore is just a short flight or drive away.
What you can get for the price of a flat: A multi-storey bungalow
Cost of a car: S$52,000
Cost of groceries: S$7
8. Indonesia (Bali)
Image credit: Selamat Made
For many Singaporeans, the dream is to migrate to a rustic countryside - far from the bustling city centre. For this, the idyllic, beachy, and ridiculously cheap Bali comes to mind. The cost of living here will be a relief for most Singaporeans, whether it’s massages, meals, or transportation.
And it comes as no surprise that the Balinese like to take things easy. With such a slow, laid back pace of life, moving to Bali means living the permanent vaycay lifestyle!
What you can get for the price of a flat: A beachside villa
Cost of a car: S$30,000
Cost of groceries: S$8
Migrate with help from an affordable investment plan
If you’re in your 20s and haven’t got a huge amount saved up to migrate, these prices might still leave you feeling a little disheartened. But whether you’re dreaming of moving to sunny California or a cosy flat in Brighton, a solid investment plan is the first logical step to take.
AIA’s Pro Achiever Plan will give you the head-start that you need with an affordable starting price of just $200 a month. And when you start early, compounding makes your future goals all the more achievable.
More importantly, the plan gives you access to expert financial guidance that'll help you grow your savings and plan any investment opportunities - that’s less time lost in a sea of financial jargon and more time with your friends and loved ones.
Image credit: AIA
AIA's Pro Achiever plan also offers additional perks like 100% of premium invested from the start, no sales charge, bid-offer spread, and 5% bonus units on your premium amount to reward you for staying invested after 12 years of premiums, all the way till age 100 or when you surrender the plan.
With a little help from AIA, you can plan ahead and get your money to work for you right now - making a future move to your dream country a reality. We can almost see you sipping pina coladas by a Balinese beach!
This post was brought to you by AIA.