Ways living in Singapore is better than living in NYC

New York City seems glamorous and exciting, and many people dream of living there. But what's it really like to work there, raise a family there, and go through the daily grind there? How does it compare with Singapore? Here are ways that living in Singapore is better than living in New York City

Better metro system
Better metro system
16 Feb 2016

Better metro system

Photos: ING Images

Durians are forbidden in Singapore's MRT lest passengers suffer its pungent smell. Now that is a rule born out of consideration. Meanwhile in New York, somebody may very well be enjoying their morning cereal next to you, or a piping hot platter of The Halal Guys' chicken and rice doused in BBQ and ranch sauce. Sleeping homeless person sprawled across an entire row? Just another day on the subway. That's not counting frequent delays, service disruptions, and inaudible announcements. Compared to Singapore's clean, efficient, and relatively new metro system, New York subways are older, louder, and more expensive.

Sure, there's an arguably romantic appeal to New York subways (think soulmates-in-transit à la "Subway Missed Connections"). But let's get practical: Nothing beats Singapore's smooth escalators and elevators. So much better than trekking up grimy stairs in the dead of a New York winter in sodden snow boots during rush hour (try heaving a 50 pound stroller while you're at it).
 

No funky smells
No funky smells
16 Feb 2016

No funky smells

Walk down the streets of New York City and risk a whiff of urine emanating from a dank payphone stall, sulfurous stench from manhole steam, the fetor of garbage bags piled on sidewalks, and sweaty body fumes in unairconditioned, sauna-like subway platforms in summer. Part of New York's appeal is its grungy, rough around the edges character, and the city just wouldn't be the same without its symphony of smells. After living there for awhile, you come to accept it. Secretly, you may even be proud of braving it. But for those who prefer a toned down olfactory experience, Singapore is a better bet.

No chance of getting the winter blues
No chance of getting the winter blues
16 Feb 2016

No chance of getting the winter blues

It's balmy 365 days a year in Singapore. You only have to dress for one season: SUMMER. Do you have any idea how much wardrobe space winter gear occupies? 1 puffy down jacket = 6 breezy tops. While the folks in NYC pack on their blizzard guard, we're romping around in bandeau dresses. Humidity is like free luminizer here; we glow without even trying. Everyone's got the dewy look.

Proximity to prime vacation spots
Proximity to prime vacation spots
16 Feb 2016

Proximity to prime vacation spots

Got a case of wanderlust? It's easy to travel from Singapore to other fun places, be it Phuket, Bali, Hong Kong, Perth, Tokyo, Seoul, or Shanghai. The options are aplenty. If a long weekend's rolling around, simply pack your bags and be transported to a relaxing resort or major city in a short matter of hours. Parents seeking to raise adventurous, globetrotting kids will find that Singapore is a perfect springboard for overseas family excursions.

Hawker centres
Hawker centres
16 Feb 2016

Hawker centres

Good luck finding a cup of kopi-C in New York. Singapore's hawker centres are unbeatable. These outdoor food courts boast a variety of local eats, from char kway teow and hokkien mee to chilli crab and laksa. Chomp Chomp's satay and Maxwell's chicken rice (of which Anthony Bourdain is a fan) are must-tries. The best thing is that Singapore has these cheap local eats AND fine dining establishments; both Southeast Asian and Western cuisines are easily accessible. We have kaya toast and Singapore style soft boiled eggs but we also have Lady M and Clinton Street Bakery. Then there's our cheap and insanely good roti prata, which pretty much deserves its own point.  

Lower income tax rates
Lower income tax rates
16 Feb 2016

Lower income tax rates

Apples to apples, you would end up paying much less in taxes in Singapore than you would in New York. Want to live in Manhattan? That'll be 4% on top of federal and state taxes. There's no such city tax in Singapore. Not to mention the filing process in Singapore is miles simpler. As an additional benefit, in Singapore you get your full paycheck monthly and pay taxes next year when you file, whereas in New York City the taxes are deducted from your paycheck, so you get less money upfront. That big tax bite out of your hard-earned money puts a damper on the excitement of receiving your "big fat paycheck." 

Lower crime rate
Lower crime rate
16 Feb 2016

Lower crime rate

The low crime rate in Singapore allows you to enjoy a certain level of comfort and peace. Chances are, you're not freaking out over your kids playing outside or your teenage daughter making her own way home. You'd hardly imagine a primary school student walking to school alone in New York City. While the Big Apple's crime rate hit a record low in 2015, the smaller things like being catcalled or accosted by some homeless drunk can add a sense of threat or discomfort for some. 

Hired help is more affordable
Hired help is more affordable
16 Feb 2016

Hired help is more affordable

In Singapore, it's common to hire a foreign domestic worker to help look after your children or elderly parents. Working parents enjoy considerable peace of mind when there's an extra pair of hands at home, making family life less stressful. You're free to engage in more date nights, work events, impromptu coffee dates and last minute errands without scrambling to find an available babysitter. Compare all this to New York, where nannies cost more than double, and live-in help is rare as only the very wealthy can afford them. 

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