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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2010, 11:15 AM
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hi, just curious what is the general consensus of definition of "rich"? how much $ a month, then will u be considered rich? (monetary sense im not talking about work-life balance etc here)

it seems to me that most of you do not consider lawyers and doctors to be rich. only comfortable. but the average lawyer/ doctor would rake in $10-$15k per month after 6 or 7 years of work. Plus their spouse who may/ may not be in the same profession, it adds up to quite a bit.

Is that not rich enough?
Say you earn $15K/pm, thats $225K per year and you are thrifty and save 40% of your income = $90K/year, which you put in the bank. After 10 years, you have $1m saved. That's only enough for a 2-bedroom apartment in the suburbs.

A rich guy should have at least a fairly new sports car, another luxury family mover and a bungalow in Sentosa. Let's see how much to need to earn to afford that the basics for the rich? Since you are rich, you buy cars with cash, but we can look at the depreciation. A new mid-range sports car like a Porsche 911 C4S would halve in value in the first 3 years or a depreciation of around $80K/yr. Get a slightly cheaper BMW X5 for the tai tai wife, which would depreciate at around $60K/yr for the first 3 years so total $140k/yr depreciation. That is around $12K/mo just for the cars. Bungalows in Sentosa start at $15m, so say you put down $5m (new govt rules) and take a $10m loan. Even with todays low interest rates, we're talking a mortgage payment of $70K/mo. So far, we have $82K per month for the basics. Say miscellaneous expenses are $30K a month (2 maids, 1 gardener, 1 driver etc etc), we are up to $112K/month so you would need to earn maybe $1.2-1.5m per year to live the rich life without any savings. However, most rich people save around 80% of their earnings, so for the typical guy with supercars and a sentosa bungalow, the $112K expenditure per month is just 20% of his earnings so he would be earning around $500K per month.

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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2010, 12:33 PM
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Say you earn $15K/pm, thats $225K per year and you are thrifty and save 40% of your income = $90K/year, which you put in the bank. After 10 years, you have $1m saved. That's only enough for a 2-bedroom apartment in the suburbs.

A rich guy should have at least a fairly new sports car, another luxury family mover and a bungalow in Sentosa. Let's see how much to need to earn to afford that the basics for the rich? Since you are rich, you buy cars with cash, but we can look at the depreciation. A new mid-range sports car like a Porsche 911 C4S would halve in value in the first 3 years or a depreciation of around $80K/yr. Get a slightly cheaper BMW X5 for the tai tai wife, which would depreciate at around $60K/yr for the first 3 years so total $140k/yr depreciation. That is around $12K/mo just for the cars. Bungalows in Sentosa start at $15m, so say you put down $5m (new govt rules) and take a $10m loan. Even with todays low interest rates, we're talking a mortgage payment of $70K/mo. So far, we have $82K per month for the basics. Say miscellaneous expenses are $30K a month (2 maids, 1 gardener, 1 driver etc etc), we are up to $112K/month so you would need to earn maybe $1.2-1.5m per year to live the rich life without any savings. However, most rich people save around 80% of their earnings, so for the typical guy with supercars and a sentosa bungalow, the $112K expenditure per month is just 20% of his earnings so he would be earning around $500K per month.
How many people earn $500K a month!? That's $6M a year!

According to Iras annual report, only 3799 + 39 people had an income of more than $1M/yr. At $6M, maybe only 100 people?

That said, I think many ultra-rich got a lot of money from investments. For example $100M invested in Starhub gives you about $8M a year in dividends (non-taxable).

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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2010, 10:09 PM
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what kind of lawyers earn the most in singapore? My guess would be corporate lawyers, although i cant be sure though. And most criminal lawyers dont earn as much, unless you're talking about the best few.

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2010, 09:12 AM
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How many people earn $500K a month!? That's $6M a year!

According to Iras annual report, only 3799 + 39 people had an income of more than $1M/yr. At $6M, maybe only 100 people?

That said, I think many ultra-rich got a lot of money from investments. For example $100M invested in Starhub gives you about $8M a year in dividends (non-taxable).
Those 3799 people earned S$8.1bn so the average is $2.1m. I doubt its 100 people, but more like 500-1000. Most Sentosa bungalows are owned by foreigners, but some of those 500-1000 are truly rich.

You may think the $8M in Starhub dividends is non-taxable, but in reality, the changes to the dividend franking rules mean that everyone is paying the corporate tax rate on dividends instead of their marginal tax rate. For high earners, their marginal tax rate is probably similar to the corporate tax rate though (could even be slightly higher)
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2010, 09:29 AM
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in that case i doubt any of us in this forum would fall under the catergory of "rich" hahaha. not even ministers with their $1-$2m salary, thats only considered "well-off".
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2010, 11:03 AM
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I am guessing most of the folks asking these questions are JC boys or girls wondering about which course to take in university.

I can't speak for doctors as I am not one, but the starting pay for a lawyer, as well as for young lawyers (1-3 PQE) varies with the times.

Just 3 years ago, lawyers in big local firms started out at an average of about $4,000-$4,500. When the global financial crisis struck, the starting pay got depressed to around $3,800-$4,200 with retention rates falling drastically (especially for corp lawyers). Now, with business picking up and the law firms switching to a different pay scheme (paying more monthly wages and reducing lump sum bonuses), the starting pay is above $5,000.

In this short example, you can see how various events beyond our control affect our salaries. There will be more of such events to come.

What will happen if the property bubble in China bursts? Or if US enters double dip recession? And combined with the additional intake from SMU and foreign grads?

Whatever figures we give you now are at best a tentative guide. Up or down, and by how much? No one can say.

In any case, perhaps you guys may be slightly presumptuous in thinking that you will even have a choice between med and law. Apply to both; it isn't a given that you get offers from both faculties (even if you do extremely well). Worry about which to go to when you actually get both offers.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2010, 11:37 AM
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in that case i doubt any of us in this forum would fall under the catergory of "rich" hahaha. not even ministers with their $1-$2m salary, thats only considered "well-off".
Not true. Crude trader at Glencore $4m

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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2010, 03:11 PM
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Well, we are comparing between the careers based on the assumption that we can get into both faculties and therefore, we try to balance between both careers; whether we can get in or not is inconsequential.
I dare say that opinions of the medical sector might change too, given that there is the new and upcoming third medical school in singapore.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I am guessing most of the folks asking these questions are JC boys or girls wondering about which course to take in university.

I can't speak for doctors as I am not one, but the starting pay for a lawyer, as well as for young lawyers (1-3 PQE) varies with the times.

Just 3 years ago, lawyers in big local firms started out at an average of about $4,000-$4,500. When the global financial crisis struck, the starting pay got depressed to around $3,800-$4,200 with retention rates falling drastically (especially for corp lawyers). Now, with business picking up and the law firms switching to a different pay scheme (paying more monthly wages and reducing lump sum bonuses), the starting pay is above $5,000.

In this short example, you can see how various events beyond our control affect our salaries. There will be more of such events to come.

What will happen if the property bubble in China bursts? Or if US enters double dip recession? And combined with the additional intake from SMU and foreign grads?

Whatever figures we give you now are at best a tentative guide. Up or down, and by how much? No one can say.

In any case, perhaps you guys may be slightly presumptuous in thinking that you will even have a choice between med and law. Apply to both; it isn't a given that you get offers from both faculties (even if you do extremely well). Worry about which to go to when you actually get both offers.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2010, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by lalacower90 View Post
Well, we are comparing between the careers based on the assumption that we can get into both faculties and therefore, we try to balance between both careers; whether we can get in or not is inconsequential.
I dare say that opinions of the medical sector might change too, given that there is the new and upcoming third medical school in singapore.
I am just saying that you are jumping the gun slightly.

It is good that you are thinking far ahead, but in this case, I don't think it is of much use.

In any case, please note that for lawyers, the pay comes with a high price - long working hours. The hourly rate isn't all that impressive. Tuition teachers probably make more.

Just another thing you might want to consider. Do you prefer a high pay (in total) or a high pay per hour of work?
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2010, 09:25 AM
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Hi there, I got a question after reading this thread! What is the lowest paid Singapore-qualified lawyer v lowest paid doctor (polyclinic GP), assuming both are working full-time?

This thread has been very useful, thanks
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