In my younger years, I traveled all over the world. On my travels, I realized that one of the most significant decisions we have in life is choosing where to live. I was fortunate enough to have exposure to all different countries and cultures before landing in Singapore, where I currently live. You need to research and choose a place to live that will meet your needs. Your environment has a direct correlation to your success—especially if you’re buying and selling businesses.
When choosing where to live, there are many factors to consider, including the rules affecting a business from inception through operation. A study was conducted by the World Bank that ranked the top 10 places in the world to do business.
According to the study, the top 10 countries for 2020 were:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
This is quite an impressive list, but how do you choose which destination is best for you? If you are ready to Go Do Deals, but you aren’t sure what part of the world to settle in, here are some factors to consider.
Firstly, when you’re looking at where to trade and where to do business, you have to look at demographics and consider where most of the population lives. As of 2020, the world population was about 7.7 billion and, about 60 percent of the global population was living in Asia.
If you’re doing business in a city with a high crime rate, the odds are potential investors or clients aren’t going to be super enthusiastic about traveling there. As I mentioned, I have always loved Singapore, but I also chose to move there because Singapore ticks all the boxes for me. It’s one of the cleanest places in the world with an incredibly low crime rate. Singapore has a thriving economy, and employees are well paid. Studies have proven that poverty is the main reason people resort to crime. When businesses pay their employees well and make a solid living, people don’t have a reason money-wise to commit crimes.
Countries’ economies are constantly competing through globalization and international trade. Economically successful countries will hold competitive and comparative advantages over other economies. The education and training of a country’s workforce are key factors in determining how well the country’s economy will perform.
Singapore has been repeatedly ranked in the top five countries for education by the Program for International Student Survey (PISA). Its dynamic economy, driven by its outstanding education system, has created a workforce packed with talent and human capital.
Tax Law and Incentives
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing where to live is tax laws and incentives offered by the country. Depending on the tax laws, they can significantly impact your quality of life and ability to run a business successfully. For example, Singapore’s low taxes and other incentives for foreign investors qualify it as a tax haven. The country offers several tax breaks, provides a relatively low corporate tax rate and top personal tax bracket, and does not impose taxes on capital gains.
Another thing to note is that there will be fewer and fewer taxpayers in mature economies. As the older generation retires, they become a drain on the public purse and the next generation being smaller and contributing enough. Singapore has created a better solution. They have so much protection for retirement and savings, including an auto-deducted pension, you can use your pension to buy your home. There are all sorts of brilliant things that they have done.
I think two economic models in the world seem to work well for people’s welfare. There’s the Scandinavian model, a free-market economy, but high taxes and high public spending. The other is the Singapore model: very low taxes, very low public spending, and a free market. The Singapore model is more sustainable because the Scandinavian model relies heavily on natural resources to sell to subsidize some of these activities.
What the people of Singapore have created here is quite incredible because the country has no natural resources. Still, they’ve managed to create one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world. They were so devoid of natural resources, at one point, they even had to import water. But these brilliant people created a free market meritocracy. It’s a very liberal, free market in terms of how things are operated.
If you’re planning to do a lot of traveling for business, it makes sense to have access to a major international airport. Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the largest travel hubs in Asia. Living in Singapore means I am just a five-hour flight from two-thirds of the world’s population. Can you believe that five hours flying radius gives you two-thirds of the people on the planet? When you’re looking for a hub or a place to do business, Asia has got to be critical to any strategy you’re doing because it’s where everybody lives.
Hopefully, I have given you some food for thought and some perspective on choosing where to live. If you’re ready to Go Do Deals but not quite sure where to start, pick up a copy of my book and find out how you can get in on the action.
This article was originally published here: https://www.jeremyharbour.com/should-you-move-to-singapore/