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Old 23.11.2015, 21:01
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retired swiss on a small pension

hello dear readers;

i am a swiss canadian woman, now retired and would like to return to Switzerland. am concerned about affordability as my pension would not be enough.
i would like to live in a smaller town, where i can buy basic needs and food,
where there is a train station and lots of nature for walking; not much traffic....
will not have a car.
any suggestions?
many thanks!
Akrobat
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:03
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

How much will you be living on?
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:08
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

Cavergno is pretty cheap, my daughter had a renovated 2 1/2 with fireplace for 700/month.

Tom
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:10
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

thanks Richdog!
well i now live in Mexico.
if i sell my house here, which is the plan i will be ok for 5 years or so.
then, my only income would be about 1,000 cdn. $.
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:16
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

Do you speak any of the Swiss languages- that would help with your choice. But the money is going to be tight, that is for sure. Doable in the Jura mountains - depending on how flexible you are with accommodation, eg a studio (edited before I saw 'quote') in a rural village.
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:18
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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Do you speak any of the Swiss languages- that would help with your choice. But the money is going to be tight, that is for sure. Doable in the Jura mountains - depending on how flexible you are with accommodation, eg a 1 bed in a rural village.
No doubt will be subsidised by social help being the OP is Swiss.
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:21
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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thanks Richdog!
well i now live in Mexico.
if i sell my house here, which is the plan i will be ok for 5 years or so.
then, my only income would be about 1,000 cdn. $.
Unfortunately, $CA 1'000 is only about CHF 700 at today's (and projected exchange rates). This will not go far.

Others will help with specifics, but Switzerland is a VERY high fixed cost country. This means that there are costs like rent, health insurance etc. that are hard or impossible to reduce.

I would seriously look at other options (including Canada) rather than CH for your retirement.
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:21
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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my only income would be about 1,000 cdn. $.
I am not one of those people who pretend that you can only live with an income of 120.000 CHF a year... but 1k canadian is way too low.

If you have a Swiss passport will the social services probably pick up the bill and pay the basics for you... even if you never paid into the Swiss system. Not sure if that's what you want though...
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:25
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

These may help.

http://aso.ch/files/webcontent/recht..._with_logo.pdf

https://www.eda.admin.ch/content/dam...izer-v6_EN.pdf

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/helping-...r-own/32898472

And a bit of a warning:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/coming-h...attle/41091306

Frankly, it may depend on what help, if any, you can get. I'd make enquiries first before making a final decision to move back here. You may be better off staying where you are.
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:27
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

Checked, and teh cheapest studio is 500, then add health insurance and heating and your moeny is gone- so not really doable. Would you be able to work part-time to supplement your income- or even to offer your services as a home help/child carer/housekeeper in exchange for accomodation? there are agencies for 'grannies Au Pair'.

But truly, long-term, it would be very difficult.
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:27
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No doubt will be subsidised by social help being the OP is Swiss.
yes, i speak english, german, spanish....am learning italian now.

what do you mean by social help?

thanks so much

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These may help.

http://aso.ch/files/webcontent/recht..._with_logo.pdf

https://www.eda.admin.ch/content/dam...izer-v6_EN.pdf

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/helping-...r-own/32898472

And a bit of a warning:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/coming-h...attle/41091306

Frankly, it may depend on what help, if any, you can get. I'd make enquiries first before making a final decision to move back here. You may be better off staying where you are.
thank you. will check it all out!

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Unfortunately, $CA 1'000 is only about CHF 700 at today's (and projected exchange rates). This will not go far.

Others will help with specifics, but Switzerland is a VERY high fixed cost country. This means that there are costs like rent, health insurance etc. that are hard or impossible to reduce.

I would seriously look at other options (including Canada) rather than CH for your retirement.
yes, thank you. high fixed costs are the culprit.
In Canada i cannot afford either to live on $1,000.
someone mentioned something about " social help"
as i am a swiss citizen.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 25.11.2015 at 19:07. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:41
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

www.prosenectute.ch

can give you information on what help you might get.
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Old 23.11.2015, 21:51
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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yes, thank you. high fixed costs are the culprit.
In Canada i cannot afford either to live on $1,000.
someone mentioned something about " social help"
as i am a swiss citizen.
Basically as you cannot afford to support yourself, the government may supplement your very low pension with money from the social welfare system for the rest of your natural life unless you find some other source of funding. This money would be funded by the tax payers.

How long have you lived outside Switzerland?
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Old 23.11.2015, 22:02
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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Basically as you cannot afford to support yourself, the government may supplement your very low pension with money from the social welfare system for the rest of your natural life unless you find some other source of funding. This money would be funded by the tax payers.

How long have you lived outside Switzerland?
45 years. i could still work though, right?
i just thought, in a smaller town, people don't earn that much money
and life is perhaps half of what it costs in a big city.
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Old 23.11.2015, 22:10
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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45 years. i could still work though, right?
i just thought, in a smaller town, people don't earn that much money
and life is perhaps half of what it costs in a big city.
Half of what life in a big city costs is still more then you can afford on 700chf per month. You would likely need to earn several times that to be able to live alone and have basic comforts even in the smaller towns and villages.

I guess you could theoretically still work, but that depends on your age and what skills you have.
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Old 23.11.2015, 22:20
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

According to a list I found back in 2011 canton Uri was the cheapest place to live. Looking on Immoscout24.ch for property the cheapest place (a studio basically) is CHF700 so there's your pension gone already. On top of that you'd have food, utilities probably, any travel expenses, health insurance, public liability insurance, contents insurance, clothing, etc.

Have you been back to Switzerland at all since you left? If so, when was the last time? Because I feel you're being optimistic in what your pension may be worth here.

And why after 45 years decide it's time to come home? Surely your friends/family are all in Mexico. Do you really want to leave them all behind and start afresh in a "strange" country where you know no one? That's assuming you haven't been back for regular visits of course.
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Old 23.11.2015, 22:21
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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45 years.
A long story short: Since you are technically Swiss do you have the right to be fed and housed. The money will come from the social insurances every worker pays in. It's a kind of "social contract": if everyone pays in while they work can the society support the people who for whatever reason don't manager to support themselves. It was not designed for people who lived their lives abroad and only come back once they want money out of it... and if too many will do it will the system not work anymore. However, so far it does and as far as I understand would the Swiss government even pay you the flight ticket to return if you for some reason cannot cough up the money yourself.
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Old 23.11.2015, 22:25
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

Check out
https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/de/home...ieschweiz.html

https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/de/home...zialhilfe.html

When was the last time you were in Switzerland, BTW?
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Old 23.11.2015, 22:25
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Checked, and teh cheapest studio is 500, then add health insurance and heating and your moeny is gone- so not really doable. Would you be able to work part-time to supplement your income- or even to offer your services as a home help/child carer/housekeeper in exchange for accomodation? there are agencies for 'grannies Au Pair'.

But truly, long-term, it would be very difficult.
thank you Odile!
yes, i can still work, at least part time.
perhaps i must rethink my plan...
i appreciate your reply.
Akrobat

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According to a list I found back in 2011 canton Uri was the cheapest place to live. Looking on Immoscout24.ch for property the cheapest place (a studio basically) is CHF700 so there's your pension gone already. On top of that you'd have food, utilities probably, any travel expenses, health insurance, public liability insurance, contents insurance, clothing, etc.

Have you been back to Switzerland at all since you left? If so, when was the last time? Because I feel you're being optimistic in what your pension may be worth here.

And why after 45 years decide it's time to come home? Surely your friends/family are all in Mexico. Do you really want to leave them all behind and start afresh in a "strange" country where you know no one? That's assuming you haven't been back for regular visits of course.

Medea, thank you.
i was back in CH in 2008.
i live very simple.
i am alone in Mexico. i like the heat. i miss hiking and nature.
i lived in Canada until 2004. my husband died in 2002.
i have 2 sisters in CH.
--sometimes life throws you unexpected, bits and pieces --

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Half of what life in a big city costs is still more then you can afford on 700chf per month. You would likely need to earn several times that to be able to live alone and have basic comforts even in the smaller towns and villages.

I guess you could theoretically still work, but that depends on your age and what skills you have.
thank you for writing.
i appreciate your feedback.
for me, the time has come to rethink my plan.

best wishes,
Akrobat

Last edited by 3Wishes; 25.11.2015 at 19:09. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 23.11.2015, 22:39
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Re: retired swiss on a small pension

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Medea, thank you.
i was back in CH in 2008.
i live very simple.
i am alone in Mexico. i like the heat. i miss hiking and nature.
i lived in Canada until 2004. my husband died in 2002.
i have 2 sisters in CH.
--sometimes life throws you unexpected, bits and pieces --
If you have two sisters in CH then can I please ask why you are not getting the information for living costs directly from them? Seems like they would be a great resource for your information, and maybe some help for your situation.
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