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Old 25.01.2015, 12:00
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Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

Hello! I'm an Italian SW engineer. I've been just offered a 100000/110000 CHF position in Zurich at a large company; what I want to know is that this will grant me a GOOD medium lifestyle for me and two children. We are not an expensive couple, we go out for dinner say one time a month, we buy clothes online to save money, buy food of quality but not advertised, and so on. Just what I don't want to miss is the chance to make some travel abroad at least one time a year as we do now. If going in Switzerland I'll also have to pay some 500€ a month for my house in Italy (c. 85 square meters) which I want to keep. I'm also scared to pay 1500 CHF every month for my child to go to maternal school (he is 4): is this number true?

Will this position grant us this lifestyle (presently in Italy I earn some 2000 € a month and save some 600 € a month)? In the end, what I want to know if moving there it'll be a significative improvement, otherwise I'd feel it's a waste of time to go there to live an expat for a life like here in Turin.

Any help is welcome since I feel a bit scared, mostly by Zurich's fame as "most expensive city in the world".

PS: "Urgent" because I spoke with the guy on Friday and he needs a reply within monday!!!
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Old 25.01.2015, 12:04
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

Welcome to the Forum.

If you want info on cost of living, there's loads of info here. Here are some threads that I think cover the topic nicely, including links and examples of actual expenses. The first one is a bit old, but quite comprehensive and worth a look. The second is more recent:

Cost of living - help needed to get it right

Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

There are more than 100 threads that talk about cost of living. Some might be relevant to you and others not, but do have a read through the more recent ones. There's a LOT of good advice in there, you just have to do a little of the leg (er, reading) work yourself:

http://www.englishforum.ch/search2.php?q=cost+of+living

Hopefully you can compare your own current costs and lifestyle using some of this info, and determine whether the move is for you and your family.
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Old 25.01.2015, 12:06
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

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I'm also scared to pay 1500 CHF every month for my child to go to maternal school (he is 4): is this number true?
I don't have kids… but I'm sure Kindergarten is free!
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Old 25.01.2015, 12:14
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 25.01.2015, 12:34
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

As 3Wishes says there are plenty of threads on the cost of living here which hopefully will also include childcare costs. If not, look under the Education section to find more threads. There's also a sticky with info:

Childcare and Schooling in Switzerland

Kindergarten starts at between 4 and 4 years 9 months in most cantons and it's free. There's more info here:

https://www.ch.ch/en/start-kindergarten/

And general school info:

https://www.ch.ch/en/kindergarten-preschool

Answer, yes you should be fine on that salary. Look to maybe living outside of Zurich itself where property is cheaper, shop at places like Aldi, Lidl, Denner, Otto's for most stuff rather than Migros, Coop, etc. Check these sites to get an idea of prices:

www.immoscout24.ch
www.immostreet.ch
www.homegate.ch
www.home.ch

www.aldi.ch
www.lidl.ch
www.migros.ch
www.coop.ch
www.ottos.ch
www.denner.ch
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Old 25.01.2015, 12:45
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

It's not as much money as you think. I'd say don't expect to save much per month but still live a comfortable life.

Make sure you add health insurance for all 3 of you, groceries, rents, house insurance and extra money for emergencies into the mix.
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Old 25.01.2015, 12:53
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

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Hello! I'm an Italian SW engineer. I've been just offered a 100000/110000 CHF position in Zurich at a large company; what I want to know is that this will grant me a GOOD medium lifestyle for me and two children. We are not an expensive couple, we go out for dinner say one time a month, we buy clothes online to save money, buy food of quality but not advertised, and so on. Just what I don't want to miss is the chance to make some travel abroad at least one time a year as we do now. If going in Switzerland I'll also have to pay some 500€ a month for my house in Italy (c. 85 square meters) which I want to keep. I'm also scared to pay 1500 CHF every month for my child to go to maternal school (he is 4): is this number true?

Will this position grant us this lifestyle (presently in Italy I earn some 2000 € a month and save some 600 € a month)? In the end, what I want to know if moving there it'll be a significative improvement, otherwise I'd feel it's a waste of time to go there to live an expat for a life like here in Turin.

Any help is welcome since I feel a bit scared, mostly by Zurich's fame as "most expensive city in the world".

PS: "Urgent" because I spoke with the guy on Friday and he needs a reply within monday!!!
Rent and medical insurance will use up 40% - 50% of your net income.
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Old 25.01.2015, 13:19
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

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Rent and medical insurance will use up 40% - 50% of your net income.
How did you come to this conclusion???????

100 000 => 8333 chf / month gross
Let's say out of this a takeaway home is 7k / month (I think it might be actually higher than that).
I assume OP needs 4-4,5 room appartment, these can be found slightly outside of Zurich for as low as 1500 - 1600 / month (in Zurich itself it would be far more, true). Add health insurance (counting lowest prices) at ~ 200 per adult and 90 per child, so we have 380, let's say 400. So 2k / month for rent and insurance. So we have 5k to spare at this point, now food is hard to count, it depends on many factors (eg. where do you shop, what and how much eat and if you are vegetarian or not).
Also, in terms of kids, in CH kindergarten (from age ~4) is mandatory and free, but it lasts only for a part of the day. After that you need someone to take care of your kids, either you can submit them to hort (after kindergarten kindergarten ) or pay someone (nanny or tages mutter - this is a woman who has her own kids and will get yours too). Costs here vary greatly and can be very high. As example full day at kinder krippe (full days, 5 days a week) -> are around 2-2,5k a month per child!

I think child care here might be deciding fact, without it it would be VERY comfortable, if you can arrange something for it it also can be very good.
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Old 25.01.2015, 14:19
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

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How did you come to this conclusion???????

100 000 => 8333 chf / month gross
Let's say out of this a takeaway home is 7k / month (I think it might be actually higher than that).
I assume OP needs 4-4,5 room appartment, these can be found slightly outside of Zurich for as low as 1500 - 1600 / month (in Zurich itself it would be far more, true). Add health insurance (counting lowest prices) at ~ 200 per adult and 90 per child, so we have 380, let's say 400. So 2k / month for rent and insurance. So we have 5k to spare at this point, now food is hard to count, it depends on many factors (eg. where do you shop, what and how much eat and if you are vegetarian or not).
Also, in terms of kids, in CH kindergarten (from age ~4) is mandatory and free, but it lasts only for a part of the day. After that you need someone to take care of your kids, either you can submit them to hort (after kindergarten kindergarten ) or pay someone (nanny or tages mutter - this is a woman who has her own kids and will get yours too). Costs here vary greatly and can be very high. As example full day at kinder krippe (full days, 5 days a week) -> are around 2-2,5k a month per child!

I think child care here might be deciding fact, without it it would be VERY comfortable, if you can arrange something for it it also can be very good.
OK, so 50% was too pessimistic, but 40% isn't far off. I understood that there are two adults and two children, so that's minimum CHF600 a month health insurance assuming maximum franchise for the adults (which means some medical expenses to pay for as well). CHF1500 rent is too optimistic for a family of four in my opinion, particularly as the OP is used to living in a house. So, more like CHF2000 for anything comparable. You can quickly come to CHF2800 for these two things, which would be 40%.
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Old 25.01.2015, 14:21
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

My husband is also from Turin so we understand what life is like compared to Italy. This is not so much advice, really just how we feel in a similar situation. With one salary of CHF 100k - 110k per year you can have a reasonably ok lifestyle here in Zurich, provided that you don't go out too much as that can be expensive. I wouldn't expect to save too much though with a young family, but it's all relative to how you spend your money. It also depends if your wife will be working.

We spend CHF 2,500 per month on rent outside of Zurich city for a 2 bedroom 105sqm apartment in a nice area. If you live outside of Zurich you can get more for your money while not having to spend too much time commuting to work (I commute about 30 minutes each way).

Our child is not yet at Kindergarten so I'm not sure about those costs. But childcare is not cheap here for a baby.

Basically, for us, we prefer to live in Switzerland to Italy because of the lifestyle, cleanliness and safety. The salaries are also much higher than in Italy and "things work". We drive to Piemonte every so often to visit the family, eat good pizza and stock up on some Italian foods which you can't get here. However, we do miss not having any family here for support as we have a small child, which is something to consider. We also have an apartment in Italy (which we pay a mortgage on) which we keep for when we stay there.

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 25.01.2015, 14:22
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

Kindergarten is free, as said.
If your wife also works, you will have to find someone to take care of the kid.
As mentioned above.
If she doesn't work, that problem does not exist and no costs will incur.

8333/month seems to equate to 6.8k actual payout before health-insurance:
http://www.lohncomputer.ch/de/startseite.html

Is it 100k or 110k, BTW?

Progression in Switzerland isn't so bad, so an increase in salary usually translates into a more or less equal payout.

Earning anything below 120k/y you will be taxed "at source", which means that taxes will be deducted directly by your employer and paid to the tax-office.
You will not need to fill out a tax declaration then - but you also can't claim anything from your taxes.
(But the tax-rate is such that it's very favorable to you).

Places to live with good public transport connections usually command higher rents than those with less good connections.
Depending on your work-hours and your personal preferences, a 30-60 minutes commute would be "OK".
Remember that the work-week is >40h (depending on the company), so that commute time does add up.

If you browse all the other threads about this, you'll see other tips like:

- rent cheap and small first, finding a good flat is easier once you live here
- don't overspend on cars, like most of the rest of Switzerland seems to ;-)

If you take the job, it would probably make sense to find a tax-accountant and discus your situation with him, regarding your tax-status in Italy.
Because you still have a property there (in your name, I assume), you might be liable for taxes there, too.

If you go to http://www.coopathome.ch you can see the prices of groceries.
Often, stuff can be sourced (much) cheaper and the amount you get from filling a basket there should be regarded as an "upper ceiling".


Good luck.
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Old 25.01.2015, 14:34
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

Hi Attilios,

we moved from Italy to Switzerland as well and we were at that time in a similar situation. We are very satisfied with the move and if you have any doubts feel free to send me a private message and I will be happy to help you.
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Old 25.01.2015, 14:34
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Re: Job offer in Zurich - Urgent

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Earning anything below 120k/y you will be taxed "at source", which means that taxes will be deducted directly by your employer and paid to the tax-office.
You will not need to fill out a tax declaration then - but you also can't claim anything from your taxes.
(But the tax-rate is such that it's very favorable to you).
That's not exactly true, if you earn less than 120k/y you have quellen steuer but you CAN (if you want) do a simplified declaration to deduct things (this is on kantonsl level rather than commune level). If you earn more than 120k/y (and have permit L or B) you still have quellensteuer but you also need to do mandatory tax declaration.
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