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Old 05.05.2015, 10:55
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Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Hi guys,

Been a while since I posted on here.....

My job lately has taken a downward turn, we were bought recently by a big corporation and there have been lots of redundancies, restructuring and general unhappiness.

It's time to move on and I have been offered a new job with my old CFO. The role is very attractive and would be the perfect step up for me to further my career in a very dynamic and interesting company.

The question as usual is based on stadard of living, salary comparisons as usual.

The pension and bonus comparisons between my salary and the offered salary are fairly similar (8% and 17%), so I can pretty much ignore those and focus on the gross salary. Current role is CHF130k and new role in Germany would be EUR105k, the new role's HR company said that it was (when adjusted for living costs and taxes etc) a step up from my current salary.

They said if I chose to work from Singapore then they would adjust upwards based on the higher cost of living in Singapore.

Initial reaction was that this would be a decent salary and we (wife and 1 child, possibly 2 in the near future) could have a decent quality of life in Germany. There is also a very good international school near where my wife could possibly get a job and our daughter could go to school.

Appreciate your thoughts on the salary comparisons and the standard of life question.

Thanks as always....Mr.Mouse!
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Old 05.05.2015, 11:47
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Go for it, bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush !
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Old 05.05.2015, 12:41
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Singapore is very expensive if you buy a car, live in expat-type accommodations and eat out at restaurants all the time. If you try to live more like a local; take public transportation (the train/bus system is awesome, but crowded), eat at the local hawker centres instead of fine dining, and live at more modest accommodation, then you'll be way ahead financially. Singapore has very low tax rate, extremely safe, clean and organized, and you can speak English everywhere. Your child can attend the numerous International schools. Integration is very easy, as it is very multi-cultural. Good luck with your choice.

If you are seriously considering Singapore, feel free to PM me for more details. *smile*
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Old 05.05.2015, 14:49
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Depends on where you will live in Germany, how high the rise will be.
But money in generally lasts about twice as long as in Switzerland.
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Old 06.05.2015, 12:00
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Thanks guys, as lovers of the countryside, a house, a car and a garden, I think Singapore would be the wrong move for us and my small family.

The role in Germany however would be really attractive, less daunting and risky too as it's only a few hours up the road and still only 1-2 hours to home (UK).

Comparing tax rates though has me worried, Switzerland I pay 4%, Germany looks to be roughly 40%, eeeeeek!!!
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Old 06.05.2015, 16:48
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

I think that number in Germany is a step up compared to what you said for Switzerland... unless you are talking about places like Munich where I would say it would be around the same.

I am surprised that you will get more in Singapore. Usually where I work, you get less if you move to Singapore. Housing is expensive, but everything else is cheaper. Except if you buy a car...
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Old 08.05.2015, 00:45
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

i agree, 105k is a decent salary that will let you live comfortable.
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Old 08.05.2015, 01:56
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Where exactly in Germany is that?
Child-care is much cheaper there. Might also be that you save on health-insurance, too.
Housing might also be cheaper, depending on the region/city.
But the pension-scheme is a bottomless pit that I wouldn't bet on paying out anything.
And I suspect, with 105k you've got a very high tax-rate indeed (tax-progression in Germany is much steeper than in Switzerland).

Maybe you future employer can offer you the advice of a tax-professional to roughly calculate your monthly take-home and what else you would owe the tax-man there (including you assets in Switzerland and elsewhere).
Tax-declaration is also much more complicated in Germany than here in Switzerland - insisting the help of a professional is almost mandatory - especially with that kind of income.
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Old 08.05.2015, 07:51
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Your net salary will be lower, I'd say in the region of 10-15% if you took the German offer.

Do you have any other possible options to stay here? Every time you move, you lose a good chunk of change.
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Old 08.05.2015, 09:35
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

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Singapore is very expensive if you buy a car, live in expat-type accommodations and eat out at restaurants all the time. If you try to live more like a local; take public transportation (the train/bus system is awesome, but crowded), eat at the local hawker centres instead of fine dining, and live at more modest accommodation, then you'll be way ahead financially. Singapore has very low tax rate, extremely safe, clean and organized, and you can speak English everywhere. Your child can attend the numerous International schools. Integration is very easy, as it is very multi-cultural. Good luck with your choice.

If you are seriously considering Singapore, feel free to PM me for more details. *smile*
I moved to Singapore from Switzerland and the only major change was to not buy a car. And I honestly don't need one...
- Condo prices came down and I am not paying much more than in Switzerland. But to be fair did I live in an expensive part of Switzerland with a low tax rate and high rents... which is very comparable.
- I eat very rarely in hawker centers, normal restaurants are WAY cheaper than Switzerland even though the average Singaporean thinks they are pricey. I can get a very decent pork Milanese with salad and potatoes for lunch for some 10 sgd in a place run by actual Italians...
- I daily use public transport and it is only crowded during rush hour and even then bearable. Taxis are dead cheap and I use them all the time...
- taxes are lower.

Bottom line: even with an expat life style AND taking a cut in salary did we had a better life and saved more money on the side on top...

Having said all of this: 105k EUR in Germany is very good as well. It boils down if you are looking for an experience abroad or not...
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Old 09.05.2015, 20:51
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

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I moved to Singapore from Switzerland and the only major change was to not buy a car. And I honestly don't need one...
- Condo prices came down and I am not paying much more than in Switzerland. But to be fair did I live in an expensive part of Switzerland with a low tax rate and high rents... which is very comparable.
- I eat very rarely in hawker centers, normal restaurants are WAY cheaper than Switzerland even though the average Singaporean thinks they are pricey. I can get a very decent pork Milanese with salad and potatoes for lunch for some 10 sgd in a place run by actual Italians...
- I daily use public transport and it is only crowded during rush hour and even then bearable. Taxis are dead cheap and I use them all the time...
- taxes are lower.

Bottom line: even with an expat life style AND taking a cut in salary did we had a better life and saved more money on the side on top...

Having said all of this: 105k EUR in Germany is very good as well. It boils down if you are looking for an experience abroad or not...
I would have to agree with you regarding Singapore. Yes cars more expensive due to tax but that is also dependent on engine size. As you say you don't really need a car that much anyway.

Eating out is FAR cheaper then what I have seen in Zurich and not even comparison to what I saw in Geneva.

Overall living costs are lower in Singapore and standard of living is one of the highest in Asia but not as high as Switzerland.

For sort term experience Singapore is great but I would't want to settle down there myself.

The english aspect has its advantage however the quality of the english spoken has lowered greatly and is known as Singlish with many slangs and Malay/Chinese words mixed in. For the most port you will be fine.
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Old 09.05.2015, 21:36
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Re: Germany, Switzerland or Singapore

Sounds like a good ratio of salary in Germany compared to here. However, when we lived in Germany on a similar salary we had a hard time saving much money compared to (our better salary) here - although I think in comparison, the German salary was lower compared to the Swiss salary than the numbers you mentioned, if that makes sense. So be careful, taxes do eat up a bunch, although being a single earner with multiple kids helps...Make sure you get a good idea of what the post tax take home will be. What area of Germany?
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