Hey all, we're an early 50's age couple from US that has had interest in Swissyland for yrs now. Ironically yrs ago (over 30 yrs now) I went to an ice hockey camp in Leysin, & loved it so much I said one day maybe I'll revisit Swissyland, or maybe when older even consider a way to move/retire there.
Now I know $ is the problem as finding work when you're not near retirement yrs yet, nor having the savings of retirees yet, but she in on SSDI Disability in the US & it transfers, I think, since she paid into the system via her jobs prior to being Disability.
Ok, we'll this is long-winded so I'll leave the intro there for now, but she is by birth 1/2 Italian, 1/2 German & I'm neither being both Polish & Lithuanian. However she took few yrs of French in school/college & I took 3 yrs of German but we're, ironically, don't laugh please, thinking of southern Swissyland & Ticino region, perhaps Lugano as it'd be close to Italy & she can learn what her granddad tried to teach her (before he died yrs ago but she never thought it'd be needed). Haha, you never know what value & help learning any language taught to you can be -- til it is too late.
Ok, enough rambling, just wanted to intro a bit of ourselves to a community here that seems cool, friendly & genuinely open to newbies learning about a possible new adventure. Thanks for listening.
When considering your future plans remember that as US citizens/Green Card holders you'll be required to file US tax returns no matter where you live in the world and possibly pay US tax. Plus it's very difficult for US persons to get/keep bank accounts here due to the FATCA law that's about to be implemented. If you can get one - only a few banks still take American customers - it will only be a basic checking account; no mortgage, no investments, etc unless you're extremely wealthy. There are plenty of threads on the subject here on the forum under the Finance/Taxation section, but here are some demonstrating the problems Americans are having at the moment:
You would also need to prove to the Swiss authorities that you have sufficient funds to live on. For students that can be between CHF21,000 and CHF31,000 a year depending on which university and how extravagant they want to be, but it'll give you some idea of the figures the authorities would be looking for. Those are per person of course so you'd probably need to add half again to cover two people reasonably, maybe more.
If you're thinking of finding a job here, again it's difficult because employers have to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to hire a non-EU citizen. If you're highly specialized you might be able to do it, but not otherwise. This is what they have to do:
and I also suggest getting hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after moving here. You can order it from your local bookshop or the Internet.
The following 2 users would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
You mention that you are Polish and Lithuanian, and she is German and Italian. By chance do either of you have European passport? If so it would make finding a job and getting a permit easier, although you would still face the American tax and banking issues.
Honestly though, I would suggest taking a long look around the daily life section of this Forum, reading the book Medea suggested, and also try to come for an extended holiday before you make such a big decision. Switzerland sounds so amazing on the surface and a lot of Americans come on the Forum to sing its praises and how they want to move here... but there are loads of rules and regulations, inconveniences, cultural differences, language barriers, etc. to consider. It is not impossible, but go forward with your eyes wide open and blinders off.
The following 6 users would like to thank 3Wishes for this useful post:
Thanks to all of you for replying w/ so much good info. I know this is a long stretch to move there, yet I'd like to consider all options seriously & eval from there. But it is daunting especially when we wouldn't know anyone personally upon moving there, but it'd be fun as I'm fairly outgoing & would love to stumble my way through learning Italian (as I've many friends back in the US that speak or had families that spoke Italian).
We have a book of Italian, 'Ultimate Italian' from awhile back & she is trying to learn some things. My German will do me no good, I know, here but Lugano is the neatest place to me as it is the warmest in the country weather-wise in winter (& is close to the "fun" country of Italy whereas Germany & France can be quite stodgy & stuckup). I have always had great Italian friends but not so w/ many Frenchies or Germans I've met. It is my g/f's Italy side that I can deal w/ but her dad's German is too stoic, & harder & less comfy to deal with.
Hence, the Italian interest/culture/flavor yet remaining in Swissyland as I won't live anywhere outside US other than Swiss. But Canada is much like Switzerland in that you need to bring much cash or a good career, & also need not displace a Canada citizen equally qualified for a job. It is no different in Swiss I assume but this does keep riff-raff out, unlike the open doors of the US which welcome people to join our welfare & make us poorer.
Eventually the US welfare & economy will collapse as it is like borrowing from your checking & never replacing. Soon you will be broke/bankrupt as we live on bonds & how long before US becomes 3rd world? Thanks much for all info & nice to meet great folks, & someday I'll see my dream but til then I'll stay in rude US vs kinder countries that aren't so conceited & egotistical to spend more than they have & print more as you need it.
Wouldn't it be nice if we all had printing presses to make our own wealth rather than earning it? Must be nice to be a gov't that can make up the rules as you go. We all toil under this regime yet how much longer can this country go on like this? At least the Swiss aren't crazy as are the US politicians catering to votes, & printing more money to buy more folks' votes year in & year out.
Don't write off your German, it's the most spoken of the 4 languages here so if you travel around the country you'll be able to put it to use. And the more Swiss languages you can speak the better your ability to get a job, integrate into Swiss society, etc. If you're think long term about getting Swiss citzenship, again you'll need at least one of the languages, usually the one of the canton you're living in so that would be Italian for Ticino.
You might also want to consider calling the country by it's proper name of Switzerland - not Swissyland.
The following 3 users would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
Helo again everyone. I must apologize for the flippancy of calling it Swissyland. Actually back in the 80s when I attended hockey camp over a summer there one of the pro hockey NHL players used/coined it that & we as youngsters (then) referred to it from then on. Secondly. I had a few glassess of wine prior to posting some of these comments, & thus was a bit too strong w/ my opening intro comments.
I don't think it is delusional to move to Switzerland yet it is rather a large amount of undertaking/doing to make this even remotely close to a reality. I have just begun to bandy this back & forth w/ friends, family, etc. & most outright would never take on an endeavour such as this. The reason in most cases is lack of financial security, language barriers, & as we age our health care options vs what we have in the US (which still has despite all the chaos in healthcare here) the best in the world or at least that I've ever lived with.
Again I am going to slowly digest all this great info & these links to try to ascertain as to whether this could become reality, or simply will remain an idealistic but unrealistic goal/desire. It isn't easy to have an interest in doing something yet be devoid of the means (not the heart & desire) to achieve one's goal. I again apologize sincerely for any offending comments, & will refrain from the child-like behavior of talking off-the-cuff w/ remarks not well thought out as to the very reaction they may invite.
Please keep any new ideas flowing as I do enjoy this board nonetheless despite my less than stellar & rather inauspicious start on here via this questionable intro of mine.
Thanks & Merry Christmas to you all.
This user would like to thank Swissvino for this useful post:
The language is one of your lesser challenges. What makes you employable, assuming that you're not independently wealthy?
If I'm anywhere near this delusional at "over 50", I would hope someone would put me in an institution...
Haha, thanks & least institutions are paid for by US tax dollars under are current admin.
But I did spit out a glass of wine reading this. Yes it is true that a new language is tough to adjust to as one gets older. I speak German a bit but not Italian. My g/f is brushing up on her French but neither are really needed much in Lugano.
Ok, yes its a longshot chance to ever move but here's the best forum to chat w/ others & get realistic ideas/opinions, etc.
Thanks for making me laugh but you owe me a glass (or bottle, hehee) of wine - preferably from Switzerland.