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Old 19.04.2011, 11:10
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Re: Lack of reality...

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Why should earning a high wage somehow make it unecessary that they use a large and free resource like English Forum to find out information quickly and easily? Should they be paying someone to do it for them just because thex can afford to, or is that just other peoples perception of how they should behave? They see a forum where the same question has been asked before and do the very same, it's only natural.

They probably worked their proverbial arses to get where they are today, and don't really deserve any different treatment to anyone else on a public forum which is supposedly open to anyone and everyone regardless of their class and background, save from people who seem to have a real chip on their shoulder about how much other people earn.
I agree it's a open forum, but I have no time for lazyness. You don't do it at work why do it on a public forum?

They supposedly have intelligence which means they can use a search button. Or do the research before their first post of "can I live on 150k?"

Yes obviously on that wage you have access to advice if you need it, they're obviously too lazy to do it themselves, so pay someone. THere are many that do not have this option and work a lot harder to do their research. Admittedly some don't and they get the same abuse I reserve for the high earners.

Or are those earning 6 figure salary earners so detatched from human life that they are unable to use the intelligence + privledges they were given?
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:11
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Re: Lack of reality...

do you think they became high earners by wasting time reinventing the wheel

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I agree it's a open forum, but I have no time for lazyness. You don't do it at work why do it on a public forum?

They supposedly have intelligence which means they can use a search button. Or do the research before their first post of "can I live on 150k?"

Yes obviously on that wage you have access to advice if you need it, they're obviously too lazy to do it themselves, so pay someone. THere are many that do not have this option and work a lot harder to do their research. Admittedly some don't and they get the same abuse I reserve for the high earners.

Or are those earning 6 figure salary earners so detatched from human life that they are unable to use the intelligence + privledges they were given?
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:13
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Re: Lack of reality...

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do you think they became high earners by wasting time reinventing the wheel
Stepping on other peoples backs on the way to the top is always such a satisifying feeling eh.
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:26
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Re: Lack of reality...

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Stepping on other peoples backs on the way to the top is always such a satisifying feeling eh.
I don't step on their backs - I lie them on their backs and sleep my way to the top
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:33
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Re: Lack of reality...

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The whole reason I started this thread was that many times it is expressed here that it is all but impossible to live on anything less than 80k/yr.

I still stand firmly that it is nowhere near "impossible" for one or two people to live on less than that. Would it be great to live on that or more? Of course... but the tone that to live on anything less than that is crap is totally unrealistic.

People CAN and DO "live" on more than that here in Switzerland all the time.

Someone with expensive habits of course can not but spending money is not the same thing as "living" for everyone.
I think that logically speaking and using basic common sense, you can come to the understanding that (and I think this has already been stated around 10x in this thread) that when people say you "can't live" on 80k, they don't mean it is actually not physically possible, but that the quality of life is not ideal for what they are looking for or would consider suitable... eating well, going out and having a good time, buying some luxury good now and then, and living somewhere decent. I'm sure they would not keel over and die while living in a 1.5 room apartment, eating out twice a month, or forgoing that nice new jacket they had their eye on... but that's not the reason most people look to move to Switzerland is it? I think it's a rare person that can say with all honestly that moving here, or the desire to move here, has nothing whatsoever to do with increased salary and quality of life.

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I agree it's a open forum, but I have no time for lazyness. You don't do it at work why do it on a public forum?

They supposedly have intelligence which means they can use a search button. Or do the research before their first post of "can I live on 150k?"

Yes obviously on that wage you have access to advice if you need it, they're obviously too lazy to do it themselves, so pay someone. THere are many that do not have this option and work a lot harder to do their research. Admittedly some don't and they get the same abuse I reserve for the high earners.

Or are those earning 6 figure salary earners so detatched from human life that they are unable to use the intelligence + privledges they were given?
A six figure salary is anything from 100'000k+, hardly outlandish for people working in finance and specialist areas of IT, which constitutes a fair proportion of ex-pats here, and more than a few of my friends. You said you weren't bitter in a previous post of yours up there, but i'm not quite seeing that in your post content. Chip on shoulder much? It certainly comes accross that way.

As for the "laziness" and "lack of common sense" comments, all it takes is a brief read of the forum to see that these are universal traits accross all walks of life.
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:47
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Re: Lack of reality...

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A six figure salary is anything from 100'000k+, hardly outlandish for people working in finance and specialist areas of IT, which constitutes a fair proportion of ex-pats here, and more than a few of my friends. You said you weren't bitter in a previous post of yours up there, but i'm not quite seeing that in your post content. Chip on shoulder much? It certainly comes accross that way.

As for the "laziness" and "lack of common sense" comments, all it takes is a brief read of the forum to see that these are universal traits accross all walks of life.
I agree as I said nothing to do with the salary they earn, but really these people are paid to have "common sense" and not be "lazy" hence they get the bread on pay day. They must have used their efforts to get where they are why can they not use it here? Why expect things delivered to you?

There's alot more deserving cases than these people and I will do my best to help those who need it regardless of their earnings.

I see I'm going to have to post where I am in this, lets take the 6 figures add half and you might be close. I'm not the biggest earner I'm not the lowest, and I'm happy with what I have.

I have every right to complain about lazyness and no I don't have a chip on my shoulder.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:08
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Re: Lack of reality...

It's always expensive to live the lifestyle of one country, but in another one.

Here in Basel, if I ate out as much as I did when living in central London (about four times a week, plus snacks, plus loads of coffees) I'd be bankrupt even if they doubled my salary.

When I lived in China if I kept to a "Western" standard apartment, a car, western meals (with guaranteed quality) then, earning even a good Chinese salary, I'd be bankrupt there.

I have adjusted my life quite considerably since coming to Switzerland, and I'm enjoying it (for the time being). Cooking much more, making the most of nature all around me etc.. But then I'm not an expat (see another thread on this topic).

If an expat is someone who is paid to travel and replicates their home life in another country (I remember seeing an American family when I first arrived; two huge cars, big house with land and a horse on the outskirts of Basel) then 80K is a bare minimum.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:15
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Re: Lack of reality...

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It's always expensive to live the lifestyle of one country, but in another one.

Here in Basel, if I ate out as much as I did when living in central London (about four times a week, plus snacks, plus loads of coffees) I'd be bankrupt even if they doubled my salary.

When I lived in China if I kept to a "Western" standard apartment, a car, western meals (with guaranteed quality) then, earning even a good Chinese salary, I'd be bankrupt there.

I have adjusted my life quite considerably since coming to Switzerland, and I'm enjoying it (for the time being). Cooking much more, making the most of nature all around me etc.. But then I'm not an expat (see another thread on this topic).

If an expat is someone who is paid to travel and replicates their home life in another country (I remember seeing an American family when I first arrived; two huge cars, big house with land and a horse on the outskirts of Basel) then 80K is a bare minimum.

Thank you Adrian, that expresses my thoughts on the subject a bit more eloquently.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:17
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Re: Lack of reality...

I think the issue is also poeple don't provide enough info when they post a salary request.It would be easier for all if people would also say a little bit about what they are used to.

eg
couple, 1 person working
90sqm apartment
Car
Annual 2 week holiday 2 week
Dining out once a week & we like to go for a few drinks once a week
I would expect to be able to make one decent purchase a year(Bike, Flatscreen, pc etc)
I would like to be able to save enough to put into my pillar 3a/Pension

80k in Zurich.... I doubt it unless they made some lifestyle changes
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:19
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Re: Lack of reality...

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It's always expensive to live the lifestyle of one country, but in another one.

Here in Basel, if I ate out as much as I did when living in central London (about four times a week, plus snacks, plus loads of coffees) I'd be bankrupt even if they doubled my salary.

When I lived in China if I kept to a "Western" standard apartment, a car, western meals (with guaranteed quality) then, earning even a good Chinese salary, I'd be bankrupt there.

I have adjusted my life quite considerably since coming to Switzerland, and I'm enjoying it (for the time being). Cooking much more, making the most of nature all around me etc.. But then I'm an expat on a local contract.

If an expat is someone who is paid to travel and replicates their home life in another country (I remember seeing an American family when I first arrived; two huge cars, big house with land and a horse on the outskirts of Basel) then 80K is a bare minimum.
Fixed that for you
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  #31  
Old 19.04.2011, 12:20
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Re: Lack of reality...

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Luxury!

When I was a lad we used to live in a corridor. We used to wake up and 3 in the morning, eat a handful of hot gravel and then work 15 hours a day at the mill - and pay the mill owner for the privilege of working!

And at nights we'd go out to the pictures, drink seventeen pints at the pub, have a fight and still have change for chips on the way home - and it was much better then as the chippies would give free fishy batter bits.

Young people today just have it too soft!

Cheers,
Nick
Lucky you. We could only dream of a life like that.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:28
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Re: Lack of reality...

Hot gravel! Hot! Such a luxury on a cold Winter's day. How happy you must have been.
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Old 19.04.2011, 13:11
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Re: Lack of reality...

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The whole reason I started this thread was that many times it is expressed here that it is all but impossible to live on anything less than 80k/yr.

I still stand firmly that it is nowhere near "impossible" for one or two people to live on less than that. Would it be great to live on that or more? Of course... but the tone that to live on anything less than that is crap is totally unrealistic.

People CAN and DO "live" on more than that here in Switzerland all the time.

Someone with expensive habits of course can not but spending money is not the same thing as "living" for everyone.
I appreciate your points here.

You see, we are now dealing our next move which include salary, package, bonus and settlement allowance. We are going on a local contract as usual (I wish we had once the chance to live the expat life of an expat contract, but no, we are expats on local contracts )

Since almost 3 months we are on that process and we got a lot to think about. Of course someone can live on 80 000 chf per year. But where is that person coming from?

Not only which country, but does he have assets in his country? Does he has loans? Debts? Bills? Or does he come here free of any financial attachment?

Next thing; When you go into a country with a local contract, living the life style of a local person, it still going to cost you much more.

The local person had a huge circle of relation: Family, friends, co-workers and all the people he knows since for ever (the same family garagist, electrician, plomber, etc) He knows where to go to get something and he knows how much things cost and where to find the good deal.

The expat person coming to live like the local knows nada about any of this, have no one, no support, no connection what so ever with the place. So for him it will be a lot of trying and failing before he gets to settle down, which can take years.

When you compare both guys, with the same exact salary, you can bet the expat guy will be much poorer and the end of the year.

Our first year cost us so much because we didn't know anything... the second was better and the third got better also. But I am sure if we were going to stay here for 5-10-20 years, we would have much more in our pockets.

Just to find a place in the local kindergarten is sometimes something impossible to achieve if you weren't there before the birth when you could have put your name on a list and which is impossible if you move already with a child or pregnant without any idea where to find what.
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Old 19.04.2011, 13:40
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Re: Lack of reality...

What amuses me is when you get comments like "ah yes, you don't earn a lot but you're a student" - sorry to break this to you but I pay the same health insurance, the same train fare, in fact, pretty much the same everything as everybody else. It's not like other countries where students get loans and free stuff. So on the one hand people think that it's impossible to live on less than the magic 120 k and on the other hand, as long as SOMEBODY ELSE is doing it, then of course it works.

My parents with my two siblings in their large house manage on well under 120 k, they have two cars, go on long holidays and still save money. But they also don't believe in eating meat every day and they shop according to what is on offer that week. Never hired a babysitter (muggins was around, my tip, space your kids well, you'll save a fortune on child care...), never bought us brand name clothes and generally didn't follow this weird thinking of keeping up with the Müllers.

I think that is a biiiig part of why these questions come, you want a salary that's worth showing off with. A sort of "well, yes, I'm sure YOU'd be happy to not pee standing up after ten if YOU were making as much money as I am"...
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Old 19.04.2011, 13:59
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Re: Lack of reality...

Being admittedly new to Switzerland and to the Forum, my impression is that the "Can I Live On" threads elicit some helpful information.

I read a bunch of those threads before we moved over. I wanted to know how Switzerland's notoriously high cost of living manifests itself: Which types of expenses are peculiar to (or particularly high in) Switzerland?

How is health insurance handled and what will it cost? What about rents in the cities? Entertainment? Having a car? Even shots in the dark are helpful when one doesn't have enough information to formulate a specific (or good) question. (These are rhetorical.)

Last edited by ophelia; 19.04.2011 at 14:00. Reason: Clarification
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Old 19.04.2011, 14:55
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Re: Lack of reality...

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... and generally didn't follow this weird thinking of keeping up with the Müllers.
That's one of the up-sides being a foreigner here - as the Müllers do not want to talk to you, you have no idea what you would need to keep up with...

On topic: We planned to move to Asia last year, so I found myself in the same situation many do when they hit EF: I am pretty sure that people with my education somehow survive on the salaries they get anywhere... but:
1. How much is the ball-park market value, coming from high cost high salary Switzerland it basically means "what can I dare to ask in an interview?"
2. What lifestyle does this ballpark figure support roughly.

I do not at all agree that it is "lazy" to ask this when you phrase it in a way that shows that you researched as far as you could yourself.

Nobody questions that there are different life styles and that driving two massive pick-up trucks per family in Zurich makes less sense than in Iowa... but you can still discuss it.

There is no question that people survive here on less than avaerage incomes as well - I do not see people starving in the street. But to question what you can do with a slightly over average income aroun 80k is completely ok. And answering "you will not live like a king" is equally ok - even though some here would love to earn that much.
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Old 19.04.2011, 15:06
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Re: Lack of reality...

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Nobody questions that there are different life styles and that driving two massive pick-up trucks per family in Zurich makes less sense than in Iowa... but you can still discuss it.

There is no question that people survive here on less than avaerage incomes as well - I do not see people starving in the street. But to question what you can do with a slightly over average income aroun 80k is completely ok. And answering "you will not live like a king" is equally ok - even though some here would love to earn that much.

It is frustrating to me that so many of you completely missed the point.

The point was NOT to reply to "how much do I need to maintain my lifestyle" but rather a complaint at how often the POINT BLANK answer is "If you are not making above 80k your life will be worthless here." No questions asked, no delving into what "comfortable life" means to anyone but the quick (and inaccurate) answer that "you must make 80k+."



(The other petty squabbling over lazy vs not lazy is beside the point as while research can be done - or not - often it is helpful to ask and get real, "up to the moment" answers from people who are here, now, living on whatever we're all living on and how we're doing it.)
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Old 19.04.2011, 15:23
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Re: Lack of reality...

I can understand some aspects of the “can I live on CHF n?” question. There are very useful posts here about compulsory health insurance and taxes (income, household as well as car).

But for people living in the UK, I don’t understand that if you aree going to make such a big decision, why not come and have a look? It’s not that far – you could probably fly for about a hundred quid return. The places you are likely to live are going to be close to where EasyJet flies. Then you could buy a paper – even take free sheets out of roadside boxes and look for accommodation and household goods and their prices. You could go to a supermarket and look at prices and you could go to a restaurant and be scared by the prices. If they are that scary you could wander around perusing the menus without actually going in. Just wandering round and making a notes of all prices you see (car dealerships, dry cleaning – really frightening, package holidays...) will give you a better idea. You could take a bus or tram to the suburbs or other areas you’re likely to live in to get an idea of what to expect – it’s not all wooden chalets and cows with bells, though there are quite a lot of them.

If you came over a long weekend you could see whether the beauty of the surroundings outweighs the dead Sundays. The excellence of the public transport beats failing to get something to eat after 1330.

It might not be a really fun time but it would be a small investment before making such a big commitment.
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Old 19.04.2011, 15:24
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Re: Lack of reality...

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It is frustrating to me that so many of you completely missed the point.

The point was NOT to reply to "how much do I need to maintain my lifestyle" but rather a complaint at how often the POINT BLANK answer is "If you are not making above 80k your life will be worthless here." No questions asked, no delving into what "comfortable life" means to anyone but the quick (and inaccurate) answer that "you must make 80k+."



(The other petty squabbling over lazy vs not lazy is beside the point as while research can be done - or not - often it is helpful to ask and get real, "up to the moment" answers from people who are here, now, living on whatever we're all living on and how we're doing it.)
Where do you draw the line? On the amount and/or who can comment? The point is you can't.

Each poster has their own set of absolute basic requirements, low level extras, mid-level and high-level extras - along with external costs (existing costs in their home country) and long term goals.

None of us KNOW that information, we just project our spending onto that budget, judge whether we spend a lot and/or are rich, and work out whether we could do that on the questioned amount.

For example: Going out.
"I like to go out" can mean:
a) I head down the bar every night to catch up with friends and have a couple of beers
b) I'm on the town every Friday and Saturday night until the early hours - getting completely hammered
c) I go out most Saturdays with a group of friends - we have a couple of drinks and then head home
d) I don't go out that often but when I do I go out "big-style" - bottles of champagne
e) I go out most weeks, hunting down a small aternative cafe where I enjoy a nice infusion while listening to poetry.
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Old 19.04.2011, 15:29
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Re: Lack of reality...

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It is frustrating to me that so many of you completely missed the point.

The point was NOT to reply to "how much do I need to maintain my lifestyle" but rather a complaint at how often the POINT BLANK answer is "If you are not making above 80k your life will be worthless here." No questions asked, no delving into what "comfortable life" means to anyone but the quick (and inaccurate) answer that "you must make 80k+."

(The other petty squabbling over lazy vs not lazy is beside the point as while research can be done - or not - often it is helpful to ask and get real, "up to the moment" answers from people who are here, now, living on whatever we're all living on and how we're doing it.)
I think 80k is simply a ball-park figure that we know an average person (or two) can afford an ok apartment, eat well, and go out and have some fun without too many compromises. That's why it's the figure most readily bandied about.
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