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Old 07.05.2011, 19:27
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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.
I agree, the key is "adaptation". My fiancee makes about an average Swiss salary, about 60-70K SF(yeah that is about it per capita)...she is from St. Gallen, and lives fine, has a relatively new car (Volkswagen) and okay apartment.

I think coming from the States the thing I noticed and missed the most in Switzerland was the expense of eating out. Eating out in America is cheap, there is just more competition and more variety (due to a much higher diversity of immigrants who start restaurants). In Zurich they exist, but not in the number and variety. That is simply a cultural difference one has to accept.

It seemed when I was living in St. Gallen we would shop at Migros and Aldi, we were told by numerous Swiss that the "quality" was not good at Aldi, but I didn't notice a difference in quality as much as variety. We also found a local butcher shop that sold a large variety of very cheap meat (same price as Aldi) Then again I come from a nation with over 30 types of breakfast cereal at any grocery store, even Migros doesn't have that, so it about what you are used to (and in reality I don't eat 20 types, maybe 2 lol)

We will be moving to Zug, where my work is next month. We found a fairly nice apartment on Lake Zug for about SF 3,500 a month. I will make a salary in the mid-90's, so her and I combined will be around 165 SF a year or so. THat is plenty of money for two young people with no children.

Then again, I'm not the type to go out drinking every other day, I barely drink. I was the same in America. I do like to eat out (usually more exotic type food), but we cook more and I enjoy cooking, probably more than she does. We have one car, hers. I don't think I need one, but might buy one at some point. Then I will have to pay for an additional parking space per month.

I think this idea that you need 100,000 SF a year to "live well" really depends on what you define as "well". I am certain I will have enough money to live pretty "well", although I can't eat out as much, that is a sacrifice, but it is not huge, other than that, I am certain I can save money every month.

As a few previous posters say it depends, are you coming to Switzerland to live exactly like you do in your home country? If so, that may or may not be feasible. If you are coming to Switzerland to live like and adjust to a Swiss way of life, well...I think most foreigners on this board who are working in industry do better than average for a Swiss person.

I suppose I could make more money in the future working at a bank or something, but right now I like the feeling of the small Euro multinational I work for, the salary is not as high, but there are other benefits, and it is laid back. They also were willing to sponsor a work visa for me.
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