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Old 09.04.2011, 11:11
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Lack of reality...

Comments like this make me nuts:

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80,000chf is probably around the level at which a single person can live a comfortable life (living along in a 2-room IE 1 bedroom) apartment.
I'm fairly certain my m-i-l lives on less, as do hubby and I (yes, that's two of us, not just a singleton).

Firstly, my hubby works in an industry which is notorious around the globe for paying low wages, Switzerland, compared to what others (read: expats) deem as acceptable pay, is certainly no exception.

HOWEVER, I would say that a single person can live "comfortably" on half of that, although as a couple, I think we'd be a bit more "comfortable" (have access to more "extras") on about 60k. Anything more is bonus. (Then again, I paid off all my back-home bills before coming so all our expenses are in the "here and now".)

Most normal people do not need to shop at Globus and eat out every week to live "comfortably"!
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Old 09.04.2011, 11:15
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Re: Lack of reality...

Funny how some people see the world! I've done it on less than 30. I'm proud of my recent massive increase in wages, but it's still aint anywhere near 80.
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Old 09.04.2011, 11:18
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Re: Lack of reality...

Depends entirely where you live. In ZH, Leman Riviera- you'd struggle. Here in the NE Jura, we can live comfortably on a lot less, with a big house and garden. Location, location, location goes both ways
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Old 10.04.2011, 09:59
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Re: Lack of reality...

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!

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Old 19.04.2011, 07:50
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Re: Lack of reality...

Not at all true in my humble opinion...
It all depends on what is "comfortable" for you. As a civil engineer with a successful corporate career, I dumped everything through the window to become professional landscape and nature photographer. I cut my income strongly, but NOW my life is comfortable. I spend most of my time out in the field shooting, travelling to some of the wildest places on Earth and I do what I like the most...However, I have cut everything which is superficial, not essential and material. Money buys you freedom, but at a certain point it starts slaving you and sometimes is hard to reckon it...
Good light to you all!
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Old 19.04.2011, 08:11
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Re: Lack of reality...

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Firstly, my hubby works in an industry which is notorious around the globe for paying low wages, Switzerland, compared to what others (read: expats) deem as acceptable pay, is certainly no exception.

may i ask which industry sector?
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Old 19.04.2011, 08:34
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Re: Lack of reality...

Well my two penneth is this. The whole subject of discussing salaries on a forum is a total joke. One persons salary should not be dissed by another and visa versa. What one person deems comfortable is anothers skid row.

So one persons estimation of comfortable should never make another nuts otherwise we will get as we are now into a proud on what i dont need to live on debate.I didnt see anyone who is extolling life on 30 k subjecting those discussing 80k sports cars as being "nuts making".
I saw a bloke this morning sleeping outside my appartment on the ground in an old quilt. He would say he doesnt need material things, I would say he does. I didnt stop me offering and he accepting 5chf for breakfast.

Thats my point, why should either side of the spectrum be subjected to what is anothers opinion on sufficient or down right greedy or am I totally mistaken and have I landed on the socialist EF forum?
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Old 19.04.2011, 08:54
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Re: Lack of reality...

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Comments like this make me nuts:

I'm fairly certain my m-i-l lives on less, as do hubby and I (yes, that's two of us, not just a singleton).

Firstly, my hubby works in an industry which is notorious around the globe for paying low wages, Switzerland, compared to what others (read: expats) deem as acceptable pay, is certainly no exception.

HOWEVER, I would say that a single person can live "comfortably" on half of that, although as a couple, I think we'd be a bit more "comfortable" (have access to more "extras") on about 60k. Anything more is bonus. (Then again, I paid off all my back-home bills before coming so all our expenses are in the "here and now".)

Most normal people do not need to shop at Globus and eat out every week to live "comfortably"!
No, but most people do like to go out and have some luxuries. When people say "you cant live on 80k" they obviously don't mean that you can't actually live... they generally mean they can't have the kind of lifestyle that may have been as footloose as they enjoyed in other places like the UK, where your money often goes further depending where you live. Even earning 80k here... paying for a ~2k apartment, health insurance, going out once or twice a week and being able to afford a few luxuries does not leave much over at the end of the month, especially when more than one person is supported by that wage. 80k between two people is not a great deal somewhere like Zurich where the cost of living IS high, and not everyone is a middle-aged couple who don't mind staying in all week. The average person asking about what is enough to live on likely had a decent quality of life where they came from and wants to know if they can support the same kind of comfortable lifestyle they had previously. What you deem comfortable may not be what someone else deems comfortable, and your opinion is no more right than theirs because it's their life, not yours. What you've done is work out the cost of carving out a relatively basic living, then seen fit to label it "comfortable", and then summarily criticise everyone else for not sticking to it. Sensationalist and absolutely pointless imo, just a random moan with no substance to it, and if this is the kind of thing that really "drives you nuts", then go outside, take a deep breath of the fresh Swiss air, and relax.

As for thinking most people would be comfortable (ie: a good standard of living, which ex-pats generally come here for) living on 40k a year, in a country with some of the highest living costs in the world? Yes, the thread title does seem apt.

Last edited by Chuff; 19.04.2011 at 09:31. Reason: Spilling & grommor + minor edits
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:13
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Re: Lack of reality...

agreed. i always assumed that most people on this forum moved here to continue or marginally improve their already high standard of living back in their home countries (and not to barely make it by eschewing luxuries). 40k wouldn't cut it, not even 80k in geneva or zurich.

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No, but most people do like to go out and have some luxuries. When people say "you cant live on 80k" they obviously don't mean that you can't actually live... they generally mean they can't have the kind of lifestyle that may have been as footloose as they enjoyed in other places like the UK, where your money often goes further depending where you live. Even earning 80k here... paying for a 2k apartment, health insurance, going out once or twice a week and being able to afford a few luxuries does not leave much over at the end of the month, especially when more than one person is supported by that wage. 80k between two people is not a great deal somewhere like Zurich where the cost of living IS high, and not everyone is a middle-aged couple who don't mind staying in all week. The average person asking about what is enough to live on likely had a decent quality of life where they came from and wants to know if they can support the same kind of comfortable lifestyle they had previously. What you deem comfortable may not be what someone else deems comfortable, and your opinion is no more right than theirs because it's their life, not yours.

Most people would be comfortable living on 40k a year in the country with some of the highest living costs in the world? Yes, the thread title does seem apt.
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:19
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Re: Lack of reality...

Before I came in Switzerland with my fresh new husband and a baby on board I was living a very simple life in term of ''possessions'', ''standart of living'', and couldn't afford to have any money left at the end of the month.

I had a bad paycheck and my apartment was far to be comfortable. I could only afford second hand furniture and I still feel the pain of bleeding hands from cleaning a set of 3 pieces couch smelling Cat pee.

But I was happy and I enjoyed life there 150% with not much to spend.

When we came here, back into a developped country where you can't find all price range of goods (from ''very very cheap'' to ''very very expensive'' but more like a ''not too expensive'' to ''very very expensive'') we had to ajust on our way of living and spending.

From where we were coming from, this new salary was awesome! But once we settle down, we realised it wasn't awesome at all here because of this extra cost of living we had to deal with.

Switzerland has a strong and amazing quality of life, everything is organised, in order. Our appartment is beautiful and comfortable with everything working properly and a landlord who wants to keep it this way. I can't imagine to go back in the standart of living I had before as a single woman. Not with 2 kids. First because Switzerland ''spoiled'' me with its incredible high standard and because I wouldn't go back into what was a tough time (but incredibly fun! I was single, remember? )

For our next move, we know we won't have a raise but an ajustment of salary. Since Switzerland pays so high salaries compared to other countries, they can't keep us with that salary. They will ajust us to their standard of living. Which I am fine, as long as it doesn't affect what we have into our pockets at the end of the month.

We could live on 80 000 chf but I wouldn't want to and I wouldn't accept it. Because of my life experience and what I have now compared of what I had before. I suffered a lot and I won't go back there (Inshallah).
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:26
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Re: Lack of reality...

CHF 80K huh? That would just about pay my hangar fees, maintenance reserves and minor expenses for the helicopter. But wait, I still have to eat...and then there's the guy that cleans the pool

Discussing earnings and outgoings on a forum is about as pointless as counting blades of grass in an Alpine meadow; superfluous to the extreme, an exercise in futility.
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:27
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Re: Lack of reality...

What does it matter either way? What is the point of letting it make you nuts? These standard-of-living threads tend to alternate between those with a lower-income, often with a healthy portion of righteousness and an axe to grind, and those stuck in some alternative reality where CHF300K wouldn't be enough. And nary the twain shall meet, much less any rational debate.

I actually happen to eat at Globus once or twice a week--their deli salad counter is great, nice, fresh-made salads and not a bit more expensive than Migros. Did you want some vinegar to go with that chip on your shoulder?

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Most normal people do not need to shop at Globus and eat out every week to live "comfortably"!
live, let live. Pretty simple really.

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What you deem comfortable may not be what someone else deems comfortable, and your opinion is no more right than theirs because it's their life, not yours.
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:27
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Re: Lack of reality...

its all relative, most expats here would have been headhunted (in one form or another) from there home countries, where they would already have a fairly decent job and lifestyle, so although the headline figure of 80k chf looks really good on paper, especially with the exchange rate at the moment, when you look closer into it you'd probably be financially worse off then if you stayed where you are, especially if you have a family that is going to stay at home and your going to do a weekly commute.

I know I could earn more in the uk then I do now, but there is no way on earth I'm going back there!! lol
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:33
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Re: Lack of reality...

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Discussing earnings and outgoings on a forum is about as pointless as counting blades of grass in an Alpine meadow; superfluous to the extreme, an exercise in futility.
Judging other peoples individual earnings in a critical sense is pointless, yes, but it is perfectly possible to tell someone what kind of quality of life they can expect by knowing the size of their family, approximate annual salary, city of residence, and what kind of things they enjoy doing.
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:40
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Re: Lack of reality...

You shouldn't take it personally...

Most people asking the question are actually asking themselves how much they need to live at least as comfortable as they live in their own country, which is impossible to measure since the life style is usually different.

On the other hand, there are certain global measures that give you an idea of your place compared to other people living and working in Switzerland.

Somebody posted a great article: http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/starts...1.9870611.html

There you can see that 80k for two people puts you in the lowest part of the middle class. It doesn't mean you can't live well and be happy with it but if you are upper class in your own country you are going to feel you are struggling in Switzerland.

The fact that the poverty line for two people is around 55k also tells you that Switzerland probably has the richest poor people in the world...
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:47
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Re: Lack of reality...

I'm a very high earner, I guess, but we still don't eat out much, and certainly don't shop at Globus. So where does all the money go? Ah yes... 3 teenage kids.
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:48
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Re: Lack of reality...

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I know I could earn more in the uk then I do now, but there is no way on earth I'm going back there!! lol
Interesting comment. I don't know any place in the UK where I can earn more money than in CH. London is a hole and there's no way I will move there into a pokey flat over a kebab shop to join the rat race.

Living on your own is much more expensive than in a home with x2 f/t workers, so I'd say a single person in Zurich could live reasonably on 80k, allowing them some freedoms to do as they please.

I'm not about to bang on about how much people should be earning, as someone said it's all relative, but Zurich/Basel/Geneva et al is much more expensive than rural areas of Switzerland, you only have to look at the cost of flats to work this one out.

As someone said, perhaps I'm a forum socialist, maybe.

At the same time i'm one of the ones in a good wage bracket, I don't need for anything. I have no jealously of those with a higher wage, why should I?

What grinds on me most is those with that good wage who can do zero research for themselves, these are meant to be highly educated experienced people, why ask on a forum how much you should earn?

I got off my bum and did the work why can't they? I have to work hard to achieve what I earn in daily life and at work. I grew up in a UK Ghetto essentially and I've had to fight twice as hard as others to achieve what I have. I'm not bitter, I accept it as a part of my life and work harder to get where I want to be.

It seems the more you earn, the more you think people owe you a favour, I'd say its the direct opposite and more than likely you have the resources available to avoid posting on a public forum.
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Old 19.04.2011, 09:54
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Re: Lack of reality...

Hi,

if you decided you want to take a loan here the law saws that you can not be driven into poverty by trying to pay back that loan.

If you look at the calculations you can be left with less than 2800 CHF per month which is 33600 a year. So that is the bare minimum that some could live on.

Which means realistically that below 40,000 CHF per year you are on a poverty wage.

Really it is only above 60,000 per year as a single person where you are going to start feeling "comfortable" and even at that amount you are going to have to watch your outgoings. Below it, you are going to be very careful what you spend and certainly it will unlikely that you will be running a car, having foreign holidays and having a low franchise on your health insurance.

As you salary increases over 60,000 you get more opportunities to feel comfortable.

Have fun
Martin
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Old 19.04.2011, 10:00
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Re: Lack of reality...

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It seems the more you earn, the more you think people owe you a favour, I'd say its the direct opposite and more than likely you have the resources available to avoid posting on a public forum.
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 they 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.
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Old 19.04.2011, 10:07
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Re: Lack of reality...

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.
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