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  #21  
Old 16.01.2011, 13:18
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

I am very scared I may have made the wrong decision...thinking that my quality of life would improve by moving there vs. keeping my old job in London... totally scared and not sure I can back up now!
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  #22  
Old 16.01.2011, 13:20
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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Here you go, luv. Have a nice cuppa tea. It'll all be alright.



Kidding aside, there are hundreds of people who have made a similar move to you. Many of our friends have moved from the UK to Basel as their pharma companies reduced headcount over the past few years, and they're happier for it. Most describe Basel as the "best kept secret that no one knows about" and few can imagine moving back after having adjusted to living here.

Why not share some of your reservations with your prospective employer and ask if they can put you in touch with your future colleagues who have made similar moves? That direct contact might help allay your fears.
Village,

thank you.

I actually was in touch with some of the people who made the move but I think there is a lot of "cognitive dissonance" in that since they themselves made the move, good or less so, they will think, act and speak about it to encourage themselves, and not sure they are always objective...

Thanks
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Old 16.01.2011, 13:22
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

May I suggest that you are just freaking out to live abroad as such and not especially afraid of Basel? First time expat?
What ever freaks you out, it's not in Basel, it's IN YOU. Reflect on yourself, your relation to familly, your ability to deal with lonelyness, your spirit of adventure and your need for security, your definition of security...

You say 140K. I earn less and I do not really look at prices in restaurant, I spend unreasonable money on clothes, I have an expensive hobby, I buy books at Swiss price and give tips to waiters... and I can still put money aside. Do you still think your problem is of financial nature?
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  #24  
Old 16.01.2011, 13:22
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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I don't agree at all with this. But I am not a single woman with that income here having just me, myself and I to spend on...
Individual circumstances differ, but in the original poster's case:

Current salary: £70k
Current salary (net of tax): £47.6k

Proposed salary: £91.3k
Proposed salary (net of tax): £73.4k

So, before expenses, she'll be £25.8k better off. Assuming that rent/utilities/transport are roughly equivalent, she'll still have plenty of money left over to deal with any difference in consumer prices.

And, as I keep pointing out, there's very little you can't buy over the border (or by mail order) at the same prices as the UK.
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Old 16.01.2011, 13:31
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

Thank you once again for the support and a clear approach (pardon my emotions, I am freaking out).

This is not the first time I move to another country, but it is the first time when I think that by doing so I jeopardise my financial planning and the quality of life. Scared.
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  #26  
Old 16.01.2011, 13:32
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

Take a deep breath and go over the numbers again. I think you've come to the wrong conclusion.
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Old 16.01.2011, 13:36
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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Thank you once again for the support and a clear approach (pardon my emotions, I am freaking out).

This is not the first time I move to another country, but it is the first time when I think that by doing so I jeopardise my financial planning and the quality of life. Scared.
May I ask, what is quality of life for you? It is an individual point of you, if you tell us, what is important for you, it will be easier to give you an idea of what you should expect.
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Old 16.01.2011, 13:41
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

Well, first of all I am a saver and I thought that I will be able to save more in Basel than in London. One of the biggest reasons for making the move was (wrongly!) based on this consideration.

Second, quality of life means to be in a safe place where I can board a bus (or tram) or a taxi late at night and still feel safe without some drug dealer following me home (as I read in another posts).

Third, I am an outgoing person and I want to be surrounded by people who are friendly and kind in return for me being so. Apparently neighbors come to your door complaining if you take a late shower--WTF??!! (pardon my words).

In desperation I think I left something good here for something OK in Basel...not much of a "deal", not much of a gain, plus new environment, smaller city... I am desperate now and almost scrambling to write the company I want to recess!! God--have I done something THAT stupid!
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  #29  
Old 16.01.2011, 13:47
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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Well, first of all I am a saver and I thought that I will be able to save more in Basel than in London. One of the biggest reasons for making the move was (wrongly!) based on this consideration.

Second, quality of life means to be in a safe place where I can board a bus (or tram) or a taxi late at night and still feel safe without some drug dealer following me home (as I read in another posts).

Third, I am an outgoing person and I want to be surrounded by people who are friendly and kind in return for me being so. Apparently neighbors come to your door complaining if you take a late shower--WTF??!! (pardon my words).

In desperation I think I left something good here for something OK in Basel...not much of a "deal", not much of a gain, plus new environment, smaller city... I am desperate now and almost scrambling to write the company I want to recess!! God--have I done something THAT stupid!
uh oh a case of reading all the complaining posts and the sad fact we don't have enough praising posts on EF

Really, for someone about to get a job on 140k a year I would have thought you'd be a bit more worldly wise and realise that on forums people will complain, moan and whinge about the bad things, it's in peoples nature to moan and not praise.

I have been here 5 years living in one of the roughest areas of Zurich and the things you describe above haven't happened to me

Are you really thinking it's safer to get a taxi/tube/bus late at night in london than in Basel? Switzerland is known as being one of the safest places anywhere. Do some more research and seriously woman

calm down
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Old 16.01.2011, 13:48
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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God--have I done something THAT stupid!
Hi, are you serious about the above sentence? Are you really scared about living in Basel vs. London and/or not being able to spare money with 140K CHF + bonus? If so, I'd say either you've some "hidden" issue I'm not and don't even want to be aware of, or you got advised by the wrong people!
1. Basel much safer than London.
2. You'd be able to spare a lot of money.
3. You'd be very close to French and German borders, shopping centers ain't a problem.

Cheers
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  #31  
Old 16.01.2011, 13:56
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

Any move made only for financial reasons are bound to end up in an emotional desaster, as your life here will not be numbers day in day out but a human experience with emotional experiences and social interactions.

Thus: Take our word for it, the money is more than enough to build up savings. Now think of the rest, because that will be your life.
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  #32  
Old 16.01.2011, 13:59
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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Well, first of all I am a saver and I thought that I will be able to save more in Basel than in London. One of the biggest reasons for making the move was (wrongly!) based on this consideration.
I'd hate to cloud an emotional argument with something as whimsical as facts, but I thought I illustrated above in very clear terms that you'll have significantly more money at the end of the month than before.

I helpfully included links to the actual Baselstadt tax tables, so you can see that I'm not pulling numbers out of thin air and so that you can check the calculations yourself. Yet you continue to say that you'll be financially worse off in Basel than in London.

Do you have any facts to back up this assertion? Or is this simply a case of Chicken Little running around and screaming "the sky is falling?"

I don't mind helping out, but it's a little frustrating if one refuses to see logic when presented with a factual argument.
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Old 16.01.2011, 14:04
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

No you've not done something stupid. Just a little unusual - and brave! As you say maybe I'm just justifying my own decision but I don't think so...

I'm in my early 30s and moved to Basel from Northamptonshire (commuted into London) with my hubby last year. It was a pharma job that brought me out here. As loads of people have said you can easily live, and save, on that salary. Have a look at some of the other threads on costs of living and some of the housing comparison sites for ideas on the cost of rent.

We live in Baselland and it still only takes about 25 mins to get to work. Much better than London! Housing is more expensive but you can also get a lot more. Our apartment is twice the floor space of our 3 bed house in the UK. Our neighbours are great (no noise complaints here as it's a new build). Even our cat seems happy.

Basel is sleepy compared to London. Just look at the population statistics. Our temporary housing when we first came out here was near the 'red light' area of Basel. It took me a while to realise it though as compared to soho it's nothing to speak of! I've never felt unsafe in Basel even late at night on my own.

Neither of us speaks German. I'm learning (slowly) and have some very basic French. Work is all in English. The relocation agency work provided sorted all the initial paperwork. And, in our experience, the Swiss are usually very helpful when it comes to languages. Most speak some English and for most things I've found very little difficulty. The only problem has been phone calls!

For us it has been the best decision and I'm very glad we moved.

I hope this helps. Feel free to pm me if speaking to someone would help. And above all don't panic! If you really change your mind I'm sure you're new employer will understand. After all they don't want you to move, be unhappy and then leave as soon as you can.
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  #34  
Old 16.01.2011, 14:09
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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uh oh a case of reading all the complaining posts and the sad fact we don't have enough praising posts on EF

Really, for someone about to get a job on 140k a year I would have thought you'd be a bit more worldly wise and realise that on forums people will complain, moan and whinge about the bad things, it's in peoples nature to moan and not praise.

I have been here 5 years living in one of the roughest areas of Zurich and the things you describe above haven't happened to me

Are you really thinking it's safer to get a taxi/tube/bus late at night in london than in Basel? Switzerland is known as being one of the safest places anywhere. Do some more research and seriously woman

calm down
She does the money (for herself) that we do for the whole family of 3.5 people. That is for sure, saving and spending won't be a problem here.

Safety: I always felt safe here. No exception and no incident ever happened to me or any girls I know. Life is so safe it is beyond Boring (kind of). Nothing to worry about and when is last time that I heard something happened to someone in the newspaper? Don't remember.

Now for the neightbours, I got some bad one and some good ones. Depending of where you live, yes it can happen to get some busy bodies complaining about everything. That is because they have nothing else to intertain them.

As a friendly person, you'll be able to meet a lot of foreigners to go out with. You have a lot of single people here doing plenty of things. You won't get much in touch with the locals but with expats, I am sure you'll be busy.

Now, what is the worst case scenario? How long will be your contract? At the end of your contract, if you don't like it here, can you go back to your old position or an other in London?

It is an experience of a year or two. They are not going to force you to stay if you don,t like it. And with the money you will have, you will be able to travel a lot.

But this is all good. Are you ready, afre you game to leave your present life, your friends and family to come over here and start from scratch?
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  #35  
Old 16.01.2011, 14:10
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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May I ask, what is quality of life for you? It is an individual point of you, if you tell us, what is important for you, it will be easier to give you an idea of what you should expect.

Good question, what is quality of life for you?
Regardless of exchange rate numbers I would say financially £70K in London is similar to CHF140K in Basle.
But there are many pluses & minuses, in Basle many people live close enough to their work place that they can walk to work or take a short tram ride; in London you would have to pay a fortune for a centrally located apartment or commute for hours.
Shop prices are high but generally the quality is also very high; if you want to pay lower prices it is a tram ride to Germany or France to pay much lower prices in shops & restaurants.
Taxes are lower, things like health insurance are higher but the service level is excellent. I remember visiting my local doctor when I was first here & he wanted to take an Xray. I said I don't have time (Thinking of NHS hospitals & a a day or half day wait plus some days for the results) - he said the machine is in the next room & we will have the results in 5 minutes - & he did.
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Old 16.01.2011, 14:18
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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Well, first of all I am a saver and I thought that I will be able to save more in Basel than in London. One of the biggest reasons for making the move was (wrongly!) based on this consideration.

Second, quality of life means to be in a safe place where I can board a bus (or tram) or a taxi late at night and still feel safe without some drug dealer following me home (as I read in another posts).

Third, I am an outgoing person and I want to be surrounded by people who are friendly and kind in return for me being so. Apparently neighbors come to your door complaining if you take a late shower--WTF??!! (pardon my words).

In desperation I think I left something good here for something OK in Basel...not much of a "deal", not much of a gain, plus new environment, smaller city... I am desperate now and almost scrambling to write the company I want to recess!! God--have I done something THAT stupid!
I think you need to be decisive and take the plunge -- make the move. I think your above criteria should be easily be met and more so (comparing with London). Regarding complaining neighbours, this happens any/every where -- just luck of the draw.
[when I last lived in London, we were fortunate to have a new mews house in a private, gated road, in NW3, near the Heath (subsidised from wife's employer). On one side the Belgian woman complained about my wind chimes, and on the other, a most un-laid-back Aussie moaned when we had visitors, talking and laughing (but quietly) on the patio after 11pm, stopping him from sleeping]
I think that even if everything turned to rats**t (which it won't) you could easily last 6 - 12 mths, and could probably turn things around in that time. You would end up "richer" for the experience, and even if you decided to return to UK, I would think that you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding work, again -- but that is fall-back, last resort, worst case scenario, situation, which will not be needed to be considered.
I would guess that in London you're a renter, so wont need to sell up. Your shipping of furnishings and possessions, I would imagine, will be fully/partly taken care of for you, so the physical aspect shouldn't be too traumatic. I'm also going to presume that maybe some at time in the past you made the move to London from some place else (?), and things worked out OK.
I also moved to a different country and job, when I was single in my early 30's, and had cold feet and doubts, but never regretted it. It's a bit more difficult, than when you're in your 20's, but, as I wrote at the start, you just need to take the plunge and not look back.
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Old 16.01.2011, 14:49
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

With today rate:
70,000.00 GBP = 106,977.30 CHF

http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi?Am...rom=GBP&To=CHF
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  #38  
Old 16.01.2011, 14:51
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

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With today rate:
70,000.00 GBP = 106,977.30 CHF

http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi?Am...rom=GBP&To=CHF
Or

140,000.00 CHF = 91,608.22 GBP
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  #39  
Old 16.01.2011, 14:58
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

I've lived in Basel for some years and totally love the town. But I do speak the local language.

Money wise, I think you will be very fine.

One suggestion is, that you probably find your contacts and friends best by following your interests. Whatever they are, there are many clubs, organisations, etc. where people meet, but it's up to you to take the initiative.

In addition, Switzerland is small an it has a great train system, so you should be easily able to go to other places, depending on your interests. E.g. Zurich or Berne can be reached withing a bit more than just an hour. And in addition, Basel Airport has cheap easyjet flights to London.

Do it!
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Old 16.01.2011, 16:08
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Re: Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

Hi,

All I can say is that Basel and Switzerland in general is one of the safest countries I've even been to. I've lived here with my family for over 2 years and never felt uneasy at any point. We even live in Kleine Basel which I believe is considered the worst area of Basel (although I think it's great).

Basel itself hasn't got a lot to do if you're not into museums but you are just a few minutes from Germany or France which means you can go shopping over the border very easily.

When we first arrived we were a bit overwhelmed with the cost of everything but you do get used to shopping for certain items in certain shops.

If you are worried and would like to contact someone directly you can contact me via nordicmel@hotmail.com and I will give you my phone number so you can contact me. Which company are you working for Roche or Novartis? I work for Roche, so if it's the same company I would certainly be happy to meet up with you when you start and introduce you to other people. Once you know a few people it makes it easier too.

Regards
Mel
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