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Old 13.03.2011, 12:01
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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For evenings out we have two girls in our village who we can call on. One is 15 years old and one is 14 years old, but seeing as our children were 2 and 6 when we started doing this, we were happy with the arrangement. The children are already in PJs so they have minimal amount to do before putting them in bed.

They both did the Red Cross babysitters course before coming. I pay the older girl 12 Chf an hour and the younger girl, 10 Chf an hour.

If I am out during the afternoon or day, the mother of one of the girls comes. She has worked in creches, is currently a part time English teacher in a secondary school. I pay her 25 Chf per hour.

Put a note up in the window or your Gemeinde (commune office in French??) or in the local newsletter or in the local school. Arrange for them to bring their parent over when they first visit. You should find someone you like easily enough.

Sorry that this is going mildly off post but I reckon OP might want the odd night out too.
Yeah all very nice, but none of that will work in Geneva... where you'd be lucky to find someone for less than 30.-, and a cleaning lady will charge 35.- plus transport.
Of course, you may luck out and have a neighbour with teen-age kids, who are willing to watch your kid for 10.-/hr. That is however mightly unlikely, as the teen in the city are more likely to be out partying than in babysitting (unless you plan to go out on Tuesdays).
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  #42  
Old 13.03.2011, 12:08
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

Just to be serious for 2 min.

Of course you can live well with that salary. Lets not forget that the average household income in CH is still under 5000/month - or 100K per year.

So - well, I find a bit irritating the "oh well you know we are past the age of struggling". Figure it out. Switzerland is expensive, and real estate is hitting in the expensive areas 15'000 chf/m2. Guess what? rental costs rise accordingly.

There are lots of sites where you can compare cost of living; your company should provide you with a full Mercer evaluation, so you can better understand.
I suggest that you don't rely on any web forum info, but do some research of your own (even in this same forum you'll find a wealth of information, just use the search!!!).

I suggest in parallel to sort out your priorities on a nice itemized list: is it lifestyle and house purchase, or is it cultural? is it income, or is it security? and what are your alternatives?
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  #43  
Old 13.03.2011, 13:58
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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120K per year is barely enough for a single man ( with a rather frugal but nightly lyfestyle, living on a flat in central ZH ) so 15K more for a house, wife and kid and maids, butler and chauffeur ... maybe not
I make less than a quarter of that and manage to survive. Seriously, there is a difference between things you WANT and things you actually NEED.
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  #44  
Old 13.03.2011, 14:01
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

When people post these questions, do they really think that Swiss companies would pay an unrealistic breadline salary ? Surely they must realise that there are other people in the same company on the same or less salary, all living quite happily.
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  #45  
Old 13.03.2011, 14:27
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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When people post these questions, do they really think that Swiss companies would pay an unrealistic breadline salary ? Surely they must realise that there are other people in the same company on the same or less salary, all living quite happily.
I can understand both: Salary proposed is the local level. So it must be allright - but one can also think that the employer is trying to get you over here as cheap as possible and may have to find abroad people for that money because the locals would never work for the proposed salary.

Short version: Do you trust your employer or is it realistic to think that he is trying to save money on you?

I belong to the causious type. I said to my school: dear people, I know the country for 15 years and will not work for you for less that XXXXX. Top it or don't call back. I am not being used for dumping salaries, I was reasonable and realistic because I had access to first hand info in the original language, but the employer had to deal with a very self confident Faltrad when it comes to money.

So asking is never wrong, I did too, but not on EF as I had access to real people (flesh and blood and already in the fortress). Not looking if there are already threads on that however, IS.
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  #46  
Old 13.03.2011, 14:32
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

You might not be able to afford a masarati and a ferrari but many people are in the same boat.
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  #47  
Old 13.03.2011, 15:12
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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You might not be able to afford a masarati and a ferrari but many people are in the same boat.
Yes and it is not a bad boat at all, many would love to be in it...
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  #48  
Old 13.03.2011, 15:22
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

OP was considering moving out of Ge a tad, maybe having a look into surrounding communities...If you don't know how to find a sitter under 20fr, then you don't know where to look, maybe. It is quite normal within the locals to actually have a sitter, a young person, who will sit for 12fr/hr, if they are 16-18yr old. We need to have a look, too... The cantonal info on wage for a teen sitting your kid says 12fr for a person younger than 18, if I remember well, maybe those are also the red cross suggested rates, but I am not sure.

You can also find a cleaner who you can pay 25fr an hour, 35fr is steep, all the people I have heard of in our little town (10min from Geneva) get 25fr an hour.

The GE rents can be evil, but two separate sets of friends of mine are paying under 1600fr a mo for a rent, for 2rooms, kitchen and big hall appartments (Servette, Carouge), it took them about 6mo of looking.
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  #49  
Old 13.03.2011, 17:29
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

A well written article was released on nzz online today:

http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/starts...1.9870611.html

It's in german. But there are some good graphs too.
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  #50  
Old 14.03.2011, 14:02
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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I make less than a quarter of that and manage to survive. Seriously, there is a difference between things you WANT and things you actually NEED.
manage to survive and actually live are different things.

I managed to survive on my student income of 30K per year in Geneva.

But manage to survive is one thing, another very different is to move from abroad as a manager or high skilled profesionnal and actually enjoy a same or higher standard of life than back home.
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  #51  
Old 14.03.2011, 15:39
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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Yeah all very nice, but none of that will work in Geneva... where you'd be lucky to find someone for less than 30.-, and a cleaning lady will charge 35.- plus transport.
Of course, you may luck out and have a neighbour with teen-age kids, who are willing to watch your kid for 10.-/hr. That is however mightly unlikely, as the teen in the city are more likely to be out partying than in babysitting (unless you plan to go out on Tuesdays).
BTW - there was no wish to be unpleasant to the ECB, who kindly provided interesting pointers for finding a baby-siter. I was simply mentioning that Geneva is a tough platform.
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  #52  
Old 14.03.2011, 15:51
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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BTW - there was no wish to be unpleasant to the ECB, who kindly provided interesting pointers for finding a baby-siter. I was simply mentioning that Geneva is a tough platform.
It is true, it's not easy there. Now, I realized in terms of sitters, if you look for a sitter in a local language, don't expect the local to speak English to your child, etc, then you are far more likely to find the same sitters locals use, for a lot cheaper than the typical 25fr expat rates.
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Old 14.03.2011, 16:18
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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It is true, it's not easy there. Now, I realized in terms of sitters, if you look for a sitter in a local language, don't expect the local to speak English to your child, etc, then you are far more likely to find the same sitters locals use, for a lot cheaper than the typical 25fr expat rates.
That's true too. Both ours speak Swiss German, but as they have been learning English for a couple of years in school, they love trying to read bedtime stories and use words and phrases here and there, so another reason to entice them to sit for you (and to make their parents pleased)!
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  #54  
Old 14.03.2011, 17:06
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

One more FAQ that might help:

FAQ: Is CHF100'000 a good salary?
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  #55  
Old 17.04.2011, 03:22
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

What is your salary in Singapore? Do you live in house there on the east side?

Houses here are expensive and as far as I know you (Non-Swiss Non-European) are not allowed to live in France and work in Switzerland so that option is out.

Is 135K before or after tax? ... if you wife doesnt work and you have 2 kids tax will be low (around 10% of the total salary).

How much do you like eating out and traveling? How much are you willing to spend on housing?

How much do you like the mountains and the lake?

There are many things to consider... if you say your salary is 300k I would say you dont have any problems but having 100k of disposable income for a family of 4 you have to decide if the benefits of living here outweigh the inconveniences.

But Singapore is too hot for me... I enjoy having the mountains, the lake, walking to the office (10 mins), taking the tramway and washing my own dishes (shopping sucks though... your wife better be prepared).

Good luck!

p.s: I am neither Swiss nor Singaporean so I would like to think I am being objective



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Hi all,

Our family of 3 (mum, dad, two-year-old) will almost certainly be relocating to Geneva from Singapore in June. I've been offered a base salary of 135,000 CHF, with an incentive bonus of 8,250 CHF, and health insurance of up to 9,000 CHF in annual premiums, which I'm told will be considered part of my taxable income. My wife won't be working initially, but will probably try to pick up some work at some point.

Any thoughts on how feasible that is? Ideally we'd prefer a house to an apartment and are quite open to living in Vaud if it means we'll get better value for money, as long as I'm within a 30-45 min commute of my office, which will be in central Geneva. We expect that we'll have to get a car (haven't needed one in Singapore and loved it) and are looking at sending our son (and other kids,when they come along) to a local school when the time comes. We're Australians, so will also need to fly home every now and then, and of course would like to take holidays elsewhere in Europe and save.

Would welcome any and all feedback. Thanks in advance!
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  #56  
Old 17.04.2011, 12:19
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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Is 135 the new 120?
what is it about 120,000 CHF? some kind of standard?
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  #57  
Old 19.04.2011, 18:20
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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what is it about 120,000 CHF? some kind of standard?
Yes, it is the minimum salary you need on "Is my salary enough" kind of threads to invite the wrath and disgust of the resident members here.
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Old 19.04.2011, 19:59
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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Yes, it is the minimum salary you need on "Is my salary enough" kind of threads to invite the wrath and disgust of the resident members here.
are you saying that most forum members earn less than 120,000?
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Old 19.04.2011, 20:00
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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are you saying that most forum members earn less than 120,000?
Are you saying you don't ?
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  #60  
Old 19.04.2011, 20:10
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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Are you saying you don't ?
are you saying you do?
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