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Old 11.03.2011, 06:47
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Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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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Old 11.03.2011, 07:13
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

There's excellent summary threads by planthead (cost of living) and village idiot (taxes) to help you make your mind up. You can find them using the search function or looking at "threads started" under their individual statistics.

Cost of living: Cost of living - help needed to get it right

Taxes: FAQ: Expat's Guide to US Tax

Last edited by Carlos R; 11.03.2011 at 09:16. Reason: Links added
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Old 11.03.2011, 07:23
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

the "Similar threads" section at the bottom of this page is also full of relevant information.
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Old 11.03.2011, 07:27
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

Cost of living is very similar to Australia. Would you survive on 135,000 AUS in AUS? Probably very easily.

You will also save 10 - 15 % in TAX per year, however will pay more rent, so it roughly balances.
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Old 11.03.2011, 13:39
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

I don't have a family, but my wife and I have a more than comfortable life here in Geneva with a combined income of around 130k after tax. We only have an appartment, so for a house your rent would be significantly greater even in Vaud. We live pretty conservatively day to day, but spend a lot on holidays, travel, etc.

I would say that providing you don't have expectations of living in a lakeside manor and dining at the kempinski every weekend, you should manage.

I guess you should look at schooling costs though, if using the international schools the fees there can be pretty ball-breaking.
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Old 11.03.2011, 13:41
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

you'll be living more comfortably than some poor Genevans.....
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Old 11.03.2011, 13:47
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

Just a thought why threads like these are not marked "duplicate" and trashed?
especially after good sticky thread by villageidiot on "Salaries".
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Old 11.03.2011, 14:04
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?
Yes.

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Just a thought why threads like these are not marked "duplicate" and trashed?
especially after good sticky thread by villageidiot on "Salaries".
Wot? Remove one of our main sources of (self)righteous indignation?!?!?

Nevva!!!
.
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Old 11.03.2011, 16:07
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

You will be doing fine even for an expensive city like Geneva, however, it's difficult to say if you could rent a house at that salary. Most people live in flats because they are so expensive. You could move out into Vaud or France to find some place more affordable, but then you will join the commuting crowd on the motorways.
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Old 11.03.2011, 16:16
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

Is 135 the new 120?
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Old 11.03.2011, 16:22
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

You will be able to live a comfortable life on that salary, but I would advise you to lower your expectations on accommodation unless you are willing to cut back in other areas (eg holidays / savings) as anywhere within 30 - 40 mins commute of central Geneva is going to be a similar sort of price, meaning you are likely to be looking at apartments rather than houses.
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Old 11.03.2011, 16:29
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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?
121/2% inflation's a bit steep, even by Swiss standards.
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Old 12.03.2011, 12:29
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

Yes, you will easily survive, given that your wage is gonna be almost double of the romandie standards.
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Old 12.03.2011, 12:31
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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?
Is Merrill Lynch the new GS?
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Old 12.03.2011, 14:24
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

Is there any accommodation left in Geneva?
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Old 12.03.2011, 14:29
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

NO - unless you are very very lucky and loaded.
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Old 12.03.2011, 17:36
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

Thanks all, and apols for going over what I realise is old ground. Cheers Carlos R for pointing me in the direction of planthead's thread; it is indeed fairly comprehensive. Thanks also to Suisse2008 and GenevaSculler for the advice on housing. Have to say the scarcity of housing has me a bit spooked but I'm sure we'll find something.
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Old 12.03.2011, 17:43
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

I love these threads - OP: I don't think you mean "Is my salary enough....to survive" but rather "Will my salary afford me a comparable lifestyle in Switzerland to my current situation?". Describe your current lifestyle and we'll tell you whether 135k is enough to replicate it in Geneva. It may not be (if you're a restaurant nut, coming from Singapore, it probably won't be).
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Old 12.03.2011, 17:53
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Re: Is my salary [135K+bonus, health ins] enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

I wonder what would happen if people didn't answer these any more?
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Old 12.03.2011, 18:06
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Re: Is my salary enough for a family of 3 in Geneva?

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Just a thought why threads like these are not marked "duplicate" and trashed?
especially after good sticky thread by villageidiot on "Salaries".
Sometimes they are sent to the Trash/Duplicate Posts Graveyard - to a scream of 'be nice to the Newbies' from some, PM's 'why did you delete/trash/move my Thread?' from the posters and maybe a frustrated sigh from CarlosR who had, at 7.13, already given a good reply to this OP's question posted at 6.47.

Despite rumours to the contrary, Mods eat breakfast, walk to the tram-stop without their lap-top running, make beds, do the washing-up, ride their bike to work, get their children up, clear up the spam on here and check the reported posts and the PMs sent to Admin, and just occasionally, when all mods are thus engaged, a Newbie posts and a member replies before a Mod sees that it is a quadruple post.

Anyway, all the other 'can I live on...?' Threads were about Basel, Bern, Zürich, Oerlikon, Buchs SG, Lucerne, Vevey, Porrentruy, Solothurn, Lachen, Uster, Glarus, Lugano, Fribourg...

Can I slip off to the kitchen to see if my lasagne is getting on OK or will there be another of these Threads before I get back?
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