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  #21  
Old 10.07.2011, 16:38
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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yes indeed. driving across for groceries and some other things is really worth it. And because everything is closed on Sundays I make sure that Saturdays are for shopping. Yesterday I was in France buying groceries and I almost bought a blue-ray and a toaster oven, too. Woo hoo!

I do wish stores would be open in Europe on Sundays though. It really makes it hard having to do all of the shopping on one day, which takes away from relaxing and socializing.
Some of the supermarkets just across the border are open on Sundays too eg. Carrefour at Ferney Voltaire open til 12.30pm on Sunday
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  #22  
Old 10.07.2011, 16:50
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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It would be really interesting to compare two families with equal incomes and see just how much more expensive CH is and where the gains/losses are.
Single payable earning 90k CHF + better off in CH due to the tax system, if you have 4 children then France probably comes very close.
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  #23  
Old 10.07.2011, 17:05
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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Single payable earning 90k CHF + better off in CH due to the tax system, if you have 4 children then France probably comes very close.
I don't know what the taxation is in DE or FR, but I doubt that it is significantly higher than 36% (as it is here in Zurich), then with the added hike in rent, added things that your taxes _do not_ pay for such as health insurance, paying for garbage bags, that when you add a rather significant increase in basic foodstuffs, the amount of disposable income may be the same, but the power of that income to go further in the EU is rather significant.

I mean, even in Helsinki, land of extreme taxation and expense, I could take friends out for 5 small pizzas and water/cola for about 50EUR as opposed to the 150CHF I got skewered with last week. Children's clothing here is also off the charts of expensive. I gasped at a nightgown that was 100CHF in Zurich and saw it at an outlet store in Germany for 25EUR.

I just don't see how two equivalent salaries, one in CH one in DE, would have the same amount of disposable income and purchasing power. I could be wrong, but I'd love to see a detailed analysis.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:13
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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I don't know what the taxation is in DE or FR, but I doubt that it is significantly higher than 36% (as it is here in Zurich), then with the added hike in rent, added things that your taxes _do not_ pay for such as health insurance, paying for garbage bags, that when you add a rather significant increase in basic foodstuffs, the amount of disposable income may be the same, but the power of that income to go further in the EU is rather significant.

I mean, even in Helsinki, land of extreme taxation and expense, I could take friends out for 5 small pizzas and water/cola for about 50EUR as opposed to the 150CHF I got skewered with last week. Children's clothing here is also off the charts of expensive. I gasped at a nightgown that was 100CHF in Zurich and saw it at an outlet store in Germany for 25EUR.

I just don't see how two equivalent salaries, one in CH one in DE, would have the same amount of disposable income and purchasing power. I could be wrong, but I'd love to see a detailed analysis.


I was buying a bathmat last weekend, and didn't bother to look at the price... I just picked the one I liked.

Then I was standing there in the check out and saw "89Sfr" printed on the tag. I gasped. My jaw hit the floor. $100 for a friggin bath rug? are you kidding me????

So then I got on line and ordered TWO bathrugs from Target in the US. $30 total including shipping, and probably another $20 to mail it from the US to Switzerland.

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Some of the supermarkets just across the border are open on Sundays too eg. Carrefour at Ferney Voltaire open til 12.30pm on Sunday
I drove around the French side near Basel a few weeks ago and it was like Christmas in Washington DC... Nary a soul to be seen.
Maybe someone else knows of something open on Sunday in the Basel area besides the Migros Partner or the Coop Pronto.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:31
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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Maybe someone else knows of something open on Sunday in the Basel area besides the Migros Partner or the Coop Pronto.
Not that I'm aware of. If you think Basel's dead (shopping wise) on a Sunday, St Louis is dead, then came back as a zombie, then died again.

Weil am Rhein has some cafes open.

There are quite a few Turkish shops open in Basel.

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I drove around the French side near Basel a few weeks ago
If you factor in the cost of your speeding tickets, it's cheaper to shop in Basel
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:32
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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I was buying a bathmat last weekend, and didn't bother to look at the price... I just picked the one I liked.

Then I was standing there in the check out and saw "89Sfr" printed on the tag. I gasped. My jaw hit the floor. $100 for a friggin bath rug? are you kidding me????

So then I got on line and ordered TWO bathrugs from Target in the US. $30 total including shipping, and probably another $20 to mail it from the US to Switzerland.
When you are used to living somewhere like the US where such a simple, basic item has a RANGE of quality and price where you can generally afford to not dither too much over price (unless it's from williams-sonoma or somesuch), it seems totally surreal to be faced with limited choice, all of them expensive and rarely something you'd buy unless you had a wider range of options. It's the downside of being American in that we are awfully spoiled for choice and affordability.

This is why IKEA is a global empire now (and not very well established in the US yet.

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I drove around the French side near Basel a few weeks ago and it was like Christmas in Washington DC... Nary a soul to be seen.
Maybe someone else knows of something open on Sunday in the Basel area besides the Migros Partner or the Coop Pronto.
Delighted to know I'm not the only one who made that same mistake. I turn to my husband and narrow my eyes...uh, honey, Catholics.... No idea why we both imagined shops would be open on Sunday so I guess it was just wishful thinking.
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  #27  
Old 10.07.2011, 18:06
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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I don't know what the taxation is in DE or FR, but I doubt that it is significantly higher than 36% (as it is here in Zurich), then with the added hike in rent, added things that your taxes _do not_ pay for such as health insurance, paying for garbage bags, that when you add a rather significant increase in basic foodstuffs, the amount of disposable income may be the same, but the power of that income to go further in the EU is rather significant.
.
If your paying 36% in ZH you are earning a huge amount of money. French tax rates are 41% above 70850 euro. Bear in mind social costs will be highter.

As your a high earner capital gains tax may be an issue.

I live in ZH & my taxes have always been in the 8 - 14% of gross range, way cheaper in CH.
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  #28  
Old 10.07.2011, 19:18
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Re: Shopping over the border....

In France, Switzerland is known as an eldorado. If you say that you are hired in Switzerland, people automatically think : "you are rich then". And I have to admit that I thought that too. But when you consider all that you have to pay each month in insurances, taxes... Well, you understand that you won't be rich at all !

So yes, we will cross the border too once in a while. But I am not proud of it, I really feel like cheating somehow....

For those who go in France, find a Leclerc if it is possible, there have even cheaper prices than Casino (but same products) and the difference with Switzerland will be even greater....

Sorry Switzerland !
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  #29  
Old 10.07.2011, 19:29
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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If your paying 36% in ZH you are earning a huge amount of money. French tax rates are 41% above 70850 euro. Bear in mind social costs will be highter.

As your a high earner capital gains tax may be an issue.

I live in ZH & my taxes have always been in the 8 - 14% of gross range, way cheaper in CH.
I don't know if my husband is a 'high earner' since after you pay the tax, the insurances, the rent and the cost of a local bilingual school....there's a lot less left than you'd expect and certainly less given how expensive things are here. We aren't well to do enough to have issues with such things as cap gains.
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:00
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Re: Shopping over the border....

We are certainly feeling the (big) pinch due to the exchange rate, having our pensions paid in Ł. So it really helps that the shops in France are just as close as those in CH. However, if I still worked on a Swiss salary- I really do not think I'd choose to travel long distance, using much petrol along the way, and spending my little spare leisure time with my family and kids dragging them around supermarkets in France. We've certainly noticed that the customs officers at our local border are stopping many more cars returning and checking them thoroughly for excess meat, etc, and maximum amount.

500g of meat per adult, 3kg of poultry/sausages or processed meats and 150CHF in total per person.
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  #31  
Old 10.07.2011, 20:12
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Re: Shopping over the border....

Better choice in German supermarkets as well.
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  #32  
Old 10.07.2011, 20:21
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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If your paying 36% in ZH you are earning a huge amount of money. French tax rates are 41% above 70850 euro. Bear in mind social costs will be highter.
.
French tax system is very complicated and taking into account all the possible deductions as well, it's not bad at all. What social deductions do you mean? If you are a frontalier working in Basel, you will pay your social contributions in CH. It's a lot cheaper to live across the border.
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:29
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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I don't know if my husband is a 'high earner' since after you pay the tax.
36% tax hits in ZH for a couple with no children at approx 950,000, if your husband is paying 36% tax he is very well paid & a high earner.
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:32
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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French tax system is very complicated and taking into account all the possible deductions as well, it's not bad at all. What social deductions do you mean? If you are a frontalier working in Basel, you will pay your social contributions in CH. It's a lot cheaper to live across the border.
The person I am talking to works in ZH not Basel. Basel Taxes are WAY higher than ZH for someone earning 90,000.

We were talking about desposible incomes in various countries so French worker living in France would pay far higher social charges,

Basel to French tax for a couple with children could easliy be the same
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:41
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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The person I am talking to works in ZH not Basel. Basel Taxes are WAY higher than ZH for someone earning 90,000.
ah but (according to comparis) for someone earning 950 000 they are pretty much the same
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:46
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Re: Shopping over the border....

Well I certainly wouldn't know about that

But honestly, unless you are living very close to the wire (and very close to the border) can you be a*sed to spend your freetime going shopping miles away to save a few quid- unless it is just once in a while. I am retired, so can go week-days - shops in France are 8k away, those in CH about 7.5km, so I shop in France most of the time- and also support our small shop .5 km away.
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:55
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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36% tax hits in ZH for a couple with no children at approx 950,000, if your husband is paying 36% tax he is very well paid & a high earner.
LOL...If my husband made that much I'd have a nanny, maid and wouldn't have to care about the terrible prices on stuff here. Heck, I could use 100 CHF notes for toilet paper.

Hrm, perhaps I'm confusing our US tax rate since we used to get hit with what the US calls the "AMT", Alternative Minimum Tax, which often hit about that percentage.

I know it's far more than 15% though. (We're married, 1 child, and I'm not working at the moment).
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:57
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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ah but (according to comparis) for someone earning 950 000 they are pretty much the same
Such a socialist system! What about wealth tax? Somebody earning 950000, must have quite a lot of assets, or a VERY good life,
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Old 10.07.2011, 21:07
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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LOL...If my husband made that much I'd have a nanny, maid and wouldn't have to care about the terrible prices on stuff here. Heck, I could use 100 CHF notes for toilet paper.

Hrm, perhaps I'm confusing our US tax rate since we used to get hit with what the US calls the "AMT", Alternative Minimum Tax, which often hit about that percentage.

I know it's far more than 15% though. (We're married, 1 child, and I'm not working at the moment).
OK it's Uncle Sam who is preventing you from getting true tax rates!

FWIW 200K wife + child would be 22% which I assue you is very reasonable!
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Old 10.07.2011, 21:34
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Re: Shopping over the border....

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OK it's Uncle Sam who is preventing you from getting true tax rates!

FWIW 200K wife + child would be 22% which I assue you is very reasonable!
The rate of tax isn't the issue as I've lived in a place where I paid around 50%, though that included the social health system. However, even at that tax bracket and a much lower salary, I never felt quite as shafted at the grocery as I do here. If I want luxuries, I know where to get them much more reasonably priced and how to avoid import taxes. But groceries, I am a hostage to the local market unless I want to make the trek north which I don't often do. I'm a saver, not a spender, so it pains me when I spend 100chf at the grocery on (very little) food that would cost 1/2 the price across the border.
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