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Old 03.10.2012, 23:08
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The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

Hello to everybody,

After having completed almost a week of staying in Switzerland i just wonder where this ''quality'' of life is.
My earnings as a researcher with PhD is at the area of netto is 4.6K..some say it is a OK, some say it is little. As an amount of money it sounds a lot..but it offers almost nothing than basic life.
Housing is extremely expensive and hard to acquire. To find something descent with the cost of furniture (bought or present) we are talking something at the area 2k.(at least)
To have a car is almost forbidding, because at least at my place parking is paid but even if... there are still waiting lists!!!! the same applies for work! a.k.a. in the best case scenario 250-300CHF/month...
SOme will say, you dont need a car take the public transport..i will say OK.. GA card 3.3 k or 300CHF per month..or half card but still another 700 only for local transport. At least in the lausanne area there is no night public transport. So if you fly for example and come back from a trip..dont do it at night.
So already because of breathing and moving I need almost 60% of my salary. Then goes eating and the process to get something descent i.e. using public transport how can u go away and carry things plus you need to be vegeterian!!! as chicken or meet...is at 40-50CHF per kg!
I dont mention going out at night or travelling in general.
All in all i was living in NL earning half and living a MUCH better life where I had a nice house, a car, using excellent public transport at 35% of what i pay here, safety, good schools etc.
The irony of all is with 1200 euros/month i had a better lifestyle even in the bankrupt greece.

Do i miss a point here about the so call quality of life?
Of course if it is to earn 200k and have a nice life that would apply in any other country of the world also...
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:22
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

i would have thought that holland has about the same prices as here
but yea 4,6k is not alot
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:23
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

As a researcher with a PhD, perhaps you should have done more research on Switzerland before accepting your job offer. Your salary is low and it will not allow you to save much money.

I agree that in terms of monetary quality, yours isn't the highest. Perhaps this disappointment has clouded you to the beauty of the area and other qualities around you.

Good luck!
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:25
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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Do i miss a point here about the so call quality of life?Of course if it is to earn 200k and have a nice life that would apply in any other country of the world also...
Well ... what did you expect ? How well have you been informed before moving here, and what made you move here ?
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:29
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

I never thought of "quality of life" as being connected with money. To me, it is about safety, security, clean water, clean air, low stress and freedom. I think that Switzerland has all these things no matter no much you get paid
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:33
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

The OP sounds to me like someone that thought to have hit the PHD-jackpot salary but now finds out that 4.6K is a very moderate amount.
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:39
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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Then goes eating and the process to get something descent i.e. using public transport how can u go away and carry things plus you need to be vegeterian!!! as chicken or meet...is at 40-50CHF per kg!
This is not correct we pay and have for a few years about 15CHF a kilo for chicken, turkey or pork and if we want we go to germany and pay about 5euro a kilo. Take a look through the forum and check out places like Aldis and Lidls or across the border into Germany and France and food is not that bad here in the supermarket environment.

There are plenty of people here who survive on well under 100k as a family
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:42
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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i would have thought that holland has about the same prices as here
but yea 4,6k is not alot
Having travelled through holland it is hugely cheaper then switzerland for food and living items
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:44
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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I never thought of "quality of life" as being connected with money. To me, it is about safety, security, clean water, clean air, low stress and freedom. I think that Switzerland has all these things no matter no much you get paid
People who have money often think that quality of life has nothing to do with money.
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:47
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

The problem is not the prices in Switzerland.

The problem is that you have accepted a salary well below the norm for someone with a PhD.

You should have done some research beforehand and you did not. Who's to blame???

Last edited by UktoSwiss; 03.10.2012 at 23:48. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:50
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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I never thought of "quality of life" as being connected with money. To me, it is about safety, security, clean water, clean air, low stress and freedom. I think that Switzerland has all these things no matter no much you get paid
Not having enough money leads to stress and lack of security.
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:52
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

For approx 65-70k a year it wont be much different to what you are used to no.

You have been here a week though, give it a little more time.

My first week I was a bit unsure about the place, but then I experienced something I learned about at school, summer for more than a week and actual seasons.

Summer was free festivals, lake swimming, and exploring a beautiful country, winter soon came and I was skiing for the first time in my life, falling in love with the sport and skiing nearly every week.

There is a knack to shopping in terms of for what and where and certainly some life adjustments to be made.

Quality of life? Fantastic if you ask me.
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:53
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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After having completed almost a week of staying in Switzerland i just wonder where this ''quality'' of life is.
Keep looking you'll find it. But it will take longer...
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:53
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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The problem is that you have accepted a salary well below the norm for someone with a PhD.
For an academic researcher with PhD, that's pretty much a normal salary (notice he says netto, i.e. after tax and social contributions).
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:57
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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People who have money often think that quality of life has nothing to do with money.
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Not having enough money leads to stress and lack of security.
I'm not arguing that life is better with less money. I'm saying that when people use the term "quality of life"....those things that the phrase conjures up for me are not connected with personal wealth but with infrastructure.

Or to put it another way.....I think that somebody who earns 25% lower than average salary in Switzerland probably has a better quality of life than somebody with 25% lower than average salary in Germany, South Africa, Mexico or Thailand. But somebody with 25% more than average may well be happier and eat better.....
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Old 04.10.2012, 00:07
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

For me the lack of quality of life is not necessarily related to high prices, but rather the lack of quality you get with it. Most consumer items seem inferior and with that you have lack of choices. Sure, there are clean mountains etc. but what about more populated areas, where littering and crime are more prevalent. These facts and figures hardly appear on any quantifiable study and many expats more than likely won't agree with my aforementioned statement but if I'd receive a 50% pay increase in country x, I'd definitely would look over these inconveniences.
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Old 04.10.2012, 00:26
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

absolutely. i wouldn't mind paying more if it wasn't the same stuff on canal street in new york for less than a quarter of the cost

or, in terms of clothing, expensive and boring as hell
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Old 04.10.2012, 00:26
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

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I never thought of "quality of life" as being connected with money. To me, it is about safety, security, clean water, clean air, low stress and freedom. I think that Switzerland has all these things no matter no much you get paid
a swiss friend told me that this place was high stress (mainly revolving around timeliness and slavery to the clock).

i'm with you on the clean water and clean air. freedom, i'm not so sure about. it seems a very conformist society and i know several people who have had their wings clipped by the social (not legal) system.

i think people visit switzerland and see the country through honeymoon eyes. no need to be suckered in by the hype/PR. switzerland has many good points, but it is not nirvana - there are also many downsides too - just like anywhere else in the world.
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Old 04.10.2012, 00:34
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

I love it here- and loved it when I earned way less than you do - but you can't expect to live like Croesus here.

Adjust your expectations and the fabled "swiss quality of life" will become apparent.

It just takes time and patience and a fair dollop of envy and disappointment...
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Old 04.10.2012, 00:43
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Re: The supposed Swiss ''quality'' of life

Welcome to Switzerland.

First - give yourself more time! (As said before)

And you do not need to buy new furniture every month it`s probably one time cost, plus you need to know the cheaper places to buy things from. (Conforama lets say is often cheaper than IKEA.)

For cheaper food. I live in Zürich, but I think basics are the same. You CAN find cheaper products, plus there are -50% off offers on meet (also other items). I simply buy whatever meet I like with that offer and freeze it (unless you are too picky for that). Never had a bad experience and it helps to save!

Good luck! And don`t give up
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