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  #41  
Old 12.01.2021, 00:09
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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even if that is the case, a 70K a year salary is still more than double what I currently make.
Costs will also be more than double unless you can live with family.

But hey - do it. At some point you'll have a partner and kids to worry about and you only live once.
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Old 12.01.2021, 00:21
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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Costs will also be more than double unless you can live with family.

But hey - do it. At some point you'll have a partner and kids to worry about and you only live once.

that's the kind of encouragement i need, thank you.
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  #43  
Old 12.01.2021, 03:21
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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that's the kind of encouragement i need, thank you.
This is probably the easiest place in the world to earn a 6 figure salary. I'll always be a bit sad I never made it to the US but it's a good life here.
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  #44  
Old 12.01.2021, 04:08
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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Politics is not the only reason to leave the US ... inequality for the working class is most likely a major driver as well. Also, Democrat states are generally much more expensive to live in.

Why would OP go to Canada? Americans can't claim asylum there...not yet at least.
I would like to slightly disagree on this post. Not everyone coming from America to Switzerland is some poor person that wishes for something more. I will say inequality exists everywhere in the world. But, quite frankly I and my immediate and extended American family are significantly wealthier than my Swiss wife's family. That wealth was self earned and not passed down like some yuppie scum.

Democratic states are generally more expensive probably (2-3x) than the Republican states. It's expensive here too and someway, somehow its still very Democratic and Republican combined up into a nice small, expensive meal that everyone will love but still wonder if a $40 cheeseburger with fries and a water is really the worlds best..?

Quite frankly, I love America and would never hesitate to go back. Life is what a person makes it.
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  #45  
Old 12.01.2021, 09:06
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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This is probably the easiest place in the world to earn a 6 figure salary. I'll always be a bit sad I never made it to the US but it's a good life here.

do not worry in this day and age you are not missing much
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  #46  
Old 12.01.2021, 10:07
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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I would like to slightly disagree on this post. Not everyone coming from America to Switzerland is some poor person that wishes for something more. I will say inequality exists everywhere in the world. But, quite frankly I and my immediate and extended American family are significantly wealthier than my Swiss wife's family. That wealth was self earned and not passed down like some yuppie scum.
You are correct, most of the Americans coming to Switzerland are brought over on no expense spared corporate relocation packages and are not poor at all. Also, most Americans who visit Switzerland on vacation are not your typical working class American, since they would never be able to afford to come here for a visit.

I am happy that you family has done well, but to make that as a comparison to what the average young American has to face right now isn't fair. You do not see those Americans on this forum or trying to get here because it isn't even a possibility for them, OP by birth has been handed a ticket out. $1 hamburgers (if you can even call them that) is not a reason to stay in a country...

"Quite frankly, I love America and would never hesitate to go back. Life is what a person makes it. " - That finish shows just out of touch with reality you are... you can't make a life when you are in a never ending cycle of just trying to get by.
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  #47  
Old 12.01.2021, 11:33
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

NOPE! I slaved away for years in blue-collar work, Military, came back to the states, got divorced, filed bankruptcy, with about $20,000 in a loan and more than that in credit card debt, I bought a house fixed it up in a terrible neighborhood, sold it, bought another, did the same thing a few more times while working a full-time factory job and religiously slaved away for many years. Spent most of my prime and best years working very hard. Kept a few of those houses for over 15 years, still working on a small farm in Switzerland. I don't think there is anything to get excited about.

Those 1st class American's you think the USA ships over here like exports, I still after a few years of being here don't know many personally.

But not going to derail the thread.

Last edited by Sonnenbrand; 12.01.2021 at 12:05. Reason: more personal explanation
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  #48  
Old 12.01.2021, 12:09
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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do not worry in this day and age you are not missing much
I dunno. That nativist streak has always been there in the US. Look at the aptly names "Know nothing party" and the KKK (especially the second clan) Sometimes it escapes its box.

It's not like Switzerland lacks a populist right - albeit nothing quite trumpian.
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  #49  
Old 12.01.2021, 12:20
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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most of the Americans coming to Switzerland are brought over on no expense spared corporate relocation packages and are not poor at all.
Alas, that is NOT my experience at all.

Tom
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  #50  
Old 12.01.2021, 12:25
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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keep in mind that if you are healthy, you won't be able to stay on it for long
You can be on it forever if you don't find a job.

Tom
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  #51  
Old 12.01.2021, 12:38
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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Alas, that is NOT my experience at all.

Tom
Most people are able to view things from outside of their own experience, but we know that would be impossible for you Tom.

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NOPE! I slaved away for years in blue-collar work, Military, came back to the states, got divorced, filed bankruptcy, with about $20,000 in a loan and more than that in credit card debt, I bought a house fixed it up in a terrible neighborhood, sold it, bought another, did the same thing a few more times while working a full-time factory job and religiously slaved away for many years. Spent most of my prime and best years working very hard. Kept a few of those houses for over 15 years, still working on a small farm in Switzerland. I don't think there is anything to get excited about.

Those 1st class American's you think the USA ships over here like exports, I still after a few years of being here don't know many personally.

But not going to derail the thread.
But you decided to derail it anyway... this seems like an appropriate time to use this phrase.... OK Boomer.

Also, if you are working on a farm, you most likely aren't meeting the 1st class imports working for big pharma and banks in the city. People like you here are few and far between...
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  #52  
Old 12.01.2021, 12:49
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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Most people are able to view things from outside of their own experience, but we know that would be impossible for you Tom.
Well, I've never lived in an expat bubble, so I have never met very many like you describe.

Most USians that I know here came here of their own accord, and work normal jobs.

Tom
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  #53  
Old 12.01.2021, 14:38
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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You can be on it forever if you don't find a job.

Tom
Yes. This.

OP, if you arrive at the Swiss border with only a dollar and a dream, you will, at first, be without a roof over your head, and hungry.

However, there are drop-in centres where anyone who is homeless can go by and, as long as they aren't yet full for the night, get a place to sleep. Typically, they also serve something like soup and bread. In Zurich, for example:
Next day, you take yourself off to the Swiss Social Services (called Sozialamt, in German), and tell them that you're a penniless returning Swiss. From the perspective of Switzerland, any Swiss out there, who is going to come back here, is "returning", even if they've never been to Switzerland before.

You will then get most likely get some kind of immediate support. It may be vouchers to sleep in a hostel, or perhaps food coupons with which you can buy a hot meal, or groceries, at specific shops or centres. That's intended as short-term help, so you don't starve. Within days, you will be called in to see a social worker. They are generally overworked and have heard every crazy story under the sun. They're heartily sick of liars. Depending on their personalities, this may make them hard and cold, or all the more compassionate.

You - being Swiss - are completely entitled to this help. You just have to politely answer all their questions, knowing that, if it's person's bad day, you may be berated for having arrived with nothing, expecting the tax-payers to support you, just like that, etc., etc., or you might be told: "Welcome to Switzerland" and "get a job as soon as possible".

It can take some weeks to sort it out, during which you might have to keep going back to ask for food vouchers.

Once it is in place, the Sozial Services will cover
  • a modest rent (a room in a shared apartment, see: https://www.wgzimmer.ch/en/wgzimmer/search/mate.html?, where "free" means "available" and not that it does not cost anything),
  • compulsory medical insurance premium,
  • the self-pay portion of some medical bills, and
  • a small monthly sum with which you are supposed to cover all your living costs.
It is not easy to live at that level, but one can get by.

Here are some budget examples of low incomes: file:///I:/Downloads/01_19_WZ_Einzel_2250-3000%20(3).pdf

Typical killers in low and medium budgets are: smoking, unchecked usage of electronics, servicing debt and eating out.
In other words:
  • if you smoke, give it up before you get here,
  • before you leave tell everyone that you're going to be online only sporadically during the first few months
  • once here learn about the costs of internet, phone, etc. before you choose a provider and scheme
  • don't take any loans once here, and
  • learn to cook well.
Examples of avoidable costs:
You will most likely have to see that social worker several times. The thing to do, to keep the relationship with him/her working, for the fairness towards The System and, of course, for your own dignity, is find work as soon as you possibly can. Document and demonstrate your every effort to find employment and to get a really good command of the language.

Whatever you earn will reduce the amount of Social Security you receive. That's fair. Hopefully, at some point you'll find a job which pays enough for you to no longer need any of their assistance, at all.

Last edited by doropfiz; 12.01.2021 at 23:31. Reason: typo
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  #54  
Old 12.01.2021, 15:01
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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This is probably the easiest place in the world to earn a 6 figure salary. I'll always be a bit sad I never made it to the US but it's a good life here.
six figure USD salary is only 89K CHF, below EF's poverty line
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  #55  
Old 12.01.2021, 15:06
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

Fabio, as you make plans and do your research, another resource that might be helpful to learn about how your field is practiced in Switzerland might be the Schweizerischer Verband der Berufs-Masseure:

http://www.svbm.ch/de/masseure
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  #56  
Old 12.01.2021, 16:44
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

Another thing to look into and read up on is taxation.

As a U.S. citizen you're still required to file taxes no matter where you live in the world. You may or may not owe tax, both in the USA and in Switzerland.

For people who work abroad, the U.S. tax law includes what is known as Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) in order to reduce your taxable income. I don't know whether Swiss social assistance counts as "earned income". I suspect it does not, as pension income doesn't count as "earned income" because you're not actively earning it. If that's the case, the full amount of your social assistance would be taxable and you'd need to use tax treaties to offset so you're not paying double tax.

Remember that 70K sounds small for Switzerland, but 70K for a single person in the USA is very good indeed, especially as today's exchange rate makes 70K CHF to 78,651 USD. A quick glance a the 2019 tax table shows that after the standard deduction but before any treaties were applied, you'd owe $10,483 in taxes.

You really don't want to wind up even worse off by having to pay U.S. tax on the small amount of social help you receive here.

In terms of banking, few banks accept U.S. citizens as clients these days, even if they happen to be Swiss too. You'd be looking at UBS, Credit Suisse, and maybe PostFinance. You'll also have to sign away your privacy rights under Swiss law.

I'm not trying to scare you. I think it's good you're doing your homework now instead of hopping on a plane and hoping for the best.

(Edited to update figures)
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  #57  
Old 12.01.2021, 18:24
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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Another thing to look into and read up on is taxation.

As a U.S. citizen you're still required to file taxes no matter where you live in the world. You may or may not owe tax, both in the USA and in Switzerland.

For people who work abroad, the U.S. tax law includes what is known as Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) in order to reduce your taxable income. I don't know whether Swiss social assistance counts as "earned income". I suspect it does not, as pension income doesn't count as "earned income" because you're not actively earning it. If that's the case, the full amount of your social assistance would be taxable and you'd need to use tax treaties to offset so you're not paying double tax.

Remember that 70K sounds small for Switzerland, but 70K for a single person in the USA is very good indeed, especially as today's exchange rate makes 70K CHF to 78,651 USD. A quick glance a the 2019 tax table shows that after the standard deduction but before any treaties were applied, you'd owe $10,483 in taxes.

You really don't want to wind up even worse off by having to pay U.S. tax on the small amount of social help you receive here.

In terms of banking, few banks accept U.S. citizens as clients these days, even if they happen to be Swiss too. You'd be looking at UBS, Credit Suisse, and maybe PostFinance. You'll also have to sign away your privacy rights under Swiss law.

I'm not trying to scare you. I think it's good you're doing your homework now instead of hopping on a plane and hoping for the best.

(Edited to update figures)
Both my husband and I make significantly more than 70k and have never had to pay more than a few dollars in US taxes. I'm not sure what information you are looking at...
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  #58  
Old 12.01.2021, 18:39
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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Both my husband and I make significantly more than 70k and have never had to pay more than a few dollars in US taxes. I'm not sure what information you are looking at...
You and your husband probably have EARNED income from jobs. Thus you apply FEIE to your return and it leaves you with a smaller taxable income.

Social help from the Swiss government may or may not count as earned income under IRS rules. I suspect not. But I don't know, thus why I suggested OP look into it to be on the safe side. Anticipate worst-case scenarios and all that.

The IRS website has this page:
https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...come-exclusion

Including this particular bit:
Quote:
Foreign-earned income means wages, salaries, professional fees, or other amounts paid to you for personal services rendered by you...
Social help in CH isn't payment for services rendered.

There's also this page, with a handy table:
https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...-earned-income

Edit - That comes across as snarky. It's not meant to be. I'm trying to answer your question with the references I have. I might be reading IRS language totally wrong. Even after the recent tax law changes under Trump, tax stuff for citizens abroad isn't always easy to understand.
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Old 12.01.2021, 21:59
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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thanks. looks pretty rough but you won't starve. i like the statement that it ensures 'dignity'. wonder what happens if you own your home? i guess they force you to sell it but that could take years. what happens in the interim?
or you could rent it out and move into a smaller rented apartment yourself until the situation improves
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Old 12.01.2021, 23:37
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Re: Escaping the US to CH

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or you could rent it out and move into a smaller rented apartment yourself until the situation improves
Yes. Or continue to live there, but use only one room, and rent out the remaining rooms (or sofas) to others, to generate some rental income.
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