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Old 02.01.2010, 19:26
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Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Hi
I am moving from Sydney to Zurich and was wondering if anyone has done the same (and can offer a comparison)??

At the moment I believe that taxes in CH are lower, pay is higher (in banking) and women are slimmer! Jury still out on whether living costs are cheaper
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Old 02.01.2010, 19:44
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Hi - we moved from Brisbane over a year ago and you were pretty right with all your comments. The taxes depend largely on where you live in Zurich as well as whether you are married, both working or not and whether you have children or not. We just found out that our cars values are also included on the tax return as 'assets', so getting a cheaper car might have been a good idea!! The cost of living is way more expensive than Australia but we have found it is very much a user pays system. Food is expensive but tastes 1000% better than australian fruit and vegetables and the bread is incredible, so its a bit of a tradeoff. You'll love the weather though - having four distinct seasons is really great. Hope your move goes smoothly and that you have plenty of warm stuff for when you arrive!
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Old 02.01.2010, 19:50
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Hi and Welcome! I recently moved from Perth to Zurich (my name probably already gave it away!) and can agree on each of the 3 things u mentioned about Zurich! However while the pay is higher, the cost of living is also substantially higher, i'd put it at about 30% higher than what you'd be used to in Sydney, other's may disagree but everyone will admit that it is higher! Also with the taxes, they are broken down differently to how they are back home, for instance you'll be paying ALOT more for medical insurance here, and won't get rebates like you do from Medicare back home, you'll be paying about 2 CHF for each 35L garbage bag u throw out, etc. But its ok, the women are slimmer so its all worth it. If you search through this forum though you'll find everything you need to know, there is a tonne of information here. Good luck!
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Old 02.01.2010, 20:03
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

We did it 18 months ago with a family of five...

Taxes are lower.
Pay is much higher.

Cost of eating out is *exorbitant*
Everything else costs a 'bomb'.

Our grocery bills tripled, because not only were we trying to work out what is cheap, and what is not, we were no longer eating at grandma's for free a few nights a week, and we couldn't afford to go out for take-away so more groceries are consumed. Also, we buy a lot more 'comfort' foods to combat our homesickness and our loss of social-life...

That said, we LOVE it here - we still pinch ourselves and think - well, what the (*&^ are we doing in Switzerland/Europe - but we love our work, we are being paid much higher salaries (30% higher) and are valued much more by our employer (since they had to recruit us across the world)....

Depending on where you live in Sydney, and what your lifestyle expectations are, rent here may actually be similar - we managed to land a demolition rental for 1700chf a month for three bedrooms and a large living area...but we were paying around 1600 a month for a three bedroom townhouse in Sydney before we left, so we thought we were doing ok...two years on we are considering rental up to 2500chf a month, but we now have the finances to afford it...

the only living costs we have found that are cheaper are prepaid mobile phones, the cost of purchasing a second-hand car, and the price of cheap chocolate...the rest is definitely more expensive...

Last edited by swisspea; 03.01.2010 at 21:18.
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Old 03.01.2010, 20:58
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

and women are slimmer! [/QUOTE]

Men are slimmer too
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Old 03.01.2010, 21:02
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

I find (food wise) a night out at a decent restaurant about the same as Australia, but take-away is massively expensive. Beer/Alcohol is cheaper but supermarket food is slightly more expensive. If you move over just expect to pay for a lot of administration costs.

Women are about the same mate. However .....im only comparing to perth
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Old 03.01.2010, 21:17
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Cost of living ... really, I've found it's not too much different from cost of living in Sydney, but coming from anywhere else in Australia would be a big jump. Also, if you're like me and don't really want a car, the public transport system here is fantastic! Connections that actually do ... amazing, coming from CityRail!

Now, one comment on the taxes ... yes, they are lower, but as Swisspea said there is a big 'user pays' system - so for example no Medicare, everyone is required to have at least minimum private health insurance; garbage bags cost about 2 francs each, but that covers the cost of collection (so not from taxes); oh, and as somebody else pointed out to me recently, the majority of the taxes you pay are actually spent within your local community (gemeinde) - so you can see what's being done with your money!

Overall, leaving out the lack of family support, quality of life over here is fantastic. In the first few months we spent heaps (finding what we liked, and where the good quality/low price items were, and which days things were generally discounted in the local supermarkets) but now our expenses are not so bad ...

Also, check with your employer: do you get paid the "thirteenth month", as some employers do? Not sure why that is, perhaps somebody else can explain it, but there are many Swiss employers who give you a monthly rate, but you get that thirteenth month paid as well ...
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Old 05.01.2010, 12:18
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

moved back to CH from Melb, and I can tell you that groceries are def not more expensive in ZH than in Melb.... yep, eating out sure is, but I do pretty much same grocery shopping cart in zh than in Melb, and even converting swissie to dollar, still a few bob in front.... just me 2 cents worth

good luck with the move

ps... did I mention that it is safer

pss... and the girls are def slimmer ( prob cause a big mac menu - if you're into those sort of things , costs 12.50 )
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Old 06.01.2010, 15:21
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Thank you all for your replies. For those of you moving in the opposite direction:
- a decent two bed/two bathroom flatSHARE with pool/gym in the centre (darling harbour/hyde park) will set you back CHF 350 a week
- you are doing well to get a daily IT contract rate of CHF 760 (CHF15200/month)
- at these rates, effective tax (including compulsory pension) around 38%
- going to see an IMAX movie will cost CHF 24
- the cheapest gym fitness first will cost at least CHF 76 / month

However,
nightclubs are cheap CHF9 or less
unlimited brazilian BBQ meat fest CHF 33 per person
buffet lunch in a revolving restaurant in sydney tower CHF 47

Something you might notice is the aggressive recruitment of skilled people in overseas 'australia needs skills' events, and the heavy bias for skilled, experienced and educated people in the immigration points test. This is for a reason.....Australia is seriously lacking such people locally. Their education system is sub standard and many of their brightest seek adventures abroad. This means standards here are low. Anyone with decent experience can get a decent job. People without experience can get CHF100k in a bank and not get fired even though they are useless. There are more opportunites to move around. The downside of course is that you can't expect people you work with to be efficient or even competent. Hopefully working in credit suisse will be much better!!
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Old 06.01.2010, 16:43
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Sometimes I wonder if I'm being lied to, in an attempt to make me less stressed about how much more stuff seems to cost here.. so check with someone else if youre interested - but if you are planning on driving, I am told the cost of registration (and maybe insurance? Not sure, but obviously always varies a lot anyway) is a lot less here than what I used to pay on the Gold Coast?

Maybe if its relevant to you, check it out.

All the nice makeups like Lancome are lots cheaper But I'm pretty sure that definitely isnt relevant to you. Made me happy though
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Old 06.01.2010, 17:32
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

I've found that things have changed quite a bit Perth vs Zurich wise in the seven years that I have been here. When I visit Perth I'm always shocked at how much some things have gone up there (blame the mining boom) and how I have found the cheaperside of things here over time.

Some examples of the changes:
- My former job in Perth has seen near a 50% increase in salary. It has been stable here.
- My house has doubled in value and the bubble doesn't seem to be bursting.
- The rent on that house has nearly doubled and now more than covers my small Zurich apartment rent.
- A pint of beer has gone up around 30%, some swanky bars charging A$18 a pint (chf16) to suckas. Actually a decent beer is now cheaper in Zurich.
- Dining restaurant prices in Perth seem to have increased a lot, equalling Zurich in a few cases. On the other hand I've finally discovered some cheap and value asian places here in Zurich eg this

Agreed the taxes are way lower, even after including mandatory health insurance & TV licences etc. Plenty of Zurich price tags will make your eyes bleed. And the Swiss girls, way slimmer and fitter
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Old 06.01.2010, 18:30
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

When I was last in Australia, Vegemite was more more expensive in coles than what I had paid in a store in Zug
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Old 06.01.2010, 19:35
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

To be honest Sydney and Zurich are pretty similar I'd guess, except for maybe eating cheap which Sydney will beat Zurich any day of the week in any flavour. The Big Mac index sums it up best, CHF6.5 versus err Im guessing about 4AUD? Its been a while. After PPP the Swiss big mac is about 40% more than Aus, but you get paid more here and the Swiss are kinda narky about fast foods anyway....

Groceries are generally equivalent here but potentially better quality, as a few posts have already mentioned. Only difference is that the MEAT here is more, so eat plenty of steaks before you leave Sydney, especially those $8 beer and steak combos!!!

Going to Italy, Spain, UK in fact pretty much 90% of the world is also cheaper from here
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Old 06.01.2010, 19:39
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

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When I was last in Australia, Vegemite was more more expensive in coles than what I had paid in a store in Zug
Now that just about sums up the predatory duopoly pricing of Coles and Woolworths.. its **** and they know it.
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Old 06.01.2010, 20:10
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

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Now that just about sums up the predatory duopoly pricing of Coles and Woolworths.. its **** and they know it.
..and Franklins isn't cheap anymore At least they have Aldi now. My dad is always going on about shopping there but the comparing their prices to here they are also more expensive than Swiss prices.
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Old 06.01.2010, 20:33
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

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When I was last in Australia, Vegemite was more more expensive in coles than what I had paid in a store in Zug
You can get vegiemite in Zug??????? Please do tell
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Old 23.01.2010, 08:49
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

I totally agree. Been here 10 years and am also shocked by the increase in the cost of living every time I go back to Perth, mainly in groceries, rent and housing but salaries have also gone up so its all relative. Its no longer the quiet town I used to know, lots of building and development going on. Having said that I miss Perth and cant wait to go back (the beaches and yum cha are calling for me...), just have to figure out how to afford a house, hmmm


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I've found that things have changed quite a bit Perth vs Zurich wise in the seven years that I have been here. When I visit Perth I'm always shocked at how much some things have gone up there (blame the mining boom) and how I have found the cheaperside of things here over time.

Some examples of the changes:
- My former job in Perth has seen near a 50% increase in salary. It has been stable here.
- My house has doubled in value and the bubble doesn't seem to be bursting.
- The rent on that house has nearly doubled and now more than covers my small Zurich apartment rent.
- A pint of beer has gone up around 30%, some swanky bars charging A$18 a pint (chf16) to suckas. Actually a decent beer is now cheaper in Zurich.
- Dining restaurant prices in Perth seem to have increased a lot, equalling Zurich in a few cases. On the other hand I've finally discovered some cheap and value asian places here in Zurich eg this

Agreed the taxes are way lower, even after including mandatory health insurance & TV licences etc. Plenty of Zurich price tags will make your eyes bleed. And the Swiss girls, way slimmer and fitter
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Old 24.01.2010, 03:27
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

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Hi and Welcome! I recently moved from Perth to Zurich (my name probably already gave it away!) and can agree on each of the 3 things u mentioned about Zurich! However while the pay is higher, the cost of living is also substantially higher, i'd put it at about 30% higher than what you'd be used to in Sydney, other's may disagree but everyone will admit that it is higher! Also with the taxes, they are broken down differently to how they are back home, for instance you'll be paying ALOT more for medical insurance here, and won't get rebates like you do from Medicare back home, you'll be paying about 2 CHF for each 35L garbage bag u throw out, etc. But its ok, the women are slimmer so its all worth it. If you search through this forum though you'll find everything you need to know, there is a tonne of information here. Good luck!
i cant believe zurich is 30% more expensive than sydney - holy moly
I find sydney as expensive as London

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Old 24.01.2010, 06:57
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Hi there, Would 190,000 CHS plus a company car be considered a comfortable salary in Basel for a family of 3? Our son would need to go to a private school. Thanks.
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Old 24.01.2010, 08:24
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Re: Moving from Sydney Australia to Zurich

Hi Toppie,

See my response to the new thread you made with the same question.

CK
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