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  #101  
Old 31.07.2011, 16:26
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Re: Is CHF120K a good salary in Switzerland?

What is a good salary in the UK or the US? Surely it depends WHERE!
Costs in Zurich or Geneva are just not the same as where I live for instance. But salaries here will be lower too. Switzerland IS small, but there are huge variations.
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  #102  
Old 31.07.2011, 16:46
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Re: Is CHF120K a good salary in Switzerland?

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I'm currently living in Chicago comfortably: salary mid 70k (USD), own a condo downtown, dog, goes out to dinner about 2-3 times a week, goes out for cocktails about 2-3 times a week, takes a few vacations a year. Keeping similar lifestyle.
Maria, as a dog owner, do make sure you understand what you are getting into with a move to Switzerland...

It is getting harder and harder for dog owners to find places. The tight housing market means that many landlords simply don't want to bother with the hassles of a tenant with pets - why would they, when 50 other pet-less people are vying for the flat? This means that many dog owners have to pay up - sometimes very much up - in order to find accomodations that are appropriate for the dog, and even to find a landlord willing to give them a chance. As a dog owner you are at a disadvantage - so don't count on being able to make any savings here. To be safe, plan on having to spend more on your housing.

And since you mention all that going out... before you sign a lease, make sure you understand if you will be allowed to leave your dog at home when you go out, or not. If your lease forbids you from doing so, be aware that good dog care is very difficult to find, and expensive - unless you have friends or family willing to help.

Vet care ranges from quite reasonable for routine care to eye-popping for specialist or emergency care. When I had young, generally healthy dogs I was spending a couple hundred a year - a bargain. But my dogs with serious illnesses have run to several thousands per treatment. On the plus side, we have access to excellent veterinary care here - far better than I had in Chicago.

Dog ownership is a rather expensive hobby in Switzerland. (But you get a lot more from your four-footed friend in return than, say, a dinner out... )

Good luck with your decision.
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  #103  
Old 31.07.2011, 20:54
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Re: Is CHF120K a good salary in Switzerland?

Thanks everyone.

That was more or less my lifestyle in the States. I definitely understand there are adjustments, which I'm more than happy to make. I think I'll take wine from Denner over 30CF cocktails.

In terms of having a dog. Do you normally pay a annual deposit or a monthly fee while renting, or both? If so anyone have any price ranges?

Thanks.
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  #104  
Old 31.07.2011, 23:01
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Re: Is CHF120K a good salary in Switzerland?

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In terms of having a dog. Do you normally pay a annual deposit or a monthly fee while renting, or both? If so anyone have any price ranges?
Most landlords will require a tenant - dog owners and non-owners alike - to put down a deposit; the amount varies from 1 to 3 months. We were required to put down 3 months, the max allowed by law. This is in addition to the first month up front, as well as various fees - so make sure you have a good stash o' cash on arrival.

As for price ranges - it all depends on what you need, and on what you are willing to compromise. You may get lucky and be the selected tenant for a flat that is renting for a decent price - or you may need to do as we did: pay well over the odds for a rather small run down house (with a decent garden). This actually proved to be a good thing. No one else wanted a dumpy house at such an exhorbitant rate (this was before the current insane market) - so the landlord was happy to have us, dogs and all. And as the house was not so pristine to begin with the landlord was a little less picky on the move-out.

Have a look at Homegate to get an idea of what is available - and then figure on having at least 4 months' rent available when you sign on the dotted line.

Renters are strongly encouraged to take out insurance against damages by a dog (not all Privathaftpflicht policies cover this). It's a landlord's market, with laws favoring landlords - you will be charged for every scratch, every pawprint. A comprehensive insurance policy is your best investment.

Additionally, you are required by law to hold liability insurance as a dog owner. In KT ZH, IIRC it's a minimum of 1 million coverage. This is not very expensive. (But not having the proper insurance can be very, very expensive.)

You might think about bringing 'references' for your dog. Seriously - if your dog has any training/good citizen certificates, bring those along. Noise is of particular concern; barking is a capital crime in Switzerland. If you have any proof that your dog does not bark, bring that along. Any thing to show that your dog is lovely, cuddly, perfectly trained - and very, very quiet - will help when you apply for housing.

(By the bye - what breed is your dog? Zurich has enacted BSL; 8 breeds are banned.)

Good luck!
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  #105  
Old 31.07.2011, 23:43
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Re: Is CHF120K a good salary in Switzerland?

Well I must say me, my lady, and my two boys are living very well below the poverty line.....
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  #106  
Old 01.08.2011, 13:56
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Re: Is CHF120K a good salary in Switzerland?

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In terms of having a dog. Do you normally pay a annual deposit or a monthly fee while renting, or both? If so anyone have any price ranges?
In addition to meloncollie's reply about housing, there is the doggie tax as well, charged by your commune.
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