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Old 01.09.2011, 02:39
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Relocation Sum

I just received an offer to relocate from Chicago to Zurich. I was given 10,000 CF sum to do so. I've search the forum but can only find very date information on the topic.

I'm a single women relocating with my dog and very limited furniture. Is this enough to move? If I'm interested in a relocation agent it would come out of this sum.

Thanks!
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:00
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Re: Relocation Sum

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I just received an offer to relocate from Chicago to Zurich. I was given 10,000 CF sum to do so. I've search the forum but can only find very date information on the topic.

I'm a single women relocating with my dog and very limited furniture. Is this enough to move? If I'm interested in a relocation agent it would come out of this sum.

Thanks!
It depends what is included, but my first reaction is close, but not quite enough. Most relocation packages SHOULD include the cost of packing up your place in US, freight of your goods, transport for you and the pooch, finding an apartment with a re-location agent, transport of your goods to the new place, and cost of replacement electrical items which you will need to buy new.

I would imagine that flights for you and dog might be CHF2000, removal services at each end CHF2000, freight CHF3000, agent a couple of months rent so CHF2000, so CHF11000 without electrical items. If you are happy to buy your own electrical items and put your own deposit on the apartment, and maybe even find it yourself (people here will help advise locations and websites to search), you will probably be fine if, like you say, your furniture is limited.

Good luck
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:17
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Re: Relocation Sum

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I just received an offer to relocate from Chicago to Zurich. I was given 10,000 CF sum to do so. I've search the forum but can only find very date information on the topic.

I'm a single women relocating with my dog and very limited furniture. Is this enough to move? If I'm interested in a relocation agent it would come out of this sum.

Thanks!
Get a fully paid relocation with relo assistance including paid temp housing, not a lump sum.

The lump sum will probably come with a string attached that if you quit within 12 months you have to repay it. So if things don't work out, if you decide you hate Switzerland, you hate the job, you hate your boss, your boss hates you, you want to get back with your ex in Chicago, your dog wants to get back with your ex in Chicago, etc, then you'll have to repay that lump sum, and yet still somehow find a way to move everything back out of pocket.

If that string isn't in the contract, then forget what I said, but 10K still isn't enough to cover an international relo. 10K will just about cover the cost of the shipping container. Your dog will cost about 1K. You will cost about 2K. And that's just the transportation. Housing will run 1.5K per month with a 5K deposit. Multiply x2 because you'll want to stay in a short-term furnished apartment while you're stuff is on the water.
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:21
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Re: Relocation Sum

I moved here from Houston, and I had a container shipped( enough
for a 1 bedroom apartment ) for about $3500. That was 5 years
ago so the prices have probably climbed a bit.

This is the company I used, and They were very professional:

http://www.shippinginternational.com/

Contact: Medi Belorchi or Marlyn Navarta.
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:22
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Re: Relocation Sum

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Get a fully paid relocation with relo assistance including paid temp housing, not a lump sum.

10K will just about cover the cost of the shipping container.
Both good adds......of course, if you can negotiate better, do so....in my answer I assumed that you got the best deal you could

KF - Is that figure right for the shipping of "not much furniture"? If so, I apologise, I was way under.

Also....in my experience, the company sometimes pays the deposit of the apartment directly, so when you move out, it is paid directly back to them
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:23
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Re: Relocation Sum

I would ask about this, I was offered 10% of my year salary as a relocation sum (like a lump sum) but that was besides the ticket cost, the moving costs and finally the three month rent in a company appartment offered as well. Just check as someone has said 10 000 CHF for a move wont get you very far!
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:37
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Re: Relocation Sum

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I would ask about this, I was offered 10% of my year salary as a relocation sum (like a lump sum) but that was besides the ticket cost, the moving costs and finally the three month rent in a company appartment offered as well. Just check as someone has said 10 000 CHF for a move wont get you very far!
Its a good point and brings up another thought...

I know from experience that most companies offer two types of relo packages - one is for people who the company badly wants to relocate, so they need to cover all expenses and then offer an incentive on top, like the one that you just explained. I was lucky to have something similar.

But there is another type of package where the person has requested a move and a relocation and the company says, well, get yourself here and here is some money to help.....its a bit more of a contribution to make sure things go smoothly for a move that would have happened anyway.

The OPs short mail suggests to me something more like the latter...."10 000 CHF and we'll see you in work on Monday" doesn't sound like the company is bending over backwards to help and I assumed (wrongly maybe) that the OP wants to move anyway. If not......and if it is the company who is pushing or encouraging you to move and you feel you are in a strong negotiating position (you are the only one in the company who can do your job etc) then I'd go for something WAY better. They should pay all your costs themselves and then you can ask for a little start up money besides.
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:40
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Re: Relocation Sum

Bear in mind that the CHF10k relocation package may well be taxable - so factor that in.

I had a quick search but couldn't find the exact rules - I remember reading relocation over CHF5k is taxable - but hopefully someone else knows the tax treatment.
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Old 01.09.2011, 09:47
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Re: Relocation Sum

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I would ask about this, I was offered 10% of my year salary as a relocation sum (like a lump sum) but that was besides the ticket cost, the moving costs and finally the three month rent in a company appartment offered as well. Just check as someone has said 10 000 CHF for a move wont get you very far!
I moved for less than 10,000 for sure

$3500 for transport of furniture
$1200 for plane ticket
$3500 for corporate apartment for one month
$8200 Total

If you factor in inflation of about 3%, it would cost about 9500CHF.
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Old 01.09.2011, 11:40
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Re: Relocation Sum

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I would ask about this, I was offered 10% of my year salary as a relocation sum (like a lump sum) but that was besides the ticket cost, the moving costs and finally the three month rent in a company appartment offered as well. Just check as someone has said 10 000 CHF for a move wont get you very far!
Similar here (although not relocation to Switzerland, but other countries):
- 5% of gross salary paid out as net amount (so called "curtain money", to pay for appliances, curtains, etc. needed for new housing); don't know about Switzerland but i've moved several times where this was also a tax beneficial way for company to give money to employee
- transport from home to new location (i.e. air tickets)
- xxx cubic meter of household goods shipping
- xxx months of temp furnished housing paid for by employer (this is important as this is typically expensive, a hassle to arrange yourself, and you really do need it)
- relocation agent for xxx days who supports house hunting, arranging utilities, arranging registration with commune etc (companies tend to pay for this because otherwise the employee will be spending many many hours/days NOT at work during the first weeks arranging this themselves, which in the end is much more expensive)

In other words, 10k CHF seems low and it's also a bit of an odd approach. I'm much more used to companies indicating what services they'll pay for than giving a lump sum and telling you to arrange it all yourself. Of course, some companies are more lean than others, may be inexperienced with international relocations, etc. but I'd be hardpressed to believe 10k CHF is sufficient.

If I were you I'd first ask to see the company international assignment policy. If the answer is "we don't have one" then you need to build a case to argue what all is required to move and that this is not possible to fit in 10k CHF (which, i certainly believe, it is not).

Also, if you have to do this all yourself... odds are you'll get screwed somewhere in the process (e.g. sign a rental contract with very unfavorable terms, etc.). It sounds like the company is putting all the risk/burden on you and trying to getting away a bit "cheap".
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Old 01.09.2011, 11:54
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Re: Relocation Sum

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I moved for less than 10,000 for sure

$3500 for transport of furniture
$1200 for plane ticket
$3500 for corporate apartment for one month
$8200 Total

If you factor in inflation of about 3%, it would cost about 9500CHF.
I think the problem will be relocating with the dog, remember dog transport can be very expensive (specially trans atlantic)
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:54
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Re: Relocation Sum

My husband and I just moved here from the US. We found it way cheaper to sell all of our furniture, buy new stuff here (ikea, etc), and ship our stuff by way of the post office. Plus it was way faster. We got our 14 boxes in a week and it was insured.
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Old 01.09.2011, 13:26
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Re: Relocation Sum

I just moved to Florida and had a 20ft container for my stuff. The cost of shipping the container, packing it etc cost just under 9k chf.

The cost of flying my dogs was 300chf per ticket. We took them ourselves. Getting a pet relo company to do it will be expensive. I got quotes of 2 to 3k chf.
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Old 02.09.2011, 15:38
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Re: Relocation Sum

Thanks everyone. I got a little more clarification on the offer.

Offer also includes: 2 month of paid corporate housing and a 4 cubic meter shipping crate.

As for the dog. I received quote on pet relocation I think I'll just fly with him myself (10 lb Yorkie).

The 10k CF allowance is apparently tax free at the Swiss level, but I'm fairly certain they will tax it as income in the US.
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Old 02.09.2011, 15:39
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Re: Relocation Sum

It will probably be taxed unless reimbursed against actuals, so make sure you spend it.

AYB
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Old 02.09.2011, 17:48
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Re: Relocation Sum

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Thanks everyone. I got a little more clarification on the offer.

Offer also includes: 2 month of paid corporate housing and a 4 cubic meter shipping crate.

As for the dog. I received quote on pet relocation I think I'll just fly with him myself (10 lb Yorkie).

The 10k CF allowance is apparently tax free at the Swiss level, but I'm fairly certain they will tax it as income in the US.
Definitely fly the dog with you in cabin. Super easy with Swiss, Lufthansa & Delta. But you must book the dog in advance.

Good luck with your move!
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Old 02.09.2011, 18:31
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Re: Relocation Sum

Remember to do your sums well -EVERYTHING IS SOOO EXPENSIVE HERE
Good luck
Ps it is a great place to live :-)
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Old 02.09.2011, 23:52
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Re: Relocation Sum

Your relocation expenses - as well as most other IA perks - are taxed in the US, so make sure that the amount you are given is grossed-up to cover the taxes.

Have you met with a tax advisor? How expenses are handled can make quite a difference...

FYI, our relocation from Chicago to Zürich (with 2 dogs) cost quite a bit more that what you have been quoted - and that was 13 years ago.

Your biggest challenge will be finding housing that allows your dog, it is getting harder and harder to find landlords willing to rent to tenants with dogs. Be aware that you may have to pay up to find accomodation - and be aware that you may not have much choice.

You will likely need a relocation agent - you need someone with an 'in', who can help convince landlords to rent to you. I'd look for one who works for you, not your company - and look for one who is dog-friendly and understands your needs. This will be expensive, but given how tight the housing market is (it is not uncommon for 50 people to apply for one flat), it would be money well spent.

I'd negotiate a bit more in relocation expenses if you think you can - but in today's economic climate companies are cutting to the bone, so you many not have much wiggle room.

Good luck!
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Old 03.09.2011, 06:25
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Re: Relocation Sum

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I think the problem will be relocating with the dog, remember dog transport can be very expensive (specially trans atlantic)
we moved with a dog last year. From Miami to Zurich with Swiss it cost us $400 + crate.
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Old 03.09.2011, 08:13
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Re: Relocation Sum

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Both good adds......of course, if you can negotiate better, do so....in my answer I assumed that you got the best deal you could

KF - Is that figure right for the shipping of "not much furniture"? If so, I apologise, I was way under.

Also....in my experience, the company sometimes pays the deposit of the apartment directly, so when you move out, it is paid directly back to them

Yesterday I got more details on how much was paid for my move (it just came up in conversation -- how fortunate). The total for my move was ~20K CHF. Half of that was for lump sum. The other 10K was for the container + temp housing + the relocation assistance. The company did not pay a deposit for the temp apartment, they merely took responsibility for any damages (which of course would have been passed to me) contractually.

When I independently went to look for the cost of moving my things BACK with the same company, the price I was quoted was 10K. So they obviously gave a discount to the company of some sort. Which is something to consider if being offered a lump sum.

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As for the dog. I received quote on pet relocation I think I'll just fly with him myself (10 lb Yorkie).
That will save you a lot, and flying with your pup in the cabin is so much more less stressful. Have you traveled with him before by airplane?
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