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Old 12.11.2006, 11:25
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Zurich - An Opportunity??

Dear All,

For the last hour, I was going through your answers and am happy to say, many of you give a lot of assitance to ignorants like me. This is my first posting and am hoping to benefit from it. Thank u in advance.
Here's my story. I am pretty sure I've got the job in Zurich. It's an international company. The position is middle-management in insurance. Since I have never been in Zurich, I was wondering if u can help me with some figures:
  1. What is a good salary in Zurich to allow one to live comfortably
  2. How much of the gross salary is deducted for taxes?insurance?others I should know about
  3. How much do rent cost?Low and high?
  4. Do I need a car to go around in Zurich or the public transportation system is good
  5. Does Zurich have a good social and night life or it's only good to work
  6. If I only know English, will I have trouble communicating in daily life
I know I loaded you with questions but I am hoping that you will be nice enough to answer my queries.
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Old 12.11.2006, 11:49
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Quote:
What is a good salary in Zurich to allow one to live comfortably

If you are single then anything above 5k CHF will be sufficient. Even less will be sufficient but I assume you will be getting lot more?

Quote:
How much do rent cost?Low and high?

How long is a rope? You don't even mention how many rooms? 1300CHF to 2700CHF depending on location and no. of rooms.

Quote:
Do I need a car to go around in Zurich or the public transportation system is good
You obviously have done ZERO search on the forum! You are thinking of moving to a country and are cluless about the one of the best transport systems in the world?

Quote:
Does Zurich have a good social and night life or it's only good to work
If I only know English, will I have trouble communicating in daily life
Yes Zurich has a social life just like any other city in the world. Is the social life upto your standards?That is something only you can answer.
You can get by with English but it's a silly question as it's equivalent of a Spanish guy asking if he can get on in UK with just Spanish That said my German is bad and I have survived here
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Old 12.11.2006, 12:00
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Thanks a lot for your response. Sorry about the rent but i was thinking something like one bedroom, a kitchen and a sitting area.
As for the salary, the 5K u mentioned is gross right?how much of it will remain for expenses and savings after tax and other deductions.
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Old 12.11.2006, 12:12
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

consider 20-25% as deductions for: social security and compulsory deductions, tax and health insurance.

Your location: ME. I assume it's Maine? If so, you'll also want to be up-to-date on what you need with regards to US tax returns and so-on.
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Old 12.11.2006, 12:28
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Thanks. so how muc would u recommend for a good salary with potential to put some money aside and living comfortably? Is the 5K proposed above a good one as gross or should I target for higher
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Old 12.11.2006, 12:41
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

If you're "middle management" within the [re-]insurance business, I'd expect 10k gross per month....
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Old 12.11.2006, 13:23
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Hi

I've only been here a few weeks. I don't speak any German, in any case it is Swiss German which not all Germans understand, but I haven't had any real problems with language. Having said that if I was staying for longer than 2 months I would definitely be making the effort to learn the language.

Rent, look at the following link to get some ideas, if you look at the top right you can select language, although not all of the advert is in English. Not sure how things are advertised where you are now, but one room here means bedroom and sitting area are all in the same room. 2 rooms would be seperate bedroom and sittting room.

www.homegate.ch

As you would expect, area dictates the rent. If you can get your employer to help you with accommodation for the first month or so then this will give you time to find what you want at leisure. Finding accommodation that is immediately available and that is somewhere you'd want to rent is not that easy. Having said that some apartments employers provide are small, but might be better as a temporary solution.

Yes there is plenty of night life here! You can even get the latest films at the cinema in English!

If you have any mortgage commitments overseas you may be able to get tax relief on that in your salary in Switzerland.

Food is quite expensive, most people seem to drive over the border to Germany for major grocery shopping. BTW a night out on the town can also be quite expensive if you are drinking, for instance 1 round of 4 alcoholic drinks (shots and mixers, not beers) costs around 60CHF.

Public transport is excellent and cheap.

Salary wise couldn't add value because of my UK commitments.

Best of luck, I certainly don't regret trying this out.

Lisa

Last edited by LisaM; 12.11.2006 at 18:14.
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Old 12.11.2006, 21:59
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Hi Lisa M,

If you have any mortgage commitments overseas you may be able to get tax relief on that in your salary in Switzerland.

Do you have any more info on this or point me to where I can get more info on this?

cheers

Brummie
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Old 12.11.2006, 22:47
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Quote:
<snip>
If you have any mortgage commitments overseas you may be able to get tax relief on that in your salary in Switzerland.
Your overseeas property would also be liable for wealth tax - though this is not designed to make the pips squeak...

Quote:
Food is quite expensive, most people seem to drive over the border to Germany for major grocery shopping. <snip>
Lisa
"Most people"? Some in Basel may, but I think most people have better things to do...
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Old 13.11.2006, 07:58
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Hi

Brunnie - My agency told me about the tax relief, all they needed to be able to deduct for this was proof of continuing payments, i.e mortgage statement.

Ab Fab - Wealth tax, what does this mean? I'm only here for a couple of months, will I still be liable for this one or will they just get me back in the UK?!

Thanks
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Old 13.11.2006, 09:28
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Quote:
Hi

Brunnie - My agency told me about the tax relief, all they needed to be able to deduct for this was proof of continuing payments, i.e mortgage statement.

Ab Fab - Wealth tax, what does this mean? I'm only here for a couple of months, will I still be liable for this one or will they just get me back in the UK?!

Thanks
If you are over here for a couple of months it is highly unlikely you will pay anything other than "quellensteuer" ie deducted at source and here you do not need to inform anyone about your "wealth"
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Old 13.11.2006, 09:56
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Quote:
<snip>
Ab Fab - Wealth tax, what does this mean? I'm only here for a couple of months, will I still be liable for this one or will they just get me back in the UK?!

Thanks
For anyone who is not clear on wealth tax (Vermögensteuer in German), it is requested on the back page (page 4) of the tax declaration (in Canton Zurich anyway). It asks for you Vermögen (wealth or assets) in both Switzerland and abroad. This includes cars, houses, life insurance policies, bank deposits, shares, cash in your pocket - the lot.

I do know Swiss who recommend paying all your bills before December 31 each year to reduce this laibility, but in reality the tax rate for assest is very low. In Canton Zurich this is very approximately CHF1 per CHF1000 over about CHF200,000.
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Old 13.11.2006, 13:24
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Quote Brummie
"Hi Lisa M,
If you have any mortgage commitments overseas you may be able to get tax relief on that in your salary in Switzerland.
Do you have any more info on this or point me to where I can get more info on this?
cheers
Brummie"

Brummie,
Hang on can I get this straight, we can declare an overseas mortgage on our tax forms?

Nick.
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Old 13.11.2006, 18:57
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Hey guys, you forgot about my original questions:-(( I need all the help I could get
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Old 13.11.2006, 19:12
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

most are covered really. Certainly 1-6
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Old 14.11.2006, 00:35
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Re: Zurich - An Opportunity??

Just some other comments :
- usually they say that you should not pay more than one third of your gross salary for rent. You should be able to get a 2.5 Zimmer Wohnung (1 bedroom flat) in ZH area for around 1,400 - 2,000 Sfr/month depending on how much luxury you need, lake view, near train / tram stop etc. You will need to look at several before you get use to what you get expect / value for money etc. Sounds a lot but usually its high standard
- Living expenses (food, restaurants, drinks etc) are high - but not nearly as bad as London or some other major cities
- If you're single - stay in the city. If you want peace & quiet or have kids then move out to the surrounding countryside
- If you stay in the city area - you won't need a car. Some have one for skiing etc - but the experience of getting stuck on the motorway to and from ski resorts at the weekend whilst whatching an express train wizz by really pisses you off...
- in the insurance biz - you should be ok with English. Don't bother trying to learn German before you come: The dialect here - Mundart or Schwyerduetsch is very different. Most Swiss people don't like to talk High German - you can slowly pick up the lingo or even enrole into Swiss German classes once you're here. You will make friends much quicker if you at least try to say a couple of words

Be more specific with some of your questions - its easier to give a more helpful reply

Good Luck
All the best
Roobarb
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