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Old 17.05.2015, 12:44
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Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Hi all

I am a new joiner (Irish) and potential expat to Zurich.
I am considering a job offer in Zurich. I know there is a lot to consider beyond salary but I just want to gauge what the 'real' difference between my current and potential salary is.

I am currently on €50k in Dublin, Ireland and have been offered 125k chf in Zurich. On the face of the offer (ie 2.5 times approx my current gross salary) I was blown away, since then I have been trying to crunch the numbers to get the 'real' comparison;

My net monthly income in Ireland is about €2900, (€2600 net with pension). Health insurance paid as benefit by employer.

Based on a few of the swiss tax calculators I found I am expecting 125k chf gross to net 8000 chf per month (is this about right?).

If I adjust my Irish net income up by 60% to take into account cost of living in zurich (60% higher than Dublin according to numbeo.com). This means I would need to earn €4640 per month equivalent in Zurich. If I convert that to chf at today's rate €1 : 1.04 chf), to make it all one currency - I am getting a comparable income of 4825 chf ( ie this is what I would need to earn in Zurich to maintain same standard of living).

If this is right then my job offer of 125k chf is approximately 60% increase on my current salary. My 'real' comparison is an increase from €50k to €80k (Ireland)

Do you think this is accurate or have I missed something big?
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Old 17.05.2015, 15:29
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Average salary in Dublin is 3.7k Euro / month
Average salary in Zόrich is 6.5k CHF /month

Your salary in Dublin is 4.2k Euro
For equal salry in Zόrich you should earn 7.3k CHF / month

Your job offer is 10k CHF / month

So your increase in salary is around 35%. It's a little different approach in calculation. But anyway what I see it will be definitly a big step forward.
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Old 17.05.2015, 16:00
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

This doesn't take in consideration cost of living though. Dublin has very cheap rents compared to Zurich, use this as a guide:

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...d&city2=Zurich

Everything is more expensive but your purchasing power is 60% stronger in ZH.

All in all, I think you will be a lot better off with 125k in Zurich than 50k in Dublin and your quality of life will explode. Both in terms of infrastructure, access to better quality food etc but also weather/access to mountains/lakes etc.

For me it's a no brainer, a very good offer. You'll be amazed how much you can save every month compared to Ireland.
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Old 17.05.2015, 16:05
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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If I convert that to chf at today's rate €1 : 1.04 chf), to make it all one currency
Please completely disregard the current exchange rate; it is not the result of economic fundamentals but of animal psychology. Do not expect this to hold - I hear stories from the days where the exchange rate was 1:1.70.

Your better bet is to really drive matters from the perspective of what you want to buy with your money - i.e. your local cost of living. One approach could be to calculate for-like-living expenses. This would then include items like rent (very high), car insurance (ok), going out (very expensive), public transport, food (meat-happy? Pay up!).

It's all about your own lifestyle, which will leave you with more or less savings.
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Old 17.05.2015, 16:05
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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This doesn't take in consideration cost of living though. Dublin has very cheap rents compared to Zurich, use this as a guide:

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...d&city2=Zurich

Everything is more expensive but your purchasing power is 60% stronger in ZH.

All in all, I think you will be a lot better off with 125k in Zurich than 50k in Dublin and your quality of life will explode. Both in terms of infrastructure, access to better quality food etc but also weather/access to mountains/lakes etc.

For me it's a no brainer, a very good offer. You'll be amazed how much you can save every month compared to Ireland.
Agree. Apart from the food bit!

OP. Also bear in mind that if living and working in Zurich, you really won't need a car. Public transport is excellent and cheap if you get a half tax card. Seems to me that you will be much better off.
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Old 17.05.2015, 18:16
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Great, thanks guys, I really appreciate your feedback.

The key thing for me is that it is not just 'a few extra quid' but a significant step up to really influence me to relocate. From the different responses it appears it is a significant raise.

I plan on using this as a milestone to start properly saving and reduce my general expenses (something I haven't been good at in Ireland).

I know it is very much down to the individual but from looking at different expenses I am expecting/hoping general monthly outgoings to be around 4000chf (2000 on rent, then 2000 to cover general bills, food, drink etc.). Which would allow me to save roughly half my net income.

As said I know it is very much down to the indivudal but does 4k expenses (incl rent) per month sound realistic or under / over estimated? (I am a single guy and won't have a car - I will have a subsidised travel card for zurich city area, subsidised gym and canteen).
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Old 17.05.2015, 18:35
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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Great, thanks guys, I really appreciate your feedback.

The key thing for me is that it is not just 'a few extra quid' but a significant step up to really influence me to relocate. From the different responses it appears it is a significant raise.

I plan on using this as a milestone to start properly saving and reduce my general expenses (something I haven't been good at in Ireland).

I know it is very much down to the individual but from looking at different expenses I am expecting/hoping general monthly outgoings to be around 4000chf (2000 on rent, then 2000 to cover general bills, food, drink etc.). Which would allow me to save roughly half my net income.

As said I know it is very much down to the indivudal but does 4k expenses (incl rent) per month sound realistic or under / over estimated? (I am a single guy and won't have a car - I will have a subsidised travel card for zurich city area, subsidised gym and canteen).
Realistic, maybe a bit low depending on your lifestyle, but you ought to be in the right ballpark unless you're going out to eat a lot (that's very expensive here - I typically spend CHF 100-150 for two people when I'm out).
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Old 17.05.2015, 18:53
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Thanks Corbett

This may sound like a silly question but when you say "going out to eat" do you mean a restaurant? I don't go to many restaurants in Dublin (would be a special occassion for me) but would often buy lunch at cost of maybe 10 - 15 euro (which is an expense I should really reduce)

Also I would usually go out to the pub / club maybe once a week (this is where my budgeting would go off a cliff as could spend approx 100 euro on a night out)
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Old 17.05.2015, 20:13
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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This doesn't take in consideration cost of living though. Dublin has very cheap rents compared to Zurich, use this as a guide:

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...d&city2=Zurich

Everything is more expensive but your purchasing power is 60% stronger in ZH.

All in all, I think you will be a lot better off with 125k in Zurich than 50k in Dublin and your quality of life will explode. Both in terms of infrastructure, access to better quality food etc but also weather/access to mountains/lakes etc.

For me it's a no brainer, a very good offer. You'll be amazed how much you can save every month compared to Ireland.
Thanks Troublawesome. I must admit I struggle with the purchasing power concept. Could you explain it to me?

I get confused with this in terms of cost of living. The general cost of living difference between Dublin and Zurich appears to be 60% higher in zurich (which I take to mean that if a 'widget' costs €1 in Dublin it would cost the equivalent of €1.60 cent in Zurich). In such case is my purchasing power not greater in Dublin? ( ie if I had only €10; I could buy 10 widgets in Dublin as opposed to 6.25 in Zurich, gaining an additional 3.75 widgets from Dublin).
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Old 17.05.2015, 21:15
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Financially you'll be better off in Zurich, you'll certainly be able to save more.
Dublin is not cheap either as it's also a capital city, I don't think you'll notice too much of a difference apart from the rent, and you can reduce that by having a longer commute or sharing.

As for quality of life 'exploding', I doubt that for a single guy. Sure there are mountains and lakes for the outdoor type, but the social scene and choices available in Dublin blow Zurich out of the water.

Personally I'd take the job, the worst case scenario is you don't like it and decide to move back. Dublin has plenty of employment opportunities, and you'll have some international experience on the CV.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Just my tuppence worth.
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Old 17.05.2015, 21:20
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Taken from my real life as an example: I wanted to buy a sofa from IKEA when I was in the UK and the sofa cost 800 gbp. Let's assume that this was 30% of my net salary there and that I was paid 2x the national average.

Here, the same sofa from IKEA costs the same. Around 1200 chf, roughly.

With the salary I got here, again 2x average, it's 15% of my net pay. I can afford something I couldn't before, even though my salary hasn't changed in terms of cost of living.

In CH you will find that electronics, gadgets and furniture are cheaper than even Ireland where wages are much lower. So you save a load there.

On top of that, you can always buy anything from another EU country for cheap and bring it here yourself. People do that for anything from a dentist visit which is 10% of the costs in their home country to bikes, car parts etc

I would say if you cook at home and manage your expenses you could even save 50% of your salary some months. Health insurance also costs 200-300 chf per month, unless your employer pays it. Shop around.

But remember, there are always hidden costs in CH. For example Billag is 450 per year, you need to buy garbage bags from the Gemeinde for 35/chf per 10 items etc. It's not much but search the forum and you'll find everything.

All in all, I think you're in a really good position.

P.S And of course TAXES. Here you pay way less than Ireland or the UK so you save quite a lot.
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Old 17.05.2015, 21:24
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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Financially you'll be better off in Zurich, you'll certainly be able to save more.
Dublin is not cheap either as it's also a capital city, I don't think you'll notice too much of a difference apart from the rent, and you can reduce that by having a longer commute or sharing.

As for quality of life 'exploding', I doubt that for a single guy. Sure there are mountains and lakes for the outdoor type, but the social scene and choices available in Dublin blow Zurich out of the water.

Personally I'd take the job, the worst case scenario is you don't like it and decide to move back. Dublin has plenty of employment opportunities, and you'll have some international experience on the CV.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Just my tuppence worth.
Thanks Fish Paste. I heard the social scene is a lot different in Zurich. I have some friends already in Zurich so hopefully this will help.

I agree, I am thinking that if worst comes to worst I can save for 2-3 years and return to Ireland with a decent nest egg (and hopefully my German will have improved)
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Old 17.05.2015, 21:28
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Let me second that, I meant in terms of clean air/water and public transport, natural scenery.

In terms of night life, clubs, pubs etc this is not where you'll find what you are used to in Ireland. It's not that bad but think of it like a village with a lot of visitors rather than a city.
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Old 17.05.2015, 21:36
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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Taken from my real life as an example: I wanted to buy a sofa from IKEA when I was in the UK and the sofa cost 800 gbp. Let's assume that this was 30% of my net salary there and that I was paid 2x the national average.

Here, the same sofa from IKEA costs the same. Around 1200 chf, roughly.

With the salary I got here, again 2x average, it's 15% of my net pay. I can afford something I couldn't before, even though my salary hasn't changed in terms of cost of living.

In CH you will find that electronics, gadgets and furniture are cheaper than even Ireland where wages are much lower. So you save a load there.

On top of that, you can always buy anything from another EU country for cheap and bring it here yourself. People do that for anything from a dentist visit which is 10% of the costs in their home country to bikes, car parts etc

I would say if you cook at home and manage your expenses you could even save 50% of your salary some months. Health insurance also costs 200-300 chf per month, unless your employer pays it. Shop around.

But remember, there are always hidden costs in CH. For example Billag is 450 per year, you need to buy garbage bags from the Gemeinde for 35/chf per 10 items etc. It's not much but search the forum and you'll find everything.

All in all, I think you're in a really good position.

P.S And of course TAXES. Here you pay way less than Ireland or the UK so you save quite a lot.
Wow, ok that is really interesting, so while the comparison of the dublin price may be higher in Zurich it is lower relative to your salary. Is that right? (ie the price may be higher but you can buy more of it because your net salary is proportionately higher).

Plus if you are willing to travel you can actual get the same goods cheaper thereby further increasing your buying power. I assume this option is a lot more accessible given the geography (ie Ireland being an island and all).
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Old 17.05.2015, 21:42
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Exactly, one other thing that amazed me here is utility bills.

In the UK I could pay up to 250£ per month for gas/electricity when it got super cold. Average was 100£ monthly for a 2.5 flat.

Here I have a 5.5 place and it was -5 to 5 degrees for 4 months and I paid an average of 90 chf (underfloor heating rules!). Energy here is way cheaper because of the nuclear plants in the country producing it cheaply and not having to import like the UK/Ireland.
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Old 17.05.2015, 21:54
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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Exactly, one other thing that amazed me here is utility bills.

In the UK I could pay up to 250£ per month for gas/electricity when it got super cold. Average was 100£ monthly for a 2.5 flat.

Here I have a 5.5 place and it was -5 to 5 degrees for 4 months and I paid an average of 90 chf (underfloor heating rules!). Energy here is way cheaper because of the nuclear plants in the country producing it cheaply and not having to import like the UK/Ireland.
As you said, it looks like a "no brainer"

I reckon I am going to take it, cheers guys
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Old 17.05.2015, 23:38
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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Great, thanks guys, I really appreciate your feedback.

The key thing for me is that it is not just 'a few extra quid' but a significant step up to really influence me to relocate. From the different responses it appears it is a significant raise.

I plan on using this as a milestone to start properly saving and reduce my general expenses (something I haven't been good at in Ireland).

I know it is very much down to the individual but from looking at different expenses I am expecting/hoping general monthly outgoings to be around 4000chf (2000 on rent, then 2000 to cover general bills, food, drink etc.). Which would allow me to save roughly half my net income.

As said I know it is very much down to the indivudal but does 4k expenses (incl rent) per month sound realistic or under / over estimated? (I am a single guy and won't have a car - I will have a subsidised travel card for zurich city area, subsidised gym and canteen).
4k its ok for expense for a single guy in switzerland. the big spends is the rent and your activities on your free time. Like cinema, partys etc...
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Old 18.05.2015, 01:11
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

Hi JDK

you might like to wade your way through this thread which, while it got a bit wobbly in some places, can still be useful, I think:
What lifestyle will we have
started by Pinkpanter, from Dublin, wanting to move to Switzerland.

Although the numbers and the family situations are not the same as yours, some posters showed great courage by posting actual figures from their budgets. You can tick off any items you do/do not share with them, and in that way compare.

Please remember that medical insurance is obligatory, but is something you have to pay yourself, i.e. not deducted from your salary.
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Old 18.05.2015, 10:31
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

I used to live in an expensive part of SE England. And had a lower but proportionally similar pay difference between my UK job and my Swiss job. I have a lot more disposable income than before.
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Old 14.02.2016, 12:24
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Re: Salary comparison €50k Dublin, Ireland 》125k chf Zurich

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I used to live in an expensive part of SE England. And had a lower but proportionally similar pay difference between my UK job and my Swiss job. I have a lot more disposable income than before.
Hi, i'm looking at applying for a job in Zόrich as a 3D artist, and as my job is not yet very common in Switzerland i can't find anything as a reference to what to ask for in pay. I also lived in SE England, at the time got paid 35k a year, and was doing pretty well on that. What do you think the equivalent pay would be in Switzerland?
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