Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28.01.2016, 12:47
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 1 Post
nickmartin has no particular reputation at present
Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Hello,

I just received a job offer in Geneva paying 155KCHF gross + 15% bonus (no additional benefits).
My current salary in Singapore is 152KSGD gross + 15% bonus (i.e. 108KCHF + 15%)

The question is: Will this salary provide me with the same standard of living as in Singapore. If not, what salary level should I target?

My family situation is as follows: 2 adults + 1 son under 3. I want to own at least one mid-range car (have no car in Singapore though), put my son to the kindergarden, travel in the mountains on weekends (skiing, etc.) and have 4 vacations in Europe per year (with flights). 1 intercontinental flight as well. Eat out decently twice a week. Cleaner once a week. Babysitter 2x per month or so.

Thanks for advising, as this is a difficult decision to make. Again, please provide a view purely based on financials, not looking at the quality of life of both places and other qualitative aspects.

Thank you.

Nick
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 28.01.2016, 13:13
Treverus's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SZ
Posts: 9,129
Groaned at 212 Times in 175 Posts
Thanked 16,113 Times in 5,904 Posts
Treverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Well, what I wrote about living in SG when you are used to Switzerland applies the same: Life styles are different, so if you are willing to adapt to live like a Swiss will you have no issue at all.

- Swiss people love their cars. You can easily afford a very decent one on your salary.
- Restaurants are expensive (and arguably pretty bad...)
- Kindergarden are a serious cost factor. I don't have kids, so will leave it to others to comment on how much... but most Swiss I know just send their kids there if the mum is working.
- travelling: not as cheap as in South East Asia, but possible. Depends of course on what level of luxury you are planning on. Getting a five star hotel for 100 SGD a night in KL is something you won't find in Europe.
- babysitter, part time cleaner, skiing and so on: not a problem. But prepared to be shocked by the prices. A part time cleaner will cost around 50 SGD. PER HOUR! So many Swiss prefer to clean on their own...

Bottom line: You got a good salary in either location. I can fully understand you coming to Europe to explore another part of the world and encourage you to do so. That's what I did when I came to SG. However, don't fall for the high salary alone, but understand that you will have a very comfortable life, but not in great luxury. And that the life styles differ - you will never afford a full time house keeper for example.
__________________
There is a special place in Hull reserved for the guy who invented autocorrect.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank Treverus for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 28.01.2016, 13:43
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 8,982
Groaned at 491 Times in 378 Posts
Thanked 11,601 Times in 4,544 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Hello,

I just received a job offer in Geneva paying 155KCHF gross + 15% bonus (no additional benefits).
My current salary in Singapore is 152KSGD gross + 15% bonus (i.e. 108KCHF + 15%)

The question is: Will this salary provide me with the same standard of living as in Singapore. If not, what salary level should I target?

My family situation is as follows: 2 adults + 1 son under 3. I want to own at least one mid-range car (have no car in Singapore though), put my son to the kindergarden, travel in the mountains on weekends (skiing, etc.) and have 4 vacations in Europe per year (with flights). 1 intercontinental flight as well. Eat out decently twice a week. Cleaner once a week. Babysitter 2x per month or so.

Thanks for advising, as this is a difficult decision to make. Again, please provide a view purely based on financials, not looking at the quality of life of both places and other qualitative aspects.

Thank you.

Nick
Have you done any research of your own using the forum search function to find the many well-discussed "cost of living" threads that have already been discussed many times on the forum and that already contain this kind of information?
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Richdog for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 28.01.2016, 13:59
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 1 Post
nickmartin has no particular reputation at present
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Hi Richdog,

I did indeed, but I wasn't able to find answers to the question of equivalent salary between Singapore and Geneva (same "standard of living"). Lifestyle being so different, it's not an easy question to answer. Sites like Numbeo give you a very skewed view on cost of living as they do not take into account a number of important location-specific factors.

That said the answer of Treverus is very helpful already. I would appreciate the perspective of someone who has toddlers to complement his view.

Thanks.

Nick
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 28.01.2016, 14:11
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 8,982
Groaned at 491 Times in 378 Posts
Thanked 11,601 Times in 4,544 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Hi Richdog,

I did indeed, but I wasn't able to find answers to the question of equivalent salary between Singapore and Geneva (same "standard of living"). Lifestyle being so different, it's not an easy question to answer. Sites like Numbeo give you a very skewed view on cost of living as they do not take into account a number of important location-specific factors.

That said the answer of Treverus is very helpful already. I would appreciate the perspective of someone who has toddlers to complement his view.

Thanks.

Nick
Well I think if you take the 155k overall salary, minus around 25% tax, and then research the cost of the Swiss things that matter to you (food is on the forum in detail, health insurance is on the forum in detail, schools are on the forum in detail, general everyday things are on the forum in detail, flights you can research at Swiss.com), then you should come up with a rough idea of how good your quality of life will be by what you are able to afford and what you will be left with after that is all taken away. It's what everyone else does.

Switzerland has some of the highest standards of living, so that should not be a concern. What you need to work out yourself is what your needs are as in the OP, what your rough expenditure will be from your research on the forum, and see if you can live with the remaining figures you get.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Richdog for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 28.01.2016, 14:13
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Aargau
Posts: 1,459
Groaned at 11 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 1,631 Times in 806 Posts
Mullhollander has a reputation beyond reputeMullhollander has a reputation beyond reputeMullhollander has a reputation beyond reputeMullhollander has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

There's a book written by a Singaporean about her experiences in Geneva and in Switzerland. It was written in about 1995 and so may no longer be fully up-to-date. It's called "Culture Shock! Switzerland" by Shirley Eu-Wong.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28.01.2016, 14:24
Treverus's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SZ
Posts: 9,129
Groaned at 212 Times in 175 Posts
Thanked 16,113 Times in 5,904 Posts
Treverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
There's a book written by a Singaporean about her experiences in Geneva and in Switzerland. It was written in about 1995 and so may no longer be fully up-to-date. It's called "Culture Shock! Switzerland" by Shirley Eu-Wong.
Singapore has changed a lot even within the five years I have stayed there, but: Has anything changed in Switzerland since 1995?
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Treverus for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 28.01.2016, 15:01
eyebeebe's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Pfäffikon SZ
Posts: 1,036
Groaned at 11 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 868 Times in 436 Posts
eyebeebe has a reputation beyond reputeeyebeebe has a reputation beyond reputeeyebeebe has a reputation beyond reputeeyebeebe has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Assuming (generously) you get to keep 70% of your salary after social security, pension and tax costs, leaves you with 110k. I would figure on spending 60k on rent, domestic bills and groceries. A further 10k on health insurance. That's the necessities dealt with - you have 39k left.

Decent dinner out is going to cost 150 a time upwards. Twice a week is 16k a year.

Figure 2 hours a week for a cleaner at 40 an hour. That's another 4k. You are down to 19k left over. I have no idea about Kindergarten other than it isn't cheap. It could well wipe out the 19k.

Then you have the car, the skiing, the trips to add in from your list. Maybe you want some savings?

I've purposely ignored your bonus - it's a bonus and can't be relied on for your day to day living costs.

TLDR: I reckon you need another 30-50k net (40-70k gross) to live the lifestyle you are describing.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank eyebeebe for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 28.01.2016, 15:29
kayakdad's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Basel
Posts: 58
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 50 Times in 26 Posts
kayakdad has earned some respectkayakdad has earned some respect
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

I would advise you to maybe scale back your ambitions around the travel and dining out. Also, no one seems to have discussed the cost of healthcare and how that impacts your cost of living (hint: a lot). 155k CHF is a decent salary, and you can have a good quality of life, but it won't cover the jet set life style.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 28.01.2016, 15:45
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 8,982
Groaned at 491 Times in 378 Posts
Thanked 11,601 Times in 4,544 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Assuming (generously) you get to keep 70% of your salary after social security, pension and tax costs, leaves you with 110k. I would figure on spending 60k on rent, domestic bills and groceries. A further 10k on health insurance. That's the necessities dealt with - you have 39k left.

Decent dinner out is going to cost 150 a time upwards. Twice a week is 16k a year.

Figure 2 hours a week for a cleaner at 40 an hour. That's another 4k. You are down to 19k left over. I have no idea about Kindergarten other than it isn't cheap. It could well wipe out the 19k.

Then you have the car, the skiing, the trips to add in from your list. Maybe you want some savings?

I've purposely ignored your bonus - it's a bonus and can't be relied on for your day to day living costs.

TLDR: I reckon you need another 30-50k net (40-70k gross) to live the lifestyle you are describing.
Ouch. While I think that estimate may be a bit much (household stuff), if I were the OP I would forget the "eating out decently 2x per week" part and instead get cooking some decent food and eat out once fortnightly or monthly. I'd also cut down on the vacations (or vacation within Switzerland for a portion of them), and downspec the car to something used and older but still respectable. On top of that, clean my own apartment.

Then I'd get my wife a job.

I think the long and short of it is that it will not be the same level of luxury as in cheap labour, not-big-on-human-rights places like Singapore where expats live like kings on the back of menial labour.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 28.01.2016, 15:51
adrianlondon's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 8,662
Groaned at 179 Times in 162 Posts
Thanked 23,821 Times in 6,414 Posts
adrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
60k on rent, domestic bills and groceries ..... 10k on health insurance
Really?
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank adrianlondon for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:07
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 9,516
Groaned at 336 Times in 272 Posts
Thanked 16,783 Times in 6,410 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Really?
60k per year based on:
4k per month in rent (around Geneva would seem about right for a decent sized place in a good location)
2*mobile phones on a good package = 200 per month
1,200 on food per month
200 per month for travel
TOTAL 68k

10k health might be a bit high - or is it?
250*3 = 750 *12 = 9k - so saving 1k per year - which you'll go through on appointments!
RUNNING SUM 78K

Ditch the cleaner and eat out once every 2 weeks as a couple (26*150) and 1 per week with colleagues (45 * 40)
RUNNING SUM 84K

Kindergarten - 1k per month??
RUNNING SUN 96K

Assuming that you take home 75% - which considering you are married with a child is perhaps a better guess then that leaves:
116k - 96k = 20K

20k/12 = 1700 per month
__________________
#kenistan_wc2018
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank dodgyken for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:11
eyebeebe's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Pfäffikon SZ
Posts: 1,036
Groaned at 11 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 868 Times in 436 Posts
eyebeebe has a reputation beyond reputeeyebeebe has a reputation beyond reputeeyebeebe has a reputation beyond reputeeyebeebe has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Really?
Yes - per month 3k for an apartment, 2k to cover food, utilities, mobiles, internet, clothes, household items, transport cards.

800 a month for health insurance for 2 adults and a child seems about right.

Do you think too high or too low?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank eyebeebe for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:25
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Zürich
Posts: 715
Groaned at 8 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 1,142 Times in 410 Posts
Trollemor has a reputation beyond reputeTrollemor has a reputation beyond reputeTrollemor has a reputation beyond reputeTrollemor has a reputation beyond reputeTrollemor has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

You'll have to prioritise. We travel A LOT (really), but we find our budget doesn't allow for decent dining out during the week, especially if it involved getting a baysitter for the Troll. We've also cut in buying clothes and other stuff we don't really need, and we do a lot of our shopping (for instance clothes for the Troll) when we are abroad. But we have a car, a cleaner, plenty of wine and I'm a good cook.

Another thing, is that if Trollefar's company wasn't paying for the Troll's school (or his nursery before he started school), there is no way we could afford it without me working. Which is why I'm looking for a job now.

I made the calculations, and to ensure we had a lifestyle approaching what you're talking about while living in Zürich in addition to save for rainy days, we'd have to bring in 215,000.00 per year.

I don't know about the cost of living in Geneva, but I'd reconsider the dining out, the full-time nursery (but try to find a solution for a few hours each week, that should work) and focus on bringing down travel costs (less plane and more train within Europe).
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:32
adrianlondon's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 8,662
Groaned at 179 Times in 162 Posts
Thanked 23,821 Times in 6,414 Posts
adrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Do you think too high or too low?
I assumed too high. Didn't realise health insurance for a 3 year old would be 3000/year nor that a 2-3 bed apartment would be 4000/month. Geneva is mad!
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank adrianlondon for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:34
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 8,982
Groaned at 491 Times in 378 Posts
Thanked 11,601 Times in 4,544 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Yes - per month 3k for an apartment, 2k to cover food, utilities, mobiles, internet, clothes, household items, transport cards.

800 a month for health insurance for 2 adults and a child seems about right.

Do you think too high or too low?
I would say he could realistically do:
  • 3-room apartment depending on area: 2500-3000 x 12 = 30000-36000
  • Helath insurance for a family on Family Doctor plan with parents on 2000chf franchise and child on 500chf franchise = 620 x 7440chf
  • Mobile he can probably get on work contract. Mobile for wife = 40 x 12 = 480
  • Internet = 777chf per year
  • Transport cards = 2x central zone passes = 160chf

= 38857-44857 chf

That still leaves a budgetable bit for other bills and household stuff imo.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:36
Belgianmum's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Was Belgium now Neuchâtel
Posts: 7,928
Groaned at 58 Times in 55 Posts
Thanked 9,812 Times in 4,731 Posts
Belgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
I assumed too high. Didn't realise health insurance for a 3 year old would be 3000/year nor that a 2-3 bed apartment would be 4000/month. Geneva is mad!
I can believe it may cost 4000/month for an apartment in Geneva but even if you include supplementary insurance on top of the basic it won't be anywhere near 3000chf/year for health insurance for a 3 year old.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:38
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 9,516
Groaned at 336 Times in 272 Posts
Thanked 16,783 Times in 6,410 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
I would say he could realistically do:
  • 3-4.5 room apartment size depending on Kreis: 2500 x 12 = 30000
  • Helath insurance for a family on Family Doctor plan with parents on 2000chf franchise and child on 500chf franchise = 620 chf
  • Mobile he can probably get on work contract. Mobile for wife = 40 x 12 = 480
  • Internet = 777chf per year
  • Transport cards = 2x zone 110 passes = 160chf
= 32037 chf

That still leaves a fair bit for other bills and household stuff imo.
Your rent looks way too low for Geneva - and you I assume you deliberately forgot to multiply the health insurance by 12 - and the travel
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:41
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 8,982
Groaned at 491 Times in 378 Posts
Thanked 11,601 Times in 4,544 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Your rent looks way too low for Geneva - and you I assume you deliberately forgot to multiply the health insurance by 12 - and the travel
Brainfart on my side, corrected.

I know people who live in Geneva in 3 rooms for those prices. Not central, but not miles away either.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 28.01.2016, 16:44
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 9,516
Groaned at 336 Times in 272 Posts
Thanked 16,783 Times in 6,410 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Geneva vs. Singapore - Equivalent Salary

Quote:
View Post
Brainfart on my side, corfrected.

I know people who live in Geneva in 3 rooms for those prices. Not central, but not miles away either.
You've also priced on what "can" be done - I suspect myself and Eyebeebe have priced based on the tone used by the OP. Anyone expecting to transplant their SG lifestyle to Switzerland has done bugger all research and therefore deserves a literal breakdown of costs.

The OPs SG salary is taxed at 8.8% (give or take) - Geneva can't get close to that
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank dodgyken for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
what is the equivalent salary in geneva for £32000 in London? henna2009 Employment 18 25.10.2013 08:47
Salary equivalent in CHF dodoGB Finance/banking/taxation 14 21.08.2013 14:33
CHF salary equivalent in GBP dodoGB Leaving Switzerland 25 23.04.2013 20:57
A good salary, equivalent salary? hazzza Employment 0 14.05.2009 20:04
London Vs Geneva salary Alty938 Employment 25 07.01.2008 08:42


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:41.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0