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Old 17.02.2019, 10:36
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Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

Hi there !

Thanks for reading this. I am currently working in the bay area, in the IT field, in a big company (not faang, but still pretty big). I have about 7 years of experience in my field, and currently making close to 350k per year(most of it actually comes from company stock, which has been shooting up). I am really not including information salary to boast about anything, I think that I am probably of average intelligence/skill, but the salary is important for the rest of the question.

Being in the bay area, there are huge opportunities for getting to new companies, getting promotions quickly and raising salary really really fast. In fact, switching to a new position, it would be pretty likely to reach 500k next year(or staying with the new refresh stock would probably be like 400k).

I am a European citizen and being in the US for many years now, I do want to come back to Europe eventually, but I also don't want to jeopardize the salary that i have gained through a decade in the US. After researching, I am seeing that the only really comparable location in Europe, in terms of salaries, is Switzerland.

I do know of companies like Google which offer similar salaries to here, that I can try to join, but realistically I may fail to. Thus, I am uncertain whether I really want to gamble with a move to Switzerland, since it would really hurt to go back to making half of what I am making now, plus losing opportunities for better things.

Therefore, I wanted to get a sense of what the market is like for IT people over there. I have heard it's hot, but looking at job positions around, it doesn't seem as hot as in the bay area, plus salaries seem to be lower (excluding outliers like google).

In terms of lifestyle, I would prefer to live in Switzerland(note that I barely understand some german and no french), mainly because a lot of countries are around(including my home country), thus allowing accessibilty. The US basically requires that I travel 15 hours to go back and forth to my place and I absolutely hate that.

What would you do if you were in my position ? I would love to hear suggestions, especially by people who work in the field and/or have experience of the bay and Switzerland. Would you stay put ? Or salaries are competitive enough that a move wouldn't hurt me much financially ?

Thanks a lot for reading again and I am really looking forward to discussing this with you!
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Old 18.02.2019, 15:53
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

Not an IT person, but if you're after money and quick career acceleration, then stay put.

If being closer to "home" is more important, then come here, provided you are well aware and ok with the fact that you are unlikely to find the same dynamics here than you are used to in the bay area.

Which of these factors is more important to you, only you can know.
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Old 18.02.2019, 16:02
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

The above post mainly. But also if you hold a Green Card you'd probably need to seriously consider giving it up since getting a bank account here is difficult with one plus you'd be obliged to continue filing US tax returns.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...-living-abroad

You could also owe them tax on top of your Swiss ones.
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Old 18.02.2019, 16:36
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

That's a lot of money mate, I don't think things are that dynamic here in the IT sector to where you could easily find a job that pays around 500,000 CHF per year...unless you really possess special skills/knowledge.

Perhaps it might help to list your experience rather than your salary in order for people to better answer your question.
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Old 18.02.2019, 16:46
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

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Hi there !

Thanks for reading this. I am currently working in the bay area, in the IT field, in a big company (not faang, but still pretty big). I have about 7 years of experience in my field, and currently making close to 350k per year(most of it actually comes from company stock, which has been shooting up). I am really not including information salary to boast about anything, I think that I am probably of average intelligence/skill, but the salary is important for the rest of the question.

Being in the bay area, there are huge opportunities for getting to new companies, getting promotions quickly and raising salary really really fast. In fact, switching to a new position, it would be pretty likely to reach 500k next year(or staying with the new refresh stock would probably be like 400k).

I am a European citizen and being in the US for many years now, I do want to come back to Europe eventually, but I also don't want to jeopardize the salary that i have gained through a decade in the US. After researching, I am seeing that the only really comparable location in Europe, in terms of salaries, is Switzerland.

I do know of companies like Google which offer similar salaries to here, that I can try to join, but realistically I may fail to. Thus, I am uncertain whether I really want to gamble with a move to Switzerland, since it would really hurt to go back to making half of what I am making now, plus losing opportunities for better things.

Therefore, I wanted to get a sense of what the market is like for IT people over there. I have heard it's hot, but looking at job positions around, it doesn't seem as hot as in the bay area, plus salaries seem to be lower (excluding outliers like google).

In terms of lifestyle, I would prefer to live in Switzerland(note that I barely understand some german and no french), mainly because a lot of countries are around(including my home country), thus allowing accessibilty. The US basically requires that I travel 15 hours to go back and forth to my place and I absolutely hate that.

What would you do if you were in my position ? I would love to hear suggestions, especially by people who work in the field and/or have experience of the bay and Switzerland. Would you stay put ? Or salaries are competitive enough that a move wouldn't hurt me much financially ?

Thanks a lot for reading again and I am really looking forward to discussing this with you!
Stay where yu are
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Old 18.02.2019, 21:44
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

It isn't impossible to make the kind of money that you are describing in Zurich, but the options at all levels of the tech ladder are nothing like the mecca that is the Bay Area, so it is hardly guaranteed (not that I'd say it is really guaranteed in the Bay Area either).

On the other hand, most people here don't have 1+ hour commutes, and those that do have specific reasons for them - to be in the mountains, in another country, etc. Things are more relaxed (and functional) in other ways. So it is really a question of priorities and quality of life.

Regarding logistics, I know people who have transferred between Google offices because they were ready to change countries. Especially if you aren't too focused on Zurich, you might find other companies with European offices and similarly helpful transfer policies.
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Old 19.02.2019, 00:06
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

In terms of money, stay where you are.
But, thanks God, there is more than money in life ...
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Old 19.02.2019, 00:57
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

I am in IT and I can tell you it is definitely not hot here. I interviewed for a lot of jobs last year and you would be lucky if you get 120K a year. Most of the work is bog standard anyway unless you work for Google. There are some startups but I doubt their stock will shoot up like the Bay Area companies.
As I said you will be hard pressed to find interesting work. Small country, small opportunities.

Work-life balance is good though and if you want a quiet life in a place where most people are snoozing through the winter, it is not bad.
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Old 19.02.2019, 17:19
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

My brother was in IT here in Zurich and was bored to death with his jobs. He moved to Berkeley last year, works at the Uni there as a Senior Software Developer and loves it. Housing is as bad as in Zurich, mavbe even tougher, but they finally found a decent flat.
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Old 19.02.2019, 18:24
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

Stay put.. average salaries in CH pale in comparison to SF.
However, in London they pay also very well if you know where to look, a friend of mine recently moved back from SF to London with similar remuneration in the fintech/startup area.
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Old 19.02.2019, 19:41
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

Typical Swiss IT salaries:

Master Graduate, Junior 85-95K
IT Consulting, Professional 100-125K
IT Consulting, Senior 125K-140K

similar salaries for IT staff in banks (asset & wealth mgmt pays better than back office/corp center)
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Old 19.02.2019, 20:31
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

Caveat 1: I am writing this post after epic hikes in the stunning AZ desert (which this time of year leaves the Alps in the dust), a Big Fat Family Wedding extravaganza, and a good olí dose of warm fuzzies, Chicago style. Just so you can guess which way my heart is tipping the scale at the moment...

Caveat 2: My comments refer mostly to financial IT in Switzerland, I donít follow what is happening in other sectors. Iíll leave that to others.


If money is a significant driver in your decision, think three times. Even back in the days of the Swiss IT gravy train - gone many years now - salaries for top IT talent on both coasts and in Chicago were higher than in Zuerich.

When you read of high Swiss salaries, be aware that while it is true that pay at the lower end tends to be higher than in some other countries, that does not mean that salaries increase proportionately as you rise up the skill ladder. Switzerland is proud of having less of a wealth gap issue than other big financial centers - meaning that the salary you are targeting is really not common anymore.

There still is something of an anti bonus culture in Switzerland, in fact it has for some time been a political issue. The glory days where a good IT guy working on a critical project could expect a bonus of several multiples of his or her base salary are largely gone.

Salaries for workaday IT folk are dropping... where those jobs still exist. Many have been moved to lower cost countries.

There are still interesting well paid fintech jobs, but nowhere near the numbers of yore. The competition is fierce.

So, if you are a niche cutting edge Google-esq sort, you may reach your target. If not...

Be aware that salary progression tends to be slow. So negotiate in at your target, donít expect to make it if you come in low hoping to work up the ladder.

Now as to the cost side:

If you are used to Bay Area housing prices, then you know what to expect. You might even be pleasantly surprised here. What kills me is the dearth of what I personally deem acceptable housing - decent sized single family home on a large plot of land. Where I live it simply is not available, even at many millions.

A hurdle to finding the kind of housing I am looking for is that there are so few houses available, at any price, and so many buyers in competition for them that often an outsider has no chance of buying. Other factors decide.

I own a normal Swiss house: that is, small and situated in a Quartier, without much privacy. To give you an idea of how my lifestyle here contrasts with back home: When friends from back home see our Swiss house for the first time they assume we have fallen on very hard times.

So... be aware that the difference in housing markets goes farther than price. If housing is important, make sure you do some research to see if your expectations can be met here.

As to other costs, much depends on your lifestyle. While prices here are likely broadly comparable to the Bay Area for many things, others will be higher. If you are used to a lifestyle where you count on hiring services, this is where you will see a big difference in costs and availability. And some services are simply not available.

And then there are taxes if you continue to be a US Person in the IRS sense. At the salary you are targeting you absolutely must get professional tax help before you get far in to the decision. I live in one of the lowest tax communities in Switzerland... but do not benefit one bit, thanks to my toxic blue passport. What I save in Swiss taxes I pay to the US... and then some, thanks to all the gotchas. All in all, I think we pay something like 5 to 8 percent more tax, all in, as a Swiss resident than I would if still a US resident. Taxes are a whole world of YMMV, so get professional help.

Finally, you need to consider lifestyle.

I always smile a bit when posters bring up the relaxed work culture. While this is true in many companies, others are similar to the work culture in many US IT companies. OH is in the office at 5am, home at 8pm, logged in constantly, just like back home. If a slower lifestyle is a draw, choose the company with eyes open.

We moved here at a time in our lives where responsibilities back home meant we could not take advantage of holidays or travel throughout Europe. Sure, that is due to our individual circumstances, but made more difficult by the above referenced lack of a service sector that in other countries would have made trave for us possible. A big ol YMMV, but again, eyes open wrt your needs and lifestyle.

So... if you are seriously considering the move, donít do so thinking Paradeplatz is paved in gold*, but look at other factors and consider carefully what you hope to gain, what non work, non financial aspects are truly important to you.

Good luck with your decision.


* Is the gold still vaulted underneath?
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Old 19.02.2019, 20:43
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

Something else that might help with the decision would be a trip here for a few weeks if you can manage it. That would give you a chance to look around, get a feel for the country, investigate job opportunities, housing, etc.

Also, as well as the various sticky threads here on the forum which give more info/links for further research, get hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after you move. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the internet. Make sure you get the latest edition.
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Old 19.02.2019, 21:39
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

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When you read of high Swiss salaries, be aware that while it is true that pay at the lower end tends to be higher than in some other countries, that does not mean that salaries increase proportionately as you rise up the skill ladder. Switzerland is proud of having less of a wealth gap issue than other big financial centers
That's a fair statement and I'm quoting this for future reference


Quote:
I always smile a bit when posters bring up the relaxed work culture. While this is true in many companies, others are similar to the work culture in many US IT companies. OH is in the office at 5am, home at 8pm, logged in constantly, just like back home. If a slower lifestyle is a draw, choose the company with eyes open.
Not just IT. It always irritates me a little as well. I can't exactly say that everyone has a better work-life balance here, that really VERY much depends on your exact job. Meanwhile, our US counterparts have a 35-hour week (vs our 42 - on paper), a thing called "summer hours" where they go down to 32 hours just, well because sun, and it's a well-established joke around here that you shouldn't even bother scheduling meetings for Friday and might as well end your business trip to the US office on Thursday as no one will show up on Fridays anyway. Of course this is anecdotal and not a universal fact, but still. Makes me smile just as much as you.
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Old 20.02.2019, 04:08
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I totally appreciate everyone's response ! Thanks a lot for your help guys ! I will be trying to quote and give my responses to the many posts that are here already. Thanks again !

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The above post mainly. But also if you hold a Green Card you'd probably need to seriously consider giving it up since getting a bank account here is difficult with one plus you'd be obliged to continue filing US tax returns.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...-living-abroad

You could also owe them tax on top of your Swiss ones.
I actually don't own one yet, but will apply for one shortly if i am to stay. I know what you are talking about though, I am fairly certain this applies for citizens though and for residents(which would be 1 year max for a green card holder I believe, since they would lose the status after that). But yeah, you are right about the double taxation thing.

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It isn't impossible to make the kind of money that you are describing in Zurich, but the options at all levels of the tech ladder are nothing like the mecca that is the Bay Area, so it is hardly guaranteed (not that I'd say it is really guaranteed in the Bay Area either).

On the other hand, most people here don't have 1+ hour commutes, and those that do have specific reasons for them - to be in the mountains, in another country, etc. Things are more relaxed (and functional) in other ways. So it is really a question of priorities and quality of life.

Regarding logistics, I know people who have transferred between Google offices because they were ready to change countries. Especially if you aren't too focused on Zurich, you might find other companies with European offices and similarly helpful transfer policies.
Actually, my commute is like 10 minutes at the moment. Since I have been switching jobs often, I always tend to find an apartment that is as close as possible to my new workplace Moreover, IT companies are pretty lax here, no long hours and the people are really really great. In fact, I really like my company, and if i can move with them, I will do it, it's just that i don't know about that yet.

Lifewise though, other than where money is concerned, I would really like to be in Europe and Switzerland has been one of the few places that seems to be combining good salaries on top of good living. The country appears to be excellent in terms of living conditions

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In terms of money, stay where you are.
But, thanks God, there is more than money in life ...
That's what it comes down to yes. I would be willing to compromise for like 20% my salary, but if that number becomes 50%, it just does not seem right, even if I would love to come back and work in Europe.

Unfortunately, the damn money is an insane lure.

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I am in IT and I can tell you it is definitely not hot here. I interviewed for a lot of jobs last year and you would be lucky if you get 120K a year. Most of the work is bog standard anyway unless you work for Google. There are some startups but I doubt their stock will shoot up like the Bay Area companies.
As I said you will be hard pressed to find interesting work. Small country, small opportunities.

Work-life balance is good though and if you want a quiet life in a place where most people are snoozing through the winter, it is not bad.
That's kind of what I was noticing too. It seems that the only lucrative option for IT people is Google at the moment. Most salaries i've been looking at have been at around the 120-140k ballpark(but i don't think any stock is included, and that matters a lot). I will be probably interviewing with Google at some point, but getting an offer there..not easy.

My work-life balance currently is really superb, it has always been like that in the companies i've worked for. Maybe i've been lucky, but based on what i've seen among friends etc, working in the IT field is generally pretty lax(unless apple or amazon i guess :P)

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My brother was in IT here in Zurich and was bored to death with his jobs. He moved to Berkeley last year, works at the Uni there as a Senior Software Developer and loves it. Housing is as bad as in Zurich, mavbe even tougher, but they finally found a decent flat.
He is actually like 40 minutes from where i live Housing is tough and expensive here indeed, but the money you make more than compensates you for that. Taxes are also quite high (probably by a factor of 10% more than Zurich I believe). I pay around 2200$ for my apartment here(though it's pretty spacious and in a great location). Inside SF, the norm is like 3.5-4k. So, yeah it can be insane.

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Stay put.. average salaries in CH pale in comparison to SF.
However, in London they pay also very well if you know where to look, a friend of mine recently moved back from SF to London with similar remuneration in the fintech/startup area.
London would be a great option, in fact i recently got a request from Facebook for an interview. However, based on what I've been seeing, the money is much less than its US offices, by a large margin. I think Zurich would beat London salaries in almost all cases, but may there are some exceptions.

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Caveat 1: I am writing this post after epic hikes in the stunning AZ desert (which this time of year leaves the Alps in the dust), a Big Fat Family Wedding extravaganza, and a good olí dose of warm fuzzies, Chicago style. Just so you can guess which way my heart is tipping the scale at the moment...

Caveat 2: My comments refer mostly to financial IT in Switzerland, I donít follow what is happening in other sectors. Iíll leave that to others.


If money is a significant driver in your decision, think three times. Even back in the days of the Swiss IT gravy train - gone many years now - salaries for top IT talent on both coasts and in Chicago were higher than in Zuerich.

When you read of high Swiss salaries, be aware that while it is true that pay at the lower end tends to be higher than in some other countries, that does not mean that salaries increase proportionately as you rise up the skill ladder. Switzerland is proud of having less of a wealth gap issue than other big financial centers - meaning that the salary you are targeting is really not common anymore.

There still is something of an anti bonus culture in Switzerland, in fact it has for some time been a political issue. The glory days where a good IT guy working on a critical project could expect a bonus of several multiples of his or her base salary are largely gone.

Salaries for workaday IT folk are dropping... where those jobs still exist. Many have been moved to lower cost countries.

There are still interesting well paid fintech jobs, but nowhere near the numbers of yore. The competition is fierce.

So, if you are a niche cutting edge Google-esq sort, you may reach your target. If not...

Be aware that salary progression tends to be slow. So negotiate in at your target, donít expect to make it if you come in low hoping to work up the ladder.

Now as to the cost side:

If you are used to Bay Area housing prices, then you know what to expect. You might even be pleasantly surprised here. What kills me is the dearth of what I personally deem acceptable housing - decent sized single family home on a large plot of land. Where I live it simply is not available, even at many millions.

A hurdle to finding the kind of housing I am looking for is that there are so few houses available, at any price, and so many buyers in competition for them that often an outsider has no chance of buying. Other factors decide.

I own a normal Swiss house: that is, small and situated in a Quartier, without much privacy. To give you an idea of how my lifestyle here contrasts with back home: When friends from back home see our Swiss house for the first time they assume we have fallen on very hard times.

So... be aware that the difference in housing markets goes farther than price. If housing is important, make sure you do some research to see if your expectations can be met here.

As to other costs, much depends on your lifestyle. While prices here are likely broadly comparable to the Bay Area for many things, others will be higher. If you are used to a lifestyle where you count on hiring services, this is where you will see a big difference in costs and availability. And some services are simply not available.

And then there are taxes if you continue to be a US Person in the IRS sense. At the salary you are targeting you absolutely must get professional tax help before you get far in to the decision. I live in one of the lowest tax communities in Switzerland... but do not benefit one bit, thanks to my toxic blue passport. What I save in Swiss taxes I pay to the US... and then some, thanks to all the gotchas. All in all, I think we pay something like 5 to 8 percent more tax, all in, as a Swiss resident than I would if still a US resident. Taxes are a whole world of YMMV, so get professional help.

Finally, you need to consider lifestyle.

I always smile a bit when posters bring up the relaxed work culture. While this is true in many companies, others are similar to the work culture in many US IT companies. OH is in the office at 5am, home at 8pm, logged in constantly, just like back home. If a slower lifestyle is a draw, choose the company with eyes open.

We moved here at a time in our lives where responsibilities back home meant we could not take advantage of holidays or travel throughout Europe. Sure, that is due to our individual circumstances, but made more difficult by the above referenced lack of a service sector that in other countries would have made trave for us possible. A big ol YMMV, but again, eyes open wrt your needs and lifestyle.

So... if you are seriously considering the move, donít do so thinking Paradeplatz is paved in gold*, but look at other factors and consider carefully what you hope to gain, what non work, non financial aspects are truly important to you.

Good luck with your decision.


* Is the gold still vaulted underneath?
Hi there, I really appreciate the long response Money is definitely a significant drive, I would say it's 50-50 to lifestyle.

I get the same vibe out of the current Zurich salaries, based on my research. Although, I initially hoped for something comparable, it now looks as if this may not be the case, unless Google

Life cost does not scare me at all. I've been used to it The Bay area is also very expensive, and in fact, looking at renting in Zurich looks cheaper than here at the moment. Moreover, having a high salary, cost of living basically becomes irrelevant, it's mostly about how much you are able to save per month and 500-1k doesn't make that much of a difference. I like to always think about raising my income, never really look into lowering expenses that much. I am lucky enough to not have to compromise on that, at the moment, at least.

Work-life balance has been great for me here. People are work super friendly and frankly just nice overall. I am totally happy with my company. On the other hand, the bay is extremely boring. Not much to do after work, which is one of the few things i really dislike about living here. I know that Zurich is kinda boring too, but the option of having so many countries to go to and being so close to my country is extremely intriguing.

It is a really tough choice, but I can't just neglect the career opportunities ahead of me, just so that I get more time to have fun. The good thing is that i am on my early thirties, so I can afford to spend some more years here.

Thank again for your response, it was really helpful

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That's a fair statement and I'm quoting this for future reference




Not just IT. It always irritates me a little as well. I can't exactly say that everyone has a better work-life balance here, that really VERY much depends on your exact job. Meanwhile, our US counterparts have a 35-hour week (vs our 42 - on paper), a thing called "summer hours" where they go down to 32 hours just, well because sun, and it's a well-established joke around here that you shouldn't even bother scheduling meetings for Friday and might as well end your business trip to the US office on Thursday as no one will show up on Fridays anyway. Of course this is anecdotal and not a universal fact, but still. Makes me smile just as much as you.
I can totally vouch for that. I haven't heard of the summer hours thing, but I know that my office is empty on Fridays haha

Frankly, I strive to do my work as best as I can, because I really want to be useful to the company that has trusted me with their tasks. But that said, the company and people are also very trustful and do not micromanage. As long as you are useful and good at what you do, nobody cares what time you go and leave from the office.

But again, this is not happening everywhere. I do have experience in the IT field though, and I can assure you that it's the norm in most companies of that sort.

Last edited by MusicChick; 20.02.2019 at 06:05. Reason: Merging consec posts.
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Old 20.02.2019, 07:55
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

You think wrong regarding the Green Card. The tax situation applies for them as well unless they formally give up the card by filling in and signing an I-407 form. I've also read that it's extremely difficult to get out of owing state taxes in California.

Green Card holders are treated exactly the same as US citizens here when it comes to getting a bank account. The bank requires you to sign a W-9 form to allow it to send the account details on to the IRS. If you don't want to sign a W-9 then you're going to have to provide proof (copy of I-407) that you don't hold that card any longer and will have to sign a W8-BEN form to open an account. Banks here are extremely wary of US tainted customers since FATCA reared its ugly head and most will not even consider you for an account. Your choice is pretty much limited to UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance, although maybe Migros Bank might also be willing to take you on. For the rest of them you can forget it.

To give you an idea of what it's like this is the questionnaire I was sent by UBS when all this started up a few years ago. These are Yes/No questions you have to answer.

Are you a US citizen?
Were you born in the US (or a US territory)?
Are you a US Green Card Holder (irrespective of expiry date)?
Are you a resident of the US for US tax purposes?
Irrespective of the Substantial Physical Presence Test above, are you domiciled in the US?
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Old 20.02.2019, 08:10
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

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You think wrong regarding the Green Card. The tax situation applies for them as well unless they formally give up the card by filling in and signing an I-407 form. I've also read that it's extremely difficult to get out of owing state taxes in California.

Green Card holders are treated exactly the same as US citizens here when it comes to getting a bank account. The bank requires you to sign a W-9 form to allow it to send the account details on to the IRS. If you don't want to sign a W-9 then you're going to have to provide proof (copy of I-407) that you don't hold that card any longer and will have to sign a W8-BEN form to open an account. Banks here are extremely wary of US tainted customers since FATCA reared its ugly head and most will not even consider you for an account. Your choice is pretty much limited to UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance, although maybe Migros Bank might also be willing to take you on. For the rest of them you can forget it.

To give you an idea of what it's like this is the questionnaire I was sent by UBS when all this started up a few years ago. These are Yes/No questions you have to answer.

Are you a US citizen?
Were you born in the US (or a US territory)?
Are you a US Green Card Holder (irrespective of expiry date)?
Are you a resident of the US for US tax purposes?
Irrespective of the Substantial Physical Presence Test above, are you domiciled in the US?
Yeap, I could totally be wrong here I currently hold an h1b so I haven't researched much. I understood that if you give up your green card or leave for more than 1 year, you would be non considered a resident for tax purposes anymore, but I can easily be mistaken, no doubt.

I will have to research that when the time comes though, If i decide to stay in the US. That's a good point. I only pass the presence test for the moment.
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Old 20.02.2019, 08:40
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

Given cost in the bay areas has exploded, I agree you won't be the slightest bit shocked in Zurich. Actually I'd venture a guess that it will be the same or even slightly cheaper. People sometimes compare the US overall with Zurich, but that's a bit of an apples-oranges situation. You say you pay 2200 outside SF (assume that's not a huge house with garden, but an 1 or 2 BR apartment) - roughly the same as you'd pay here if it's not literally in the city center with a lake view. Given the size of Zurich, you wouldn't be commuting for longer than 20-30mins wherever you end up.

But yeah, you won't make half a mill, though I don't think it will just be 120-150 either tbh. But as said, not an expert in that field. I guess you can start exploring options and see if there are offers and for how much. It appears lifestyle is just as important to you as money, so I guess it can't hurt to start looking and then decide.

You say the bay area is boring, guess that depends a bit on where you are exactly. When you say that, what do you mean? Zurich is small, half the size of SF (city only), and while all things and especially the size considered, it has a decent amount of things going on, it's not exactly NYC. But same here, depends on what you enjoy. Vibrant nightlife and lots of partying? Then probably not your best option. Have easy access to roughly every European place you can possibly think of, lots of outdoor activities, and an overall relatively relaxed lifestyle in that it's not NYC/LA/London-rushed - then jep.

Btw I agree with you on London, though for me it was Consulting rather than IT. The salaries are a bit of a joke these days...
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Old 20.02.2019, 10:28
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

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Given cost in the bay areas has exploded, I agree you won't be the slightest bit shocked in Zurich. Actually I'd venture a guess that it will be the same or even slightly cheaper. People sometimes compare the US overall with Zurich, but that's a bit of an apples-oranges situation. You say you pay 2200 outside SF (assume that's not a huge house with garden, but an 1 or 2 BR apartment) - roughly the same as you'd pay here if it's not literally in the city center with a lake view. Given the size of Zurich, you wouldn't be commuting for longer than 20-30mins wherever you end up.

But yeah, you won't make half a mill, though I don't think it will just be 120-150 either tbh. But as said, not an expert in that field. I guess you can start exploring options and see if there are offers and for how much. It appears lifestyle is just as important to you as money, so I guess it can't hurt to start looking and then decide.

You say the bay area is boring, guess that depends a bit on where you are exactly. When you say that, what do you mean? Zurich is small, half the size of SF (city only), and while all things and especially the size considered, it has a decent amount of things going on, it's not exactly NYC. But same here, depends on what you enjoy. Vibrant nightlife and lots of partying? Then probably not your best option. Have easy access to roughly every European place you can possibly think of, lots of outdoor activities, and an overall relatively relaxed lifestyle in that it's not NYC/LA/London-rushed - then jep.

Btw I agree with you on London, though for me it was Consulting rather than IT. The salaries are a bit of a joke these days...
Well, I am about 40 minutes from Mountain View, in a bit of a countryside-like place. So, there's basically nothing to do after 9pm apart from a few sports bars here and there, it is really dull. I would enjoy some better nightlife/options for sure. This is much much different where i am from(greece). There's always something to do here, anytime of the day/night, many many options for having fun, but terrible country to work here.

That's what I would really enjoy about Zurich for example. The amazing access to so many places, and the easy option of going back home at times. This is why Berlin has been in my original choices at first, due to it being a very fun place to be in, but the salaries range quickly made me drop the option
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Old 20.02.2019, 10:42
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Re: Move to Switzerland Versus Staying in the US

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Well, I am about 40 minutes from Mountain View, in a bit of a countryside-like place. So, there's basically nothing to do after 9pm apart from a few sports bars here and there, it is really dull. I would enjoy some better nightlife/options for sure. This is much much different where i am from(greece). There's always something to do here, anytime of the day/night, many many options for having fun, but terrible country to work here.

That's what I would really enjoy about Zurich for example. The amazing access to so many places, and the easy option of going back home at times. This is why Berlin has been in my original choices at first, due to it being a very fun place to be in, but the salaries range quickly made me drop the option
Yeah ok, so what you would get in Zurich are enough options to keep you busy, though at less of the general vibrancy that you find towards Southern European countries or the Berlins of the world. Meaning: you won't be bored as you wouldn't be out in the sticks, but don't expect the same energy as you find elsewhere.

Further, expect Sundays that are essentially dead in the cities, though in summer everyone loves to go and indeed ends up outside, by the lakes and rivers, and in other season most seem to be hiking or hitting the slopes... Funnily, my non-Swiss friends love that Sundays are so quiet here
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