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Old 13.03.2019, 01:56
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Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

Hi all, my first post on this excellent forum. I've a big decision to make after been offered a contract role in Zurich.

The role pays 980/day but the contract simulation works out at 13,500CHF/month net. I just realised this would include 4 weeks holiday pay so it's based on 11 monthly payments. I'm assured that this contract can roll for years.

So, initially I was excited. My motivation for this is to save money over 5 years so I can buy a house in Ireland with my partner and child so looking to save 60K CHF/year over 5 years. Bottom line is I'll be trying to live in zurich on 7000 net any flying multiple times back to ireland. It's a massive sacrifice to leave my family but the prize is also massive. Would appreciate any feedback.
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Old 13.03.2019, 08:46
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

Soooo what's the question exactly? I hope it's not whether you can "live on this"... If it's "can I save 12k a year also known as 1k a month on this salary", then the answer is: I'd be very, very, very worried if you couldn't. If it's "can I still live a comfortable life with the remaining salary including flying back and forth between Ireland and Switzerland", then the answer is: this is almost THREE times the average household income in Switzerland (since you say the 14k are net not gross) - so that should tell you more than enough right there.
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Old 13.03.2019, 08:58
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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Soooo what's the question exactly? I hope it's not whether you can "live on this"... If it's "can I save 12k a year also known as 1k a month on this salary", then the answer is: I'd be very, very, very worried if you couldn't. If it's "can I still live a comfortable life with the remaining salary including flying back and forth between Ireland and Switzerland", then the answer is: this is almost THREE times the average household income in Switzerland (since you say the 14k are net not gross) - so that should tell you more than enough right there.
I agree with the gist of your post, but he’s saying that he wants to save 5k per month, not 1k.

OP if the residual CHF 8.5k is just to cover your living expenses and flights to Ireland (which I think are pretty cheap if booked in advance from memory, and you can buy open jaws to make it cheaper), then I would see no issues at all. Loads and loads of threads about this. If you have to send thousands back to Ireland every month to support your family, it would clearly be harder.

On that salary and with making the most of your money your primary concern, I would also suggest looking at living in Pfäffikon in canton Schwyz. The tax rate will be far lower and contrary to popular belief the rent will be as well. The downside is the 25-30 minute commute into the main station. It would also depend where in Zurich you work as that could easily double the commute again.

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Old 13.03.2019, 09:12
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

OP - you are aware that the 13.5k is after significant pension contributions (split 50:50 between you and your employer?, aren’t you?

Now coming back to your original “dilemma”, let’s strip down the 13.5k

Savings 5k
Flights 1k per month (even last minute weekend flights to Cork are around 500 francs return) and assumed you go home every other weekend

Residue 7.5k - in many cases this is only slightly less than gross income of a lot of people who support a family on this.

I think your bigger problem will be the fact that there aren’t any/frequent direct flights between Zurich and Cork so a biweekly might be quite tiring.
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Old 13.03.2019, 09:33
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

Living as a single on 7k/mo net is not hard to do at all. For me personally the trouble would be committing to do that for 5 years. Kids grow up awfully fast.

A shorter-term option would be to live student-style (say 3k a month - real students get by on less, mind, but they have some discounts and subsidies, plus an easier time finding shared housing than someone older probably will), keep the flights the same and increase the savings. Tougher row to hoe but would get you reunited a couple years quicker.
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Old 13.03.2019, 09:47
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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It's a massive sacrifice to leave my family but the prize is also massive. Would appreciate any feedback.



A massive prize................so you're saying your familly is only worth a lousy Chf 60k over 5 years, and this is a potential figure that could easily be far less


You're deluded
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Old 13.03.2019, 10:11
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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A massive prize................so you're saying your familly is only worth a lousy Chf 60k over 5 years, and this is a potential figure that could easily be far less
I think he was saying 60K per year so that's 300K over five years.

OP: instead - couldn't you come over here with your partner and child too?

Sure, it would cost a bit more but you'd get to see the kid and you wouldn't need to fly home so much.

It would be a cool experience for the kid too.
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Old 13.03.2019, 14:49
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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Hi all, my first post on this excellent forum. I've a big decision to make after been offered a contract role in Zurich.

The role pays 980/day but the contract simulation works out at 13,500CHF/month net. I just realised this would include 4 weeks holiday pay so it's based on 11 monthly payments. I'm assured that this contract can roll for years.

So, initially I was excited. My motivation for this is to save money over 5 years so I can buy a house in Ireland with my partner and child so looking to save 60K CHF/year over 5 years. Bottom line is I'll be trying to live in zurich on 7000 net any flying multiple times back to ireland. It's a massive sacrifice to leave my family but the prize is also massive. Would appreciate any feedback.
Let me give you a few observation:

- First off all it is a contract position that is going to be very expensive to the end employer. If they intended it to go on for five years it would be cheaper for them to hire someone and get shot of them when it suits them. Unlike Ireland there is little unemployment law here so it is not an issue. Take what the agent tells you with a very large pinch of salt.

- Second this is a standard agency contract, if you don’t take the holidays then the holiday pay accumulate in the ‘management account’ and the agency will pay it out at the end of the contract, so you can consider it a savings account.

- The math seems a bit off on the living expenses side: 13.5k - 5k = 8.5k, less 7k to live in Zurich thus leaving 1.5k for your family to live on in Ireland? Seems very low to me. Ireland is far from a cheap country to live in.

- Then there is the Irish Tax situation, which although similar to the UK but more extensive. Yes you would meet the often quoted 183 day rule, but you would fail the alternative rules that Irish Revenue can apply: Your family remains in Ireland, you pay regular visits to Ireland and have a place to live when there, you make regular cash remittances to Ireland, so you may still be considered Irish resident for tax purposes.

- I know 300k would not buy me much of a house anywhere l’d care t live in Ireland, so I wonder if you plan to get a mortgage as well. Once you reach the CBI rules for the minimum deposit Irish banks don’t care about the size of the deposit you have, they want to know your recent IRISH or Euroland job experience.

For me though the most expensive thing is giving up five years of your child’s life. Yes you can be there for the important events, but you’ll miss out on all the other stuff that happens. My kids are in their late teens now but for me the cost would be too high.
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Old 13.03.2019, 23:13
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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I agree with the gist of your post, but he’s saying that he wants to save 5k per month, not 1k.
.
I read it like that as well at first, but upon re-reading thought the target was 60k over 5 years, but now that I read it again for the third time I realize you are right

But actually even 5 wouldn’t or shouldn’t be a massive challenge.

Agree on all other comments btw but didn’t want to respond to that piece at first. It makes zero sense to me to come here and leave a family behind just to then buy some house. For a few months fine, but five years?
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Old 14.03.2019, 17:56
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

i don't think it so much of a massive prize - living expenses here (you'd have to get a flat and pay taxes here) plus flying back and forth plus being away from family ..it will drain you. But there is a way you can do it based on a couple i know. You need your wife to get a job here to at similar salary.


I know a family who live in one of the Baltics - have double income Swiss corporate salary - bought house in cash in thier Baltic home country after 8 years in CH, moved their teenage kids there. Really really nice house but cheeeaappp due to economics of that country.


And both fly every week back and forth to their Baltic home country ..uncles/aunts and home camera system monitor teenage kids when they are not there. Its only massive in the context of a double income - Swiss salary - older kids and willingness to travel. They keep a crap hole apartment in a crappy Zurich neighborhood - pay Swiss taxes and live their weekend life with kids in Baltics. Key here...Double Income ...then worth it if you want to sacrifies in my opinion some amazing years with children before they leave the house. They are tired from weekly travel.... but corporate Swiss salary is their key motivator.....that's the only way i think its worth it if you prioritize the cash. Swiss salary and travel to ideally a home in a crap country, keep your tax domicile in CH.


And..sacrifice seeing your kids become adults. Worth it? for me..no freaking way. Prioritize TIME with the wife and kid..you'll be happier 5 years from now.
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Old 16.03.2019, 13:46
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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Let me give you a few observation:

- First off all it is a contract position that is going to be very expensive to the end employer. If they intended it to go on for five years it would be cheaper for them to hire someone and get shot of them when it suits them. Unlike Ireland there is little unemployment law here so it is not an issue. Take what the agent tells you with a very large pinch of salt.

- Second this is a standard agency contract, if you don’t take the holidays then the holiday pay accumulate in the ‘management account’ and the agency will pay it out at the end of the contract, so you can consider it a savings account.

- The math seems a bit off on the living expenses side: 13.5k - 5k = 8.5k, less 7k to live in Zurich thus leaving 1.5k for your family to live on in Ireland? Seems very low to me. Ireland is far from a cheap country to live in.

- Then there is the Irish Tax situation, which although similar to the UK but more extensive. Yes you would meet the often quoted 183 day rule, but you would fail the alternative rules that Irish Revenue can apply: Your family remains in Ireland, you pay regular visits to Ireland and have a place to live when there, you make regular cash remittances to Ireland, so you may still be considered Irish resident for tax purposes.

- I know 300k would not buy me much of a house anywhere l’d care t live in Ireland, so I wonder if you plan to get a mortgage as well. Once you reach the CBI rules for the minimum deposit Irish banks don’t care about the size of the deposit you have, they want to know your recent IRISH or Euroland job experience.

For me though the most expensive thing is giving up five years of your child’s life. Yes you can be there for the important events, but you’ll miss out on all the other stuff that happens. My kids are in their late teens now but for me the cost would be too high.
Thanks for all the info. My other half is working in ireland. It's so tough, I think Zurich might be just too expensive but if I could buy a house at the end I'd be financially much better off in the long term. My situation means I'll never get a mortgage so that's my motivation. If I stay I'll be renting forever.
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Old 16.03.2019, 14:14
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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Thanks for all the info. My other half is working in ireland. It's so tough, I think Zurich might be just too expensive but if I could buy a house at the end I'd be financially much better off in the long term. My situation means I'll never get a mortgage so that's my motivation. If I stay I'll be renting forever.
I say, do NOT do it!
Nothing good will come from family split like that, you will grow apart.
I saw many many such cases (I am Polish and used to live in Ireland 2006-2011 in time when there was a huge amount of Polish coming) - many people did what you're planning. Many lost families like that, many had major problems recovering them. I am not aware of any story where such idea was a full success.
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Old 16.03.2019, 15:17
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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Thanks for all the info. My other half is working in ireland. It's so tough, I think Zurich might be just too expensive but if I could buy a house at the end I'd be financially much better off in the long term. My situation means I'll never get a mortgage so that's my motivation. If I stay I'll be renting forever.
In the last recession Irish households lost more in personal than citizens of any Euroland state because they ignored the basic rules of investing:
- They invested in a high risk asset class: Property
- They concentrate everything thing in a single property
- They borrowed to invest
- etc.
And it is not a once off event. They are on the road to repeating in the next recession.

I would not necessarily consider being unable to participate in this game as being a bad thing.
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Old 16.03.2019, 15:30
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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Thanks for all the info. My other half is working in ireland. It's so tough, I think Zurich might be just too expensive but if I could buy a house at the end I'd be financially much better off in the long term. My situation means I'll never get a mortgage so that's my motivation. If I stay I'll be renting forever.
Just curious, how can you earn 13.5K net/month here and not even have enough currently in Ireland to buy a house there? This also since your wife also works in Ireland. It's not that payments here are triple of that in Ireland.
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Old 16.03.2019, 16:44
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For various reasons I cannot get a mortgage and even though I have a good job tax here is 50% of my salary and getting more punitative. Rents are crazy too plus all sorts of other taxes means no real future in out situation.

And my net pay here is one third of my net for this offer.

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In the last recession Irish households lost more in personal than citizens of any Euroland state because they ignored the basic rules of investing:
- They invested in a high risk asset class: Property
- They concentrate everything thing in a single property
- They borrowed to invest
- etc.
And it is not a once off event. They are on the road to repeating in the next recession.

I would not necessarily consider being unable to participate in this game as being a bad thing.
Agreed, same ol mistakes will lead many to ruin.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 16.03.2019 at 17:58. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 16.03.2019, 17:26
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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For various reasons I cannot get a mortgage and even though I have a good job tax here is 50% of my salary and getting more punitative. Rents are crazy too plus all sorts of other taxes means no real future in out situation.
50%..?

You're married (I assume) so you pay 20% on your first 44.300,- (And your partner pays 20% on her first 26,300,- All income above that is taxed 40%

Also you say you have a 3rd of the nett compared to what you would have here.
A 3rd of 13.500 Chf = roughly 4.000,- Euro nett. which would mean using this calculator ( https://salaryaftertax.com/ie ) a monthly income of roughly 6.617,- Euro leaving 4.000,- Nett and an effective average income tax rate of 35% Even if your wife only earns a 3rd of what you have, and assuming you have no debts there should be no problem getting a mortgage for 300.000,-

For first timers a house of 300K demands a downpayment of 38K (which leaves a mortgage which you can get on only your income.)

I really don't see with these numbers why you must work here 5 yrs to be able to change your situation. If you would resign after 6 months here while only renting a simply room you already have way over the needed downpayment and you can return to your family.

Money is a great thing to have, but family for me trumps money.
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Old 16.03.2019, 17:26
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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Agreed, same ol mistakes will lead many to ruin.
Still better than the whole country betting on potatoes...
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Old 16.03.2019, 17:30
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

It's worth also to look into the taxation. If you become an ex-pat and a resident of Switzerland /for the purposes of saving much-needed money and buying a house/, you will still retain very close and undeniable ties with Ireland: your wife, kids, home, as in, the family nest, etc. For that reason you may still be liable to pay appropriate income taxes in Ireland. Speak with an advisor before you decide anything.

If tax people find out about your arrangements you have described above, they may get interested. I am pretty sure they are clamping down on this practice in the UK, maybe Ireland is a different matter...
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Old 16.03.2019, 18:29
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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50%..?

You're married (I assume) so you pay 20% on your first 44.300,- (And your partner pays 20% on her first 26,300,- All income above that is taxed 40%

Also you say you have a 3rd of the nett compared to what you would have here.
A 3rd of 13.500 Chf = roughly 4.000,- Euro nett. which would mean using this calculator ( https://salaryaftertax.com/ie ) a monthly income of roughly 6.617,- Euro leaving 4.000,- Nett and an effective average income tax rate of 35% Even if your wife only earns a 3rd of what you have, and assuming you have no debts there should be no problem getting a mortgage for 300.000,-

For first timers a house of 300K demands a downpayment of 38K (which leaves a mortgage which you can get on only your income.)

I really don't see with these numbers why you must work here 5 yrs to be able to change your situation. If you would resign after 6 months here while only renting a simply room you already have way over the needed downpayment and you can return to your family.

Money is a great thing to have, but family for me trumps money.
You're correct but I'm not married, I can tell you my tax situation is I net less than 50% of my salary, no bull that is the truth. If I could get a mortgage I would but I cannot, otherwise I wouldn't consider this move. Of course family comes first.
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Old 16.03.2019, 18:30
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Re: Offered/accepted a contract, but having second thoughts

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It's worth also to look into the taxation. If you become an ex-pat and a resident of Switzerland /for the purposes of saving much-needed money and buying a house/, you will still retain very close and undeniable ties with Ireland: your wife, kids, home, as in, the family nest, etc. For that reason you may still be liable to pay appropriate income taxes in Ireland. Speak with an advisor before you decide anything.

If tax people find out about your arrangements you have described above, they may get interested. I am pretty sure they are clamping down on this practice in the UK, maybe Ireland is a different matter...
Good advice, I will.
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