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  #81  
Old 20.05.2020, 04:18
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

Thanks Doropfiz...You are very helpful :-)

I guess I could just sum it up that I'm just a bit scared to take the leap and am wanting to try and protect ourselves by knowing everything possible before we come - which I know is unrealistic actually, at some point we will just have to take the leap as we can't know everything in advance

We left Switzerland very optimistic 7 years ago to spend time with my side of the family in NZ, and have had a lot of adventures since then, but it has been rather exhausting and we are ready to settle back down again now as we have been burnt a few too many times with the "unknowable" factors ;-)

Our last move to Australia a year ago (for husband's work) has really sapped it out of us (we unknowingly bought a former meth house due to the real estate agency and owner being very deceptive - which has led to insane drama and stories we have survived through this past year! ) and we couldn't get out of it, so have spent the last year having to spend all of our money (and then some!) stuck trying to sort out the house and impacts from the house/renovate and make it safe and liveable again etc...since we are stuck here until we can sell it again, all the while trying to work etc, and make a social life here for us and the kids (hasn't happened) and are just exhausted and ready to settle back home again. We are at the tail end of this now and then Coronavirus hit and I think that was the last straw of being out on our own in a random place (Australia) and just want to be back in our community We have really good connections to an NGO near Geneva where we both volunteered when we first met, and I would love to get back involved and volunteer again, and we have a network of friends in the region :-)

We are too tired and feeling a bit old to have to go through a whole lot of rigmarole again so want to be really really sure we are doing the right thing...cause it will be the last move (we have agreed!) so no backing out of that if we do it, so really need to know what to expect ;-)
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  #82  
Old 20.05.2020, 04:55
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

In that case, I'd suggest you try to agree on the basic minimum that you need. Separate needs from wants. Possibly involve the children, at least to some extent, depending on their ages.

What is essential? What will make you thoroughly miserable if you don't have it?
What would be a relief to get back?

You've obviously been under a lot of awful strain during the past year or so. What have you missed, in that time? Would walking away give you more of x, and less of y? Identify what x and y are.

Depending on whether you and your husband are people who like lists or mind-maps, or scoring, you might allocate some sort of points or a ranking to the various factors. That might help you in your discussion, to find out what you each consider to be a point about which you just cannot make any compromises, what matters more to him than to you and vice versa, and what you'd be glad to see, again, if you came home to Switzerland.
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  #83  
Old 20.05.2020, 09:49
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

I really can't believe some of the things that I've read on here! That 150k chf per year is required for a good quality of life?! Granted if one arrived with a family in tow with nothing but a few suitcases and the clothes on ones back then it could possibly be a struggle, however I imagine this is very rarely the case.

First thing to remember is that no situation is the same. If one arrives with some cash up front then it changes things massively - ability to buy a car, put a deposit down on a flat or a house etc. Another thing is that the world keeps on turning, situations don't remain static and circumstances change. Costs change and incomes change. Children get older, partners find jobs, promotions and pay rises occur.

The result of all this is that there is no one size fits all answer. People need to find what quality of life is acceptable for them and their families. The majority of Swiss families get by on less than 150k chf a year though.

Finally, in Switzerland children are cheap, childcare however is not!
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  #84  
Old 20.05.2020, 10:17
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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The result of all this is that there is no one size fits all answer. People need to find what quality of life is acceptable for them and their families. The majority of Swiss families get by on less than 150k chf a year though.

Finally, in Switzerland children are cheap, childcare however is not!
I think what's really needed is for someone who has 4 young children in Switzerland to opine. There are clearly very divergent views on this, but I don't think anyone is speaking from a position of experience. This seems particularly true given this is largely an expat forum and the OP would seemingly have a local support network in place.
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  #85  
Old 20.05.2020, 10:34
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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I think what's really needed is for someone who has 4 young children in Switzerland to opine.
You and I actually know such a person or two.

Tom
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  #86  
Old 20.05.2020, 11:06
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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You and I actually know such a person or two.

Tom
Same here and in canton VD. Not easy and both of the adults work as much as they can, or try to. Imho the real crux will not be surviving a few years with 4 small kids, that is doable (teen years and older kids cost more than day care fees). But planning long term for both parents' pensions, if both adults have only say 20 years to work, ideally both. Which might be the reason that the OP's Swiss partner see it differently than her and the reason it has resonated in the thread as well. VD is not cheap at all and it becomes unaffordable for many after they turn certain age. There are local people moving out to France. Geneva is the same. So not only that one should ask parents of 4 kids and maybe one income as I understood, but also one should ask those who came here to retire: how easy is that, how do the trailing spouses feel, etc. OP will need her independence, as everyone does and not only in an expensive country. I wish her lots of luck (moms of 4 kids are heros no matter what in my book) and sorry to hear that their AUS adventure turned to a horror. I can so well see the appeal CH has for her and safety of her children.
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  #87  
Old 20.05.2020, 11:08
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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I think what's really needed is for someone who has 4 young children in Switzerland to opine. There are clearly very divergent views on this, but I don't think anyone is speaking from a position of experience. This seems particularly true given this is largely an expat forum and the OP would seemingly have a local support network in place.
I have three young children and live in vaud.
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Old 20.05.2020, 12:00
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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I have three young children and live in vaud.
You've still got 25% of your work to do. Good job we are on lock down
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Old 20.05.2020, 12:07
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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Same here and in canton VD. Not easy and both of the adults work as much as they can, or try to. Imho the real crux will not be surviving a few years with 4 small kids, that is doable (teen years and older kids cost more than day care fees). But planning long term for both parents' pensions, if both adults have only say 20 years to work, ideally both. Which might be the reason that the OP's Swiss partner see it differently than her and the reason it has resonated in the thread as well. VD is not cheap at all and it becomes unaffordable for many after they turn certain age. There are local people moving out to France. Geneva is the same. So not only that one should ask parents of 4 kids and maybe one income as I understood, but also one should ask those who came here to retire: how easy is that, how do the trailing spouses feel, etc. OP will need her independence, as everyone does and not only in an expensive country. I wish her lots of luck (moms of 4 kids are heros no matter what in my book) and sorry to hear that their AUS adventure turned to a horror. I can so well see the appeal CH has for her and safety of her children.
here daycare is ~2.5k per kid. x4 is 10k per month!
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Old 20.05.2020, 12:09
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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Shouldn't tell others to not post nonsense while claiming the median Swiss salary is 187K..

Median Salary in Zürich is around 7K/Month.
I am not claiming it. I even put a smiley at the end of the post. Someone needs to do annual service of sarcasm detector, it seems inaccurate. :P
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Old 20.05.2020, 12:19
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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The result of all this is that there is no one size fits all answer. People need to find what quality of life is acceptable for them and their families. The majority of Swiss families get by on less than 150k chf a year though.

Finally, in Switzerland children are cheap, childcare however is not!
This is exactly why there are answers saying 120K is a luxury on one end and that 140-200K is barely enough to survive on the other.

In the end it all depends on what one considers a 'good life'. Some people will spend a lot of money on rent for a tiny place in a desirable location while for others it is a waste of money. Those others might in turn be spending a lot on travel which someone else would consider a waste.

I believe some of the answers are on the extreme ends of the spectrum but it is clear that these days 4 children are above average for a family and it will cost more to house and run a car big enough for 6 six people. Besides, imagine having a day out at a ski slope or going to a restaurant or having ice cream with 2 scoops for each kid at 3.50 CHF for a scoop. Imagine buying plane tickets for 6 and booking 2 x triple hotel rooms every time the family goes abroad.

I think 120K will be enough for a family of 6 though if they are careful at their budgeting. Stick to one foreign holiday (if at all) at a nearby European country, limit eating out(or go to restaurants where children can eat for 10 CHF), get a second hand car rather than brand new, etc

I have the feeling the OP and her husband are likely to earn more so I wouldn't really scare them saying they will be on the bread line if they come back but the upfront costs will be big: deposit on the apartment, relocation from Australia, buying a car (if they intend to), decorating the new place (even if they move stuff over from Australia they might need things like new curtains, rugs etc). If they can come here with money to cover the initial expenses, it will get easier once they settle.
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Old 20.05.2020, 22:24
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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Isn't the average salary in Zürich around 90k? And for the rest of Switzerland around 70k? If this is the case, how on earth do all these poor families manage?!

Seems to me either expats can't budget, or most of Switzerland is mired in deep poverty
I am not sure this is always correct. Also here in DE many locals live on lower Salaries than most Expats and still many Families I know who live in one of the bigger Cities in so called "better" areas for Families - earn combined Salaries of ca. 130K EUR and is not enough to have above average Life.
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  #93  
Old 21.05.2020, 10:56
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

@OP wow, you have had a tough time.

I don’t think the issue will be financial if you have a secure job waiting for you.
You’re both Swiss, you can live on the other side of the border if really need be, though healthcare is far better in Switzerland. You could always work part time to up your family income.

Your only real hurdle will be for your English-speaking children attending school in Swiss German, and getting good support for your special needs child. On the other hand, the younger they are the more quickly they will adapt, so if you want to move, now is the right time while they are still small.

Quality of life here is excellent and ideal for raising children.
Take the jump, don’t overthink it, come home.

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Old 21.05.2020, 12:47
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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@OP wow, you have had a tough time.

I don’t think the issue will be financial if you have a secure job waiting for you.
You’re both Swiss, you can live on the other side of the border if really need be, though healthcare is far better in Switzerland. You could always work part time to up your family income.

Your only real hurdle will be for your English-speaking children attending school in Swiss German, and getting good support for your special needs child. On the other hand, the younger they are the more quickly they will adapt, so if you want to move, now is the right time while they are still small.

Quality of life here is excellent and ideal for raising children.
Take the jump, don’t overthink it, come home.

Excellent post but I just have one question. Why would the children be going to school in Swiss German if they’ll be living in Vaud?
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Old 21.05.2020, 15:10
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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Excellent post but I just have one question. Why would the children be going to school in Swiss German if they’ll be living in Vaud?
Oh, yes, you're right to point it out. This is such an easily made small error on Sky's part, and not at all serious, I feel. I've certainly made it many times, before, as have many others, in all directions, some of us speaking of Swiss German when the person will actually be in the French-speaking part, and vice versa, and a lot of us forgetting the Ticino altogether.

I surmise that those of us who trip up on this do so because we're inclined to feel that our respective "local Swiss language" is such an integral part of our experience of living in Switzerland. Yes, OP's children will need French if they're going to live in Vaud.
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Old 21.05.2020, 15:58
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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here daycare is ~2.5k per kid. x4 is 10k per month!

Yes but it would be rare that you have 4 at that rate. I don't remember age of OP's children but it's normally a case of some.start Kindergarten (free) whilst some.are in Krippe and some are in Krippe but older than 3 and pay less etc.
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Old 21.05.2020, 16:06
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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I am not sure this is always correct. Also here in DE many locals live on lower Salaries than most Expats and still many Families I know who live in one of the bigger Cities in so called "better" areas for Families - earn combined Salaries of ca. 130K EUR and is not enough to have above average Life.
You need to check out the definition of average - in Germany that clearly is above average. Maybe less luxurious than you might want but still above average.
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Old 21.05.2020, 16:49
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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I am not sure this is always correct. Also here in DE many locals live on lower Salaries than most Expats and still many Families I know who live in one of the bigger Cities in so called "better" areas for Families - earn combined Salaries of ca. 130K EUR and is not enough to have above average Life.
If one earns 60K and the other 70K they have net combined about a 100K if that ain't enough for above average life in Germany than those people are idiots.
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Old 21.05.2020, 17:07
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

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I am not sure this is always correct. Also here in DE many locals live on lower Salaries than most Expats and still many Families I know who live in one of the bigger Cities in so called "better" areas for Families - earn combined Salaries of ca. 130K EUR and is not enough to have above average Life.
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You need to check out the definition of average - in Germany that clearly is above average. Maybe less luxurious than you might want but still above average.
So lag 2019 das Durchschnittsgehalt für Fach- und Führungskräfte in den alten Bundesländern bei 4.835 Euro und in den neuen Bundesländern bei 4.008 Euro monatlich.

Average salary in 4.835 EUR (and 4.008 in the new Bundesländer) = 58.020 EUR. If you cannot live comfortably off 130 k (2,24 times higher), you might want to check what you are spending in my opinion. Even with the high taxes you´d still have a lot of money comparatively.
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Old 21.05.2020, 22:14
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Re: Finding out minimum salary needed to survive/thrive for family with 4 kids in Vau

Oops sorry, for some reason I thought they were moving to the Swiss German parts.
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