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Old 05.01.2021, 13:58
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To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Hello All,

Long post alert.....sorry but I am really confused and it is a big decision for us.

So we are :a family of three (son is 4 years old)

Current Situation in UK:
I make £100k plus bonus, spouse makes £60k plus bonus
Son has just started in a state school
We live in our own place on the outskirts of London zone 6 and both of us work from home
None of speaks any German

Offer in Switzerland:
I have been offered a position is Basel 160k CHF plus bonus and relocation package
My who spouse works as a SRE (Site Reliability Engineer) in UK will need to look for a new job
My son will go to a state school
We will all need to learn German

So my questions are
What are the possibilities for my spouse to find an SRE job in Basel?
If you in my shoes keeping my salary package and current situation in UK in mind would you prefer to move to Basel or stay in UK?

Please pour in your experience. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05.01.2021, 14:38
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Financially you'll be worse off, £100k + bonus trumps chf160k (bonus on top?), then you also lose the second salary.

Does not sound like your wife would find that job here, but check monster, jobserve etc.

Baselstadt tax is @23%, Baselland a bit less, Aargau noticeably less, but then you're out in the sticks.

Last edited by Guest; 05.01.2021 at 14:52. Reason: Merging successive posts
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Old 05.01.2021, 15:03
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

It's all about what you're after. The combined income of you both in the UK offers you a life-style that your single-income here won't allow, at least not in the beginning.

Hence, the question is, is this worth it for you from a career progression perspective and from your family perspective from a broadening ones horizons perspective? It's a choice about priorities, not about money
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Old 05.01.2021, 15:04
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

There are a couple of things to consider.

First. You can always move back to the UK if you don't like it.

What is your motivation?
Did you want to move and applied or was that a job offer out of the blue?
Have you acutally ever been to Switzerland?
Have you talked about moving for a while? Does your wife want to move?

It will be not easy for her to find a job. So only move if you will be happy without her salary and she is fine with not working, starting a new career or has a lot of patience.
See if your wife can continue with her job from Switzerland (given that she worked from home anyway)


Permit:
I am not really sure what yolur permit will be.
Is the UK now a third country? Or not yet?
If not yet I would move because once the UK is a third country your chance of finding a job in Switzerland will be smaller. It will be much harder to get a job offer because everyone already living in Switzerland and everyone from the EU is given priority.
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Old 05.01.2021, 15:13
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

you'd be taking a financial cut to live in a better place with better prospects for your kid. if that sounds like what you want, do it.

maybe you could get the offer improved to make the whole things more palatable?
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Old 05.01.2021, 15:47
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

I moved here (Zurich) 5 years ago from London and regret it massively. You need to ask the following questions:

1) How will your wife feel if she can't find a job and is stuck at home all day in a country where people are generally not sociable? I have seen numerous marriages fail here when one spouse likes it and the other hates it.

2) Are you an "outdoors" person or do you prefer socializing/entertainment? The reality is that Basel (which I like actually) is small and will not offer anything close to what London has to offer. On the plus side, Switzerland is a great place for families if your kid is young enough to learn the language and attend the local schools.

3) What is your mind set? Are you an open, liberal minded Londoner who likes the hustle and bustle of a thriving city or would you feel comfortable living in a conformist, risk-averse and nationalistic society? Are you willing to learn German and integrate or do you see yourself living in an expat-bubble?

4) How easy will it be for you to return to the UK if you don't like it here? Big consideration for EU-nationals thinking of leaving England.

Best of luck and keep us posted!
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Old 05.01.2021, 15:52
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Can only second the work for partner issue. We had this in another country where we moved for my job, trusting my wife would find proper work. She never did which led to a lot of frustration.

I would suggest you inquire on that side before deciding.

Last edited by komsomolez; 06.01.2021 at 14:04.
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Old 05.01.2021, 17:03
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

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Permit:
I am not really sure what yolur permit will be.
Is the UK now a third country? Or not yet?
Yes, they are as of 1st January 2021 so any employment offer falls under the non-EU hiring criteria now. In which case should the OP decide to take up the offer, they shouldn't resign from their current job until they have confirmation that a permit has been granted.

The non-EU hiring criteria is outlined here

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

and the procedure here

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ensablauf.html
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Old 05.01.2021, 18:51
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Since I like living here, my recommendation would be to move. 160K+bonus is a decently salary. Just perhaps not as much as you're used to. And if you like takeaways and eating out, this is a very expensive country. If you like a lot of meat and can't shop over the border, it's also expensive. Booze is cheap, and many electronic items.

When we moved over, I went from £50K + fully expensed car + bonus, to 140K francs + bonus. At that time £50K was worth about 110K francs. With a non-working spouse and three kids, we weren't paying much tax. NI equivalent is considerably lower here.

It will be hard for your <S>wife</S> husband to find work, but not impossible. With the right skills and the right contacts you may end up working for the same company. You will need childcare provision. All day schooling and school lunches are not the norm here.
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Old 05.01.2021, 19:30
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Based on what you've written I would stay put. You have good jobs in the UK, no communication issues, know how everything works and your child is just about to start school. Plus your combined salaries and where you live means your quality of life is well above average, whereas in Basel it will be very good but not exactly comparable.

What I don't know is your level of affection or attachment to Switzerland, if its minimal then I would stick with what you have.
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Old 05.01.2021, 21:25
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Salary and comfort isn't always all that matters, so my 2 cents - where will your career be in 2 years of your current job and 2 years of international experience?

If your wife is an adventurer, the career transfer might suit her. She'd have to start looking now already. And it will not be easy.

It will definitely be great for your kid, but in a local school to soak up a foreign language and be independent.

If you as a family enjoy outdoors, camping, swimming, skiing and zipping from one language region to another, learning about new exciting places and trying different foods, make the move.
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Old 06.01.2021, 01:16
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

In your shoes I would stay put. This is definitely the wrong time to make a move.

Like most everywhere else, life here is anything but normal, and no one knows when things will return to normal.
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Old 06.01.2021, 03:51
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

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In your shoes I would stay put. This is definitely the wrong time to make a move.

Like most everywhere else, life here is anything but normal, and no one knows when things will return to normal.
That'd be the absolute least of my concerns. Coronavirus is not something to change your life plans for - especially as there isn't so much difference between the uk and Switzerland in this respect:

Last edited by HickvonFrick; 06.01.2021 at 04:54.
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Old 06.01.2021, 05:02
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Hi - we moved about a year ago from Zone 6 (Orpington so the polar opposite side) and I work in Basel. We also moved with 1 child (baby). I earned £80k, she earned £55k and I now get 160k CHF (inc bonus) - so slightly lower but comparable to you guys. She doesn't work in Switzerland.

Some things to consider:

Are you planning on having more kids? (I think this is a much better place to grow up than suburban London).

How important is working to your wife? There's a decent chance she won't find something.

Are you willing to commute in from Aargau to save tax $? This makes a sizeable difference.

Would you be sending your kid(s) to independent school in the UK?

Are you outdoorsy or cultural?

Is eating out important to you?

Why did you consider Switzerland?

Personally I'd move anyday of the week to get out of London - but I'd be very careful to make sure your wife's heart is in it.

Last edited by HickvonFrick; 06.01.2021 at 05:14.
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Old 06.01.2021, 12:26
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Correct me if I am wrong OP but from the information you posted, I gather you are at least 35 years old. If so, they are significantly undercutting you with a 160K offer (as is the case usually when making offers to people outside of Switzerland).

In my opinion, you are better off in London at the moment. Way too much risk involved with uprooting your entire family to somewhere where you have no contacts nor language skills.
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Old 06.01.2021, 12:42
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

No-one can decide for you. And I so agree with MC, money is certainly not everything.

Some of the positive points - your child is at the perfect stage to go to start school and learn the language very quickly- much much more difficult at a later stage. By the time he starts 'real' school at 6, he will be fully bilingual and integrated. Schooling is really good here, support given for new language learners, classes small compared to UK.

Yes, it will be difficult for your wife to get a job. so it depends very much on her attitude. She will be able to learn the language and dedicate plenty of time to this, and do other courses in Spring, when some sort of normality starts again- things she always wanted to learny and never had time for. And if you decide to stay and settle here, she will then be ready to run with it, having acquired the language. So I'd say it very much depends on her.

On the negative side, you will probably initially live in an apartment, not in your own house. Not necessarily a problem, but make sure you understand the washing facilities, or that you have you own washing machine or are allowed to get one installed.

Going to live in another country is so rewarding for most- and as said, so many do it with kids embarking on secondary school, and the Continental system makes it very difficult for them due to language issues. So for you kid- timing is, again, perfect.

And if you love outdoors, skiing, hiking, moutain biking, etc- Switzerland is a dream. And Basel is hardly a rural backwater- Id swap Basel for Uxbridge in seconds, for sure . Another great thing about Basel, it is so much friendlier than Zurich- and right on the border to explore France and Germany, and fast links to visit the UK, by rail, road or plane.

As always- just depends. I'd say, go for it- enjoy.
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Old 06.01.2021, 13:24
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

Love that everyone assumes the OP is a man with a wife. The OP is female according to bio..... she may very well have a wife, more likely due to Law of averages that her spouse is her husband though.
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Old 06.01.2021, 13:29
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

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Love that everyone assumes the OP is a man with a wife. The OP is female according to bio..... she may very well have a wife, more likely due to Law of averages that her spouse is her husband though.
I only hope she's laughing at, instead of being upset by, the EF's parochiality.
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Old 06.01.2021, 13:42
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

@Island Monkey @Axa

I have been totally smiling reading the replies (and my husband!). I was laughing when you finally caught on to it

Thank you all for your feedback. I am still evaluating all aspects keeping in mind the points that have been raised.

My husband is looking at job prospects. My son is at a good age to start in a new school/country. I am a generally a homebod enjoy spending time with the family and cooking. We do end up eating out when we are both busy and tired, I guess that will need to change if we moved.

Personally for me it a step-up in terms of the role so that is an attractive prospect.

I will keep you all posted on how this pans out and also may have more questions to ask

Hope you all have a beautiful day!
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Old 06.01.2021, 14:04
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Re: To move or not to move! (From UK to Basel)

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Love that everyone assumes the OP is a man with a wife. The OP is female according to bio..... she may very well have a wife, more likely due to Law of averages that her spouse is her husband though.
That is a good point. Which could be avoided if people would simply call their partner wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend instead of this rather weird habit of speaking about partner, spouse or - the worst of all - OH.
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