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Old 05.12.2011, 10:38
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Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

I'm going to be terribly vulgar and talk about money- we will be moving to Baden in February. Husband will be earning CHF 80 000 so we think that if we live in a village outside Baden and are careful with money we should be able to survive financially for now. However, after a year husband will have a pay cut and have to pay tax as he will be changing funding bodies (he is exempt from paying tax on his current funding as he is technically a foreign researcher). His boss has said he may be able to top his wage up but this is not certain.

Husband has started dropping large hints about my returning to work to ease the financial pressure and allow us to save some money. This is fine, but we have two children aged 2 and 3 months respectively. I would hopefully earn ~CHF 80 000 as a researcher, but I would have to work in Basel so would pay ~30% tax (from what I understand). Speaking to Swiss expats here in UK, it seems childcare is expensive and hard to find- is there any truth in this? Are we actually going to break even after paying for childcare?

Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:33
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

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Speaking to Swiss expats here in UK, it seems childcare is expensive and hard to find- is there any truth in this? Are we actually going to break even after paying for childcare?
Yes. and maybe. Search and you will find some info.

In general, a fulltime daycare situation will be about 2,000-2,500 chf per month per child. There are usually reductions for the second child, and sometimes subsidies if you qualify.

That being said, you may want to search other childcare options, such as nanny, maman du jour, flexible working hours/work at home, etc. which can make it much more cost effective.
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Old 05.12.2011, 12:27
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

And your potential employer will need to be very flexible. You need to take into account school holidays (a couple of extended ones fall, winter, spring) sick days if using nanny, or kids are sick. You will need to workout dropoffs and pickups if using daycare, assuming you can find one that will take them. Are you planning on staying in Switzerland? If so, then it will get easier as they will learn German and can go to local school down the road.

80K will be very tight. Assume 20-25% of that will go towards taxes, pension, etc. So you are down to 60K lets say. At least 2K housing I would think, so there is another 24K so down to 36K. 1K a month groceries so down to 24K. Medical insurance lets just say 1K per month for ease, could be more could be less so down to 12k. Do your own additions to the expenses for travel, clothes, fun, etc.

So a second income is needed I would say. Of course, at 4-5K per month for childcare, that will eat up most of the second income but then that will be temporary for 3-4 years when they can go do school. If you will not be staying long term then I would think it would only be worth it if you need it for sanity purposes.
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Old 05.12.2011, 13:32
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

Hi
I was in the same situation few years ago and and exactly in same salary bracket. If you are willing to wait 2-3 years before your son starts formal kindergarten then its better. Working full time with 2 kids (mine are 2 boys) can be exhausting. There is always this guilty feeling when u come back home to spend more time with them vs. household work, groceries, laundry etc. When they fall sick tagesheim will not take them in so you would need to take time off to be with them. There are a number of issues here and there and its not easy. And offcourse the childcare is expensive and not tax deductable. with combined household salary I am not sure u will get any rebate.
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Old 05.12.2011, 13:46
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

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Hi
. And offcourse the childcare is expensive and not tax deductable.
We certainly get to reduce some of our taxes by claiming childcare expenses.
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Old 05.12.2011, 14:26
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We certainly get to reduce some of our taxes by claiming childcare expenses.
In Zurich at least you can claim an amount of childcare costs against tax only against a second salary, ie if you both work and receive pay for it.
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Old 05.12.2011, 14:30
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

You pay taxes in the canton you live in. If you work in Basel and live in Baden, Baden taxes apply.

If you plan to work with the big Pharma in Basel, they all have childcare support or agreements with local creches/creches.
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Old 05.12.2011, 16:11
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

Hi Bazmeister

2 Kids with day care and taxes is not worth the hassle. 4500 in Day care and 20% in taxes means you are working for the Childcare company and pensioners. You will no time for kids, yourself and will have more stressed llife.

Actually it depends on what you want to do. If you see your husbands point that the financial situation is going to be tight and you are willing to work. If yes then your skills, potential job and potential income are other key factors.

What are your skills? Baden area has lots of companies and it commutable to Zurich as well as Baden. If you work in non Research field then you might get more money and down the line you can expect for a hike once you have experience. So in the sense you pretty much are investing current time.
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Old 05.12.2011, 16:26
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

If one is thinking of doing the working for childcare thing for 2 years, say, the net difference that matters is the extra earnings during the last two years of one's career.

Of course, that's hard to predict these days.

It seems that one needs to know more in detail about the situation. I'd want to know the actual range of costs for childcare, the permissible tax deductions, and also what extra costs would be incurred in time and money by fetching and carrying children to and from the site, together with the time impact of holidays and estimated sick time (as already mentioned).

And then there's the value to the career of getting back into it earlier, and that can alter the balance quite significantly. Not to mention the psychological differences between staying home and being driven crazy by the kids, compared with going to work and being driven crazy by the boss.
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Old 05.12.2011, 16:45
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

If I were to start work , I would look for a day mother, fro the following reasons:
- They are in a stable loving environment, a home away from home
- They will not be continuously be picking up bugs from other kids
- She should take them when they are a little ill

I wouldnt stress too much about working now, make your way over, and get used to life here, and then you can decide.
80K is not bad at all, just keep to your budget. Plus you should get Children Allowance, here in Zurich its 180 per child.

Groceries do not have to cost alot, now that Aldi is here, you can at least buy nappies and wet wipes at a affordable price

good luck, and dont stress too much!
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Old 06.12.2011, 15:12
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Re: Returning to work- worth it after paying childcare for 2?

My experience in Basel: you have to be in the wait list long time before there's an available place. AFAIK children of people who already work and who will be on 100% in childcare are given preference. Good luck.
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