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Old 19.04.2011, 11:02
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Living cost for a couple

Hi,

I have seen countless threads on this forum and I see that people are extremely helpful. I did read through most of them but they were mostly about single people living in Zurich.

Not to be repeatative, but here are the facts:

1- My earnings will be 60000 CHF (Total salary, before taxes)
2- I will be living with my wife (no kids, she does not work currently)
3- We do not need to live in the fancy part of town, anywhere clean is good, within a reasonable distance to work (centre part of town)
4- We do not plan on going out much, a small amount yes, maybe a 3-4 times a month. (We do not drink both of us, so no cost of alcohol )
5- We would like to afford a car for the off-occasion of travelling outside Zurich, for daily travel public transport is very good.
6- Yes, before I forget, I currently live in London, so I am aware of how living in an expensive city is

Question time

1- I have tried to work the tax calculator and work out the cost of living from various websites (including this) and am a little confused . So any help in that regard great (Y)
2- Any other costs, health insurrance etc, I am not aware of all the mandatory expenses.
3- If someone can break it down for me (Yes I know I am being lazy and asking someone else to do my work for me, but I am here for some advice) Starting from a 60K CHF (untaxed) salary and going on to show how much that would be (take home, monthly) and all the montly cost (considering I am living with my wife)

Thanking anyone in advance who would help me with my situation, it would really help me in making my decision in whether to come to work in Zurich or not
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:40
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Re: Living cost for a couple

With 60k as a couple, you may be eligible for subsidized health-care.
The limit is 47500 "taxable income".
http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/gud/de/i...ichtigste.html

So, in Zurich, 60k is almost "working poor".
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:44
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Re: Living cost for a couple

Have you checked out:

Cost of living - help needed to get it right

and

FAQ: Is CHF100'000 a good salary?

and

FAQ: A brief guide to salaries in Switzerland

and this one

sticky post-wage calculator

?
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:49
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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Hi,

I have seen countless threads on this forum and I see that people are extremely helpful. I did read through most of them but they were mostly about single people living in Zurich.

Not to be repeatative, but here are the facts:

1- My earnings will be 60000 CHF (Total salary, before taxes)
2- I will be living with my wife (no kids, she does not work currently)
3- We do not need to live in the fancy part of town, anywhere clean is good, within a reasonable distance to work (centre part of town)
4- We do not plan on going out much, a small amount yes, maybe a 3-4 times a month. (We do not drink both of us, so no cost of alcohol )
5- We would like to afford a car for the off-occasion of travelling outside Zurich, for daily travel public transport is very good.
6- Yes, before I forget, I currently live in London, so I am aware of how living in an expensive city is

Question time

1- I have tried to work the tax calculator and work out the cost of living from various websites (including this) and am a little confused . So any help in that regard great (Y)
2- Any other costs, health insurrance etc, I am not aware of all the mandatory expenses.
3- If someone can break it down for me (Yes I know I am being lazy and asking someone else to do my work for me, but I am here for some advice) Starting from a 60K CHF (untaxed) salary and going on to show how much that would be (take home, monthly) and all the montly cost (considering I am living with my wife)

Thanking anyone in advance who would help me with my situation, it would really help me in making my decision in whether to come to work in Zurich or not
I can help you make this decision and my advice would be "don't"

Housing, health insurance and food costs are the killer and if you pay 1500chf per month minimum to live in a small apartment you get the idea.

No where is cheap in the Zurich area to rent property, there's a huge shortage of affordable housing. (Additionally the down payments for deposits can be very steep anywhere between 1-3 months of the monthly rental costs. Yes there are ways round it but landlords are likely to choose hard cash over insurance backed options.)

Multiply UK food prices by at least x2, and budget 450chf per month health insurance for both of you as a bare minimum more likely to be 550-600chf p/m. Billag's another expense (TV license)

Cars are expensive to maintain and purchase here, there are other options such as mobility, which allow you to lease short term.

Zurich is not comparable to London, it's in a different universe.

As someone said this is breadline money for a couple in Zurich. Not saying it can't be done, but it would be extremely difficult.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:07
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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budget 450chf per month health insurance for both of you as a bare minimum more likely to be 550-600chf p/m.
350 chf for the both of us (high excess and no extras) - surely that would be the "bare minimum"?
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:14
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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350 chf for the both of us (high excess and no extras) - surely that would be the "bare minimum"?
Is this the Zollikon affect?

His partner will also need accident insurance as the employer will not pay it.

8047 Zurich (Triemli), I was give a quote with a 2500chf excess x2 different companies, 203chf and 198-175chf.

I don't consider 2500chf a reasonable excess btw.

It then depends if you intend to bleed on the pavement when you get hit by the bus. If not you need to pay another 25chf each a month otherwise you pay transportation costs.

Anyway 350 is too low, maybe 400-450 at a push. Either way on 60k for x2 people that's a lot of paper.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:16
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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350 chf for the both of us (high excess and no extras) - surely that would be the "bare minimum"?
The problem is: if you are poor, have no savings and barely make even every month - how are you going to pay the excess ("Franchise") in case you are really sick?
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:20
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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The problem is: if you are poor, have no savings and barely make even every month - how are you going to pay the excess ("Franchise") in case you are really sick?
Don't Doctors shoot poor people instead ? I think they should.
...and those that don't know the buying power of their salary.


...and Catholics. Shoot all the Catholics.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:23
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Re: Living cost for a couple

I agree with the poster who said "don't".
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:39
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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[It then depends if you intend to bleed on the pavement when you get hit by the bus. If not you need to pay another 25chf each a month otherwise you pay transportation costs.
If you are bleeding on the pavement due to being hit by a bus I suspect you'll be fully covered by ACCIDENT insurance.

Medical/health insurance is for MEDICAL/HEALTH conditions - the clue is in the name.

You'll find the only people with low franchise health insurance in Switzerland are Auslanders and the old. And for only one of those groups does it work. You'll also find that the Swiss are very adept at having their doctors sign off all sorts of things as accidents.

In fact if you have an accident and suspect some sort of damage GO TO THE DOCTOR. They'll not down the ailment and if it causes further problems in the future you're accident insurance will cover it!!

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...and Catholics. Shoot all the Catholics.
You don't shoot Catholics.



You burn them
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:51
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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If you are bleeding on the pavement due to being hit by a bus I suspect you'll be fully covered by ACCIDENT insurance.

Medical/health insurance is for MEDICAL/HEALTH conditions - the clue is in the name.

You'll find the only people with low franchise health insurance in Switzerland are Auslanders and the old. And for only one of those groups does it work. You'll also find that the Swiss are very adept at having their doctors sign off all sorts of things as accidents.

In fact if you have an accident and suspect some sort of damage GO TO THE DOCTOR. They'll not down the ailment and if it causes further problems in the future you're accident insurance will cover it!!
He would be covered but his wife wouldn't unless she paid for it..We can split hairs all day.

The salary is crap for x2 people to live off don't go there.

Ahh so you're the reason why my bill is so big..I'll have to remember that one.
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Old 19.04.2011, 13:20
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Re: Living cost for a couple

Example:

A couple of years back I broke my nose - a longtitudal break and not a lateral break. Off I go to ER for a check - all clear - but with a referral to a nose doctor in Zurich.

Off to the nose doctor - checkover - confirms break details. He says he could surgically sort out the break so it is all perfect - but there is only a 50% chance of success. OR leave it - and should, at any point in the future, I develop breathing troubles (through my nose) they'll do the surgery.

How does that increase your premium?
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Old 19.04.2011, 13:51
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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You'll find the only people with low franchise health insurance in Switzerland are Auslanders and the old. And for only one of those groups does it work. You'll also find that the Swiss are very adept at having their doctors sign off all sorts of things as accidents.
You said it not me.
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Old 21.04.2011, 15:45
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Re: Living cost for a couple

I just read on another forum that it`s not possible to survive as a family in Switzerland on less than 120k,it seems nonsense to me ,unless you go 5 times a year for holiday and eat everyday in a posh restaurant;
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Old 21.04.2011, 16:03
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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I just read on another forum that it`s not possible to survive as a family in Switzerland on less than 120k,it seems nonsense to me ,unless you go 5 times a year for holiday and eat everyday in a posh restaurant;
Yes, but that wasn't the question. The question was weather or not 60k CHF is enough to support a basic life for two. I know a Swiss couple that manages it, but they live in the middle of nowhere and not "in reasonable distance" to Zurich city center. They avoid going to the dentist as it is not included in the obligatory health care plan we all have.

60k for two is well below average in Zurich. Not impossible, but definitely not fun. I have more than survived here as an intern, which was some 2700 CHF a month, so in a similar range. I even managed to save a bit. But this internship had a very clear and temporary time horizon.

In short: if you can picture yourself having a "student-like" life-style, you can very well survive on that salary. But it will be tough when it comes to beer money or anything that you cannot buy in a discount supermarket.
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Old 21.04.2011, 16:09
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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The problem is: if you are poor, have no savings and barely make even every month - how are you going to pay the excess ("Franchise") in case you are really sick?
Having a CHF 2500 fanchise saves me CHF 200 /month, so it works out the same if I need to go to the doctor, and saves me money if I don't (the normal case)

Tom
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Old 21.04.2011, 16:27
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Re: Living cost for a couple

I can say that my spouse and I are living off of less than that, though we are living in Neuchatel.

Per month we spend:
-1200 CHF on rent,
-about 500CHF on food/month
-~100 on transit
-60 on internet
-pay as you go phones (which for us is maybe 30 a month total)
-100 between the two of us for out of country health insurance that is approved by the swiss authorities...this is difficult to get, but can be arranged and is worth calling around about
-Probably about 200-300 a month on random stuff (like shampoo, or the occasional kebab, or to contribute to a group meal, etc)

Plus all the surprise bills...the bi-annual garbage pick, the cost for your permit, the cost of tv and radio if you want that, the transit ticket because you bought the wrong kind of bus pass, etc

It is possible, but we are also the most frugal people I know. And it is frustrating sometimes. I think what another poster stated about living like a student is a decent way to think about this decision for yourself, probably doable, unforgettable, but not always very fun.

That said, I have no regrets...
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Old 21.04.2011, 16:31
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Re: Living cost for a couple

I would agree with that!
We were living here together with my wife on this money and now leaving the country as we can't afford the life we were expecting.

Guess what: if your wife is not working, she is spending money.

Also, what's the point of living in a foreign country if you have to save on everything?

My advise: don't come here!

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I just read on another forum that it`s not possible to survive as a family in Switzerland on less than 120k,it seems nonsense to me ,unless you go 5 times a year for holiday and eat everyday in a posh restaurant;
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Old 21.04.2011, 16:40
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Re: Living cost for a couple

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Hi,

(We do not drink both of us, so no cost of alcohol )
That's a pity - alcohol (bought from the supermarket) is one the few things that's cheap here.
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Old 21.04.2011, 16:40
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Re: Living cost for a couple

At the risk of being considered a troll I would also say: "don't do it".

If you come from a war-torn country then you have my full support since money is a secondary issue (for those with a chip on the shoulder, many would say I come from one of those).

With 60k for two people you are on the poverty line. Not because I only buy vegetable at globus (where was that sarcasm emoticon?) but because the statistics say so: http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/starts...1.9870611.html

As extensively discussed in other threads, it doesn't mean you won't live well and be happy. But it all depends on what you currently have in London and what your expectations are.
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