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  #41  
Old 30.07.2020, 09:23
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Re: Salary Equivalents

And do his school age children speak German? The lessons to get up to speed would also cost a small fortune.
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  #42  
Old 30.07.2020, 09:35
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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And do his school age children speak German? The lessons to get up to speed would also cost a small fortune.
most public schools will give kids extra german lesson to get them upto speed
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  #43  
Old 30.07.2020, 09:46
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Re: Salary Equivalents

Dear OP: I have been living in Switzerland for a bit over 10 years, and I feel that many answers in this thread paint only a part of the picture at a time. Although I think most of them are spot-on, I put myself in your shoes and I don't see many of them being thorough or "comforting" enough. Here are my 2 cents.

- Forget income comparisons. It makes it very difficult, and obviously nobody knows where you live now, nor do we know how much your current lifestyle costs there. Just look at the cost of living here.
- Assuming you have an upper middle-class lifestyle and want to maintain it, e.g. nice, large-ish house >150 m2 in size, at least 1 if not 2 cars each 5 to 7/8 years old, up-to-date entertainment gear (large TVs, new-ish computers, decent music equipment, etc), up-to-date phones, regularly dining out, regularly splurging in some average priced shopping, at least 2-week summer holidays abroad, ocassional domestic tourism, etc,
- Living IN the city: 200K or higher.
- Living in the suburbs of the city: 175K or higher
- Living in a smaller village: 150K or higher

You mentioned your significant other may also have a job. However you take that into consideration, just make sure you do the math.

Some fixed costs to keep in mind:
- Health insurance: I have a mid-priced insurance. Every month we pay Fr. 268 for myself, Fr. 280 for my wife, Fr. 294 for my 19-year old daughter, Fr. 112 for my 16 year-old son, and Fr.80 for my 11 year-old daughter. That's Fr. 1'000/month.
- My oldest car's insurance (only legal minimum) costs around Fr. 300/year. My family car's full insurance costs around Fr. 850/year.
- We spend about Fr. 120/mo in internet/tv/phone, and around Fr. 150 in cell-phones.
- Calculating your taxes is tricky, but with 2 kids, and a net income of Fr. 150'000/year, you should estimate a bit over Fr. 20'000/year. If you made 200K year (netto) you would pay probably over Fr. 30'000/year.

If you plan to build a list of fixed costs, just ask. I would be happy to share my experience and what I think things cost.
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  #44  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:00
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Re: Salary Equivalents

One of the problems with what you are trying to figure out is that what is considered a 'nice Swiss' lifestyle could be very different from what is considered a nice lifestyle in other places. It's sometimes less a factor of money than of available resources.

Switzerland is a tiny country. Many of us have to live in smaller accommodation than what we are used to simply because that is all that is available. The country is simply too small and too crowded to allow for leafy suburb single family housing as a norm.

If you are happy living 'the Swiss way' - in a flat, with shared communal rather than private outside space - you can live well here at many different salary levels.

But if you are hankering after that large single family home with an acre or two of land - the norm where I come from, available even on a modest income - that is unlikely to happen. Where I live now in SZ even on a 7 figure income one likely could not have one of the few large houses with privacy. More than money, one needs the right name, preferably going back to 1291.

Depending on where you are from, replicating one's home lifestyle might not be possible here. So the question is, are you happy to live 'the Swiss way'?

All the best with this move.


ETA:

The calculator you linked seems headshakingly off when one compares Chicago to Zürich, where my experience lies.

Last edited by meloncollie; 30.07.2020 at 10:41.
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  #45  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:23
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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total crap, where in the uk is that?? really, you're just making yourself look foolish, 30k in some godforesaken crap town in north scotland would see you living like a king, in london it would see you couch surfing, get it??

switzerland is the same, 70k is one of the big cities would see your family having to watch every penny, 70k up in the mountains somewhere away from civilization would see you pretty comfortable.
Sorry I should've highlighted that the website is an interactive one so you put in current salary and location (England) then add future location you're looking to relocate to (Basel, CH) and it gives the following conversions:

£50K = 90KCHF
£75K = 125CHF
£100K = 159CHF
£125K = 193CHF

Interested to hear thoughts on whether these equivalents look about right? For a married family of 4 with one wage earner?
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  #46  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:29
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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Sorry I should've highlighted that the website is an interactive one so you put in current salary and location (England) then add future location you're looking to relocate to (Basel, CH) and it gives the following conversions:

£50K = 90KCHF
£75K = 125CHF
£100K = 159CHF
£125K = 193CHF

Interested to hear thoughts on whether these equivalents look about right? For a married family of 4 with one wage earner?
I think the sites problem is alongside what Caleb mentions above, cost per person is higher here. The site does not take into account that you have 3 dependents. I found comparison sites like that fairly alright for myself when I moved seeing as I came alone.
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  #47  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:30
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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Sorry I should've highlighted that the website is an interactive one so you put in current salary and location (England) then add future location you're looking to relocate to (Basel, CH) and it gives the following conversions:

£50K = 90KCHF
£75K = 125CHF
£100K = 159CHF
£125K = 193CHF

Interested to hear thoughts on whether these equivalents look about right? For a married family of 4 with one wage earner?
Salaries are based on what the market will bear, 90k in Basel with 4 kids won't be much fun, 120k being the standard expat survival salary.

in 2001 £50k was 130k CHF with the then exchange rate, 130k would have been a better deal at that time, however Swiss salaries have not risen. New entries salaries got lower as the CHF strengthened. Don't expect any pay rises, you may get 1% or less if you are lucky. Plenty of people got salaries around 240k in 2001 & have since been made redundant, they end up unemployed & take new jobs around 150k

It's down to you to negotiate what you want, as you are putting out so many low salaries it would imply you don't have any special skills so don't hold out much hope for a good life in CH.
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  #48  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:32
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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Dear OP: I have been living in Switzerland for a bit over 10 years, and I feel that many answers in this thread paint only a part of the picture at a time. Although I think most of them are spot-on, I put myself in your shoes and I don't see many of them being thorough or "comforting" enough. Here are my 2 cents.

- Forget income comparisons. It makes it very difficult, and obviously nobody knows where you live now, nor do we know how much your current lifestyle costs there. Just look at the cost of living here.
- Assuming you have an upper middle-class lifestyle and want to maintain it, e.g. nice, large-ish house >150 m2 in size, at least 1 if not 2 cars each 5 to 7/8 years old, up-to-date entertainment gear (large TVs, new-ish computers, decent music equipment, etc), up-to-date phones, regularly dining out, regularly splurging in some average priced shopping, at least 2-week summer holidays abroad, ocassional domestic tourism, etc,
- Living IN the city: 200K or higher.
- Living in the suburbs of the city: 175K or higher
- Living in a smaller village: 150K or higher

You mentioned your significant other may also have a job. However you take that into consideration, just make sure you do the math.

Some fixed costs to keep in mind:
- Health insurance: I have a mid-priced insurance. Every month we pay Fr. 268 for myself, Fr. 280 for my wife, Fr. 294 for my 19-year old daughter, Fr. 112 for my 16 year-old son, and Fr.80 for my 11 year-old daughter. That's Fr. 1'000/month.
- My oldest car's insurance (only legal minimum) costs around Fr. 300/year. My family car's full insurance costs around Fr. 850/year.
- We spend about Fr. 120/mo in internet/tv/phone, and around Fr. 150 in cell-phones.
- Calculating your taxes is tricky, but with 2 kids, and a net income of Fr. 150'000/year, you should estimate a bit over Fr. 20'000/year. If you made 200K year (netto) you would pay probably over Fr. 30'000/year.

If you plan to build a list of fixed costs, just ask. I would be happy to share my experience and what I think things cost.
Thank you so much - this is exactly what I was after, and really helpful. As you say its trying to understand if the new job offer can maintain my current lifestyle, whilst also recognizing Swiss & UK lifestyles have there differences. Thanks
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  #49  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:39
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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One of the problems with what you are trying to figure out is that what is considered a 'nice Swiss' lifestyle could be very different from what is considered a nice lifestyle in other places. It's sometimes less a factor of money than of available resources.

Switzerland is a tiny country. Many of us have to live in smaller accommodation than what we are used to simply because that is all that is available. The country is simply too small and too crowded to allow for left suburb single family housing as a norm.

If you are happy living 'the Swiss way' - in a flat, with shared communal rather than private outside space - you can live well here at many different salary levels.

But if you are hankering after that large single family home with an acre or two of land - the norm where I come from, available even to those on a modest income - that is unlikely to happen. Where I live now in SZ even on a 7 figure income one likely could not have one of the few large houses with privacy. More than money, one needs the right name, preferably going back to 1291.

Depending on where you are from, replicating one's home lifestyle might not be possible here. So the question is, are you happy to live 'the Swiss way'?

All the best with this move.
Many thanks for the reply, and this too is part of the challenge for me to really understand both if I can replicate my current lifestyle but also to recognize that this lifestyle will change to a Swiss way of living.
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  #50  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:45
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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Thank you so much - this is exactly what I was after, and really helpful. As you say its trying to understand if the new job offer can maintain my current lifestyle, whilst also recognizing Swiss & UK lifestyles have there differences. Thanks
Unless you are exceptionally well paid now, the Swiss salary offered will be enough.
Also to note, BS/BL are high tax Kantons, @23%
Also BS heath insurance is higher than BL. You can get it 'cheaper' but then you have to go to the medical centers, rather than your local doctor down the road. This may/may not be a consideration for you.


You really need to spill the beans and tell us what the job is, as anonymously as possible.
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  #51  
Old 30.07.2020, 10:46
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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Salaries are based on what the market will bear, 90k in Basel with 4 kids won't be much fun, 120k being the standard expat survival salary.

in 2001 £50k was 130k CHF with the then exchange rate, 130k would have been a better deal at that time, however Swiss salaries have not risen. New entries salaries got lower as the CHF strengthened. Don't expect any pay rises, you may get 1% or less if you are lucky. Plenty of people got salaries around 240k in 2001 & have since been made redundant, they end up unemployed & take new jobs around 150k

It's down to you to negotiate what you want, as you are putting out so many low salaries it would imply you don't have any special skills so don't hold out much hope for a good life in CH.
Lack of special skills - have you been talking to my wife

My aim with the salary ranges was both to try and get an indication / calibration of where the offer for the new role was coming in at vs current role / lifestyle and also to help others with the same questions as I have but perhaps with different circumstances.

Thanks for all the replies - they're really helpful in building out a picture for me at time that's both very exciting and also a little daunting!
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  #52  
Old 30.07.2020, 17:27
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Re: Salary Equivalents

I would suggest looking at Glassdoor, Emolument, etc to get an idea of salaries for your given role/industry rather than trying to do a direct Sterling/Franc conversion.

As others have noted Pharma pays more than other industries in Switzerland - and pay in Basel as an HQ to two large Pharma/Healthcare companies is again higher than average from what I've seen.

I made the move from London in December with a wife and two young children in tow and don't regret it for a moment, even accounting for all the COVID drama.

We have absolutely had to adapt our lifestyle but I think the benefits are still substantial to living and working in CH, even accounting for the advice and perspective you've had from those that have been here far longer than me.
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  #53  
Old 31.07.2020, 14:53
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Re: Salary Equivalents

I'm a fellow northerner who works in Basel. I think the comparison really depends on what your desired standard of living is, and whether you are prepared to live in a lower tax area (for Basel this would normally be Aargau) and commute. Also if you don't mind shopping in Germany.

For antisocial folk living in Aargau like myself the "conversion rate" is a bit lower - you need more chf if you want live in BS or BL or want to run multiple cars etc.

It's also lower the more you earn I'd say - lower expenses per CHF earned. Also higher tax on the uk is horrific.

Overall it's highly subjective but I'd hazard a guess at something like:

£35k - 75k chf
£50k - 100k chf
£75k - 140k chf
£100k - 170k chf

FWIW I earned 80k in uk and now on about double that in Switzerland and feel a fair bit richer. I certainly disagree with the earlier comment about needing to triple your gdp earning.
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  #54  
Old 31.07.2020, 15:41
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Re: Salary Equivalents

I would also add that Swiss companies are trying to lower their wage costs by luring foreign workers to CH with salaries that sound high but are actually below market. You will likely be offered a package that is 15-20% below what a well-informed local would except for the same role.
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  #55  
Old 31.07.2020, 16:18
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Re: Salary Equivalents

Here's my helping hand with the 25 Francs reference point to understand how far your money will go... (it's about 20 pounds)

a pizza
a cleaning lady hour
a cheap haircut
a month worth of mobile
a good bottle of wine
a baby sister hour
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  #56  
Old 31.07.2020, 18:16
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Re: Salary Equivalents

I like this. With some clarifications

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Here's my helping hand with the 25 Francs reference point to understand how far your money will go... (it's about 20 pounds)

a pizza in a restaurant in the city
a cleaning lady hour if you are very lucky or not paying the social security
a cheap haircut at a cheap barbers (I’m told a cheap women’s cut is 100
a month worth of mobile with a budget provider or special offer
a good bottle of wine white. Or an acceptable bottle of red (very personal)
a baby sister hour
A cocktail in a (very) fancy bar
A main course in an expat pub
A cheap lunch out
A kilo of chicken at one of the Swiss supermarkets
An ok steak from the butcher
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  #57  
Old 31.07.2020, 23:30
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Re: Salary Equivalents

Most of the questions are answered here. I checked this for a few cities I lived in (and know the prices) and it's fairly accurate for large places (i.e. with many inputs).
In the first text box ("You would need around..."), you can click on the number next to "you can have with" and edit the number to get various comparisons.
Do mind that those are post-tax numbers, if I understand it correctly, while salary offers are pre-tax.
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  #58  
Old 02.08.2020, 13:50
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Re: Salary Equivalents

This is an interesting thread. Coming from abroad in a few weeks I feel I know the foreigners get one price range than someone native.


However the weather here is lovely, the food is high quality so I don't particularly mind.
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Old 02.08.2020, 22:40
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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Normal
Good
Better
Even better
The best

Live in Basel Land as tax is lower for higher earners.
That probably used to be true - I think the reverse is actually true now - ie BS better for tax for high earners (over 200k or so), while BL better for low earners.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Switzerland

I don't know why more people who are willing to go out to BL don't consider Aargau. Rheinfelden is all of 10 minutes away from Basel on the train and has an international school (which may be useful if the oldest kid doesn't settle into English
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Old 02.08.2020, 22:41
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Re: Salary Equivalents

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That probably used to be true - I think the reverse is actually true now - ie BS better for tax for high earners (over 200k or so), while BL better for low earners.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Switzerland

I don't know why more people who are willing to go out to BL don't consider Aargau. Rheinfelden is all of 10 minutes away from Basel on the train and has an international school (which may be useful if the oldest kid doesn't settle into English
Into German even...
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