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Old 07.08.2008, 13:54
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Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

Hi everyone
I've done some searches but cant work this out exactly for our situation.

I've been offered a job in Lausanne paying 152,000, and my wife doesnt work as she looks after our two daughters (ages 3 and 1). The offer letter lists deductions: AVS 7,500; unemployment insurance 1,250; life and retirement insurance 9,000; accident insurance 800; giving a net salary of 133,219.

I know that I'll have to pay taxes and health insurance but was hoping that somebody could estimate what those might be, and after paying everything what might be our approximate monthly net income?

Thanks very much
Darren
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Old 07.08.2008, 17:16
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

+/- CHF8000 a month.
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Old 07.08.2008, 17:29
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

The amount will vary depending on which community you live. If you are a US citizen earning over $80000 / year you may well have to pay Uncle Sam too. Search these forums and google will reveal...
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Old 07.08.2008, 17:45
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

thanks!
i also read somewhere that if my wife doesnt work i'll pay more tax than if she does - is that right??
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Old 07.08.2008, 19:12
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

the tax will depend on where you live and if your wife won't work your tax will lowered also with every child you have.
Credit Suisse has a calculator so that you can get an idea, here is the link
https://calculators.credit-suisse.co...tax.do?lang=en

With that in mind, remember that you will have to pay mandatory health insurance, which can be expensive, a family with 2 adults and 2 kids could be up to 1000CHF a month which doesn't cover dental...

Also, bear in mind that more likely your monthly salary will be more likely 152K/13 since you get paid twice in December....

hope that helps
M
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Old 07.08.2008, 19:48
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

thanks - that really helps too

is it right to assume that the cost of living in switzerland is about 1.5X that in the USA or would it be more comparable to the UK (approx 2X USA)?

thanks for all your help!
darren
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Old 07.08.2008, 19:52
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

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thanks - that really helps too

is it right to assume that the cost of living in switzerland is about 1.5X that in the USA or would it be more comparable to the UK (approx 2X USA)?

thanks for all your help!
darren
I usually consider it to be about 2X USA. When I moved here the exchange rate was about 1chf = $0.60 and things seemed somewhat reasonably priced. Eating out at a restaurant at that point didn't seem to be as expensive as it does now. However, now a lot of electronics have dropped in price so the difference in importing them or buying them locally isn't as great.
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Old 07.08.2008, 19:59
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

thanks thats great to know when trying to work out a budget!!
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Old 07.08.2008, 23:05
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

I find life here def 2x more expensive than in Sydney, some items are cheaper but going to the grocery store is surely a dear ordeal.
Be prepared to pay high prices for veggies and def meat.
A steak could cost you easily 10~15CHF. Most of the meat is home grown in Switzerland, hence the high prices.
Also, eating out is really expensive compared with a lot of countries and that includes your odd take away. I would say in Lausanne a Chinese restaurant experience, despite not being too good, it's around 35CHF per person...
I guess the Golden Arches are still a good indicator, a burger meal is around 12CHF!!!

152K is a good wage for a family with young kids but I wouldn't consider it extremely high either in terms of saving power, etc.
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Old 07.08.2008, 23:31
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

thanks - those kind of numbers and examples really help!! given the current US economy it sounds as if it could be more than 2X!!
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Old 07.08.2008, 23:48
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

I think the bottom line is what are you looking for in future progression.
Could you live in Switzerland on 152K? Yes, should be ok though you would have to do some cut back to your current lifestyle in the US.

If you want to come to Switzerland for an experience I think it's great, do expect some major differences, but you may find it hard as a settling place.
Switzerland has a good appeal in terms of money, but so far what I have experienced is that money here has a different value; eg a 150K job here has the same 'power' of a 70~80K back home.
Sure the cash is heaps much but once you cut the insurances you have to pay, cost of life, etc your saving power is that.
Sure you're in the middle of Europe, but then again, what is that you forecast for your future in 5 years? etc
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Old 07.08.2008, 23:56
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

Thanks again We're originally from the UK having lived in the USA for 6 years now and are liking the idea of "returning" to Europe but are unsure about whether we can afford to and how we will get on with the french language (since we dont speak too much french)!! I guess since we have young kids we are looking for a reasonably permanent move, rather than something temporary. You're advice on costs etc. and how far the salary would stretch in terms of savings etc. is REALLY useful - so thanks for taking the time to reply If you dont mind me asking (not sure if you want to post it on here?) but what are your reasons for saying that it might be hard to settle in Switzerland - is it the language, the financial reasons, the culture, the acceptance of "foreigners" by the locals or something else?? Thanks again!
Darren
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Old 08.08.2008, 00:06
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

hmmm that is a tough question to answer.
I guess it is the fact that you're in Switzerland but you're not Swiss.
As far as I have observed, people come here for whatever length of time but somehow don't blend in Switzerland and call it home.
Language is something you can learn, but I guess settling down is whether you accept the country as your own.
You have the appeal of the money, safety, secured job, good education, etc, but do you feel at home here is a different question (at least to me)

As you mentioned you're from the UK originally, are you looking to come to Switzerland as a touch base location but will you be going back and forth between the two countries?

What is the ultimate aim?

I think what is left out of the brochures a lot, is that Switzerland is not Europe, geographically it is, but not in terms of culture.
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Old 08.08.2008, 00:50
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

Thanks for your honest reply I guess our aim was to be closer to the UK (not really to go back and forth too much) to appease relatives (the grandmas!!) but with a higher standard of living that was closer to what we have here in the USA which is something that we couldnt achieve in the UK (the salary/cost of living in the UK would not allow this!). We were also thinking (perhaps naively after what you have said!!) that it might be more like the European culture we are used to? Saying that though there are things we love about the USA and things we love about Europe! Another tough question, but your comments asked for it.... how would you say Switzerland is different from Europe??
Thanks!
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Old 08.08.2008, 09:58
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

Hi,

I've just moved to Geneva from Cambridge (UK) and having been here a month so far am finding it a lovely place.

In terms of cost of living, I would say things are mostly a little more expensive here than the UK, but for me the increased salary I'm getting more than covers the increased costs. However, as several people have commented, certain things such as restaurants and meat are noticeably more expensive.

In terms of the culture, I've not lived in the rest of Europe (other than the UK) so can't really comment on the Swiss vs Continental European culture. Compared to the UK, the things I've noticed so far are that in general things are better organised here, a little cleaner and tidier. The Swiss seem friendly and helpful, although getting past the initial friendliness I think they are a bit more reserved than I am used to. For example at work, I have been here a month, but they don't really ask to many questions about me yet, such as what I'm up to in the evenings and just general chat that I'm used to at home. Hopefully that will come!

I am working on my French too - from what I have read and my (limited) experience so far, I think that if you move here and want to be accepted as a friend you really need to demonstrate that you aren't just another transient who will leave in a year or two, and speaking the language has to be a big part of that.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08.08.2008, 18:44
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Re: Offer Letter - help with taxes and deductions!

I was born and spent childhood in Italy, I have gone to lots of other European countries and if I was to compare Switzerland (or at least around Lausanne) with the rest of Europe I would say it's amazingly pretty, breathtaking even but extremely dull.
As soon as the amazement wears off there is not much to do here in terms of entertainment beside the mountains and ski season.
I don't know what it is but somehow it has no real vibe and Lausanne seems to shut at 10pm. Everything is so ordered and controlled with rules that spontaneity it's not easy to find. I am sure you went thru the complaint corner to find lots of them at that was also my breaking point, if I can't click with the place and complain, why stay if life is better at home.
I have to say, the money is a good appeal here but that somehow doesn't buy happiness. Sure, you can fly everywhere, jump on a train and be in Paris or Milan, drive to France or Germany but if all I am doing is escaping Switzerland on the free time I have no much purpose living here.

But I am also sure if you ask most Swiss they don't feel much European themselves, there must be a reason why even bilateral agreement with EU were not put in place till recently... it is a small country surrounded by Europe.

I also find attitude here also very selfish (my opinion) compared with Australia. I notice that everyday, whether it's people just bumping into you while walking or people just stopping without thinking someone is behind them.
I guess I am used to Sydney being more fast paced... and sometimes I just want to go to the supermarket and be in and out in 5 minutes without having to wait and wait because it takes them hours to put two items in a shopping bag

also, I have found people very insular here, we have the basic conversation but I found bonding pretty hard with no expats.
Again, I am spoiled with Sydney where I can walk to most locals on my own, grab a beer and start a conversation with a stranger. I have tried the same trick here and unless they are foreigners doesn't work and I speak French fluently too.

I don't know if Zurich is more open being a bigger city, but Lausanne at the end has just over 120.000 people...

hope it helps...
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