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Old 15.01.2020, 20:13
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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I'm surprised to learn Geneva has low taxes.

I always imagined them to be crazily in debt, while committed to spending as if there was no tomorrow.

But I guess things have changed?
As I said, I'm surprised too. But the other graph that someone else posted earlier shows that the Genevois have the least disposable income of all cantons, so.I guess home prices/rents and the general cost of living more than make up for the lower taxes.
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Old 16.01.2020, 00:07
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

You folks rock...so much helpful information and a lot of good, healthy dialogue. My wife works as an event planner for corporate functions in San Francisco, and I think that's a transferrable skill-set even internationally...but any thoughts on this?

Seems like Basel is coming out on top!

Random question about Basel...I'm asked to provide any general requests about temp housing in Basel. I don't know what the great areas of the city are or what to specify, any suggestions?

Again: thank you all SO much for the input!! Y'all are awesome!
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  #43  
Old 16.01.2020, 00:21
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

Basel has a small city centre; it doesn't take long to walk anywhere. That said, if possible I'd ask to be in Gross Basel, which is one side of the Rhine (Klein Basel is the other) as there are more historic features and sights (and sites!) and a great selection of restaurants and bars. Klein Basel is good for the latter, too.

St Alban is lovely, down by the river. Petersplatz is the heart of the university (the oldest in Switzerland and one of the oldest in Europe) and the area around there is very attractive.

We had temporary accommodation near the Musical Theater in Klein Basel. It was a bit of a bland area, not my favourite.
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Old 16.01.2020, 09:51
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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You folks rock...so much helpful information and a lot of good, healthy dialogue. My wife works as an event planner for corporate functions in San Francisco, and I think that's a transferrable skill-set even internationally...but any thoughts on this?
Happy to help! She should have opportunities available within the finance and pharma industries. Unfortunately, for other industries, they will most likely want you to speak either French and/or German.

I worked in marketing/public relations in the performing arts prior to moving to Switzerland. With my experience, it was much harder for me to break into the corporate job market. Therefore she is ahead and should find something with patience, networking and hard work. LinkedIn of Glassdoor is the best place to find jobs in Switzerland.
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Old 22.01.2020, 04:10
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Basel has a small city centre; it doesn't take long to walk anywhere. That said, if possible I'd ask to be in Gross Basel, which is one side of the Rhine (Klein Basel is the other) as there are more historic features and sights (and sites!) and a great selection of restaurants and bars. Klein Basel is good for the latter, too.

St Alban is lovely, down by the river. Petersplatz is the heart of the university (the oldest in Switzerland and one of the oldest in Europe) and the area around there is very attractive.

We had temporary accommodation near the Musical Theater in Klein Basel. It was a bit of a bland area, not my favourite.
Incredibly helpful - going for a tour of Basel in February, and should be able to get a better sense of the area. Will note these suggested spots and check them out in person! Appreciate the tip!
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Old 22.01.2020, 04:11
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Happy to help! She should have opportunities available within the finance and pharma industries. Unfortunately, for other industries, they will most likely want you to speak either French and/or German.

I worked in marketing/public relations in the performing arts prior to moving to Switzerland. With my experience, it was much harder for me to break into the corporate job market. Therefore she is ahead and should find something with patience, networking and hard work. LinkedIn of Glassdoor is the best place to find jobs in Switzerland.
Totally hear you - really good feedback! Really appreciate your input and sharing a bit about your own experience. Overall, really excited for this life experience!
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Old 22.01.2020, 09:47
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

Since the subject of taxes and choosing tax friendly/unfriendly locations arose upthread... bear in mind the OP is an American. Much of 'received wisdom' might be turned upside down for him.

So Michaelprimak, you need to consult a tax professional asap, before you make decisions. If this is a company sponsored relo, make sure both tax planning and preparation are included in your package. And use up some of those tax planning hours now, before you decide where to live.

All the best with your move.
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  #48  
Old 22.01.2020, 10:58
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Random question about Basel...I'm asked to provide any general requests about temp housing in Basel. I don't know what the great areas of the city are or what to specify, any suggestions?
You don't need to be in the city. From Binningen you can even walk into town, but there's excellent tram and bus connections. The only places I'd avoid - but they do have nice parts so it's all relative - are Pratteln, Birsfelden and around the Novartis Campus.

My temporary accommodation was in Muttenz. It was fine.
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Old 22.01.2020, 11:33
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

In addition to finance and pharma, I would add tech to the list of events planning opportunities. There are numerous tech events taking place across Europe who might benefit from having a "Silicon Valley Insider" on staff.

Good luck!

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Happy to help! She should have opportunities available within the finance and pharma industries. Unfortunately, for other industries, they will most likely want you to speak either French and/or German.

I worked in marketing/public relations in the performing arts prior to moving to Switzerland. With my experience, it was much harder for me to break into the corporate job market. Therefore she is ahead and should find something with patience, networking and hard work. LinkedIn of Glassdoor is the best place to find jobs in Switzerland.
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Old 22.01.2020, 23:20
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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In addition to finance and pharma, I would add tech to the list of events planning opportunities. There are numerous tech events taking place across Europe who might benefit from having a "Silicon Valley Insider" on staff.

Good luck!
I disagree. Event planning is highly competitive here, lots of people on the market who cannot find a job.
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Old 23.01.2020, 08:03
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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I disagree. Event planning is highly competitive here, lots of people on the market who cannot find a job.



....i think he was referring to a tech show that was a planned event
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Old 23.01.2020, 12:49
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

As I own a firm that organizes events in Europe, I have a pretty good view of the market and know a lot of the firms in the space. Many tech events are looking for speakers and attendees to come over from Silicon Valley (and Asia), so people with strong networks in those regions bring something extra to the table.

As you are likely referring to things being "highly competitive here" meaning CH, one does not have to work for a firm based in CH. While I would definitely look at opportunities close to home, I would not limit myself. Working from home might be a preferable option.

In any case, I am offering advice to the OP and I leave it to them to make their decisions.

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I disagree. Event planning is highly competitive here, lots of people on the market who cannot find a job.
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Old 23.01.2020, 13:34
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

She would also be best working for corporations who hold events all over the world. For local event planning, she would need to speak French and German in order to effectively communicate with vendors etc..
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Old 28.01.2020, 14:23
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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My first thought was "stay put". That sounds a bit harsh but have you both been to Switzerland, specifically Basel, for a "look see"? I would do this before making a decision. A good career move for one spouse doesn't necessarily mean it works for both spouses. Your wife may struggle to find work.

Yes, Switzerland is a beautiful country and from here one can travel within Europe and other destinations. However, it can be a lonely place for a spouse who is now at home after leaving a career behind, whether you are living in the middle of city of Basel or in a village.

So please do consider this move very carefully with eyes wide open.
Hello @MichaelPrimak! My name is Farah and I am a 32 y/o Seattle native I just relocated to Basel November 2019 to join my husband here (he works for the hospital). I am also in the Science field so I think I can offer my very humble and new-resident 2-cents:

Pros of living in Basel if you're a US Expat:
TRAM is clean, takes you EVERYWHERE
Walking city
Cheaper grocery and overall shopping in Germany, which is a few minutes away and can also be accessed via TRAM.
Cleaner streets
Neighborly folks
Culture is nice here
For people that come from SF + Seattle, they're very environmentally conscious here, which is def a plus
Lots of new family and younger couples that live here
Almost everyone speaks English
Very close to airport
Many other Expats here
ITS SO CHEAP TO TRAVEL ANYWHERE (ok, this isn't Basel-specific, but its fun to be able to do quick getaways on weekends for little $)

Cons (subjective):
Expensive as hell
EVERYTHING IS CLOSED on Sundays
Lots of places close early on other days
Difficulty in finding a job if your work in the US did not relocate you. I'm currently looking for a clinical role at the big Pharmas here. I began looking about a month ago, but it has been difficult essentially starting from scratch-- esp. if you had a great career in the states.
People are friendly, but not west coast friendly
Terrible maternity leave laws if you're planning on having kiddos. But coming from the states, we're not ones to speak- haha!
It can get lonely if your wife is at home alone as she's getting settled. Its been difficult but if you're also working in Basel, its so easy to link up during the day for lunches. Everything is so close here (I guess this is a pro too!)
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