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  #21  
Old 27.04.2017, 16:15
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Still, the question is will he save any tax by residing in CH? Still I don't get it if there is no tax advantage why retiring in the mountains and not in the south of France?
Speaks travel German and not travel French.
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  #22  
Old 27.04.2017, 16:20
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Speaks travel German and not travel French.
I highly doubt French is the deal breaker
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  #23  
Old 27.04.2017, 16:32
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Still, the question is will he save any tax by residing in CH? Still I don't get it if there is no tax advantage why retiring in the mountains and not in the south of France?
Maybe I mis-read, but the OP didn't ask about tax advantages, but rather what it was like to retire in Switzerland: which when considering retirement leads me to think more of quality of life, availability and quality of healthcare, activities suitable for retirees and so on.
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  #24  
Old 27.04.2017, 16:55
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

Good point, Phil_MCR.

Health care is very good (with exceptions, always, depending on some individuals), as long as you have the insurance to cover what you need, or independent funds to buy in anything not covered.

Public transport, particularly in the cities, is excellent. This extends the mobility of the aged and frail, enabling them to go out even once they've had to give up their drivers' licences.

Retirees in Switzerland are often very active, out and about, and there are many clubs, societies and interest groups. Obviously, the more of the local language one speaks, the more accessible such meetings become, but especially if the group activities are not dedicated on language (e.g. hiking, rather than poetry analysis), anyone polite is usually welcome.

If poor health makes that no longer possible, one can call on a range of additional services, for example home nursing, or carers who will come to a person's home, and take them out if need be.

In some cultures, growing older is regarded as a kind of licence to behave oddly, to become excentric. This is, I think, generally not part of the Swiss culture, at least not in the German-speaking areas. Older people are expected to conduct themselves with decorum and modesty, and not make waves. The cliché is that old people complain too much about their ailments, and moan at the young folk too much. On the other hand, anyone - and an elderly person the more so - who is seen to be dedicated to an idea, who has a passion, or who is working on a hobby or a project, who is contributing to society or even just to his or her own personal happiness, is admired.
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Old 27.04.2017, 16:57
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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It means for us that we do not have to pay medical insurance, as we have no Swiss income, only our UK pensions
I thought that medical insurance was compulsory in Switzerland.
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Old 27.04.2017, 16:58
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Maybe I mis-read, but the OP didn't ask about tax advantages, but rather what it was like to retire in Switzerland: which when considering retirement leads me to think more of quality of life, availability and quality of healthcare, activities suitable for retirees and so on.
True, but then that would be a boring thread...
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  #27  
Old 27.04.2017, 17:11
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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I thought that medical insurance was compulsory in Switzerland.
As Odile is officially a UK pensioner and not a Swiss one, the UK NHS pick up the bill. For the time being. Might change in a couple of years....
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  #28  
Old 27.04.2017, 17:21
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

300 CHF franchise and 10% up to 700CHF.

But only if you have NO Swiss pension or other income. If that goes after Brexit- I have my business plan all ready to go back to work- instead of doing the ton of stuff I do on voluntary basis now
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  #29  
Old 27.04.2017, 17:25
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

Everyone is obsessing about money, which is understandable, but there are other requirements...

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Citizens of non-EUcountries may retire in Switzerland if they are over 55; have close connections with Switzerland (for example, frequent stays, family members in the country, past residency); no longer pursue gainful employment in Switzerland or abroad; transfer the centre of their interests to Switzerland; and have the necessary financial resources. In addition, they will need health and accident insurance covering all risks in Switzerland. Owning property in Switzerland is not necessarily enough to establish “close ties”
I expect frequent stays does not mean holidaying here once every few years, but having actually lived here for a significant period of time.

I think it will come down to exactly where OP wants to retire. ZH or GE probably will be much more difficult then, say, AI or TI. Ticino will take anyone with money no matter how insufferable or american they are

Also, what does 'comfortable' mean? Comfortable means different things to different people...
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Old 27.04.2017, 17:25
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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As Odile is officially a UK pensioner and not a Swiss one, the UK NHS pick up the bill. For the time being. Might change in a couple of years....
Odile, do I understand correctly that the UK NHS pays this for UK pensioners living in Switzerland:
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300 CHF franchise and 10% up to 700CHF.
?

Does the UK NHS also pays the monthly Swiss health insurance premiums?
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  #31  
Old 27.04.2017, 17:27
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

and I thought you were employed by EF!
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Old 27.04.2017, 17:34
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Odile, do I understand correctly that the UK NHS pays this for UK pensioners living in Switzerland:
?

Does the UK NHS also pays the monthly Swiss health insurance premiums?
No, we have to pay the 300CHF franchise and 10% up to 700- As said before, my knee replacement cost 300 + 700 = 1000. No-one pays health premiums as such.

Not sure how it works between the 2 Governments in practice. Our bills go to Lamal in Solothurn- and we pay up to 1000 then they take the rest...Part of the bilateral agreements- which may well not survive. When we first arrived here, OH was not 65, so we had to have compulsory health insurance until he got his UK State pension (he retired early at 62) aged 65.
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Old 27.04.2017, 17:38
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

Also, one more point of reference:

25% of expat retirees in Switzerland have a pension affording them over £125,000 a year. To join this cadre, OP will indeed need to be rolling in it.
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  #34  
Old 27.04.2017, 17:39
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Not sure how it works between the 2 Governments in practice.....
Basically Switzerland bills the NHS.

In theory the NHS should be billing Switzerland for treatment of Swiss pensioners in the UK (if there are any) but apparently they mostly don't do it.
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  #35  
Old 27.04.2017, 17:42
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

Not mea culpa. We actually didn't know about the reciprocal agreements when we came here. It is another EF friend who told me we should look into it (Thank you, you know who you are ). OH worked and contributed for 40 years and me for 30- so fair enough Id say. But we digress- basically that would NOT apply to OP- and neither would not paying tax back home.

Last edited by Odile; 27.04.2017 at 18:37.
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Old 27.04.2017, 18:34
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

As this thread has now got to 35 posts and the contents of most of them will be surprising to the OP, I think it might help him if we pick out the most relevant bits of the few relevant ones. Just for fun!
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We're an active American couple from Vail, Colorado. We've been in Switzerland many times and love it. We speak "travel German" well enough to feel very comfortable as independent travelers. We have the resources to retire there comfortably. We'll be back in late May, and would love to visit with some English speakers who have done it.
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a) You may think you have enough to live comfortably here, but the Swiss authorities may not agree.
b) US government's FATCA law - getting a bank account here is difficult for Americans due to it. To open any account here you would have to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account info on to the IRS.
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Are you also an EU ciitizen?

If not, be aware that, canton dependent, your comfortable resources might need to be very comfortable indeed, as in gazillions.

A non EU, non working person might be able to negotiate a residence permit based on 'in the public interest', code for extremely wealthy, but this is an individual negotiation.
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It isn't just normal 'How are you today?' conversation I'm thinking of, but possible emergencies and difficulties with authorities or neighbours. 'Understanding German' will mean you still won't understand conversations between native Swiss anyway.

What happens when I can no longer drive? Am I prepared to make mistakes ...and can I really laugh at myself when this happens? Can I do without my fix of 'home food' ...Can I cope cheerfully with rules, all more rules and nothing but the rules?
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Health care is very good (with exceptions, always, depending on some individuals), as long as you have the insurance to cover what you need, or independent funds to buy in anything not covered.

Public transport, particularly in the cities, is excellent. This extends the mobility of the aged and frail, enabling them to go out even once they've had to give up their drivers' licences.
Retirees in Switzerland are often very active, out and about, and there are many clubs, societies and interest groups.

If poor health makes that no longer possible, one can call on a range of additional services, for example home nursing, or carers who will come to a person's home, and take them out if need be.
Older people are expected to conduct themselves with decorum and modesty, and not make waves.
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I think it will come down to exactly where OP wants to retire. ZH or GE probably will be much more difficult then, say, AI or TI. Ticino will take anyone with money no matter how insufferable or american they are
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  #37  
Old 27.04.2017, 18:43
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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No, we have to pay the 300CHF franchise and 10% up to 700- As said before, my knee replacement cost 300 + 700 = 1000. No-one pays health premiums as such.

Not sure how it works between the 2 Governments in practice. Our bills go to Lamal in Solothurn- and we pay up to 1000 then they take the rest...Part of the bilateral agreements- which may well not survive. When we first arrived here, OH was not 65, so we had to have compulsory health insurance until he got his UK State pension (he retired early at 62) aged 65.


If I have understood your post correctly Odile, you have a ceiling for healthcare of CHF700. Thus, let's say you you have a bill of CHF20,000, does this mean that you would only pay 700, and that the NHS would cough-up the rest?
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Old 27.04.2017, 18:45
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

Apologies to OP- for further digression.

700 + 300 franchise- so 1000 per year. My knee replacement cost me 1000- the second one will cost me the same (half-knee this time). Had I been clever, I could have had BOGOF if I had both done in the same year !

So yes, just as they would if we lived in the UK with a severe condition/treatment. Hopefully it will never come to that . Although it is not the NHS as such, but the British GVT.

Last edited by Odile; 27.04.2017 at 19:36.
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Old 27.04.2017, 18:49
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Still, the question is will he save any tax by residing in CH? Still I don't get it if there is no tax advantage why retiring in the mountains and not in the south of France?
Just maybe he likes Switzerland and doesn't care too much about the tax he will save by living somewhere which is totally different and quite possible unappealing to him.

I certainly wouldn't like to live in South of France.
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Old 27.04.2017, 19:21
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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I thought that medical insurance was compulsory in Switzerland.
Thanks Salad Days for "not letting this point getaway". I am from the US, been here 8 years, retired in 2011. Paramount to me staying here was enough income, HEALTH INSURANCE, (they don't want you to "suck from the social system to pay for your health"), and of course, for me, that I have not been sucking off the social system too much. Said another way, they want to prevent you being just another social system drain, which I understand completely. So I really "question" the comment about not needing Health Insurance. I suggest you check again. I have the email address of the Immigration office (Migrationsamt) here in Oerlikon if that would help.
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