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Old 29.04.2017, 18:07
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

I'll chime in here, although posting in a thread with so many Forum Legends offering thoughts - it's a bit intimidating! But here goes...

My spouse and I (like the OP) are dual US and EU citizens. We've now been fortunate enough to live in Switzerland for almost seven years, and will be moving back to the USA next month due to my spouse's job change. We LOVE living here, even though our German language skills are still simply awful. We've not found that to be a problem with daily life, although everyone is correct that it limits the depth of friendship with my neighbors. Everyone in my building speaks English, and they all encourage and try to help us learn. It's probably one of the reasons why our German isn't better - too many folk switch to English! We are almost at retirement age too, and our brains are having enough trouble retrieving English words - much less learn a new language. But one must really try in order to develop good friends and fully integrate.

As far as expensive - it really does depend upon which area in the USA you are comparing to Swiss costs. We are from NY - and honestly some things are higher, and some are lower. Yes, it is not really possible to dine out cheaply in Switzerland. But low cost US restaraunts are often chains and the food is meh. High quality dining out in NYC is just as expensive as in Zürich.

FATCA and FBAR filing are really annoying and intrusive - and make me pretty upset with the US gov't. But it is what it is...and if you know about it up front before moving here (as we did) it's possible to comply without it being too big a pain.

Health care is a serious issue - as Medicare will not pay for any costs outside of the US territory. So that expense, and the higher taxes as everyone has noted about the US (even worse if you are unable to shed state residency which is much more complicate these days) is the biggest drawback.

All that said - I would choose to retire here in a heartbeat if I had the resources - as possibly the OP does. It's a wonderful country with friendly people (once you get to know them), easy travel to the rest of Europe, and the challenges of managing the language and cost constraints are really doable. It's certainly worth a try!

AND - you have EF to help!

Last edited by FelixCloudy; 29.04.2017 at 18:14. Reason: Spelling
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  #82  
Old 29.04.2017, 19:52
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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As far as expensive - it really does depend upon which area in the USA you are comparing to Swiss costs. We are from NY - and honestly some things are higher, and some are lower. Yes, it is not really possible to dine out cheaply in Switzerland. But low cost US restaraunts are often chains and the food is meh. High quality dining out in NYC is just as expensive as in Zürich.
Thank you, that's my finding is well.

I'm from Fairfield county CT, which is quite an expensive area and in general no cheaper than here for most things, including meat (and wine is half the price here compared to there).

Tom
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  #83  
Old 29.04.2017, 21:11
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Who is 'everybody'? Maybe if you work in a grammar school sort of environment, the folk you have daily contact with do. But in my lowly area of contacts, buddy, they sure don't.
EVERYBODY is not the emergency number at the company that services our boiler, English is the last thing I expect, but Hochdeutsch is not on offer either. Fortunately I understand dialect quite well and after redialling 6 times to hear the message deciphered the mobile number for whomever is on call this long weekend. They didn't answer so I presume having a beer in the sun...

My suggestion would be to know however much of the local language is necessary to solve an emergency, very unlikely it will be English (I have never counted on this but perhaps someone new might?). Despite what some assume I don't live in the sticks - including a scenic 20min walk to station my commute to Zürich is under an hour

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  #84  
Old 14.05.2017, 17:42
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

Never retire here. Go south-France or Spain where there is sunshine.
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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.

Thanks
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Old 14.05.2017, 20:20
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Never retire here. Go south-France or Spain where there is sunshine.

No thankyou, full of bloody Frenchies or bling bling Brits to start with
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Old 14.05.2017, 20:58
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Never retire here. Go south-France or Spain where there is sunshine.
Maybe if you move your butt out of "here" (Zürich), you'll discover that there's plenty of sunshine in the right parts of Switzerland -- Basel, Ticino, Romandie...
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Old 14.05.2017, 21:14
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Re: What's it like to retire in Switzerland?

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Maybe if you move your butt out of "here" (Zürich), you'll discover that there's plenty of sunshine in the right parts of Switzerland -- Basel, Ticino, Romandie...
Keep kidding yourself, optimism at its best.
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