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  #41  
Old 15.07.2017, 23:27
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Re: What would you do differently?

My husband and I are non-EU. One enormous 'oops' when we arrived was that the dependent spouse of a Non-EU does not automatically get the right to work....for two years! If we had known that up-front, we would not have come at all....

Secondly, our permits were 1 year and not automatically renewing. We found out later that they were 'pre-approved' for two years (L) and then after that the employer would have to apply to have them renewed for a 3rd year... including re-advertising the position...

If we had known my husband would be 'tied' for 3 years or longer... we may not have come...

Regrets ??? years 5-8, spending all our extra money on travelling and 'bigger-ing' our life... we came here with virtually nothing, it took about 5 years to get established, and years 5-8 were productive but very busy. Crash and burnout in year 8.... mental health recovery second half of year 9 and looking forward to a powerful year 10....

Worth it ? Swiss Passports hopefully at the end of year 10, plus a new career direction for me, and husband who will be happy to continue with a job that he has managed to hold secure for 10 years..

Ask me again in 12 months... when I should 'theoretically' have a daughter ready to go to university, a son starting a technical apprenticeship and a primary schooler who is just about to start thinking about preparations for Gymnasium exams.... ouch!

My advice - realise that there are several layers to the economy here - find out how the locals do it - save money where you can and enjoy the scenery every day. When it gets dull and grey, find sunshine up high in the mountains (as the locals do!) .... join local clubs, cultural, sport, music, outdoors, creative...

I read only a couple of weeks ago that whereas in previous generations 'wealth' was invested in houses or cars...what separates the poor from the rich these days are three things: education, health care and their retirement fund. We've got the first two well-covered (can afford to invest extra money in education for ourselves and our children, and have access to world-class healthcare that is affordable for us)... but the retirement fund needs some extra attention...
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  #42  
Old 15.07.2017, 23:38
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Re: What would you do differently?

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...
Ask me again in 12 months... when I should 'theoretically' have a daughter ready to go to university, a son starting a technical apprenticeship and a primary schooler who is just about to start thinking about preparations for Gymnasium exams.... ouch!
I would add:
For a couple coming with children, make it a priority to figure out how the school system works early enough that you can follow what the teachers are talking about with respect to apprenticeships, sek, matura etc.

Last edited by JagWaugh; 16.07.2017 at 10:48.
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  #43  
Old 15.07.2017, 23:38
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Re: What would you do differently?

Don't get married, stay in relationship as long as you can (with all benefits equivalent to being married that is e.g. having kids together) for tax purposes. Similar applies to religion declaration on paper.
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  #44  
Old 16.07.2017, 09:54
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Re: What would you do differently?

Definitely NOT live in a little village with a train service once an hour and which is rather too conservative for my liking.
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  #45  
Old 16.07.2017, 10:44
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Re: What would you do differently?

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Definitely NOT live in a little village with a train service once an hour and which is rather too conservative for my liking.
We live in a little village with no train service, and no bus service after 7PM.

It's great!

Tom
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  #46  
Old 16.07.2017, 10:47
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Re: What would you do differently?

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I’ll say it again - hire a qualified tax and financial person, one who works for you.
I always filled out my US and Swiss tax forms myself, no need for outside help.

Tom
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  #47  
Old 16.07.2017, 10:53
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Re: What would you do differently?

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We live in a little village with no train service, and no bus service after 7PM.

It's great!

Tom
But don't you have a well stocked stable of motorbikes to choose from after the buses stop?
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  #48  
Old 16.07.2017, 10:56
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Re: What would you do differently?

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But don't you have a well stocked stable of motorbikes to choose from after the buses stop?
And a fleet of cars.

Tom
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  #49  
Old 16.07.2017, 17:39
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Re: What would you do differently?

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We will be moving to Switzerland soon and in my preparation of packing up, paperwork, finding a place to live and schools, etc I'd like to know what mistakes you've made along the way. What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
Biggest mistake was moving to Switzerland.
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  #50  
Old 16.07.2017, 17:44
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Re: What would you do differently?

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Biggest mistake was moving to Switzerland.
Best thing I ever did myself!

Tom
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  #51  
Old 16.07.2017, 20:12
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Re: What would you do differently?

I've done so many things myself

I think not the best thing for myself, tbh, but definitely the best thing for my kid, for many reasons. So would be many other countries, but it is good in a very special way. I think to move here from NJ will be an interesting challenge if OP is used to a tight knit network of family&friends or likeminded people. I also think that deciding to do things differently when one is established in one's life is a healthy challenge to conquer.
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  #52  
Old 16.07.2017, 22:06
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Re: What would you do differently?

Gosh. You're not moving to Outer Mongolia to a yurt!! 1000's of miles by horse to the local shop.

We have running water, and electricity!! And shops.

And some of us don't speak German!!

But then i moved here as a nine year old. My parents probably did all the serious things. They bought me a foldy up bike!!

I understand that it must be very daunting and scary. But folks just get on with it. And this Forum goes out of it's way to welcome newcomers.
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  #53  
Old 16.07.2017, 22:44
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Re: What would you do differently?

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Gosh. You're not moving to Outer Mongolia to a yurt!! 1000's of miles by horse to the local shop.
I know a place you can stay in a yurt here....and if we direct you via the Alp route, pretty sure it could FEEL like 1000km to the shop
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  #54  
Old 16.07.2017, 22:47
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Re: What would you do differently?

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I know a place you can stay in a yurt here....and if we direct you via the Alp route, pretty sure it could FEEL like 1000km to the shop
Glamping made it here.

And tree-house hotels!
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Old 16.07.2017, 23:16
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Re: What would you do differently?

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I know a place you can stay in a yurt here....and if we direct you via the Alp route, pretty sure it could FEEL like 1000km to the shop
yep, 2000m above sea-level. Or if you prefer a tipi ....
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  #56  
Old 16.07.2017, 23:36
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Re: What would you do differently?

Probably not much help but anyway;

I was here for seven years before I realised that it was not a temporary thing so I would have got myself on the waiting list for a boat mooring on the Rhine much sooner. I am still at least 7 - 10 years before I get one by which time I will need one with wheelchair access.

Also I would have organised my divorce in Switzerland not England; which would have saved me a few hundred thousand.

I would have taken advantage of the possibility to make back payments to Swiss State and company pension schemes which give a good guaranteed and safe return on investment.
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  #57  
Old 16.07.2017, 23:39
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Re: What would you do differently?

Buy a good bike lock !! ( or a cheap bike )

Always carry a jacket with you . ( ideally a water-resistant one )
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  #58  
Old 16.07.2017, 23:58
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Re: What would you do differently?

I hope that hearing our stories doesn't scare you away. Each of us has come here under different circumstances and made different choices. Some were good decisions, some not. You'll run into the same thing, but at least you'll know you're not alone.

Sometimes I think it's simply knowing how things work so you can make better, more informed decisions. Anecdotally, I'd say the #1 complaint/issue we see posted here on EF is due to folks not realizing how contracts work here. Not knowing how they work and not being able to read them in German/French/Italian is not an excuse - something people will remind you of often.

My top tip is to read around on the Forum (complaints corner is a good start, as are the stickies at the top of each section) about various contracts - employment, gyms, phone subscriptions, and home/apartment rentals. Once you understand the notice periods, auto-renewals, etc. you'll be more prepared to navigate that part of the maze.

Here's another, older thread that I think was very useful:
Things I wish I had known before moving here

What should you know about the EF community? We're not all Swiss, and we're not all expats, so try not to lump us all into one category. Overall we're a friendly and helpful lot, particularly if you have a good warped sense of humor.
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  #59  
Old 17.07.2017, 09:13
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Re: What would you do differently?

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We have running water, and electricity!!
Only when it rains, and there is fuel in the generator.

Tom
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Old 17.07.2017, 12:33
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Re: What would you do differently?

If I would get a chance to make it differently, I would settle immediately as it would be forever. The first 10 years I was here with a temporary mindset and I regret that. I should have gained mastery in German faster, and my life quality would have been higher if I would have integrated earlier.

Now, nearly 20 years later I am fully integrated in the local community and love my life here. It could have been much earlier this way if I would not have thought that it wouldn’t pay off the effort as we are anyway leaving the country soon.
We still plan to move to another country from here and if that eventually then one day happens, I will put all in from the day 1. I would do that even I would know that the stay would be just temporary. That was the lesson I had to learn..
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