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Old 12.01.2020, 15:30
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Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

Hi guys, thanks a lot for all useful information that you are posting here. It help a lot to get an understanding.

I'm still not sure if it's worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich in money sense. I'm comfortable in Hamburg with everything expect of the money and I'm trying to solve this problem. One of the ideas is to move to Zurich.

So basically I'm 30 years old with wife and small kid, working as a web developer with 10 years of experience. My current salary is 75k euros per year (and this is almost top here) which leaves me with 4100 euros netto pro month (my wife is not working). The biggest amount that we are able to keep aside is 1k euros in month.

I checked lots about Zurich and it sounds like 120k CHF on average for 10 years experienced programmer. It's about 7900 per month netto. From what I found is the average expenses for family of 3 are 6-6.5k CHF. Which leaves not so much money after and obviously everything is move expensive than in Germany. Which for me sounds like not worth the hassle.

If my wife would start working than it changes everything significantly because it's +1-2k euros in Germany in comparison to +3.4k+ netto in Zurich.

What do you thing about all this? Are my calculations correct and is it worth it from the money perspective? Am I missing something which is free in Germany but paid in Switzerland? (I know about kindergardens).

Thanks for your time!
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Old 12.01.2020, 16:05
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

So, you can save up to EUR 1k per month in Hamburg, versus maybe CHF 1.400 - 1.900 per month in Zurich.

Frankly, no, I don't think that would be worth the move. Assuming the savings will eventually be spent in Switzerland (e.g. for holiday, buying a car or other big thing), then the higher cost of that will make the extra savings amount balance out.

If the savings are going back home to Germany (e.g. to support a family member) or to eventual pension time in Germany, maybe another picture.

And frankly, if your wife hopes to work, then Germany will highly likely be the better financial option. Childcare here is expensive and even once school-age is reached, school hours assume there is someone at home over lunch and some afternoons. So one of you would need to either work flexible hours or part-time hours (or pay childcare).

On top of all that, you would lose your support network (friends, family etc) in Hamburg - and so likely spend extra money on visits home.

Is that worth it for a few extra hundred a month in savings? Your call....but unless it is a fantastic job opportunity and you have no love of Hamburg...I'd say not worth it.
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Old 12.01.2020, 16:31
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

Hi heckenhocker, thanks for you thoughtful replay.
I'm originally not from Germany so not so many friends/relatives here.
Staying at home for kids lunch is really tricky, thanks for mentioning it.
Well, then I need to dig in other direction to find more money.
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Old 12.01.2020, 16:34
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

And don´t forget that in Germany your health insurance will include a non working wife and kids, not so in Switzerland as they all need to pay. Can make quite a financial difference.

And Hamburg is a nice city!
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Old 12.01.2020, 16:51
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

Thanks for response, Roegner. I calculated this in expenses from possible Zurich's salary. Yes I'm completely fine with Hamburg. The only thing that makes me uncomfortable is money Getting 1k euros pro month after all expenses won't bring me anywhere even after 20 years frugal living.
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Old 12.01.2020, 16:58
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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Getting 1k euros pro month after all expenses won't bring me anywhere even after 20 years frugal living.
Start with investing what you can. It can bring a lot of return in 20 years.
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Old 12.01.2020, 17:05
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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Start with investing what you can. It can bring a lot of return in 20 years.
Sure thing. Doing this last 3 years. But my calculations are saying that I need to invest much much more to achieve something earlier that in 40 years.
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Old 12.01.2020, 17:08
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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Sure thing. Doing this last 3 years. But my calculations are saying that I need to invest much much more to achieve something earlier that in 40 years.
https://www.investor.gov/additional-...est-calculator

Plug in 0 starting capital, 1k in contributions a year for 20 years and 8% APR return and daily compounding and you'll end up with 593k. Replace the 20 years with 40 and you'll end up with 3.5M

What is your goal?
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Old 12.01.2020, 17:42
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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https://www.investor.gov/additional-...est-calculator

Plug in 0 starting capital, 1k in contributions a year for 20 years and 8% APR return and daily compounding and you'll end up with 593k. Replace the 20 years with 40 and you'll end up with 3.5M

What is your goal?
My goal is 1mln euros which will give the same level of living as now if I withdraw 4% of the interests. Imho 8% returns after inflation is optimistic.
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Old 12.01.2020, 17:45
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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My goal is 1mln euros which will give the same level of living as now if I withdraw 4% of the interests. Imho 8% returns after inflation is optimistic.
Hmm no. I have funds that make that.
I started with smaller amounts in the past and invested more when I started earning more. It all adds up.
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Old 12.01.2020, 17:47
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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My goal is 1mln euros which will give the same level of living as now if I withdraw 4% of the interests. Imho 8% returns after inflation is optimistic.
The percentages are o.k., only thing is that nobody knows what your 3.5M will be able to get you in 40 yrs. Could be the equivalent of just 500K today.

Same goes for your 1M, might be enough today, but what will 1M get you in 20 yrs?
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Old 12.01.2020, 18:07
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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Hmm no. I have funds that make that.
I started with smaller amounts in the past and invested more when I started earning more. It all adds up.
Good to hear that it's possible. Will try my best
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Old 12.01.2020, 18:10
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

Welcome to the forum.

You're assuming you can make the move to Switzerland easily, but that isn't always the case for non-EU nationals. Any Swiss employer will have to prove they can't find a Swiss/EU national who could do the job plus you personally will probably need a university degree.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

Unless you have something special to offer an employer they're not going to go to the time and expense of trying to get a permit for you.
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Old 12.01.2020, 18:25
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

6k expenses for a family of 3 is rather on the "splurge" side if you're asking me.

Assuming you don't mind to commute something like 30min to work and stay somewhere in the suburbs, a decent and reasonably well located 4.5-room place can be had for <2k CHF (incl)

Health insurance for your family will be somewhere around 800 CHF (give or take, depends on extras you want) - more if you're actually sick a lot and need to see the doctor frequently, but not that much (10% after the first 300 CHF or whatever you pick as Franchise)

If you're working in the city and living in the suburbs like Dübendorf, Altstetten, Wallisellen, not completely remote (which would bring lower rents) then you might prefer to own a regional/national travel card. National would be about 6500 CHF for your family. Regional (whole Kanton Zürich) about 4000 CHF if you include some trips Swiss-wide, and locally (only your local Zone+Zürich) about 2500 CHF (depends how many zones, exactly) - so anything from 200 to 500 CHF per month. Let's again go with the most expensive option (which is also about what a medium sized car would cost, not taking parking into account) - 500 CHF per month.

Internet/Mobile phones, for two people I'd calculate 200 CHF per month including a new phone every 2-3 years for each.

That would make it 3500 CHF per month so far. Food-wise, obviously it depends a lot. You can feed a family of 3 with 500 CHF per month if you're choosing cheaper non-brand products, eating less meat, or you can spend 1000 CHF if picking more expensive options, eating out lunch sometimes/frequently. Let's pick 800 CHF which definitely isn't that low.

Cosmetics, products for the child, household materials (cleaning etc.), as well as clothing - you can literally go from basic ones, second hand for about 100 CHF per month to close to unlimited if you got a wife keen on shopping. Let's say 200 CHF per month here.

That would amount to about 4500 CHF per month fixed/base costs which would include more or less an average life. Eating out, holidays etc. not included, you might want to add another 500 CHF per month for that.

Still will "only" amount to 5000 CHF.

If you're earning 8000 CHF (after taxes, social expenses etc. deducted) you'll DEFINITELY have much more left than what you had in Germany.

In my opinion, if you've a modest lifestyle (which might include travel, too), you can "keep" more of your earnings in Switzerland as compared to Germany, while if you enjoy going out to bars/restaurants/cinemas/sports&concerts etc. more often, enjoy shopping (domestic spending in general) then Germany might be a better option, since as you correctly said, cost of living there is cheaper. The more you spend, the less Switzerland is attractive.
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Old 12.01.2020, 20:50
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

Thanks for such a deep review, YuropFlyer this helped a lot! I've checked districts that you wrote and prices are indeed much much lower.
Well with your calculations even a 1k for food and health insurance for 1k for 3 of us looks quite promising.
We are no shoppers, no bars and restaurants. 2 times in years we are flying somewhere and once per week we are going out for coffee and maybe 1-2 concerts in a year.
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Old 13.01.2020, 13:49
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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Hi guys, thanks a lot for all useful information that you are posting here. It help a lot to get an understanding.

I'm still not sure if it's worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich in money sense. I'm comfortable in Hamburg with everything expect of the money and I'm trying to solve this problem. One of the ideas is to move to Zurich.

So basically I'm 30 years old with wife and small kid, working as a web developer with 10 years of experience. My current salary is 75k euros per year (and this is almost top here) which leaves me with 4100 euros netto pro month (my wife is not working). The biggest amount that we are able to keep aside is 1k euros in month.

I checked lots about Zurich and it sounds like 120k CHF on average for 10 years experienced programmer. It's about 7900 per month netto. From what I found is the average expenses for family of 3 are 6-6.5k CHF. Which leaves not so much money after and obviously everything is move expensive than in Germany. Which for me sounds like not worth the hassle.

If my wife would start working than it changes everything significantly because it's +1-2k euros in Germany in comparison to +3.4k+ netto in Zurich.

What do you thing about all this? Are my calculations correct and is it worth it from the money perspective? Am I missing something which is free in Germany but paid in Switzerland? (I know about kindergardens).

Thanks for your time!
not worth the move
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Old 13.01.2020, 16:49
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

If your wife decides to return to work, you can count on more than half - 3/4 of her salary going to daycare. Another important piece to consider...it is a fortune here!
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Old 13.01.2020, 20:10
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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If your wife decides to return to work, you can count on more than half - 3/4 of her salary going to daycare. Another important piece to consider...it is a fortune here!
I'd say that's a slight exaggeration, but yes, it's not cheap. On the other hand, once the kid hits 4 years (plus/minus half a year) and it's Kindergarten time, some of the Kindergarten do offer "day care"-like schedules which definitely allow to cut expenses used for daycare before. So if the kid is already approaching that age (or calculating it will by the time the wife wants to work) then it wouldn't be that high of extra costs..
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Old 13.01.2020, 21:23
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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I'd say that's a slight exaggeration, but yes, it's not cheap. On the other hand, once the kid hits 4 years (plus/minus half a year) and it's Kindergarten time, some of the Kindergarten do offer "day care"-like schedules which definitely allow to cut expenses used for daycare before. So if the kid is already approaching that age (or calculating it will by the time the wife wants to work) then it wouldn't be that high of extra costs..
But after that when he goes to school somebody need to be superflexible to make a lunch at home or bring him there and back to school during the lunch break.
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Old 13.01.2020, 21:31
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Re: Is it worth it to move from Hamburg to Zurich

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But after that when he goes to school somebody need to be superflexible to make a lunch at home or bring him there and back to school during the lunch break.
Well, there are probably some areas where walking to/from school for a 1st grader might be tricky, but I'd say in most areas of Switzerland, especially the suburbs, it should be perfectly doable for a 1st grader to walk to/from school themselves after a few weeks. First few weeks of the schoolyear usually with support to cross roads.

Plenty of schools offer school lunches as well, so some days will be completely covered, and depending how fast the kid is becoming independent, it's entirely reasonable to assume a 3rd grader (and above) to be able to reheat some prepared meals at home. Certainly when I was a kid, everyone in my school that had working parents was able to do so, and/or parents organized some kind of group schedule where one parent would take care for several kids over lunch in a rotating shiftplan.
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