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Old 13.02.2020, 21:41
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

It is astounding to me, really, because I do not have this knack. When my Mother in Law was alive she spoke no English and I spoke no German so my non-speaking son would sit between the two of us and be our translator. Not a perfect system but what fun that was!
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  #22  
Old 13.02.2020, 21:43
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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I've been reading and trying to envision what this would mean for my 15 year old. He has a somewhat decent fluency in German and has a few friends his age. Is it something about the particular school demands at that age?.
As Belgian mum and others have said, it is a very difficult age to move here. He is past the age of mandatory schooling and past the streaming, thus if university is planned, it will be very difficult if not impossible. He would have to pass difficult tests to enter gymnasium (high school) that without perfect German, perfect French, and very good handle of the other subjects tested in german/French from Swiss secondary schooling, I'm afraid the chances are nil. Paying for international school or following trades or apprenticeship is likely scenerio. Only about 10-20% of students here, depending on region, test into the gymnasium stream and follow the university route.

I would also like to have you examine the situation for your older son here before you make the move. I also have a child with special needs and I would say the opposite to your impression of 'inclusiveness'. I find the situation in the US more accepting, providing the necessary treatments and opportunities, plus often the financial means for treatment and therapies. If your son needs any kind of therapies or treatments beyond basic healthcare, really examine this. The healthcare here does not cover disabilities nor their therapies. And invalidity insurance, the common Swiss approach to some aspects, there's a good chance he may not qualify. Some treatments may be provided by schools or cantons but he's past the age for these most likely. So if he needs any type of therapy, make sure you have large funds set aside to pay privately or clearly talk to the relevant authorities about the coverage before you decide to move.

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm but wanted to provide a true picture after been there, done that. If you don't examine the details of these things before you move, you could be in for many surprises.
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Old 13.02.2020, 21:49
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Thank you. We aren't too worried about that because he can keep working remotely at his current job if he doesn't find anything locally.
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:00
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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Thank you. We aren't too worried about that because he can keep working remotely at his current job if he doesn't find anything locally.
Some people had the same set up and got stranded. Which is I guess a bit easier in their 30s and not with a trailing spouse and grown kids (they cost a lot here, simple things like books, clothes, insurance policies, courses, private tutors, hobbies, sports...social life is expensive). Your family here might also treat you differently when you visit and pay them rent, staying in their place and when you might need a back up, help....etc. He will be in his element, you and kids not. I know you see it positively compared to the US somewhat fake lives there. Here it is real, but it can be very difficult reality. Not trying to discourage you, only have you think about yourself. Made the leap myself, what later proved reality was more than hard.
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:01
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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I would also like to have you examine the situation for your older son here before you make the move. I also have a child with special needs and I would say the opposite to your impression of 'inclusiveness'. ...

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm but wanted to provide a true picture after been there, done that. If you don't examine the details of these things before you move, you could be in for many surprises.
Thank you, Runningdeer. This is precisely what I am turning to the forum for. My son is extremely healthy and very athletic so does not make use of any therapies and does not require any specialized healthcare. As I mentioned, my husband's sister has DS -- she is 65 now -- and her quality of life is far above what I see for many in our community but for the very wealthy. We have another relative (now deceased) who was very disabled and homebound. I was impressed with the level of skilled professional care she received.

I'm curious about your thoughts about disability in the US. Have you had the experience of living here? I'd be curious where, if you don't mind telling me. We live in a fairly small city -- but one with 2 universities -- and the long term situation is very depressing.

We are doing a lot of research at the moment and coordinating with family at home. My son is a Swiss citizen so I guess we just feel the obligation to find out where his opportunities for a good life will be the most optimistic.

I appreciate your thoughts very much.
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:12
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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Here it is real, but it can be very difficult reality. Not trying to discourage you, only have you think about yourself. Made the leap myself, what later proved reality was more than hard.
Yes, as my husband is fond of telling me: A vacation is not real life!

These are good reminders and I appreciate it. We have lived together with our children in countries where neither of us was fluent in the language and somehow made it work. Besides, we can always leave if it doesn't work out. We are lucky to have a place to live in two countries no matter what. How lucky that we have the opportunity to try.
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:13
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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At 62 I would be very pessimistic about his chances of finding work... 55 seems to be the magic age. And there are plenty of well educated and experienced people on this form over 55 and struggling to find something.

I echo Jim's thoughts. My OH works for a Swiss bank and it seems, whenever there are cutbacks, those picked tend to be in the retirement bracket 58-62 years of age (sad but true!). What is really sad, is that those chosen to receive redundancy/early retirement are quite productive (at least in OH's experience!). Meanwhile, there are many in my OH's view, who are in their 40s and Swiss and who take vacations, sick time, cigarette breaks you name it. In short, there is much dead wood but the ones asked to leave are often those who are older. My guess is they are expensive given pension contributions by the employer.

That said, I have friends here whose husbands have been retired or let go, and some have managed to carve out very successful consulting careers. I wish you success OP! It is not easy to navigate moving to a new country but at least you are doing your homework.

I hope all works out well for you and your family!
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:24
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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...there are many in my OH's view, who are in their 40s and Swiss and who take vacations, sick time, cigarette breaks you name it. In short, there is much dead wood ...
Maybe I'm mis-reading you here. I understand about excessive breaks and faking sick leave, but surely employees are entitled to vacation and should take it so they can come back refreshed and ready to work again. There's a mentality in the States that taking vacation means you're not serious about your job, but I think that's the wrong approach. People need a break now and then.
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:24
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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... those picked tend to be in the retirement bracket 58-62 years of age (sad but true!). ... I wish you success OP! It is not easy to navigate moving to a new country but at least you are doing your homework.

I hope all works out well for you and your family!
It really is the same all over!

My husband's current job is very, very, very secure and he can keep it until he retire's, working remotely. We were considering that a Plan B but perhaps what I'm hearing is that if he finds one locally then it may not be as secure over a five year period. That's good food for thought!
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:34
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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It really is the same all over!

My husband's current job is very, very, very secure and he can keep it until he retire's, working remotely. We were considering that a Plan B but perhaps what I'm hearing is that if he finds one locally then it may not be as secure over a five year period. That's good food for thought!
With all due respect, there is a very big difference working remotely in the US versus Europe. I have know people who have thought the same, only to discover after a year or so, that there employer are not so excited about it anymore - there are a lot of extra legal requirements to deal with plus the distance...

I would suggest you run the numbers and make sure you could survive with out an income from say a year after arriving to pension age without an income and see how it works.
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:49
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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With all due respect, there is a very big difference working remotely in the US versus Europe. I have know people who have thought the same, only to discover after a year or so, that there employer are not so excited about it anymore - there are a lot of extra legal requirements to deal with plus the distance...

I would suggest you run the numbers and make sure you could survive with out an income from say a year after arriving to pension age without an income and see how it works.
Ack! I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. But really, my husband's job is secure. There is zero possibility of him not being able to continue doing what he does now. Trust me on this. And we have been doing it for 3 months every year for the past 5 years so we have some experience living/working in CH. We were hoping to transition to local employment because of a job opportunity that might be available and the idea that it might be interesting for him to do something new about 26 years.
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Old 14.02.2020, 06:04
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

As other have mentioned, the chances of finding a local job at 62 are very slim.

You mentioned somewhere a Swiss pension? Did your husband work here before? Because what you can pay in here for pension in the 3 years until retirement at 65 is not much and will only give you a very small pension.
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Old 14.02.2020, 06:55
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Welcome to the forum.

You haven't mentioned the financial side of things, but as US citizens there are things you need to be aware of.

First, getting a bank account here. Since the US passed it's FATCA law, Americans are persons non gratis to most banks so they will not accept you as clients. Only UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance are open to Americans and to open an account here you'll need to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account details on to the IRS. It won't matter that your family are also Swiss citizens, any taint of America will count against them. This may or may not also affect any plans you may have to get a mortgage here to buy property. They might be open to giving you one, then again they may say no and restrict you to just the basic salary/checking account.

As US citizens you have continuing tax filing obligations with the IRS so start your research on that here.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-...ident-aliens-1

You will also have to file an FBAR form if any foreign, i.e. outside of US, account/s comes to more than $10,000 at any time of the year.

As for inclusiveness this may depend on individual circumstances, but my observations are that people with disabilities whether they be physical or otherwise are not as included in daily life as they are in other countries. Many live separately from their families in special homes where they may also have work facilities so do not mix that much with others. They are more segregated than is the case elsewhere. It's changing slowly, but you may find it not as welcoming as you expect. There is this organisation which may also be helpful to you

https://allspecialkids.org/
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Old 14.02.2020, 07:15
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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Hello Everyone,

I'm Christine, a US citizen, married for 20 years to my husband who has dual US/Swiss citizenship. We are making the exciting/nerve-wracking decision to relocate to CH in the coming year. The US is not a place I recognize much anymore, honestly, but that is just part of it. We also have an autistic son who is about to turn 18 and Switzerland is, from what we can tell, a much more inclusive environment (My sister in law has Downs Syndrome). We want him to have a rich and full life and where we live in the US things are rather bleak in that regard. It is depressing, really. All of our relatives live in Switzerland. We have a flat where we can stay for cheap temporarily (and maybe longer), and my youngest son is considering possible careers/university (he's 15) and we would like him to feel able to attend school in Switzerland. All that being said, My husband is 62 so we are at an age where the transition has a lot of ramifications. He works in an international field and we are fairly sure he could find work and when he retires in 5 years we will have both US and Swiss pensions to draw on. I've been reading through the archived messages on this forum and am so thankful for all the information available!! Specifically I'd love to connect with anyone on this forum who has relocated to Switzerland from the US with a disabled dependent -- this is our biggest motivator and concern. We have been spending 3 months/year in Switzerland for the past 5 years so I feel like I have a healthy respect for the challenges but we also love it and I'm excited to make this change.
Getting work at 62 would be an uphill battle. They get rid of them here in their early 50's on the grounds of too expensive. And as far as a swiss pension goes ( assuming he finds work ) it would be very very little after 4 or 5 years work.Unless of course he has already worked here for many years. If you are financially well off then not so big a problem.
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Old 14.02.2020, 07:35
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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As other have mentioned, the chances of finding a local job at 62 are very slim.

You mentioned somewhere a Swiss pension? Did your husband work here before? Because what you can pay in here for pension in the 3 years until retirement at 65 is not much and will only give you a very small pension.
I hope, for the sake of OP, that this is the case indeed, otherwise it would be really difficult to live here without sufficient funds.

But anyways, if the husband is Swiss it makes sense for him, not so sure if it makes that much sense for OP and her children. Especially for the 15 y.o. one, what a shock it will be. From all possibilities to very few.....hmmmm, I wouldn't do that to him. Seriously, a lot of parents overlook what it really means to uproot their children. Children adapt, true, yet one never knows if they will thank you later or deeply resent you. If I were OP, I would make sure my child and I! understand what is being asked from him, what are his options in the new education system, will he be happy with maybe going to a different path than planned etc. etc. Lots of questions to be answered when taking this decision, and each family member's interests to be taken into consideration...IMHO.
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Old 14.02.2020, 07:38
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Why not California ( if you dont already live there ). Great climate,simple living. Does not make sense to come to the most expensive country in the world!
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:47
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Maybe I'm mis-reading you here. I understand about excessive breaks and faking sick leave, but surely employees are entitled to vacation and should take it so they can come back refreshed and ready to work again. There's a mentality in the States that taking vacation means you're not serious about your job, but I think that's the wrong approach. People need a break now and then.
I was referring to excessive sick leave and smoke breaks .
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:52
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Christine, what would your younger child's plans for further education be in the States? Is he planning on university?

As others have pointed out, he is at a difficult age to make this move. The last thing you'd want to do is to screw up his education path, with all the potential consequences that could bring.

A friend with a highly academic, university-bound child your son's age chose to have the youngster remain in the US to complete high school, living with friends, while the parents moved to Switzerland. The youngster graduated, applied to, and received offers and scholarships from, several top universities. He chose delayed admittance, and then took a gap year in Switzerland to see if he liked the country, while looking into Swiss and European universities.

If your younger child is university-bound, perhaps that might be a possibility for him?

I'll second the other caution that other posters have raised: Ageism is very much an issue in Swiss employment. At 55 one starts to feel that a target has been drawn on one's back, making it past 60 is becoming a rarity in some sectors of the corporate world these days. Add to that the general lack of employee protections, the only effective security one has here is the notice period defined in the contract, generally 3 months.

Sooo... perhaps count on your husband's distance job continuing for the foreseeable future, until the family is firmly established. And if possible, leave the door open to continuing to work for his US employers in some capacity even if he takes on Swiss work. Maybe consider consultancy or freelancing rather than a permanent Swiss role?

Wishing you and the family all the best with this move.
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:54
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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Why not California ( if you dont already live there ). Great climate,simple living. Does not make sense to come to the most expensive country in the world!
To come is ok but to come and retire might be tough. Their attitude is a deal breaker, though, and I like theirs.
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Old 14.02.2020, 09:24
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

I absolutely would not do this to your 15 year old. Can you not wait a few years until he graduates high school? Then he can go to Uni in the US, UK or Ireland etc when you have moved. But if you move him while still in high school you are utterly going to screw up all his options!

If you are desperate to move now, put him into a private American school when you get here.
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