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  #61  
Old 15.02.2020, 09:50
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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I will try to answer and address some of your issues re. disabilities. Of course there are all different types of disabilities and different experiences, but here goes. In my mother's small town in usa there is a number of disabled adults that are integrated in the society, i. e., they are at the fourth of July parade, at concerts in the park, and some work at mc Donald's. They are involved in all aspects of the local community. Here in CH, I have never seen the same. Often you will see a disabled adult with a very elderly parent, alone. I've never seen any at social gatherings or concerts etc., and never as part of the usual workforce. Although I must say, first time last month I found a wheel chair bound employee at sportxx, which is an absolute first in 25 years in ch, so maybe things are starting to change. Further, a village acquaintance worked at an institution for disabled children here, so disabled children are often still institutionalized and also sent to separate special schools. In USA, most are now integrated in the normal schools with extra help. That is rare here and schools are just not set up or adapted to integrate special needs kids. Thus, I find, probably as a result of this separation, society here is not so accepting and believes disabled people are different and should remain separate. Further, again its gradually changing, but there has been no legal requirements here to give access to disabled persons like in USA. Only in the last few years have some buses and trains been adapted for physical handicapped, and still many public buildings, restaurants, shops, etc. are not adapted.
This has shocked me to be perfectly honest. How much difference there is between different locations in such a small country.

I’ve only lived here for 10 years and only have experience of Neuchâtel but there have been disabled people ( physical and/or mental impairments) working in the stores here for as long as we’ve lived here.
The kids are integrated in to regular schools wherever possible, with some assistance if necessary. My son had a girl with cerebral palsy in his class for most of secondary school, there was an assistant came in for some things but otherwise she was on her own. My neighbour’s son was born with spina bifida and has some physical challenges as well as being doubly incontinent. He has always gone to regular school here and participated in all the activities and trips. He had support when he was younger but now as a teenager he pretty much looks after himself but there are allowances made for him to be excused from class or arrive late due to getting changed etc.

There are special schools here for children who really can’t be integrated into regular schooling and they do a fantastic job. They focus on preparing them for life in general and coping with everyday things.

I never realised that things were so different elsewhere. I guess that’s one of the reasons our taxes are so high here, they have to fund it all somehow.
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  #62  
Old 15.02.2020, 10:21
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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We are getting older and our children have no living relatives in the US. That is a big draw for my son. But also, if we stay in the US my younger son may have more worries in the future if his parents are no longer around and his brother's needs are not being met, as they are not now.
Since you touch on concerns over providing for your older son's needs when you are no longer around, another issue to research in moving to Switzerland:

You likely already know this, as your husband is Swiss, but just in case: Switzerland's inheritence law requires your estate to be divided equally among your children. You cannot leave more to one than the other. This has proved challenging to a family I know, as in order to meet their disabled child's projected future needs the parents would have to leave the bulk of their estate to that child. Splitting the estate among all the children means that there will not be enough to finance the disabled child's future.

One way around that is to get the agreement of the other children to give their portion to the disabled child. Hopefully all parties would agree - but it can get tricky when agreement can't be reached.

So while (hopefully!) not an immediate action item for your to-do list, do make sure you get qualified advice as to how you can best structure your estate within the parameters of Swiss law in order to finance your disabled child's future needs.

---

An immediate item for the to-do list: A number of the help organizations I have found require that the disabled person be covered by IV in order to receive services. I *think* being a Swiss citizen makes your son eligible even if not born here, but that's not an area I know much about. So do make sure you research what applying for IV entails.

Again, all the best.
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Old 15.02.2020, 11:46
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Your younger son may be the one struggling most. Most young people begin apprenticeships at this age, this may or may not be possible due to language. Look into options for a "10. Schuljahr". There are some that specifically help kids with language as well as figuring out how to navigate the transition to apprenticeships. Since you already have an apartment, ask the Gemeinde for help, they should also be able to navigate IV support for your older son.
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Old 15.02.2020, 12:14
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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a "10. Schuljahr".
Good idea!

Tenth School year and Integration School
Here's a school which offers that extra school year for children who have been to school here and still haven't found an apprenticeship or what to do next, and the same school also offers "Bildungsangebote im Integrationsbereich für spätimmigrierte Jugendliche zwischen 16 und 21 Jahren an", i.e. education in the area of integration for immigrant youths between 16 and 21.
https://www.ag.ch/de/bks/berufsbildu...en/ksb/ksb.jsp

By "integration", they mean acquiring or improving the local language, learning about Swiss everyday life and how things work here, and also preparation to get up to the level of competence to be able to cope with an apprenticeship, and possibly help with finding that apprenticeship. In some cases possibly also help in finding out how (and there are ways, if the young person's language skills are deemed suffient) to go to extra school to get a Swiss university-entrance school-leaving certificate (Matura).

Last edited by doropfiz; 15.02.2020 at 12:57.
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  #65  
Old 15.02.2020, 12:35
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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Since you touch on concerns over providing for your older son's needs when you are no longer around, another issue to research in moving to Switzerland:

You likely already know this, as your husband is Swiss, but just in case: Switzerland's inheritence law requires your estate to be divided equally among your children. You cannot leave more to one than the other. This has proved challenging to a family I know, as in order to meet their disabled child's projected future needs the parents would have to leave the bulk of their estate to that child. Splitting the estate among all the children means that there will not be enough to finance the disabled child's future.

One way around that is to get the agreement of the other children to give their portion to the disabled child. Hopefully all parties would agree - but it can get tricky when agreement can't be reached.

So while (hopefully!) not an immediate action item for your to-do list, do make sure you get qualified advice as to how you can best structure your estate within the parameters of Swiss law in order to finance your disabled child's future needs.
Here's a blog post about inheritance, and unequal distribution between the children: http://geldblog.ch/testament-darf-ma...htteil-setzen/. It says that it is at least possible to reduce the children's, or only one child's portion to the minimul required, so as to be able to decide freely about the remaining portion of the estate. Note that this blog post is from 2014, and while there has been a lot of discussion about proposals to change some of the rules about inheritance, I don't think the law has yet changed (but I'm not sure).

"....einzelne Kinder ungleich zu behandeln. Es gibt aber auch hier Konstellationen wo dies durchaus angebracht sein kann:

Ein Kind ist behindert und wurde vom Erblasser zu Lebzeiten unterstützt. Der Erblassers hinterlässt nur ein bescheidenes Vermögen. Die andern Kinder sind vermögend und können gut mit einem kleineren Erbteil leben.

Denkbar ist auch der umgekehrte Fall. Ein Erblasser ist vermögend. Das behinderte Kind kann seine Finanzen nicht selber verwalten. Hier ist denkbar, dieses Kind zulasten der Geschwister oder des Elternteiles auf den Pflichtteil zu setzten."


".... to treat individual children unequally. However, there are also constellations where this may be appropriate:

One child is disabled and was supported by the testator during his lifetime. The testator only leaves a modest fortune. The other children are wealthy and can live well with a smaller portion of the inheritance.

The reverse case is also conceivable. A testator is wealthy. The disabled child cannot manage his finances himself. Here it is conceivable to reduce this child's inheritance to the compulsory portion, in favour of the siblings or the parent [who will then take care of him]. "

Last edited by doropfiz; 15.02.2020 at 13:01.
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  #66  
Old 15.02.2020, 12:43
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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This has shocked me to be perfectly honest. How much difference there is between different locations in such a small country.
Yes, it can be a real eye-opener! There's an old, old joke about Swiss diplomacy, namely that no matter the question, and no matter how little I know the answer, I can always truthfully reply: "Well, now, that's done differently, from Canton to Canton."

Although OP's family must needs orient themselves around the German-speaking cantons, I'm sure there must be differences there, too. It can even be different in the municipality just down the road, within the same Canton.

I'm hoping that some more people in German-speaking areas will post, as you and runningdeer have (I think you're both in French-speaking areas, n'est-ce pas?) about what's on offer near where they live.

Last edited by doropfiz; 15.02.2020 at 13:01.
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Old 15.02.2020, 12:51
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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Your younger son may be the one struggling most. Most young people begin apprenticeships at this age, this may or may not be possible due to language. Look into options for a "10. Schuljahr". There are some that specifically help kids with language as well as figuring out how to navigate the transition to apprenticeships. Since you already have an apartment, ask the Gemeinde for help, they should also be able to navigate IV support for your older son.
Her youngest child could do one of the many private high schools here and get into Webster uni or such. Or abroad. My SUNY New Paltz used to have a campus in CH, too. There are ways that the youngest could pull off, but those ways will not save cash. If that's the reason OP wants to move to CH for...US education is costly, Swiss local edu can be much cheaper but OP's children might have a shot if they work hard and study maybe twice as long (through 12th year, raccordement exam and then gymnase, or cfc/apprentissage and then professional maturite exam, passarelle of sorts and local uni.).

At the end of the day, paying an American College or supporting a child here in a Swiss schooling will come up the same price tag. I'd still opt for it here because of the diversity, nature, languages and independence the culture demands of people.
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Old 15.02.2020, 12:51
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Christine, the Swiss age of majority is 18, whereafter your sons are classified as adults, in all aspects. Will your elder son need a guardian, once he turns 18? The Swiss system knows four levels of greater and lesser assistance in running one's own life, or in being relieved of the tasks this involves.

Here's an outline:
Age of Majority, and Guardianship
https://insieme.ch/leben-im-alltag/e...eistandschaft/
with further links at the bottom of that page
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  #69  
Old 15.02.2020, 12:55
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Translation
I'm just going ahead linking to all sorts of things in German, since you're going to be having to learn the language yourself, since your husband speaks it and you have his family here. However, in case you don't already know this: "google translate" offers a reasonable translation, and "deepl" can sometimes be smoother. If a text is confusing, you can sometimes find the meaning better if you run the German text through both translators and compare. Or, if you have specific questions about the meaning, please do ask for clarification here.
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Old 15.02.2020, 14:37
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

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Since you touch on concerns over providing for your older son's needs when you are no longer around, another issue to research in moving to Switzerland:

You likely already know this, as your husband is Swiss, but just in case: Switzerland's inheritence law requires your estate to be divided equally among your children. You cannot leave more to one than the other. This has proved challenging to a family I know, as in order to meet their disabled child's projected future needs the parents would have to leave the bulk of their estate to that child. Splitting the estate among all the children means that there will not be enough to finance the disabled child's future.

One way around that is to get the agreement of the other children to give their portion to the disabled child. Hopefully all parties would agree - but it can get tricky when agreement can't be reached.

So while (hopefully!) not an immediate action item for your to-do list, do make sure you get qualified advice as to how you can best structure your estate within the parameters of Swiss law in order to finance your disabled child's future needs.

---

An immediate item for the to-do list: A number of the help organizations I have found require that the disabled person be covered by IV in order to receive services. I *think* being a Swiss citizen makes your son eligible even if not born here, but that's not an area I know much about. So do make sure you research what applying for IV entails.

Again, all the best.
You can start researching that here

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/en/Social-insurances

Although it doesn't say much about disability insurance except that it's mandatory you can find your local office via the link provided on that page. They should be able to fill you in on what entitlements, if any, your son may have.
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Old 29.02.2020, 03:21
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Re: Moving/Retiring to CH

Hi Christine,
How are your plans coming along?

It occurred to me that the teenager who started this thread https://www.englishforum.ch/daily-li...ol-system.html
is in a similar position to your younger son, and perhaps you/he could benefit from each other's fact-finding.
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