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Old 27.04.2021, 13:26
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tough decision about moving in ch

My wife and I are facing a tough decision.

I'm Spanish and I've started working in ZH 4 months ago. Salary is about 160K/year, job is interesting. I can work from home, but probably not from another country.

My wife is living currently in Portugal, where she has a job (22K€/year, she can work "more or less" everywhere, but it's still to be seen). At the moment, due to the covid and her old father situation, we don't see each other since 6 months.

Eventually, covid restrictions will be eased, flights restored, and her father situation will be solved.

What to do then?
Should she come here, risking losing her job? (She doesn't speak german, English not very good, not going to improve at mid 40s).
Will she feel horrible in Zurich without a job? Will be my salary enough for both, if she accepts to stay at home?

Should I live the job and go back to Portugal, and find whatever at 54 y.o.?
Neither of us has a pension plan, we will be both be with a minimal pension at retirement age.

Just sharing my thoughts. I feel helpless and sad. Will be helpful to know what people think
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Old 27.04.2021, 13:32
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

I’m not sure about Zürich, but where I live in Switzerland there is a huge Portuguese community, they all work and many don’t speak German.

Maybe you could relocate within Switzerland so your wife could have Portuguese friends?

Many of the Portuguese I know, work here, intending to save for a house and retirement back in Portugal where the money goes further.
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Old 27.04.2021, 13:38
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

I support wife and two adult children quite happily on a lower salary than you.

I don't understand your comment about pension. By law you must be paying into a 2nd pillar pension, yes? Also take some of that 160K and stick £6K or so in a pillar 3a account.

The SW cantons have many Portugese people.
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Old 27.04.2021, 13:43
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

Sorry to hear about your situation, it must be really tough for both of you being apart like that. It's really hard to say how well your wife could adapt to life here, would she have any hobbies or interests which could be pursued in Zurich? This might help a bit against the language barrier with the possibility of also meeting Spanish or Portuguese speaking friends - there are quite a few around Zurich. One option could be to try and keep going in the short term, save up your CHF and then enjoy a good standard of living while moving to Spain or Portugal....the downside would be your job, maybe consider how you might cope with changing jobs or being in a job which is less interesting. That's my two cents anyway, Good luck with the dilemma and I hope it works out for you both.
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:14
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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My wife and I are facing a tough decision.

I'm Spanish and I've started working in ZH 4 months ago. Salary is about 160K/year, job is interesting. I can work from home, but probably not from another country.

My wife is living currently in Portugal, where she has a job (22K€/year, she can work "more or less" everywhere, but it's still to be seen). At the moment, due to the covid and her old father situation, we don't see each other since 6 months.

Eventually, covid restrictions will be eased, flights restored, and her father situation will be solved.

What to do then?
Should she come here, risking losing her job? (She doesn't speak german, English not very good, not going to improve at mid 40s).
Will she feel horrible in Zurich without a job? Will be my salary enough for both, if she accepts to stay at home?

Should I live the job and go back to Portugal, and find whatever at 54 y.o.?
Neither of us has a pension plan, we will be both be with a minimal pension at retirement age.

Just sharing my thoughts. I feel helpless and sad. Will be helpful to know what people think
I think the salary is not the main question. I think you will manage well within the salary. The main question is two fold. What would be better for both of you and what would be better for you both, individually? I suspect being together may be a good option. That said, she can take trips back home to be with her father. That may also allow her to balance the challenging work situation. Personally I think you may serve both of you better by being here and supporting her job search. But not an easy decision. I wish you both all the very best in finding a solution which works for both of you.
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:31
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

I honestly wonder what kind of lifestyle you have if you think that 160k a year are not enough to sustain you and your wife...
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:37
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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I support wife and two adult children quite happily on a lower salary than you.

I don't understand your comment about pension. By law you must be paying into a 2nd pillar pension, yes? Also take some of that 160K and stick £6K or so in a pillar 3a account.

The SW cantons have many Portugese people.
In my life I worked in 6 different countries, some of them not in Europe. In none of them I'll get the minimum required to have a minimal pension...
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:41
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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I honestly wonder what kind of lifestyle you have if you think that 160k a year are not enough to sustain you and your wife...
Money cannot buy a life, just look at the history of divorce threads on EF.
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:47
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

You most definitely make enough to support your wife here, we first came to this country with a salary much less than that and I didn't work for 1 year.

What work does your wife do? I have been more profitably and gainfully employed in this country than back home (USA) in English speaking only jobs. I'm 40 and I think our brains are still more than sharp enough to learn or improve upon another language.

I'm sorry about your situation, it sounds difficult. Retiring without money can be scary and I have seen that happen to a dear friend of mine. I would suggest that she makes an attempt to come here, the Portuguese community is very strong across all of Switzerland. It is even bigger in Luxembourg where the salaries are also good, have you considered looking there? If she does lose her job, is it that hard for her to find another one back home if you return?

Wishing you and your family all the best!
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:47
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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Will be my salary enough for both, if she accepts to stay at home?
160k for two people is basically like living in poverty... I mean isn't that obvious?

I'm kidding, but with no job, German or English it sounds like she would have a hard time fitting in here culturally.
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:51
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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Money cannot buy a life, just look at the history of divorce threads on EF.
I miss the part of the divorce.
Of course I am referring only to his situation, where apparently it's only him and his wife, no kids mentioned or anything else...
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Old 27.04.2021, 14:55
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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My wife and I are facing a tough decision.

I'm Spanish and I've started working in ZH 4 months ago. Salary is about 160K/year, job is interesting. I can work from home, but probably not from another country.

My wife is living currently in Portugal, where she has a job (22K€/year, she can work "more or less" everywhere, but it's still to be seen). At the moment, due to the covid and her old father situation, we don't see each other since 6 months.

Eventually, covid restrictions will be eased, flights restored, and her father situation will be solved.

What to do then?
Should she come here, risking losing her job? (She doesn't speak german, English not very good, not going to improve at mid 40s).
Will she feel horrible in Zurich without a job? Will be my salary enough for both, if she accepts to stay at home?

Should I live the job and go back to Portugal, and find whatever at 54 y.o.?
Neither of us has a pension plan, we will be both be with a minimal pension at retirement age.

Just sharing my thoughts. I feel helpless and sad. Will be helpful to know what people think
will she be happy just staying at home and with no friends if she does not find any work here in the next 5 years after moving?
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Old 27.04.2021, 15:02
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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I miss the part of the divorce.
Of course I am referring only to his situation, where apparently it's only him and his wife, no kids mentioned or anything else...
Other threads in the forum about trailing spouses. As memihai wrote, just being trapped at home, no friends, no work, not exactly the recipe for happiness.

But, enough pessimism. @abete, there's a rather large Portuguese and Spanish community in ZH. Before covid I visited the Spanish social clubs or sport clubs to eat and drink. Maybe it helps against the feeling of isolation. But, there's nothing better than trying. Agree to a deadline, try and then take the long term decision.
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Old 27.04.2021, 15:07
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

I think the most important thing is what she wants - learning language isn't an issue no matter how old you are, it can be done, IF you have the desire and work on it.

160k should be more than enough for you two and making some nice cushion for the retirement.

Since you're already here and you have insight in your spending habits, do some math and extrapolate and you'll know for sure how you stand money-wise.

Staying at home without work depends on the person. I'm unemployed for several years now since we moved to Berlin for my SO job, no kids, just cats, so I'm not stay at home mum. However, if we remove the 'heavy depression period' caused by so many things, I was never bored to death, I always have things to do, to learn, to see, to the point that days are too short for me.

I wasn't bored while beating the depression, I was 'just down' without energy.

But I can't recall if I every feel bored in my life for more than 15 minutes, there's so much thing I want and can do that fills my day and make me happy. Arguing on the internet is definitely one of those :P
Also reading books, hobbies, playing with cats and so on.
Research about moving to another country is great time killer

But if she needs people to be around, and strong friend-community, then that'd be big issue no matter where she is in the world beside hometown.

Staying at home and no job in a country where you don't speak language for extroverts seem like a potential dead sentence.
Not knowing German crushed me hard, among other medical things. But this with German was really obvious one and pain was really hard.

However, if she can see positive things in discovering the new country, living together, learning a new language(s), then no job probably won't be an issue for quite a while. And if she invest time in hanging around some people and making friends, maybe some job opportunity arises, or she might even go freelance route, I don't know what her skills are, but even skills are learnable.

So in short - ask her what she wants.
If she doesn't want the experience, no money in the world will make her happy.
If she's up for the challenge, your salary looks really good (of course, depending on your lifestyle) and I wouldn't worry much about that.

However, learning language of the country is a must, because if she's not of a really thick skin, it will hurt hard, very hard, when people tell you something in a way that sounds wrong to you and you have no clue what they said. Then buying a stamp at the post might break you for the next few days.

So any preparation is good. And she can start learning German now if she decides to come.

Move isn't easy. Without job is hard, however if you two are strong as a team, then you'll overcome many obstacles. However, I think that it's of the utmost importance that you decide each for yourself and together that's what you want.

We now decided to move to CH, and are preparing like crazy, especially since we went through some rough stuff when moving to Berlin and now we know what we want to avoid.
However 'united we stand' was always here, and full mutual support.
That part how are you two together, you can only discuss with her.
And listen, a LOT. If there's any doubt, give it time, don't push, or just discard the idea.

You don't want that she comes here only because of you and not because of her wish as well. So some soul searching might be in order, maybe for both of you.

Good luck, it's not an easy thing to do.
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Old 27.04.2021, 15:12
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

1) What does she want?

2) If you both have not much of pension money accumulated, that is a strong point in favour of staying here for a number of years and saving as much as you can for retirement in Portugal.
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Old 27.04.2021, 15:23
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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will she be happy just staying at home and with no friends if she does not find any work here in the next 5 years after moving?
Why are you predicting that future for her? I had a full and happy life within 1 month of moving here ...
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Old 27.04.2021, 15:45
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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She doesn't speak german, English not very good, not going to improve at mid 40s
Just to address this one point, I moved here a few years ago in my late 40s. It's been slow but I'm learning. She absolutely can learn German if she works at it. It's just harder than when one is younger...
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Old 27.04.2021, 16:23
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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Why are you predicting that future for her? I had a full and happy life within 1 month of moving here ...
As did my wife - she didn't start working until we'd been here 8 years or so. (She still has a full and happy life, btw).
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Old 27.04.2021, 17:42
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

As others have said, key is thinking about what your wife wants or needs most.

Is she able to job hunt from abroad, even if only to get a sense of what her field is like in Switzerland? Once things open up, once the economy starts to rebound, could she come over for an extended visit to do a bit of job searching before committing to the move?

FWIW, I moved here in my forties, leaving behind a high flying career. I knew that the chance of resuming my career in Switzerland was about nil, so instead threw myself into volunteer work.

All fine and dandy, i found a new purpose. I enjoyed the work I did, got a lot of self-satisfaction out of the volunteer work, perhaps more than I actually did through my career.

But now that I am older, regrets have started to re-surface. Volunteer work was fulfilling personally but those missing decades of paid work have left me feeling vulnerable in my old age. If I could do it all over again, I would do things differently.

I wouldn't recommend giving up a career today, even for personally rewarding activities, even if you can get by on one income. Life is full of twists and turns, you never know what the future holds.

Not knowing what your wife does it's hard to suggest routes she might take to continue her career here. If you are comfortable sharing that info perhaps we can be of more help.

Good luck to you both.

Last edited by meloncollie; 28.04.2021 at 00:58.
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Old 27.04.2021, 19:08
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Re: tough decision about moving in ch

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Will be my salary enough for both, if she accepts to stay at home?
Yes, absolutely. Definitely. On a salary of about 160K/year, you will also be able to save a considerable portion towards providing yourself and your wife pensions for your old age.

Unless, of course, you are shopaholics.

Just in case you have the time you have to work through a massive thread, there's a lot, and with a range of views, about the lifestyle one might have on that salary and the savings that could be set aside, on Pinkpanter's thread called: What lifestyle will we have? over here:
https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-...l-we-have.html
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