The Masked Tulip

Working & Living In Switzerland

62 posts in this topic

Anyone here worked and lived in Switzerland - if so, what are the pros and cons?

I am told that it is nigh on impossible to work as your own company in Swissland so you effectively work as a permie with total income and NI taxes being about 25% of take-home pay, am told that monthly rental is about 1,000 to 1,300 Swiss Francs per month.

Other than financial, although I would like to know financial, what is the whole quality of life life... seems a bit far from the ocean for myself...

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I've been to Lausanne (twice) and Geneva (once) for job training. Lausanne is beautiful down by the sea where you can see the alps which aren't too distant. Great weather in summer - women are incredibly beautiful. Saying that, the people are very proper and I found them quite boring. Financially, it would cost a bomb to live there - I would suggest a quick holiday there!
Geneva I found pretty seedy - massive red light zone and not as nice as Lasuanne.

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[quote name='guitarman001' timestamp='1310769855' post='3055810']
I've been to Lausanne (twice) and Geneva (once) for job training. Lausanne is beautiful down by the sea where you can see the alps which aren't too distant. Great weather in summer - women are incredibly beautiful. Saying that, the people are very proper and I found them quite boring. Financially, it would cost a bomb to live there - I would suggest a quick holiday there!
Geneva I found pretty seedy - massive red light zone and not as nice as Lasuanne.
[/quote]


Thanks.

I have worked in Swiss banks and, well, never again. Boring, formal, staid.

Been offered a very well paying job in Swiss land but it would be a major move - not a country I have considered before. Suspect any money I make might go on the cost of living.

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Take what you need and disregard the rest....

I've been there a few times, but never through work. I did really like Geneva. There is an aura of safety like nowhere else in the world, perhaps. I view Switzerland as a retreat, from the outside world. It's difficult to say how living there would be. But I'm sure I could enjoy it for a five year stint or something like that. It's certainly an expensive place to be though. And don't step outside the law or piss off the cops. There's a reason it's a safe place and litter free ;)

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I should say about Geneva - at the time I was in a hostel in a grim-looking area, so I'd probably go with Darkman on that one..

I'd only go for 'the experience' as I don't think I'd be saving much while living there. Nothing wrong with that, I'm considering the same with Silicon Valley or Munich.

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Switzerland is very expensive.

As TMT says, what ever extra money you make will go on higher living costs. I still shed tears when remember paying £10.50 for a McDonalds quater pounder meal in Geneva.

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Yeah even the McD's were expensive, pretty shocking.
I remember going to a restaurant one night for some regular eating, and it was £55 a head. The receipt came on what looked like gold parchment lol!

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' timestamp='1310766272' post='3055776']
Anyone here worked and lived in Switzerland - if so, what are the pros and cons?

I am told that it is nigh on impossible to work as your own company in Swissland so you effectively work as a permie with total income and NI taxes being about 25% of take-home pay, am told that monthly rental is about 1,000 to 1,300 Swiss Francs per month.

Other than financial, although I would like to know financial, what is the whole quality of life life... seems a bit far from the ocean for myself...
[/quote]

I've lived and worked in Switzerland for about a year, but that is by now more than a decade ago, so my knowledge is probably out of date.

Overall a beautiful country with a high standard of living, but very expensive to live in. Rental is high, but you should not forget that you also need to pay (health?) insurance, which I remember as incredibly expensive. So although your salary probably looks extremely high on paper with little tax to pay you have to calculate carefully what the living expenses will be in reality. I doubt for example that that 25% includes the local taxes! Bottomline is that you really need advice from someone who knows the expenses well. If you've been offered a job they must be able to do such an example budget for you.

Personally I would be hesitant to live there long term, mainly due to the fact that my experience is that "Switzerland is for the Swiss", i.e. a very closed community with strict unwritten rules that is "unfriendly" to anybody not native Swiss. Most Swiss friends are for example the ones that I met and worked with outside Switzerland, none when working there.

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' timestamp='1310770092' post='3055812']

I have worked in Swiss banks and, well, never again. Boring, formal, staid.

[/quote]


That unfortunately is the vast majority of Swiss. Lovely country spoiled by it's inhabitants.

To qualify the above I've been to most Swiss cantons for some reason or other and it's pretty much the same all over, paranoid and superior attitudes abound.

Bizzarely though I keep going there on holiday, the place is just too pretty to avoid. Having said that I can only bare the place for three days and last time that was wearing a little thin.

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Thanks all - I will be giving it a miss.

The offer was for 120 Swiss Francs per hour per 8 hour day for 6 or 12 months. The money sounds superb but judging by the costs of living there perhaps it is not that impressive?

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Are you JOKING!? So nearly 20k Swiss Francs a MONTH? You must be joking, right? I'd be off in a shot, it's not THAT expensive there!!

jesus, what sort of money do you get for your job (IT?) in Wales? And I thought you were dead set on getting out of there?

Christ, I'm on £30k a year, wish I could get some of that money.

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[quote name='guitarman001' timestamp='1310831557' post='3056281']
Are you JOKING!? So nearly 20k Swiss Francs a MONTH? You must be joking, right? I'd be off in a shot, it's not THAT expensive there!!

jesus, what sort of money do you get for your job (IT?) in Wales? And I thought you were dead set on getting out of there?

Christ, I'm on £30k a year, wish I could get some of that money.
[/quote]


I was never any good at currency suff? Is that a lot?

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Whaaaa? Go to currency converter and figure it out!

120 CHF an hour.
8 hours in a day. Say 20 working days. --->19, 200 CHF a MONTH.

That's £14.6k A MONTH, or £175k a year! Are you telling me you get paid more than that, or you think that wouldn't be enough to live on?? Man, you'd be rich... unless you got thenumbers wrong?

Get out of Wales and go do it. I would - hell, my £30k is peanutes in comparison.


Surely you mean 120 CHF a day, rather than per hour? Edited by guitarman001

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' timestamp='1310833928' post='3056320']
I was never any good at currency suff? Is that a lot?
[/quote]

I live next to Genevé i have also worked there for two Swiss companies
I can see La Suisse from my home on the French side
Today i work for a French company but my french wife works in Geneva
120 Swiss Francs is 91 quid an hour or 14,560 pounds a month
Here it works out at a 104 euros an hour or 16640 euros a month
The average pay is about 4,000 euros a month in Geneva!
I don't know who offered you this job but if i was you i would take it (thats if you are not making this all up)
Having said that you will need a work permit also you will have to find somewhere to live and if you do not speak French or German depending on where abouts in La Suisse you are going to live then you might end up being isolated
As for other comments about Switzerland being boring well this is just taking the p*ss isn't it?
If you like sh*gging whores then Geneva is the place to be not forgetting guns its the country that has the highest amount of gun owners in Europe
What i like about this region is the the beautiful scenary
Theres lots of work a mixture of locals and the CDs or diplomatic corps on there expensive cars
Its international and open to the outside world

In your case i believe that you are better off in Wales its not for you its easy to talk but its much harder to actually do anything about it
I just love these we are going abroad threads they are really funny
We are all leaving but not today not ever!
Next week its" whats its like in Sweden" or god knows where as long as we stay at home dreaming on the web

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' timestamp='1310823675' post='3056202']
Thanks all - I will be giving it a miss.

The offer was for 120 Swiss Francs per hour per 8 hour day for 6 or 12 months. The money sounds superb but judging by the costs of living there perhaps it is not that impressive?
[/quote]
sounds like you could live in wales and fly in everyday

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' timestamp='1310823675' post='3056202']
Thanks all - I will be giving it a miss.

The offer was for 120 Swiss Francs per hour per 8 hour day for 6 or 12 months. The money sounds superb but judging by the costs of living there perhaps it is not that impressive?
[/quote]

Are you turning down this life-changing offer on the basis of a couple of casual replies on an internet forum from people who confess that they are not really qualified to comment?

The average salary in Switzerland is around 55K CHF. On my rudimentary maths you are being offered around 4 times that.

I am working and living in Switzerland at the moment, and have been here about 9 months. I earn just over half of what you are being offered, and live extremely comfortably in a great apartment overlooking Lake Zurich. I take home about 7,500 CHF, and save about 1,500 without trying. We pay about 2400 CHF a month in rent for a modern 2-bed apartment. A person on their own could comfortably live in a nice flat for 1,500 a month. Tax is around 11%. My other stoppages are contributions to my own pension which I will get back someday.

As for Swiss people being "boring" etc, this is about as sensible as saying that all Irish people are stupid or all black people lazy. Just a crass, irrational generalisation based probably on a very limited experience.

Switzerland is a conservative country to be sure. Some would say a bit ********. This can be bad -- you hear about people complaining to the police about their neighbours for making too much noise late at night, or for parking in the wrong place. Not an experience I've had myself, but this is what you read about in articles about Switzerland in the UK press, so it must be true! The positive side of this attitude is that public transport is efficient, clean, modern, and (pun intended) runs like clockwork. The sense of safety here is great. I've never felt so safe anywhere I've lived. People obey the law -- Swiss people won't cross the road until the lights tell them to. Two-thirds of the prison population are non-Swiss.

Personally, we don't find this country boring in the least.

Is it expensive? Can be, yes. But it's crazy to think in terms of paying "£10 for a Big Mac" or whatever. You're not paying in UK£ unless you're a tourist. You're paying in CHF, and you have a lot of those in your pocket. Actually - I just checked. A Big Mac is CHF 6.50. If you're being paid 20,000 CHF a month, do the maths, but I guarantee you that is not expensive. It's only if you constantly translate everything into pounds or dollars that it seems pricey, but I remind myself that I;m earning twice what I was getting in the UK, and paying a third of the tax.

Just my view -- if you've told the truth about the offer, and you turn it down, you must be totally nuts. Why you would want to stay in the UK when you are being offered a fortune to move to one of the loveliest nations on earth, beats me.

Do it.

:P

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[quote name='Chap' timestamp='1310841508' post='3056415']


Just my view -- if you've told the truth about the offer, and you turn it down, you must be totally nuts. Why you would want to stay in the UK when you are being offered a fortune to move to one of the loveliest nations on earth, beats me.

Do it.

:P
[/quote]

The answer is easy because its not true !
I live within a ten minute walk and then i am in Switzerland i don't know anybody that earns that much money and then turns it down
What a joke !
The poster in question is a paid machine that invents posts just to keep the forum running thats all!

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I sympathise with the dilemma. I've been offered a million billion trillion pounds a second to sleep with all the entrants for next year's Miss World competition in Belize for 6 months. Rent's not a problem as they are building me an exact replica of Hampton Court Palace to live in, but I've heard that ciggies are nearly as expensive as they are here in the UK, so I might give it a miss.

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I agree with the posters above - all good advice. I had been working in Switzerland for 4 years until I was recently made redundant. I live in France right next to Basel and this has worked out quite well for keeping the living costs down. It is true that if you are resident in Switzerland the rent and the medical insurance would be rather high.

120 CHF a day would be way too low but per hour would be fantastic. I think a lot of Brits have come over to Switzerland recently lured by the impressive salaries. They are impressive in part due to the current exchange rate with sterling and are not so impressive when you factor in the cost of living in Switzerland. I suspect that employers are now offering lower salaries because they still sound high to the Brits. That said, you would be quids in (by a long way) with 120 CHF an hour. I think tax and NI would be about 18-25% for a single person without children.

Most jobs require you to speak the local language but if you are really specialised then the employer won't care if you don't speak it. But if you're the only person not speaking German or French then you may find it hard when they all get together for lunch because sometimes the Swiss can forget. Mind you, depending on the company this may never be a problem as in my case it only rarely happened and there were a range of nationalities present usually. Getting accommodation, phone, internet, electric etc could be a pain though if you don't speak the lingo but loads of Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks and Yanks seem to manage.

Personally I would prefer to live in Wales by the sea but it would certainly be worth working in Switzerland for a year or two especially if you can save a load of cash at current exchange rates. There is some great scenery, it is clean and safe. You can get some strange rules in your block of flats though, like only being able to leave on 2 or 3 specific dates during the year unless you find someone else to take over your tenancy.

You can find some good info on the englishforum.ch

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[quote name='redwine' timestamp='1310836916' post='3056365']

In your case i believe that you are better off in Wales its not for you its easy to talk but its much harder to actually do anything about it
I just love these we are going abroad threads they are really funny
We are all leaving but not today not ever!
Next week its" whats its like in Sweden" or god knows where as long as we stay at home dreaming on the web
[/quote]


What an arrogant t*sser.

There is no need to put other Human Beings down. If that is the life that you have created for yourself then I hope, when you are older, you will begin to realise what a sh*t reality it is. I hope it works out for you.

1. I have lived and worked in England, Boston, Silicon Valley, Singapore and Amsterdam. I have hardly ever worked in Wales.

2. The company is a major US IT company - the job is real as is the salary.

Believe it or not, money is not everything in life for some people.

I have no idea how old you are in years or in emotional intelligence but, for me personally, money is not the great motivator in life. Happiness, Friendships, Loving relationships are my priority.

Perhaps something cr*p will happen to you oneday? Perhaps you will lose your job and your missus will walk out on you? Perhaps your missus will just get bored with you, have a few affairs and divorce you? Perhaps you will get a serious illness or some other health issue?

You know that song about some people taking joy in putting other people down because it makes their own lives seem less miserable - I will think of that everytime I read one of your posts in future.

You can offer advice and feel good about it. Or you can post snide remarks and go through life trying to put other people down. At the end of the day, those who act the latter always find that it eventually catches up with them.

It is amazing how the Human Conscience eventually kicks in, even many decades later. I have seen people who have lived sh*t, arrogant and bitter and nasty lives putting others down thinking nothing will affect them and then oneday, voila, the Human Mind kicks in and they fall apart mentally and physically.

Think it won't happen to you?

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[quote name='Chap' timestamp='1310841508' post='3056415']
Are you turning down this life-changing offer on the basis of a couple of casual replies on an internet forum from people who confess that they are not really qualified to comment?

The average salary in Switzerland is around 55K CHF. On my rudimentary maths you are being offered around 4 times that.

I am working and living in Switzerland at the moment, and have been here about 9 months. I earn just over half of what you are being offered, and live extremely comfortably in a great apartment overlooking Lake Zurich. I take home about 7,500 CHF, and save about 1,500 without trying. We pay about 2400 CHF a month in rent for a modern 2-bed apartment. A person on their own could comfortably live in a nice flat for 1,500 a month. Tax is around 11%. My other stoppages are contributions to my own pension which I will get back someday.

As for Swiss people being "boring" etc, this is about as sensible as saying that all Irish people are stupid or all black people lazy. Just a crass, irrational generalisation based probably on a very limited experience.

Switzerland is a conservative country to be sure. Some would say a bit ********. This can be bad -- you hear about people complaining to the police about their neighbours for making too much noise late at night, or for parking in the wrong place. Not an experience I've had myself, but this is what you read about in articles about Switzerland in the UK press, so it must be true! The positive side of this attitude is that public transport is efficient, clean, modern, and (pun intended) runs like clockwork. The sense of safety here is great. I've never felt so safe anywhere I've lived. People obey the law -- Swiss people won't cross the road until the lights tell them to. Two-thirds of the prison population are non-Swiss.

Personally, we don't find this country boring in the least.

Is it expensive? Can be, yes. But it's crazy to think in terms of paying "£10 for a Big Mac" or whatever. You're not paying in UK£ unless you're a tourist. You're paying in CHF, and you have a lot of those in your pocket. Actually - I just checked. A Big Mac is CHF 6.50. If you're being paid 20,000 CHF a month, do the maths, but I guarantee you that is not expensive. It's only if you constantly translate everything into pounds or dollars that it seems pricey, but I remind myself that I;m earning twice what I was getting in the UK, and paying a third of the tax.

Just my view -- if you've told the truth about the offer, and you turn it down, you must be totally nuts. Why you would want to stay in the UK when you are being offered a fortune to move to one of the loveliest nations on earth, beats me.

Do it.

:P
[/quote]



Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response. The info is very useful.

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[quote name='blobloblob' timestamp='1310845694' post='3056468']
I sympathise with the dilemma. I've been offered a million billion trillion pounds a second to sleep with all the entrants for next year's Miss World competition in Belize for 6 months. Rent's not a problem as they are building me an exact replica of Hampton Court Palace to live in, but I've heard that ciggies are nearly as expensive as they are here in the UK, so I might give it a miss.
[/quote]

Do you have to sleep with them all at once or is there some kind of hourly arrangement? Couldn't you just watch?

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I can think of worse things than spending a year working in Switzerland on a good salary. Yes it can be expensive to live there but it's not on your rate you would still have a very high standard of living. Helps if you speak French and or German, but if you live there and you have a base to start from you can learn to converse quite easily.

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Sorry TMT, I'm not getting at you, don't think so... but this has to be a wind-up? If you're worth £175k a year, surely you can figure out that that's a good salary, and that living in a nice place like Switzerland on that insane amount of money is a no-brainer? Again, sorry, but I can't help but think this is a wind-up! And especially after your previous posts about getting out of wherre you are - this would be the perfect opportunity! In fact why are you still complaining about where you live and about house prices etc when with your skill set you can obviously earn a fortune and just get out of there! It's going to take me a while to get anywhere near this, and even then I wont have that sort of money. Edited by guitarman001

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' timestamp='1310848783' post='3056492']

Believe it or not, money is not everything in life for some people.

[/quote]

It sounds like a golden opportunity.

If family and friends being close is of the utmost importance to you and any amount of money not enough compensation - why bother applying for jobs outside Wales?

I think you should give it a go (if you haven't already turned it down).

What's the worst that can happen? You can always come back - think of it as a holiday.

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