Switzerland Expat Forum - cost of living in Baden

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sofinik
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1/24/2008 22:39    
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Hi there,
we are living in USA and planning to move to Switzerland (Baden) in next couple of months. My husband got a job offer and we are trying to figure out whether the money the company offered him will be enough for decent life (for just a "normal" lifestyle, nothing fancy...) We have 2 kids, 3 year and 6 months old. The offer is 104,000CHF (before the taxes-which will be 25%) I would appreciate if anyone could estimate the cost of living in Baden, (should we even think about buying the house?) , I am little bit skeptical since Switzerland seems more expensive compared to USA...hope I am wrong.
Thanks for helping

Aelfrith
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From: Switzerland
1/25/2008 05:26    
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Hi

I live in Wettingen, a small town next to Baden, and have done for the last eight years.

As I am English my perspective is slightly different but i will try and answer your questions. The Salary you have indicated is a good starting salary for Switzerland, I'm assuming that the company is also covering moving and registration costs. It should allow for a flat smallish car (compared to the US) or travel passes for the family (check out the SBB website for info on GAs) holidays, savings etc. Unless you really like shopping.

You should know that Switzerland is largely a cash economy, credit cards are fairly new and still seen as strange in some places. Taxes look a little high and I recommend you complete a tax form for the local community when you get here to qualify for all the deductions (talk to the company employing your husband as they will be responsible for deducting your taxes for the first five years). Buying a house may be tricky at first, the Swiss still like a significant deposit and there are restrictions on what foreigners new to the country can do. for an idea of property prices and rents, also an initial search of possible locations check the immopool.ch web-site (it is in English). It should be said that buying a house in Switzerland can be as expensive as renting one so don't let the different prices, compared to the US, fool you. You'd pay similar prices in the UK these days. When you do look for somewhere to live don't limit yourselves to just Baden people commute easily by public transport from all around the area I'd recommend Wettingen as it's a little less squeezed into the local hills. I'd also advise staying out of Zurich Canton as your taxes could go up. In Zurich City by quite a lot.

Lastly if you are curious as to what moving to Switzerland might be like you could read my web-site http://www.englishman-in-switzerland.com to see my impressions when I first came here.

If I can help further let me know

Neil

zone3ADK
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1/25/2008 07:30    
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We are considering an Expat assignment in Switzerland and have the luxury of a visit to scope it out. Some of the advice we have gotten includes: have an assessment done by an expert in international income tax once the offer is in writing, bring a shoppipng list from a large US shopping trip & go to a market to compare prices of consumable goods, evaluat options on durable goods such as housing, autos etc.

That is all I can say now, but should know much more in a few weeks.

sofinik
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1/25/2008 23:38    
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thanks a lot for all the info. You are right, taxes seem high, they said that it will be like that for the first 2 years,and then they will decrease. Hopefully, once I start working we can buy a house...anyway, thanks very much for the encouragements
Looking forward for more information
Cheers

sofinik
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1/26/2008 00:04    
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Neil,
just walked through your web-site-so interesting, I am looking forward to get some break from the kids so I can actually read it...
Our situation is extremely complicated, since we are here in the process of getting a green card... if we decide to come to Switzerland now, it will be like we abandoned our application here...so if the things do not work in Switzerland, we cannot go back to USA...and to get C visa, we need 10 years since we are both non-EU... we earned our PhDs in USA, but always wanted to go back to Europe, now I do not know anymore if we should abandon what we have here and start all over...I am also not sure if I will find a job easily there since I am third-country citizen...
Best,
M

Aelfrith
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From: Switzerland
1/28/2008 02:02    
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Hi

Phd's are a great asset in job-hunting in Switzerland, Herr or Frau Doktor being traditional and still well used honorifics in the German Language. The Green Card dilemma is one I can't advise on but know that Switzerland doesn't suit everyone, about 20% don't settle here easily.

The ten year wait for a C permit isn't a major problem a B gives you almost all the same rights anyway. So don't see that as a big problem. The key problems for people settling into Switzerland are:- 1) the language - Swiss German isn't German with an accent it is clearly a dialect with a collection of Kantonal accents added on. English is usually a safe way to escape from the problem and I'm guessing that's not a problem. 2) for women the education system which doesn't lend itself to women working full-time with young children. Having said that the Expat community seems to find ways round most of the problems - getting into the American or British English speaking communities would help with that. 3) the Swiss are addicted to "Ruhig" peace, quiet, tranquillity. Take you pick but don't overstep that or the neighbours won't take to you, fall in step with it and they'll even help if the can.

Hope this helps

Neil

Jules44
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11/13/2008 17:06    
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Hi Sofinik,

I just spot your query about living in Baden (that was in Jan08). In fact I am in the same situation NOW, and I am wondering if you're in Baden or not. If you are, how is it!? does it worth to move there? what are the pros and cons... thanks for your reply. By the way, I am living in France at the moment.

Cheers

Jules

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