Cost of living in Geneva

Cost of living in Geneva

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Benbay001

Original Poster:

5,664 posts

121 months

Saturday 20th February
quotequote all
Hi All.

Hope you can help.

Ive just completed the first stage of two interview process for a position at a research establishment outside Geneva (no prizes if you can guess who).

I have had a small disagreement with my mum and her partner about the cost of living in Switzerland (they lived in Zug for 4 years).

I believe the position should pay at least 5600CHF a month net of taxes but my mum and her partner think i will find it difficult to live on that much in Geneva. Now i appreciate im not going to be living like a king, but i currently live in a 1 bed flat in the UK and will be happy to live somewhere similar if i was to relocate, i dont eat extravagantly and i am fairly good at living frugally.

I was basically wondering what level of life i can expect to live on 5600CHF a month after taxes. Am i going to feel poor?

Thanks

Edit: Also, i have two cars in the UK, one is a 2009 Toyota iQ, the other is a 2001 Corvette (US import) if i was to make the move how hard is it to register these in Switzerland? I have owned both for more than a year.

I hope i dont sound like im jumping the gun, i just want to have all my ducks in a line in case i get a phonecall from the prospective employer.

Edited by Benbay001 on Saturday 20th February 21:17

joropug

890 posts

153 months

Saturday 20th February
quotequote all
I don't know the financials but a few friends live there and the biggest headache was actually getting a flat - you have to pay agents up front and go into a queue and basically have to take what comes up as they are so in demand.

Things might be different post covid mind you.

Benbay001

Original Poster:

5,664 posts

121 months

Saturday 20th February
quotequote all
joropug said:
I don't know the financials but a few friends live there and the biggest headache was actually getting a flat - you have to pay agents up front and go into a queue and basically have to take what comes up as they are so in demand.

Things might be different post covid mind you.
Thank you.

Thats certainly interesting.

The place is just outside of Geneva if that would make any difference.

chris_gilmartin

24 posts

164 months

Sunday 21st February
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Geneva accommodation can be expensive and difficult to find, the market is not very fluid. Cost of living is high, but it largely depends on what you're used to and how you spend your time.....if you're all about hiking in the mountains and swimming in the lake, these are free....if you want to hit the bars, have a meal, and then get a taxi home every night then yes, it is easy to burn though cash...but the same applies everywhere to some extent. Mandatory health insurance usually comes out of post-tax income and may seem expensive if you're used healthcare paid through taxes.

Some resources that might be of help
https://www.immomapper.ch/en/map/m/geneve-ge
https://www.immomapper.ch/en/real-estate-market/ge...
https://en.comparis.ch/
https://www.moneyland.ch/en/
https://www.englishforum.ch/
https://www.glocals.com/forums/geneva/where-how-in...

Crossing from 'rive gauche' to 'rive droite' or vice versa is very congested in rush hour and best avoided if commuting in your own car. Public transport is extensive, clean, reliable etc. and they often have their own lanes so less affected by traffic.

Some people live over the border in France, there are special tax arrangements for people who work in Switzerland but live in France & vice versa, google 'frontalier' if interested. Also if you live up the road in Nyon or similar that's a different canton, so different tax rates etc.

As for the cars, generally speaking for an ordinary right-hand-drive car most people think that importing one is not worth the hassle. For something more special then it may be worth it, and there are different rules for different ages & origins of vehicle. You do see the odd Corvette around so it must be possible, I don't know the details though. Geneva rules are found here https://www.ge.ch/document/conducteurs-vehicules-i...

Road tax varies depending on power, 500bhp in Geneva would cost something like CHF 2,600/year, see https://www.ge.ch/impot-vehicules/baremes-impot

Benbay001

Original Poster:

5,664 posts

121 months

Sunday 21st February
quotequote all
Thank you very much.

smile

m3jappa

5,188 posts

182 months

Sunday 21st February
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I cant help but what i can say is ive been to switzerland a couple of times and i was amazed to see that almost every woman was at least an 8/10

and some of these very attractive woman seemed to have a bloke on their arm that looked like something from the hill have eyes.

didn't see one good looking bloke with a good looking woman. really bizaree it was, maybe they were all rich with massive dicks perhaps.

Even my mrs commented and agreed with me hehe

Benbay001

Original Poster:

5,664 posts

121 months

Sunday 21st February
quotequote all
m3jappa said:
I cant help but what i can say is ive been to switzerland a couple of times and i was amazed to see that almost every woman was at least an 8/10

and some of these very attractive woman seemed to have a bloke on their arm that looked like something from the hill have eyes.

didn't see one good looking bloke with a good looking woman. really bizaree it was, maybe they were all rich with massive dicks perhaps.

Even my mrs commented and agreed with me hehe
How did you know i was single? laugh

elanfan

4,672 posts

191 months

Sunday 21st February
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Is language going to be a problem?

Benbay001

Original Poster:

5,664 posts

121 months

Sunday 21st February
quotequote all
elanfan said:
Is language going to be a problem?
English speaking workplace and ive been learning French for more than 4 months now and am really enjoying it.
One of the big reasons for the move is to learn French to a high standard.

But yes, wont be easy.

chris_gilmartin

24 posts

164 months

Sunday 21st February
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It's better if you can speak French, of course, but but you can get by easily enough without it. Most Swiss are multilingual and almost everyone has basic English...from the bank manager to the guy on the cheese counter at the supermarket. It can be hard to learn as the necessity isn't so pressing, especially with an English speaking workplace, but if you commit to doing it properly you'll be fine. If you have the time available the University of Geneva does an intensive French summer course, 3 to 9 weeks, I'm told it's very good.

Carmo99

1,299 posts

150 months

Friday 26th February
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On the salary front, it depends what you’re expecting as a researcher? 5'600chf is a low but ok salary. Min wage in a Factory for example would be 4'000 per month in a cheaper area than Geneva but you are probably competing with People who live in France and commute.

The recommendation is also not to spend more than 25% on all accommodation costs, so 1000 to 1400 on rent, I would guess that would rent a small but comfortable apartment . I live near Zurich, it’s a 40 min commute and 1000CHF is enough for a nice 2.5zimmer. (1 bedroom).

Mogul

2,516 posts

187 months

Friday 26th February
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As you won't need to worry about taxes, you just need to think about accommodation (most importantly, precisely where you could see yourself living as there are some less glamorous urban areas and some very quiet rural places with little going on locally).

Private health care is generally mandatory (several hundred per month) but possibly not with your very large circular employer? Check that with them.

With all of that covered, a single bloke could live on CHF5,600 (after taxes) but it does need to be put in context of the minimum wage in Geneva which is CHF23.14/hr. For reasons. Which will become apparent.

Now then, about your Corvette.. if you are seriously interested in taking it with you, they may allow you to drive it on UK plates for a finite period of time. Worth checking this in detail as the worst case scenario would be once you have residency papers and they catch you driving a foreign car, they could force you to import it and you may have lost the opportunity to do that tax-free as part of your relocation at that point.

The other issue with the 'vette is that the equivalent of road tax will be quite punitive in Geneva in particular.

I just took a quick look and estimated it to be CHF5k for 12 months, but the wonderful thing about CH is that you can share one set of plates between two cars and you pay a proportionately smaller amount on the basis that you can only be driving one at a time.

The other good thing is that you can effectively SORN one (or both) your car(s) for short periods (min. 4-6 weeks is not unheard of) and they automatically credit you with the value of road tax that you are not using and even coordinate a reduction in your insurance costs for you, all automatically.

The other potential upside of importing your 'vette to CH tax free would be if you might consider selling it, There might be potentially be a much bigger market and they could be worth more (not sure, worth checking).

Your car is registered inn the canton that you live in and Canton Vaud is (or certainly was) significantly cheaper than Geneva for more powerful cars. Look for cars running VD prefixed plaques as opposed to the GE plaques for Geneva etc. Many of your colleagues will be living out there in Vaud / La Côte (around Nyon).

Good luck! It's ace on the whole.


Edited by Mogul on Friday 26th February 15:05

TVR_Steve

2,670 posts

129 months

Friday 26th February
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Following this as although not completely relevant, I'm hoping to move to Ticino in the next 18-24months. Great information on this thread, thank you.

Benbay001

Original Poster:

5,664 posts

121 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
Hi all,

Thanks for the replies.
The role is as an engineering technician rather than researcher and I heard back yesterday that i have the final stage interview on the 10th.

Ive been doing some digging and it appears that 60% of the people who work at this particular place actually live in France (you get the choice of where to choose residency as the site straddles the border).

Pete102

1,671 posts

150 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Benbay001 said:
Hi all,

Thanks for the replies.
The role is as an engineering technician rather than researcher and I heard back yesterday that i have the final stage interview on the 10th.

Ive been doing some digging and it appears that 60% of the people who work at this particular place actually live in France (you get the choice of where to choose residency as the site straddles the border).
Good luck. Zug has one of the lowest taxation rates in Switzerland, but as a result the rents are generally higher.

I've just accepted a role in Basel!

eyebeebe

2,121 posts

197 months

Thursday 4th March
quotequote all
Benbay001 said:
Hi all,

Thanks for the replies.
The role is as an engineering technician rather than researcher and I heard back yesterday that i have the final stage interview on the 10th.

Ive been doing some digging and it appears that 60% of the people who work at this particular place actually live in France (you get the choice of where to choose residency as the site straddles the border).
If the salary is the same as if you were to live in Switzerland and you are tax free, it‘s going to work out a lot cheaper to live in France. I suspect easier to find better cheaper accommodation too.

Benbay001

Original Poster:

5,664 posts

121 months

Friday 5th March
quotequote all
Pete102 said:
Good luck. Zug has one of the lowest taxation rates in Switzerland, but as a result the rents are generally higher.

I've just accepted a role in Basel!
Good luck to you to. I have my final interview on Wednesday.

eyebeebe said:
If the salary is the same as if you were to live in Switzerland and you are tax free, it‘s going to work out a lot cheaper to live in France. I suspect easier to find better cheaper accommodation too.
Yes, its looking likely i will end up in France. Would probably be able to swap to Switzerland in the future if i decide i want to.