Salaries are good but Switzerland is too expensive (is it?)

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We previously explained that 43 percent of German doctors who preferred to work abroad chose Switzerland and the reasons for this together with the differences between health systems. 

True, Switzerland is really not a cheap country. Yet doctors who completed their recognition process in Germany together with those still working in Turkey, are having difficulty to decide, although they want to pursue their careers in Switzerland. They think that the high cost of living makes high salaries meaningless, and question whether Germany, as a more social state, would be more suitable for them.

Let's make an analysis on a family with two children living on a single salary ,based on numbers, not feelings.

In Germany, an average specialist earns a minimum net income of €4,000 excluding overtime (Net income is calculated for the tax class in this example.)

In Switzerland, the average specialist earns a minimum of 10,000 CHF, excluding overtime and year-end bonuses.

(These are average numbers; it is of course possible to earn more in both countries.)

If we examine several categories of expenses: 

1. Accommodation

For state capitals in Germany, a purchase price of €600,000 would be reasonable for a 3 bedroom 120m2 apartment near the city center. We can expect 1,200,000 CHF in Switzerland for a similar apartment.

While it is common for you to pay your home loan in Germany within 30 years, banks in Switzerland expect you to pay a total of 35 percent of your home's value in 15 years, and if you don't want to pay the remaining 65 percent you can pay the interest alone. (Don't forget to attend our Medical Seminar in Switzerland for more details)

Your monthly home instalment will be around 1,500 Euros in Germany and 1,650 Francs in Switzerland.

[1500 EUR - 1650 CHF]

2. Basic living expenses

It is worth mentioning a few indexes in this regard, namely Cola and Starbucks index.

Cola Index

Both indices show that basic living expenses are 70% more expensive in Switzerland. (We can say its approximately twice as much.)

In other words, your monthly kitchen expenses, which are 750 Euros in Germany, can be considered as 1500 Francs in Switzerland. 

One solution is to make large purchases from Germany, France and Italy. Many Swiss people make their monthly purchases in a neighbouring country one hour away. 

But we will not take this advantage into account so that the comparison does not cause controversy.

[2250 EUR – 3150 CHF]

3. Education

Kindergarten fees starting at the age of 3 in Germany are around 400 Euros. For the primary school starting from the age of 6, if a good bilingual school is chosen, the monthly fee varies between 550 € and 900 €. A safe estimate is a minimum of € 1,000 tuition fees for two children.

In Switzerland, compulsory education starting at the age of 4 is free.

[3250 EUR – 3150 CHF]

4. Service industry

Both dining out and support with household chores are 50% more expensive in Switzerland. 

500 € for Germany, 750 francs for Switzerland!

[3750 EUR – 3800 CHF]

5. Health insurance

Although private health insurance is not recommended for a family with two children with a single salary in Germany, it would be correct to add additional private insurance to the state health insurance for trips abroad and extra services. In Switzerland, the private health insurance cost of a family with two children is around 1250 Francs.

[4150 EUR – 5050 CHF]

So what will we achieve after 15 years of work?

You can live a calm, civilized and peaceful life in Germany for 4,000 €, paying the instalment of your own home (~ 35%) and have a nice holiday for a few months each year.

With an income of 10,000 CHF in Switzerland, you will have fully completed the compulsory payment for your home in 15 years and have saved almost 1,000,000 CHF. 

If you want to drop everything and settle in an Aegean coastal town at once, you can have 3,000 Francs rental income from Switzerland while your rental income in Germany will still be paying your house mortgage instalment.

My wife does not know German, or does not have enough work experience in Turkey?

Working without knowing German is much more common in Switzerland than in Germany. Part-time jobs can be found, especially with intermediate English. Keeping in mind that the minimum wage is 25 CHF / hour, a considerable additional income may be possible by working in tasks such as reception and library for 20 hours a week. While working full time in Germany you will earn only a third of what you earn in 20 hours in Switzerland.

What will we talk about what in our next articles;

What is Welteinkommensprinzip (principle of global income)?

The education system, stability, direct democracy...

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