I currently live in Belgium and I’m thinking about moving to Zurich in 2021 because of a few reasons:
- My wife and recently born baby are Swiss
- We would like to raise our child in Switzerland
- We really like the country (nature, mountains, etc)
- And I think it’ll be easier to reach my FIRE goal working there!!
Because of this last reason, I come to you to get a better idea since I’m still not fully convinced about it. I still don’t know exactly how much I should expect for two things: salary and anual expenses.
One may ask: why Zurich? My wife is from Winterthur and thus it would be nice to be closer to the grandparents and friends. It can be anywhere around or neighbouring cantons. We don’t really mind living a bit outside. Not Zurich City.
One may argue: your FIRE goal will be the same if you plan to live in CH afterwards. I guess I agree but if I save money in CH, I’ll be able to choose where I can live afterwards (CH or somewhere else). However, if I save money in, for instance Belgium, I won’t be able to move to CH after reaching FIRE here. Expenses are higher in CH. So in CH I have more choices. I like keeping doors open
First about myself: I’m an Electronics Engineer, to be more specific Analog IC Designer. I have a master from KUL, the best university in Belgium and very good in my field worldwide. Next year I’ll have 5 and a half years of experience and 32 years old.
I already did a lot of research about how much I could get but the numbers vary really a lot. The most trustful I think it’s the government calculator Salarium https://www.gate.bfs.admin.ch/salarium/public/index.html#/start
The data is from 2016 but I’ll assume it’s the same. The median would be 92k and 25% gets more than 104k. “Engineering” and a bunch of other things are all classified equally so some jobs might be skewed by others. It seems to be really difficult to find people in this area of Engineering so I’ll assume that we are in the upper range (maybe not).
Other sources, such as Glassdoor, I find a bit doubtful since they don’t have a lot of numbers to be able to do trustful statistics and usually experience is not mentioned. There are also some recruitment websites very specific on my field and I see some open positions mentioning anything between 80k and 120k. However, I have the impression that recruiting companies often put very high numbers to attract people. On top of that, it doesn’t say in which part of CH, neither the experience. So it’s not that helpful.
My wife is Swiss but not in the same field. So it’s not a big help on that but she thinks that 90k is too less. She says I should ask 120k but that feels too much for me.
Question 1: How much would you ask in my place? Do you think 120k is too much? More? Less?
That’s probably a more difficult one because we don’t know where we would live and you don’t know how is our life style.
Question 2: I can say that I spend 34k EUR in Belgium for both of us (everything included, even holiday trips). Maybe someone has already made a comparison between CH and other European countries, such as Belgium? Some say it’s 2x but I have the feeling it’s not. Someone has lived in Belgium or other EU country and now in CH?
Question 3: If not, maybe you can give me an idea somehow. Maybe by telling about yourself (place, lifestyle and number of people)? Of course, if it’s too personal for you, just ignore my post. We’re quite economic in my opinion. We’re ok to have a frugal life to save some extra. We’re also ok to live a bit outside.