Best FIRE place in suisse romande for families?

I have been thinking a lot recently about where we will be in 5-10 years. We are a family that has just started with expense tracking and should start doing budget by the end of the year, we have some effort to do in our lifestyle to reduce some expenses, even if on the principle we agree that they are expenses more or less valuable, it’s hard to change form one day to another. But we figure out that it will not change drastically our situation bay saving 50-100frs from here and there, we have to focus on the largest costs of the family.

We were living in Lausanne and working in Lasuanne and Geneva and all our family and friends are within 10km around it, mostly in small town and village hard to reach by public transport. A couple of years ago we decide to move on the other side of the Röstigraben for a very good job opportunity and to be able to live (very) close to work (I was sick of the 1h30 commute one way), in a village where kids can walk to school and we can bike around where housing is cheap and easy to find (try to find a decent apartment with a small garden for a family near Geneva without going to France and spending your days in traffic). The quality of life, low cost of housing, low taxes are great but still we are not happy in this place as we struggle to improve our German to be as fluent as our English for example and even so Swiss German is ten times harder than German to understand, so we have difficulty to meet people and construct a social life (covid didn’t help on top of that). The result is that we travel a lot by car on weekend and even in the week for my wife, to go back to Romandie and see family and friends as much as we wanted to. It’s also harder as we can no more drop the kids to our parents to do something for 3-4h and come back pick them up the same day. Every time we have to plan in advance, find a babysitter, pay her/him,…

So we are looking to come back to Romandie in the next 2-3 years. If we plan to have less (fixed) salary by reducing our working rate (mine as I’m the only one working at the moment and at 100% but my wife wanted to work again up to 40% if we are back in a place were she speak the language and can find a job). We are also looking to rent or buy (whatever make more sense economically) a house or at least an apartment with a private garden (so ground floor) like we have now, in a quiet place were kids can walk to school and play outside without huge risk (like now as well). I guess it’s more or less the lifestyle most FIRE (or plan to be FIRE) family are looking for. I’m not saying that we will FIRE in less than 10 years but we will definitely have more net worth and less or same income at top (and more free time if possible).

So where in Romandie, let’s say for us the area with most relative is around 20km in between Lausanne and Yverdon, but I’m open to the discussion more widely, can we find affordable housing (same level as we see here, 3-4 bedroom apartment with garden for 600-700k or 2000CHF/month, housing 3-4 bedroom with garden 700-900k or 2500CHF/month top), taxes not too aggressive for high net worth low income and quiet to live with a family with lot of outdoor activities and close enough to our relative to not explode our transportation budget and time spend traveling. But with these criteria, if you put a range of 30km around Yverdon (already shifting too much north from Lausanne) we find almost nothing and you have a lot of ads on the map around Bern and in German part of Fribourg.

Why Romandie looks so much more expensive than many other regions even close by like Bern/Solothurn? I guess it’s not about salary as I had (and still have) a lot of job opportunities around Lausanne with lower salary than I made, where taxes and cost of living are much higher. I had to refuse 3-4 jobs already because the salary was 10-30% lower than mine and I don’t consider it above than average (according to the salarium, I’m maybe slightly above 50% median with my profile).

Does such places exist or we are dreaming about something that will never happen? Is FIRE (and we don’t even aim full FIRE soon) only accessible if you agree to live in an apartment at the 4th floor of a building in a remote village without the benefit of city, neither of the village, or is it only for family with both parent working 100% and total income above 200k that spend 80-90% of their budget on housing, taxes, insurances and transportation and living extremely frugal without any traveling for everything else, not even afford to see relative more than a couple of time per month?

I guess you might try to find your new home in the neighboring parts of canton Fribourg: Chatel St Denis, Romont, Bulle, etc. Lots of construction there last years.

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I thought about this area, funnily enough, it’s quite close to my origin (where my mother grow up, around Moudon) but we have not more family there. It would be close to our friends, a little less from our family (with the need to drive the very busy highway from Vevey to Lausanne) but it might worth looking at it again.
Also Gruyère are is full of activities.

Relative to taxes, I see that Vaud is almost to avoid, that’s almost sad that we have to avoid our native canton. I will work my wife into this area to see if there are some interest (at the end she has the final word as I’m someone that adapt a lot, I even lived some months lost in a big city in the middle of China and was quite happy with it).

I know it’s a bit far from Lausanne, but it’s still in Romandie :slight_smile:. Except that, lifestyle, walking to school for children, outdoor activities … You can rent a house for less than 2000k per month. Buying a house for 700k … Welcome to Jura :slight_smile:

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Jura is quite close to where we live now, thus quite far from our family and friends. But yes it’s quite a nice place to live I’m sure.

I guess the variable you would have to adapt, if even possible for you, is the distance from your friends and family. If they all live in and around Lausanne, looking for affordable housing in that area (± dozens of km) is really difficult as virtually everybody want to be near from a bit city (Lausanne, Geneva, Zurich) but with “cheap” housing. My bet would be for you to look into “Gros de Vaud”, If not already the case. Not sexy but really family and FIRE friendly and rather well connected to Lausanne and Yverdon.

You’ll find it eventually :slight_smile:

Yes, location would be ideal, we have many friends there already but housing are still slightly too expensive. At the moment, we are looking at options around Avanches (along A1), it would maybe allow me to do partial remote work (with maybe 1 day per week in the office) so I don’t have to find another job right away and once on the A1 you are quite fast to Yverdon, all the Gros-de-Vaux and even Lausanne area.
You have lakes close by, it looks peaceful and quiet in most town there and you even have some village on Fribourg with much lower taxes (that’s crazy, sometimes you have a village in VD and 2km away you are in FR and you pay up to 40% less taxes with a “FIRE like” calculation (earning around 100k, net worth 1.5-2millions), if you have already 8000-9000CHF of taxes saved, that can change a lot.

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Check out this study. It’s PDF only and no appliction associated with it, but it helps you solve a part of your puzzle.

Thank you very much @dom.swiss it’s really interesting and it will help to figure out the cost criteria of our research. The interactive map is amazing, as I mentioned, if you check around Avanches, you see the huge difference between the towns.

Our current town is slightly below median in overall but quite significantly above in fixed cost before housing (taxes, insurances, social help, …), it’s only compensated by lower housing (and we decided to get a slightly more expense flat to get a private garden and be 1km from my job, so we are not taking fully economical advantage of the place in a way, but we increased our comfort a lot. Having you kids playing in the garden 15m away while you can watch them from the kitchen is amazing for parents of young kids).

The Leman Lake side is complete red (or dark purple from the chosen color by Credit Suisse).
Fribourg canton is mainly green or gray (median or below).
Valais is quite well positioned, with only high transport cost (of course, everyone need a huge SUV pickup in Valais :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:), but my wife put a veto on Valais, at least past Martigny. Maybe a town around Bouveret, it’s quite a nice place, with a lot of sun, Leman lake is still close, Lausanne as well by car, Aquaparc (not very frugal but I love this kind of place) and I’ve just check, taxes are really low, even with some fortune and housing looks affordable like were we are now.

Now I have to work it with my wife, about the Valais veto. It’s funny because she always says: “every time I said something I would never do or have, we end up having or doing it, like live in Swiss German, or live some time without a car with small kids,…”.

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