I have a little dream of moving to Swtzerland. We have two small children. I intend on applying to a job in Zug.
My question is, what would a family of four need to earn to live a relatively comfortable life in or around Zug. I think we would be happy with a 2 or 3 bed apartment. How expensive is life in Switzerland. At the moment it seems likely that if I was sucessful I would work and DH would stay at home initially at least. So at the outset there would only be one wage. How much would I need to be bringing in in order to ensure life was comfortable?
I am not in Switzerland any more (and I need to give MNHQ a shout and tell them to remove me from the Tsarina list) but I will try to answer your questions.
We didn't live in Zug, but in Geneva, so I am not quite sure of house prices, but generally CH is expensive. 2 or 3 bed apartment will cost around CH 2000 according to Homegate.ch - minimum. When you are looking at houses, they count the rooms so a 2bed would be 3 room house.
That is just rent, you have to add heating, water, electricity - depending on the size of the apartment maybe another CHF 300ish I would imagine.
Next big cost is insurance - you need private health insurance for each person. Check out Comparis.ch for prices.
Living costs are high. We have just moved back to UK and I am finding that my grocery costs have almost halved. Zug is sadly right in the middle of CH and not close to a border - we always shopped in France which was a lot cheaper than in CH.
Wages are generally considerably higher than in UK, so don't be afraid to ask for more than you would get at home.
Hi Mollydoggerson We have been in Switzerland for four years now (Lausanne) and struggled initially with the cost of living. We are a family of 3, our monthly costs are rent 3000chf, utilities 300chf, healthcare (the most basic package mind, the excess is so high we'll never get to claim anything on it) between 600-700chf. Childcare is also a big cost to consider, if you have two parents in work then full time private nursery is probably about 2000chf extra, childminders are less but the standards vary. Local schools also have much shorter hours so even when the little ones start school you often need to pay for lunchtime or afternoon care a few times a week, schools usually close on Wednesday afternoons. You can shop around and go to Aldi, Lidl etc for cheaper food but it's not much of a country for bargains! Theres not the same competition between supermarkets and the main ones are very overpriced although there are excellent farm shops here that are often cheaper than the supermarkets. I would push for the salary you need to live a comfortable life as its not a country where it is easy to live thriftily. Zug is also an expensive place and has become a bit of an expat town, many locals cannot afford to live there. If you are not being moved over with expat subsidies such as a cost of living allowance or housing allowance then it can be tough going. If you haven't found it already then take a look at www.englishforum.ch for some good info. Lots of Zug based people on there for more specific advice. Hope that helps, good luck!