Why Move To Switzerland?
Switzerland is considered to be one of the world’s most powerful economies and is home to some of the largest financial institutions in the global market. Attracted by this healthy economy, the majority of British expats currently residing in Switzerland are in well-paid jobs.
According to the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey, 25% of expats in Switzerland earn in excess of £125,000 each year – more than twice as many as the global average. This figure no doubt reflects the lucrative sectors in which British expats are likely to be employed in the country, but it’s still a remarkable statistic.
But beyond wages, what can you expect from a life in Switzerland? According to the InterNations Expat Insider Survey, quite a lot. Switzerland was ranked the number one destination for the best quality of life for expats, beating off competition from 60 other countries. Expats questioned for the survey listed Switzerland’s excellent travel and transport links, as well as putting it top of the list for health, safety and personal wellbeing.
While the average expat wage may be higher than incomes in other countries, this is balanced by the high cost of living in Switzerland. In the InterNations survey it is ranked as the fourth most expensive place for expats to live.
Other aspects to bear in mind when considering a move to Switzerland, is that it’s not a member of the European Union, making it a potentially more complicated move compared with other countries within the EU. Anyone living and working in Switzerland needs a residence permit and a health insurance policy. Homeowners are also in the minority here. Few expats buy a property in Switzerland, preferring to rent – along with 60% of Swiss householders. Anyone who does choose to buy may find the process being long and arduous.
However, when you consider that an estimated 40,000-plus Brits are currently living in Switzerland, the country clearly has plenty of draws. For families, this is especially true. The education offered in Switzerland was ranked the best in the world in the InterNations survey. There are around 45 international schools in Switzerland, although these can be expensive. The majority of children in Switzerland attend state schools, starting with Volksschule (elementary school) followed by secondary school when children are separated according to ability and specialisms. And let’s not forget the benefits that Switzerland’s outdoor lifestyle can bring. Who wouldn’t want to live near the beautiful Swiss Alps?
The majority of Britons move to Switzerland for work. Its banking, technology, pharmacology and biotechnology sectors attract many highly skilled professionals. Alongside its world-renowned science and technological research hubs, the United Nations in Geneva is another big draw. And despite the high cost of living, more than half of those surveyed said they had enough disposable income and three-quarters were happy with their financial situation.
Expats making the move to Switzerland are able to enjoy a number of benefits that the country has to offer. These include low tax rates, a stable economy and low crime rates. Add to this its high life expectancy and low levels of corporate corruption and it’s clear to see why a move to Switzerland is popular with so many Britons.
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