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Old Aug 20th 2009, 1:12 pm   #1
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Default Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Hi Everyone,
I have a job offer working for an IT company in Hoofddorp . They are looking to pay around £50k Euros + benefits (Needs to comfirm the details).

I am currently working & living in UK (Birmingham) and wanted to find out how Hoofddorp / Netherland is compared UK and how the cost of living is.

I also have a 2 years old daughter so i also need to think about her education.

Any advise on the issue is greatly appriciated.

Regards
SD
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Old Aug 21st 2009, 7:09 am   #2
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Sdevil not a question that can be answered quickly but I´ll try to adress some of the points.

Hoofdorp itself is a pretty modern, soulless place not far from Schiphol. It is very easy to get to/from by public transport or car but not the nicest place to live IMO. Many people who work there will live in/around Amsterdam or Leiden.

There are plenty of expats around so plenty of international schools although, not having children myself, I can´t give you specific details. Your child is young enough to pick up Dutch easily so the state school system will be fine for her. It is generally excellent here.

You´ll find the cost of living similar here to the UK. Some things such as public transport are a lot cheaper others a bit more expensive. Finding a place to live is, as anywhere, the biggest challenge. There are housing association rentals available at very reasonable rates but you´ll need to have been here a while before you bcome eligable. Costs in the private rented sector are similar to the UK. Expect to pay around 1000 euro a month for a two bedroom house. It might be worth asking your employer if they can help for the first year you are here.

If you do take up the job you should make sure your employer applies for the 30% ruling for you. As an expat with a high level job you´ll be entitled to this. Tax rates here are very high but with that you should end up paying similar to UK rates for the first ten years you are here.

Its a great country. I´m really glad I made the move (10 years ago now).
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Old Aug 21st 2009, 12:07 pm   #3
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

For some reason when I think of Hoofdorp, I think of Milton Keynes, same boring place and without the efficient grid system.....

But look at the brightside, Amsterdam is very, very close, go there for nights out/intake of culture!
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Old Aug 21st 2009, 2:49 pm   #4
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

A couple of points:

1). Check on the level of benefits. These can be pretty generous (e.g. an extra months pay for vacations). I have alsoalways got an extra months pay at Christmas and various other perks including an 80 euro per month tax free entertainment allowance. Presently I get around 25% in total on top of my basic salary. Also, the Dutch are very generous when it comes to pensions (although less so in recent years) and most employers will have (by UK standards) a very good pension scheme (plus the state pension is worth a lot more than the equivalent UK one).

Also, if you choose to live some distance from where you are working you may be able to get a travel allowance.

2). Find out whether you will be on the 30% rule. In some case foreigners can for a max of 10 years receive 30% of their income free of tax. This can make a big difference as the top rate of tax here is at 52%! Also bear in mind that in addition you will have to pay about 100 euro/month per adult for health care (+also a contribution for any kids).

Regarding schooling for your daughter I would see whether you can enrol her at a local peuterspeelzaal (play group for toddlers). At age 4 she can start at primary school which will be Monday-Friday with (I think usually) Wednesday afternoons free for outside activities e.g. sport. There isn't generally a lot of provision for child minding which is why a lot of Mums do not go back to work full time after having kids.

An alternative to the Dutch system is that she goes to an International School. These aren't free but you might want to consider it if you only plan to stay for a few years. Also, it is worth discussing with your employer whether they would pay some or all of the cost of this.
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Old Aug 21st 2009, 3:06 pm   #5
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Thanks guys for all your replies.

From what i understand, the employer will submit for 30% Tax rule. In regards to Hoofdorp, I get an impression that its very quite place with not much to do in terms of entertainment.

So whats the alternative than? Is there any other near by cities where you can stay and than commute to work via train or something?

Any ideas ???

Regards
SD
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Old Aug 21st 2009, 8:56 pm   #6
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Hoofddorp is very commutable from anywhere really between Den Haag, Leiden and Hoofddorp itself

Den Haag, Voorburg, Voorschoten, Wassenaar, Leiden are all examples of towns (albeit very different from eachtother) where it is nice to live.

Travel expenses are always reimbursed, so in that respect it is not such an issue to live a bit further away. You will still be in Hoofddorp within 45 minutes at the most.
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Old Aug 22nd 2009, 11:40 am   #7
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Thanks for your replies eveyone
@brummie girl... I assume you are from Birmingham... I am from birmingham as well.
How are you finding life in Netherlands compared to UK (Birmingham)? I already have a house and everything here in birminhgam. So i am trying to figure if the move will be worth it for extra 10k in salary.

Regards
SD
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Old Aug 22nd 2009, 1:01 pm   #8
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Hi, life is good here. We live in a smallish town in West Friesland (that is the area north from Amsterdam). I travel to Amsterdam by train every day (1 hour). I like the small towns. We often go for walks at night. We never used to do that in Birmingham (Northfield/Rubery/West Heath area).. If you would look at the quality of life, then yes, I can say this has improved. Life is more laid back. We can leave our back door open all day and things like that. We have no children ourselves yet, but children here still play outside and explore and walk/cycle to school. Now I know that you probably have places like this in the UK as well. But I am now comparing life here with life in Brum.

Our regular outgoings are higher though. We had a low mortgage in Bham. Now we are renting and these rents are high compared to Bham. That is if you want to live in a decent house. The qualities of houses on offer differ a lot. Don't be surprised if they offer a house for a 6 month rental period and it does not even have wallpaper/floorcovering. Meanwhile the same house is for sale and they expect you to do it up for them!

My gross salary here is higher then in the UK. But there is much less left at the end of the month. But I have to add that we are still trying to find our feet fully and are probably not eating the cheapest food etc.

We've got 2 cats. Quality cat food is more expensive here then in the UK.

Health Insurance is not cheap either. Quality is probably good. I have no experience with this (neither I had in the UK to be honest.. but at least I was not paying that much for something that I did not use.. knock wood)

All in all though we do think it has been the right decision. We have given up a lot as well. Good steady jobs and our own house. We just did not want to be in a position later in life thinking ''what if..'' Sometimes you just have take a chance.
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Old Aug 22nd 2009, 4:04 pm   #9
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

When we lived in Holland we lived in Lisse, but they have built it up so much its ugly now- apart from the flower-park of course.
If we were moving to Holland we would choose Leiden to live in. You can get to Hoofddorp easily enough.
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Old Aug 25th 2009, 10:29 am   #10
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Hi,

I'm originally from Coventry and been living in Hoofddorp for 2 years.
Its a relatively quiet place. Nearest international schools are in Amstelveen and South Amsterdam - both will be quite a trek during peak times - around 40 mins each way.

Biggest advantage of living in Hoofddorp for me is my commute into work is only about 20mins. My kids go to a Dutch school though I am looking into whether there are any bilingual english schools nearby??

Cost of living eventually pans out to be similar to UK.
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Old Aug 25th 2009, 11:00 am   #11
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

@msnau
How do you find the place compared to coventry?
So are you able to save as much as you were able to in UK?

From what i have read about Hoofddorp on the net, Its very quite place with only few multiplex and other entertainments but there are loads of places to go for walks etc... Is this true? I personally prefer quiter country side kind of life so this might a good place to stay.

Also how is the public transport there? Can you do without a car (initially) to get to work ?

Regards
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Old Aug 25th 2009, 12:28 pm   #12
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

How do you find the place compared to coventry?
-->I prefer it to Coventry in particular and to UK in general. Its more structured, cleaner, people are nicer, the facilities are better.

So are you able to save as much as you were able to in UK?
-->Yes. This is due to 2 factors:
I had a significant increase in salary compared to the Midlands.
The 30% ruling in Netherlands.
In general the work/life balance is a lot better here.


From what i have read about Hoofddorp on the net, Its very quite place with only few multiplex and other entertainments but there are loads of places to go for walks etc... Is this true? I personally prefer quiter country side kind of life so this might a good place to stay.
--> exactly. Its for the quiet life. Its more like a large village/small town. Our key criteria are fulfilled here in Hoofddorp: commute times, quiet place to live, parks, modern shopping centre, close to airport, close to Amsterdam etc

Also how is the public transport there? Can you do without a car (initially) to get to work ?
--> we managed to live here for over a year without a car without any significant problems - and we have 2 kids. Public transport is infinately better compared to UK.

Hope that helps, msnau
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Old Aug 25th 2009, 12:45 pm   #13
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

Thanks for your answer msnau... Cleared lots of question i had.

In regards to the 30% ruling. Can you tell me how much tax to you end up paying in general on the remaining 70% of your salary?

I am currently offered a salary of around 50k (euros)... So i am trying to get some kind of idea as to what my net take home pay would be taking in to account the 30% ruling.

Thanks
SD
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Old Aug 25th 2009, 12:59 pm   #14
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

With the 30% ruling you´ll find the TOTAL income tax you pay similar to UK levels. Generally it is much higher if you are earning your kind of salary.

Top rate of 52% kicks in at 42k euro.
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Old Aug 25th 2009, 1:20 pm   #15
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Default Re: Need some advise on job offer in Hoofddorp

@brianc_li

Thanks for your reply. In UK we also pay National Insurance contribution along side tax. So the net salary is calculated after deduction Tax + NI... Is it the same in Netherlands or do you just deduct Tax?
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