It’s no surprise that so many expatriates choose to retire in Switzerland because of the high standard of life, cheap taxes, good healthcare, and countless locations to visit.
Natixis 2020 Global Retirement Index ranks Switzerland second in the world when it comes to retirement, but also amongst the most expensive. Switzerland’s high cost of living is, in fact, an important consideration when retiring there.
To retire in Switzerland, a single person needs a retirement fund of $1,050,000. For a family of four $2,850,000 is needed to live comfortably. The minimum amount you need as a single person is $787,000 and $2,137,000 as a family of four.
This guide offers the following analysis while arranging retirement in this lovely Alpine counter, we’ll look at:
- How much money to retire comfortably in Switzerland
- The minimum amount to retire in Switzerland
- Is retiring in Switzerland a good idea?
Let’s get right into it!
Disclaimer: non of this is to be considered as financial advice. This is nothing more than my opinion, and I’m not a financial advisor. I take no responsibility for what you decide to do.
How Much Money You Need to Retire Comfortably in Switzerland:
Although the living cost varies greatly depending on one’s tastes and circumstances, It’s estimated that an individual needs 3,500 USD per month for a comfortable lifestyle in most cities so that a family of four can live comfortably on approximately 9,500 USD per month.
If you stick to the 4% rule, saying that you need your yearly expenses to be less than 4% of your retirement fund, you therefore need:
($3,500 * 12) / 0.04 = $1,050,000 – One million and fifty USD.
In other words:
Having roughly one million USD saved up in your retirement fund will be enough to safely retire in Switzerland. For a family of four, this number increases to 2.85 million USD.
Suggested reading: Is Saving $1,000 a month good? (where you’ll be in the future)
The sections below provide a more extensive analysis of various living expenditures in Switzerland, allowing anyone to get a clearer understanding of how much money they’ll need to live comfortably in Switzerland based on their specific personal circumstances.
Individuals should anticipate spending about 25 to 40 percent of their take-home wage on mortgage payments or rent, depending on where they reside and the property type they select.
The price of housing will also differ depending on the area. For instance, in Zurich, rent is generally roughly 3 % cheaper than in Geneva.
The forms of activities one enjoys doing, the number of times they do them, and how many friends they undertake these pursuits will all influence the monthly entertainment expenditure.
The typical rates for popular leisure/entertainment activities for retirees in Switzerland are shown below.
- 13 (USD)/ 14.30 (USD) for a standard meal at a fast-food restaurant
- 60 (USD)/ 65.80 (USD) for a 3-course dinner at a mid-range restaurant for one person
- 1 Beer at a local pub/bar costs 6 (USD)/ 6.60 (USD)
- A cup of coffee at a local cafe is 4.50 (USD)/ 4.95 (USD)
- 13 (USD)/ 14.30 (USD) for a typical fast-food lunch costs
- 60 (USD)/ 65.80 (USD) for a three-course lunch in a mid-range eatery per person
- 100 (USD)/ 109 (USD) for a three-course lunch at a high-end eatery for one person (USD)
- 6 (USD)/ 6.60 (USD) for one beer at a neighborhood pub/bar
- 4.50 (USD)/ 4.95 (USD) for a cup of coffee at a neighborhood cafeacute
- 19 (USD)/ 21 (USD) for a movie ticket
- 32-65 (USD)/ 35-70F (USD) for a Ski lift pass (per day)
- 107 (USD)/ 117 (USD) for a concert by a globally known artist
- 85 (USD)/ 93.30 USD (USD) is the cost of a monthly gym membership
Groceries make up a significant amount of the monthly expenses. Depending on dining habits, groceries might cost anything from 75 USD to 120 USD per person per week.
It indicates a single individual will spend around USD 300-480 a month on food, and an average family of four will spend around USD 900-1300 a month.
In Switzerland, doctors can earn hundreds of thousands of Swiss Francs each year. One would think Health care is going to be pricey with those types of incomes. And they’d be correct. Swiss people pay a total of USD 2,800 a year for healthcare. The bulk of severe medical bills, on the other hand, will be covered by the mandated private health insurance that all Swiss citizens must obtain.
Under these mandated insurance policies, patients must contribute 10-20 % towards their overall medical care, which is limited to roughly 700 USD for adults and 320 USD for kids, typically requiring deductibles between 300 and 2,200 USD.
As with most insurance plans, the greater the deductible, the cheaper the monthly payment, with high deductibles charging close to 50% just under low deductible policies.
As an expatriate, one may want to consider enrolling their children in an international school to ease their adjustment to Switzerland. In locations like Zurich or Geneva, the average international school costs between 12,000 USD and 35,000 USD annually per student.
Public Transportation Expenses:
If a person lives in a city center like Zurich or Geneva, they may use reliable public transit networks to commute. Among Zurich’s transit tickets, a one-way ticket costs 4.40 USD, whereas a ticket in Geneva costs 3.00 USD.
In Zurich, a monthly transit pass costs 85 USD, whereas a monthly transit ticket in Geneva costs 70 USD.
Cabs in Switzerland are rather costly, with journeys starting at around 7.00 USD and increasing by 4.50 USD for each kilometer (one kilometer = 0.62 miles). For instance, if one was to take a 20-minute cab journey, they might expect to pay roughly 110 USD.
The Minimum Amount You Need to Retire in Switzerland:
The cost of living is determined mainly by one’s tastes and family situation, rather than the precise place in Switzerland where they choose to reside.
Before deciding to retire in Switzerland, it is critical to figure out how much money one will need to maintain the lifestyle one chooses.
If you’re willing to sacrifice some of the luxuries, you can cut down on your expenses, and consequently your needed retirement fund.
If you’re able to cut down on the two biggest monthly expenses, housing and commuting, you’ll be a lot better off:
Let’s say you’re able to live in a smaller house and walk or use public transport to get around. This could cut your costs by up to 25%, as housing alone often makes out up to 40% of your monthly expenses.
If you’re able to do so, you can get by with a retirement fund of 25% less than the one calculated above:
Single: $1,050,000 * 0.75 = $787,500
Family of four: $2,850,000 * 0.75 = $2,137,000
In other words:
The minimum amount of money you need to retire in Switzerland is $787,500 if you’re single. For a family of four people, you need $2,137,000 saved up before retiring.
You need to save and invest a lot of money. That can be hard, especially if you already struggling to pay the bills.
If you’re in that situation, like I used to be, read this article: Can’t Save Money Because of Bills? Here’s What I Did
You’ll get everything you need to know, in detail, and my personal journey from living paycheck to paycheck to saving 80% of my income.
Let’s move on:
Is Retiring in Switzerland a Good Idea?
Switzerland is a well-known tourism destination for visitors from all over the world. Switzerland, however, isn’t exclusively for tourists. Many retirees have made the country their home. Swiss authorities have established a particular retired residence scheme to accommodate the influx of retirees.
Who would be a good fit for retirement in Switzerland? It isn’t the usual retirement destination. People have probably heard of places where they can drastically lower their retirement costs. That is not the case in Switzerland. Switzerland is not for someone who is attempting to retire on a tight budget.
On the other hand, Switzerland may be the ideal retirement destination for those who can afford it. Following are a few reasons why someone should retire to Switzerland:
Taxes Are Low:
In general, Swiss taxes are lower compared to the United States and the United Kingdom. One option is to make a lump-sum tax payment upon entering the country as a retiree, which will speed up obtaining a visa and offset part or all of one’s future taxes.
Emphasis On Leisure:
Swiss people love their time off. They value relaxation, sports, and living life to the fullest. The majority of companies close early, while just a handful remain open on Sundays.
High Standard of Living:
Switzerland is often ranked as among the world’s most fantastic places for people to live. Zurich is frequently listed as one of the world’s top three cities. Why? Violent crime is almost unheard of, and there are lots of job openings. Political and economic stability also help the country.
There Are Plenty of Jobs for Those Who Want to Work:
To help support this new Swiss lifestyle, one may have to take on a part-time job. Alternatively, one may wish to work to pass the time.
If that’s the case, these people discover many work opportunities, ranging from employment in the booming tourist industry to classic business and service areas.
Furthermore, it is pleasing to learn that every profession in Switzerland has good minimum pay.
Traveling Is Simple:
Switzerland is located in the geographic center of Europe. Germany is a short drive away, while France is a few hours away. Regardless of where one lives, returning home should be accessible from Switzerland, which has international airports and numerous train links.
For those who love playing in the snow or skiing as a hobby, retirement in Switzerland should be ideal. Most of the year, it’s chilly. Even the summers are not very hot. The high elevation of the country keeps the climate cool.
There Is Fantastic Food, Chocolate, And Beer:
Original Swiss chocolate is indeed the best method to satisfy a sweet appetite. The most fabulous Swiss chocolate is not to be found at the Zurich airport. Instead, it is offered in little chocolate shops around the nation in communities. But Switzerland isn’t simply known for its chocolate. It features world-class local food and a few of Europe’s best beers.
Financial And Political Stability:
The notion of neutrality is so well-known in Switzerland that this is typically the first thought that comes to mind when the country’s name is spoken.
But it’s not simply a notion…
Switzerland’s long-standing neutrality regarding international issues has contributed to its status among the most secure countries in the world. If one doesn’t feel safe keeping their retirement funds in a Swiss bank, they probably won’t feel safe keeping them anyplace else.
For many people, Switzerland is an attractive retirement location due to its spectacular natural beauty, central European position, and reputation as a very safe country. However, if one wants to call it home, they’ll have to pay a lot of money, especially if they intend to live in a larger city like Zurich or Geneva.
Nevertheless, if they can save up enough cash and handle all requisite procedures, Swiss retirement is always a viable option, especially if one enjoys chocolate.
In a nutshell, as per the guide above, Switzerland remains one of the top-class countries in the world where people can enjoy many benefits during their retirement period. Better health care, low taxes paid, and numerous health benefits enable many to live a remarkable and outstanding life. So retiring in Switzerland remains a viable and satisfactory option for many.
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