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Salary, Lifestyle, Apartments, oh my!

Or: How to show you want/need validation

OnlyOneOklahoma
post 19.Sep.2018, 06:46 AM
Post #16
Joined: 13.Feb.2018

My wife and I moved here from the States 2.5 years ago for one salary of 38k a month, I was making $120k a year in Oklahoma. There were struggles (never financial), but it is still the best decision we ever made. You will have a very comfortable life on that one salary, might not be restaurants every week, but you and your kids will not want for anything.

Most of the stress comes from housing uncertainty. We've been very lucky to not have to move the entire time we've been here, but we do hide from neighbours. With such a high salary, I imagine you have some savings and can easily buy in to the market. Mortgages are ridiculously cheap here, it is the 15% down payment in an inflated market that is the barrier.

My wife did some school work to keep herself busy then decided to find a job. It took a month or so, but she found one and now we are doing extra fine.

I wish people would PM me details about this black market for housing, I have money, just not 600K sek to deposit on a mortgage for a 3 room with a Tbana station in walking distance.
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LimpingNinja
post 23.Sep.2018, 10:17 AM
Post #17
Joined: 15.Sep.2018

Sorry for being tardy, been living life and thought I was subscribed!

QUOTE
With salary, you will be fine. Unless your rent/ mortgage is very very high... Comparable to your US rent of 4k, where are you coming from btw? But rent probably won't be that high.


Seattle, Washington! Home of million dollar bungalows.

QUOTE
My last thing, since you didn't mention, is about your partner. I don't know if you are the US husband or US/EU wife. If you are the wife, what does your husband plan on doing? If you are the husband, what does your wife plan on doing?


I'm the husband, my wife is an artist. I think she might have a hard time if she were to go on the job market unless she was able to work independently. It has always been an issue and I don't think it will be much different. She immigrated to the US and we've moved many times, while she speaks 7 different languages she's used to culture being a barrier.

QUOTE ( @ 17.Sep.2018, 07:48 AM) *
Do you have a contract and are hours specified?


Have a contract, hours aren't specified but the position (while having some on-call) is pretty flexible and standard hours for Sweden.


QUOTE (elliha @ 17.Sep.2018, 07:48 AM) *
I would say pick a Swedish school and get them learning the language fast.


That's what we are planning! Thanks for all the good response here elliha!

QUOTE (pepitoAndalucia @ 18.Sep.2018, 03:33 PM) *
So you can find rentals for 12 months but still that is not the average and also consider you won't be able to stay for more than 12 months in most second hand rentals. It ... (show full quote)


You mention it as a money drain, can you explain? I currently roughly yearly already. Granted I have extended a few times, but I spent 6 years in the last state and move 5 times. I'm prepared for that part of things, I think - the problem that I'm worried about is finding the houses

QUOTE (Cheeseroller @ 19.Sep.2018, 12:43 AM) *
While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is i ... (show full quote)


There isn't disbelief, just some curiosity - could you explain more how it will change the character and outlook?

QUOTE (OnlyOneOklahoma @ 19.Sep.2018, 12:46 AM) *
My wife and I moved here from the States 2.5 years ago for one salary of 38k a month, I was making $120k a year in Oklahoma. There were struggles (never financial), but i ... (show full quote)


Thanks for the feedback, it certainly makes me feel better! Where are you currently living and is that 38k before tax? I'm coming from around ~220k USD in Seattle (which sometimes feels similar to $140k in Tennessee) so it would probably be helpful from me to ask you: What compromises did you make on lifestyle in moving? If you compared your living in the US to there.


---

As always, thank you guys for all of your helpful response. I really appreciate it!
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Svedallas
post 23.Sep.2018, 11:12 AM
Post #18
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (Cheeseroller @ 19.Sep.2018, 07:43 AM) *
Probably the biggest issue may be the kids. It is not easy to leave your friends and school, and be immersed in a country where everyone speaks a foreign language all day at s ... (show full quote)



While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is.

+1 to Cheeserollers comment.
This is a FACT!
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Svedallas
post 23.Sep.2018, 11:19 AM
Post #19
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (OnlyOneOklahoma @ 19.Sep.2018, 07:46 AM) *
My wife and I moved here from the States 2.5 years ago for one salary of 38k a month, I was making $120k a year in Oklahoma. There were struggles (never financial), but i ... (show full quote)


Black market housing is illegal.
Only natives and long term residents get it.

Just being honest.
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intrepidfox
post 23.Sep.2018, 12:17 PM
Post #20
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 18.Jul.2012

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 23.Sep.2018, 11:19 AM) *
Black market housing is illegal. . Only natives and long term residents get it.. Just being honest.



I agree but why should short term resident get special treatement when the natives have the same problem? Even in the 90´s it wasn´t easy
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yet another brit
post 23.Sep.2018, 01:11 PM
Post #21
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Depends a bit on what your job is, but if you can get "foreign expert or key staff" status from the tax office you'll get a decent tax break for the first three years. The employer applies on your behalf.

And if possible, have start-up accommodation included in a relocation package.

As above, a big challenge will be your partner getting a job or otherwise amusing herself so as not to die of boredom...

Your ideal strategy (assuming you have the deposit, 15% is mandatory) would be to get your employer to find you a rental, and then look for somewhere to buy (not rent) ASAP.
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Am89
post 23.Sep.2018, 02:27 PM
Post #22
Joined: 7.Apr.2017

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 15.Sep.2018, 02:29 AM) *
Hello all,I've been reading these boards for months, mainly because it is interesting and partially because there is something altogether amusing in some of these replies. ... (show full quote)


Avoid Sweden if you could get a job in some other EU country. Housing is a big issue, things are way more expensive than their real value, Swedes are boring and when it comes to workplace be aware they are big time backstabbers, they are not what they look externally. Moreover, customer service is bad here and it takes their authorities very long time to proceed documents. Good luck!
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Gjeebes
post 23.Sep.2018, 02:46 PM
Post #23
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

"relocation assistance"

Get a written & "signed for" guarantee of this, and definitely read the fine print. It might not be quite what you are expecting.

"I currently pay almost $4k for rent in the US, $700 on utilities, $900 for vehicle, etc..."

It sounds like you are living the high-life economically speaking, relative to what you will likely experience in Sweden, (e.g. "renting" at $4k/month, plus expenses, which is more, per month, than the average Swedish mortgage holder pays off from their principle loan, in a year). Expect a downgrade from the level you are used to. To have what you now, will cost you 3-4 x times (if not more) in Sweden.

It sounds like you are downgrading on salary, unit for unit; you can live quite fine on 40sek/month, but not in the way you currently do (it's a guess; correct me if I am wrong). There will be no comparison for what you can get living on 120K USD (or whatever it was) and what you will equivalently find in Sweden, living on 30-40 ksek in Sweden.

Regarding your children:

Cheesey wrote: "While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is."

Quite simply, what Cheesey is trying to say is that immersing your child in Swedish culture at a certain age, will permanently fuck-them-up.

The prospect of having to explain this burden, in its entirety, to someone who has little to no first-hand experience of "Sweden", enigma that it is, is simply tiresome.

Take the effect on your children Cheesey has mentioned seriously OP, simply DO NOT underestimate the dysfunction of Sweden. If you bring your kids up in "that", they will learn how to become helpless, and worried what everyone thinks of them so they aren't socially excluded (add insecure at a core level). They will learn nothing more than what a shallow, plastic existence is all about.

They will also learn that "minimum effort is enough" and never experience what hard work is (i.e. to achieve something independently)or what it really means. They will learn how to be unable to survive elsewhere. In that I mean they will be missing "key" life lessons, and become brainwashed into the "Swedish mentality", which is basically a misfit for anywhere elsewhere.

Like Cheesey wrote, "you won't believe this now"...but the day will come when had wished you had. By then, too late.
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Svedallas
post 23.Sep.2018, 03:15 PM
Post #24
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (intrepidfox @ 23.Sep.2018, 01:17 PM) *
I agree but why should short term resident get special treatement when the natives have the same problem? Even in the 90´s it wasn´t easy


Yes, it never has been easy.
But the black market is now via network of reference of references.
95% via family.

Impossible if you are short term.
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Svedallas
post 23.Sep.2018, 03:18 PM
Post #25
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 23.Sep.2018, 03:46 PM) *
"relocation assistance"Get a written & "signed for" guarantee of this, and definitely read the fine print. It might not be quite what you are expecting ... (show full quote)


+1
Don't worry about you and the cost of living, etc etc. Thats material things.
Worry that your children will never be the same again.

Good luck.
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pepitoAndalucia
post 23.Sep.2018, 11:48 PM
Post #26
Joined: 3.Jun.2018

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 23.Sep.2018, 03:46 PM) *
"relocation assistance"Get a written & "signed for" guarantee of this, and definitely read the fine print. It might not be quite what you are expecting ... (show full quote)


+1 Exactly my thoughts.

Explaining what sweden actually is, becomes really difficult.

The incredible thing is the hype sweden has abroad as the progressive, open minded culture when in reality it's quite the opposite.
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pepitoAndalucia
post 23.Sep.2018, 11:54 PM
Post #27
Joined: 3.Jun.2018

QUOTE (Am89 @ 23.Sep.2018, 03:27 PM) *
Avoid Sweden if you could get a job in some other EU country. Housing is a big issue, things are way more expensive than their real value, Swedes are boring and when it comes ... (show full quote)



Good point.

Germany is a better choice, Learning German opens many possibilities and cost of living is cheaper and wages are very decent.

Sweden is tough, as you said housing is a BIG problem. Then the culture, unless you accept to be passive and lacking of emotion then one can be "happy" but that has a very high price.

I want to be alive, have emotion, make crazy jokes, look at pretty women... The things swedes are not, no matter how much they pay for marketing to shape their personal image abroad.
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wallace1837
post 24.Sep.2018, 12:15 AM
Post #28
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 17.Sep.2018, 06:44 AM) *
The second link you posted looks like this:MATHS: US=40th,UK=27th,SE=25thSCIENCE: US=25th,UK=15th,SE=28thREADING: US=24th,UK=22th,SE=17thBased on this and a PISA ranking of 72 ... (show full quote)

There are at least 20 to 30 country with a better education system. Those include Switzerland, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Germany, etc.

This is not even considering the downward trend of Sweden...
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pepitoAndalucia
post 24.Sep.2018, 12:20 PM
Post #29
Joined: 3.Jun.2018

QUOTE (wallace1837 @ 24.Sep.2018, 01:15 AM) *
There are at least 20 to 30 country with a better education system. Those include Switzerland, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Germany, etc.. This is not even considering the downward trend of Sweden...


And when it's about housing the choice is even more obvious. Sweden is not on the list.

Sweden has a low population density with the second,first? highest taxes in the world but then housing is such an issue that even the CEO of spotify complained about the subject.
90% of cities in sweden has a population of 300k or less!, but yet there are queues to even find apartment in those areas!.

The only two major cities are Stockholm and Gothenburg not even Malmö applies as a big city since it's just 250k population.

Most media won't say a word about the precarious second hand rental market or the massive queues to get that long term rental. But then I watch the news and they say it's all great and it's never been cheaper to buy an apartment!. So it's ovbious what the system wants from people... To buy and shut up!.

So it seems even swedish media are all in with this scheme to mislead everybody that nothing is wrong with housing.
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LimpingNinja
post 5.Oct.2018, 02:54 AM
Post #30
Joined: 15.Sep.2018

Hello,

Sorry again for the lag in response! Thanks for all the comments, I appreciate the feedback and will synthesize any of it within context.

I'm not concerned with the rental market, I've been fairly warned by you lot and am now expecting this to be the norm so will not be unduly bothered if it is. The cost of housing is highly annoying, it is likely that I will 'self-subsidize' if it turns out to be a larger expense and then move after 2 years. For those who were concerned about that decision, it is how I do things the same choice I made in countless other moves to other states and countries. It is not an irreversible decision and it will not cause me sudden death, so I doubt it's such a terrible existence that a min. of 2 years would break me and if it does, then perhaps I should learn such a lesson.

As for comments on children, I've raised one set already (in university) and am halfway through the next set of children who are old enough to have developed a sense of personality. I would be remiss as a parent if I unloaded the responsibility and blame for how they turn out. I believe highly in internal locus of control and understand my role as a guiding figure. The chips will fall where they will, and I will have no undue part in how my children turn out. Raising strong, intelligent, independent children does not stop at the school or society.

I have co-workers, peers, subordinates, and leaders within the country and a good deal of them are expatriates from both the US and other parts of the EU. For the most part I've shared the feedback that I've heard hear with them and have had many side opinions as well. Most of them I consider very well informed because they are from people that were in the same situation and with the same company. I did ask here though and would still like to express my gratitude for the time taken to respond to this message and for the advice, complaints, warnings and everything else.

QUOTE
Depends a bit on what your job is, but if you can get "foreign expert or key staff" status from the tax office you'll get a decent tax break for the first three years. The employer applies on your behalf.


This is quite good advice, and after discussion believe that this might feasibly apply.

Also, for those that keep saying 'it isn't like the documentaries' --- I don't watch that stuff, so not quite sure what you refer to. I also don't subscribe to a 'x is the best y' mentality. The deal about the ranking of school status is understandable but no different than living in the US or other places; I'm not really 'elite school hunting' here.

In the end, we will see how it turns out - I have set some reminders to come back and post about my trials and tribulations - the experiences I see - which may either contribute to the litany of complaints or provide a dose of medicine, to be sure we just do not know yet!

All the best,
LN
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