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Single parent questions

Offered a job in Stockholm

Singleparenting
post 12.Jul.2019, 04:51 AM
Post #1
Joined: 9.Jul.2019

Hi, I've been offered a job with a firm in Stockholm and have a 3 year old. If I take it up, I'd be moving from India as a single mother. I have so many questions as I make this decision and would really appreciate some insight from members here :

1. What would it cost me to have a regular nanny or babysitter and how hard are they to find? When I google it I find costs ranging from SEK 149 an hour for part-time (unaffordable) to SEK 5000 a month for full time live in help. The latter seems quite doable for me so there must be a catch!! Are they simply hard to find?
2. Can I get a personnummer for me and my child with just my job contract? I'd like to get in the preschool queue soon rather than wait 3 months for the work permit
3. Would love to hear from other Indian or non-EU parents of preschoolers - which preschools in the Stockholm area have you found diverse, healthy and good?
4. I heard there was a Waldorf preschool with an all-vegan menu - is that a one-off or can I find that as an option elsewhere?
5. Could I buy a flat and be eligible for a loan before I even move as long as I can put down say 20-30%? I don't want my kid to have to move house 5 times a year right after moving continents!
6. If I don't get my work permit extended what happens to the hypothetical flat I bought? Is it just a matter of paying down the instalments by renting it out to someone, or do I risk losing it?!
7. Finally - the big and vague questions. I am being offered a salary that while above the national average is only about SEK 200,000 higher than my Indian salary converted. I'm being told that this is what salaries in Sweden are like. The low pay worries me but the safety, gender equality and low cost of raising a child of Sweden is extremely appealing to me as a single mother to a girl. I kind of see this as the best home for me from that POV. India, especially as it is evolving now, just scares me constantly on this count - even if I have a full staff of domestic help and family and friends around here. I worry I am idealising Sweden too much so would appreciate other perspectives on the safety, gender equality and low cost of raising a child part which is mainly driving my decision.

Thanks again
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nativeswedishengineer
post 12.Jul.2019, 12:39 PM
Post #2
Joined: 7.Nov.2017

Live-in childcare isn't really a thing in Sweden, unless you are absurdley rich. Commonly children are either sent to kindergarten (heavily subsidized by the government) or a dagmamma (smaller group of children).


Waldorf isn't very well regarded paedagogically. Children from there are usually not taught enough to handle regular secondary and territiary education. But almost all schools in Sweden, offer a vegetarian alternative for lunch.

Regarding the wage, what job is it? There has been a lot of stories of swedish companies trying to short-change foreigners by offering starvation wages.
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Singleparenting
post 13.Jul.2019, 02:18 PM
Post #3
Joined: 9.Jul.2019

Thank you for your thoughts, nativeswedishengineer. I definitely plan to enrol my child in a preschool, however - I thought a live-in nanny would be useful because I will almost definitely need to travel for work. I'd want to take my child with me instead of leaving her at home with unknown people for days on end. But since I'll need to work after reaching my destination, someone would need to watch her. Someone familiar (ie. nanny) would obviously be the most workable solution - we know how 3 year olds won't instantly let go of their mummies for the whole day in a totally new place around totally new people.

Also, I like to swim and run and keep fit and I'd need to do these during off work hours when daycare is not an option. (I believe daycare lets out at 4 PM latest). Someone will need to watch my kid at that time, but for this I guess a part time babysitter would also do. But if I can get a full time live in nanny for SEK 5000 a month then part time for SEK 149 an hour seems not a great deal? (These numbers still seem odd to me - it can't be SEK 5000).

About the salary, what you say is alarming. I do hope I am not being lowballed - it is one of the best known companies in Sweden - would they do that? I am in a non-tech role in a tech company, salary is 800000 SEK annually. My Indian salary if you convert it, is 600000 SEK annually, cost of living being waaaay lower. This is why I need to carefully think. The only thing pushing me is that social attitudes towards single moms kind of suck in India and it's generally a very unsafe place for women and girls. Sweden seems safe and progressive. Unless this is just an idealised image I have (hope not!)
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oar
post 16.Jul.2019, 02:42 PM
Post #4
Joined: 20.Feb.2018

1. Sweden has a very different relationship to services than India or even the US. Having a live-in nanny is basically not done. I'm not sure what you're seeing for 5000 a month, but there's no way that would be a legal full-time position wage. Perhaps it works if paid under-the-table to illegal migrants with no better options, but I can't imagine anyone with an actual right to work in Sweden agreeing to it. Au-pairs are more common (and legal), but they're sort of mixed bag and can't stay long-term. People with small children typically work shorter days, at your proposed salary I think you could work 80% time and still earn enough to support yourself and your daughter. Swedish employers are generally much more supportive of such arrangements than in other countries.

2. No, you won't get a personnumber until you have a residence permit.

5. It's hard to get loans before you have a Swedish tax history (2+ years), but not impossible. You should talk to multiple banks and expect to live in some kind of temporary situation for at least a few months.

7. >60,000 SEK per month is definitely not the starvation wages that the previous poster was mentioning, it puts you close to the top income decile.
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at_the_gates
post 17.Jul.2019, 08:30 AM
Post #5
Joined: 14.Feb.2019

If you're discussing potential salaries just consider:

1. What you will be paying in tax as you'll lose 35-40+% of that income.
2. Also food is extremely expensive in Sweden (i can only compare to the UK), i think only Denmark maybe or Norway has higher food prices in the EU. Ironically the things that kill you like cigarettes are actually cheaper.
3. Housing is expensive, rent in "cheap areas" of Gothenburg anyway is the same price as Zone 2/3 in London.

Thanks
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Singleparenting
post 19.Jul.2019, 08:44 AM
Post #6
Joined: 9.Jul.2019

QUOTE (at_the_gates @ 17.Jul.2019, 08:30 AM) *
1. What you will be paying in tax as you'll lose 35-40+% of that income.


As per this tax calculator https://statsskuld.se/en/jobs/net-salary - tax in Stockholm will total about 29% of my salary? (what the employer pays will be outside of the salary they are offering me, I assume).
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Singleparenting
post 19.Jul.2019, 09:34 AM
Post #7
Joined: 9.Jul.2019

QUOTE (oar @ 16.Jul.2019, 03:42 PM) *
1. Sweden has a very different relationship to services than India or even the US. Having a live-in nanny is basically not done.


What do single parents do when they have to travel for work? I currently take my kid and nanny along with me. But if no nanny - who will watch the kid while I work in some other location away from home? I probably saw an au pair salary that was 5000 a month - fewer hours and boarding included, must be the reason.
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at_the_gates
post 19.Jul.2019, 12:30 PM
Post #8
Joined: 14.Feb.2019

QUOTE (Singleparenting @ 19.Jul.2019, 09:44 AM) *
As per this tax calculator https://statsskuld.se/en/jobs/net-salary - tax in Stockholm will total about 29% of my salary? (what the employer pays will be outside of the salary ... (show full quote)


That's just the municipality tax. You will also be paying high rate and higher rate national income tax assuming the gross salary you listed above. In total around 40-45% tax on an 800k salary.
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nativeswedishengineer
post 19.Jul.2019, 12:46 PM
Post #9
Joined: 7.Nov.2017

QUOTE (at_the_gates @ 19.Jul.2019, 01:30 PM) *
That's just the municipality tax. You will also be paying high rate and higher rate national income tax assuming the gross salary you listed above. In total around 40-45% tax on an 800k salary.


The numbers are correct, they can be cross referenced here https://www.ekonomifakta.se/Fakta/Skatter/R...KMG5G2iLHW2Pox3
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oar
post 19.Jul.2019, 02:18 PM
Post #10
Joined: 20.Feb.2018

QUOTE (Singleparenting @ 19.Jul.2019, 10:34 AM) *
What do single parents do when they have to travel for work? I currently take my kid and nanny along with me. But if no nanny - who will watch the kid while I work in some oth ... (show full quote)


I don't know any single parents who have jobs that require travel. I doubt there are very many of them. Like I said, the work-life-balance in Sweden means that a lot of parents (particularly mothers) take their jobs pretty easy while their kids are small. Is your job offer something that requires overnight travel? Do they know you're a single mom?
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at_the_gates
post 19.Jul.2019, 02:56 PM
Post #11
Joined: 14.Feb.2019

QUOTE (nativeswedishengineer @ 19.Jul.2019, 01:46 PM) *
The numbers are correct, they can be cross referenced here https://www.ekonomifakta.se/Fakta/Skatter/R...KMG5G2iLHW2Pox3


Yes sorry, i pasted in the wrong figure. However it's still more than 29% and i would take those checkers with a pinch of salt. None give me the same figure between them, and none of them match what i actually take home (which apparently according to Skatteverket is my final, correct amount now).
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at_the_gates
post 19.Jul.2019, 03:05 PM
Post #12
Joined: 14.Feb.2019

QUOTE (Singleparenting @ 19.Jul.2019, 10:34 AM) *
What do single parents do when they have to travel for work? I currently take my kid and nanny along with me. But if no nanny - who will watch the kid while I work in some oth ... (show full quote)


They go to preschool/kindergarten for the free hours then you pay extra for as much of the rest of the day as you can depending on where you live. Or a family member helps. Plus your kid will learn Swedish really quickly at 3 yrs old.

If you have to travel out of hours and be away from home a lot i guess it's a different matter. But as another posted said i would be wary of someone offering nanny services for the price you quoted.

I would advise you to take your proposed salary then work out your entire monthly costs (food, clothing, transport, bills, housing etc). You can work it out all online.
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anarchy
post 20.Jul.2019, 12:00 PM
Post #13
Joined: 20.Jul.2019

Regarding the tax question the preliminary monthly tax on a 800k yearly salary (in Stockholm) is 23.337sek/month (around 35%), that is without taking social fees (paid by employer) or any other taxes such as consumption tax etc into consideration. If you earn 66.666sek/month you’ll get something like 43.329sek monthly paid to your account after the preliminary tax has been withheld.

If you hire a nanny you can make a tax-deduction of up to a maximum of 50k yearly, this is known as “RUT-avdrag”. In essence this means that your yearly income tax base will be lowered by the same amount that you spend on nanny services; at maximum utilization of 50k your yearly taxable income would equate to 750k instead of 800k effectively giving you a tax refund of 29.232sek yearly (or in percentage meaning a 31,4% tax instead of 35%).
That means that you can spend 50k on a nanny but only pay 21k in the end.

Practically “no-one” in Sweden has a live-in nanny, your best bet is to either hire an au-pair or find a part-time nanny that can jump in to fill the gaps between public daycare and the times you need to work out-of-office hours or other activities where you can’t bring your child.

As a mother you will get a monthly contribution from the state (“barnbidrag”) which is not income-based, roughly equating to the monthly cost of public day-care for your child.

However, I am a bit surprised no-one here is stating the obvious: if you already earn 600k sek in India, an income bump to 800k will by far not compensate for the higher cost of living in Sweden. You are by relative measures much more wealthy in India than you would be in Sweden. Although 800k is roughly 2.5 times the average Swedish income, still 600k in India must be something like 7-8 times the average Indian income?

Your other question of quality of life and security can’t be answered easily. As a foreigner in Sweden you will probably suffer from the culture difference, language barrier, etc... Sense of security is rather relative, being a foreigner in a foreign land can be quite intimidating no matter where you’re from and where you move to. I wouldn’t idolize Sweden in any way, you should expect to run into obstacles that require a lot of patience and resilience on you part. Like anywhere else you will be greeted with both hospitality and xenophobia in your day to day life in Sweden, and of course crime exists here too...
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Singleparenting
post 21.Jul.2019, 04:45 AM
Post #14
Joined: 9.Jul.2019

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, anarchy!

QUOTE (oar @ 16.Jul.2019, 03:42 PM) *
However, I am a bit surprised no-one here is stating the obvious: if you already earn 600k sek in India, an income bump to 800k will by far not compensate for the higher cost ... (show full quote)


Yes, if you equate my salary to EU terms using a salary convertor which takes cost of living into account, it is the equivalent of over 200,000 Euros annually. Apparently only fat cats earn that kind of money in Europe, anywhere in Europe, even in the UK. I am a mid-senior level employee at a tech firm, 15 years of experience. Even if 200,000 Euros is impossible, 800,000 SEK feels low.

Why am I even considering it - there's social insecurity for single mothers in India. No trust that police or law will protect. Regressively patriarchal society. Terrible air and water. Unsafe transportation. A lot of stress. And a lot of inflation. What I have to pay to have a less insecure life here would bring my cost of living up to the same levels as Sweden.

But still, 800,000 SEK feels low.
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skogsbo
post 21.Jul.2019, 07:07 AM
Post #15
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

800,000kr annually puts you comfortably in the top 5% of earners in sweden. The same post would earn you more in say the UK, but in sweden middle management up earn less, but unskilled work and say first job after uni pay more. Another disadvantage is you will be a single income household, the whole nursery and pat/mat leave system very much enables women to maintain some career and get back to work.

Often the slightly lower comparable salary can be made up with higher pension payments made by the employer as it's tax beneficial for them too.
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