You may have heard that Switzerland is one of the most expensive places to live and to visit.
There are many great things about Switzerland, and that is partly what makes it so expensive.
Understanding why Switzerland is so expensive can help you decide if it is a place you may like to live or work.
Here are ten reasons Switzerland is so expensive.
Why Is Switzerland So Expensive?
1. Real Estate
When a job market is good, and the people of Switzerland have lots of money, chances are the real estate is going to increase in price.
If you are looking at purchasing a rental property or vacation home in Switzerland, be prepared to spend a great deal.
In fact, if you live in a country with a lower cost of living than Switzerland, you may want to reconsider purchasing real estate there.
You will notice that the pricing and the carrying costs are going to be very high with Swiss real estate.
With real estate being so high in Switzerland, many people do not purchase a house.
Since the prices are so high, most people choose to rent.
In fact, two-thirds of the population will rent in Switzerland.
People can’t afford to live in Switzerland, but at the same time, they are trying to save up to purchase one of the expensive homes.
It’s a bad cycle that leads to most people renting as opposed to purchasing.
Since the rental market is so competitive, the pricing is going to go up on the best places to rent.
This just leaves even more people unable to save to purchase a home.
Overall, Switzerland is not that large, and the amount of real estate available for people to purchase is quite low to begin with.
The rate that building occurs in Switzerland is not nearly as high as it is in the United States.
If you can afford to purchase something in Switzerland, your mortgage will likely be quite a bit less than your rent.
The interest rates are relatively fair compared to those other countries.
In Switzerland, you will notice that the electronics are considered to be more moderately priced.
They are slightly expensive but comparable to what we see in the United States.
The pricing for electronics could be quite a bit cheaper in Switzerland if some of the products were produced there.
However, most of the electronics Switzerland sells are coming from the United States or from China.
The Swiss will have to pay to import these electronics, but the value of Swiss currency is quite a bit higher than those in the United States or China.
You will notice that Switzerland is very particular about their electronics, and people will spend a good portion of their income on electronics.
There is easy access to these products, and compared to other things in Switzerland, like visiting a mountain, electronics seem fairly priced.
If your phone breaks while you are visiting Switzerland, it will cost you a bit more than you are used to paying, but it should not break the bank.
When people talk about countries that have a high cost of living, one of the major reasons is groceries.
Areas with a high cost of living will charge quite a bit for their groceries.
One thing that is important to remember is that Switzerland is a small country.
Since the country is so small, most of the groceries need to be imported.
If you are eating meat from Switzerland, chances are it is going to be almost double the price of meat from other European countries.
Some want to support the locally raised meat, but this is not something most people will be able to afford.
The grocery shopping in Switzerland can get so expensive that people will travel to another country to get their groceries.
Those who live near the border may find better luck traveling elsewhere to feed their families.
It is very difficult to save money at any of the Swiss-based grocery stores.
Their products are priced high and rarely go on sale.
There are some German grocery stores that are considered discount stores which will offer slightly lower pricing to people living in Switzerland.
Unfortunately, it is not all that possible to support the Swiss stores and save money on your groceries.
It is nice to support your country but not when doing so makes you go into debt.
Switzerland is a very popular place for tourists.
When countries, towns, and cities know that they are sought after from a tourism standpoint, they will raise their prices.
Tourist friendly towns are some of the most expensive in the world.
When people are on vacation, they are more willing to pay higher prices on everything from room and board to food to general souvenirs.
If you happen to travel to Switzerland, make sure you have a large travel budget.
A hotel in Switzerland is very expensive.
If you are traveling from America and plan to stay in Switzerland for a week or ten days, your hotel bill will be very high.
Even if you choose to stay in something that is a bit more moderate, the pricing is high.
If you are traveling with a large family and looking to get a few rooms, be prepared for a very large bill.
There are some attractions in Switzerland that have become quite popular, and because of that, the prices have increased accordingly.
One of the most popular Swiss attractions is the Matterhorn.
This has now become a tourist destination, and people are having to pay an excessive amount of money to visit.
The difficult part about this is that the people who live in Switzerland are not exempt from these high prices.
Even in their own country, they have to pay the extreme prices to spend time visiting attractions, eating out, and more.
One of the interesting impacts of this high cost of tourism is that the people who live in Switzerland will often travel outside of Switzerland.
With the cost of their travel and their cost of living being so high, traveling to other countries can be a welcome relief.
The Swiss will often travel to other places in Europe where they can get more for their money.
This is not difficult to do and will give them a few weeks away from the high prices in Switzerland.
Overall, tourism is a great money maker for Switzerland, but it is also extremely expensive.
5. Medical Costs
Medical costs make Switzerland very expensive.
There are several reasons behind this, but as you may have figured out, medical costs are expensive throughout the world.
One of the reasons people living in Switzerland will say healthcare is expensive is that they have no choice but to purchase it.
Medical insurance is not optional in Switzerland.
Every single household and family needs to make sure they are covered.
This is an expense that some larger families struggle with.
Once you have this insurance, you are still subject to many fees.
Just like we see in America, you will have a deductible, copays, and other expenses that come up even when you have a health insurance plan.
If you get sick and need an extended stay in the hospital, it is going to end up costing you a great deal of money.
People will purchase plans with larger deductibles so that they can afford the monthly premium, but this puts them in a bad position when they do have a medical emergency.
If you are thinking of moving to Switzerland or even planning to travel there, you need to consider the medical expenses and make sure you are prepared for the costs.
If you do not have your own transportation in Switzerland, you are very likely going to look into public transportation.
Unfortunately, the costs for public transportation is going to be quite high.
The system includes trains and buses as well, but it is extremely expensive to travel this way.
For people who need to get to work, they can end up spending a good portion of their salary just on the commuting expenses they must pay each week.
The transportation system is built to punish those who only use it occasionally.
If you are using it daily, you can get discount cards to help you keep the cost down.
However, for people who are just visiting Switzerland, there is no way to save money on these public transportation costs.
When you start looking at locations all over the world to travel, you will notice that the pricing is going to vary considerably.
Switzerland is one of those countries where you are going to need some extra cash when you arrive.
This is important to consider when you are traveling and budgeting for your trip.
If you decide you want to purchase your car as opposed to paying for public transportation, you will end up paying a good amount for a car in Switzerland.
The only good news is that the gas prices are a little lower.
One thing that certainly makes Switzerland more expensive is the fact that transportation is really expensive.
Another reason that Switzerland is so expensive is that the taxes can be quite high.
Depending on what state you live in, you can pay a great deal of money for your taxes.
People will often choose the state they live in based on the taxes they can afford.
Some areas will have places that have reasonable taxes, probably lower than most other areas in Europe.
Then, if you look just one town over, you will see that the taxes can be as much as twenty percent higher.
If you have enough money to purchase a home in Switzerland, it is going to be very important to pay attention to the taxes.
If the taxes are high, you will have to make sure you prepare for and calculate yet another costly expense.
When working out the budget for home ownership in Switzerland, there are lots of large numbers to incorporate.
8. Job Market
Switzerland is expensive because the jobs are high paying.
Of course, this is another one of these cycles where higher paying jobs lead to a higher cost of living.
People are delighted to get a great job with a high salary, and then they find that they are using most of this salary just to survive.
In Switzerland, the median salary is much higher than it is for many other countries in Europe.
The good news about the elevated cost of living in Switzerland is that, if you can make it with one of these higher paying jobs, you should have no trouble affording day-to-day life.
The purchasing power of the employed in Switzerland is quite high.
If you feel as though your job is a higher paying one, you will not need to worry quite as much about survival and being able to afford life in Switzerland.
Chances are if you are living or visiting Switzerland, you will want to go out and spend some money on entertainment.
Going out to eat, going to the movies, or heading to a museum in Switzerland is going to cost you quite a bit of money.
Unfortunately, everywhere you look, people will gladly be willing to accept your money.
The price to go out for a great meal will be significantly higher than planning and cooking one at home.
The higher-paying jobs of those in Switzerland can help them pay for restaurants and entertainment, but it will be costly.
If you make an average salary in Switzerland, spending time out on the town is going to be hard to fit into your budget.
When people have money, they will want to spend it doing fun things, therefore Switzerland’s entertainment costs are very high.
10. Swiss Education
If you were born and raised in Switzerland, you probably think that education is one of the more fairly priced things about this country.
This would be true.
For Swiss-born citizens, the education system is very reasonably priced, and it is very useful and affordable as well.
In Switzerland, you can get very fair pricing on advanced degrees, and it will be subsidized by the government to make it even more affordable.
The part where Switzerland gets expensive is for non-Swiss-born citizens who are trying to get an education.
There will be significantly higher costs for those who have been raised in other countries.
In fact, the cost of tuition gets so high that some will say it may be worth it to get an education elsewhere.
Although education is just another factor which makes Switzerland expensive, at least those good degrees can lead to one of Switzerland’s great high paying jobs.
Switzerland is one of the most expensive areas in Europe.
In fact, some will say that Switzerland is one of the most expensive places in all the world.
The good news is that it is a wonderful place to spend some time.
Most people will remember a trip to Switzerland as being expensive but still very much worth it.