Cost of living in Europe

New sjeuuin
Mar 17 16 Comments

Currently in SF. I'm considering FB in London and Google in Zurich.

I've heard that London, especially, and also Zurich comp is less than Bay Area, but cost of living is same or higher.

Is this true (the cost of living part)? From what I can tell from online comparison sites, etc, COL in London is actually a bit lower than SF even if high in absolute terms. Was this maybe a historically the case but no longer as Bay area has gotten more expensive?

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TOP 16 Comments
  • Google iambackag
    For Google, comp in Zurich is actually higher than in the Bay Area
    Mar 17 4
    • New sjeuuin
      OP
      Enough to make up for (or better) the cost of living?
      Mar 17
    • Google iambackag
      Not better, but enough I think. Not enough for me for moving to Switzerland.
      Mar 17
    • New sjeuuin
      OP
      Thanks. Yeah, I'm just trying to have pay match COL. Pretty ok with either London or Zurich for a few years.
      Mar 17
    • Google / Eng NаN
      Not true, pay is lower in Zurich, go check fresh data on go/paydata. Considering lower taxes, take home pay is likely higher though, at least at lower levels.

      CoL is actually lower than SF, rents maybe 30-40% lower. Unless you like to live like a rich person then yes it can get expensive, human labor is very expensive here, more than in the US.
      Mar 17
  • Microsoft MSFT12312
    Pay is terrible here in the UK, don't make the move. A principal engineer here makes way less than a new grad In SF. Zurich on the other hand very comparable to US wages.
    Mar 17 2
    • New sjeuuin
      OP
      Thanks. I've definitely heard bad things about comp. But how does cost of living compare?

      E.g. is comp 40% worse but COL 10% better (as some calculators seem to indicate)? Or is COL the same?
      Mar 17
    • Google / Eng NаN
      Only Google pays in Zurich on US level. Other FANGs either have negligible presence here or mostly sales. Normal companies pay top dollar for Europe, but still nowhere near US levels.
      Mar 17
  • Adobe uhrC86
    Unless you work for a US company there (and even then), expect your compensation to be slashed by 3-4x
    Mar 17 1
    • Microsoft MSFT12312
      Not true. Likes of Improbable pay more than US companies in London.
      Mar 18
  • Uber Okjc62
    Consider Uber in Amsterdam, salary after tax is 15 to 20% lower than in SF, but it's more than made up by lower CoL.
    Mar 17 2
    • Uber / Eng
      meowimacat

      Uber Eng

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      Im a cat! 🐈 Meowww... Fancy feast is my favorite kind of kibbles 🐱
      meowimacatmore
      Is it hard for Asians to date in Netherlands tho
      Mar 17
    • Apple Icml2017
      Does Uber give similar RSUs in Amsterdam as compared to US. I won’t mind 15% salary reduction as I can live without a car in Amsterdam and rental will be cheaper than SF Bay Area
      Mar 30
  • New ktFx31
    Can you do an exchange for, say 6 months before making it permanent? Could turn out great but all depends on you and what you prefer. I grew up in Europe but live in US now. I personally wouldn’t move back but then again maybe Bay Area would make me move back. Feel free to dm
    Mar 17 2
    • New sjeuuin
      OP
      My take is that either F or G roles would give me the option to move back to the US in a few years (either internally or through recruiting). In the meantime, might as well explore living abroad before wife, kids, etc.

      Could ask about an exchange with MPK or MTV but seems easier honestly to take a bit of a leap given that Europe is part of the draw. But don't want to shoot myself in the foot either by not having my financial expectations in the right place.
      Mar 17
    • New ktFx31
      Yeah I just find that some people absolutely love Europe and others don’t. Living is also different from traveling. I’d go with a temporary move first but maybe I’m not as bold as you.
      Mar 17