If you are always complaining about the purchasing power of money in your country and how no amount of salary increments and bonuses seem to be keeping you at par with inflation, you may want to consider moving to Zurich. Why Zurich? Well, according to a study conducted by the UBS bank, Zurich offers not just the highest salaries but also tremendous purchasing power, even though it is the second most expensive city in the world. Other cities in which you are sure to get better value for the money you are earning are Sydney, Los Angeles and Miami. And, what are the places you are supposed to keep away from? Jakarta, Manila, Nairobi, and Mumbai.
This particular study is conducted by the UBS bank once every three years. 73 cities across the world are scrutinized with the help of standardized survey of wages and prices. It also covers more than 100 goods and services, ranging from household appliances and groceries to entertainment and transportation. Making their way to the top of the “most expensive cities” list are Tokyo, Geneva, London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Toronto, Montreal, and New York City.
While Zurich also ranks among the most expensive place to live in, it has turned out to be the world’s leader in terms of the salaries it offers its employees. Although people in other cities like Copenhagen receive high salaries, they are not considered the best places to be in, if you consider value for money. However, since Zurich has lower payroll deductions, it ends up providing 30% higher net wages than the earlier city.
However, director of the Swiss based Competitiveness Center at the Institute for Management Development Stephane Garelli is of the opinion that being a top ranker in terms of wages could be a “double-edged sword.” In his own words he conveys, “Higher earnings mean better standard of living. But as more wealth is accumulated, prices increase, and that leads to a higher cost of living.”
On the other hand, Daniel Kalt, head of global economic research at UBS points out results of the study can be driven by fluctuations in exchange rates. This can push a city up or down the ranking ladder. All of a sudden, a city can become cheaper or more expensive to live in; with absolutely no prior warning. To illustrate this point, he cites Sydney’s example wherein the city rated higher by 20 places since 2007 owing to the 30% appreciation of the Australian dollar against the U.S. dollar.
To sum it up, if you wish to make your money last for longer and buy you more things, you need to get on the first flight to Zurich and find yourself an appropriate job there. Think about it. Besides, you could always move back when your city ranks high on the next UBS bank study!