Cost of living
STANDARD OF LIVING
We understand that you have many questions about your future life in the Netherlands or other EU countries and a lot of your thoughts are concerning the financial part such as salary, taxes and other secondary conditions.
We focused this example on the Netherlands.
We have gathered the most important data for you, explaining what foreign candidates usually receive from their Dutch employers. To make lives of foreign candidates agreeable and comfortable the State Authorities of the Netherlands have introduced the following rules regarding minimum guaranteed gross salaries for highly skilled specialists:
- For a foreign national who has not turned 30 years old the gross income cannot be lower than 3170 euros;
- For a foreign national who has turned 30 years old the gross income cannot be lower than 4324 euros;
As a rule in the Netherlands the salary of a foreign highly skilled national must be equal to the salary of his Dutch colleagues in a similar position.
A monthly salary of euro 4324 means an annual salary of euro 56.050 gross.
The average gross salary in the Netherlands in 2015 was euro 35.500 per year.
These salaries are considered to be high in the Netherlands. Plus, all candidates regardless of age receive 8% of annual salary as vacation money on top of their salary. This amount is being paid pro-rata in May every year.
As you may know, taxes in the Netherlands and in Europe in general are quite high. In the Netherlands for our candidates it is usually 40,4% of their income. But, foreign nationals who are highly qualified specialists are entitled to 30% of tax discount on his salary in the Netherlands. So, it means that our candidates pay taxes only from 70% of their annual salary. This is done, because the Dutch Government understands that foreigners have additional expenses and it wants people feel comfortable and have a good Dutch living standard. This rule does NOT apply to Bachelors under 30 years old! We have made some calculations for you as an example:
Single, 35 years of age.
Annual gross income euro 56.000 (holiday allowance, social security and 30% ruling are included).
Net annual salary euro 42.500
Single, 27 years of age
Annual gross income euro 41.100 (holiday allowance, social security and 30% ruling are included).
Net annual salary euro 32.700
In many cases companies reimburse employees their fuel or transport expenses for getting to work and back home. Additionally, on top of the salary many companies (not obligatory) offer candidates a 13th salary or a monthly/quarterly/yearly bonus. There may be other secondary advantages, but they depend on the policy of each company. If we take all benefits into account the income is most reasonable and should interest most of our candidates.
All households have annual, monthly and weekly expenses. Here is an overview with the most common ones:
Average rental costs are 750 euros (statistically) BUT: The average rental costs include social housing and there are waiting lists. As a skilled immigrant, you will not qualify for social housing. You will have to rent in the private sector, which is at least 300 euro’s more. In the western part of the country (Amsterdam region), it can even be doubled in price. Eindhoven (high-tech region) is about 1300. All in all, the candidates should consider a rent 1000-1500 euros per month, excluding energy. Keep in mind that most landlords will expect a rent deposit of 2 months rent.
Additional household expenses:
These include gas, water and electricity, phone and internet, the total amount of fixed charges is 125-250 euros, depending on usage.
Legally mandatory insurances are:
- Liability insurance (which is about 1-3 euros per month).This is an insurance for situations where you break or damage something that is not yours;
- Health insurance (which is about 110 euros per month for a single person). This insurance has an own risk of 350 euros per year. Each time you need medicines or a check-up in the hospital, you have to pay for a part of it, until the 350 euro is reached. You pay 350 max. annually plus the premium. If you have an accident, and need a surgery of 25.000 euros, you still only pay 350 euros. The 350 limit is set by the government and will increase each year a little. There are several insurers with even more different variants of this insurance, but they come down to this: the less you pay monthly, the less service you get. For instance, physical therapy is not included in the cheaper ones. One thing they do have in common: you can change insurer 1 time per year, starting January 1st.
- The average person spends about 150 euros per month on groceries;
- Travel expenses: Each person has different travel expenses and most companies use the ‘€0,19’ per km to pay for travel expenses;
- Waste and sewer taxes, different in each municipal and depending on the number of people in the household. Approximately €200,- to €400,- per year (total);
- Water safety taxes, different in each water area, depending on the number of people in the household. Approximately €150,- to €300,- per year.
Averaging the above numbers, a single person household would pay per annum:
- Rent euros 15.000;
- Energy euros 2.200;
- Insurances euros 1.320;
- Own risk euros 350;
- Groceries euros 1.800;
- Waste and sewer taxes euros 300;
- Water safety taxes euros 225.
= annually – euros 21.195
= monthly – euros 1.755
Please note that this information serves as indication only; much depends on your personal lifestyle.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOU WILL NEED AT LEAST 3500 EUROS READILY AVAILABLE BEFORE YOUR FIRST WORKING DAY (RENT & RENT DEPOSIT). ALSO, ADDITIONAL MONEY WILL BE REQUIRED IF YOU NEED TO BUY FURNITURE. TO KNOW MORE PLEASE VISIT SECTION ABOUT HOUSING.
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