Close

How has your life changed in the Netherlands

Hello everyone,

Has your life changed since you moved to Netherlands? If so, in what way?

Tell us more about all the changes in your life regarding your family, job, or friends. What about your frame of mind? How would you define your mood?

Leisure activities improve our health and social interactions. How much time do you dedicate to leisure activities and networking nowadays?

Would you say that your standard of living has improved in the Netherlands? What income differences have you noticed?

On a scale of 0 to 10, tell us how much your expatriation to Netherlands has transformed your life (0 = no change, 10 = dramatic change).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Priscilla

Hi,

Here is my response. Thanks for initiating this question. I personally feel this as right opportunity to share my experiences. I am living here from 6 years. So I have enough expertise to answer this question.
Note: I am answering this by comparing the situation in my home country.

Has your life changed since you moved to Netherlands? If so, in what way?

Yes, my life has changed a lot from the moment I moved to the Netherlands. I am from India, so I was brought up in an environment where taking a risk and do anything that my superiors/parents say. Because from childhood I was informed that I need to make other people happy so that I will get what I want from them i.e. hikes, promotions, reputation etc.

But in Netherlands, it's not the case. You have to do whatever your mind says. Apparently this a bit difficult for me. Because my mind wants financial stability and doesn't matter what's your underlying job or company is. But here everyone talks about exactly the opposite way of my mindset. You need to do whatever you want to. Still, I am adjusting myself to suit this.

Coming to the risk factor, while working in India I was never worried about taking risk and losing my job. Because there are so many opportunities out there. But after coming to Netherlands I changed myself to a situation where the job is of utmost priority and everything is governed by the visibility of my job. Even buying a small microwave is also dependent on that. Because if anything goes wrong, to adjust things here is just ridiculously expensive. Even throwing a couch will cost you 50EUR min.

Coming to job security, this is a nightmare. Because the opportunities you get here are very very less and that too when you have a family with kids that come with your own restrictions like cost of living, traveling to work etc. Because there are simply no workarounds. You need to plan everything perfectly or else you end up in a situation where your hard earned salary will be dried up to pay all the bills.
Finally, I changed myself to a situation where I used to plan very advance to just catch a train. Whereas in my country I will board the train even without reserved ticket. I used to take my car without checking google maps, trip planners etc. Because I can ask anyone by stopping on road.

I can visit doctors at any time. Again no planning is needed.

In short life here as became more mechanical than dynamic. Even having personal time with family also needs to be planned.


Tell us more about all the changes in your life regarding your family, job, or friends. What about your frame of mind? How would you define your mood?

As I mentioned earlier, it's not so easy as you think. You need to prove yourself by changing according to the situation you are in. In India, it's totally a different story. There are so many friends with whom you will share all kinds of personal details like hike, family issues etc. Here you are all alone and can't discuss whatever you want with your friends/colleagues.

Coming to job, it's a nightmare here. If you want a peaceful life with less income then you can come to Netherlands. For that matter as far as I know entire Europe is like that. Can you imagine a salary of just 48000EUR for a 10 years software test Engineer? Where your income is taxed at flat 42%. This is the salary range here. On the other hand, the expenses are very very high. You can't rent a 2 bedroom house/apartment for 500 to 600EUR. The bare minimum you need to pay is 1200EUR inclusive of bills and unfurnished. Now think yourself where on Netherlands you will save money with such low income and high expenses. But still, I am finding my way here because I am having a ride on a tiger. If I stop I will be eaten. No other option, as I don't have a job in India and no financial backup to travel back to my country.

Having said, that life here is calm going. So I am getting used to that without thinking of any savings for future. But sometimes it does pain a lot.
But life here is much better than India in terms of peace, pollution, corruption, people mindset, cheating etc.

Life In India prepares you to face any situation in life. Life in Netherlands prepares you only for peaceful life and 8 hours job. You won't be able to face any unexpected situations.


Leisure activities improve our health and social interactions. How much time do you dedicate to leisure activities and networking nowadays?

Time for leisure hahahaha in Netherlands. If you have a family with kids, your life will end up in taking them to school, picking them up from school and giving them the basic needs they want. The only time I get is every Friday 8:00P.M. I will watch a movie that time and will go to bed. I don't have any time for networking.

Again I will mention the situation in India here. In India, we have school buses to pick up and drop kids. We never worry about this. Here that small activity will turn out to be a big task for you especially when school finishes at 3:00 P.M and there is no option to send kids to daycare for an hour. I find it very annoying that daycare bills go to 600 to 650 EUR for one kid even after government discount. I leave it to your imagination to calculate the costs if you have 2 kids and 2-bed room apartment.


Would you say that your standard of living has improved in the Netherlands? What income differences have you noticed?

The standard of living did improve a lot. But the capability to take risk and be ready for any situation has gone down significantly. Coming to the income, as I said above there is no difference at all. Especially when the situation in India is getting better nowadays.

You can't expect a salary of more than 60K EUR per year here in Netherlands. No matter what kind of job you do. If you do earn more then you will end up huge taxes, get no benefits from Government etc. So earning more money will not bring savings to you. So it's better to earn less and avail benefits from the government.

The policies here are also set so smart that, in each, every policy government will get the benefit. I don't see any point in having such policies where you can clearly see the benefit of the other party or else the policy is simply not practical.

For ex, the childcare allowance, you will get 90% of daycare costs reimbursed by the government if both the partner's income is less than 38000EUR per year (all in gross). Now tell me who will use this benefit. Only 1% out of 100 may be eligible for this. So bringing up such a policies and creating an impression that they do have a policy is useless.

There are countries like Sweden where you pay the same amount of tax and on the other hand, you get free daycare for kids, free school fees, high amounts of social security for non-working partner and kids. If they can do it, why can't the rest of countries in Europe can do it?



On a scale of 0 to 10, tell us how much your expatriation to Netherlands has transformed your life (0 = no change, 10 = dramatic change).
10

I'd love to hear more answers to this as I will be moving to Netherlands in 2 months! :)

Impressive report @sureshtvn
I confess that I got a little worried, because I'm moving to Netherlands at June.
What relieves me is that I'm going alone, so no kids. And everywhere is better than Brazil now.


Are the incomes really taxed at flat 42%?
Because I used an online calculator (http://thetax.nl) and it says less, from about 32% (still high, but not as much as 42%)

It's sad to hear that it's easy to end up in a situation where your hard earned salary will be dried up to pay all the bills.

About "even having personal time with family also needs to be planned", couldn't be solved with the family?


Could you explain the reasons of this sentence? Why you can't discuss with your friends/colleagues?
"In India there are so many friends with whom you will share all kinds of personal details like hike, family issues etc. Here you are all alone and can't discuss whatever you want with your friends/colleagues."

This comment about kids needs is very annoying. How do most people lead with it? It's something I'd never though about and hadn't heard until now.
"Here that small activity will turn out to be a big task for you especially when school finishes at 3:00 P.M and there is no option to send kids to daycare for an hour. I find it very annoying that daycare bills go to 600 to 650 EUR for one kid even after government discount."


Aren't no reimbursments at all if the family gets more than 38k income?
"for ex, the childcare allowance, you will get 90% of daycare costs reimbursed by the government if both the partner's income is less than 38000EUR per year (all in gross). Now tell me who will use this benefit"

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in the Netherlands

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in the Netherlands

Moving to the Netherlands

Find tips from professionals about moving to the Netherlands

Travel insurance in the Netherlands

Enjoy stress-free travel to the Netherlands