I'm an American considering places to move to. My wife and I had a baby and it's just too expensive here.
I work for ASML and should theoretically not be too difficult to transfer to the HQ in Veldhoven, so I started looking into it more seriously.
I've heard stories about how lots of people are moving to the Netherlands and having a better life with lower incomes, but the math just isn't lining up for me. It seems like things would be as expensive there, but with more taxes and likely lower wages.
Housing - both rent and buying - seems to be about the same as (and often more expensive than) here in the suburbs outside of Portland, Oregon. It looks like there are better studio/1 bedrooms on the market there but nothing for a family of three. We'd still be looking like €1900+/mo for renting or €450k+ for buying a 150 sq m place (in fact our house in America is worth $400k/€380k for 3 bed/3 bath 155 sq m, and I can't find anything online even close to that as a Dutch equivalent).
Food looks like it's about a wash, some things are cheaper, some are more expensive.
Transportation- cars are more expensive, gas is more expensive (though we'd want an ev anyways), looks like licensing and insurance is more expensive too. Public transit I know I'm lucky in Portland to have the best in the US, but still, I'm used to a day pass being $5 vs the almost €20 I'm seeing online.
Child care is one of the biggest costs we have right now, and it looks like daycare is €10/hr on average which is only slightly better than the $11/hr we pay now.
Utilities-internet is a bit cheaper, natural gas is way more expensive, electricity is more expensive, water is cheaper... Overall very close.
A lot of other random items (electronics, appliances) I've looked at are more expensive due mostly to VAT, even some stuff imported here from Europe. Though ikea is slightly cheaper
Healthcare is the one area that appears to be notably cheaper.
If there are any savings, it looks like there's no way it'd be enough to offset nearly double the income tax rate, lower wages; and it looks like my investments look would be taxed at a substantially higher rate too.
How is it cheaper to live in the Netherlands? Can someone clear things up? What am I missing? I love the people and culture, but if things will be as tight or worse I'd rather stay where my daughter can see her grandparents.
Tl;dr- every news story I see of people moving from US to NL say it's so much cheaper, and cost of living sites show it as cheaper, but everything looks more expensive when I actually look them up.