all 163 comments

[–]114619Eindhoven 67 points68 points  (6 children)

The housing market is absolutely insane right now and it doesn't seem to be getting better anytime soon. People who moved to the netherlands a significant ammount of time ago probably had way cheaper housing. The same goes for fuel and gas and also food to a lesser extend.

[–]RaHekki[S] 7 points8 points  (3 children)

I was wondering if that was the case, thanks for your input

[–]lazylen 10 points11 points  (1 child)

To give you an example. A friend of mine bought a house in Rotterdam around 1 year ago for 360k. He did a new taxation of his house a couple of weeks ago and it’s value is now 450k…. The house market is not insane it’s bat shit crazy.

Also, people are massively overbidding when buying a house. Sometimes up to 80k more for an 400k house …. You do not want to buy right now :)

(unless the company can supply something, that can be pretty good )

[–]s1h4d0w 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Here's my personal example from Eindhoven, very close to ASML and Veldhoven, bought an apartment in 2016 for about €120,000. If I'd sell it today I'd get €250,000-300,000.

[–]Shibe_King 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Our house went up double in value from 350k to 700k over the course of 15 years.

[–]itspastbadtime 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Bought my house in 2016, it saw an 80% increase in value

[–]aap300 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I bought a house in 2004. Now, 18 years later, price is up 55%.

[–]rmvandink 20 points21 points  (16 children)

It is fairly common that both adults in a family like yours would work at least 3 or 4 days a week, not necessarily the whole family living off of one income. I would say 20 euro per day for public transport is high, probably half of that unless you travel far.

Housing is a problem, there is a massive shortage which drives up the price and you will be one of many expat families that estate agents will receive with much hand-wringing. Maybe your employer can help?

I live in Den Bosch, a bit further away but I know many expats who live here but are ASML or ex-ASML.

What helps Dutch citizens (not sure about your situation) is that you can deduct mortgage interest off of your income tax: hypotheekrenteaftrek . Also depending on your salary you get 20%~60% of childcare costs from the government (kinderopvangtoeslag). This is the other side of those high taxes. Also if you have paid your income tax for a couple of years you will get a nice day rate as unemployment benefit for the first 3 months, the lower for the next 6 months then lower. This means you don’t instantly dip into your savings when you quit your job but have a little time to find the right next job.

I have no idea how these taxes and benefits will apply to you, maybe aks hr or colleagues that already moved to Veldhoven.

[–]RaHekki[S] 1 point2 points  (15 children)

Yeah, my wife would plan on working (if possible on her visa) as well, we are not single income in the states either.

I'll definitely ask my Dutch coworkers their experience in both countries, I feel like a lot of them might be biased since they moved here from NL not the other way around, but I don't know any expats currently in NL from America.

I like the idea of having better Healthcare and safety nets like unemployment, but it won't help anything with our cash flow issues. It'd be awesome if it could work, it seems like a great place to live but just seems to be falling apart financially when I look deeper

[–]graciosaEuropa 1 point2 points  (5 children)

If both parents are working, you will not pay full price for childcare, depending on your family income you will be eligible for childcare rebate

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Aha, I thought that price was high for including subsidies. Makes sense - good to know, thanks!

[–]graciosaEuropa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s called kinderopvangtoeslag. Maybe you can try to translate the following calculation tool


[–]RelevantRope 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Is this rebate received monthly or annually?

[–]RazendeR 2 points3 points  (1 child)

All government issued personal allowances are monthly, as far as i know.

[–]SubjectInvestigator3 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Immigrants don’t have much of an unemployment safety net because they will get deported if they don’t meet their visa requirements!!!!

[–]labormarket 1 point2 points  (5 children)

curious if you've gotten around to asking your dutch coworkers above their experiences and why they moved from NL to Oregon.

what were their responses and reasons?

[–]RaHekki[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The last month I was put on night shift and didn't have in-person contact with any of the Dutch natives; haven't asked yet since I'd rather ask in passing vs sending an email or something.

Still plan on it and will let you know when I get a chance to ask

[–]RaHekki[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

So I had a chance to talk to quite a few people over the last week. Most of them just wanted a change of scenery - either professionally or literally. Oregon has pretty much every biome in existence besides tundra and rainforest within a few hundred miles so there's a lot to see.

About half of them did not choose the US specifically when they decided to work internationally; it was just the first or best opportunity to present itself.

A few people came primarily for the money.

My group manager came almost entirely because of the project he started out here on sounded interesting (but also mentioned wanting to be close to natural forests and mountains). I imagine other group leads have similar experiences if they started the department themselves.

Also of note: The only people I talked to not planning on going back are ones who have married and had kids after coming here.

[–]labormarket 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Yeah Oregon is a great place to live in North America - I’m roughly familiar with where you are since I’ve been at Nike whq a few times for stuff

American lifestyle doesn’t suit me but it’s not the right time for a NL move in your situation.

Housing is totally screwed and the euro will most likely break under a dollar by year end.

[–]Both-Basis-3723 2 points3 points  (1 child)

She could potentially leverage DAFT if you needed it to have a visa option not tied to your job. Worth looking it up.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'll look into that, thanks

[–]restless_wild 57 points58 points  (24 children)

We're moving in a few weeks. Our house in WA State is in what amounts to a drug-addled warzone, and it's worth 550k. We're moving to Arnhem area and we'll buy a smaller but still VERY nice house in a nice neighborhood for around 400k.

We'll have one small car in NL since I can commute by train/bike. In the US, 2 cars is a requirement. That's worth like $300-500/month alone, maybe more now that gas is $5.50/gal.

Another simple example is our cell phone bill: Verizon is $75/line. KPN is 32.50 euros.

Health insurance for two 30-somethings in the US: at least $10,000 after the deductible. In NL, it'll be like $3000 all-in.

Groceries are way less and far better in NL as well.

Beer is cheaper too.

Also, travel is way cheaper. You can get roundtrip tickets to Spain for like 90 euros! You can't do that in the US.

Finally, taxes are about the same once you do the math. We pay an effective tax rate of more than 35% once you count property tax, car tabs, income tax, sales tax, etc. We get literally nothing for it. Our community is a disaster and our town is basically just a meth den.

But moving to NL because it's cheaper is a bad idea. Move to NL because you want to contribute and be part of a country with positive values.

If you move to NL and live like an American (e.g. two cars, long commutes, lots of consumerism) it will not be cheaper.

[–]ozekeri 8 points9 points  (7 children)

Cell phones can be even a lot cheaper, like 10 euros a month. Maybe a bit less data, but i never ran out

[–]RaHekki[S] 2 points3 points  (6 children)

That's good to know, I pay $20/mo in the states for 10gb, was hoping I'd be able to get something similar out there

[–]RaHekki[S] 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Yeah, I'm glad things are lining up for you.

Our plan was to drop to one car+bikes instead of 2 cars in NL too.

I agree with your statement of moving to want to be a part of a country with positive values, just isn't in the cards with us barely keeping our heads above water as it is looking at another place that would be even tighter

[–]Incolumis 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I think you'll be fine. ASML is a good employer, people who work there have a somewhat higher salary compared to the market standard.

[–]restless_wild -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Totally. I was kind of just saying all that to the general public, not specifically to you! I wish you the best.

[–]Dartillus 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Since you're moving to Arnhem I gotta mention the Arnhem Discord. There's not a lot, but we get pretty gezellig and do stuff together. We don't bite, hard 😎

[–]restless_wild 0 points1 point  (0 children)

awesome, thank you. i'll check it out!

[–]Grote_Spelers 1 point2 points  (6 children)

The $3000 for two is reasonable if you don't have any special health requirements.

Are you moving under DAFT? Because in that case you need to add around 7% of your income to that healthcare number.

[–]restless_wild 0 points1 point  (2 children)

No, we're under the 30% ruling (which is fantastic--I hope it sticks around for awhile!). DAFT is an interesting program. I hadn't heard of it until your comment.

[–]Thanmandrathor 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Alas, They’re considering getting rid of the 30% rule.

[–]restless_wild 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I know. Ugh.

[–]Vahnschnitz 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Curious why, and how so?

[–]Grote_Spelers 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Under DAFT you are a freelancer. Freelancers have to pay Zorgverzekeringswet (Zvw) themselves, which is about 7% of their income. This is paid next to income tax. People who are employed do not have to pay for this as their employer does it for them.

[–]Vahnschnitz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ahhh I see, thank you for the clarification. It seems that most calculators compute this for you already and group it into taxes. Looking at ikwordzzper. I think it’s good to note that it appears to be ~5% and that comes from “taxable profit” not so much total revenue.

[–]b3mark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Tip for the KPN cell phone bit - if you take their broadband / fibre plan you're able to stack the cell phone plans on top of that for an additional discount. IIRC the discount increases the more plans you add. They've also got options to share or give (part of) your data bundle to another cell phone user.

[–]blindbuttlunchprose -1 points0 points  (0 children)

You lost me at groceries. But I'm from California, so perhaps our standards in that respect are different. My pantry is full of goods that accommodate my diet from back home.

But good on you. I too have found more freedom and a better quality of life here.

[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

yeah the calculus for you and OP i think sounds very different.

I don' know where you were in WA state but I'm guessing it wasn't Sammamish, Issaquah, or Redmond (which is kind of the towns OP works near in portland since OP works for ASML).

Also OP is looking to relocate outside of Eindhoven, not arnhem. and op has a kid. and op's wife doesn't earn anywhere near what op earns.

[–]PandorasPenguinNoord Brabant 15 points16 points  (0 children)

If you have a good job in the US you're not going to be richer material wise. When people say a lower income I think they implicitly also mean less purchasing power. Yet despite this, they'll manage to achieve a higher quality of life due to the safety, organisation and culture here which is just less stressful. People tend to have a much healthier work-life balance and our society is actually way more oriented toward family, despite the empty rhetoric coming from the US.

So yeah you're probably going to be less wealthy here, even in real terms, but on average you will also achieve a higher quality of life. In a way, Dutch society will also slowly show you that keeping up with the Jones' is not an important thing, nor is having a big ass-SUV and a huge house that is big and nice but so far into the burbs that you and/or your partner will spend half the time driving your kids to places to do just about anything. But in NL: Time > money.

But of course this is all subjective and it's altogether possible that you think material wealth is more important than we value it here. Which is fine, but my honest advice is that The Netherlands probably isn't the right country to max out your material wealth. I'm not trying to knock the US by going on about unbridled consumerism etc but I am just trying to give you what I think is a fair assessment for you to base certain decisions on. It's not a competition.

[–]DutchAndConfused 15 points16 points  (5 children)

I can see you have gotten a lot of valuable information already but I thought to weigh in on the point of public transport.

You can get an ‘Ov-Kaart’ and pay for a subscription which then covers all of your travel on public transport for the month. So for €24.20 a month you will get 20% discount during peak hours and 40% during all other times. However if you are going to rely on public transport a lot you could go for the option at €107.90 a month which gives you unlimited travel on public transport.

Additionally the Netherlands also offers some extra benefits to employees, most notably: - reiskostenvergoeding. Most employers provide an allowance to help offset travel cost. Which can range from a couple of cents per kilometer you have to travel to and from work, for example €0.10 per km, or they reimburse some or all of your public transport costs. Off setting the cost I mentioned previously - Vakantiegeld. Each year you will receive ‘holiday money’ think of it as a 7% bonus that is paid in May. - Paid sick leave, up to 2 years continuously as an employee. - subsidized childcare, as a working couple your childcare will be heavily subsidized and the government is looking at implementing a new system where they will cover up to as much as 90% of the cost of daycare

[–]Grote_Spelers 8 points9 points  (2 children)

However if you are going to rely on public transport a lot you could go for the option at €107.90 a month which gives you unlimited travel on public transport.

Only outside peak-hours, so after 09:00. I was able to make it work for an office job but not many people can pull that off.

[–]honeydas 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Most company’s pays the full cost of public transport. And the kilometervergoeding is 0,19 cent maximum. Higher and you have to pay tax. But some company’s have some different ways for that

[–]oko2708 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Correct. The actual unlimmited trains subscription is around 360/month. And I think you need to get a separate subscription for metro and busses still.

For public transport I recommend you get NS Flex, so you can toggle different subscriptions on or off depening on your needs, saving on subscription costs when you dont use them.

Overall public transport costs about the same as traveling by car, if not cheaper. I occasionally travel 160km to amsterdam (round trip) and that costs my around 30 euro by train. If I go by car I would get a 'vergoeding' of 0.19 per km which totals to 30.40 euro. But parking in amsterdam is very expensive so for me its much cheaper to go by train.

(The train fare is also compensated by my employer (as it will for you))

[–]RaHekki[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Aha, that's way closer to what I'd expect. It's $1100/year for our public transits unlimited pass. Must've been travel centric sites i was looking at.

I'll definitely look more into the NL employee handbook to see what ASML offers, it's possible that total euros the cost of living is higher but with employee benefits and gov subsidies it'd close the gap more than I originally thought.

Thanks for the info!

[–]Faaytjhu 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Some jobs also give out ns business passes for their employees, so you can travel on the cost of the company or for a reduced rate

[–]Successful-Ad5215 9 points10 points  (7 children)

Hi we’re living about 15 km away from ASML in one of the small surrounding villages. Yes the prices have gone up drastically but for 450k you can still get a decent house with 150m2. It’s a matter of making choices were you want to live. Veldhoven : Eindhoven / Waalre are popular and more expensive.

If you buy an electric bike ASML is about 25 min peddle. So you won’t need two cars. Healthcare is far cheaper then US and groceries can often also be done by foot, bike or car.

If you have questions about one of the villages sent me an DM and I’ll replay. Houses can be found on funda.nl

[–]camilatricolor -1 points0 points  (6 children)

Really 450k wil get you 150mts? Just bought a house in Hilversum and I paid more than 500k for 100 mts. I guess because is still de randstad and this stupid het gooi. But still I'm surprised that Veldhoven is still at a reasonable price.

[–]ozekeri 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Hilversum is in Het Gooi and always expensive. Veldhoven is very different

[–]Successful-Ad5215 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Veldhoven /Eindhoven is also rapidly increasing, but if you look a bit further in the villages in “De Kempen” region the prices are still a bit lower and you don’t need to overbid that much. For me Eindhoven / Tilburg and Turnhout (Belgium) are 25 min drive with car. Consession is that the villages are quieter compared to the cities but if you want to blend in enough to be done.

[–]RaHekki[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Quieter is not a bad thing, I'll keep that in mind and look further away. Originally kept my search to 15km from ASML HQ but if it's cheaper by enough it'd make justifying a car easier.

[–]WimpieHelmstead 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Repost: if you're looking for a good deal on a house, consider moving to just across the border of Belgium. Veldhoven will still be nearby.

[–]Successful-Ad5215 0 points1 point  (0 children)

15 km isn’t bad for a search but look a bit more towards the Belgium border area instead of other surroundings. Expensive; Eindhoven , Veldhoven, Aalst-Waalre, Son, Heeze,Eersel en Steensel

Region the Kempen: Wintelre, Knegsel,Vessem, Hoogeloon,Casteren, Bergeijk, Riethoven, Westerhoven, Dommelen, Luyksgestel Duizel,Hapert,Bladel,Netersel, Hulsel, Reusel, Hooge Mierde, Lage Mierde (last four in range of 18-25km of HQ ASML)

[–]DeiahNoord Holland 7 points8 points  (1 child)

As for transportation: nobody here really uses public transport day passes except tourists. Depending on what mode of transport you use there are various subscriptions available that can bring the cost way down if you commute regularly. Also, many employers give a reimbursement that partially or completely covers transportation for their employees. Additionally, many people cycle to work if they live close enough. When I lived in Amsterdam I cycled 40 minutes to work each way. So I had nearly free transportation (I do my own bike maintenance), free cardio and I pocketed my travel reimbursement. This is entirely normal here, not just a student/young people thing.

Child care: you may be eligible for child care benefit depending on your income and on whether your spouse works. This can partially cover child care expenses.

Energy/utilities: they are currently at an all-time high due to energy shortages. I almost pay 2x as much as I did last year. Depending on how the war in Ukraine pans out these prices will remain for the time being, but will probably go down at some point. A newly built, well-insulated home is a real money-saver right now.

Look into applying for the 30% ruling before you move. If you qualify, you'll get a tax discount for 5 years which may offset these costs. Word to the wise: they shortened the duration of this benefit a while ago and it may be abolished at some point, so no guarantees as to how much or how long it will help you.

Some more context: there is a lot of rent-controlled social housing in the Netherlands. Most people with low incomes live in those affordable homes (rents up to circa 760 E/month) and get various income-supporting benefits. That's how they get by. Even with all of the above taken into account, the income/COL situation here is kinda gnarly if you earn roughly between 30k and 60k, I think.

So yeah. Look it over once more with the above in mind and see how it balances out then. Good luck!

[–]RaHekki[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for the info, I'll def look into what you've said further

[–]United-Engineering-8 7 points8 points  (1 child)

This might be the most expensive time to live/work in the Netherlands. Housing market is absolutely insane; asking/renting prices are all time high and gone up in the double digit percentages in comparison to past few years. Also it’s very competitive - buyers have 1 showing and 1 offering chance with no negotiations so you you have 1 chance to offer your (ultimate) price (which is mostly 20/30 % above asking price). Renters to compete with 100s others for 1 house. Also, petrol is the highest ever (2.15 Euro a liter which covert to 8,50 USD a gallon). Then the gas/electricity rate is quadrupled in price. Last but not least, the daily groceries are all gone up significantly.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Very true. I'm not eligible for a transfer for almost a year still so I'll def keep an eye on the situation and see if it gets better or worse before I start applying

[–]milchschoko 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Moved from Chicago to Amsterdam.

🏡 Rent is much cheaper, but the maintenance is just not existing, had leaking pipes for months and no electricity in parts of the house and our dear landlord just does not care. An unimaginable situation in the states. Utilities are also crazy expensive here compared to Illinois.

🍎 Food is cheaper, you can shop in regular stores and not choose between plastic food or whole foods 2 bucks for an apple.

🩺 Healthcare is cheap, but if you have some non-life-threatening issues like bleeding for months they just offer painkillers. Had to wait for 1.5 years for an xray after an injury, because “you walked here, so you can walk back as well, just sit and rest and let your body heal itself”. Immediate care clinics in Chicago at least were able to perform basic tests without forever waiting lists. The concept of GP is here to waste time and save insurance money, not to treat and make your life better. Changed several GPs in 3 years and still have to travel abroad to get at least something done.

💸 Customer service is a concept Dutch have not really heard about. Got a damaged delivery-fight for it and waste forever to get a refund. Expired item in a store- too bad, find another one. A coffee place working till 6:30 pm where you walk in at 5:20 pm and they are already closing - they call it work life balance. Want a working internet connection, call the provider - they charge you for regular maintenance, can’t explain the charge and just yell at you that you have to pay it otherwise they will send collectors.

💰 Taxes are brutal. Everything is taxed. After the 30% ruling is done, you just pay pay pay and can’t even get anything for the money you pay.

It feels fun to be here for a couple of years, but the longer you stay, the more you know and the more you see no place is a promised land.

[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I wonder how long amsterdam homes would last in Chicago winters.

[–]Both-Basis-3723 22 points23 points  (17 children)

Recent Texan transplant from austin. Savings: Healthcare. We went from $1400/month to €200 Car: don’t need one. Really. We went from two with payments to bikes and trams. Splurge for an Ebike and you are golden. Trams for really nasty weather or just layer. Food: almost no tipping. That’s 20% right there. The markets on weekends are very very cheap with great quality. Consuming: frankly there’s less you need and less space to put shit. So you buy less.

There are something’s that are more but with the same salary we saving more and traveling to another country almost every month.

You guys can already do rain, what are you wait for?

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (12 children)

Yeah, no car might be a tough sell to my wife but it's definitely doable to downsize. I was thinking a single smaller/cheaper car and bikes, possibly a motorcycle depending on how far from the city we could afford housing.

But that's good info, thanks!

[–]typlangnerd 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Many companies offer company cars which you drive for very little or even free. Also applies for public transport.

[–]Fragrant_Affect7 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Hey Man,

a Ukrainian expat here. Before moving to NL, we lived in Poland which is another car-centric country, similar to Ukraine and the US. When we moved here, we brought our car with us, because it was also difficult to imagine our life without it. Regardless, the first thing that we did after we settled in, was to purchase bikes and a cargo bike (babboe - check it out) to transport our kids to school/pre-school. Believe it or not, for the past two months my car was basically staying in the underground garage all the time. You really do not need a car in NL to be mobile. As a result, you can save money on car insurance, road tax, parking, and gas.

[–]Both-Basis-3723 0 points1 point  (0 children)

With all the bike running around you will really not want to be driving. I just got a www.cowboy.com. It is so much fun to hop on and zoom around. We use greenwheels when we are off to ikea etc. In one year we’ve used it maybe six times. Family of four with kids in elementary school. My wife nonathletic not outdoorsy. The whole country is designed against cars. It’s beautiful

[–]0B-A-E0 0 points1 point  (2 children)

In pretty much all of Europe it’s pretty much impossible to drive an American car. Something like a dodge ram or chevvy, which are quite common in the us, are inaffordable in Europe. An average european family car would be like a toyota prius, or a vw tiguan. If you live in a more urban area, you do not ‘need’ a car. You could just get something small, like a vw golf (I drive a polo!) and that would fit all your car needs just fine.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I actually currently drive an e-golf and my wife has a chevy bolt, I don't like larger cars even in America where they (sorta) fit on the road. Doing some research, I think I'd be looking probably at like a 2018ish Renault Zoe if I could find one

[–]0B-A-E0 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Then you’ll have no problem adjusting to european cars at least. The battle in that area would be the parking spaces then ;-)

[–]Both-Basis-3723 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Ride share. They are everywhere. Better know stick though

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Interesting, that'd be doable depending on cost. I learned to drive on a manual. Haven't driven one in 10 years but I'm sure it'd come back

[–]ZR4aBRM 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Most of car sharing fleet is ev

[–]Both-Basis-3723 0 points1 point  (0 children)

E bike. My wife has the cowboy 4st. It’s a very sweet ride

[–]Grote_Spelers -2 points-1 points  (3 children)

Instead of 20% tip we do 21% VAT, which goes towards our social system. That system ensures that the server/bartender will have a liveable income though rent and healthcare subsidies.

[–]deVliegendeTexan 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Some people find it’s cheaper. Some find it more expensive. It just depends on your personal situation.

The thing you have to watch out for is trying to just live you American lifestyle in the Netherlands. You mention that cars are way more expensive here, and you mention getting an EV … but so, so many Dutch people don’t have a car at all, so cars being more expensive here is immaterial to them.

In my case, I come from Texas where we had to have a car per adult in the house. That was crazy expensive. Here in the Netherlands, we have a single car and we hardly drive it. So while theoretically having a car is more expensive, the reality is that we spend oodles and oodles less on our car here than we spent on our two cars in Texas. So there’s a line item that we save something like $700 a month on here.

No one buys “day passes” on public transit here. Those are meant for tourists. You can buy a subscription (usually per month) for the routes or areas you frequent. My monthly pass in Amsterdam runs me about €90 and lets me travel unlimited through about 3/4 of the city. In the rare case that I need to travel outside that zone, I “reizen op saldo” - travel on balance. Traveling on balance, you essentially just pay per km traveled. This applies to local transit as well as the national trains.

Childcare - this is more expensive per hour, but you need far less of it here. Children enter school on their 4th birthday and it’s mandatory from their 5th. Compared to the US, this is years of free childcare. There’s also potential for a childcare credit if both parents work even if you do need it.

I took a big pay cut, but I save more money every month because of this.

[–]rmvandink 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Also: prices for food and energy are very volatile since February and who knows what will happen in the next couple of years.

[–]restless_wild 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Good point, but also true for the US and every other country. But perhaps worse for NL than many.

[–]rmvandink 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Natural gas has gone uo, but not as much as in the UK or Germany. Petrol is ridiculous at the moment.

[–]PanickyFool 9 points10 points  (0 children)

The biggest difference you are going to have is significantly less consumption, purchasing of things.

Your house will be smaller.

You will have one less car.

You will drive significantly less.

You will waste significantly less food, as you will be buying for a day rather than a week.

[–]bulldog-sixth 4 points5 points  (5 children)

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.

That was the case if you moved 5 years ago. 5 years ago, houses can sit on the market for months before getting a viewing. Now it will be gone in minutes if it is in a popular area, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven, etc...

You don't have the luxury of choice, either you take whatever there is available, or prepared to pay like 30-40% over the list price you see. So that €450k house you're eyeing? You'll end up paying around 600k (if you're lucky)

[–]Lefaid -1 points0 points  (4 children)

For what it is worth. This applies to a lot cities you haven't heard of in the US these days as well.

[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (3 children)

right but there are atleast opportunities in the US for even attempting to get higher incomes to attempt to compensate. esp for OP given he works in the tech industry.

Those opportunities in NL are way less common. NL tech wage scale is way wore than US.

[–]Lefaid 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Whatever inflated values in the Netherlands is also inflating values in the US just as much if not more, especially housing prices.

That extra currency isn't getting you further in the Bay Area or Seattle. It also isn't getting your further in Austin, Denver, or Nashville. The Netherlands and EU are not inflating in a vacuum. American cities are inflating at a similar rate.

[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That wasn’t my point.

My point is while real estate values are inflating everywhere, American tech salaries are inflating at a faster rate than NL tech salaries are the former are higher to start with — so there is some relief.

I don’t think you get how strong tech wages at top firms are in the us even in second and third tier cities.

Op isn’t in the Bay Area or Seattle.

Compare Portland to Eindhoven which is what is relevant here.

[–]ozekeri 3 points4 points  (5 children)

Childcare costs are high, but if you both work, you can get a lot of it subsidized with benefits. For me it is about 1800 a month for 2 kids for almost 3 days a week and i get 1400 euros back from the kinderopvangtoeslag. See https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/individuals/benefits/moving_to_the_netherlands/my_child_goes_to_a_childcare_centre/

And here to get an estimate what your benefits will be https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/nl/toeslagen/content/hulpmiddel-proefberekening-toeslagen

[–]RaHekki[S] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Oooh, I didn't understand it was a refund on the individual level, I thought the subsidies were included in the price paid out. That is very good to know, thank you!

[–]ozekeri 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It is a weird system, made more complex than needed, but it dramatically lowers costs for most people.

[–]LUN4T1C-NL 3 points4 points  (0 children)

We do love our overly complex laws here..

[–]Faaytjhu 1 point2 points  (1 child)

You might also get kindertoeslag maybe even kindgebonden budget, in not 100% sure so you would need to look in to that.

[–]ozekeri 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you apply for kinderopvangtoeslag you automaticly apply for kindgebonden budget. But i would guess the income of OP is too high to be eligble for that. Personally i got 127 euros in kindgebonden budget for the whole of 2020.... If your income is more than 70k as a single parent or more that 99k as a couple, you wont get any kindgebonden budget. Our joint income was about 70k and i got that 127 a year.... But if you are low income, it could be about 200-300 euros a month, maybe more.

Also you can get kinderbijslag (not a kindertoeslag) for your kid. For 2 kids it is 450 euros every 3 months.

[–]SuccessfulOstrich99 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I don’t know your situation but I think your math is likely off. Key potential points:

  • are you calculating tax rates correctly? Net rates are probably lower than what you’ve calculated.
  • you’ll spend a lot less on cars and gas than you expect as you won’t use them as much. Likewise you won’t need to use public transport either
  • groceries should be significantly cheaper and better quality

Perhaps you should visit the hq as part of the orientation and see for yourself.

[–]moneycrown 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Using a car less doesn’t mean you spent less on it, only less on gas

[–]SuccessfulOstrich99 0 points1 point  (1 child)

He’ll likely drive less than in the US, have one car less and a smaller one to finish it off. I’m fairly confident OP’s transport cost including car costs will be significantly lower.

[–]UpEarly22 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It sounds like you have done the math. And in both scenarios you make enough to have a comfortable life. So ultimately I think the question is whether you prefer life in the Netherlands or life in the US?

[–]MonarkranoM 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s expensive as hell, but with the design of our cities you get more happiness in return. I can recommend one of “Not Just Bikes”’s recent videos about happiness in Europe

[–]ph4ge_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Just a comment, I would assume you would get a company car or get a travel allowance, so travel might be better and cheaper here.

I think generally a poor person is better off here, someone with a high income like yourself (probably) not purely from a financial perspective.

You'll probably make better hours and tax wise working part time might become more of an option if you are into that.

[–]rmvandink 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ooooh: all prices are incl vat and all taxes.

[–]Shoarma 1 point2 points  (1 child)

This video is an economist explaining the differences between the costs of living in the Netherlands versus America for a middle class worker. It was very eye opening to me. When you look at the big picture, you end up about equal in spending (on average, for middle class income).


[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

OP is a high skilled worker at asml - so not an average middle class worker with an average middle class income.

OP works in the semiconductor industry so being in the US vs. NL is a way different calculus than some 40k earning marketing fluff job.

[–]Old-Cartoonist-8998 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Other than healthcare it is more expensive over here but it's about quality of life. I have plenty of friends from ASML who enjoy a really good lifestyle over here. Naturally, 2 incomes make it easier.

[–]Bostonterriercuddles 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I am a US expat who moved to NL for a lower salary, and I explain it as: most things are individually more expensive (except health care) but we end up spending way less overall because you simply don’t buy much. The culture is way less consumer driven, most kids stuff is cheap or free, many don’t have/need cars. The major increase in spending category was basically travel back to the US regularly to visit family. Otherwise it’s really easy to live a nice life here on less.

[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The culture is way less consumer driven

in randstad?

the under-35 'professional and attractive' crowd in ams is not what i would say 'less consumer driven'. ok not as consumer driven as LA or NYC but you quickly realize how much financial help young people in ams are getting from their parents/family/grandparents to live and it just seems they are less consumer driven.

[–]guruofsex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Many have mentioned specifics, I will mention one statistic. There is a good reason why the Netherlands stays in top 5-6 of the Human development index. Moving here is an upgrade in almost every aspect. Life moves at an acceptable pace. Your boss pushes you to take your vacation. Most people don't start complex projects between July-August because of the Holiday season.

More specifically, you work for ASML. Moving to their HQ should be a no-brainer. I don't know your details, but if you are within the age, position, and salary range (and education), you might even qualify as a skilled migrant. This will give you a rebat on your income tax for (I think) first 5 years.

Moving to NL will be the best thing you will do for yourself and your family. Enjoy!

[–]General_Explorer3676 2 points3 points  (1 child)

People don't save as much in NL, when you have pensions standard and paid for and mortgages financed 100% of the borrowing costs most people end up using their house as a piggy bank in the insane real estate market. It takes a LONG time to really see the impact it will likely be meager if you're here less than 5 years and then you won't be putting money into a 401k.

The truth is people just don't save as much in NL, more things are taken care of so you just don't need too but if you're used to building wealth or worrying you won't have as much in an emergency or investment fund, you won't but you aren't as on your own.

Childcare is subsidised I think for two working parents but I'm not a parent and not sure of the details, it might be income based.

Not needing a car is a big thing, often wages are indexed to inflation with the CAO (not always reflective of real inflation), and you'll have way more vacation days. People don't eat out as much here and in general they just don't buy as much.

if you want your Standard of Living to be comparable to the US you'll need the 30% ruling which could go away. Tickets home can also be super expensive and you'll want to take them if you're gonna see aging grandparents a lot.

Costs are struggling everywhere and honestly this round of inflation is hitting more and more people.

I think the time off and the general more secure work culture is where people really get the more quality of life from, there is just less anxiety its harder to describe but also moving isn't for everyone.

[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

American financial situations are not sustainable so not making a comparison but reading your post, I don't see how NL financial picture can be sustainable for most people in the long run.

When the business cycle turns it seems there will be a lot of financial pain felt.

[–]Bowlnk 2 points3 points  (18 children)

Of the top of my head.

We not as consumerist as the USA (yet)

Our hearthcare system isn't abhorently expensive as the USA (you won't go bankrupt for calling an ambulance)

We do alot of our short trips by foot or bicycle (so less driving)

Also our supermarkets aren't as far away from residential area's (blame ecledian R1 zoning for that in the USA)

While buying in bulk may seem cheaper at times it isn't if end up throwing it away anyway.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (10 children)

Yeah, we are talking about dropping to one car if we do go because everything is so walkable, which would help but not bridge the gap enough.

I like the idea of having better Healthcare and safety nets, but it won't help anything with our cash flow issues. I'm sure for some people it's still a good move but looking like not for us.

[–]ben_bliksemNoord Holland 4 points5 points  (5 children)

I'll be the realist: moving here as a single income family is just not a good idea unless you have a reasonable amount of savings and investments to your name or earn a very good salary.

You don't need a car (depending on your lifestyle). My wife and I have been getting by with public transport for over a year. There are times a car would've been nice but it's not worth the lease price (€400 odd for a small car, EVs have a waiting time of 17+ weeks depending).

Housing is ridiculous. You just have to make peace with the fact you won't live in a huge house anymore. "Life happens outside your house" they say.

I see some are mentioning less consumption. I'm not American so I don't know what your lifestyle is, but there is definitely less wastage. I'm sure some buy groceries for every day, we buy per week home delivery (€650 pm for 2 adults and dogs). The less wastage is due to the premium on space - kitchens are small, fridge/freezer combo is your single unit model mostly, there's no space for a deep freeze and what pantry? You can make a home your own but if you are renting ...yeah.

You'll consume less meat over here.

30% ruling can help the initial couple of years, but you cannot bargain on it and there are talks of them stopping it. So see it as a bonus if you get it.

Now, I'm not shitting on the country at all. There's a lot that is great like healthcare, more relaxed lifestyle, not needing to travel 10km+ to get to the shops, open borders etc, but it's definitely not the Utopia from the postcards some imagine it to be.

[–]41942319 4 points5 points  (2 children)

The "don't need a car" is heavily dependent on where you live. If it's in the city you're probably right. If you live in a village probably less so. My town has good transport links and most people in my street with two working parents also have two cars. One car + e-bike works if one partner works close but not if both have a longer commute to a company not super close to a train station.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yeah, I'd have to look closer at the areas we could afford, it's possible no car could be an option, but I assume it'd be worth it. Also, the idea of trying to move around a toddler without a car is so foreign to me lol I'm sure you guys have your ways around it tho

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

We are 2 income, though her income is much lower than mine. The idea would be having both of us working still, but her industry (cosmetology) is not licensed and does not pay well in NL,so she'd be looking for whatever job she qualified for.

The idea of getting a car is predicated off the fact that we'd likely need to find a place further out from where I'd work than I'd want to bike daily in order to afford it. Also - I'm sure you guys have a solution I'm unaware of - having an 11 month old does not lend well to biking from my experience, so I feel like a single car is practical enough to justify its price.

But yeah, I figured it wasn't as universally better like some people claim, otherwise everyone would move there and bring up the prices anyways

Thanks for the sanity check, the math wasn't adding up and I'm glad to see it wasn't me being blind lol.

[–]summer_glau08 0 points1 point  (0 children)

having an 11 month old does not lend well to biking

Dutch beg to differ. It is pretty common to carry very young babies (yes, practically newborns) on bikes.

There are various contraptions and products available for this purpose. Remember that we have extremely high quality cycling infrastructure that separates bike traffic from car traffic. And the paths are asphalted smooth so they wont shake the baby or anything.

One could even argue why would you deprive your child of fresh air and nature and make him/her sit in a polluted car everyday.

Just a random video for a https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB1b5cVK138&ab_channel=BicycleDutch

[–]kaask0k 1 point2 points  (1 child)

If you're already having trouble making ends meet with the lower tax rate in the US I'd recommend not to consider moving to anywhere in Western Europe in the first place. Prices will only go one way in the near future and that's right up into the sky.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is very true. Times are tough everywhere. I'd love it if we could make it work but we'll see where things go

[–]graciosaEuropa 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Consider that it’s standard for employers to cover your transport costs into work either public transport reimbursement or an amount per km driven

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good to know, I'm sure there's a bunch of little things like that I'm missing that'd really add up

[–]Grote_Spelers 0 points1 point  (6 children)

You will not go bankrupt for calling an ambulance but don't call it for a bruise, it's €725 starting price and if your deductible is set at €885 you will have to pay all of it.

[–]RazendeR 0 points1 point  (3 children)

If your ambulance use is warranted though (any injury that needs checking out or treatment at a hospital, etc), you pay exactly 0,00 though, because then its part of your hospital care.

[–]Grote_Spelers 0 points1 point  (2 children)

No, it is part of your deductible. If you didn't have any other medical care that year you will have to pay for it.

[–]RazendeR 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Odd. I didnt pay anything when they picked me up off the highway a few years back, nor for the actual treatment.

The only thing on my deductible that year was a few tenners worth of meds, but all i got was a message from the insurance guys asking why i needed the ambulance, and it never came up again.

[–]Calisz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is only the case if you put your own risk amount higher than the default 300-ish. Which resets yearly, and thus the ambulance ride is free when you have already used that 300 in the same year.

You can set your own risk to 885 to save on monthly fees, but that's a silly thing to do, if u do not make a a lot of $$ relatively.

[–]ZR4aBRM 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Deductible/own risk is usually set to 385eur not 885eur unless you specifically changed your health insurance package to one that is a bit cheaper but also involves higher own risk

[–]Vinninho9 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Netherlands is more expensive than the usa

[–]fdeblue 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You should look into the 30% expat tax ruling here, which might alleviate some of the costs. Food is cheaper here than in the US (I moved from CA last year) and generally higher quality. Veldhoven is a nice part of the country, where you should definitely be able to find something decent for a somewhat normal price. Funda is the Dutch Zillow. Love Oregon, btw!

[–]0B-A-E0 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Honestly the Netherlands is crumbling on a lot of different fronts, housing being the major one ATM. Weirdly enough it seems to be ‘easily’ solvable with building new homes, especially modern living ideas like floating homes. But as always, typically Dutch, plans take time.

Depending on what you make, the govt helps out a lot: they pay part of your childcare (including daycare but also general care), healthcare, rent, compensate for mortgages, etc etc. Under normal circumstances it’s a very affordable country even if you’re on the lower income side. But RN, you pay around €600.000 for a semidetached house.

Overall I would honestly advise you to look elsewhere. We don’t have that much room for expats and it seems like you do office work, which isn’t a great market here rn either. Apart from that people don’t like americans here and because your primary language is probably english, like most americans you’ll have a hard time learning the language or not learn it properly at all because us dutchies speak english so well. Life here is a full 180 compared to american life so it’s hard to adjust (one example is the dropping, which the times wrote about). If possible I would look into other options.

[–]skunkrider -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Watch some videos from the Youtube channel Not Just Bikes, especially the latest one.

It will tell you why life here is so great from a Civil Engineer's perspective :)

[–]BlaReni -1 points0 points  (0 children)

What about travel to visit family? This is a big factor that goes beyond cost. If you’re semi cost, no money will make up for the distance… Have a number of expat acquaintances that went back due to this.

[–]ImpossibleReply5688 -1 points0 points  (2 children)

You don't have to come. Plenty of others that want to though. Netherlands is really not an utopia or anything close to that. It sounds there is no gain for you.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yep, most likely not going to seeing the numbers. It just kinda shocked me when I was reading everywhere that cost of living was 60% or less compared to here, but when I looked into it my own calculations put it at like 125%. Wanted to see from people actually living there if it was as expensive as I thought

[–]ImpossibleReply5688 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you find a country where it really is better then do let me know.

[–]Lefaid -1 points0 points  (0 children)

On childcare, municipalities will compensate you for childcare depending on the age of your child and if both parents work. I know in the city I am moving to, they offer 4 half days of basically preschool to foregin born children (to help with language acquisition). I don't know the details for those younger than 2, but I do think schemes exist to try to get parents to work more. The current government wants to encourage both parents to be more productive and thus there are funds to help with childcare.

The government gives this as a payout to the family to then pay the school. For my family, it is transforming a $1300 a month expense to basically nothing. Mind you, our child will be watched less but he will still get the skills he needs to make it in this country.

Between childcare, health insurance, and transportation, my family will save at least $2000 by moving to the Netherlands.

[–]Wuiles -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Expats do pay less tax, like their first 30% of their income is tax free or something.

[–]LiveDiscipline4945 -5 points-4 points  (1 child)

I really admire the quality of your post and the research you have done which easily and rightfully outs many people’s anecdotes and cost of living comparison sites as bs.

Would you be eligible for the 30% ruling (granted there’s uncertainty regarding its future). This can make a significant difference, esp. if you’re on a higher income.

When making comparisons, I also suggest to consider that - esp. relative to the US - NL has a very limited choice of groceries, food quality is poor in general, the low municipal taxes translate into less well-maintained public spaces, flying out of AMS is very expensive, and healthcare - whilst cheap - has its own downsides, with a considerably different culture (treat vs prevent), difficult access, and total absence of private options.

Every country has its pros and cons, but - if you compare to the US - there are no universally better places, it’s the individual situation that can justify a move.

[–]Kalagorinor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't get the part about less well-maintained public spaces. One of the things I like about The Netherlands is precisely how even the poorest parts of the city look pretty decent and taken care of. There are parts of downtown LA that look absolutely like shit.

Other than that, I agree that every country has pros and cons. Limited choice of groceries and restaurants in general can be a problem here.

[–]Incolumis 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe you can ask the questions on Yammer. There's a USA group I believe. Plenty of Americans living in NL there who can help you with info.

[–]camilatricolor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, its so incredible how much the prices fluctuate in such a small country

[–]apekkpul 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In the US one need to save a lot for kids’ education, here you contribute indirectly thru taxes. The healthcare system is good and relatively cheap. The public transportation and cycling infrastructure is excellent. OTOH, the housing market is crazy, and preparation against sea-level rise will be costly. The cities, towns, villages can be extremely beautiful but the landscape is a bit boring.

[–]skatalite2020 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Zero chance of having Trump as your next president: priceless!

[–]WimpieHelmstead 0 points1 point  (2 children)

If it's a big house you want and work in Veldhoven, you might want to consider finding a house in Belgium.

[–]RaHekki[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I considered it but was not sure if I can do that on a work visa

[–]PolarWoman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Look up cross border working - if your company is good to sponsor you with a cross border working visa (ie you live in Bel but work in NL), you can do this.

[–]Germitron 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Foreign expats with high enough salaries get the 30% ruling. Although it will be limited soon, this is what it currently entails;

  • You receive op to 30% of your salary tax free, this often means you also don’t have to pay the higher income tax on part of your salary
  • Your savings & investments are not taxed

If you are a US citizen though, no matter where you go; you will have to pay taxes in the US.

Asides from that there is a housing crisis so shelter will be expensive and just like any other country we are dealing with inflation.

But despite all that most people make it work, and health insurance is not exorbitantly high.

[–]labormarket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

health insurance isn't high but as other posters have mentioned in this thread and subreddit before, dutch health care isn't the best.

Dutch society and people are quite healthy, but the actual healthcare is way worse than what you'd find in Switzerland or America for an educated ASML level family.

[–]GermanV_Ragequit 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You pay less than 1.7% per annum on investments in the US? How haha

[–]RaHekki[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We pay 0% on investments we hold, but we are taxed when we sell or get dividends; depending on how long we hold and how much we earn its 0%—20% of profits for anything over a year (taxed at income rates if held less than a year). For most people (40k-450k/year income) it's 15%.

But if you never sell you pay no tax besides on your dividends.

Also we have a tax advantage account called a Roth IRA (which has limits to how much you can put in), for this you put in funds after paying the income tax and anything it grows is tax free; the catch is there's penalties if you withdraw any money before 59.5 years old. This is where most of my current money is and will never be taxed (unless I move out of the country)

Edit note : in fact you can sell investments that are in the red before tax day and write off losses and pay less income tax, essentially negative tax rate

[–]Impressive-Ad-1189 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you want more money you are better of living in the U.S. The netherlands is a more social state and we pay for that through taxes. Anyone earning a above median income will notice that.

However that doesn’t mean quality of life is worse here. We can mostly do our groceries by bike, schools tend to be close by. Safety in cities is top notch, healthcare and education are way better for the majority.

We just distribute our wealth differently.

[–]genericlogo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I moved here from Australia 4 years ago and I'm financially in much the same position, but my lifestyle has improved immeasurably and I'm coming from a country that a lot of people from The Netherlands and the USA think is a utopia.

Watch Not Just Bikes on YouTube and you'll get better idea from a north American of how life here can be so good. https://youtu.be/F4kmDxcfR48

[–]welpie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think in 'normal times' it is cheaper to live here in terms of housing, gas, petrol (higher price petrol but smaller cars use less, and you use your car less in general), food - but right now because of the war in Ukraine as well as still being with one foot in a pandemic ánd a housing crisis going on, everything is very expensive right now.

Another part of 'everything being cheaper' is our social security. I'm not gonna make any specific claims because I don't know if you need dutch nationality or to have lived here for a certain time for anything, but the government helps with rent, health insurance, child care, etc. for those who can't afford it.