Not a whole lot to talk about since I wrote last. I don’t think Julie and I have even gone out to eat. We are fixing that this evening, though. Julie wanted to go to a Japanese restaurant so we will be donning our face masks and taking the train to Enge.
For some reason our internet connection has been causing Julie some headaches with Work From Home (WFH). I don’t know if we have some new neighbors that put a bigger load on the internet, or if once again all the nearby construction is causing the problem. Last week and again this week, Julie would come out of the office saying she lost her connection again. I would look, and sure enough we were getting only about 10 percent of our normal download and upload speeds. Since we have another two months of WFH. I called the internet company to look at upgrading the speeds. We are not eligible for the 10 GB connection (overkill by a huge margin anyway), but if we would have been I probably would have paid for it. Unfortunately there is no fiber run in our immediate area. Anyway, I signed up for the 1 GB connection. Hopefully, we will not have any more issues. The best part, is that it saves us about $60 per month. Granted that is only one trip to Popeyes Chicken, but what the heck it is the first time in this country that I have actually gotten something cheaper!!
The only other thing going on is that I put together a wine rack in our basement. I never thought I would hear myself saying I have a wine cellar, but we all need to change a little in life. I am pretty sure I have talked before about never really liking wine. I got turned off by trying to order wine in a restaurant. You know, you buy a whole bottle at four or five times the cost of buying it in a store., and then the wine tastes bad. You are still stuck with a whole bottle of wine you do not like to drink. So it wasn’t until coming here that I actually started drinking wine. We have found the best way to buy wine is a case at a time. Now remember a case of wine is only 6 bottles. It is not like buying a case of beer. The store we buy from gives us a discount for buying a case at a time, and then about every 6 weeks they run a 20 – 30 % discount on all wines. So when we see the discount we buy multiple cases. This meant every time we wanted a bottle we had to go through multiple cases until we found what we wanted. I was getting tired of that so I started looking at a way to store the wine. I never knew how expensive wine racks could be, but I found one that seemed to be pretty sturdy, and also affordable. The rack came this morning; so after exercising I got to use my tool box to put together the rack.
I found a couple of articles in the news I wanted to talk about before I hang up for today.
Tent on a balcony:
So a woman in Zürich is subletting her balcony for 500 CHF per month. Like in many places rent here is growing out of control. Subletting a room in your apartment is becoming more and more popular. Of course it really boils down to whether or not your landlord will allow it. I do know that occupancy of an apartment is based on size, and from following some online forums here, those rules are enforced pretty strictly. It kind of boils down that a one bedroom apartment can have two people living in it. A two bedroom apartment almost certainly can have three people living there, and depending on the size of the bedrooms maybe four people. I was kind of surprised that the landlord of the building has not made the advertisement be taken down.
The primary renter is allowing shared use of the kitchen, bathroom, and living areas; so basically the person just has to sleep in the tent. That might not be so bad. Goodness knows I have slept in a lot worse places.
The tent in question does come with an insulating mat and mattress, but no heater. I also wonder if that means the person has to keep their clothes in the tent or do they get a wardrobe in the house. The balcony is NOT covered so hopefully the tent is a good one and will not spring a leak, because it rains A LOT here. A part of me really wants to go check it out. I mean just think of the money Julie and I could save by only paying 500 per month!!
I know I have talked many times about health insurance. People in Switzerland complain all the time about how awful health care is here vs other places in Europe. Switzerland does not have single payer or other government run health care. Instead they run the country off of the same system as the Affordable Care Act in the US. I have not had a lot of run ins with the health system, but so far my experiences have been good. My only complaint about the system is that not everyone is eligible for better insurance. Take me. I made the mistake of telling the insurance company that I visited a chiropractor in the US. I am not eligible for anything but the bare bones insurance. Basically, this covers nothing until my deductible is reached, and then I pay 20% up to whatever the limit is. Just like insurance in the US. Now Julie was eligible for an upgrade. Not only does this give her a semi private room if she gets sick, while I get stuck in the barracks ward, she also gets different free checkups. For example, I will have to pay for a colonoscopy when it is time for one. Hers was given at no charge. So there are some differences by insurance.
That being said the article was talking about a possible 5% increase in insurance rates due to Covid. Honestly I am surprised it is not higher. This is a small country. The population does not seem large enough, to me, to truly spread out the costs. The good news for me is that even with a 5% increase we will be still be paying significantly less for health insurance than we paid in the US.
To be fair, it does cost us more for insurance here than back in the US. For three reasons: 1. Here we pay 100% of the cost, where in the US we paid only a portion of the cost 2. We cannot put the kids on our insurance plans here, so we are paying for two extra plans in the US, and 3. Because I am only eligible for the basic plan, I have to buy extra health insurance when I leave the country. I do not buy it every single time we cross a border (though I probably should) but for example I had to pay an extra $400 for my three weeks back in the US this past fall. Especially with the pandemic I was afraid of catching Covid and being hospitalized.
For routine care, I know our medical costs are more expensive here. What I hope to NOT find out is how much more it might cost if something major happens. I think it would be less here, but I am only basing that on this statistic. In the US the average cost for medical care are about $11000 per person. In Switzerland that cost is about $7700 per person. So a pretty hefty difference. Those numbers came from something called the Peter G Peterson Foundation and Investopedia. I do not know how accurate for sure either of those places are, but the numbers were similar on both websites so I figure they are good enough estimates.
Hopefully I will never find out the true costs because Julie and I will stay healthy!
Talk to you next week, with hopefully more going on!