Sell everything and give up your residence?

We often hear and read from long-term travelers that they have sold everything and given up any permanent residence. The “Traveling Home” or the whole world is now their home. That’s what we used to do when we were younger, only the furniture was discontinued at the time – and some of it was given away after the trip because our tastes had changed.

As we get older, our needs have changed. We think that having a home in Switzerland is something like the ground for leaving and staying away. Should one of us fall ill for a longer period of time or become seriously ill, we need a place where we are safe, where we can go and where we know our way around. Not only that, we also want to spend time at home to spend time with our families and friends. We like living and working in Switzerland. We have no reason to turn everything upside down and leave everything behind, we are not frustrated with our previous life, we do not have the impression that we have missed out on anything, but the current travel phase is organically linked to our past and our previous working life. Everything has its time, working has its time and not working has its time and discovering the world also has its time etc.

Residence, taxes and health insurance

If you plan to stay abroad for longer than 6 months, most municipal administrations in Switzerland expect you to give up your residence and “deregister”. When asked whether you would then also be exempt from paying taxes, you shake your head in disbelief – “no, you still have to pay taxes!” – Is there at least a foreign residence discount? “No, unfortunately we can’t accommodate them”. Of course, everything is regulated by law! But completely incomprehensible from our point of view. Why should we pay taxes if we don’t receive any benefits? On the contrary, by deregistering with the municipality of residence, we automatically lose the right to continue to have health insurance at home.

Losing health insurance – at our age? No thanks, we don’t want that! Of course, it would be possible to “deactivate” the health insurance contract for a fee and take out travel health insurance during the trip, which would certainly be cheaper. But what happens in the event of a serious illness? The travel health insurance will repatriate you to Switzerland as quickly as possible – but there is no longer any insurance cover there. This must first be reactivated.

As we have expensive but good health insurance in Switzerland, we didn’t want to take any risks at this point. Our health insurance has confirmed that we are protected worldwide and “we will even bring you home free of charge if you are abroad!”

We have therefore taken up residence in another municipality and are very grateful that this municipality has been generous. Now we certainly fly home once a year for a certain period of time in order to comply with the 12-month rule of the health insurance. Yes, another provision for keeping health insurance is the rule that you may be absent for a maximum of 12 months at a time.

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