We often talk about the greatness of Scandinavia and why you should definitely move to live there. Today, we will be doing something a bit different. We will be mentioning some of the things that may make Scandinavia less attractive compared to some other European regions.
It is perfectly okay to immigrate to Scandinavia but it is even better to be fully aware of possible pitfalls well in advance.We believe that in order to make a good decision, you need to have all the information laid out before you and that is what we aim to do today.
The taxes in Scandinavia
Away from the so many issues that someone can tell is taxation in Scandinavia. The taxation rate used in all the countries in Scandinavia is very high. As much as the taxes work for the people. it may be difficult for people trying to start a business or work themselves up to earn some reasonable net income.
To a new person, the tax regime in Scandinavia may be a shocker. To just get a slight idea about how the tax rates look in Scandinavia, see here.
How much do you pay for healthcare in your country? Education? Do you get a state pension? In most of Scandinavia, healthcare is completely free. So is education, even higher studies at what you would call College. Let me repeat that. Completely free. When we stop working at 65 the government starts paying us a pension. It is not very much but it is enough to live on. This would not be possible without our taxes.
Cost of living in the Scandinavia
Scandinavia is not cheap, let’s just get that out of the way. If you are going to live here as an expat, we recommend you get a job here to get a “Scandinavian salary.” You will need it in order to survive your day to day life and pay your rent.
Generally speaking, Norway is considered to be the most expensive country so if you want to live cheaply, avoid Norway. We would also recommend you avoid Iceland. The country is an island and shipping things all the way out there is not cheap. Therefore, all prices in Iceland have been inflated.
Chilly winters in Scandinavia
Ha! You thought we were going to skip the winters? The winters in Scandinavia is certainly a drawback if you do not like the dark and the cold. Then again, this can easily be avoided by not living in the far north of Scandinavia.
If you need sunlight to feel good, the winter month of Scandinavia will be though for you. That is why many who live here choses to have two houses, one in Scandinavia and one in southern Europe where the sun shines even in the winter months.
While many see the winters as a big drawback, many see them as a benefit of living here. We get the cold and the snow, and we love skiing. It is a perfect combo! Many actually wish that the winters would last longer than they currently do. Whether or not you see our winters as something to be loved or hated is up to you.
Threat of external attack
Lack of a Scandinavian regional military can be a drawback or a benefit depending on how you see it. The military power of Scandinavia is very low. If another country attacked us, say Russia, we would not stand much of a chance. Then again, we do have the EU on our side.
Not having a great military also means that we get to spend our tax income on more important stuff like school and healthcare. If you need a military to feel safe, perhaps Scandinavia is not for you. Then again, Sweden has been at peace for over 200 years. Maybe a military is not all that important after all.
We hope that you now understand both the drawback and the benefits with Scandinavia. Our goal is not to paint a false picture, it is to inform Expats about Scandinavia and to help them on their journey.