If you are looking to be an expat in a small, but powerful country, Luxembourg is it. Luxembourg is an extremely small country – ranked only 175th in size – but it is extremely powerful and economically vibrant. In fact, Luxembourg has an extremely high standard of living- close to $70K for each individual citizen. For those that like the good life or looking for a high paying job, Luxembourg definitely delivers.
As an extremely small country, Luxembourg’s weather is usually consistent throughout the entire country. The total landmass of Luxembourg measures 51 miles long and only 35 miles wide. Luxemburg borders Germany to the east, France to the south and Belgium to the west and north. The weather in Luxembourg is classified as a marine west coast climate. Luxemburg is known for lots of rain in the late summer months. During the year the weather is temperate and the hottest weather is usually found from May to September. If you choose to stay in Luxembourg during the winter months, snow is possible, but for the most part it is a comfortable place to live year round.
Luxembourg is classified as a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy is inherited through male preference primogeniture. As written in the constitution, the executive power is held by the Grand Duke, Grand Duchess or the cabinet. The government of Luxembourg is extremely stable and this is highlighted by the fact that Luxembourg is one of the founding members of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations.
For American citizens looking to visit Luxembourg, a visa is not necessary; however, you do need to have a valid US passport. Luxembourg is part of the Schengen group of countries which means that you can stay within the Schengen countries for up to 90 days at a time every six months. Other Schengen countries include: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. For more information about visiting Luxembourg, please visit the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg or Luxembourg’s consulate in New York City.
For those that are looking to become an expat in Luxembourg, expect to pay high individual income taxes. While you will find individual income tax rates sometimes above 40% (38.95% + 2.5 percent surcharge), corporate income taxes are relatively low at 22.9% which includes a 4% employment fund contribution. It is possible that certain municipalities may have different tax rates, so definitely check before starting a business.
Besides individual income and corporate income tax, a VAT (value added tax) and a wealth tax are also prominent.
Medical care in Luxembourg is quite good and access to health care is also widely available. Although Luxembourg is quite small, there are three major hospitals and plenty of smaller clinics. While the hospital care is quite good and well staffed, for some types of specialties (e.g. burns, etc) you may have to go to specialized centers in Belgium or France.
For those expats looking to work in Luxembourg as a legal employee healthcare will be made available to you, usually for a reasonable monthly fee. For those entrepreneurs starting a business in Luxembourg, health care insurance can be easily accessed as well.
If you are categorized as a traveler and would like to have health insurance in Luxembourg, your best bet is to purchase a travel insurance plan that includes a healthcare component. Most travel insurance plans are extremely affordable and cover emergencies and sometimes even regular doctor visits.
Luxembourg’s real estate market is considered to be expensive, however if you look hard enough you can find reasonable prices for certain accommodations. For those with a small budget, you may want to look into rooming with other roommates and splitting your housing and utility costs. Expect costs to be similar to neighboring Belgium. For instance, as a room mate expect to spend $400 per month to $900 per month. To rent your own apartment, it will usually cost twice this amount.
Luxembourg is part of the European Union. For Americans to purchase property the laws are generally straightforward, however an attorney is always advised. Home, condo and apartment prices can be high, especially in key areas. Prices are similar to New York or San Francisco. It is also important to figure into the price of your home, the extremely high exchange rates of the Euro currency.
Luxembourg has fantastic shopping. One of the most affluent communities in Europe, Luxembourg is a great place to find high quality and luxury items. Whether you are looking for watches, clothing, electronics, etc Luxembourg truly delivers. While Luxembourg has an affluent reputation, for those looking for great bars, nightlife and restaurants, you can find comfortable places to dance, go clubbing, have a delicious beer or enjoy a nice dinner or snack. Since Luxembourg is extremely small, you are never far from the border of France, Germany and Belgium where other specialty items are easy to purchase as well.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Luxembourg is one of the highest in the world, however so is the per capita income. Luxembourg ranks number one in per capita income with $68,000 per individual. For those that are professionals, Luxembourg offers great employment opportunities and many ways to enjoy your down time as well. Obviously housing is one of the most expensive costs of living in Luxembourg and taxes are a close second. For those that are looking for an upper middle class or truly affluent lifestyle in Europe- Luxembourg is definitely the place to live. If you are a student or consider yourself a traveler on a low budget, you can still get by, but it may be a little more difficult than other places in Europe.
Books for Expats in Luxembourg
An Expat’s Life, Luxembourg and The White Rose
|An Expat’s Life, Luxembourg and The White Rose is a refreshing and forthright take on the Englishman Abroad genre. Reading David Robinson’s relaxed prose is like sitting down for a drink or two with the author in the pub of the title. Indeed, as the tome progresses, so the reader warms to Robinson’s down-to-earth character.
The author’s very personal view of an expat’s life in Luxembourg is not overbearing, and even the most informed reader will learn something new about the history of the Grand Duchy, its bureaucracy and social conventions and attitudes. The book is brimful with little snippets of useful information and trivia for those unfamiliar with the country, and Robinson’s anecdotes will spark empathy with readers who live, or have lived, in Luxembourg.
Extradition from Luxembourg
The Extradition treaty between Luxembourg and the United States of America was signed on October 29, 1883
The Luxembourg supplementary treaty was signed at Luxemburg, April 24, 1935
A new Luxembourg extradition treaty was signed at Vilnius October 1, 1996