2001 Volvo V40 diesel engine, high-pitched jet engine sound when accelerating?

Thanks for the opportunity to post. I’m a single mom with an old Volvo V40 diesel (170,000 km/106,000 miles), living in Switzerland where everything is expensive, and trying to do everything in my poor French. Don’t know much about cars and just need some advice to help me have a safe, decent way to get myself and my son around town.
Let me provide some background: Last February may car starting making a very loud ticking/rattling noise in the engine, mostly when in neutral/low gears. I took the car to the dealer who insisted that I needed ,500 of work done, including a new power steering pump that was supposedly making the noise. Then I took it to the nearest chain repair store—they had a completely different diagnosis (related to belts or pulley or idler)—much less expensive but I didn’t feel confident. Finally went to a recommended local garage that a friend has used many times. They diagnosed the ALTERNATOR and changed that and the TIMING BELT (suggested doing it why they were at it) and checked all other belts. It was expensive (,500 or so) and was on top of several other repairs before inspection related to suspension and brakes (+ new battery and new tires).
Following the repair, I noticed the engine was still noisier than before, but the loud tick/rattle was gone and I thought it was just the cold winter weather. About a month ago the service light went on (goes off after a while) and I started noticing a LOUD-PITCHED WHIRRING SOUND when I accelerate/just before I change gears. It sounds like a jet engine revving up or front-load washing machine on spin cycle. It gets louder/higher-pitched until I change gears. It seems worse when changing lower gears and by the time I’m in 5th gear on the highway, I don’t even notice it. Or, if I’m driving slowly in 2nd or 3rd gear and not accelerating, I barely notice it. It doesn’t seem better or worse with the air-conditioner on.
I took it back to the garage that repaired the alternator. When I called to get an estimate, I was told that they replaced the alternator again (it was “simply defective”, but luckily under warranty) and they had given me an oil change (gas, oil, air filters). All this for 0 (it is Switzerland, after all…). As I drove away, I noticed nothing had changed with the high-pitched sound. Immediately went back. The owner of the garage said he replaced the alternator because it was making a sound (unclear what kind). He asked me to reproduce the high-pitched sound by pushing on the accelerator in neutral, but that doesn’t do anything. So, he came into the car with me, I drove fast, shifting gears and he heard the sound. He immediately said it had nothing to do with the alternator and was due to the TURBO getting old. He said that it had probably been making the noise for quite some time and that I just now noticed it. He also said that it probably wouldn’t get worse and was not dangerous and it would be expensive to fix and probably not worth it.
I suspect I am super sensitive about the noise (have pointed it out to several people who said they wouldn’t have noticed it, but when they do hear it they say it sounds very bad). I don’t want to sink more unnecessary $$ into this car if it’s going to be one expensive repair after another. But I do love my old Volvo and would like to keep it for another year or two.
I would appreciate any thoughts you might have and suggestions about possible causes, what I should look out for if I take it to another garage, etc. Thanks!

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