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About garyh911

  • Birthday 05/23/1951

Profile Information

  • Location Dresden
  • Nationality American
  • Hometown Brewster, NY
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1951
  • Interests Travel, Gardening, German history, teaching English

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  1. Finding an apartment in Leipzig

      Not really true.  From WIKI (your recommendation !):      Plattenbau (plural: Plattenbauten, German: Platte + Bau, lit. 'panel/slab' + 'building/ construction') is a building constructed of large, prefabricated concrete slabs. The word is a compound of Platte (in this context: panel) and Bau (building). Although Plattenbauten are often considered to be typical of East Germany, the prefabricated construction method was used extensively in West Germany and elsewhere, particularly in public housing (see tower block). In English the building method is also called large panel system-building or LPS.  Prefabrication was pioneered in the Netherlands following World War I, based on construction methods developed in the United States. The first German use of plattenbau construction is what is now known as the Splanemann-Siedlung in Berlin's Lichtenberg district, constructed in 1926–1930
  2. Finding an apartment in Leipzig

    Hello Kenny, Still not here?  I've been here since 2010 so by now I am pretty much settled in for life.  As I mentioned in my 2017 post to you, I am 3 years younger and came here when I was 59 with my German wife because after 17 years in the US she wanted to move back.  Unfortunately, after my last post to you, she had a bad stroke at 48 years old and is in a wheelchair so I'll be here forever.  I think I misunderstood with my last post about your insurance questions.  As people have mentioned since, as a German citizen you should be able to get into the public insurance like AOK or Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)  I have TK and I just tried to call them to ask about your situation but they only answer general questions on the weekend and I will call them back next week.  With your social security and savings, keep in mind that the cost of medical insurance is based on you total income regardless of whether you bring that money to Germany.  So all of your social security income, other pensions, bank account interest, etc (but not money you take out of your US savings account) has to be listed and your insurance cost will be about 19% of that.  At least that's how it works with me - I just got done updating my info with TK for 2019.  I pay about 230 € per month and I only have pensions.   If you have other questions, PM me or email me at  Don't wait until it's too late to do what you want to do.  I also came here the first time in the 1980's with my father to visit relatives and knew I would want to live here someday.   By the way, I live in Meissen, a small city near Dresden.  I'm in Dresden all of the time, day and night, and never had a problem in 8 years.  Every week is the Pegida demonstration but the Antifa far-left causes more problems in Dresden and especially Leipzig.  Neustadt is the worst part of the city here but I've even been there at night.  Having lived in NYC, I can say this is better!  Other cities around here like Görlitz, Pirna, Freital are nice too and cheaper for rents.  In Meissen I pay 550 € (about $632.00 )warm rent which includes everything except electric and TV/phone/computer for a very nice 2 bedroom flat.   If you are ever back here, contact me and I can spend some time showing you around Dresden, Meissen and some of the other cities.
  3. Two weeks to open a DKB account?

    I've been here 8 years and I've learned "In Deutschland ist alles schwierig".  I'm also currently having problems with DKB regarding their TAN-generator system.
  4. My wife and I have lived in Germany for almost 3 years. She is a German national who had lived in the US for 17 years and then wanted to come home to go to a Berufsschule for retraining as a Arzt Assistenin. She will be finished this year but for this type of job the yearly pay is only about 12K €. I will be 62 this year and can start collecting Social Security - about US$20K if I take it now.   The question is - if I get US Social Security do I have to pay German or US income tax on it? In the US, the $20K or so that I would get per year would not be taxed because of the small amount. Since this money was neither accumulated during a life of working in Germany or paid to me by the German government I don't see why it should be taxed here. And I'm sure I'll get soaked for taxes here! I know I will have to claim the income to TK for my medical insurance so there is no point in trying to hide it - they know that by 65 or 66 I will certainly be taking it.