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Everything posted by emkay

  1. I couldn’t find the other thread regarding UK banks closing the accounts of non UK residents. Just in case this helps anyone else…. I opened an HSBC.co.Uk current account a few months ago. Trying to apply online initially stated that it’s not possible for DE residents. However, a further link allowed online application. The account works fine and deals with all of my DDs etc. Cheques can even be paid in electronically. The app is very straightforward. I also tried to open an HSBC savings account though was told a few months ago that it’s not possible online nor unless calling from the UK. Today, I thought to try this again. Still not possible online though by calling HSBC, they apply for the account on your behalf. Took about 20 minutes as they have to read through all of the terms and conditions. Approved immediately. As an easy access savings account, the interest rate is OK. 3.5% on first £10k, 2% over £10k. 1.3% for any month where withdrawals are made. Interest paid monthly.
  2. Many years ago, I remember something about earning savings interest tax free up to a certain limit. Split between couples in varying proportions. Or, did it just mean that savings aren’t taxed at source ie automatic deduction of ca. 25% when DE banks pay savings interest? Not sure if I’ve been Googling correctly.    Now that UK banks and building societies are closing accounts for non UK residents, I need to transfer some funds to DE. Is there really a DE tax free interest amount available? If so, how does one obtain the authorisation to give to the savings account bank?   Any advice would be very much appreciated. 
  3. Why are you unhappy today?

    That’s exactly where I’m at now…the positive changes have started. Looking forward to better times. 
  4. Why are you unhappy today?

    It’s always easier to advise others. Feeling trapped in one’s own dilemma is always far harder to resolve.
  5. Why are you unhappy today?

    Sorry if I’ve misunderstood/forgotten something along the way…..isn’t the prenup somehow voided? Nevertheless, in a mutually unhappy marriage, with sufficient income and at least one party not wishing to divorce, a discreet split can be possible. Far better than permanent mutual torture. Not least, the affect of such a continued union on a child that may have already have deeply scarred for life. Maybe a ‘meek’ interim financial arrangement would mean a better life quality and a better chance of reconciliation with daughter?
  6. Why are you unhappy today?

    I too have some occasional unpleasant suspicions about my husband though all legally binding contracts are definitely intact. Your situation has sounded to be excruciatingly painful for quite some time.    I’m mostly sorry that your relationship with your daughter is so bad. Appalling that incest may be involved.     If you have so much to lose by the deception of your husband, maybe a private investigator could help?    I take it that you and your husband still live together though your daughter is mostly at boarding school and then stays with her girlfriend rather than coming home?   Even if your daughter was close to her father, she must be of an age to know that incest is very wrong….hence she probably avoids coming ‘home’ to you both still together.  She might think that you know about the incest yet haven’t reacted? There are incest allegations in my childhood too. I feel angry, even now, that my mother and grandmother seemingly overlooked everything in favour of playing happy families.    From what you have posted, it sounds like life away from your husband could well be exactly what you need for your own peace of mind. Of course, you would need financial support. Have you discussed this with you husband? Even a temporary break with support could help you both to see the sense in a long term/permanent split.    As mentioned by @fraufruit, you making decisive choices is most likely to encourage a better relationship with your daughter in the future. It could take some time. I wish you all the best.        
  7. No social life after 9 years in Germany

    Here are some deepl.com better options….I’d probably use the green highlighted words. Mitbekommen most likely. Sentence adjusts appropriately.    
  8. Money-Saving Tips

    I really dislike those pump type bottles as they are usually impossible to open for left overs. If I have an empty body lotion bottle, I fill up with water, shake and use in a bath.  I’m very frugal and could think of lots. Just a few for now…I keep two plastic jugs by the kitchen sink. Any cooking or rinsing water (without salt or soap) is kept and transferred to our water butt. Also, I keep a jug in the shower and save the wasted water until the water is warm enough for use. I save about 40-50 litres per week.   We save a lot every year as we have a separate water meter on our garden tap. Most Gemeinde approve this. All water used from the outside tap isn’t subject to Abwasser charges. Here, the Abwasser charge is double the water supply charge. Such a cold water meter costs around 20€ (Amazon etc) and is calibrated for 5 year’s usage. Our Gemeinde charge 5€ to register each meter. Last year, we saved 200€.    Instead of using expensive cleaning sprays, I’ve kept a few old spray bottles and just add a little washing up liquid and fill with water. Lots of concoction recipes for cleaning liquids online….ie window cleaners etc.    If there are any pet smells in the house, ready made deodorisers usually smell awful and only mask the smell. I make up a bottle of cleaner by adding some clothes washing powder/liquid and hot water. Apparently, the enzymes in the washing powder/liquid properly neutralise odours…..think smelly clothes!
  9. Another question re the (Steuer)Freibetrag…if as mentioned above, the DE bank where funds are transferred to provide the Freibetrag, what happens if say after the first 6 months of the best rate ca. 3%+ reverts back to the existing customer rate of around 1.2% as seems to be the case with Barclays.de. Would another bank give another Freibetrag? If the amount for couples is 2000€ per year, can this be split in different proportions?
  10. Thank you Paul. That doesn’t sound difficult. I had the impression that that bank where funds are ‘parked for now’ need some kind of document from elsewhere to do so. Maybe as I’m married and the couple allowance can be shared?   My former UK bank and building society are insisting on account closure as I’m non UK resident. Even their current savings accounts offer very minimal interest. I don’t qualify to open any other UK savings/ISA accounts. Hence, I would like to transfer to DE and ‘park’ into a Tagesgeld account until I find better options. Barclays.de are offering 3.11% for 6 months….sure to reduce thereafter. Bank of Scotland 1.5% with occasional 1-3 months extra.    Yes, definite melting in the sun going on for the last 1-2 years! Not to mention UK private pensions nosediving after Ms Trusses budget last year!  
  11. Appeal for the cat lovers among us

    Reminds me of my time in England…my old boy ginger cat would beg for food and water outdoors for his hedgehog and fox friends. Once a buffet was arranged on the patio, he’d just sit next to them watching them eat and drink. My local butcher saved some big cow and pig bones for me every week for the foxes. They always disappeared very quickly.  I agree, thank god for the kindness of murphaph‘s friend.   @murphaph, perhaps you could suggest a PayPal donation account to your friend?
  12. Appeal for the cat lovers among us

    I asked my friend who lives nearby in Tenerife. She’s involved with dog care. She asked a friend and this is certainly a legitimate charity. Not that I doubted @murphaph 😊.    Animal welfare is not good in Tenerife. Similar to JohnG and Takkis‘s experiences in Crete. Yes, dogs are helped a little more there than cats. Any help is really needed. 
  13. What made you smile today?

    Amazing story… ‘Terminally ill woman, 44, suffering with kidney failure and lupus is saved by her pet Doberman after the dog found a one-in-22million organ match on a beach‘   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12009483/Woman-44-suffering-kidney-failure-saved-pet-Doberman-finds-one-22million-match.html#comments
  14. I’ve been looking for the best way to deal with former UK savings now that Barclays and The Halifax are forcing closure of accounts to non UK residents.    I've only a low remaining UK mortgage, 0,17% over base rate that is paid off in a few years. Pay off the mortgage or move savings to earn interest that at least covers the increased interest over the last year and future increases. I personally prefer the option of having funds available for unforeseen circumstances.  DE easy access accounts don’t seem to offer much more than 1.5% interest. Some with extra bonuses for 2-4 months.    From what I’ve googled, most expat/international/offshore accounts require a minimum transfer of £100,000. Or, the savings rate is less than 1%.   Just     
  15. Random pointless comments

    Many family circumstances make any exit neigh on impossible. Hygiene issues are likely to be the least problem. Nevertheless, awful. 
  16. Drugs and remedies for allergy sufferers

    My daughter started with hay fever when we moved to Germany. One of our cats affected her too. After years of just having to manage with allergy tablets that no longer have much affect, she went to her doctor last week to see if there are any other options. Desensitising was one suggestion though must be started over autumn/winter. I too am having allergy problems having never had them before.    I've heard that apitherapy can help. I think there are some specialists in your area. Google ‘Imker Heuschnupfen Apitherapie’.    Similarly, check Manuka honey hay fever benefits.  Might have to be a high level UMF/MGO for best affect.    Regarding air purifiers. Yes, they definitely help. We bought 2 of these after much research (maybe newer model available? Check the Philips website) a few years ago. The filter can be easily cleaned, various filter settings, silent setting, LED off setting, app controlled if required (I don’t bother with this), timer and very useful cooling fan that blows upwards rather than from the sides…less scary for our cats!   https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01NH5JZFN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&language=en_GB&th=1   All the best.
  17. MRT scan

    All sounds about right. You may need to undress completely and wear a hospital gown. Maybe depends on the area that needs MRI.  Best try to get more advice from the hospital before you go. Here’s some Google advice. https://www.radiologie.de/untersuchungsmethoden-im-uberblick/kernspintomographie-mrt/ablauf-und-vorbereitung-der-untersuchung/ All the best.
  18. What's got you flummoxed today?

    I got very flummoxed this week trying to sort new UK online/mobile bank account, Wise transfers that hung midway, HMRC calls and Premium Bond 2 factor authentication. Some blocks as non UK resident. Phoning for advice takes an age. Much respect to my dad who gave up doing anything like this last year aged 87. 
  19. Yes, the only way without needing to complete the CFxx form. Best way...to avoid avoid hassle. Potato/Pot’arto’ 😉
  20. Just in case your post is misunderstood….any German tax advice that @PandaMunich contributes on TT is highly detailed, professional and accurate 😊. Her advice on other topics is equally valuable. 
  21. I too have just been advised this is the best way. Although I have another UK bank account now that Barclays want EU residents to close their accounts, changing UK DD instructions isn’t possible without the CFxx form. Barclays do offer DD transfers to other UK accounts. However, this can only be done at a UK branch or with their mobile app that requires a UK mobile number. So, no then! 🙄
  22. What made you smile today?

    Happy Easter all….  
  23. Very good advice so far.  Age 15 with school learned German is very tricky. Do you have a specific Munich area in mind? I’d suggest speaking to the relevant Schulamt that can advise you on possible suitable public or private schools. Unlike the UK, going back one or two school years is very common here and absolutely no shame. The age difference in a class can be up to 2 years or so.     We moved here when my daughter was 10. She too was very optimistic and that helped a lot. With lots of private tuition, she got a good Abitur and now at a German university. I’m not familiar with the UK university system though from my daughter’s search for a bachelor course here, compared with her UK friends, it seemed far more important here to select a course that’s very likely to be career relevant in future.  There are lots of private universities that may be less concerned about Abitur or equivalent grades. On main university websites, there are tables that show the number of applicants for each course over the last several years and which current minimum Abitur grade is acceptable. More applications, higher grade required.  All the best.   
  24. Why are you unhappy today?

    @john g.. Glad you’ve settled down 😉. Who knows what’s bothering someone else. If I come across rude service, I just kindly say that I really hope that their day gets better. 
  25. What are you watching right now?

    Simon‘s Town, SA