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Everything posted by Buzznut3000

  1. Glad to hear you are settling in.  I feel your pain, last year we were being audited by both the US and Germany at the same time!  I wouldn't agree totally with your last sentence, though.  I have income from rental property in the US and that is not taxable in Germany.  Germany was trying hard to find something to tax but ultimately failed (my other income is from a government pension which is also not taxable in Germany). 
  2. Retirement in Germany

    I'm an American retired in Germany.  My resident permit was no problem as my wife is German.  You'll need someone to help you with the paperwork for sure as you can't count on anyone speaking English in any government office.  A couple other things I discovered:  1. You cannot get on the public health insurance if you are over 55 even if you are in perfect health and your spouse is on it.  2. Learning German in your 50s (or older) is a LOT harder then I thought it would be.  3. Be sure you have at least 3 more years on your passport, otherwise renew it before you arrive.
  3. Life in Weiterstadt

    International Kids' English Club in Darmstadt info:
  4. Life in Weiterstadt

    There are a couple of active groups on  I'm sure some of the folks have kids that might be a good fit for you.
  5. Moving Expenses from USA

    We used Rainier moving from US and were very happy with them.  We moved a small amount of furniture and personal things, I think it was around $7000 (40ft container, Houston to Bremerhaven) but we also had to store our things on both sides for a short time.  They packed everything for us and unpacked at the other end.
  6. German house insulation vs US?

    I grew up in Fargo ND which makes Chicago seem like Miami (Fargo was -35C yesterday)  Our house was insulated pretty well, better than the older house I now live in in Germany.  The places I lived in Texas and California were not very well insulated.  I think the newer houses in Germany are probably better insulated than most in the US but anything more than 20 or 30 years old probably is not.
  7. Bad luck.  I have ordered multi-vitamins several times from the US.  A couple times they were stopped at customs but they released them to me at the customs office (Hanau) without further charge.
  8. Relotius Case: Fraudulent Reporting in Spiegel

    The thing is his lies are so obvious that the only reason he got away with it is his stories fit in with what the Spiegel editors wanted to believe.  They were sure everyone in America is a right wing bigot and he delivered the goods.  Most of the falsehoods could’ve been detected easily with a quick phone call or even a simple Google search.
  9. Access Netflix TV shows and Movies

    Netflix periodically collects the IP addresses of the servers of various VPN companies and blocks them.   Eventually you will tune in one day and it won't work.  An option is to purchase a unique IP address from the VPN company, which will likely never be blocked.  If it is for some reason, they will issue you a new one.
  10. Relotius Case: Fraudulent Reporting in Spiegel

    Those on the far left do seem to feel that the ends justify the means.
  11. ApplePay!

    I can't imagine the 80% of businesses that won't accept credit cards in Germany will embrace this.
  12. GLS - too much to expect

    GLS is so bad in our town, they never actually deliver anything.  You get an email (sometimes) that they are "sorry they missed you" and you can pick up your package at local store.
  13. Overseas envelope sent by post: will it arrive?

    Apparently we were extreme assholes for interrupting his very important texting.
  14. Overseas envelope sent by post: will it arrive?

    Next time figure out exactly what you want and look up how to say it before hand.  My German also sucks and I have to do that.  Also, nothing against Berlin, I think its a cool town but last time I was there and asked directions from someone on the street he yelled at us for 5 minutes and even followed us down the street yelling at us.
  15. Bank forces to take its life insurance

    I've received several mortgage loans in both the US and Germany as well as a commercial loan for an HOA.  I can tell you the bank can stipulate just about anything they like before handing over their money to you.  Especially if your credit is borderline.  Some banks require you acquire their credit cards or use their other banking services before they'll deal with you.  The loan I got for our HOA, the bank required us to raise our monthly HOA fees.  No particular reason, they just said raise it or no money.
  16. My cat is offended. 
  17. I would be interested in this.  Unfortunately I don't think it exists in Germany.  There is no MLS as in the US making it extremely difficult to buy and sell property for the average Joe.  On top of that Banks don't seem to know or care what the actual value of properties are (at least from my experience).
  18. US election ballot submission (Nov. 6)?

    Different states and districts have different rules about absentee ballots.  My ballot comes from Texas.  After registering they email me a link where I can download the ballot and signature sheet.  After filling out the ballot it must be delivered by mail.  They do not except email or faxed ballots.  You must contact the election registrar in the district where you are getting your ballot to confirm the procedure.
  19. Converting a US driver's license to a German one

    Just back on the car rental thing.  I returned recently from the US and rented several cars.  No one questioned my German license and they did not ask for a passport.  The only thing they care about is that you have a valid license and a MasterCard or Visa.   Also, licenses from some states require an eye test even with full reciprocity (Texas did for me) but its no big deal.  There is a list somewhere if you search for it or you can just ask.  
  20. Slightly off topic, but I hate that you are forced to average the billing for utilities.  I understand that its desirable for some people but I should have the option to pay whatever my bill is.  It makes conserving very difficult as I never know how much we are using.  One year its way to little and the next its way too much.
  21. old/er guy needs job-hunting tips

    Keep your expectations low.  Just from what I've heard and my personal experience, Germans have a massive age bias.  My wife and I came to Germany 2 years ago.  She is a German citizen fluent in English and German with a solid resume (20 years at the same company) in IT and project management and can barely get an interview.  It's so funny as you read every day how Germany is desperate for skilled workers.  Apparently that is only if you are under 40.
  22. Buying the house that we are renting

    I'm not an expert by any means but I have bought 4 houses and sold one.  You can do just about anything in a sales contract.  That said, doing something that skirts tax laws can be risky.  I would say you need to run the idea past a real estate lawyer.  I don't think the owner can enter into a binding contract to sell in the future without raising some flags at the tax office.  It's really not in the  owner's interest to do so in any event as housing prices usually go up and he would be loosing out on 2 years of appreciation (unless its a really depressed area).
  23. Child's passport expiring

  24. Have any Americans on here traveled to Cuba through Europe?

    Check out this page for updated restrictions on travel to Cuba for Americans.   8. Is travel to Cuba for tourist activities permitted?    No.  Consistent with the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA), travel-related transactions involving Cuba are only permitted for the 12 categories of activities identified in the CACR.  Travel-related transactions for other purposes remain prohibited.  
  25. Converting a US driver's license to a German one

    There is no reason to retain your US license.  The German license is accepted everywhere in the US and if you move back you can easily obtain another one.