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About nina_glyndwr

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  • Location Düsseldorf
  • Nationality Welsh
  • Hometown Conwy/Llandudno area
  • Gender Female

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  1. How much is enough for retirement?

    How much do you need for retirement?    Don't you have to figure out how much you need per month to cover your needs, times that by 12 to get what you need per year and then times that by the number of years you think you will survive after the age you retire at?   As for investment in the stock market, I've decided to do my own thing and have invested in ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Anyway, in just over a year, some of them have increased between 6% and 8% on the low side to 15% to 18% on the higher side.    And I am heeding what Warren Buffett says - don't fiddle about with investments. Invest wisely and then hold. He reckons the best length of a holding period is forever.
  2. Do you like living in Germany?

      I've only recently found out that 'irritieren' has two meanings in Germany. One is 'to irritate', but the one I was familiar with was 'to confuse'. So maybe they find your German confusing rather than irritating.   Even after all these years, when I speak German and I am tired, I can barely express myself at all. They (the Germans I'm talking to) patiently wait to see if I can get my message across. They're probably very confused by my utterances.
  3. Expat Burnout

      I come from a village in North Wales that has nothing - absolutely nothing - going for it. Nothing for people - especially young people of school age - to do when I was growing up. It now has a multiplex cinema on the outskirts - which replaced about 4 cinemas in two other locations.   Anyway, I lived in London for 4 years after living in Germany for 6. I came back to Germany because for one thing, it was 1/3 of the price of London and D'dorf is much more compact. I spent hours in London just getting to places.   Even though I've been back for 20 years now, I'm still discovering all sorts of events here. And at much lower prices than in London - or even Wales (remember, even Wales is part of 'rip-off Britain'). All sorts of music tastes are catered for here - even obscure tastes. Lots more stuff for children, too (I don't have children myself).    Maybe you need to poke around more to see what is really happening in your area. Ask colleagues. They won't necessarily tell you what they do in their free time - you have to ask.
  4. Expat Burnout

    Can you not go on holiday somewhere? A break is always a good thing. Just a change of scenery will be a relief. Surely there must be some larger city not too far away? How about a bus company that organises short breaks - that way you won't have to worry about travel and finding a hotel. Just sit in the coach and they organise everything else.
  5. No 'Fack U Goethe' for Me?

    You should look into getting at least a minimum qualification.    I spent 6 years teaching in Germany on a freelance basis, then moved to London to satisfy my mum who wanted me to get a 'proper job'. Anyway, it took me a year to find a 'proper job' and during that time, I did a one-month CTEFLA course. I had to pay for it myself, but it's a useful qualification to have since - as you've probably found out - Germans like their qualifications.   One German friend of mine who also taught English here went on to do a similar course for teaching Business English. She did hers in - I think - two weeks in Berlin.   If you are serious about it, you should do at least one of these minimum qualifications on top of your degree.   I don't have a car, by the way, so when I taught in D'dorf, I nearly always only accepted teaching jobs in companies that I could walk to. Up to 4 km away (40 minutes of walking - one way of keeping fit). I only accepted something in Ratingen when that was at least 2 lessons of 90-minutes back to back.   But if you want to get into teaching, get some idea of teaching. 
  6. Brexit abuse

    Hi Scot,   Like you, I find it frustrating that my qualifications aren't really respected here in Germany. Then again, I suppose that they don't really qualify me to do anything, apart from the German translation qualification acquired from the local chamber of commerce. They respect German qualifications.   I've not heard of such subservience before. It sounds awful.   I think that you are basically in the wrong area of Germany for someone who is more international. A lot of people are very parochial. And that's not just true of Germany. I come from the same area of Wales as Jeremy and my Brexit-voting relatives barely leave their area and are worried about foreigners taking away their jobs - which all depend on their ability to speak Welsh. (How many foreigners do you know who can speak fluent Welsh?) Anyway, narrow-mindedness and the 'this is the way we've always done things' attitude is not limited to Germany.   You and your wife should look into moving to a larger town. I am in Dusseldorf and that is a pretty good place to be British in. There are lots of events here that are in English. There is the English library. Films shown in English - even National Theatre broadcasts, so you can see plays from the UK in the comfort of your cinema seat. And lots of people here speak English - there is a growing Indian population here now, too. Even some Indian restaurants and shops where you can buy your ingredients for curry (including jars of Patak's curry sauce).   And D'dorf is pretty compact and you can be out in the countryside fast. And even  the Netherlands is just half an hour away by fast car (a bit longer by train). And there are loads of walking groups that will show you the varied countryside east of D'dorf.   Your wife should investigate the possibility of working in D'dorf or near here. You would then be more likely to get employment with an international company rather than a German one. 
  7. Fernschule - Tips for a starter

    I studied with the Open University when it cost EUR 600 a year (for students in the EU and outside the UK). Now it costs more than 4 times that amount, I have stopped.   The advantage of the OU is that they have had decades of experience and they are very well organised. For example, they give you a large study calendar to hand on the wall so you can see at a glance what you have to do an in which week.    I found that the work you had to get through in a week was manageable. My study was mostly reading and essays. I just divided the amount I had to read by 7 days of the week and read a bit a day in bed before getting up. For that, I woke up earlier than usual. You'd be surprised how much extra you can do by waking up a bit earlier. When I lived in London, I used to re-read what I'd read in bed when travelling to work on the Underground.    Sundays were set aside for essays - when they were scheduled. (You don't have to do an essay a week.)    If you want to gain a qualification badly enough, then you will find the discipline to achieve that goal. If you can't organise yourself and sit down and do the work, then you're not really that interested.
  8. Hello Panda,   I have also found this source of information:   Especially this bit: Living in Germany S1 certificate You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Germany and receive: an exportable UK State Pension a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance another exportable benefit You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 form. An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Germany. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until the UK leaves the EU. You may be eligible for an S1 certificate if you: receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension are employed by a UK body or firm (you are a posted or frontier worker) are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority. If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate via the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5). Your S1 certificate may not be valid after exit day if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Germany and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment. If you do not have an S1 certificate, you can continue to apply for one until the UK leaves the EU. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.
  9. This is not the case with my 80-year-old friend from Krefeld. He came over here with the army, left the army because he fell in love with a German woman, sold cars until retirement and had been paying private health insurance in Germany. 
  10. These kinds of rules and regulations are why I pay for an accountant to do all my stuff. I also have to charge VAT. And then I occasionally have a translation customer outside Germany. Too many rules.   One little tip, though... You should look into teaching at the local VHS. You can earn up to EUR 2,400 a year tax free. It used to be the rule that if you earned a cent above that threshold, you would be taxed on all of that income. In the last couple of years, however, the wording has changed and now only what is earned above the EUR 2,400 limit is taxed at 25%. I got this in writing and rang up to confirm this as I want to offer a third course at the VHS as of next year.   Oh, and what you earn above that limit... you can offset anything you buy to carry out those courses to reduce the taxable amount. Me.. I only buy a few new marker pens every year.
  11. If you receive a UK pension and are living in Germany, you should be able to have your health care costs assumed by the UK.   You have a small window of time to jump from private health insurance to the AOK when you get to pensionable age. Not sure what that age is at the moment, but a friend of mine who gets about 80% of a UK pension... he is now 80. When he was 60 he was told he could contact the AOK and they would assume his health care costs. He no longer had to pay for private health insurance. He's not seen a bill since.    Now.. if the UK crashes out of the EU.. there are going to be an awful lot of UK pensioners in the EU who are going to have to find alternative arrangements. They may have to return to the UK - especially since their income has dropped on account of the terrible exchange rate.
  12. Mum printed off the application - about 85 pages. Had help from a local MP and other places. Town hall offered a service to check through everything. That cost about 20 pounds. They copied the original documents which my mum had to supply. The town hall sent in everything for my mum. They advised her from sending in any original documents.They even rang up the Home Office to check.   Then mum had to pay 65 pounds via credit card. This was for the processing by the Home Office.   Mum is supposed to get it back, because Theresa May said she would change the rules. Sajid Javid even sent a letter saying they would refund the cost, but so far she's not received anything.   Sorry this is disjointed - mum doesn't always explain things properly.   It took about 5 weeks.
  13. I know that there is the BaFin, but I believe that is only for banks that are subject to the BaFin's supervision.   What about an independent investment company?   I started investing with this company a while back. It had been going for 30 years and seemed to be reputable. It was led by the father...who then died. Then the son took over and since then... I've been very nervous.    There was some ruckus with an employee who sold their investments to private people like me and he left the company - taking with him all the contact details of the clients. He badmouthed the owner of the company, they got the police to investigate. I think it went to court.   My confidence was shattered so I cancelled three sums of money that I had invested for 3, 5 and 6 years. I got the money for the first lot back last year. I should get the next lots next year and the year after.   I had also set up two investments where I paid in 100 euros a month each (i.e. in total EUR 200). I cancelled one of them. They consolidated both amounts and so I only paid 100 euro a month.   I have to say that my income has been affected by Brexit uncertainty and things are certainly tight, so I cancelled this other 100 euro a month thing and asked for the money back.   Now, we did that last Friday. But then he said that he couldn't repay the capital as that was invested elsewhere and there was a court case involved and they couldn't pay out any money until a decision had been made. The decision was supposed to have been taken before the summer holidays, but it was delayed.   I then also mentioned that I hadn't received the last quarterly payment for the other two lump sum investments. I noticed in about May that the last quarterly payment I had received was in early July 2018. He then said that there had been a problem with the computer and paid the last three quarterly payments.   Last Friday, when I mentioned that I hadn't received a quarterly payment as of the end of June, he mentioned the court case again.   I did send him an e-mail pointing out the discrepancy in his excuses for me not receiving the quarterly payments, but I've not had any reaction.   I tell you.. this year has been the worst of my life. With regard to my health, Brexit worry and now I'm worried about this money.   What to do? There must be some authority I can go to to ask for advice, mustn't there?
  14. "However, Germans in UK with settled status have a much more generous FIVE YEARS to be absent from UK without losing their status. They also don't have to pay any application fees, unlike Brits in Germany. "   I urged my German mum to get settled status ..oh.. last year at least. Before all this rigmarole with only being able to apply via Android phones (or whatever.. I'm not au fait with mobile phones much).   It caused her a lot of running about trying to get help to fill in the forms and no-one she talked to had had experience of this process. Not the Citizens' Advice Buro or the local council. They all did their best to help her, though. And I'm damned certain that she had to pay a fee. I can ask her if you want.
  15. Peanut butter shortage - help!

    I wondered why my local Netto had changed supplier - from one in the US to one in the Netherlands. The only problem is that the new one (in a glass rather than a plastic jar) tastes absolutely revolting, maybe because it has palm oil in it. I got through a quarter of the jar before flinging it into the bin. I went to Edeka, but they were sold out. I tried 'Erdnusmus' from DM - revolting slop.    I shall have to try harder to track something down.