• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1,472 Awesome


About liebling

Profile Information

  • Location Heidelberg
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female
  • Interests kids, research, sleep, food, current affairs and a bunch of other stuff I'm too tired to recall just now.

Recent Profile Visitors

8,194 profile views
  1. Experience with kids learning German

    I agree with others who say that 6 months is not a very long time, and it's not surprising that your 7-year-old is still primarily reception-oriented rather than production-oriented when it comes to German. Moreover, in a way it's been less than 6 months, assuming your child wasn't in immersive German-language environments for hours every day in the school holidays.  And I'd underscore the suggestions to get your child involved in German-language activities (sports clubs and team, arts and crafts classes, story-telling events at the local library, etc.). That brings all kinds of benefits, including increased exposure, broadened vocabulary, intensified social motivation to comprehend and produce language, and so-on.  Having said that (and as you know) operating in a new language is exhausting, so having those activities on the weekend (including whole-family activities, such as attendance at German-language cultural events, local tours, story-times, etc.) is a good idea instead of adding them to school-day afternoons when your child is likely to need to have a break from deciphering Deutsch.
  2. Anyone living in Germany but working remotely?

    Yes, it should be do-able. She'll need to get a document (the new contract?) specifically outlining the new employment situation (i.e. that she's not been sent/"entsendet" by the employer to Germany, but that she's a regular cross-border employee). The contract should include written recognition by the employer that they will pay her social insurance and KK at the German rates.  Even better if you can convince the French employer to do the monthly transfer of employer and employee portions of social insurance and health care contributions directly to the KK. (The KK doesn't care who pays it, as long as it gets paid.) Then it's a matter of speaking to the KK to confirm the workflow (how much/when they will get the money, category of insurance coverage: freiwillig versichert?) and so on. Contact the Finanzamt separately and they'll explain what they need (whether they want monthly advance payments of estimated income tax or whether your wife should prepare to pay a lump sum when she files her German tax return for the first year; after the first year they may change their recommendation, depending on the sums involved and how payment has worked).   Can't advise about the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, though I would imagine they'd be able to advise your wife about her income tax just as much as they would be able to advise any other person employed under German tax regulations. Might as well talk directly to the Finanzamt first, though. (Lohnsteuerhilfevereine would not be the right people to advise about the arrangement of employer contributions toward social insurances, etc., though. That gets into European Worker Mobility regulations, and I wouldn't expect most of them to be on top of that, though I may be wrong.)
  3. Wedding planner in Frankfurt

    Congratulations on your engagement! Not exactly in Frankfurt, but here's a good place to start: contact Anne-Katrin Schmülling, who runs Celebrate Life event-planning agency in Heidelberg (about an hour from Frankfurt). She is a very experienced professional wedding planner who speaks English. I'm guessing she might actually do weddings in Frankfurt, but if not, she probably knows very good folks who do. (Disclaimer: I am not Ann-Katrin, nor do I have any stake in her business. I just happen to have encountered happy clients of hers here in Heidelberg.)
  4. It would be good to get on the case of your income tax return (so that you can get a statement from the Finanzamt of the income they've calculated for you based on the data you provided with your return) - but I suppose you already know that. Lacking a statement from the Finanzamt, you might want to just contact your Elterngeldstelle (probably Amt für Versorgung und Soziales Walter-Möller-Platz 1 60439 Frankfurt/Main, Telefon: 069/15671) and ask what they'll accept instead. They might well take an Einnahmen-ÜberschussRechnung (that profit/cost listing you mentioned) as a provisional indication of your 2018 income, but they can always come back to you after the fact (even after they've paid out your Elterngeld) and revise the amount of your Elterngeld up or down (clawing money back from you in case of the latter). Good luck!
  5. Anyone living in Germany but working remotely?

    No update to add, but I explained how I did it in a message much further up the thread. You'll just be freiwilling versichert with AOK. If your employer is very kind they might even be willing to transfer the employer contribution - and your employee contribution, drawn from your salary (both contributions calculated according to German rules, not the rules of the country where your company is)  - directly to the AOK every month. Mine was not.  It's up to the employee in Germany to get the employer (in EU outside of Germany) to contribute the right amount and to make sure the AOK gets it. Your non-German EU employer may balk at paying the German rate, although they're required to do so under European Worker Mobility regulations. In my case my UK employer couldn't cope with paying the Barmer directly so they paid the employer portion to me and I transferred that money plus my employee portion to the Barmer. Barmer did everything from there (as they do when you have a German employer, too), making sure the payments enter the social insurance scheme under my name. 
  6. Your Steuerbescheid (income tax statement) for 2018 should do it. 
  7. why are school trips so expensive in germany?

    Google "Schulreisen" or "Klassenfahrt" and you'll get a taste of some of the companies. There are tons of ads for these in the back of teachers' periodicals (subject-specialist journals, teachers' union newspapers, etc.).  Right next to the ads for clinics specializing in teacher burn-out... 
  8. A good Kinderkrippe, ideally bilingual

    What does it say on the contract you signed with the Kita? If the terms of the Eingewohnung (including scheduling of start date) are written out there, it's probably a lost cause. Be careful: coming up with 'strong arguments' for why they should change policies, or somehow make you an exception to the rule might sour your budding relationship with the people who will be looking after your pride and joy. It's an important relationship (between you and the carers, between your child and the carers) and you don't want to get off on the wrong foot with them. (Also: German institutional cultures are not known for their flexibility in meeting individual needs and requests.)   I get how the scheduling of the Eingewohnung is incompatible with your plans, but it's a good sign (for your child) that the Kita takes Eingewohnung so seriously. Also, although it's probably also cold comfort, school (and yes, sometimes even Kita) calendars tend to be king in Germany, and families get used to not having much choice in the scheduling of their lives. This is esp. true of Kitas where it's a provider's market, i.e. where Kita places are scarce and waitlists long (and staff tend to be hard to find, too).    Good luck! 
  9. Forwarding DHL parcel to a branch

    I have been facing similar problems - in my case, the DPD delivery person fakes delivery attempts (does not actually come to my house where I am waiting in person to receive the package), but delivers the package directly to a DPD Pickup-Paketshop. In my case, their website shows a DPD Pickup-Paketshopin my postcode, 1.2 km from my house, yet my "undeliverable" (i.e. undelivered) package got brought to a different one, a flower shop with limited hours some 6.5km away (35 minutes one way by public transport). I feel your pain! (DHL has been good to me, though - just goes to show how dependent it is on the individual drivers.)   My suggestion: See if you can have your packages either addressed to your work or to a small business near your house (a stationer, a gas station, a pharmacy or dentist's office...).  The latter requires some particular kindness on the part of the business owner/staff but if you are a neighbor (and of course if you give them your custom) they will often be happy to help by accepting parcels for you and keeping them until the evening or next day.   In my experience delivery services are much more reliable at actually dropping packages off at business addresses than at private addresses. I guess they (correctly) assume somebody will be there to sign for it and they know they can hardly use the excuse that "I rang the bell but nobody was there" at a business that was demonstrably open at the time their delivery attempt was supposed to have taken place.  Good luck!