fredchatel

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About fredchatel

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  • Location Asia
  • Nationality American
  1. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

      Thank you. It's appreciated.
  2. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

      Right. The company would pay. So short of getting off the wait list (huge influx of banking expat to Frankfurt from London), not a big concern.
  3. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It's all in line with what I've read and heard from others (expats and Germans).   Presumably, if one paid more, one could get a private room even with public insurance. The question then becomes how many hospital stays one expects and whether the math says that it would have been cheaper to make higher monthly payments to private insurance.   But, to your point, it makes sense to get quotes. I will do this.
  4. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

      To be honest, I didn't look for a breakdown of the amount. 300 or 400 euro are directionally the same for me. But it's important, as you note, to understand what's in/behind the number. For sure this is a homework for me.   Thanks for the krankenversicherung link. I'll read it. I think I also got some basic info from https://allaboutberlin.com/guides/german-health-insurance. Maybe Berlin is different.   Just curious about your specific case... have you considered taking private insurance? I, for one, am over 45, so the rates start to really climb and I'm not so sure I couldn't get the same "premium" coverage by paying a supplement on a case-by-case basis using public cover as a base (which is a smart piece of advice you raised in an earlier post).
  5. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

    Yes, I've seen their names. I still have a few "need German insurance... please help" threads to get through first, then I'll reach out to them!   Thanks Leon.
  6. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

    Even more of an ouch because I have 2 kids! It's a huge benefit they're willing to pay, so I know they're now trying to scam me out of not paying the other allowances. I'd imagine there will be others (Germans) on local contracts crying foul that the company is paying my kids international school fees, but the company will have to figure out how to answer that.   Yes, I would be exempt from most of what Leon outlined because of my level. 60 hours a week, teleconferences and webex meetings at all hours with people you don't even know with unusual accents, trips to parts unknown at the drop of a hat 3 or 4 times a year. It's all there. But, it's still fun (usually)! ;)
  7. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

    Yep. Fully agree.   I read somewhere that the cap is more like 400 euros, but directionally it's the same. I have to check with my company what portion they will pay.   I didn't know that public insurance could be supplemented. Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for pointing this out.
  8. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

      Agreed, on all points.   You'd be surprised, though, that there are people who are on expat contracts for 5, 10, 15 years. Seems crazy much to me, but there are people like that out there. Their main objective is to retire before the age of 50 or 55 so they're socking all that extra money away.   I mentioned somewhere else, though expat life has been fun and rewarding, what my family and I are looking for in the next 5-10 years is not focused on cash accumulation. The chance to experience life in Europe, working a stable job (if there's even such a thing these days) where quality of life is high is an important factor for us.
  9. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

    Thanks for the detailed breakdown Leon.   I'm looking forward to the holidays, which actually get taken, unlike what I'm used to in the US or in China.   I'm still researching and scratching my head over the insurance thing. My income will qualify (I don't know if that's the right word) for private insurance, but I need to read a lot more about that to understand what additional services go with that. I'm a bit in the dark with that right now, but I've been reading up the last few days.
  10. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

    Strange conclusion that I don't want to live in Germany. I'm not sure where this sense came from, but okay... I'll take this point.   To be clear, yes, I do value the opportunity to work and live in Germany. I've worked for a German company for almost a decade. I "fit" in with the culture and really enjoy my colleagues. I've travelled to Germany a few dozen times, sometimes on extended trips, so I have some idea what I'm stepping into. For sure Germany is not a utopia, but I think it has a unique culutre with distinctly positive traits and traditions that I am open to getting more exposure to.   Your points and pokes are appreciated Lisa. Thank you for your feedback. I think the questions you are raising are important.
  11. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

    Thanks for the feedback Jay.   Yes, expat life is nice, but life (and work) in China can get, umm, let's say a bit "on the edge" sometimes. So, yes, lots of hardhship allowances, but after a while you start wondering if you wouldn't prefer the stability of something more familiar.   You're also right about work-life-balance. Complete out of whack in the US and in China. That's something I'm always a little envious of about my German colleagues who work in Germany. That's definitely a perk of living in Europe.   There are a lot of extras. You're right. And companies typically offer lump sum payments for those just to avoid the hassle of counting every nickle and dime. In my case the company would pay the relocation costs in either case (local or expat) since they have to move me from China. One difference with an expat contract is that your relocation agent also spends a few days showing you schools and shopping centers, gets you a mobile phone, sets up a bank account, etc.   The German lessons and tax preparation are definitely something I will insist on with a local contract.   Again... thanks for sharing your ideas.
  12. Moving to Germany: Local contract vs. expat contract

    Hello folks...   I've posted on a few other threads, and have been reading a lot of threads about moving to Germany.   I'd like to ask for your opinion on a question that's in front of me. And before RedMidge tells me to use the search function in the upper right hand corner of the page, let me say that I've made extensive use of the search function and the many articles and wikis on TT.   My company (a German company) is offering me a job at their HQ in Frankfurt on a local "plus" contract, or take another expat assignment in China. I'm an American on an expat assignment right now in China. The "plus" means that they'd pay for my two teenage kids to go to international school. The job in Frankfurt is more interesting and will do more for my career. It's at the same "grade" level as the expat job. Life in China is definitely interesting and I've learned a lot, but I think working and living in Germany and making contacts at "corporate level" would be a good thing.   Obviously there are a bunch of differences between a local contract in Germany and an expat contract somewhere else. The cost of living, believe it or not is not very different between the bigger cities in Germany and the bigger cities in China. I don't have a house in the US, so not getting the standard expat housing allowance on the local contract in Germany isn't going to hurt. The way I see it, I'd be losing out on 10-15k Euro of net income. Transportation costs won't be a problem because the company would provide a car in either case.   Which basically brings me to: how do Germans senior-manager / executives salaries compare to other countries for people with 20+ years of experience (BSc + MSc + MBA)? Depending on German salaries and housing costs (I've been looking on immobilienscout to get some ideas about sizes and prices, etc.), I'd like to try negotiate a higher salary which would cover at least part of this higher housing cost.   There are other allowances that a local contract wouldn't provide which I have now on my expat contract, like an allowance which is supposed to help me and my family go back "home" once or twice a year, and an allowance which is supposed to cover everything else that comes with living away from home. These, in total, amount to about 5-10k Euro per year (net). I also understand that I'll have to pay for insurance, which is fully covered under an expat contract. But, just because all medical costs are covered it does mean that the actual care is anything to write home about.   Are there benefits to a local contract in Germany that I don't see? Company takes care of dealing with visa paperwork (same as expat contract)? Applying for a Blue card after a few years? Work mobility within the EU that comes with being a resident of Germany?   Sorry for the long post. I've done a fair amount of research. Still a lot more to do. Much more to read and learn about public v private insurance, taxes (I've been using http://www.parmentier.de/steuer/steuer.htm?wagetax.htm to estimate tax payments and take-home pay), been in touch with a few different international schools (some of which for years and years don't seem to have any openings, maybe due to Brexit fears), etc.   Any advice, feedback, scolding, opinions, etc. would be welcome. I promise not to let my feathers get ruffled at the obligatory initial burst of "DON'T DO IT!!!!" and "WHAT ARE YOU, CRAZY?" or "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW ANY OF THIS GERMANY STUFF WORKS!" or "YOU'RE TOTALLY SCREWED!!!" responses. Just kidding about the responses. Looking forward to the feedback...
  13. AW... I read through your thread when you were considering moving to Germany. Did you make the move (I assume)?

  14. The way I hear it, the background laugh would be after the after. ;p   What's even funnier is that (see previous post from Frank), apparently the digital nomad's reminder couldn't find stable network connectivity.
  15. Nicest place to live in DE

    Yep... saw that too after I posted.