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About Starshollow

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  • Birthday 02/02/1967

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  • Location Starnberg
  • Nationality German
  • Hometown Munich
  • Gender Male
  • Interests finance, investment
    Tennis, Golf
    Reading (especially history, but also poems)

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  1. each year in November is the time when private German health insurance may contact their clients and inform them about upcoming increases in the monthly premiums. Such increases are not necessarily something to worry about, because they follow both monetary inflation and what is also called medical inflation. However, such increases allow you a "Sonderkündigungsrecht", i.e. you have two months now to give special notice in order to join another private health insurance. But such switches should not be undertaken easily and without a lot of due diligence beforehand. It is highly advisable to get an independent expert to check your existing health insurance and to advise you on the pros and cons of switching to a different insurance provider or health insurance plan.   Cheerio  
  2. Pension for self employed

    outstanding, dear @PandaMunich !  Great post!!!!   Cheerio  
  3. Riester Rente vs. other pension schemes

    Well, the underlying issue is that longevity has grown and grown for the past decades. And insurance companies are forced by law (!) to use the most current "Sterbetafel" for their pension calculation. Now don't get sidetracked by the general life expectancy, because that includes all the people killed/dying as babies, children and whatnot.  the insurance companies have to look at the average life expectancy of a 30 year old, 40 year old etc. when setting up the pension insurance with the guaranteed outcomes. And that is already there is a strong trend of increasing longevity. But yes, it is a bet -. you betting against the insurance companies for how long you gonna live. You die early, the insurance company (and the collective of the insured in your pension plan) win. You stay to live 90 or 100+, you win.   Which is why planning for retirement should be a two-pronged approach. Setting up pension plans (including state pension where possible) and investment plans. You can calculate the investment plans such that during the first decades of retirement when it is most likely that you are fit and want to see the world, enjoy retirement, offer you extra income to do so. But you also want to make sure that you'll still have sufficient pension income when you grow much, much older to sustain a decent old-age lifestyle. Nothing could be worse than if all the money has run out but your life has not, yet. :-) Which is where a dedicated and specialized expert as an investment advisor/pension planner comes in. Time to think about it ?   Cheerio  
  4. How to Work Remotely for US Company from Germany

      These are topics you need to discuss indeed with a tax expert for your planning, Gonna cost you money but well spent it will be. Contact PandaMunich, who meanwhile runs her own show (and you'll find tons of her good advice here on Toytown if you check) or Thomas Zitzelsberger and get this taken care of for real. You really don't want to rely on second-hand-public-forum-input on important, financially crucial issues for your decision-making here.   Cheerio  
  5. Riester Rente vs. other pension schemes

    Dear Durin (love the name, btw., as a big fan of Lord of the Rings ) ! Your points 1-4 are correct, basically.   However, finding the right pension plan (and it should always be a real pension plan, more about the "because" below) is not that easy. First you can discard nearly 90+ % of what is being offered to you by banks and insurance salesmen because the extremely high initial costs from commissions and related administrative costs (because the insurance have additional costs to manage and account for the commissions, too) are gobbling up most of your tax benefits during the first 5 years.   That leaves you with a rather smallish number of option. The German magazine "Finanztest" is known to favour Riester Bank-savings-plans...but they offer very little interest right now and come with increasing costs for the pension later. Same with many of the "alternatives" offered on the market, including, I am afraid, FAIRR. Because they offer a savings-plan that comes with far lower costs initially but have a hard time to verify the exact costs that come up later when you get close to retirement for setting up the guaranteed pension...AS REQUIRED BY LAW! So,if you sign up for a RIESTER plan that just defers the costs for the actual pension payout plan (which is always necessary and required by law) you'll just omit the actual costs for that without knowing these costs when it comes to retirement.  That is not a good solution. while initially, your performance looks so much better, of course, because all the inherent costs of pension insurance are taken out of the equation, you'll be bitten into your sweet behind then later. Especially since for the past decade the longevity has increased and increased and thus the costs for the pension insurance (which is always for life), too. Plus: MyLife is a very small and not exactly stellar pension insurance company. Do you really want to rely on their guarantees to be still valid in 20-30 years from now?   What you should do is look for the pension insurance with the highest current pension guarantee. As PandaMunich pointed out correctly. and then try to see if you can get this with a decent rebate on the setting-up costs or even a fee-based plan where there is no commission and commission related costs involved. This is where it gets really interesting: fees are available (for instance with us) that are only half of the normal commission rate. But only a few insurance companies also then change their administrative costs due to the omission of the commission costs and that is where the big saving actually occur for you in the end.   Long story short: stay way from FIVERR..unless you are certain that before retirement you are going to cash in on the money (and thus repay the direct subsidies and tax benefits earned but still had a good performance after all)   Cheerio  
  6. How to Work Remotely for US Company from Germany

    PS: for all your insurance needs while in Germany you'll also find a number of specialists here on Toytown.   Cheerio
  7. How to Work Remotely for US Company from Germany

    regardless of citizenship/Visa-issue (on which I am not an expert and can't comment) it is fairly easy to get around the problem of "Scheinselbstständigkeit" during the first three years of your business starting here. You just need to file for an exemption. There are very competent people here on Toytown to organize this for you, like Thomas Zitzelsberger from Expatax for instance. With such an exemption granted - which is just a formality, more or less - you have the first three years not to worry about this in any way or form. another option, of course, before or after these three years is always to hire someone with a gross salary of >451 Eur to do your accounting, filing, wiping your behind or any other lawful employment :-)    Because as soon as you have an employee with an employment with full social-welfare contributions, you are off the hook for good..and forever.   Cheerio  
  8.   Nope, I can't answer that, I am afraid. But I am sure if you post these questions separately here, you'll get others with personal experience to answer this correctly. At the same time I am reasonably sure that there is one hell of a difference regarding the answer whether you apply, for instance, in Berlin or in Frankfurt or Munich. Therefore you might want to add the info whereabouts you are going to apply for this.   Cheerio      
  9. Where to get basic information on Taxes

    wow... well done ! Let us talk soon if you like/need Expat clients.   Cheerio  
  10. US Citizen foreign investment income

    hear-hear !
  11. Tax on donation

    Yes, that is correct. Having said that: if the parents die within the next 10 years, the money you received still counts to their estate and will be then part of the total for inheritance tax calculation, too.   Cheerio  
  12. if your employer would accept MAWISTA SCIENCE as you said and if you are 100% certain that afterwards, you won't continue in another job/employment in Germany, then by all means try to set up MAWISTA, though I can't promise you that the public health insurance will except that as a legally compliant substitute. But that is about the only option I can see here. Since you are under a German employment contract, according to EU regulations the taxes and social welfare contributions have to be applied by this country and not the UK. Not sure why you "have to" pay also extra into the NHS in the UK, but if that is the case, then its rather the UK-side that is off, because they should accept that you have health insurance from Germany with an EHIC-card an all (of course, how this is going to work out after Brexit is anyone's guess right now).    Cheerio  
  13. without a real residence in Germany, no German private health insurance will touch you (i.e. they won't accept an application from you). You could perchance sign up for an international health insurance/Expat health insurance but these insurance plans are usually not in the least compliant with German laws and requirements. Which means that as soon as you come back to Germany and have to re-enter the German system for real, you are heading for trouble. Usually in the form of pesky and expensive back-charges due to the use of non-compliant health insurance.   Cheerio  
  14. US Citizen foreign investment income

    I concur.   Cheerio  
  15. US Citizen residing in Germany. Where to invest?

    Yes, that is an important point that many - even within the banking and financial advice business - have not fully grasped yet: since January 2018 the taxation of ETFs is exactly the same whether you buy German/European ones or US domiciled ones. And fairly simple, too, as only 4 reporting parameters now are the base for the taxation 1. price of ETF shares on Jan 1st 2. price of ETF shares on Dec 31st 3. Dividends or interest paid 4. differentiation between 100% share-based funds, mixed funds and 100% bond-based funds.   That's about it.   Therefore for US-citizen in Germany the easiest and best choice is to invest in US-domiciled investment funds /ETFs because the European ones cause such serious tax-reporting headaches (read: costs) with the IRS as they are considered PFICs. Only problem is now that due to MIFID II the product information from US-domiciled funds is not compliant with EU-regulation.  Which is why US-banks and platforms will not allow anymore for US-citizens residing in the EU to directly invest into US-domiciled funds from now on.  This is where solutions come in with a specialized financial advisor who acts basically as a legal buffer between the US-bank/platform the end-consumer here in the EU.  Usually in the form of a discretionary manager for the clients. The only other alternative if you want/need to invest into EU-domiciled funds is to use existing 401k and IRA accounts in the US for that, because they are exempt from the PFIC-rules for tax reporting with the IRS. BUt, as said above, there is no real good reason to do that anymore at least from a German taxation point of view.    Cheerio