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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
  • Year of birth
  • Interests finance, investment
    Tennis, Golf
    Reading (especially history, but also poems)

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26,479 profile views
  1. tax tips - indirect way to save money

    if it were that easy...everyone would do it. The fact that not everyone is doing it should already tell you that this is not working as you wish.   Head robinson100's advice.   Cheerio  
  2. Getting an E104 form for Health Insurance

      There is a lot of confusion in this inquiry...little wonder, bearing in mind that the German health insurance system is a) unique in the world and b )  total case of FUBAR.   You may want to do a little more reading here on Toytown in the Health insurance WIKI or here on our website:   So, the first problem from what you wrote above is that you missed the deadline to get into public Germany health insurance (AOK is public health insurance or "GEsetzliche Krankenversicherung) voluntarily both by about a month. Because coming out of the NHS you have three month time to apply for continuing public health insurance in your own right as a voluntary member.  That is pretty bad because only in public insurance will the children indeed be co-insured for free as dependent family members.   Next problem would be costs - as a freelancer you need to be prepared to pay around 350 EUR per month to cover you and both children in public health insurance. Your partner, as long as he is not earning money, could have been insured for an extra 180+ EUR per month. So, for all of you around 500-550 EUR per month...hope you planned the budget for that?   But actually, because of the missed deadline, that is now a bit of an academic discussion because you can only now set up private health insurance. Which brings up the following problems: - extra payments for the children - no German private health insurance will want you or your partner as clients because of the uncertain income situation.    This is not a good situation and you definitely need professional advice ASAP before it gets worse...   Cheerio  
  3. QROPS transfers - low in costs and transparent

    that is indeed always a problem with schemes that depend on a certain group/cohort to function well. In effect, you are facing the following potential dangers right now: Short term: - in case of no-deal-Brexit, legal uncertainty for insurance products (including pension plans) domiciled in the Uk for people who are not resident there. More a problem for those already depending on regular pension payouts than those that will retire only in some years from now. But still - estimated severe currency volatility for the GBP after hard Brexit.    Mid-term: - currency devaluation could continue for the GBP. - more people bailing out from existing pensions could unbalance the remaining group of pension plans   Therefore a transfer should at least be contemplated and the necessary facts (numbers) collected so that one has a better understanding of the pros and cons financially for a transfer to a German pension plan or, in some cases, to a transfer to a solid and low-cost offshore pension plan.   Cheerio  
  4. AOK & AXA won't pay for the birth of our son.

    I would side with the others who have already recommended to get back with the hospital and explain the error about being privately insured.  Chances are pretty good that they'll waive the extra charges for "Chefarzt" and rather try to get the normal charges for a delivery paid by AOK instead of chasing after you.  I also don't think that AOK has a right to deny paying for the normal charges they'd have paid for anyway but they may well reject extra charges that are only covered by private health insurance. Should all this fail, you'll need to arrange an installment-plan with the hospital so that you can pay it off in 12 months or so.   Cheerio  
  5. Pension for German citizens outside of Germany

    @venzful Due to money laundering laws it won't be possible for you to start a Germany-based pension plan from afar. The pension assurances will insist on you having at least a postal address in Germany and a bank-account here. My recommendations would be either  (or both combined) of the following two: 1) start investing in a simple but well-diversified investment portfolio based on passive investment funds (like ETFs from Vanguard or more advanced passive investment funds from Dimensional Fund Advisors). You can use international platforms like Interactive Brokers for that so that you can continue with the investment if you move to another country. 2 ) start investing in an offshore pension plan based in an EU-memberstate (Malta for instance or Luxemburg). Avoid those plans that come with heavy commission costs but rather insist on plans that are offered without any commission costs for fee-based advice. Within these pension plans you can then also set up investments with passive investment funds.  I personally recommend to our clients TRIREME in Malta due to their totally transparent cost structure, fair pricing and excellent selection of passive investment funds.   Once you move to Germany you can then check if you like to put some of the accrued capital from your investments into German pension plans or simply enjoy the benefits/payouts from your investments/offshore pension plans.   It might make sense to work together with a properly licensed independent financial advisor on that, though.   Cheerio  
  6. Paternity Leave and Private Health Insurance

    ElJeffo is entirely correct:  the husband/family has to bear the full costs of the private health insurance during the Elterngeldzeit. In contrast to public health insurance, there is no cost-reduction in private health insurance during the receiving of Elterngeld. The only way out - which could make sense in general, especially now that the wife has finished studying and would face much higher charges for her public health insurance (based on 50% of the gross income of the husband max.) if and when the husband goes back to work and earns his normal income again - is indeed for the husband to organize with the employer a temporarily half-time reduction of the employment (or something like that) in order to become compulsorily insured in public health insurance. Because then both the wife and the child can be co-insured for free.    So, scenario 1 is as right now: - husbands pays full HanseMerkur premium - wife pays public health insurance at the lowest premium rate for people with no income (around 180 EUR per month) and will face even higher costs when husband gets back to working and earning full salary after Elterngeldzeit - child has to be insured either fully paying in public health insurance or in private health insurance with father   that means, roughly calculated based on the info about the HanseMerkur costs mentioned above, the family faces 900-1.000 EUR costs per month in health insurance which could even rise to around 1100-1200 EUR per month when husband goes back to work   Scenario 2- if husband aranges to become compulsorily insured in public health insurance thru part-time employment:   - husband pays contributions according to Elterngeld-income only (something like 300+400 EUR per month max. if I am not mistaken) - wife is co-insured for free - child is co-insured for free.   I know what I would do based on that comparison :-)   Cheerio  
  7. Early Retirement -Dual US German Citizen

      if in Germany: no, there is no time limit anymore since 2013 - the "Obligatorische Anschlussversicherung" steps in even after just a few weeks or days... but for safety reasons the employment should be not limited from the beginning (except probation time, of course). And yes, you could be self-employed, too, at the same time, as long as it is clear from the number of hours you spend on working that employment is your main occupation. So, you can't just do full-time self-employment and do a little 451 EUR per month job on the side to enter into public health insurance as a compulsory member. Don't make it overly complicated and don't try to play the system. Just get a real job before you are 55 and enjoy that you can enter the public health insurance system which is based on the idea that people pay in a lot of money when young to sustain the costs they create to the system when older, even though you never contributed to it all those decades before....    Just saying...   Cheerio  
  8. Early Retirement -Dual US German Citizen

      HI there - and sorry, I missed that with the German citizenship, my bad. Now, obviously, you do not need a VISA for employment...which is a terrific thing. But you need to pick up employment before you are 55 (any employment with a gross salary higher than 451 EUR and below 4.950 EUR per month in order to get into public health insurance as a compulsory member. Freelancers/contractors do in theory not belong into the German public system and working as a freelancer/selfemployed gives you no access to German public health insurance system. Only rightful employment does..before the age of 55.    Cheerio  
  9. Early Retirement -Dual US German Citizen

    @HanzZ : unless you yourself have at one point/last point when you were living in Germany been insured with a public health insurance (and can demonstrate proof of that), your chances of admittance to the public health insurance are basically nil at this point when you'll be moving over to Germany during the next years. Reason is that you can only enter as a voluntary member. Which is only possible if you come out directly from last 12 months of membership in a German public health insurance or the comparable state/national health insurance of another EU-memberstate. (there is also the clause that you can enter if you have been insured for at least 24 months total out of the last 5 years, but that does not apply to you, either).  And any attempt to join as a compulsory member of public health insurance thru employment in Germany fails after you turned 55 years old. Thus, unless you can move to Germany before turning 55 AND getting a VISA for employment AND getting employed with a gross salary below the legal threshold in order to join the public health insurance as a compulsory member, you can't get into public health insurance, I am afraid.   So, your options are the following: a ) move in two steps to Germany: first move for a year+ to another EU-memberstate where you'll become a member of their national health system. That could be Ireland, if you like an English language environment. But it could also be Austria, or the Netherlands or Czech Republic if you'd like to live in a border-state to Germany. Or, obviously, if you want to enjoy a totally different environment like an extended holiday you could move to Spain (including the Baleares islands) or Portugal. You need to find out how they'll accept you into their national health systems and then plan your stay there such that you have 12+ months of proven national health insurance in such a country under your belt when finally moving to Germany. Because it that case you can become a member of German public health insurance in your own right. b ) if option   a ) is not feasible for you,  you can only join a German private health insurance. The costs of which depend on your age and your medical situation/status. If you have some medical issues, chronically ailments or had some serious treatments in recent years (including, btw, psychotherapy), these private health insurances can get either quite expensive or you could even get rejected entirely because the insurance would consider you to be too much of a cost-risk. In which case you can only join the so-called BASIS health insurance plan that each private German health insurance must offer. Costs around 750-800 EUR per person and month and offers coverage that is even a bit less than the public health insurance it is supposed to mirror. Not really a good option.    Cheerio    
  10. German health insurance and UK company

      HI Fluxoman,   indeed, that is only wishful thinking, I am afraid. Just like with a German GmbH, the owner/director cannot claim to share costs like a normal employee. You'll always be considered like any other self-employed. Hence you have to pay the full health insurance premiums/contributions all by yourself (and of course seek tax relief for them in your tax returns). The only option where your income does not count as a yardstick for calculation of the health insurance premiums is private health insurance (which in Germany acts as a substitute for public health insurance). But there can be many other good reasons why this is not really a feasible option for you, like if you have several dependent family members (spouse plus children) that need to be insured, too. Or if you have medical issues, chronical medical conditions etc that would make entering into a private health insurance either too expensive or even impossible.    You might want to have an expert - an insurance broker or an insurance consultant - check out your options so that you can see the pros and cons and make an educated decision. several such experts are advertising here on Toytown, take your pick!   Cheerio   PS: one thing, though, you can enjoy as owner/director of a company under German law is participating in a company pension scheme with tax benefits. But that would only work if the Ltd. is being taxed in Germany, of course.  
  11. A liability insurance always only covers the depreciated value of a damage, be that to a car or to something else. Therefore the info is correct and you'll need to wait for the insurance to settle. Theoretically, you can then ask the person who caused the accident to settle the full amount...but that is a lengthy and rather complex and expensive process not to be recommended for such a little damage amount in comparison...   Cheerio  
  12. Freiberufler - disguised employment from Expetica source

    you can still be under threat to be considered "Scheinselbständig" (which would cause more problems to your "employer" than to you) or, more likely, to be considered an "Arbeitnehmer-ähnlicher Selbstständiger" which would mean that you are liable to pay into public pension from all gross incomes you generate.   However, if and when you start to be self-employed in Germany for the first time, you can file for a receive a 3-year exemption from the Bundesrentenanstalt. Usually a tax advisor like Thomas Zitzelsberger from Expattax (advertises here on Toytown) can organize that for you for a decent fee...   Cheerio  
  13. Work as freelancer in Germany and invoice a US company

    if you'd check out her profile, you'd find out that Monican was last active/present on Toytown in November 2015... :-) Don't raise your hopes too high to get an answer...   Cheerio  
  14. Tax deductions for pension and health insurance

      That's what I thought. And I bet you put in the full monthly premiums that you pay for your private health insurance as VErsorgungsaufwendungen, right ? But not all of your monthly contributions can be deducted - it is usually only a percentage of the monthly premium (like 70-90%, depending on the health insurance plan's benefits). Basically, only THAT part of your coverage which is equal to public health insurance coverage is fully deductible, the rest of the coverage which exceeds public coverage is "luxury" and not tax deductible. You can get, in order to check that everything is done correctly, the exact number of what is tax deductible in your current health insurance plan from your health insurance company. Also, if you received some "no-claims-benefits" (Beitragsrückerstattungen), they will have been deducted from the total premiums and thus lower the amount you can deduct for taxation.    Cheerio  
  15. Payments from UK pensions in danger because of hard BREXIT

      Excellent news... for you at least :-)   Cheerio