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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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33,269 profile views
  1. Tax / pension relief for freelancers due to coronavirus?

    there are a couple of things open to you: a) you can claim a tax deferral. There are online forms available for this. You can claim this deferal both for income tax as well as local business tax (Gewerbesteuer, but you are probably not liable for that anyway) b ) not sure if this also applies to public pension contributions, but check with the Bundesrentenanstalt directly for that. c) there are also offers from both the Federal governement and the states (I know for Berlin for sure) to get direct funds up to 5.000 EUR or so to keep you afloat.  Check if you can find this yourself, if not, let me know and I'll post something here on Toytown for everyone.   Cheerio  
  2. New restrictions for US citizens getting mortgages?

    I am checking with our mortgage expert (who is currently in lockdown in Spain... ) but I have not heard anything. But as was said above, it is definitely not the German government doing anything here on the law-side of things but rather the SEC or  IRS in the US coming up with some new regulation that makes it for German banks simply too complicated or risky financially to lend out to US-nationals. If that is the case at all... will know more soon, but will take some time.   Cheerio  
  3. IFA reccomendation

    Hi Spider - these are UK pension pots you are talking about, right? Are they defined benefit schemes (DB) or defined contribution schemes (DC). Only in case of DB schemes with a value of >30k GBP is it required to involve a UK-based IFA for a so-called APTA (appropriate pension transfer analysis), something that was implemented to make the life of the typical scammers who have created so much hazards and losses for people with decent pension pots in recent years a bit harder. (you know what kind of "advisors" I am talking about, of course, as a long-time Toytowner).   If you need someone for an APTA, let me know. We do a large number of such transfers for our clients and have the right partners in UK for that kind of additional needs, too.   Cheerio  
  4. Stock market investing in Germany for dummies

    timing of the markets is something that most of the times for most of the people does not work. Therefore time IN the markets is so much more important. While a little bit of fun and speculation can be a nice thing, please make sure that you have an overall balanced and fitting-to-you-personally set up an investment strategy for the long run. Where buy-and-hold is the main parameter to follow for good success. Cheerio  
  5. Warnig: Cold-Calls from 07554-63729

    For once I was actually at the receiving end of a cold-call... This guy called several times and eventually, I thought it could be a business partner of ours. thus I took the call and a script-trained talking monkey started to try to sell me some triple-A-rated business opportunity. When I told him that this was an illegal cold-call, he got very aggressive and offensive. After I told him to go to hell and hung up, he tried to call several times again, probably in a vain attempt to have the last word. What a (fill in an expression of your own fitting to the case/person :-) )   Anyway, fair warning for everyone out there: don't accept these calls. They are illegal cold-calling and you should never deal with someone who has to use such means to approach you. Violating such simple consumer protection laws in Germany is a bad calling-card if there ever was any.   Cheerio  
  6. Voluntary PRSI contributions in Ireland

    very interesting, thank you for all your efforts in this !   Cheerio  
  7. Hi there - this is important info, albeit a bit late for this particular fella after  3+ years, I am afraid. But since you are a professional in this field: a) welcome b ) perhaps support Toytown by advertising? c ) perhaps write a WIKI here on Toytown about this topic to help informing and educating Expats who are looking for such info?   I am active here since 2006 and it is a great place to assist Expats and make a name for yourself by offering free and worthwhile information and content to those looking for such info..   Cheerio  
  8. Pension refund Germany

    HI Theo, great that you want to help...but the questions you answer to are 5-6 years old (2014) and long since dealt with some way or other... :-)   Cheerio  
  9. US Citizen residing in Germany. Where to invest?

    Yep, fully understand. But a wider and more diversified approach is to look at the market capitalisation of the world stock markets and spread your investments via ETFs accordingly. No surprise: you'll still have a major share of investments into US stock markets as you can see from my picture below...but you'll also participate in the other markets and become less dependent on how the US stockmarkets react.   In the last couple of years, of course, a US-stocks bias worked well enough, but it is a totally random thing as to which  area of the world is doing best and the opposite, hence market-chasing is as senseless as is market-timing in my professional opinion. Having said that: Warren Buffet obviously is from another planet or star-system with his long track record of picking excellent value-stocks and stick with them.    
  10. US Citizen residing in Germany. Where to invest?

      HI Jeba, it is a relatively new development that most US banks/platforms do not allow residents of Germany/the EU anymore to invest directly into US-domiciled funds. In September Charles Schwab informed all their clients in Germany that they will not be allowed anymore to invest in new funds, not even re-investing dividends etc. Reason is that the fact-sheets for investment funds in the US differ in some parts from the fact sheets that the EU has made obligatory for funds sold within the EU. Since it is too much trouble to put in those extra data (it is mostly about forecasting performance), US investment funds won't go thru with this and rather not sell anymore. Only way around is if there is a financial advisor in between as "discretionary manager" because then for the US fund industry the client is a professional and not the end-consumer. This is what we are working on right now. We have a good solution for investment capital >250k EUR and shall soon and finally have solutions in place for lower lump-sums as well as investment plans. Only downside - clients will be able to choose only from 7 different portfolios (differing in the balance between stocks and bonds) and have no say in choosing their own funds. There are some offers on the market from third parties with very complex investment products that claim to offer similar investment chances, but they rely heavily on commissions and I have serious doubts about them. I am also currently negotiating with a German pension insurance company to set up their normal pension plans as commission-free and with a portfolio of US-domiciled ETFs. And, of course, you can always you Berkshire Hathaway stocks...not a bad idea in general, but not a really world-wide diversification and then you still need to find US-domiciled bonds to go with that.   Cheerio  
  11. Generali Vision can't charge when cancelling early

    usually, if someone gets close to actually taking this to court, they settle (with a non-disclosure-agreement as part of the settlement). You just need to make a very convincing case and be persistent. It is usually the company that sold it to you that settles it and not Generali, though.   Cheerio  
  12. Krankenversicherung for Schüler over 18

    with his rate of "Freiwillige Versicherung" he is already at the bottom of the price range for public health insurance, regardless whether he is a child living with the parent (and correctly denied the status of dependent family member, I am afraid) or as an adult all by himself. The only lower rate available than what you have been paying is if he inlists as a student at a German university.   Cheerio  
  13. Pflegeversicherung back payments

    correct... it happens too often, I am afraid, that the people working in these positions are not trained properly in the legal fine-prints of the complex German system.   Cheerio  
  14. Working in Germany for a foreign company

    it is much, much more. Main yardsticks is whether you are the boss of your own time management or not, whether you HAVE to work at a given location/office, how your work is controlled by the contract-partner and many things more. And even if you are not considered "Scheinselbstständig", be aware that you might be considered as a "arbeitnehmerähnlicher Selbstständiger" which would mean that you are liable to pay the full contribution into the public pension system. Always make sure you have this issue clarified by an expert (usually tax advisors), otherwise you might face some nasty surprises down the road.   Cheerio  
  15. Equity Release Scheme

    Yes, that would be it ---but there are no banks offering that in Germany. There are 1-2 "foundations" which will kinda purchase your house, offer you life-long living rights plus some ongoing pension payments, but it is all rather complicated and not even close to what is being offered in other countries to this regards. Cheerio