Starshollow

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Posts posted by Starshollow


  1. On 18.5.2021, 20:11:09, BernieBernie said:

    you guys rock!
     

    What about Rürup and Riester wrapped around ETFs?

     

    😅

     

    RÜRUP is well possible for US-nationals living in Germany because during duration you can't remove capital out of it...which is one of the requirements accoding to the German-US-agreement.  RIESTER is a different matter entirely, because there you can - albeit with penalties - retrieve your capital during duration/before pension-age. The jury is still out if this is sufficient and US-De agreements to make it free of tax-reporting requirements in the US.
    Therefore the priority ranking of recommendation for US-Expats in Germany is
    - bAV/company pension (provided you are an employee

    - RÜRUP pension for all others.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  2. Since I have been asked this: thru an error and without our knowledge our add here in the Finance Forum, running since 2006 at this place, was moved to the Business Forum.

    Now we are back where we belong :-)
    And yes, we are still fully active, our advisors (as the recent recommendation above shows) are still assisting Expats allover Germany in finding the best insurances for their needs, setting up tax-saving pension plans and also, if requested, offering suitable investment advice.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  3. Hi Ivo, I tried to contact you but somehow that went awry, it seems. If you PM me or send me a direct email, we can arrange for a chat on tomorrow, Thursday, late afternoon ?

    Cheerio

     

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  4. HI Emmbee, sorry to hear that...I'll check back with Paul right away. Mid- to end of September is always a very busy time in our line of business because many insurances can only be changed/switched in the new year if you give notice before the end of September. This leads to a massive short-term increase in inquiries as you can imagine. And then we sometimes need to line the clients up in order of priority/necessity and not in order of arrival. But you should have received a feedback/info nevertheless.

     

    Talk soon, Cheerio

     

     

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  5. 9 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

    Sorry to disagree, but the 3 year exemption @Starshollow alludes to is only possible for "Selbständige mit einem Auftraggeber" (= self-employed with only one client) which is the description of people who fall under §2 Nr. 9 SGB VI: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/sgb_6/__2.html

    These are people who don't fall under no. 1 to 8 and who have at least 5/6 of their turnover from one client: 

    You, on the other hand, are a teacher and therefore fall under §2 Nr. 1 SGB VI: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/sgb_6/__2.html

    There is no way out for you, sorry, except hiring an employee of your own (who needs to help you in your teaching activity, mind you! A cleaner or nanny won't count) at over 450€ gross a month, for whom you would then have to pay social security contributions in turn.

     


    I stand corrected, dear PandaMunich. You are right... sorry for that mistake.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  6. 1. hire someone who receives a salary from you in excess of 451 EUR per month (Sozialversicherungspflichtiges Beschäftigungsverhältnis). Do that and you are home free, no requirement to contribute to public pension

    2. you could also claim a deferral of the requirement for the first three years of being self-employed in Germany. However, that means you are on radar and they will get to you definitely after 3 years.

     

    Staying in NI does not help you, because legally with what you wrote in the other thread, you are fully main resident of Germany and German rules and regulations apply to you.

    NI-contributions do not free you of your Germany-based requirements and regulations.

     

    Cheerio

     

    3

  7. 23 hours ago, lunaCH said:

    If I take out a policy on my own, they'll not know about it, so they won't have a say. They will realise at some point when the old policy is cancelled that something is going on I guess and may then start something up. Either way it's going to be interesting. I'll have to report back here in time. B)

     

    As said above: I would be very surprised if the insurance company will accept your cancellation because only the combined/joint owners can do this.

    The other idea of yours, to set up your own insurance on the side - which I can fully understand if you find the existing insurance lacking in coverage in important parts, which unfortunately often is the case - would also not hold in case of a damage claim later because you can not have two insurance side by side to cover the same risk. That would be considered "überversichert" in Germany and the newer insurance would then simply step back and tell you that the older insurance is the valid one and needs to settle the claim.

    I am not sure if the rather complex German insurance laws allow any loopholes for such a case like yours' . Therefore I would suggest that you either contact the nearest "Verbraucherzentrale" who might be able for relatively small fees to analyze this for you and find a way. Or you hire a "Versicherungsberater", purely fee-based insurance advisors. There are some very experienced ones who have in parts similar rights like "power of attorney" and can assist you and perchance also find ways and means to solve this conundrum you find yourself in.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  8. I must admit that I have not come across a situation yet personally where it is just two owner/landlord sharing such building insurance and not several. Hence I am not 100% sure on this. But when applying the normal logic of insurance laws in Germany, you can't cancel the insurance by yourself, neither in parts nor in full. It would require the signatures of all owners of the building that is insured (or, if there is a Hausverwaltung as a designated representative, which you said is not the case here).

    That does make sense because if just one would be allowed to cancel, the other insured party might become uninsured without their knowledge. Or be forced into something new that - for whatever reasons - would not like to consent to.

     

    Therefore your best course of action is to get one or several quotes for alternative insurances in (and make sure you aren't comparing apples with plums, i.e. that coverage and quality of the insurance match the "old one" for sure) and pass them on to the other landlord. If what you have is better, you guys can decide to switch. With building insurances, it is usually 3 months' notice time before the next renewal (usually not per end of the year but within the year). And more often than not its a 3-year contract anyway. Therefore you'll need to check first at what point you can switch the insurance jointly in the future if you have a truly better comparative offer at hand.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  9. The problem is here, that the Gebäudeversicherung is always for the full building. So you can't partially cancel and then partially set-up something else.

    You will need to convince the other owner that there is a better solution out there. If it offers better coverage for same price or a lower price for the same coverage, that should not be too hard. But just by yourself is not possible, I am afraid.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  10. 4 hours ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

    I took two mortgages spread over 4 apartments in 2008 with interest fixed for 15 years at about 5.4%. Back then it seemed like a good idea to lock such a low interest rate.

     

    I renegotiated them at the start of 2019 while no longer resident in Germany. Interest is now less than 2% although I've ramped Tilgung up to 7% so I'm actually paying more monthly.

     

    As the property values have more than doubled I enquired about increasing the mortgage, and also offered one of the mortgage companies to take on the other mortgage. None of this was possible as I wasn't German resident. But I was easily able to renegotiate the interest, and there was no suggestion of terminating my mortgage.

     

    BTW The interest renegotiation went like this:

     

    Me: Mortgage number xyz

    Bank: What can we do for you?

    Me: I'm paying too much interest

    Bank: Talked for next 5 minutes making me an offer I couldn't refuse. 

     

    I never expected the conversation to so easily and should have had it years previously. And it went exactly the same with both banks

     and what a great real estate deal you made...! Where have you moved to, dear Axemurder ?

     

    Cheerio

     

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  11. 12 minutes ago, cb6dba said:

    Wow, congrats Starshollow..

    Thanks... I grew up there (even though I now live since 2004 in the neighbour town of Schäftlarn) and it is great to be back in politics again.

    Another good article (in German) is this one here: https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/landkreismuenchen/kommunalwahl-in-baierbrunn-patrick-ott-1.4862706

     

    But, as said above, after a short while of radio silence on my behalf, I'll be back giving regular info and advice here on Toytown. And will soon start an additional info-website/blogg for Expats in Germany on all financial and insurance topics with tons of free advice. Probably starting late in September, watch out then for info from me when the new blogg starts.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  12. @lunaCH well, as said/explained above, that article from Advocard (= Anwalts Liebling :-), what great advertising that was way back when ) is not incorrect in itself. Because not having health insurance is not (yet) punishable by law. Only issue are back-charges which can cause hefty financial concerns when needing to face them (which could come out if one without health insurance falls seriously ill or has an accident and required expensive medical care without having a health insurance for coverage/payments).

     

    Not having the Pflegepflichtversicherung (PVN) , though, is an Ordnungswidrigkeit, i.e. punishable by law with fines. I have seen Expats threatened with extradiction/termination of residence permits if they were found out to be without a PVN. And getting fined, too.

     

    And since you won't get a PVN without first setting up a German public or private health insurance, not having such a health insurance then gets you fined in the end, even though the fine won't be about not having the health insurance but not having the PVN.

     

    Is all I am saying.... :-)

     

    Cheerio

     

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  13. Hmmm... a private health insurance company should be able to continue his coverage abroad, as long as it is still within the EU. We usually face rather the opposite dilemma that a German private health insurance company won't cancel the existing contract unless we or the client prove that he switched into the national/state health system of another EU-member state.

     

    Having said that: AFAIK it is imperative in Sweden to be part of the national health system. So, if he is a fully resident there, he would IMO have to join the Swedish national health insurance system...and in that case indeed the German private health insurance would have to end.

    In all such cases: if there is even a small likelihood that one might be coming back to Germany, make sure you ask for and then set up a so-called "Anwartschaft". For a small monthly fee you'll lock in your current medical status and then, when you come back even with a new chronical or ongoing illness, you'll be accepted back with full coverage whereas otherwise you might find it rather hard or even impossible to be re-admitted as new client due to the new medical issues .

     

    Cheerio

     

    2

  14. On 4.8.2020, 08:21:37, jeba said:

    He recently was elected mayor of his town. Maybe that will keep him busy enough and may explain why he seems to have less time for TT? So I´d rather contact him via his own website rather than via TT.

     That is very true..though I will continue to offer free and unbiased advice here on Toytown. Just so the first 2 months in office did not allow for much spare time to do that, since the pandemic crisis required my attention full scale.

    But, as can be seen above, our team of advisors (including the director, my wife, Nora Ott) is still going strong and @Paul@CRCIE is our in-house mortgage expert and can certainly assist you there very well.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  15. Paul already answered this correctly (little wonder, he works at a great advisory company :-) )

    There are only three kind of pension plans that bear any tax subsidies in Germany:

    For employees only: bAV (company pension schemes). Read more about them here: https://www.crcie.com/financial-advice/foremployees/bav-company-pension-schemes/

    For employees, public servants and people (even self-employed) married to employees or public servants: RIESTER pension plans: https://www.crcie.com/financial-advice/foremployees/riester/

    For everyone (but predominantly high-earning employees and self-employed): RÜRUP pension plans https://www.crcie.com/financial-advice/self-employed/ruerup-basis/

     

    Germany won't recognize any foreign pension plans for tax subsidies in general. At least in my long-time experience tat is so... ( I have read now and then that some contributions to British or US-American pension schemes ought to be tax-deductible, but that is probably only ever the case (if true at all) in special cases like secondment or such, me thinks).

    Cheerio

     

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  16. ht legal side of this is: you are beholden to take care of incoming mail if you are longer away from home than 14 days or so. I.e., if post accumulated and you did not receive it, it is legally your problem and not theirs. Don't get me wrong: I am not judging you or anything, just describing the legal situation as is.

     

    IMO if you explain this to the original invoice issuer and ask for understanding, you stand a good chance to get this waived at least in major parts. Of course the collecting company/agency has accrued some real costs for issuing the letters to you and what not and they might demand that at least some of the factual costs are met. Which, I think, would be a fair offer still.

     

    But if they'll insist on you paying in full, you have no legal ground to dispute this, I am afraid.

     

    When in doubt, btw., try to contact the nearest "Verbraucherzentrale" (you should be able to Google which one is closest to you), they might be able to help you with this and even know some legal loopholes that can be used on your behalf

     

    Cheerio

     

    1

  17. if you move to another EU-member-state you can just freeze the RIESTER-plan. If keeping the capital there is a good deal or not depends of course on what kind of plan you have with what initial and ongoing costs. It might make sense to pay some extra fees and switch it to a different kind of RIESTER plan with better investment options for the long term.

    The good news is that when waiting for this investment to grow, you'll get the payout later based on the full "Zulage" (direct subsidy) and all because other EU-member-state are to be considered like if staying in Germany.

    If you move outside of the EU, though, it will become a different ball-game altogether. Because if you move outside the EU, you basically have to repay the ZUlage AND the tax advantages received at once (meaning this will be deducted from your accrued capital in the plan). Without that and due to the initial costs for the plans (commissions and all) it will then most certainly be a loss. But you can simply claim a deferral of the liquidation of the RIESTER plan by stating a (vague) intent to return back to Germany later in retirement.
    That way the capital remains in the plan in full and continues to grow. And that means there are profits from your net investment as well as from the capital come out of the tax savings and the subsidy/Zulage. This will act like a profit leverage on your net-investment and can be significant over time... depending, as said above, what ongoing costs your plan has.

     

    There are advisors here in Germany who can assist you with this in a transparent, fee-based consulting. Might be worth paying some fees to get clarification and perchance protect some good future profits in this plan for you.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  18. On 15.7.2020, 13:12:26, marcinv said:

    I tried to get some answers by reading through the internet but I couldn't find a case similar to mine. 

    Here's my case. I moved to Germany a couple months ago, I started unemployed but I wanted to have a health insurance in case I have to go to a doctor. I went to a Krankenkasse, registered with them, their agent told me that in order to be insured I have to provide a E-104 form from my country to prove I was insured before moving to Germany. I looked it up while sitting there and it turned out that only Krankenkasse can request for this form, I provided my agent with this information and he told me in that case they will request for this form themselves and will let me know. Time passed, I reached out to them again, they told me there's no response from my country and they will try again. In the end nothing happened for two months, I didn't get any insurance confirmation, a card, nothing. Only after I started to work I received insurance confirmation (starting the day my job started). After a month I was charged several hundred euro for those two months when I was in fact not insured and I couldn't go to the doctor, I suppose if something happened to me in this period, I would have to pay for treatment myself. Is it right that they charged me? In the end they failed to provide me with insurance for those two months and yet charged for them. I'm not even sure if they ever received this E-104 form.

    sadly enough, legally what happened to you is correct per se. Sorry. Of course the Krankenkasse should have speeded up the process of getting you set up right away when you wanted them to, but since you technically/legally "belong" into their coverage system all along, the back-charges are warranted.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  19.  
     
     
    1
    On 30.7.2020, 06:44:47, lunaCH said:

    You don't need to do any of those things to de-register at the town hall. :rolleyes:

     

    And again, not having health insurance is not illegal in Germany. Problematic, of course, I fully agree, but illegal - which is something totally different . it most certainly is not

    This statement is only partially true, I am afraid.  Yes, while it is compulsory to have health insurance in Germany since 2009, there is no direct fine or anything if you are found without one. though you can face serious back-charges in such case.
    However, what is illegal and an Ordnungswidrigkeit that can lead to fines and even deportation is the lack of the equally compulsory Pflegepflichtversicherung (long-term nursing care insurance). Which you can only get in direct combination with either a German public health insurance or a German private health insurance policy. They are not being offered as a stand-alone solution (trust me, I tried for oh so many years to help people who are insured quite well with international health insurances).

    Therefore and thru this back-door, not having a compliant health insurance is illegal in the end because you won't have the required Pflegepflichtversicherung, either.

     

    Cheerio

     

     

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  20. On 23.4.2020, 08:29:39, ElaineM said:

    Because he is insured by a private insurance for a LONG TIME already thus he rejected his application :(  I wonder if there is a law regarding this?

     

    yes. there is such law...and it makes actually a lot of sense, both socially and financially speaking.  Said law clearly states that if you opted out from the German social system (i.e. out of public health insurance) you can't just decide to get into it again when it suits you better.  That is particularly right if you have been with private health insurance for a long time.

    The rationale behind it is simple: the public health insurance system is based on income. Because it offers really good health insurance for all kind of people, those with low and those with high income, those with major medical conditions or even disablement etc.  Consequently, it is more expensive regarding the monthly contributions for people with higher incomes. Which makes it attractive for those who can (self-employed and employees with a gross income in excess of certain levels) to take private health insurance instead. Because private health insurance - when you are young and healthy when entering it - can be significantly lower in monthly costs in comparison.
    Moving to private health insurance means, however, that you are leaving (!) the public health insurance for good. And because your decision means that you won't pay into the public pot, you can't later just reverse this decision, it would create otherwise a massive Free-rider-problem in public health insurances.
    While up to the age of 55 there are some ways to get back into public health insurance thru employment, there is no such way back into public system after that age-threshold.

    Therefore it is correct that your husband cannot go into public insurance now anymore and that also means - from what John wrote above about your situation - that you can't, either for lack of sufficient prior public health insurance in Germany or another EU-memberstate.

     

    Cheerio

     

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  21. On 16.4.2020, 16:46:56, Fritsen said:

     

    Does this apply to ALC? It's been accepted by the ABH my last two visits, but I have a new appointment in mid-August. I just want to double check that it's still acceptable.


    That will very much depend on your ABH. It is not accepted - and IMO correctly so - by many ABH across Germany, especially for those where the perspective of a stay in Germany is undefined or theoretically unlimited.

    Cheerio

     

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  22. Quote

    However, TK told me that he would have to basically completely give up his business to be placed on my family plan


    this info is correct.  If he did not/needed not register his business formally at the city hall somehow, he'll probably need to declare the termination of his business in writing, shut down all websites, advertising and what not for good.

     

    Cheerio

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