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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. Voluntary PRSI contributions in Ireland

    very interesting, thank you for all your efforts in this !   Cheerio  
  2. 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  
  3. 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  
  4. 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.    
  5. 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  
  6. 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  
  7. 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  
  8. 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  
  9. 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  
  10. 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  
  11. calling @PandaMunich ...   Cheerio
  12. Additional dental insurance

    any ongoing periodontal disease will usually lead to a rejection of an application  by private health insurance companies, sorry... too late for that now.   Cheerio  
  13. if you go back to public health insurance - which can be a viable option indeed - just make sure you'll turn your existing private health insurance into an "Anwartschaft" in the process of giving notice. That way and for a small monthly fee only you can get back into private health insurance without additional health check-ups or additional health-risk-costs at a later point in time in case you'll find out that private health insurance is actually the better choice. Especially for the children, I would also advise looking into the questions whether any orthodontic treatments could be coming up in the next years as the public health insurance offers only scant to no coverage for that and you'd be needing to fork out some serious money if you don't have private coverage for that.   Cheerio  
  14. So, it seems that around 389k US-nationals around the world have received some unpleasant letters from the IRS that their US passport might become revoked due to tax debts.   Read more about this here: Since we are specialized in offering financial/investment advice to US Expats who live in Germany, we do also have an excellent network of tax advisors who are specialized in assisting such clients with their US-taxation issues. Happy to help if you want... :-)   Cheerio  
  15. Pension for self employed

    You are lucky that they consider you NOT to be a teacher but rather a consultant. There is a lot of definition-grey-zone in these areas and some people are then caught on the wrong side of it and have to pay into the pension like teachers and others don't Count yourself truly blessed by this... and still don't forget to build up your own adequate provisions for pensions/retirement, right ?   Cheerio