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Posts posted by jauburn

  1. What are you paying these days for a meal at your favorite restaurant(s)? 


    Thought it would be interesting to get a sampling of prices in different places around Germany.


  2. 6 hours ago, karin_brenig said:


    This is absolutely CRUCIAL to your re-entry into "gesetzliche Krankenversicherung" when you are over 55. 

    I was in the same position upon my return from the US (after only 13 years there). Over 55, taking on a new job, and former member of DAK - they took us back into DAK. 


    Being over 55 means you won't get into GKV even if your job pays less than whatever threshold there is currently for public insurance - unless you've been a member of public insurance in Germany before (no matter how long ago).


    The GKV that you were a member of 30 years ago will have to take you back in (which is really highly recommended). If you think it was Barmer, talk to them first. 


    Have to admit I'm quite confused at this point. It would seem from the poster above that I am uninsurable in the public system because I meet two conditions: (1) over 55 and (2) not insured in an EU state within the past 2 years. I would also not meet the income threshold for private insurance, so that would seem to leave me with no option but to stay here! I can do that, but how odd.


    I was never privately insured in Germany (was always told about the restrictions on getting into the public system if I opted for private). I checked on this last night, and indeed I was with Barmer for at least 5 years from 1987-1992. You're saying they would be required to let me return, and the other poster seems to be saying they would not take me.


  3. 2 hours ago, engelchen said:


    Eligibility for public health insurance is set out in SGB V (see §6 Nr. 3a for further info) and your employer can't do anything about it. You need to speak with an insurance broker specialised in foreigners. 



    That links appears to be broken: 

    Not Found

    The requested URL was not found on this server.


    Got it: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/sgb_5/__6.html


  4. 1 hour ago, engelchen said:


    You wouldn't be eligible for public health insurance in Germany since you are over 55 unless you've had public health insurance in the EU for a minimum of 24 months within the last 5 years.



    Although your insurance might be willing to cover you here, it wouldn't meet the minimum requirements in order to meet the mandatory health insurance requirements.  Without sufficient health insurance you are not eligible for a residence permit.


    Contact @Starshollow for a quote for private health insurance. 


    Well, this is a new wrinkle I had not anticipated. I will talk to the employer about it. Hmm, if I had to go private, that might be another point in the minus column about whether to come back at all.




  5. 10 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

    Newspaper and phone calls it was then.



    I remember those days well (few do now, it seems). I have particular memories of standing outside those yellow German phone booths on campus. It seems there was frequently a line waiting to use the phone. :)


    When I made overseas calls in those things, the phone ate my 5 DM pieces like candy.


  6. 7 minutes ago, lunasuenos said:

    At your age make sure you price in your heath insurance cost as it will not be cheap. If you had public insurance the last time you lived here you might be able to come back in but i would verify that in advance. If not its would be private which for age will be expensive. Just a fyi


    Thank you. I'd have a normal job, so insurance would be part of the deal. I would also be newly retired from the U.S. govt. and could, if I wanted, just keep the FEHB (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), which I understand can be used overseas. I doubt I'd need to do that, though, although I'd probably keep a basic policy anyway, since the govt. pays most of it and it might be used to go "privat" if I wanted to, selectively. Not sure. 


    Last time I was in Germany, I had either Barmer or AOK. I think it was Barmer. I also have 5 full years in the German social security system, if that means anything. (I was an English teacher in several German universities and ultimately a German high school in Berlin.)


  7. 13 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

    well - our case is special, so maybe not an option for OP? But something similar might work temporarily: my husband and I moved into the basement at my parents' house until we found something for ourselves. Do you still have family/friends in your target area? If so, maybe somebody there has a (liveable) basement?


    Other than that - a lot of good options have been listed already: AirBnB, Ferienwohnung, furnished business apartments. 


    Thank you. Yesterday I was remembering how I found a place the last two times I went to Germany (every time is different, it seems). The first time the Uni Mainz put me up in a student dorm. Smallest place I ever lived. Was memorable for that reason, though. I could get out of the bed, take one step, and be at my desk. Another full step, and I reached the closet. I suppose it took two steps to reach the door. :)


    The second time the Fulbright Commission brought me over there, and again I lived in student housing at first, but like you, I had a German partner at that time, and from that point on, we stayed at her parents' place and then got our own.


    Now I'll be alone. Will be new in that respect.


  8. 1 hour ago, klingklang77 said:

    Isn’t the job offering you something? 


    They might be, but I'm not sure. The final discussion is next week. The manager sent me a bunch of links to WG, but it didn't seem there was much available from those links. So I assume I'll really just need to get there and look around.


    I'm not poor at this stage of my life, but I am single, so I really don't need much space.


    Thanks, everyone, by the way, for your responses. Very nice of you.


  9. 46 minutes ago, MisterDell said:

    Hello Jauburn,


    Because you're from an English-Speaking country, I would recommend Frankfurt. It's an international city and you can get along with life without German skills at the beginning although my recommendation would be to take the opportunity to learn German. 


    I don't know what field you're in, but there are plenty of English speaking jobs here. 


    Best of luck!


    Danke. Ich kann immer noch Deutsch sprechen. Should have made this clear. This would actually be a return to Germany after 30+ years away. I'd probably be in/around Erlangen, although I may live in Regensburg if the work will allow it.


  10. 4 hours ago, klingklang77 said:



    Well, I saw upthread it wouldn’t be a catastrophe since you said you can retire. Some VHSes are hard to get into a nice teaching setup and some are easy. I got a lot of work in Frankfurt VHS and not so much in Munich, but I also had different circumstances. You can also do Lehraufträge since you said that about retirement. You just need to organise a freelance visa, but that’s a pain with health insurance and taxes. 


    And you’re right, they all sued and now it has made things very difficult for others in academia. You can google Lehraufträge and Hartz 4 and you will see it is a problem. They can’t get contracts. The government doesn’t know what to do with these people. 


    I don’t have the blue card. I have the Daueraufenhalts-EU (I’m not really sure what the difference is). Thank God I got that because I separated from my exH right when my contract ended. It was an absolute nightmare. 


    But I have recently secured a contract with a private Hochschule. Not 100%, but it will go up next year. That’s unbefristet. 


    One more thing to consider: which city? Munich is so expensive for rent. 





    Thank you for the response. Oh, yes, I've heard about Munich's challenging Mietsituation. I doubt I would consider anything in Munich for that reason alone.


    I'd be in Oberfranken for the IT position, Greifswald for the Uni job.


    Lehraufträge may indeed be a Plan C. Thankfully health insurance wouldn't be an issue for me. Taxes, of course, would be no fun, but that's primarily because I'd be in Germany and therefore taxed at a much higher rate than I am now. That's one thing I'd have to make my peace with no matter which option I select.


  11. 11 minutes ago, klingklang77 said:

    Some things to consider with a two-year contract, is that there is usually a time limit you have to wait to get another befristet contract. In Bavaria, it used to be a three-year wait, now you can never get another two-year contract! The only contract you are eligible for is a permanent contract (good luck with that!). This is for public universities. Sometimes they work out new befristet contracts with a “Projekt” and then it is acceptable. 


    Private universities are different. 


    You can also move states and there is no limit or go for a federal job. 


    This isn’t something to be taken lightly. You can get Arbeitslosengeld 1 for about a year after the contract ends and hope and pray you find something in that time. Also it depends on your visa status (I have unbefristet). If you have unbefristet status, you can then go the freelance route teaching and on ALG 2 (this is not fun). 


    Academia is extremely competitive for jobs. Think about what you will do when that contract of two years runs out and which state it is. 


    Interesting and excellent points. Thank you. Sounds like they're really doing everything possible to limit the chance that these contracts could be deemed Kettenverträge. In my younger years I worked at a German university in which all of the lecturers had sued to keep their positions and won based on the notion that their renewed contracts were essentially Kettenverträge and therefore could not be terminated.


    Sounds like the safe course may be to accept the IT job, get a blue card, and apply for a permanent residence permit once I met the time and German language requirements. Then I could teach, assuming I still wanted to and could find something (although, heck, VHS may be good enough for me at that point).


  12. 9 minutes ago, HH_Sailor said:

    Doesn't matter how much money is involved,

    if you can't get out of bed in the morning due to expecting another boring day,

    then you've picked the wrong job.


    Speaking as a well paid project manager in IT who now delivers yachts across oceans...




    I hear you.


  13. 28 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

    If you think that IT is boring per default, then go for university, although it’s hard to get a permanent job in the academic world.  I work in IT myself for more than 25 years and don’t regret it. I did implementations in more than 20 countries and saw a lot of this world.  My professor back then offered me to do a Ph.D, but I didn’t want to go the academic route.  It also depends on which life stage you’re in: e.g. mid-20s or early 40s with wife and kids.


    Good points. I'm actually in the "last" life stage (career stage, anyway), so having nothing after a 2-year stint would not be a catastrophe, as I could just retire. No ties so far as wife and kids are concerned. Added bonus of the IT direction would be the option to get permanent residency if I decide to stay on because the salary is over the income threshold for blue card.


  14. Crazy decision I have to make. Both an IT company and a university want me to work there. One, of course, is IT (boring), while the other is education (teaching/interesting). The IT job is unlimited in duration (in theory); the teaching job is a hard stop after 2 years. Money is roughly equal, with a slight advantage to the IT job. 


    Sometimes it's a curse to be skilled in multiple areas.


    So the question: What factors would you weigh most heavily in making such a call? Stability? Location? What the heart wants?


    Assuming I can't find anything after the teaching gig, I'd be looking at potentially needing to return to my home country. Not the end of the world, but I'd prefer to have options.






  15. On 1/22/2020, 9:48:43, Gambatte said:

    Cholesterin in Serum: 242 (optimum: less than 200)


    Mine had been in this range for many years. I finally broke down and did a "compromise" with my doctor, agreeing to take the lowest dose of atorvastatin every other day, and it worked well to bring down the level to 150-180. Everyone's happy now. Read the studies on every other day dosing.


    My oldest sister, 75, also has cholesterol in this range, and she has never taken statins. Refuses to--and, well, she's still kicking.


    We make our best calls, and we hope for the best. 


  16. 49 minutes ago, BryanMills said:

    And the 3 months standard period for cancellation of contract is one of the many examples how many things here are geared in favor of (incompetent) businesses, not people...If I don't need a service anymore, why do I need to pay for 3+ months more? Why not 1 year more, or 10 years more since we are at it...what is the logic of paying for a service 3 months more than needed?


    That does indeed suck.


    Just be glad you didn't live in D-land 25 years ago under the Telekom monopoly. That company left such a bad taste in my mouth I still hate them to this day.


    Also return policies sucked in Germany--and probably still do.


  17. 32 minutes ago, Deutschified said:

    The only thing I really miss about being back in England is comfortable pillows. I have no idea how people manage to sleep on those large, empty, spine breakers that need origami folding skills to become sleepable.




    Interesting you should say that, since it's totally the opposite of how I feel. In fact, the one thing I buy when I travel to Germany is bedding! I have the wonderful comforters and large pillows here, along with the wonderful sheets. Regarding softness, you must not have shopped at a good bedding store. There are all sorts of thicknesses, firmness levels, and even sizes (they now have the "half" pillow size, which I hate but which would be more appealing to Americans).


    If you don't have a good bedding shop nearby, shop here:




    It's wonderful.


  18. 1 hour ago, desdemona said:

    I actually appreciate the quiet sundays. It's a refreshing change from the malls that open until 10pm, 24/7 convenience stores, midnight shopping craze, the general commercialism and retail therapy mentality in Singapore and Jakarta. Everyone there encourages you to spend, spend, spend! Once here I even went through five days without spending anything. Back home I spent something every single day, cash or credit, usually both. 

    Well sometimes when I need it, I'll miss the quick pop into the convenience store though. But most of the times quiet Sundays are really nice.


    I agree with this.