Living in Germany as normal person or rich in 3rd world country

31 posts in this topic

I absolutely disagree with "socially difficult".

 

Depending on what you do, and of course you can very much influence it, you can establish and norture contacts/friendship with all kind of people you decide too. Of course, people from Egypt too. Germany has zillions of Verein. I think whoever want to have many friends in Germany can easily have them.

By the way, I'm not social. And the only person I know who is even less social than me is my wife. Mind you, we do have friends here, including german ones.

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Freelancers working from home will find it difficult to socialize, especially if you don't speak the local language, unless you're really extroverted and can easily befriend strangers at your first meeting. If you worked at a co-working space, or are employed at an office, it is easier to socialize and get invited to events.

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38 minutes ago, thomash2 said:

Freelancers working from home will find it difficult to socialize, especially if you don't speak the local language, unless you're really extroverted and can easily befriend strangers at your first meeting. If you worked at a co-working space, or are employed at an office, it is easier to socialize and get invited to events.

 

May be true if you're in an international office with lots of young people, but I find Germans keep their work and social lives separate.

 

If you have a hobby, joining a club is probably a good way to meet people.

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The way to socialize in Germany is by joining various activities, like sports clubs, dancing groups, expatriate groups etc and gradually getting to know people there. I mean, you can also visit a bar and try to get to know the locals, but I never managed to do that very successfully. As a workaholic introvert from a mediterranean culture with very little knowledge of German when I arrived, I had plenty of difficulties adjusting, apart from a period of unemployment when I could dedicate a large portion of my time in socializing. The feeling of "boredom" you mentioned never goes completely away. If you go from working alone at home 12 hours/day to working 8 hours/day at an office trying to achieve the same level of performance while also keeping up with your colleagues' expectations of office socializing, you might be in for a shock (but this depends heavily on your work environment). Flirting is also very different in the north. Your case might be different, but I suspect you will have some similar experiences. 

 

My question: What are the chances of somehow generating a significant passive income within the next couple of years? Either by investing or by automating part of your work or by hiring somebody else to do the work for you. I understand that you enjoy the challenge of living in a foreign country and in my opinion this is something that everybody should experience. Moving to Germany was certainly a very important and mostly pleasant stage of my life. But hey, if you can get off the rat race before going abroad and becoming a "normal worker" like the rest of us... I guess that's a dream for many people.

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Without knowing too much about op and the situations in Egypt it’s hard to give suggestions. As op himself admit, it may be to do with his lifestyle. I found it’s surprising that op doesn’t have group of friends in similar field. I work in film post production and it’s a really small world. You build network after several years experience and people can exchange ideas and working on projects together. I am sure it’s same for 3d artists and graphic design. 

You can either trying to change your lifestyle like all the people above suggested, moving to affluent area etc, work less and enjoy doing other things, develop your personal projects etc.. since what you earn is much much more than you need living in Egpyt why you feel compelled to work all the time? Can you afford taking some break and travel? 

Also Maybe it’s about perspective and experience. Since you should already have substantial saving (in Egyptian standard) you can afford taking the risk to not getting too much take home pay for a while, yes why not try to work in different country? You will have different perspect in life, know different group of people, a different mentality, it can help you decide what you want to do, or even after you go back to Egypt, you will have better idea how to use your top 1% income.

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If you make that much above the average in Egypt, you should buy properties in Egypt and use them for passive income to offset your lowered relative earnings in Germany. Stay in Egypt a few more years, buy some commercial properties and some houses, rent them all out and collect the money. Buy some undeveloped land on the edge of a large city and wait for the city to catch up to it, then sell the land for a big profit. You're in a good position.

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And now a couple of comments from me.

 

1. I spent a week in Munich a few years ago. I didn't like it either. The people were okay, but I disliked the town and went to the airport hours earlier than necessary. Munich is not all of Germany. Try Frankfurt, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Berlin or Hamburg instead.

 

2. I'm a freelancer and I certainly don't pay 45% tax. You do have to pay for private health insurance, though. I pay the least possible and have to pay the first EUR 4,500 of bills myself every year. I never get to that level at all. I just go for check-ups and vaccines. Oh, and to the dentist.

 

3. You always feel more free in a foreign country. It's because the local people do not expect you to fit in with the rest. In your own country, you have to be like everyone else. Most people frown on you if you stick out. Here, the attitude is like this: "Oh, he's not from around here. He's different." And people tolerate your behaviour.

 

4. I've been back in Germany since the end of 99 and I still walk around the streets thinking, "Bloody hell! I'm actually living in Germany."

 

5. I've tried other countries and other cities. Much easier to do with when you are younger.

 

6. What is to stop you renting a place for three months in another country and doing your work there? If you can do everything via a computer, then do it. I looked into doing that myself, but I don't really earn enough to keep my flat here going and rent another one abroad, too.

 

7. Well done on building up your financial stores. At least you don't waste it on stupid things.

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2 hours ago, nina_glyndwr said:

2. I'm a freelancer and I certainly don't pay 45% tax. You do have to pay for private health insurance, though. I pay the least possible and have to pay the first EUR 4,500 of bills myself every year. I never get to that level at all. I just go for check-ups and vaccines. Oh, and to the dentist.

 

 

sorry, you're right - the ~45% I estimated included health insurance (public in my case). I treat it like a tax (because you can't really decide not to have it!)

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Given the size of your income there is really no need to move to Germany. The reason taxes are high in Europe is because so many public goods are socialised. With what you would pay in taxes here, you can easily afford to save for retirement, sickness and unemployment in Egypt. Whether you are any safer here is questionable. If you are able to keep the majority of your money out of Egypt an invested broadly within a few years you will be financially independent in Egypt and can take time to explore other countries without the pressure of working in them. Life in Germany (or anywhere) is very different if you're doing a 9-5 grind or exploring the place as a tourist.  

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6 hours ago, wien4ever said:

 

sorry, you're right - the ~45% I estimated included health insurance (public in my case). I treat it like a tax (because you can't really decide not to have it!)

Tax rate can be higher than 45%. I saw the rates in the tax law on the official website, but can't remember the exact income levels. The top tax rate for the part of income over 50k (?) is 42%. Then you have to increase tax by 5.5% for soli. So it comes out to 47.475%.  Then, if you are classified as a Gewerbe, you have to pay Gewerbesteuer, which is  a different rate for each city. There is a federal tax credit for the Gewerbesteuer, but in an expensive city where the rate is higher than the maximum tax credit, you could be paying an additional 2%.  So you are looking at a maximum of maybe 50% tax.  This does not include insurance or social security. If you had public health insurance and are also required to pay social security, you would be left with much less.

 

However, the part of your income below the max tax rate is taxed at the lower rates.  The website has the formulas, it's non-linear, so the rate depends on the portion of the income.

 

So once you reach a certain income, it is probably better to stop working because it's no longer economic to work.

 

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