Moving to Munich from USA

131 posts in this topic

Hello Ive accepted a job offer in Munich in IT for 70-80k euro/yr. I have to wait for Visa issues due to the virus though. Ive already spent several hours reading these forums and found it helpful.

 

Ive read its hard to find an apartment. So Im planning on staying at a short term furnished apartment or Airbnb until I find something longer term. Sound reasonable?

 

Secondly, I need to choose health insurance. Ive been recommended by 3 different people the "gesetzlich" TKK insurance...any feedback on this? I was thinking of private insurance but I was told, that if I choose that, I can never switch back, is this correct? 

 

I have a car and a motorcycle. But my car is not worth much. Maybe 5k...I definitely want to take the motorcycle, the car, its very reliable but not sure if it makes financial sense to ship it, vs just living with motorcycle plus public transportation at first, and just buying a car there later. I will need to ship furniture and stuff, most likely in a shipping container(?) So maybe it still would make sense to ship the car and everything in one container? Is that even possible?  Is it worth the hassle of getting it licensed etc in Germany?Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! 

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32 minutes ago, alterami said:

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! 

 

 

Ask for a lot more money...  

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1 minute ago, SpiderPig said:

 

 

Ask for a lot more money...  

Ive already signed the contract. Im not moving for money. Im taking a 25% pay cut in fact.

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1 minute ago, alterami said:

Ive already signed the contract. Im not moving for money. Im taking a 25% pay cut in fact.

 

 

Then I suggest that you arent playing with a full deck of cards...   Welcome to TT, you will fit in perfectly!

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4 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

 

 

Then I suggest that you arent playing with a full deck of cards...   Welcome to TT, you will fit in perfectly!

 

I understand you are implying things are expensive there, understood and thanks.

9 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

 

 

Ask for a lot more money...  

 

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Hello, alterami! TK is a good choice for public insurance- there about 110 public insurance companies in Germany. There is no unified public system as in most European countries.You can choose your provider from the 110 or whatever.

 

TK are popular with expats because you can communicate in English- not the norm in Germany. Prices are basically very similar and regulated by law. The employer shares the costs.

 

Private insurance- you would qualify as an option, given your income , but you would need to weigh up the pros and cons- the major issue is if you may stay „ forever „ and start a family. Issues about where spouse and kids later would be insured.


Just for the record- I am an independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser on this forum.

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17 minutes ago, john g. said:

TK are popular with expats because you can communicate in English- not the norm in Germany. Prices are basically very similar and regulated by law. The employer shares the costs.

 

I know some people who are with TK and speak well of them which is why friends of mine tried to sign me up with them when I moved to Germany back when.  It was not my experience that they communicated in English at all and they also refused to insure me.  I had my German friends talk to them and they could not explain to them in German why I couldn't be insured.  They went around in circles until we gave up. 

 

I ended up going to AOK and I'm still there.  Most insurances have the same coverage anyway so it doesn't matter that much where you go.  However, AOK has one extra which is they give you two free courses per year, could be something like a yoga class, fitness studio, nutritionist etc., you'd have to look for participants where you live.  For example, I did a back excise program and I paid for it via one of these free tickets from AOK while other participants, including from TK had to pay for it up front and were supposed to get an 80% refund eventually.

 

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Ok that is interesting on the courses. Im not terribly worried about the english aspect...in my experience in Germany,its really hard not to get the Germans to speak English with me as soon as they suspect I am a foreigner, so if they only speak German that would be refreshing.

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1 hour ago, alterami said:

I have a car and a motorcycle. But my car is not worth much. Maybe 5k...I definitely want to take the motorcycle, the car, its very reliable but not sure if it makes financial sense to ship it, vs just living with motorcycle plus public transportation at first, and just buying a car there later. I will need to ship furniture and stuff, most likely in a shipping container(?) So maybe it still would make sense to ship the car and everything in one container? Is that even possible?  Is it worth the hassle of getting it licensed etc in Germany?Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! 

 

I would not bother transporting a car.  Figure in the cost of transport, whether you are paying duties to import it, whether you need to make any changes on it to get it registered here, whether you can sell it here should you want to, not that it would be illegal to sell it here if you get it registered, just that there might not be a market for it if it's something that isn't common in Germany.

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Happy it has worked out for you, Leon! 
The main point ( maybe ) is whether the OP should decide between public and private insurance.

The other nuances..

Basically, I would recommend taking out public insurance to start with and then get familiar with the system and make informed choices later.

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Just now, LeonG said:

 

I would not bother transporting a car.  Figure in the cost of transport, whether you are paying duties to import it, whether you need to make any changes on it to get it registered here, whether you can sell it here should you want to, not that it would be illegal to sell it here if you get it registered, just that there might not be a market for it if it's something that isn't common in Germany.

LeonG,

 

If it was just the car, I would not bother, its a 12 year old VW,but I would have no plans on selling it, and if I have to ship things in a container anyway, would it make sense to add the car to the container?

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Agree with  Leon- not worth bringing an old car- cost of transport etc.

No problems with AOK- always someone who speaks some English.

Good luck and ignore Spider- sounds like you have been researching .

 

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If it were a 1965 Ford Mustang, I would say take it along, but not a 12-year-old VW :).

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We shipped most of our possessions, including our car in a 40 foot container from US to Germany. Looking back I would have sold all of it before moving, except for clothes and some sentimental value objects. Good luck 

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31 minutes ago, TampaFL said:

We shipped most of our possessions, including our car in a 40 foot container from US to Germany. Looking back I would have sold all of it before moving, except for clothes and some sentimental value objects. Good luck 

 

This.  I brought a car and many possessions/household items.  It was a major nightmare, especially with the car.  If I had to do it again, I would do the same as @TampaFL is saying.  Sell everything and buy what you need here.  You’ll end up discarding most of what you bring from the US anyway, so why bring it?

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between public and private insurance

at your age, with no pre-existing conditions

 

Private insurance will be cheaper and probably offer better cover ie includes dental care

 

So, In Germany for the public health care, is calculated as a percentage of what you earn, with a limit.

 

A lot depends how long you think you will stay in Germany, if you want to retire in Germany, then obviously your income will go down when you retire , and because you pay a percentage of your income for public insurance then your health care contributions will be lower. If you go into the private system your contributions will be lower than the public system, but your contributions will get higher in the private system around about 60 years old.

 

If you only want to stay a year or 2, then private is probably cheaper - but you should also know many people come here for a year or 2 and stay for the rest of their lives

 

You do not say much about your personal situation. But you should understand that the public system covers you and your family, while if you goto the private system, each person will require insurance, ie wife and kids. So a lot depends on your personal situation.

 

Its hard to move from the public to the private system, but not impossible, alot depends on what happened, before you came to Germany.

 

Its very hard to give any concrete recommendations without knowing your family situation ( or plans for a family ) and how long you expect to stay for, but @John_g, recommendation is not a bad one

 

 

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There are slight differences between public insurances, even between the AOK's. It's not one AOK, but 11!

TK e.g. pays for vaccinations like yellow fever or malaria medication. My wife is with the AOK baden-Württemberg - they pay nothing. The AOK Hessen pays vaccinations you should have if you go to Africa or Asia on holiday. So check, which extras are necessary for you.

 

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On 5/1/2020, 10:49:00, alterami said:

LeonG,

 

If it was just the car, I would not bother, its a 12 year old VW,but I would have no plans on selling it, and if I have to ship things in a container anyway, would it make sense to add the car to the container?

As others said, don´t bring the car. Even the motorcycle will be a hassle, due to TüV.

 

Shipping furniture also does not make much sense. A few suitcases, no container, just keep it simple.

 

Regarding salary value, depends on if you have a family and your consumer habits. 70k€ is a bit low if you come with a family, but OK if you are single.

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A few comments forget bringing the car. With the virus car prices should plunge as there is lots of inventory building and if you are not looking for a luxury car there are great deals here. More important is is your usa license from a state that fully transfers to germany? If not that's a whole other issue. Second I would recommend you lose your usa license and get a replacement before you come as they will keep it when you get a german one and if you move back you have to then get a replacement.  I would start as public first and do not underestimate kmportance of english support. You mention ease of english. You have not tried to get a dr appt..most drs do most receptionists don't. Tkk probably has best english web support I have sbk they have almost zero english support ..the glossy sales brochure in english was great once you get to real web you need to use all german. I finally got a english advisor after threatening to move to tkk. And now sbk is ok has never denied anything and I've had a lot, they also have annual classes and things. But don't think english in daily life is the same as some shops or restauarnts, drs offices, Gov offices even Vodafone support will not be easy to deal with in english. My german sucks and after 3 years I still struggle to get many things done.

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Even if your experience is that most people want to practice their English, if you live here for any length of time, you will find that this is not the case!

The company you are going to work for - does everybody there speak English? Which language is used within the company?

Do yourself a favour, and start learning German right now!

Bavarian is a whole different kettle of fish, so even with perfect school German, be prepared not to understand some people.

Other things to mention, I guess, would include that anything you sign-up for, such as gym membership, or a monthly magazine, or whatever, will automatically renew at the end of the initial term, unless you cancel it yourself - this comes as a huge surprise to many.

Another issue would be GEZ - more or less a TV license fee, which has to be payed quarterly. Thereis a thread on here somewhere about it.

 

You still haven´t confirmed if you will be moving alone or with a ready-made family?

And how long do you plan to stay?

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