Retiring to Germany as a U.S. citizen

101 posts in this topic

1. Sales tax is what I was talking about so comapring the FL state sales tax to the VAT is correct as they are both put on All goods bought.

You don't pay"ABC, the licenses on establishments, Federal income taxes,or health insurance." on any Items you buy in the store.

The cheapest State sales tax is NONE (Alaska) the most is 7.25% (California) Still 11.75% less than Germany's 19% (% wise and before USD/Eur conversion)

 

2. Don't know what country your living in but half of my pay goes to Taxes and other state shit.. and Im SK-1

If I make say 80k a year, and only get around 42-43k in my account after deductions, that looks a lot more than 41% in taxes...

Maybe it will go down in 2007, but I highly doubt it...

 

3. Here's one at 4.8% Here's one at 5% and Here at 5.26%

 

4. Now adays most of the Appliances and Electronics sold in EU land are also slightly modified and sold in the US market. Most all new Apps. are energy Efficient.

 

You still have no clue do you.. Living in Germany Is more expensive. And if your not working and planning to live of your Pension, then you should consider this, and research all aspects of life in Germany before you move here. Thats' the point I'm making. So Now that you've been smacked down (Yet again) go back to tending bar, and STFU...

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It was more expensive for me to live and work in Montgomery County, Maryland than it is now living in Munich. And let's not even discuss Crystal City, Virginia rent rates.

 

Still, it is cheaper to live in Tennessee. Go Vols.

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I was planning to live in the NRW which in my opinion is cheaper than Miami, a few staple items I bought from the local Stussgen were cheaper than my supermarket in Miami. I bought a whole loaf of white bread for a Euro, whereas in Miami pay the equivalent of two Euros. A liter of milk was about 35 Euro cents, which makes it under 2 US dollars for a gallon. I found a two bedroom apartment that I could rent long term, fully furnished with heat and electricity included for about 600EUR, my son pays nearly double that for his apartment. Miami is a dangerous city as I mentioned I used to be a cop and saw it all, even talking to local Polizei, they don't have half of the worries I have had, I used to get shot at least once a week. Germany is a fairly low crime country, and that is one thing I like, I hate guns, but kept one under my pillow for a while at home. I know Munich is expensive, but I think the NRW offers better value for money.

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@OldTymer

If I were you, I would try to spend six months here to get a real feel for things before making a full commitment to moving here. This maybe cheaper than moving over here completely and going back if you don't like it. I would say this to anyone moving to a place they are not familiar with, whether it's Germany or some tropical island. Speaking of which, the climate here is not really good. Do you want grey skies and precipitation almost all year around? There are a couple of other places in Europe which combine good weather, low crime rates and affordable housing, you know?...

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I used to get shot at least once a week.

Do you mean shot AT, or shot? If it was the latter then I can quite understand why you would want to leave.

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Yes JE. That is exactly what I meant. Of course... Police officers in such cities get SHOT AT regularly, i.e., a bullet goes off and heads in their vague direction. However, getting physically SHOT every week would probably get to the best of us eventually eh?

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Blimey. It says a lot about the USA to me if you can be so casual about police officers being shot at.

 

How often do you think a UK or German police officer gets shot at???

 

Most will have NEVER faced the wrong end of a gun in their whole 40 year careers.

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Blimey. It says a lot about the USA to me if you can be so casual about police officers being shot at.

No it does not. It says a lot about certain parts of the US and certain areas of police work but that is it

 

Most will have NEVER faced the wrong end of a gun in their whole 40 year careers.

And that is probably the case for the majority of police in the US. Again, it depends on what area of police work you are active in

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... I don't think anyone in Germany has seen a dead body after a car bomb went off, have they?...

I wouldn't be too sure about that, but it is clear what you mean. and yea, germany is by far much safer than the US (as a broad chacterization). This is not to say that there is no crime... but of course the violent crime rate is much, much lower (thanks to strict gun control laws, one might assume).

 

 

It is not always about the money DK. Honestly. It isn't.

very true. and it also has to do with softer issues like emotional support, an active social life, a sense of comfort, a feeling of belonging, and the like. we humans are social creatures after all.

 

so, OldTymer, these are things that you may want to include in your decision. it can be difficult to build up these social networks, especially when a cultural and language barrier exist. but you are the person in the best position to judge the situation and your ability to develop a social life. or to put it another way: it is better to be running towards a new experience, than to be simply fleeing an old one.

 

 

Miami is not cheap, a one bedroom apartment can cost over 600K + assuming you want to live in area where you won't find crack dealers. I am actually in Germany right now, and found a few apartments, rents aren't too bad, I am going to move to the NRW if I get a residency permit. I am spending a couple of months here, so far have been here for a month and have scanned prices, gasoline and electricity is more expensive. But I have found places that include electricity in my rent.

on the costs issue: yes, do the research. you know your purchasing needs more than anyone. but remember to consider the exchange rate risks. the US dollar has gotten weak (relative to historical values) in the past years, and there is a risk that it will continue to slide against the euro. so those retirement funds may not go very far in the future. (of course, no one can predict the future, so it might actually go the other way... who knows, but it is an addtional risk).

 

and health care should be one of your top concerns. just be carefull here. and it would be wise to make sure that you could get re-insured in the event that you decide to go back to the US after a couple years.

 

oh, and i find it a bit funny that you've settled on NRW - since some areas there have high crime rates (for germany). for instance, Köln and Düsseldorf can be dodgy. but Bonn seemed to be nice...

 

on a different thought, if you are looking for a quiet, cold, affordable place to retire, have you thought about Minnissota? I know several people who went there after getting fed-up with the expense and crime in Chicago. just an idea...

 

best of luck!

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I'm not arguing with your not wanting to retire in Southern Florida, OldTymer, but it doesn't follow that you need to leave the US entirely because of the crime rate in one corner of the country.

 

Living in Germany is no guarantee you won't be a victim of crime, even if the crime rates are lower here and gun ownership is much less common.

 

Chicago makes some VERY valid points regarding the current and future value of the dollar. Especially if you don't plan on earning money here, all indications are your retirement savings in dollars will buy you about 20% less here.

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I think all cops have to start out on patrol and in any major US city, I think the odds of them getting shot at are a lot higher than it never happening to them.

That said, there are a lot of safe places in the US. He might just consider moving out of Miami to some quiet little town.

Oh, and just as an aside, my ex-husband saw the carnage after the car bomb went off at the Oktoberfest entrance years ago. Shit happens here too.

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didn't you see the move "A History of Violence", Kat? quiet little towns are havens for violent criminals! ;)

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Well, we did it. We are both American citizens and we decided to retire here.

 

As both the US and Germany have special rules for retirement income, the high taxes placed on good-sized salaries are irrelevant. We had several hurdles:

 

one was health insurance--during his employment my husband paid into the public health insurance system, long enough that we were allowed to be in it permanently. But an American over 65 receives Medicare, the US retirement health insurance, and it will not cover beyond the US border. Private health insurance here is extravagantly expensive if you are over 50. If you are a veteran, inquire about US VA hospitals here in Germany and remember that if you have not already signed up for VA benefits, they are now income-based, an innovation from 2003. It may be that if you have insurance from your former employer it will cover here too?

 

currency changes--our retirement income, most of it American, has lost-what-about 20% of its value compared to the good old days when one dollar about equalled one euro. Owch!!

 

visa--you will need a permanent visa--ask at the consulate.

 

As to cost of living comparisons--it is really hard. Compare Munich to California-cheap; compare to Tennessee-expensive. Yet two hours from Munich one can buy a renovated mill house for as little as 60,000 euros (approx. I don't remember the exact price--and the one I read about was historically protected).

 

Taxes--see an international tax specialist, everyone's tax situation is different.

 

As to climate--well you have like precipitation, that's all!

 

Obviously, as we are still here the advantages outweigh all the inconvenient stuff--

 

one of these days all of us ex-pat retired types should create our own event, drinking a nice Munich beer and relishing our (probably hard-won) state of leisure!!!

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I think it would be more productive for OldTymer if we discuss how he can make it work to come here, rather than trying to convince him to settle somewhere else in the States. The guy obviously likes Germany, (hard as that may be for some expats to believe.) Your post is very helpful, Kathleen, btw.

 

My uncle was a retired cop from Baltimore, which has one of the worst crime rates in the country, who ended up retiring out of the country as well. So I understand OldTymer's desire to escape the US for some sleepy little place in Germany.

 

I say, do your research, OldTymer, as you obviously are, and don't get too discouraged by the bureaucracy you will inevitably encounter. Germany is a wonderful country, as you already know.

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I definitely have the money, in addition to a pension, I got a home that is worth a substantial amount of money, as well as some investments that have done real well. BTW, I switched most of my savings into Euros four years ago, when a Euro bought .85 Euro cents.

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BTW, I switched most of my savings into Euros four years ago, when a Euro bought .85 Euro cents.

Would you be willing to manage my investments? :mellow:

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True that!!!

 

Anybody else in tax class 1, single, and only paying 40/41% tax???

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