26 Aug Pros and Cons of Moving to Germany (And How to Move Household Goods on a Budget)
So, you’re thinking about moving to Germany? Germany is a country full of exciting opportunities with a long and rich history, so it’s attracted a lot of attention from expatriates.
Living abroad in Germany can be such an exciting opportunity, but it can also be intimidating. Fortunately, you’re not alone in this journey. We’ve made this guide for you and many other people on the pros and cons of living in Germany, and how to move to Germany when you’re on a budget.
Pros of Moving to Germany
Germany has become a popular destination for many expatriates in recent years, and there are good reasons why. We’ve made a list of some of the best benefits that come when you move to Germany.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Germany is pretty affordable, especially compared to many of the big cities in the United States. Rent is the largest expense and can vary depending on the size of your home and where you live.
Food, groceries, healthcare, transportation, and utilities are all cheaper than you will find in the United States or the UK.
There aren’t a lot of countries that you can move to without being fluent in their language. In Germany, you can get by pretty well with basic German and English because over half of the population can speak it.
Most cities and towns have language schools, so consider taking classes to open up more opportunities once you’ve moved there.
Quality Education System
Germany has a great quality education system, and the best part is that it’s free! They even rank at the top for the best education for international students. If you’re looking to continue your education, Germany is the place to go!
Germany has such a great public transportation system that many residents don’t even need a car. The systems of busses, trains, and trams make it easy to travel anywhere in the country and even to neighboring countries as well.
Germany has a much healthier work-life balance than many other countries. German workers have pushed for more flexible hours and benefits, so that way they can prioritize their family above their career.
Cons of Moving to Germany
Just like any place, there are downsides to moving to Germany as well. If you know what to expect, these may not be a problem for you at all.
U.S. Federal Taxes
If you’re planning on moving to Germany from the United States, then you may be surprised to learn that you still may have to pay your U.S. federal taxes.
Fortunately, Germany and the United States have a treaty to avoid double taxation for some expats’ income. If your salary in Germany ends up being over $100,000, you’ll likely need to file for your American taxes too.
The taxes in Germany can be really shocking if you don’t know what to expect. Depending on your salary, you could be taxed over 40% of your income. While this may seem outrageous, it ends up offering the benefits of free education and healthcare for everyone.
Lack of Variety in Cuisine
We think German food is delicious, but not everyone does. If you’re not fond of sausage, potatoes, and pickled foods, then that limits your choices of food quite a bit. While there are other cuisine options available, they aren’t easy to find and can be disappointing.
Everything Is Closed on Sundays
Sunday is a day meant for rest in Germany, which means that just about everything is closed. Aside from what’s at fuel stations, you’re pretty much out of luck if you need anything.
Fortunately, most places open back up on Monday so you won’t have to wait too long, but you should get in the habit of stocking up on necessities ahead of time.
Planning Your Move
There are a lot of things that you need to plan out when you’re moving internationally. We’ve listed some of the most important things to prepare for when you’re moving to Germany.
Moving Your Possessions
If you’re moving to Germany from the United States, or anywhere else overseas, you’re not going to be able to just move your stuff in a truck.
While many people will get rid of most of their belongings and start fresh once they’ve moved, that isn’t practical if you’re trying to move to Germany on a budget.
Take a look at our shipping service guide to learn more about what your international shipping options are. UPakWeShip handles all of the paperwork with customs to make the process simple for you.
Before you can move to Germany, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit. A residence permit will allow you to live in the country for a limited amount of time, which you can either extend or apply for citizenship before time is up.
There are different types of resident permits depending on how you’re moving there, so be sure to do your research and apply for the proper one.
Before you can become a resident, you’ll need to enroll in German health insurance. Health insurance in Germany is mandatory, but it’s usually paid for by your taxes. If you’ve found a job in Germany, your employer might also provide coverage too.
German Bank Account
Another important thing that you’ll need to do when becoming a resident of Germany is to open up a German bank account. You’ll need to open up a bank account so you can transfer your American funds over and prove that you have enough money to support yourself.
If you’re not planning on working while living in Germany, make sure that you have enough money to cover the cost of living wherever you decide to reside. If you don’t have enough money, German authorities may not grant you residency.
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Moving to Germany can come with a lot of great benefits that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re moving for the great education and healthcare or a strong love of sausage and potatoes, Germany has what you’re looking for and more.
Hopefully, this guide taught you all about the pros and cons of moving to Germany, and how to start planning your move. Planning an international move is definitely stressful, but we can make it easier.
Get a free quote on our international shipping rates from your location to see how much money and stress we can save you during this exciting new journey.