Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?


Recommended Posts

I have been offered a job in Frankfurt that will leave me slightly better off than my current job in Scotland. I'm 33, married with three kids (11, 2 x 2 and under). Myself and my wife constantly strive to make a better life for the kids including eventual home ownership although that is not my primary aim as our happiness is not dependant on it. For some time I have felt that the UK is not the right place in regards to the children's futures for many reasons discussed on many other threads.

Does anyone have any living experience of Frankfurt or Germany? Is it a case of the grass is greener? I'm trying to absorb as much info as I can before my wife and I sit down to make a final decision.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not? If you don't like it you can always go back in a year or two, if you don't go then you may wonder about it forever. My only real concern would be the kids, if they can adjust to life there they'll probably be better off for the experience of living in another country for a while.

I've never lived in Frankfurt, but I stayed there for a day on my way to Berlin and it seemed nice enough.

Link to post
Share on other sites

About 10 years ago my brother-in-law left the UK for a job in Munich, and is still there today, happy as a pig in muck.

His knowledge of the German language is pretty crap, although he puts that down to the fact that as so many of the population speak English as a second language, there is little pressure on him to learn more than a basic level of German. (Although I reckon that he's a bit of a lazy git)

I've only visited Frankfurt once in recent years. Unfortunately I was staying in the city centre (mainly high-rise finance buildings, etc) so I can't comment on the surrounding area as regards a place to live.

All in all, personally, I would give it a go . If it really was that bad, you will hopefully still have the opportunity and means to return to the UK with 'worked overseas' added to your CV.

If you decide not to do it, you may not get another chance.

Perhaps a google search for ex-pat forums might also be of value in making your decision ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

In truth my decision is already made and I agree with the sentiment and comments, checked out all the ex-pat forums and have spoken to a couple of people who live there. All advice is appreciated and just knowing what a knowledgable lot Housepricecrashers are then felt I may get a good spread of opinion especially seeing as it is heading into Euroland. Economically, I want to be as sure as I can that I'm not heading out of the frying pan into the fire but I guess no one can really tell me that!

Thanks for the views and keep them coming...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been offered a job in Frankfurt that will leave me slightly better off than my current job in Scotland. I'm 33, married with three kids (11, 2 x 2 and under). Myself and my wife constantly strive to make a better life for the kids including eventual home ownership although that is not my primary aim as our happiness is not dependant on it. For some time I have felt that the UK is not the right place in regards to the children's futures for many reasons discussed on many other threads.

Does anyone have any living experience of Frankfurt or Germany? Is it a case of the grass is greener? I'm trying to absorb as much info as I can before my wife and I sit down to make a final decision.

Germany's a great place. You'll find German rentals very high quality. I've had many extended stays there, and have quite a few German friends. Mrs Woods was offered a job in Bonn a few years ago. We were both heartbroken when it fell through due to the UN HR deciding she was not of the right race. ffs! :rolleyes: I've always found (educated) Germans extremely welcoming. If you make an effort with their language and don't jaywalk in front of children, you will go far.

Whether you like it or not really depends on your personality. Some people have difficulty adjusting to a different culture.

I've only visited Frankfurt once, so don't have any strong opinions on it per se.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been offered a job in Frankfurt that will leave me slightly better off than my current job in Scotland. I'm 33, married with three kids (11, 2 x 2 and under). Myself and my wife constantly strive to make a better life for the kids including eventual home ownership although that is not my primary aim as our happiness is not dependant on it. For some time I have felt that the UK is not the right place in regards to the children's futures for many reasons discussed on many other threads.

Does anyone have any living experience of Frankfurt or Germany? Is it a case of the grass is greener? I'm trying to absorb as much info as I can before my wife and I sit down to make a final decision.

If you are working in Scotland and have been offered a job in Frankfurt, you are probably presently living/working in Edinburgh and work in financial services.

Similar to Edinburgh, Frankfurt is both a highly cosmopolitan city with a very transitory population. A great deal of people go their to work, stay a few years, and then move on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OP. I am looking to relocate to Germany in the Autumn (albeit the region between Hanover and Berlin). I will be setting up as self-employed there, and wondered if you were doing the same (or if you will be going as a local employee) ? If you are going the self-employed route then perhaps we could share notes on the process. PM me if you want.

Edited by ScrewsNutsandBolts
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are working in Scotland and have been offered a job in Frankfurt, you are probably presently living/working in Edinburgh and work in financial services.

Similar to Edinburgh, Frankfurt is both a highly cosmopolitan city with a very transitory population. A great deal of people go their to work, stay a few years, and then move on.

Nice try but no not financial services there are other industries (luckily!). However, have only lived here a year so right about transitory! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

OP. I am looking to relocate to Germany in the Autumn (albeit the region between Hanover and Berlin). I will be setting up as self-employed there, and wondered if you were doing the same (or if you will be going as a local employee) ? If you are going the self-employed route then perhaps we could share notes on the process. PM me if you want.

I'm going there as a local employee so not much help. Check out "toytowngermany" someone on there may be able to help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a nice area, we lived in Taunus area just north of Frankfurt. If you are going as a local then look at costs for taking state medical insurance rather than private. I think with 3 kids it will be cheaper. Don't just dive into that insurance decision as it can be an expensive mistake. Make sure you mark NO Religion on the anmeldung form at the town hall, otherwise there is a hefty church tax to pay. If you can get a company car take it, tax is much less onerous than in the UK. We schooled our kids locally and not in international school.

Great climate there and folks are nice. I had agood few years in the region and would personally be happy to move back. Wiesbaden is nicer and nicer as a town than Frankfurt.

Edited by abroad
Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a nice area, we lived in Taunus area just north of Frankfurt. If you are going as a local then look at costs for taking state medical insurance rather than private. I think with 3 kids it will be cheaper. Don't just dive into that insurance decision as it can be an expensive mistake. Make sure you mark NO Religion on the anmeldung form at the town hall, otherwise there is a hefty church tax to pay. If you can get a company car take it, tax is much less onerous than in the UK. We schooled our kids locally and not in international school.

Great climate there and folks are nice. I had agood few years in the region and would personally be happy to move back. Wiesbaden is nicer and nicer as a town than Frankfurt.

Thanks abroad. My two major issues at the minute are health insurance and schooling for the eleven year old. I think I have schooling sussed as been having a conversation with the state international school in Seeheim and my other two will go straight into the german system. Definitely no religion thanks for the tip.

The one to get my head around is healthcare and how it works as I am trying to get my future employer to pay for it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be surprised if they pay it if you are on a local contract, its essentially a personal cost. You should ask them to give you a rough percentage deduction for your situation/salary for staying in the state scheme and to get you some quotes for private health insurance provision . Then try to negotiate that on top of your salary. The best analogy I can give is that its like NI that you can opt out to a private company. Once you opt out of state scheme its near impossible to get back in.

All that happens is you are billed by Dr/Dentist/Hospital for treatment and you claim back from your insurance, usually with a small excess for each treatment. I remember paying ~€500 per month from net pay for an ill advised private scheme when i first get there. Its no small amount. Healthcare is however excellent and you can usually go straight to a specialist, although again its dependent on scheme/policy.

I remember tax being a little higher in Germany but cost of living lower, there is for example no local council tax that you get in the UK so its a bit swings and roundabouts. Child benefit for 3 kids is much higher :) You'll need a letter from the UK saying that you are now detached from UK scheme with regards to child benefit to qualify in Germany.

I'd keep any life insurance you have as its more expensive in Germany from memory but check the clauses on living abroad. Company car tax is less onerous than UK or was a few years back. Keep NCD letters from car insurance if you plan to get a car. 2nd hand cars are much cheaper than in the UK and they will usually recognise your NCD from UK..

Think very carefully on the international schooling, its expensive and many(not all) international taught kids do not end up really bi lingual. Housing around international schools is hugely inflated as many folks get it subsidized by their firms. If you don't international school it will take them around 6 months or two terms max to adapt. I took mine from German school direct to French school at 8....6 months later fluent in French. We only speak English at home. If you local school their friends will all be local, if not they will be from the 4 corners of Hessen and you will become a taxi driver.

Don't be fooled in that if you are paying that it will be better, that isn't the case. German schooling is excellent and they will help out foreign students in the state system.

.

Edited by abroad
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers great info. I am looking at the healthcare and reckon at 15% of gross salary in DE compared to 10% NI in the UK then I can negotiate the difference. I'll quite happily stay in the state system as I've never been a great believer in privatised healthcare but that is a UK view. If the state system provides what is required then I can always take up additional healthcare if I feel that is what I require. I'll definitely factor that in now though and hunt some private insurance quotes out.

The international school is one of the only state schools that teach an English syllabus in Germany (with extra German language tuition). It is not a full blown ridiculously expensive international school (EUR300 a month) and I completely share your thoughts about getting my kids to speak German (one of the major reasons to get the kids bilingual). The whole family will be studying German as I believe it is an important part of living and integrating in another country. If we are there longer term and get a feel for the area then once his German is up to speed I may switch him into state system.

Any other tips are gratefully received. Any advice for finding rentals?

Link to post
Share on other sites

We used an agent who helped us with the relocation but its just as easy to use http://www.immobilienscout24.de/

Renting is easy, its usually a 3 year contract, 3 months notice with 3,2,1 additional month rent penalty in year 1,2 and 3 for breaking the lease. Watch out for Kalt or Warme rental meaning whether whether heating is included or not, after 3 years its just 3 months notice. We had zero problems with our Landlord, nice guy fixed everything quick and helped out when I got stuck with stuff.

Promise yourselves at least 2 years and no less. Its not always easy but look at the opportunity the kids are getting. Its a great adventure and the weather is 100x better than Edinburgh...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Lol...better weather than Edinburgh I'm already there in spirit as I can't stand the Scottish weather! We have definitely got a minimum two year time frame as our target and we are looking froward to the adventure. :)

Once had further conversation with relocation officer at new company it appears that a relocation agent has been scheduled for us as part of overall package so hopefully that will smooth the process in finding accommodation and translating leases.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Germanys a great place to live and work. I spent 8 years in Munich and loved it.

I think your biggest problem will be that wife and kids will initially miss friends and that grandparents will be in tears at the thought of you relocating.

If you cope with that you'll be grand.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I moved to the Frankfurt area (Rodenbach) at the start of august, see my thread: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=176035

Moved here on my own while my girlfriend carries on studying for her nursing degree. Totown is a good place to meet people (been on 2 of their meets in Froankfurt now) and not speaking the language is not a big problem, I am goin to classes each day to learn it anyway because I think its only polite. Im by no means an expert but Ill help out I can, although it was a little easier for me as I dont have kids or my own home in the UK. When Im a little more awake Ill re-post here

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.





×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.