Author Topic: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?  (Read 2727 times)

mucstache

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Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« on: May 26, 2019, 06:59:29 AM »
Hi there,

we are a young family (34, 31, 1 year old boy) living in a German HCOL (for local standards) city. For the last couple of years, we've been increasingly pondering the question of whether to move abroad, specifically to the USA.

Main motivators for a potential move are:
1) Cultural differences - we love the more easy going, upbeat, pragmatic culture over the pond.
2) Mid- & long-term economic and social prospects of Germany/EU vs. USA.
3) Seemingly greater earning potential (but likely at higher COL?)

Both of us adults are experienced in living abroad, and I myself spent a year in a large southern US city (university).
If we move to the US, it would have to be one of the top cities for quality of life, so I'd guess we would need to budget more for rent.

What I'm most interested in discussing here are what you think on whether it is worth it economically.

Here's our situation today:

Both well educated: Engineering degree + Top (non-US) MBA + 5 years at a top 3 management consulting firm, now at one of the most prestigious firms in Germany. Partner with business degree, works at a leading US tech company.

Gross household income: Approx. 200k USD (split approx 150 / 50 as my wife is part time)
Net household income: Approx. 110k USD
  • Most of this gross-net delta is taxes, social security and health care
  • About 9000 USD of the gross-net delta go to Germany's retirement ponzi scheme (current employees fund retirement payouts to current retirees, no capital build-up). Due to various factors such as poor demographics, I do expect very little if any payout from this once I retire. Essentially, I'll treat this as additional taxes without return.
  • Unfortunately there is nothing like a 401k plan here as our politicians and even more unfortunately most of the population wouldn't understand the concept...

We save and invest about 75,000 USD per year of our after-tax money - without really squeezing our budget too much due to some fortunate circumstances:

  • Rent: Despite living in a very expensive city, we pay ~500 USD per month for a new 2 BR, 2 BA apartment - way way below market (family)
  • Car: About 400 USD per month all inclusive (depreciation, gas, any damages, literally a flatrate)
  • Child care: Approx. 150 USD per month full time including food after accounting for governmental child subsidies paid out to all parents)
  • Groceries: We generally splurge on this one with lots of organic ingredients, including significant amounts of meat, egg & dairy. Approx. 700 USD per month.
  • Travel & Vacation: Approx. 3000 USD per year (obviously this would go up if we'd move to the USA simply for visiting friends & family)
  • Miscellaneous: Approx. 300 USD per month (Gym, Clothing, ...)

My guess is that we could earn quite higher gross and net incomes in the USA, but would need to spend significantly more money to maintain our lifestyle. Assuming we'd move to one of the HCOL cities (the likes of Bay Area, SoCal, potentially also Boston) I'm not sure this would make a dramatic difference in achievable saving rate.

What do you all think? Of course also curious to hear about non-economic considerations as well!

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 07:04:20 AM by mucstache »

onewayfamily

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2019, 09:33:01 AM »
I understand you're both well-travelled and have even lived in the US before, but try to go through some thought experiments about how your life would be there now, given that you have a kid.
Not sure if you're planning on having another kid or two, but childcare will go up to $2k+ a month from what you pay now (next to nothing), as will your rent obviously.
So, like you said, despite earning more and paying less tax, you may end up in a similar position in terms of savings rate.

Having said all that, we are considering similar things at the moment, and at the end of the day the financial aspects should only be a small-moderate part of your decision-making process. Just simply where you both want to live, where you're drawn to, where you'll enjoy, where will be healthiest for your family - you, your spouse and kid... all of that should be the highest-weight factors in the decision, IMO.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2019, 11:51:26 AM »
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

What are you thinking? At $200k USD, your current salaries are astronomical and thatís living in Germany, with so many social services available. Look at all those perks. And you want to move to the US!?! You have Europe at your fingertips, cheap quick flights to so many different cultures and you have lots of annual leave so you can visit the US as much as possible. You could always send your kid to an international school in Germany, but why? Look at how successful you are. You donít need the US and itís hassles to live in an overpriced US city where you compete with everyone on who has it better. Right now, youíve won that battle by leaps and bounds. Donít take your life for granted. If you really want upbeat, pragmatic and easy going, move to the Netherlands and commute! Lol

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2019, 11:52:58 AM »
Donít take your life for granted. If you really want upbeat, pragmatic and easy going, move to the Netherlands and commute! Lol

Haha, yes, this!

dandarc

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 12:28:53 PM »
The thing about social security tax isn't really a valid complaint if the alternate is the US. You pay 12.4% (half you'll see coming out on your paycheck, the other half your employer pays) on up to $132,800 of income. So you'll actually be paying quite a bit more if your income stays the same even if you only look at that as the 6.2% tax. May be off-set some by other taxes being lower, but social security is pretty expensive. You also can't escape any social security tax by funding a 401K or other retirement account, although there are a few accounts (Healthcare HSA and FSA come to mind) that if offered through your employer would lower your social security tax.

And the whole program is no less of a Ponzi scheme than what you've described, and may actually be worse - any excess the Social Security program is invested in special government bonds. That's right - the US government lends money to itself and pays interest to itself on that debt. Right now, the tax receipts + the interest on the "debt" is enough to pay the out-flow. But the balance of the trust fund will start decreasing in just a couple of years if nothing is done, and in about 15 years either increased taxes or decreased benefits or both will be necessary as there won't be any principal left in the trust fund either if we don't make changes soon.

On the plus side, society / the government will find a way. Decreasing abject poverty in senior citizens is a really good thing for pretty much everyone, so a solution will be found.

And the US is only slightly behind Germany on the demographics thing - well below replacement rate fertility here too. Makes the ongoing war on immigration all the more ridiculous.

pegleglolita

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 12:39:19 PM »
What a bizarre time to feel inclined to move to the US.  Why would you come to this raging dumpster fire?!  You've got the good life.  I mean, obviously you are the masters of your own fate, but...wow.  Some awesome things you will get if you move here:

The byzantine maze of a barely comprehensible and extraordinarily overpriced health care system!
Astronomical expenses for childcare from people who barely make minimum wage and turn over constantly!  Bonus: your kids will be eating garbage food full of sugar and carbs while here!
Anti-vaxxer morons creating a deadly measles epidemic!
Guns, guns, guns!  Let's count down until the next angry radicalized white dude shoots up a bunch of people at a school, mosque, or movie theater!
Most places have shit public transit and aren't walkable!
People who think it's OK to run their $%^&ing weedeater at 7 am on Sunday!  Freeeeeeduuuuuumb!   
Every dumb-ass dead-eyed suburbanite thinks they need a 12 mpg gigantic SUV parked in their dumb-ass McMansion because their kids play soccer!
Voter turnout? 50%   

Bleah.  If my grown kids would follow me and I spoke the language, I'd move your way in a heartbeat.  I'm *almost* at the "this is a failed experiment" stage.  Maybe 2020 will prove me wrong.     

mucstache

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2019, 12:11:24 PM »
Thank you everyone for contributing!

Well, I guess this is a case of "the grass is always greener on the other side".
This goes both ways:

I know that my setup currently is nothing to sneeze at, and I'm quite content with my lifestyle. I appreciate many of the perks that come with living in Germany, and even more so in a city that I love.

However, I am not taking this for granted as I am more worried about the mid to long term prospects.
You have guns, we have:

- Overregulation to the point of stifling economic growth
- Very few digital / tech companies
- A fundamentally flawed currency that when it implodes may have bad consequences for any accumulated wealth
- Politicians and too large a share of the population being concerned mostly about distributing instead of building wealth
- Politicians who openly state their "hate" for their country and still get elected
- Doors wide open to the welfare system making it unsustainable
- Low wages, high taxes vs the US

Overall, it increasingly feels like a nice place to visit, but not the ideal place to bet on for the future.
Am I being too pessimistic about this place? Or is this even a worldwide thing these days that you feel in the US as well?

Regarding financials: from what I've heard it would not seem unreasonable to expect our gross household income to go up by ~50% moving to the US, with net income of maybe 200k USD.
Let's say we save 100k and spend 100k, wouldn't this afford us a good lifestyle even in the more expensive cities in a nice walkable neighborhood, and good daycare for the kid?

Regarding the US problems mentioned in this thread: My impression always was that living in the UA you have to be more careful about the environment you choose to get into. There are truly amazing neighborhoods with great schools, great neighbors, and great infrastructure.

dandarc

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 12:22:10 PM »
Interesting to see that political discourse is basically the same all over the world.

Aside from the "lack of tech companies", I've seen every single one of your issues brought up as a problem in the US. If you do move, you might want to take a hard look at Texas, although probably not Austin. Just about everything you've said are republican party talking points from the last several major elections.

mucstache

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 12:32:48 PM »
I'm not sure I'm a fan of the traditional US Republicans program either ;) The playing field in Europe is shifted, the "middle ground" is at a different set point vs the US.

For example, I don't see the points that I mentioned apply to the US today.

But I guess it's better to not digress into politics here... :)

Paul der Krake

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2019, 03:21:53 PM »
How do you plan on actually moving? Who's going to sponsor your work visa?

londonbanker

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2019, 04:04:26 PM »
Unless you make a more than $350-400k you wonít be better off financially if you live in a HCOL US city.
You state/fed tax will be high (prob 40% at this income level) - real rent will set you back $40-50k a year (assuming you want 2bed/2baths in HCOL), nursery $20-25k, if you donít want to eat OGM food be ready to spend $10k + a year on grocery, travel back to Europe at least 1ce a year for 3ppl, car ownership? Youíll be lucky if you save $100k a year! And you wonít be close to family either.
So You should not go to the US for financial reasons but because you want to tick that box.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2019, 04:23:06 PM »
Yeah OP, the grass is always greener. Youíre making $200k USD, in Europeóyou are fine. Donít romanticize the US. Yes, there are great places live but good luck trying to combine high income with great quality of life in a city that isnít overcrowded or clogged with cars. You need to research everything and do the most detailed budget of your life. Otherwise work for a company in Germany that will send you to the US for a couple of years. And sure, youíve got some political jerks in Germany, do they compare, at all, to the political jerk running the US?

You have everything you want now. Everything. Make the most of it instead of being envious of what you think others have in another country. That isnít your situation and youíre putting your energy in the wrong place. Help your wife get a better paying job, use your holidays to travel more, be a force for change. Youíre only missing out on what you choose to not see.

Bernard

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2019, 09:42:00 PM »
My grandfather was Danish, my dad Swedish, my mom German. I lived in Denmark, Sweden, a long time in Germany, briefly in France, Switzerland, and Italy, before going on a 6-month spiritual quest in India and finally immigrating to the US. I lived from 1986 'til 1991 in Florida, since '91 in Southern California. I have visited 38 countries so far, so I've seen quite a bit.

From '96 'til 2004 I worked as an immigration attorney, and thus your main hurdle will be to get sponsored for an H1-B. Ideally both of you. Not that you don't qualify for it, as you do, most certainly, but the companies who do sponsor are mostly interested in cheap labor. That's why Silicon Valley hires Indian software engineers. Not because they are better, but because they are cheaper. Increasing your current income by 50% via the H1-B route sounds like fiction to me.

That out of the way, the US can be the best country on Earth, but also a really shitty one. "America" is Alaska, New England, the Grand Canyon, French Louisiana, Palm-lined beaches in Florida, Key West, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and even American Samoa. No other country on Earth can offer you all of this. On the most desirable spectrum is living in posh Montecito or Santa Barbara, where  $50,000,000 buys a super bitchin' home. Just saw some new construction homes TODAY in Santa Barbara, nothing special, 3+2 in good location, costing $1,899M to $1,99M. You pay down 20%, so about $400K, and your monthly mortgage for the next 30 years will be about $9K. If you can live like that without breaking a sweat, the USA is the sh*t!

There are other nice areas in the US, if you don't mind less ideal climate, something that # 1 on my list when moving. Still is.

But given your situation, you should perhaps seek an intracompany transfer (L1 visa) to a place in the US you consider living at, and within a few months you'll know if this is for you, or not.

Maschinist

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 04:22:49 AM »
Fellow German citizen here.

We lived in the US (Washington DC metro) for 5 years (with wife & two kids) before moving back to Germany less than two years ago. We make about 15% more than you in Germany but are also about one decade older.

I can understand your "thirst" for the US. I'm still missing our life there sometimes. The friendly people and a literally free choice of climate zones.

For singles directly after college its a no brainer in my opinion that the US is also financially the better option.
But after living in both places in your situation with wife and kids it is not a clear choice.

Like said salaries are higher and taxes are lower in the US but cost for housing, childcare, summer camps and all after school activities are literally insane compared to Germany if you want the same quality. Kids a driven by car literally everywhere in the US, when in Germany they room the whole city by themselves by bike or foot back in a German B-city.

I also second Bernhard's opinion that you would need an L (or E1/E2) visa option. H1B visas have a lot of disadvantages and your employer literally would own you until you could move on from this option.
I was send by my German Mega corp via E1 visa which was flawless and on top my wife has a Green Card option which we did not pull up to now.

If you are directly transferred from your current employer to the US you obviously don't have a problem but if any of you arrives from Germany without employment be aware that for example a non US based MBA has nearly no value in the US and European university degrees also take a hit value wise.

Because you cannot pull the "well known US college or US-MBA" card - the second route for prime white collar employment in the US is via personal recommendations and being new in the country this can also be an obstacle. My wife is a scientist with two magna cum laude masters plus PhD and she had major struggles in the US before she could get "into the system".

If its your dream and also that of your wife I would go for it but be aware that depending on your situation there will be unexpected struggle and financially with kids there is probably not a clear advantage.

If you are interested in being with a like minded German speaking Fire crowd you can visit my German fire blog:

https://freiheitsmaschine.com/

We will cheer you up even in the headquarters of complainypants: Germany ;-)
 
I'm currently FI but not RE and together with my wife exploring options what (and where) to do with our life.

Have a wonderful day!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 04:38:49 AM by Maschinist »

mucstache

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 10:28:09 AM »
Thank you everyone for contributing so far! Great discussion that puts things into perspective.

@Maschinist thanks for your reply too - actually I'm quite a fan of your blog and love your articles. To me the best German speaking finance blog. Looking forward to hearing MUCH more from you!
Let me know if you'd be interested in a personal chat.

CSuzette

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2019, 07:29:56 AM »
Wow!  US bashers. This is the greatest country in the world and I can see why they want to move here. If you qualify, just do it!

Eurotexan

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2019, 08:06:04 AM »
I wholeheartedly support your move to NY.  As someone who has lived in NYC, Frankfurt, London and now Dallas, NYC has a special place in my heart. My daughter was born there so itís totally manageable with kids. I love Dallas but you will definitely need a car here.

Donít worry about healthcare (although definitely review the location package like others have said). Yes, healthcare is a major issue in the US. It mainly due to the equality of the system. With a big business Cadillac plan you should be fine and NYC has some of the best doctors in the world.
Good luck!

fuzzy math

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2019, 08:17:16 AM »
Unless you make a more than $350-400k you wonít be better off financially if you live in a HCOL US city.
You state/fed tax will be high (prob 40% at this income level) - real rent will set you back $40-50k a year (assuming you want 2bed/2baths in HCOL), nursery $20-25k, if you donít want to eat OGM food be ready to spend $10k + a year on grocery, travel back to Europe at least 1ce a year for 3ppl, car ownership? Youíll be lucky if you save $100k a year! And you wonít be close to family either.
So You should not go to the US for financial reasons but because you want to tick that box.

I'd say $250k would be the equivalent if his housing costs are $3-4K a month. Agree with the rest of your costs listed but wanted to reiterate to the OP the one thing I see missing here. HEALTHCARE. It's not unusual to pay $10k a year between premiums, co-pays for care, and if you need special care (expensive imaging, one ER visit, a hospitalization, birth of a child etc). Dental and vision are not included with regular healthcare and you can easily pay $1k a year in premiums too before getting any care.

ItsALongStory

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2019, 09:12:30 AM »
You have everything you want now. Everything. Make the most of it instead of being envious of what you think others have in another country. That isnít your situation and youíre putting your energy in the wrong place. Help your wife get a better paying job, use your holidays to travel more, be a force for change. Youíre only missing out on what you choose to not see.

This is such a great way to put it, I could not agree more.

FINate

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2019, 04:05:29 PM »
The current administration may be a dumpster fire, but that doesn't mean the entire country is! Not to minimize the immoral/repulsive actions of our President, but for the vast majority of people the POTUS has little direct impact on their day-to-day life. Don't let random internet strangers dissuade you from moving to the USA just because they are unhappy with the political situation. I know I know, says another internet stranger :)

The USA is a vast and diverse country. Each state has its own distinct culture and vibe, and each is a bit like its own country. Also a ton of variety in the climate and scenery: tropics, swamps, plains, mountains, coastal zones, high desert, low desert, tundra (Alaska) - lots of interesting places to see.

And don't limit yourself to NYC or San Francisco . These cities are both great and lovely to visit, but they are not the end-all-be-all that some make them out to be. There are many wonderful urban centers each with their own pros and cons. Nor is it the case that everywhere outside the major urban areas in the USA a cultural desert or somehow "backwards." To be sure, plenty of areas are very provincial, but there are also many small to medium sized cities with art and culture and great food and interesting people. There are many of these hidden gems throughout the USA, and they offer a lower cost of living along with a laid back lifestyle that's way less hectic than the major urban centers.

Of course, there are trade-offs. Outside the major urban centers, with the exception perhaps parts of the Eastern Seaboard, public transit in the USA ranges from terrible to non-existent. So unless you live in a city center you're car dependent. You may be able to get by with one car, but realistically you're probably looking at two.

RE guns: Yes, there are guns in the US. The way some people talk it may sound like the wild west. It's not. Some cities/states allow open-carry where you may see people walking around with a gun on their hip, however most places do not permit this. Statistically speaking, the probability of becoming a mass casualty in the US is very low, not much different than most of the EU. The US does have higher than average rates of gun related deaths. See the second graph at https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/theres-a-new-global-ranking-of-gun-deaths-heres-where-the-u-s-stands for gun deaths per 100k. I can understand if someone just doesn't like gun culture in the US. However, I don't think most people would avoid moving to Greenland or Belize just because "guns." In the US, in particular, avoid certain areas of certain cities and don't get involved with gangs or the drug trade and you'll be fine.

You'll probably pay more for healthcare, but this may be offset by lower taxes. The actual numbers depends on where you live because each state has a different tax structure.

There's a ton to see and do in the US. Born and raised in California and there are still places just in my state I've yet to explore after 40+ years.

Who knows, maybe you'll love it here. Or maybe you don't like it and move back to DE after a couple of years. Either way, you don't really know unless you try it.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2019, 08:04:35 PM »
The views of the ďhate America firstĒ crowd can be rather stunning at times. This is a great country and offers some awesome opportunities culturally and economically. Unfortunately we also have our share of fools, crazy people, and spoiled ingrates.

Regarding the OPs question, of course you should come and live in America. But not for economic reasons as it seems you pretty much have that knocked out. The reason you come here is for the culture, the opportunity to live very freely, and for your kids. Itís a completely different culture as you probably saw in your time living here. I agree with the other posters in that if you can ease your way over here, say working for your current company, do so. And approach this as you would any major life change: after doing a lot of research. Some random points:

Politics: yes, our politicians tend to suck. Just like the rest of the world. However the US has a very strong personal liberty culture that tends to offset the worst of their shenanigans. Most Americans have a healthy indifference to politics.

Day care: you are getting the deal of the century on daycare currently Expect that to be very expensive in the US as it typically is not subsidized.

Transportation. It is true that in most areas a car is something of a necessity. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. A used car can be obtained relatively cheaply, gas is very inexpensive, and in most cities there are transportation alternatives. I ride my bike, my MCOL city has passable public transport, and I can drive cheaply and reasonably quickly as necessary given some level of planning.

States. This is a very diverse country with 50 states that act almost as separate countries. There is a lot of differences between them in climate, laws, taxes, lifestyle and culture. I suggest looking beyond the top 10 major urban areas.  Several here might disagree but I think the southeast and the huge heartland is much more attractive in general than the northeast coast and west coasts.

Guns. A lot of folks seem to get fainting spells when talking about Americans and guns. Here are  some things to consider. Our gun violence murder rate is too high, and we havenít done enough to reduce it. That violence is also for the most part found in some very violent cities and is usually gang or drug related. So unless you frequent those very violent areas or are involved in gangs or the illegal drug trade, your chances of encountering gun violence in the US is very small. There are 400 million plus guns in the US. So if this were a country chock full of homicidal maniacs, youíd know it because weíd all be dead. Also, sport shooting is great fun and itís something you can do when you live here.

Kids. This is a great place to be a kid. The outdoors beckon and depending on where you live, kids are treated well. The school situation is very local, but private options abound and if worse comes to worse, home schooling is an option in every state. Something that isnít an option in some countries.

ysette9

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2019, 12:00:15 PM »
If you were young and hadnít started a family I would think that coming to the US for a couple of years would be a great adventure. As a family with little kids..... Iíd really hesitate.

I live it California (and generally love it) which is one of the best states in terms of family leave/womenís healthcare/support and it is still really, really hard to balance kids with two careers. The support structure here is pretty much non-existent. School schedules do not sync with work schedules and you are on your own to figure out how to fill the gaps in care. If the school system does offer after-school programs you have to apply, hope you get a spot, and then fork over thousands of dollars for that care.

Whatever you do, donít have another baby in the US. Family leave pretty much doesnít exist at all except for a select few states (CA being one of them), and even then it is much shorter and much less generou$ than you would expect. Childcare for infants and babies is hard to find and very expensive. The standards are fairly lax so rich people who can afford good care can pay for high quality daycare and people who donít have money end up with much poorer quality care. The lack of preschool and investment in early childhood education means that there is a big gap in achievement in rich and poor kids before they ever get to school, a gap that is usually not closed. This probably wonít impact you so much as you are clearly educated and financially secure (the biggest indicators of how well a kid will do in school here), but you will pay for it, both in time and hassle and money.

Things like home health visits (UK), subsidized daycare and preschool (everywhere else), sleep training schools (Australia), in-home visits and support after a birth (France), and so much more just donít exist here. You have to do everything yourself and pay for it along the way. With good jobs you would likely have good health insurance, as others have said, but unless you are with a system like Kaiser, you can expect tons of paperwork and surprise bills and headaches and confusion with anything medical related due to how much our health insurance system is broken.

There are lots of great things about the country, beautiful things to see, lots to learn. Just be aware that the social safety net is more holes than not. Be aware that protections you take for granted may not exist, and vary wildly state-to-state.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2019, 02:55:55 PM »
To everyone talking about healthcare costs, and cost of living in general: you realize OP is likely in upper management at a multinational company, right? In Germany, you just need to break ~100k USD per year to be in the 1%. Do the math.

He's going to get an expat package that will either pay for part or all of his housing, possibly private school so he can send his kids to the German school or similar, and whatever Cadillac health plan the company has will probably be supplemented by something even fancier. They may even thrown in some free plane tickets to visit family, or whatever. They'll have a consultant help his wife find a job in her field, where she will likely have a big pay jump too, simply because salaries are much higher stateside.

Numbers are almost certainly irrelevant here. OP should move to the US because he wants to live there, or not. Typical US middle class concerns like childcare and health costs are an afterthought.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2019, 07:01:30 PM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.

ysette9

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2019, 08:22:37 PM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.
If you read through the posts again youíll see that many of us arenít saying that the US isnít a beautiful place. It has a lot of diversity and beauty. But if you have babies or kids or plan to do those things, there are very real, systemic disadvantages that exist in this country. Spending time over on the Baby and Pregnancy Chat thread in the journals section will open your eyes to a lot of that. While we certainly do make it work (because there is no other choice), there is a universal sense of pity for us Americans making due with six weeks unpaid maternity leave versus six months (or more) paid leave, no help at home when the baby is young, worrying a lot about how much medical procedures are going to cost and how to pay for them instead of the underlying condition, and more. It is just plain true that it is harder here than it is in most other developed countries.

That isnít to say there arenít good things here or that the OP couldnít have a good time. Iím advocating being educated and making an informed decision.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2019, 05:55:32 AM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.
If you read through the posts again youíll see that many of us arenít saying that the US isnít a beautiful place. It has a lot of diversity and beauty. But if you have babies or kids or plan to do those things, there are very real, systemic disadvantages that exist in this country. Spending time over on the Baby and Pregnancy Chat thread in the journals section will open your eyes to a lot of that. While we certainly do make it work (because there is no other choice), there is a universal sense of pity for us Americans making due with six weeks unpaid maternity leave versus six months (or more) paid leave, no help at home when the baby is young, worrying a lot about how much medical procedures are going to cost and how to pay for them instead of the underlying condition, and more. It is just plain true that it is harder here than it is in most other developed countries.

That isnít to say there arenít good things here or that the OP couldnít have a good time. Iím advocating being educated and making an informed decision.

I apologise for being a bit short with my last response.  My intention was not to minimize the problems people in our country face.  It's just that these issues are unlikely to impact two highly educated, upper class individuals.  Our country is facing some issues but is far from a dumpster fire.

ysette9

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2019, 07:09:20 AM »
And maybe Iím extra grumpy because I continue to struggle with the lack of support in this country. The number of times our childcare has fallen through, the difficulty in finding quality care, how incredibly difficult early parenting is with so few resources. FYI, we are highly educated and made over double what the OP makes last year, so I donít think you can avoid all the struggle with income, though certainly some of it.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2019, 12:28:03 PM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.

Umm, if youíre on $190k, then sure, the US can be great and who could complain? But if you donít have that going for you, thereís lots to complain about and life isnít as rosey and thereís definitely a lot more people without $190k than with it. Sheesh, I think your privilege is obscuring the fact that so many Americans, especially minorities and the ones with incomes under $70k combined, really struggle.

OliveFI

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2019, 01:01:10 PM »
Donít take your life for granted. If you really want upbeat, pragmatic and easy going, move to the Netherlands and commute! Lol

Haha, yes, this!

I was just thinking this ... sounds like you want to move to the Netherlands.

OP, can you tell me what you see as "pragmatic" about American culture?

I don't see America, today at least, as super pragmatic. An example of pragmatism, in my opinion, is we want to reduce abortion so lets decrease unwanted pregnancy. As opposed to banning abortion and keeping sex ed limited.

But like many of the other posters mentioned, if you make a lot of money and/or you are white, it'll be fine for you in the U.S.

You can afford to fly to Europe to get any abortions you may require.

pegleglolita

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2019, 03:01:14 PM »
Donít take your life for granted. If you really want upbeat, pragmatic and easy going, move to the Netherlands and commute! Lol

Haha, yes, this!

I was just thinking this ... sounds like you want to move to the Netherlands.



OP, can you tell me what you see as "pragmatic" about American culture?

I don't see America, today at least, as super pragmatic. An example of pragmatism, in my opinion, is we want to reduce abortion so lets decrease unwanted pregnancy. As opposed to banning abortion and keeping sex ed limited.

But like many of the other posters mentioned, if you make a lot of money and/or you are white, it'll be fine for you in the U.S.

You can afford to fly to Europe to get any abortions you may require.

Yes, part of my grumpiness is because I am currently living in the trenches in the Misogynist Christian Caliphate of Talibama.  I, too, have enough cultural capital and disposable income that many issues I care about won't really affect me on a personal level, but I do believe we are having one hell of an existential crisis in this country and I'm not sure how it's going to wrap up.  The US cannot be beat for natural beauty, friendliness (location and tribe-dependent of course), and spirit of ingenuity.   

Villanelle

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2019, 03:26:27 PM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.

Have you ever lived in another country?  Just curious.

OP, I think experiencing life in another culture is incredibly valuable for both adults and children.  To some extent, it doesn't entirely matter if the other culture is "better" or not.  ("Better" being entirely subjective as what's best for me surely isn't best for everyone.)  Having the experience and seeing the best and worst of another place, and deciding for yourself what another place does better and worse is really horizon-expanding.  It sounds like it would be for a fairly short, set period of time, and that you are at least minimally familiar with the place you are considering.  It is also very likely that your husband's package will be very generous in various ways that really pave your way and insulate you from some of the more challenging parts of life in the US.

So in your shoes, I'd go for it***, knowing that it's a relatively short time if it turns out not to be a great fit. 

***Assuming a fairly generous ex-pat package that includes relocation, excellent health care, and a decent salary.

Telecaster

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2019, 04:05:16 PM »

My guess is that we could earn quite higher gross and net incomes in the USA, but would need to spend significantly more money to maintain our lifestyle. Assuming we'd move to one of the HCOL cities (the likes of Bay Area, SoCal, potentially also Boston) I'm not sure this would make a dramatic difference in achievable saving rate.

What do you all think? Of course also curious to hear about non-economic considerations as well!

Thanks!

You may wish to consider low(er) cost of living cities as well.   Salaries can be almost as good as the HCOL cities for in-demand fields.   

Adam Zapple

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2019, 06:56:11 PM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.

Umm, if youíre on $190k, then sure, the US can be great and who could complain? But if you donít have that going for you, thereís lots to complain about and life isnít as rosey and thereís definitely a lot more people without $190k than with it. Sheesh, I think your privilege is obscuring the fact that so many Americans, especially minorities and the ones with incomes under $70k combined, really struggle.

This is not a thread about poor people or minorities so I'm not sure why you are bringing any of that up.

Zamboni

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2019, 08:35:40 PM »
Normally a reverse commute is good. Less traffic, no need to get up early.

In the case of your proposal, not so much.

I can't imagine leaving Europe to come to the USA right now.

pbkmaine

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Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2019, 09:58:58 PM »
My husband worked for German companies for his entire career. Since we are both conversant in German, we entertained many German families posted here. Here are the concerns we heard from them:
1) Bewilderment over our complex medical insurance system.
2) Fear of lawsuits.
3) Fear of guns and violence.
4) An educational system very different from Germanyís.
5) Our extremely expensive university system.
6) Children are raised differently, with less independence in the US.
7) An emphasis on religion that most Germans find extremely peculiar.
8) Flag waving and ostentatious displays of ďpatriotismĒ.
9) A consumer culture that emphasizes expensive jewelry, cars and clothing.
10) People rushing around doing things rather that sitting and chatting.

We served as cultural interpreters for our German friends, and the two places are just very different. I would also echo what others have said above about the current political climate in the US: I am seeing many more displays of intolerance here than in the past.

havregryn

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2019, 02:05:26 AM »
I think it's fairly certain that you have the kind of profiles that would let you earn a lot of money in the US so a lot of the concerns here are not really concerns. But I would be quite worried about the psychological effect of moving from a situation where you are a top 1% earner coupled with artificially low expenses to a situation where you may just as well earn a lot of money, but you will be arriving "late" to a place that has probably seen massive real estate appreciation and enormous COL increases over time, so the majority of the wealth among the wealthy is not actually in their current salaries, it is in how much they were able to accumulate over the past few decades. There's no doubt about it that you're going to be well off, but you are going to be in a radically different situation compared to most of your neighbors (if you go and live in a fancy neighborhood of a HCOL place). And a lot of research suggests that humans evaluate their own situations by comparing themselves to their immediate peers.

I may be projecting but this is very much what happened to us when moving to Luxembourg from Sweden. We are earning two if not three times as much. We get to save more money. But we are poor compared to most of our neighbors. Most of them have had the residences that are now worth millions in their families for decades. Whereas we, if we want in on it, need to get a seven figure mortgage. The kind of income I would need to sustain to live in a nice house in Luxembourg is at least 2-3 times of what the average household living in those houses actually makes.
This works as a short stash building stint but feels rather demotivating as a permanent solution, especially in the context of wanting to be FI. High cost of living is simply a burden in itself, especially to someone who dreams of not having to work for a living.
And I feel it may hit you extra hard if you are now taking it for granted that not only are you a super earner (I think you're gonna need to earn way more than 50% more to be in a similar position to earning 150k in Germany), you have exceptionally low expenses thanks to a bunch of random good luck.

fuzzy math

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2019, 09:57:28 AM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.

Umm, if youíre on $190k, then sure, the US can be great and who could complain? But if you donít have that going for you, thereís lots to complain about and life isnít as rosey and thereís definitely a lot more people without $190k than with it. Sheesh, I think your privilege is obscuring the fact that so many Americans, especially minorities and the ones with incomes under $70k combined, really struggle.

This is not a thread about poor people or minorities so I'm not sure why you are bringing any of that up.

Because OP should be aware that these people and their circumstances exist so they're not horrified and blind sighted at what they see when they arrive here?

Adam Zapple

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2019, 12:10:02 PM »
These negative posts are ridiculous.  America is a beautiful place to live.  Most people who complain spend too much time consuming the never-ending stream of negative news media available at all hours of the day. 

We live in a HCOL suburb of New York City.  Our combined incomes are about $190k per year gross.  We live a typical upper middle class lifestyle and will be FIRE by 48 and will have enough put away to fund 3 college educations for our children.  Given your education, you have the opportunity to earn significantly more than we do.  Boston is comparable to New York for cost of living.

Umm, if youíre on $190k, then sure, the US can be great and who could complain? But if you donít have that going for you, thereís lots to complain about and life isnít as rosey and thereís definitely a lot more people without $190k than with it. Sheesh, I think your privilege is obscuring the fact that so many Americans, especially minorities and the ones with incomes under $70k combined, really struggle.

This is not a thread about poor people or minorities so I'm not sure why you are bringing any of that up.

Because OP should be aware that these people and their circumstances exist so they're not horrified and blind sighted at what they see when they arrive here?

1.  They've been here before. 
2.  Germany has poor people too. 
3.  Germany also has wealth inequality similar to US.
4.  The OP is looking to escape overly oppressive government regulation and redistribution policies.

Somehow I don't think they will be horrified.  I am not obscured by privilege, simply giving information that will be relevant to the OP's post.  Not every conversation needs to be steered towards social injustices etc.  This person is likely aware that people exist who earn a low income but will not be one of them.

ericrugiero

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2019, 02:35:42 PM »
Umm, if youíre on $190k, then sure, the US can be great and who could complain? But if you donít have that going for you, thereís lots to complain about and life isnít as rosey and thereís definitely a lot more people without $190k than with it. Sheesh, I think your privilege is obscuring the fact that so many Americans, especially minorities and the ones with incomes under $70k combined, really struggle.

I'm pretty surprised to see on the MMM forum a statement that people who make less than $70K struggle in the US.  The founder of this site lives on $24K per year (not in a HCOL area but not dirt cheap either). 

The United States is a great place to live and I think the OP could probably find what he wants here.  He may need to look at areas other than coastal CA or Boston depending how much money they can actually make just because the cost of living is so high in those areas.  It seems like some people in this thread are extremely negative towards the country right now. 

As mentioned above, the culture and climate varies DRAMATICALLY around the country.  Don't be afraid to look around at various areas.  If you provide more details of what specifically you are looking for in culture and climate people might be able to help more. 

Paul der Krake

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2019, 05:57:04 PM »
As mentioned above, the culture and climate varies DRAMATICALLY around the country.  Don't be afraid to look around at various areas.  If you provide more details of what specifically you are looking for in culture and climate people might be able to help more.
Agree on climate, disagree on culture. Everybody speaks the same language, watches the same TV and movies, and goes to the same nationwide stores. Yeah you have regional differences but overall the US is very homogeneous.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2019, 04:28:04 AM »
As mentioned above, the culture and climate varies DRAMATICALLY around the country.  Don't be afraid to look around at various areas.  If you provide more details of what specifically you are looking for in culture and climate people might be able to help more.
Agree on climate, disagree on culture. Everybody speaks the same language, watches the same TV and movies, and goes to the same nationwide stores. Yeah you have regional differences but overall the US is very homogeneous.

I respectfully disagree... strongly.  The Bible belt, coastal California, rural Colorado, New Orleans, Newark NJ and Anchorage Alaska have almost nothing in common other than all likely having an Old Navy.  I agree that your big city suburbs are probably very similar.

OliveFI

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #41 on: June 06, 2019, 07:48:15 AM »
As mentioned above, the culture and climate varies DRAMATICALLY around the country.  Don't be afraid to look around at various areas.  If you provide more details of what specifically you are looking for in culture and climate people might be able to help more.
Agree on climate, disagree on culture. Everybody speaks the same language, watches the same TV and movies, and goes to the same nationwide stores. Yeah you have regional differences but overall the US is very homogeneous.

I respectfully disagree... strongly.  The Bible belt, coastal California, rural Colorado, New Orleans, Newark NJ and Anchorage Alaska have almost nothing in common other than all likely having an Old Navy.  I agree that your big city suburbs are probably very similar.

Cultures definitely vary! Like the difference between Manhattan and rural Texas - astronomical. I think that is a pretty cool thing about the U.S., but if someone from another country is considering moving to the U.S., they should look into each areas culture. Like someone mentioned German have been concerned about guns, then maybe they won't feel as secure in TX.

Villanelle

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #42 on: June 06, 2019, 09:25:33 AM »
As mentioned above, the culture and climate varies DRAMATICALLY around the country.  Don't be afraid to look around at various areas.  If you provide more details of what specifically you are looking for in culture and climate people might be able to help more.
Agree on climate, disagree on culture. Everybody speaks the same language, watches the same TV and movies, and goes to the same nationwide stores. Yeah you have regional differences but overall the US is very homogeneous.

I also strongly disagree.  Oklahoma City vs San Francisco?

But these same differences exist in Germany, so the OP is no doubt familiar with them.  I think the real question is whether they will have much say in where they end up.  If this would be a job transfer, I doubt there would be more than a couple options, if they are even that lucky.  If this would be him finding a new job, there may be more options, but even then, finding someone who can and will sponsor a visa and pay a relocation and expat package isn't the easiest thing.  So the US isn't exactly wide open to her, most likely, which means this part of the conversation may be entirely academic.

That said, I think a liberal East Coast city other than NYC might, as a huge generalization, be the closest to a German vibe (though where in Germany makes a big difference).  The conservative parts of the US will likely seem quite a bit different, and the chill, smile-at-everyone, damn-the-rules sensibilities of the the west might feel pretty different.

ysette9

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2019, 09:58:17 AM »
Interesting conversation on the cultural differences across the US. I believe there is a wide variety there. Iím from the west coast and always felt more comfortable and more ďat homeĒ in Western Europe than the middle of south of the US. I can remember a conversation a couple of years ago in particular with a formal classmate from my year abroad in France about politics and world events and whatnot. His perspective was pretty much identical to my friends here, the biggest difference being the language we held the conversation in. :)

ericrugiero

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2019, 11:40:25 AM »
Cultures definitely vary! Like the difference between Manhattan and rural Texas - astronomical. I think that is a pretty cool thing about the U.S., but if someone from another country is considering moving to the U.S., they should look into each areas culture. Like someone mentioned German have been concerned about guns, then maybe they won't feel as secure in TX.

I'm sure you are right that many people from other areas would be concerned about guns in Texas.  It seems rural USA has the reputation of wild wild west.  The irony is that they would probably be safer in Texas than in NYC. 

Bernard

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #45 on: June 07, 2019, 09:30:44 AM »
After reading all the comments, I'd like to add a few more thoughts on my own.

As I mentioned before, I have lived in 7 countries, hold citizenship to Sweden, Germany and the US, and could pretty much live anywhere my heart desires. While the South of France (Cote d 'Azure) and Northern Italy (the area around Lake Como) where on my short list as retirement destinations until about a couple of years ago, this has drastically changed based on EU immigration politics and government overregulation which, following Brexit, will IMHO ultimately cause the demise of the European Union. For me, there's no better country to live in that the United States, well, parts of it.

The cabin in Alaska, the Victorian home in New England, the mountain retreat in the Rockies, the beach front home in Key West, and the straw hut in American Samoa are all part of what makes America so diverse and interesting. It's all part of the USA so there's no typical USA life or lifestyle as much as there's no typical European one. Someone living in the woods of Norway or Finland is living a totally different life from someone who resides on the Greek Islands, in Paris, or on Ibiza.

Guns . . . there are 330,000,000 million firearms in private hands in the US. About 16 million Americans carry concealed, which is about 5% nationwide. Florida has 2 million CCW permits, California 110K. I got my California CCW in August of 2014, and I carry pretty much daily. You'd never know, nor would anybody else. It's concealed and it's a non-issue. I don't show my gun and I don't even talk about it, ever. For all practical purposes, the gun isn't even there. It would only see the light of day if a hardcore criminal tried to kill me, or rape my daughter while we're out and about. A gun is a tool that potentially can save my life as much as the safety belt in my car or the fire extinguisher at home. Let's hope I will never need any of those, but if the sh*t hits the fan, it's comforting to know that I have the tool available to save my life. You don't see guns in the US. They exist, but they are hidden. People with CCW are more law abiding than cops, the study has shown, so they are not the problem. There are a few idiots who carry open, and while this is stupid for many reasons I don't want to get into here, I don't feel threatened by any of those either. I feel threatened by hardcore criminals who give a sh*t about laws and religious extremist who would kill me in the name of their imaginary prophet if that results in getting a room full of virgins as a reward. Those are people laws can't control.

Abortion . . . once you give people something, it's hard to take it away again, no matter if it's access to affordable healthcare, retirement benefits, vacation days, or abortion. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortion has become a right, and while some state try to impede on this right (Alabama), it won't stand up in court the same way some state's attempt to restrict the 2A rights won't hold up in the long run. If you choose where to live based on how many times you can use abortion as a means of birth control, I feel sorry for you, but know that you don't have to travel to Europe to get it done, even if you live in the most conservative state in the Union.

So if you have money, life in the US beats life in Europe any day of the year. If you are struggling to pay the bills, life in Europe with its vast social net is better.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 10:05:50 AM by Bernard »

Indio

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2019, 09:44:56 AM »
A friend from Austria attempted moving to the US with her husband and 2 young children. She is a surgeon and he a kidney cancer researcher. They were both in top programs/residencies in NYC, but the lack of a social safety net made it too difficult and expensive. Without family help with childcare, they were paying over $3k a month and never saw their kids. Renting a modest 2 bedroom house required they put down 6 month deposit because they didn't have US credit history. Even leasing a car or getting a credit card was a hassle because they didn't have co-signer. Investing in 401k retirement savings was also problematic. They both had successful careers in Austria but moving to the US set them back hugely and they left after 3 years.

OliveFI

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2019, 09:53:08 AM »

Abortion . . . once you give people something, it's hard to take it away again, no matter if it's access to affordable healthcare, retirement benefits, vacation days, or abortion. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortion has become a right, and while some state try to impede on this right (Alabama), it won't stand up in court the same way some state's attempt to restrict the 2A rights won't hold up in the long run. If you choose where to live based on how many times you can use abortion as a means of birth control, I feel sorry for you, but know that you don't have to travel to Europe to get it done, even if you live in the most conservative state in the Union.

So if you have money, life in the US beats life in Europe any day of the year. If you are struggling to pay the bills, life in Europe with its vast social net is better.

On your abortion point, I wouldn't say it is a matter of "choosing where to live based on how many times you can use abortion as a means of birth control," because that is TOTALLY not the point of favoring safe and legal abortion. It is about choosing where to live based on law makers that value women's bodily autonomy and access to safe and compassionate health care. Most people do not use abortion as birth control. It is a last resort most pregnant people don't want to make, but they need to for one reason or another. Also, places that outlaw abortion (or try to, they can't yet) are also not increasing access to contraceptive and other reproductive health initiatives.

ysette9

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2019, 10:52:36 AM »
I read a really good article a while back looking at the maternal and fetal death rates and other problems broken down by state. I canít find the link easily at the moment, but the gist of the article was that states that devalue womenís health in general have much higher negative outcomes than those that value womenís health. Meaning, restricted access to birth control and abortion and everything else that an autonomous adult can be expected to enjoy is correlated with much worse health outcomes in pregnancy and birth for both mother and baby.

It isnít surprising really. A state that disregards the needs and rights of women arenít likely to value women any better at a different stage of health need. It is something to keep in mind for those who think that ďthe abortion debateĒ doesnít impact them. It is about the wider issue of access to quality health care.

An article here lists maternal and fetal death rates by state. You can see at a glance that the top of the death list is a bunch of anti-women states.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/best-and-worst-states-to-give-birth-usa-today-investigation/

lgu

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Re: Case Study - Move from Germany to USA?
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2019, 01:12:52 PM »
// as an aside, this post pulled me from lurker-on-the-board to first-time-poster :)

Yes. You should consider trying this while your child (and possibly future children) is/are young. You've lived here as a student and are widely traveled, so you pretty much know the basics of what you are getting into with a move to the States.

If you come to the USA, give it a shot (yes, the pun was fully intended y'all), and it doesn't work out, then it sounds like you have a strong extended family situation as well as a professional foundation to return to. Based on your post, your extended-family safety net appears strong, so I think you can afford the risk.

You will find that in the States, we are much more aggressive about "rewarding" certain professions with compensation that you'll find in Germany. Based on your background, it will be easier to aggressively shift your earnings upward than your current environment, and currently, you'll benefit from an overall lower tax structure if you want to save a substantial amount of money even while allowing for a more generous travel budget (and you should travel; we are a complicated, vast, nation - filled with many characters that you'll enjoy talking to).

We are the land of second chances, and we don't determine that at the age of 10 the accomplishment of our kids means they are bound for University or not. If you can produce at your job, your credentials _might_ get you through the door, but they matter far, far, less than in Europe. Here it is all about what have you done for me lately.

Seriously, do it now before your kids get older and you have to start figuring out school. If you delayed, and it didn't work out, and then you tried to return to Germany when your child is 7/8 years old going through the stress of Grundschule -> Gymnaisum. Oh man, my heart would go out to you.

I'm going to go out on a limb based on your handle of MUCstache. If you're in the "HCOL Germany city" of MŁnchen, feel free to message me. I'm an American (from the greater Boston area) living in the Schickimicki neighborhood of Schwabing ...  We could talk more in depth about the specific differences in the quality of life that you will make with the move (there are definitely some negatives), but also the good stuff.

Bis bald!

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