Retiring in Germany for US would-be expatriates

Retiring in Germany for US would-be expatriates

Retiring in Germany for US would-be expatriates

Germany may not be an obvious destination for expat retirees, but American pensioners are enjoying everything it has to offer.

Although British expat retirees tend to head for warm or even tropical locations, perhaps due to the miserable UK weather patterns, retirees from the USA are more than happy to consider Germany for its reasonable cost of living compared with the USA, its first-class healthcare and its excellent infrastructure. As regards living costs, these vary considerable dependent on the chosen city or region.

On average, recreation, utilities, transport and food will coast around $900 a month, excluding rentals, and are slightly higher in major cities such as Berlin, Munich and Hamburg than they are in Dresden or Hanover. Rentals in Germany are around 30 per cent less than in America, and vary considerably according to your choice of city. For example, a one-bedroomed apartment in Leipzig will cost around €600, but its equivalent in Munich rents out at as much as double that amount.

All permanent residents in Germany must have health insurance, taken out with one of the country’s 124 Statutory Health Insurance providers. Cover is extensive, German medical and surgical services are first-class and co-payment is the inexpensive norm. For example, an in-patient hospital stay will cost the patient around $11.50 per day. There’s also a choice of not-for-profit private hospitals as well as their for-profit equivalents, and expats who earn more than $71,564 can opt out of the state scheme and go private.

US citizens are able to stay in Germany visa-free for 90 days, after which they must get a temporary residence permit. Proofs needed include your passport, proof of address and health insurance and checkable evidence of enough money to support yourself without having to work. After five years’ residency, a more permanent visa is available but may require the German language and an understanding of German society.

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