News & Insights

Expats in Germany – the Insider Survey lowdown

Looking at this year’s survey results, it’s apparent that one of Germany’s biggest draws is the country’s economic strength and status (an area in which it’s always had a great reputation).

Ranking Germany in seventh place (out of 65) in the Working Abroad Index, the Expat Insider report notes that the country offers workers good career prospects and job security. Almost seven out of ten expats rated their job security favourably, and 52 percent felt that the state of the German economy was very good (far higher than the worldwide average of just 19 percent).

As for income, the majority of respondents were satisfied with their salaries. Over half (54 percent) said they were earning more in Germany than they would be in a similar job role in their native country.

All the above factors will have a positive impact on an individual’s wealth management in Germany and it therefore comes as no surprise that one in eight respondents cited finding work as their reason for relocating.

The glowing feedback regarding the country’s economy is reflected in another recent study that surveyed all Germans, not just expats. The Bertelsmann Foundation recently published a study showing how citizens from the six largest member states, alongside the other 28 states grouped together, felt about their respective country’s progression. The survey’s results (collected from 10,755 respondents living in EU countries in July 2017) showed that 59 percent of Germans were satisfied with Germany’s development and the direction it is taking. This was a significantly higher percentage than the other member states. Furthermore, the personal economic situations of most Germans were reported to be stable, with 34 percent saying that their situation had improved within the previous two years and 43 percent responding that it had remained the same.

But the economy and its impact on workers are not the sole reason for making a move to Germany. Looking back to the Expat Insider Report, we can see that family life is also reflected well. Having sufficient savings to fund their child’s education is likely to be a key concern of any expat, so it’s encouraging news that 32 percent of expat parents in Germany describe the education as affordable – twice the worldwide average of just 16 percent. What’s more, the country also ranked highly in terms of security, suggesting it’s a very safe environment to raise a family; just two percent expressed concerns that they didn’t feel safe in the country.

There was, unfortunately, one slight problem encountered by expats living in Germany: the difficulties surrounding successful integration into the culture. Some respondents complained that it was hard for them to feel at home among the locals, feeling that the country isn’t’ particularly accommodating to expats who do not learn the language – only five percent of the survey’s respondents felt it was easy to settle in without a solid understanding of the language.

Of course, it’s typical to most countries that learning the native tongue will help you settle in, but the problem that many expats agreed about was that learning German is very difficult, with over two-thirds saying that they found it hard. But making an effort to get to grips with even just the basics of the language, perhaps by getting yourself enrolled in a course, will be worthwhile.

Trouble settling into a new country is a common issue faced by many expats, and the adjustment process can be very stressful for many, but there’s plenty you can do besides teaching yourself the language if you ever find yourself struggling. We have some great advice for expats who are struggling to adapt to their new country.

When you’re relocating to Germany, wealth management is always going to be a crucial factor in making sure your transition is successful. Although the country is well known for its strong economy and job security, it is still possible to run into financial difficulty if you’ve not prepared for the future.

There are many considerations to make regarding your personal finances, including tax planning and saving for retirement. While it can be confusing to work out a solid plan on your own, sitting down with an expat financial adviser in Germany to discuss your wealth management options can make everything seem much simpler and put you on the right track to realising your financial goals.

Other News

City watchdog to probe pension freedom rip-offs

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched the investigation amid concerns that savers are in danger of being ripped off when they cash in their pensions. Insurers are to be probed by the City regulator over fears they are offering poor deals to savers who take advantage of new pension freedoms to dip into their nest eggs.

As you are probably aware from previous articles, new rules were introduced last year to allow savers to cash in their pension pots to spend as they like, rather than turning them into an annuity to pay for an income for life.  Reportedly, fears are growing that many customers are choosing the first pension their insurer offers them and risk missing out on the best deals. Findings suggest that in the final quarter of last year, 53 per cent of savers who chose to dip into their pensions stuck with the same insurer, while 57 per cent of those who signed up for an annuity didn’t move elsewhere.

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Brits Urged to Take Up German Citizenship

German crowdExpatriate Brits living in Germany have been advised to look into the possibility of becoming German citizens, as, amongst other things, naturalisation is likely to make the practicalities of Germany wealth management more straightforward.

Expat group British in Germany has said that British people living in the country should act quickly as it will likely be harder to achieve citizenship if the UK leaves the EU on March 29 2019 without a deal. In the event a deal is reached, Brits will have until 31 December 2020 to apply for dual citizenship, according to Germany’s foreign ministry.

Effectively, this means that if Brits want to be able to ensure dual citizenship, they must act quickly as a no deal scenario could mean they have to renounce their British citizenship if they wish to become German citizens. The sooner Brits attend the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners’ Registration Office) for advice the better their chances of securing a favourable outcome.

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