Germany Expat Forum - Expat packages for Wiesbaden area

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Didie
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From: none
1/19/2007 10:44    
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I'm looking into being sent to the Wiesbaden area by an American company. I just want to make sure that the expat package they are offering is OK. Can anyone share his / her experience: cost of living adjustement, housing assistance, repatriation assistance, etc... Thanks

Rosenmontag
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From: Germany
1/20/2007 05:33    
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Hello Didie,

I might be able to help you - I live in the Wiesbaden area. Feel free to contact me through my e-mail address: kellyhay@gmx.de

Wiesbaden is an expensive area, but not unreasonable. Parking downtown is pure hell. Choosing the right neighborhood in the city can make your experience there fantastic. Wiesbaden is a safe city, like all cities in Germany actually, but there are a few streets where you won't want to be late at night.

Make sure the cost of living adjustment is generous or else you will find yourself pinching pennies at every corner and this could hinder you from experiencing fully what Germany has to offer.

Housing runs about the same as in other major cities in America, but in Euros. So if you are single you could find a small clean apartment in the city for around 500 Euro, but remember that utilities run about 3 times what American utilities cost and you should factor in another 300 Euro per month for utilities. Your housing allowance then should be at least 1,000 Euro per month if you are single.

If you can't speak German it would be best that your company take care of finding an apartment for you and adjusting the lease contract for your special situation - the standard German lease is quite binding and does not allow for a spur of the moment move.

Have your company set up your phone service. This is one of the biggest headaches for people moving to Germany - well actually all Germans get an instant migraine just at the mention of the name Deutsche Telekom. Anyway, this is a headache you should avoid.

Wiesbaden is a great central location for travelling throughout Europe. Wiesbaden has a well-deserved reputation for being a "stuck-up" city. But if you get tired of all the pretentious people in their fur coats you can just go across the river to Mainz for some really friendly down to earth people.

As I said, feel free to contact me if you like and I wish you the best in your decision to move. If you've not had the chance to experience Europe long-term don't pass the opportunity up.

Didie
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From: none
1/24/2007 16:01    
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Thanks a lot Rosenmontag. It's good to know how much an apartment and utilities cost. I was more looking at the kind of expat packages that a company would offer to move me to Wiesbaden. Let's say I get paid in the $60Ks here, how much more should I be getting to go to Germany.... Any ideas? Thx again

perli
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From: United States
1/25/2007 09:58    
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Hi Didie,
My family is moving to the Bamberg area in June and my husband is getting a three-year contract. Of course, all packages are different, but be sure to negotiate a few things. My husband's salary is in the mid-60s here, but the dollar is very weak against the euro, so be sure that your new salary takes the exchange rate into account. Also, be sure you negotiate a salary adjustment if the rate changes. Most companies pay toward rent, and if you find something more expensive you can add the difference. My husband's company also pays for our family to return to the U.S once each year, or if we prefer, we can fly family from the U.S. to Germany. Also very important is an expat relocation service, including German lessons. My husband's company will pay for up to 80 hours of German lessons. Find out whether the company will pay any/all taxes for you, and perhaps handle the filing too. If you are on an American contract, you don't want to pay twice. Be aware that if you are paid in euros, you can't pay into a 401 during that time. At least, not that I'm aware of. Check it out. We plan to ship one car (a Civic hybrid) and buy one in Germany. The company should take care of the details for you if you go that route. I don't recommend it unless you have a low-emissions vehicle that won't require a lot of changes for German's strict certification standards. Finally, make sure your contract includes the cost of repatriation/relocating back to the U.S., even if you are planning to stay. You never know. Good luck!

Didie
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From: none
2/1/2007 08:28    
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Thanks a lot Perli, this is great information. As far as I can tell, everything depends on my ability to negociate everything with my company, but at least I should be able to get a decent package. Best, Didie

perli
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From: United States
2/1/2007 11:47    
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Well, most Americans who decide to go to Germany already know what they will be giving up (SPACE!), and what they will be gaining (beauty, quality of life, central European location, etc.). My hasband can make more money in the U.S., but we don't really want to raise our kids here anymore, and the politics here scare us. And you're right: As my dad used to say, "Everything is negotiable." Viel Gluck!

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