We are (family of 5) moving back from Hungary to California in December.
We have tons of stuff and no idea which moving company to use.
Moving from Ca to Budapest was relatively easy but the company we used do not transport container back to the States from here.
Any advice could help!
Running out of time!
Well, I only touched on the gross differences. It is even worse as the richer you are the less you pay proportionally due to unequal availability for deductions. That is a morass and impossible to attempt to teach to Europeans or for that matter 99% of Americans. The Autobahns in Germany are all built to serve as alternate airports since Hitler and they still do it the same way. But, it does have an enormous amount of maintenance. I lived in Germany 6 years and the Autobahns were in a constant state of repair/renovation. A few years ago i drove from Bremen to Balaftonfured and I encountered no less than 40 Autobahns work zones. I lost count there were so many. So, this continues through today.
Good data and points.
Of course, the incentives are significantly different in both systems/countries. In the US, the taxes are skimmed-off at the top, incentivizing material profligate. In HU, the high VAT incetivizes labor and intellectual input over the material. This is not rating the merits of either, but just trying to show, that different incentives will yield different outcomes.
However, if I'd want to rate the merits of each, I'm culturally predisposed to the high labor, low material input version in this day and age of "dwindling resources". With the high labor and intellectual input, you get a better, longer lasting product/service most of the time - as a bonus.
Think of an interesting example: highways. German highways do not crack and break down like Americans do. To start with, the German is twice(!) as thick as the American. The concrete mix is much a thicker consistency with a higher cement content than the thin slurry (both in thickness and in consistency) poured in the US, making the German version waterproof and truck-wheel pounding proof. You say: Aha! More materials! Yes, but they are cheap (crushed stone, concrete/cement and reinforcing). The labor input is the significantly more, with the digging twice as far down, having to load and haul away twice as much dirt, the steel reinforcement prepping, and then the pouring, and then covering it and keeping it wet for curing for I think two weeks, and after curing, removal of the canvas tarps. German highway concrete will never see sunlight until it's cured - by the way - while in the US such a procedure is considered nuts ("the krazy krauts") - adding significant extra labor to the cost. (Oh, my...) The pay-off of course is at the tail end. The old adage still stands: "Pay now a little more, or pay later - a LOT more". BTW: The current falling-apart of US infrastructure clearly shows the disastrous fallacy of this shortsighted thinking - or incentives.
As a bonus, dear readers, I hope now you understand the reasons why German highways are so pristine, and US highways full of potholes.
95 m2 flat for rent in quiet garden in the Street of Embassies Budapest
I was the first generation born in America within my family. Both parents born in Hungary. Father fled in '56, my Mom moved here after marrying him in '70, both earned their US citizenship status. Mom never formally renounced her Hungarian citizenship. Both grandparents are Hungarian and pretty much a straight lineage of family born within the borders of modern day Hungary. My understanding is that I'm a good candidate for the updated immigration laws from 2011.
I was wondering what the language requirements were exactly? I've been taking Hungarian lessons very seriously as of late. I've accumulated quite a few vocabulary words over my childhood/adulthood. The proverbial minefield of conjugation/attachments within the grammar is my wear point, but that is changing with these lessons and I'm definitely improving on my reading and writing, but spontaneous speaking using longer sentences is still difficult. I plan on visiting my other family in Hungary next year, practicing very hard with them, then formally applying at the Hungarian embassy in DC upon my return, where I assume I'll undergo the formal interview process. Has anyone gone through the process at the embassy here?
I wish we could live in country for a year to get truly fluent but that isn't really possible based on my work here in the US.
The majority of the people renouncing citizenship are doing so now because of new laws going after Americans overseas, many of whom had no clue they were citizens. They are going after back taxes and penalties fro failing to file income tax forms for all of their lives. Even after you renounce your citizenship you still have to pay US taxes for an additional 10 years. The penalties for not filing (including FATCA forms) are up to 50% of your assets. If your tax liability is determined to be in excess of $50k you must surrender your passport. So this isn't Draconian?
Instead of creating a sort of indentured servitude contract for these newly minted doctors, wouldn't Hungary be better served from a public relations standpoint by creating better incentives for their people, especially their medical practitioners, to remain in country? This is a problem with America already in that the most productive of individuals are renouncing their citizenship, although the United States is admittedly less draconian about their methods.
replied to the thread Advantages/disadvantages Dual citizenship
on the Hungary forum on December 11, 2014:
What are the advantages/disadvantages of dual citizenship? My mother and I are thinking of retiring to Hungary, and the LA consulate said we might be eligible for dual citizenship (both my parents were HU citizens before emigrating to the states). Would like to know the pros and cons before taking that leap.
Do you pay US or HU taxes (or both)? Will social security/medicare still cover you if you live in another country? are there any residency requirements? Any pitfalls to the dual citizenship application process?
Any information appreciated.
US Soc. Sec. will be paid for American retirees living in HU without any restrictions.
The SSA will direct deposit your proceeds in a HU bank. You'll have to obtain the participating banks' names at the US Embassy and then open an account for the purpose.
US Medicare will NOT cover you in any shape or form outside of the US.
If you have a HU passport and proof-of-residency card (lakokartya) then you can get medical coverage (TAJ) for about 7000HUF/month (approx $30) - but only IF you are a RETIREE - without earned income. If you work, or have a business in HU, the rates are different.
You'll have to cancel your US Medicare 'Plan B', otherwise they deduct $104/mo (currently) for plan B coverage (Use form CMS-1763).
I see no disadvantages of dual citizenship. HU citizenship gives you the option (and right) to live in any EU country without any special residency permits.
Your outside-of-HU income i.e: SSec., IRA/401K proceeds/distributions, and private pension (if any) are not taxable in HU.
You MUST file a US tax return every year though, whether you owe any or not. If you don't file, the penalty alone is $10K.
replied on December 11, 2014 with:
I would love to hear these answers as well. I would guess that you would not be taxed if you were not working in HU. I would think you would establish a residence and then get health insurance locally? not really sure... who has actually done this?
replied to the thread Living in Hungary
on the Hungary forum on December 10, 2014:
English person and russian wife (english speaker) just purchased home in Heviz, Hungary. Looking to meet other British Expats living in the area.
Hi, I am an American with a Russian (American) wife and we live in Balatonfured. We also have some friends from the UK who live in Alzoors. So, we are roughly 45 minutes away. I believe there is a british expat group that meets irregularly in Kesthely.
We are looking for confident and ambitious sales people who are ready to go the extra mile for success!
replied to the thread Water and Sewage
on the Hungary forum:
Just got my first bill for water and sewage. Is it normal for the sewage bill to be almost double the water bill?
Looks strange to me...just wanted to know if it's ok.
replied most recently with:
I thank you for your input.
I only have one meter for electricity and one meter for water (thank god for that).
Regarding the sewage I have no idea how it works...rain runoff?! never heard of it! everyone pays it?
When I went to the sewage company to sign the contract, they said that my sewage is based on the water consumption. I do have a garden but I only have one water meter for the entire prperty (same with electricity).
What I would like to know is if it is normal to get a sewage bill that is almost double the water bill?
By the way, how can they measure the rain runoff?
I think you had a bad lawyer when you bought the house. He should have told you to go with the sellers to all the utility companies and take all the readings with you.
New country...new rules...
We also switched from a once a year reading and payment of average bills to monthly readings. To simplify this I wanted to reduce our meters. One house has 5 electricity meters which is bizarre. But, to make life easier for E-On as they would only have to send 1 bill instead of 5 bills it was going to cost us 120,000 HUF to have the extra meters removed and consolidate them. So I said screw them it is their postage costs. Even weirder from an American perspective, the excess paid (back when we were doing the averaging thing) wasn't applied to the account but instead paid by the postman in cash. I feel for those guys as the first year we got back something like 150,000 HUF of over- payments. There are a lot of nuances here which will seem very strange to an American and this shows up quickly with utility bills. We also ended up being shafted by the previous owners for outstanding bills when we bought the house which I would know about now but didn't back then. Those incredibly nasty people also were running their meters backwards or circumventing them as they were in the construction business. Same for gas and water and because our consumption is so vastly different from the previous owners we are subject to frequent inspections of the meters etc. as if it were our fault for the cheating that happened before we bought the houses. Anyway, it is all straightened out now and more or less we have less encounters with these companies than before. But, E-On changed their billing system this year and we couldn't enter our meter readings for 4 months because of that so there are periodic occasions of weirdness. and confrontations. We are supposed to get free access to Kisfaludy beach as we are homeowners here in Balatonfured but because I only have a flimsy paper residence permit they are refusing to acknowledge we actually live here. That one really pisses me off but despite many tries I can't get it resolved. So, we haven't been 100% successful.
replied to the thread English speaking Doctors
on the Hungary forum:
Does anyone have contact information for English speaking Doctors in and around Nyiregyhaza
u in the wrong neighborhood!
replied to the thread cheaper flights
on the Hungary forum:
I remember someone posting about cheaper flights. just wanted to talk about flying. what airlines. how much time is adequate to allow for layovers. I have seen as little as 1 hour for a layover at a very busy airport ex: Frankfurt or Heathrow. I got lost the last time I was in Frankfurt. can't imagine that being enough time. I hear Munich is a better airport. I have never been to Heathrow, but I imagine it's as bad as Frankfurt. also, the thought crossed my mind... courier sorts of jobs? how could I find a job that could make us of my flying back and forth between Bud and US? ideas?
replied most recently with:
Hi, we fly once a twice a year back and forth and the airline tickets are going up. Our best routes were with Lufthansa when we would go through Dusseldorf. It's a Luf. dedicated hub so if you book through them, any mix-ups are on their plate. But since the airport is less crowded than Frankfurt and Munich. Far worse are the commuter flights out of Dulles or Newark.
replied most recently with:
awesome, thanks for the links. I am not security specialist material. I don't even like guns. I'm thinking mundane diploatic materials? does that exist? non dangerous things to courier... I signed up for emails. I saw the article stated that 5,ooo applicants tried for 15 courier jobs. very competitive...