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Expat packages are obviously better to get but it sounds like you won't do too bad from a local hire contract. You will probably pay more in taxes (and there are lots of them, salary, income, unification, church (and even your company car benefit will be taxed) etc but for most people moving to live and work in Germany is not for the money but more about enjoying a more balanced work/lifestyle with good infrastructure, healthcare, transport links (Frankfurt is ideal for exploring the rest of Europe). Vacation dates are also a lot more than in the US (around 30 days for most). Costs such as housing are high in the Rhein Main area but not too high that you still can't afford to live well. Don't forget the costs of schooling your children in international schools if you want it, although they will become bilingual a lot quicker if you can stick them in the local German schools where they will get extra German lessons to help them integrate.
I think your wife might be able to work as well. They relaxed the law recently on spouses working to encourage more skilled workers to make the move. Check it out when you here because engineers are very much in demand at the moment (but be careful you could both be highly taxed that it might not be worth it!)
You probably know a lot of it as you have been here before. But, I say despite the financial aspects, still make the move, as I am sure Germany would be a good experience for you and your family.

Just my view anyway. As Bev says, feel free to post any specific questions and we will do our best to answer them!
 
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