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Hi,

So I've just gotten a job offer from a company in Hamburg. I'm quite excited about the possibility of moving to Germany, but I am concerned about pay. Being American, obviously the taxes seem rather high, but I know that I will also get a lot for it.

More what I am worried about is the buying power of my gross salary. For living in Hamburg, which I understand is rather expensive, is 45,000 Euros a good salary? I work in the tech industry and I am worried I am getting low-balled. I'm worried especially since the cost of living sites I have found say that 800 Euros is typical for an apartment, but after taxes and everything, I worry my wife and I will be scraping by.

Also, my wife works from home in the U.S, so does anyone know how all of that works out? We expected to keep her pay in the U.S. and pay taxes in the U.S., and then I pay taxes on my salary in Europe.

Basically, anything that people could tell me about the cost of living in Hamburg specifically would be really helpful. 45K doesn't seem like a lot to me, but then again, I get the impression it goes a lot further too.

Thanks,

Jonathan
 

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Hi,

More what I am worried about is the buying power of my gross salary. For living in Hamburg, which I understand is rather expensive, is 45,000 Euros a good salary?
You won't starve! It seems to be the average salary in the first years after a bachelor degree. You can take a look at “150 Berufe im grossen Gehaltsranking - Berufsleben - FOCUS” under Focus.de (google for it please). Weird but true, women earn in average 22% less than men for the same work!

I'm worried especially since the cost of living sites I have found say that 800 Euros is typical for an apartment, but after taxes and everything, I worry my wife and I will be scraping by.
It depends on the location of your apartment. 800€ without utility charges for 70 to 80 square meter is realistic.

All the best
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You won't starve!

It depends on the location of your apartment. 800€ without utility charges for 70 to 80 square meter is realistic.

All the best
Thank you for the reply, but I figured I wouldn't starve, but I was wondering if I would have to disposable income to actually travel and see Europe? My wife and I have never been to Europe, and we want to take advantage of the opportunity.

There's a difference between getting by and having the ability to actually do stuff. I don't expect crazy vacations, but being able to take a week to go someplace will be nice.
 

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Thank you for the reply, but I figured I wouldn't starve, but I was wondering if I would have to disposable income to actually travel and see Europe? My wife and I have never been to Europe, and we want to take advantage of the opportunity.

There's a difference between getting by and having the ability to actually do stuff. I don't expect crazy vacations, but being able to take a week to go someplace will be nice.
We are a family of four and live on much less than that - we do go travelling within Europe and beyond :)

How far your salary will go depends very much on what you are used to/what you expect.

Do you need five star hotels? Do you need every single item of your clothing to be by a famous designer? Do you take your lunch from home, eat at the cantina, a cheap lunch restaurant or do you go to a fully fledged fine dining establishment every day?

I´d love to have a 45k salary!

On another note: I am not sure whether your wife would actually get a work permit. I have an Australian friend who is accompanying her husband and she is not allowed to work in Germany for the first three years of her stay.

I think it´s partly their relocation company´s fault because I looked through the law for her and what I gleaned from it, is that there seems to be a compulsory wait of one year and after that it´s up to your case worker at the Ausländerbehörde.

Since your wife would be paid in the US and taxed in the US, working remotely... I have no idea how that would be looked at. There are all sorts of things to consider - she´d be health insured for free through your insurance as a family member without income, as she is not allowed to work in Germany but does have income, albeit outside the country. Maybe better not advertise that she´s working from home.
 
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