It may never have crossed your mind to retire in Germany. The first thing we think of is the weather. The flat northern part of the country is greatly influenced by the cold North Sea and the very high alps in the south get snowfall most of the winter season. But while it can get downright freezing in the winter, the spring, summer, and fall can be warm and welcoming. No matter what the weather, Germany is a frequent stop for world travelers who are drawn to the charming towns, villages, and even big cities.
Germany is a country of 80 million people, and 21% are over the age of 65. The United Nations lists Germany as having the third-highest number of international migrants world wide. That’s just over 16 million foreign/immigrants, of first or second generation descent. And 96% of those are in western Germany and Berlin. Of those 16 million, almost half have not become German citizens as yet. While the government is dealing with this issue, Germany remains a world superpower, a democracy, the fifth largest economy in the world, and a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals and Germany benefits from a highly skilled workforce. She is the most populous country in the European Union and 16th largest in the world.
Join us as we share some of our favorite places with you. We looked for places with good transportation, good healthcare, low housing rates, low crime and plenty of things to do. Whether you are into mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, museums, culture, history or scenery – Germany has something for everyone. And let’s not forget about the German beers, Oktoberfest, festivals, music and the wonderful welcoming people.
So think about it. You could spend six months in Germany, say in 4 regions and really get to know the place and its people. Having learned a dozen key phrases and 100+ words, you could do quite well. The major cities and popular tourist destinations have a large English-as-a-second-language population. You may just decide that Germany is the place for you.
A quick word about taxes. Germany has a 19% value added sales tax on almost everything you buy. Food and printed material are taxed at 7%. Things like gasoline, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea and coffee are taxed at a higher rate. There are more than 30 types of taxes in Germany and we recommend you hire a German Tax Consultant before making a definitive move.
And a quick word about crime. Germany ranks very low on the world crime index. In a national survey, 90% of the population said they felt safe walking during the day and 74% said they felt safe at night. Crime, like every place on earth, is higher in the big cities.
We think Germany is a wonderful place to visit and maybe settle in for a season or two. At Retirebook, we think retirement is about choices. Without a job to tie you down, you can go anywhere and live anywhere – if only for a little while.
Living in Germany
Pros: Centrally located in Europe, culture, low crime rate
Cons: Language, cold winters, taxes
Favorite Inexpensive Events: Walking trails, charming city/village town centers
Did You Know: Germany is about the size of Montana with almost a 1/3 in forests and woodlands. Germany recycles 48% of its waste!
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