So I have an opportunity from my company to transfer overseas. First option is Munich, as that is the headquarters for my company. (there are other options such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen but Munich is our first choice, we have been there once before)
To make this complicated, I am married and have two small children (4 and 2.5) and two dogs, I cannot speak German, neither can my husband (he thinks he can which is the worst kind lol but he does try and knows a very basic amount, more than me, but basically he cannot) and while my company would sponsor me, I know my income will be less than here, and my yearly income will be around 35,000 euros. I currently make $55,000 in the US.
A simple housing search has revealed a total of 0 options that hit all our boxes: Under 2000 euros/mo, 3 real bedrooms (not rooms total) some kind of garden space for our large dogs, within the Munich area (we are open to long train ride up to 45min/1hr but NEED to use public transit as we can't afford cars)
My husband is very talented and has great work experience but I'm assuming job prospects for him will be very slim considering he doesn't speak the language and so his 8 years working in a bank is useless. He also has 10 years bartending but again, no language so assuming that's a stretch prospect as well.
Now all that being said, if we are a 1 income family, and need a place to live that checks those boxes (can go without garden space obviously) and still must survive and live an average life (average to me means paying all bills on time, extra money for going out to eat 1-2x per month, vacation once per year, groceries as we want not as we need) this is basically impossible right? All my calculations say so lol. How do people even afford to live here? How do people make it work? Is my idea of an average life completely skewed?
I have every intention of making a move overseas work, but still working out which city would be best. Any advice is appreciated!
Munich is the most expensive city to live in in Germany if I remember correctly. Your salary there sounds pretty low to live in that city. You may want to look into how much will go to taxes and health insurance. It may be low enough that you don't pay much extra. You can find cost of living calculators online to compare your current city to Munich.
My husband and I are moving to Koblenz soon and his salary is 90k Euro. We are looking at around 40% going to taxes, health insurance, social security, etc. We are only two adults but we have a lot of student loans, and I have been worried about "making it" in Germany. Maybe that is silly, I don't know. We are looking at paying 800-900 euro for a nice flat within walking distance to downtown with 2 bedrooms. Many Germans have dogs, and many do not have yards. If you are up for an active lifestyle, you can walk them every day and it can be sufficient, but it is a big time commitment. We had a dog and were planning on doing that since we don't have a yard in the US anyways, but she passed away recently.
Does your company pay for any relocation costs? The security deposit is usually about 2 months rent. Also, I suggest looking for an Einbaukueche, as most apartments do not come with kitchens in Germany. They can cost a few grand to install. Food is cheaper in Germany in general, so that might be a plus for you. I know my husband gets 150% of his pay when he takes his 6 weeks of vacation. Maybe take a look at the contract from your company and see what they are offering. My husband is actually being employed by the same company in Germany, so we are not being paid by the US like in some arrangements. Best of luck. Do a lot of research and see what is possible. I hope you can do it! If your husband likes to teach he may be able to teach English. He should start working on the language skills ASAP. That's the position I was in.