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If You Moved Away Due to Cost, Where Did You Go?

Posted 07-20-2022 at 11:56 AM by jdhpa

Originally Posted by recycled View Post
I am a US citizen, not EU citizen. I speak fluent German, thanks to spending 4 years here when I was in the US Army 1974-1978. I took intensive, advanced language classes and had a non-English speaking GF who was also a good German language teacher to me. I rarely speak English while living here now.

Germany does not have a retirement visa program, but they will grant a multi-year residence visa (aufenthaltserlaubnis) if you can prove good self supporting income and know the process. I learned the residence visa process from spending a lot of time here since 2018, It takes persistence and patience, and fluent German skills unless you hire a personal translator. You start the process here right after you arrive under the 90 day tourist visa, not in the US ahead of time.

You have to first get a lease on a place to live. Chemnitz has more vacant apartments and lower rental prices than anyplace in Germany, so easier to rent here than in Berlin or Munich. I found my current apartment in October 2020. Then you take the lease contract to the city residence registration office and register as an official city resident. You also have to get health insurance - probably the hardest thing. I was turned down for fully private health insurance plan for being over age 65. I finally got coverage under a government (or public) regulated health insurance plan offered by a private company. It costs 15 percent of my monthly net income. My rent is so cheap here, that the rent cost plus health insurance is still much less than rent in the USA.

Last step is to get the residence permit, after you do all of the above. This is obtained from the foreigner's office (Auslaenderamt) at the city office (or county office, if you live outside a big city). It takes 4 to 8 weeks.
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