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Thread: Thoughts on life in Germany

  1. #46
    Registered User motorman587's Avatar
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    Do it. I was born there as my father was military (Army) and mom is German. I was born in Fulda, went to school and graduated from W?rzburg American High School. That was in 1982. I lived there until I was not a dependent of my parents of the age of 24, with that said, if I had the opportunity to go back I would. Last tim I was there was in 1995 and would love to go back, maybe when I would retire. I remember the food and driving was awesome. You also have the opportunity to visit neighboring countries and I still remember those growing up. Remember we regret the things that we don't do, never the things we do, that is how I justified riding to Alaska.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    . US technical and management salaries (even in the GS world) usually exceed those of the Germans. ............
    I strongly disagree. I work for a German company in the U.S. in a management position. I know the salary levels of both the U.S. and German employees. If you convert the gross salaries in Germany into U.S. Dollars at the current exchange rate, the German levels are approx 25% higher. The take-home pay is less in Germany because of higher taxes.

  3. #48
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    I strongly disagree. I work for a German company in the U.S. in a management position. I know the salary levels of both the U.S. and German employees. If you convert the gross salaries in Germany into U.S. Dollars at the current exchange rate, the German levels are approx 25% higher. The take-home pay is less in Germany because of higher taxes.
    And, that is why the German company outsources production to lower cost countries like the US and Brazil. As a case in point, the BMW plant wasn't built in SC so they could pay UAW wages.

    But, please recall, US industry includes commercial and non-commercial industries. You have to consider the salary levels of both types of industry. And, yes, depending on how you slice it on the accounting of mandatory and non-mandatory fringe benefits, the burden cost of German employee could be higher. However, I can still remember when employment by a major US manufacturer meant free health insurance and no-cost pension that amounted to 40~50% final salary after 40-yrs of service. Today, both the health insurance (at least in part) and the pension (likely all) costs are borne by the employee in their take home pay. But, that is a really sad issue for other discussions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    And, that is why the German company outsources production to lower cost countries like the US and Brazil. As a case in point, the BMW plant wasn't built in SC so they could pay UAW wages.

    But, please recall, US industry includes commercial and non-commercial industries. You have to consider the salary levels of both types of industry. And, yes, depending on how you slice it on the accounting of mandatory and non-mandatory fringe benefits, the burden cost of German employee could be higher. However, I can still remember when employment by a major US manufacturer meant free health insurance and no-cost pension that amounted to 40~50% final salary after 40-yrs of service. Today, both the health insurance (at least in part) and the pension (likely all) costs are borne by the employee in their take home pay. But, that is a really sad issue for other discussions.
    The issue of relocation of a manufacturing plant to the site of market of the product is a very complex one and not only driven by direct production cost. Logistics, market specific, unique product variations and availability of key product components and last not least currency considerations are very important. The biggest argument for retaining the original production site is productivity. We are going through this right now.

    I am not sure if I understand your argument in the second part. Yes, cost of fringe benefits is also higher in Germany, but that doesn't really have an affect on the comparison of pay levels. You said before, that


    US technical and management salaries (even in the GS world) usually exceed those of the Germans.
    I can't see that.

    While we are discussing all of these issues and may have different opinions and viewpoints, we all agree that if Jeff is in a stage of his life that will allow him to take the assignment, he should do it!

  5. #50
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    I am not sure if I understand your argument in the second part. Yes, cost of fringe benefits is also higher in Germany, but that doesn't really have an affect on the comparison of pay levels.
    Fringe benefits and pay are the total compensation for an employee. If you get fewer fringe benefits and the same pay, you're working for a lower cost.
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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    While we are discussing all of these issues and may have different opinions and viewpoints, we all agree that if Jeff is in a stage of his life that will allow him to take the assignment, he should do it!
    On that issue we are in complete agreement. Relative to our other discussion, I doubt that we really have a disagreement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Fringe benefits and pay are the total compensation for an employee. If you get fewer fringe benefits and the same pay, you're working for a lower cost.
    That's of interest for the employer but not for the employee. Take-home-pay is what counts if you have to decide where you want to work. That's why I couldn't fit it into the argument.

  8. #53
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Take-home-pay is what counts if you have to decide where you want to work.
    I couldn't disagree more. You're total pay package is the dollars they give you and the value of the fringe benefits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    I couldn't disagree more. You're total pay package is the dollars they give you and the value of the fringe benefits.
    Scenario 1: They give you $100,000/year and a fringe benefit package of $35,000.-. You pay $55,000 in taxes

    Scenario 2: They give you $100,000/year and a fringe benefit package of $20,000.- You pay $28,000 in taxes.

    You go for job 1, I go for job 2!

  10. #55
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Scenario 1: They give you $100,000/year and a fringe benefit package of $35,000.-. You pay $55,000 in taxes

    Scenario 2: They give you $100,000/year and a fringe benefit package of $20,000.- You pay $28,000 in taxes.

    You go for job 1, I go for job 2!
    I go for the job and location that provides the best quality of life. As such, I'll consider the salary, fringe, taxes and living expenses as a package.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    I go for the job and location that provides the best quality of life. As such, I'll consider the salary, fringe, taxes and living expenses as a package.
    Then you would definitely NOT go to Germany! Not now anymore.

  12. #57
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Then you would definitely NOT go to Germany! Not now anymore.
    I haven't seen too many German Corporations move their headquarters to the US. Those executives must not be too bright........
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    In my admittedly limited experience...

    If you get the chance to go somewhere that people do not do it the same way we do it, GO THERE AND LEARN!!!!!!! It will expand your mind as well as that of your family. Different ways of thinking lead to creative ways of thinking and you will be able to develop a more creative way of life as a result. Having some German blood, I can tell you that while well recommended as it is, you will find some aspects of German life/thinking which are seriously in need of a rethink and your American prospective will serve you well. Last and most importantly not least, your kids will internalize the fact that ours is not the only way to solve a problem and they will flourish compared to their "American Only" peers.

    Best of luck in your adventure!

    Regards,

    Will

  14. #59
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Then you would definitely NOT go to Germany! Not now anymore.
    Back that up, please.
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Back that up, please.
    He is looking for the "best quality of life". I am saying that Germany is not the place he'll find it. I am constantly comparing Germany (which is the country of my birth and citizenship) with other countries , like the U.S. (residence), Canada (business travel) and Italy (favorite regular vacation spot), for example, and I can definitely say, considering income, taxes, benefits, cost of living, real estate, Germany is NOT the place I would want to live right now.
    Taking a temporary assignment and experiencing a different culture and country is a different issue and I would recommend to anybody who has the chance to do it.

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