IT abroad

Germany - advantages, disadvantages and unique, part 1

I have been living in Germany since 2014.

Some aspects of the country are still in awe. Others want to climb on the wall and howl "why so?" I will try to reveal both those and others - and to reveal why I will stay here, most likely, until the end of my life.

imageHeidelberg - medieval Germany remained here in its original form
Programmer salaries
Well, how can you do without it? I decided to take the issue of payment to the very beginning, because if it disappoints you, then your interest in the country may immediately fade away.

Guys. Stop looking at average salaries on Glassdoor. They are always and everywhere underestimated by 20-30 percent. I know the market realities and I will name the numbers that should be guided by in 2020.

Right after graduating from university, graduates start with salaries of around € 50,000. They quickly grow to € 60,000; with experience up to about € 70,000, which is somewhere the real average for the hospital. To grow further, you need to look for good employers and / or really be able to do something: then € 80,000 and amounts up to € 100,000 are real (in all kinds of FAANG it is even more; but this is already a few). Most of the familiar seniors sit on sums around and about € 80,000. Bonuses and stock options are also possible, but the latter are not widely spread in comparison with the USA.

To summarize: the plug is € 50,000- € 100,000; the average is € 70,000, seniors can have € 80,000- € 100,000. And, according to experience, your earnings depend little on where you live - there is no "Moscow" and "the rest".

imageThe graph is taken from, a survey of IT immigrants like you. The German tax system - you pay a lot of income and social contributions, but you also get a lot in return from the state. Offhand, for above-average incomes, you are left with 60 percent of your salary "clean."

The net programmer will have in the range of € 3000- € 5000 per month. € 60,000 per year is € 3050 net per month; € 70,000 per year - € 3,500 net per month; € 80,000 - € 4,000; € 100,000 - € 4,800.

For each child - a tax deduction of € 220; for a non-working partner - up to € 500. Both greatly improve the quality of life if you come with your family. Even on the little things, deductions for transport, moving, home office and parenting. Almost all medical expenses, including medicines, are already covered by the CHI and do not have to be taken care of often.

As for the purchasing power of the amounts, it will be briefly said that for € 4,000 net (€ 80,000 per year before taxes) in an average high-cost city in Germany (such as Nuremberg, Dusseldorf or Berlin), you can live on about 300,000 rubles before taxes in Moscow; numbeo confirms. Something you can afford more, something less. But the prices will be discussed in more detail later.

(Purely for general education - the national average income is € 48,000; € 2,550 net. The purchasing power of the average German is about 2.3 times higher than that of the average Russian.)
Why is it worth living in Germany?
Initially, my attitude to emigration was very indifferent, almost mechanical. I was not happy with where Russia was heading; besides, he suddenly lost an excellent rented apartment. I decided that once in my life, one way or another, a leap into the unknown was planned, then I could try emigration.

Friends and relatives who left for Europe ended up in Germany. (Yes - I got a job, consider it, by an acquaintance - but that was not the most profitable vacancy, and since then I have changed it many times without difficulties.) And here I am, initially in the German town of Aschaffenburg near Frankfurt, then in the Bavarian one-thousand-seat Regensburg , now in Berlin, where I like the most so far.

Initially, the attitude towards Germany was indifferent: "Well, yes, obviously, the average inhabitant lives well here. But is this a sufficient reason to love the country?" Then he began to notice flaws, of which there are many. But ultimately, I fell in love.

What arguments can there be in order to convince you to go here?

Germany is a material quality of life. High in comparison with any country in the world (except for the States, Norway or Switzerland) incomes for a wide segment of the population (yes, there are professions other than IT, and 97% of the population is employed in them). Moderate cost of living for western Europe. Welfare state. In PPP GDP, Germany ranks 15th out of 188 on the planet.

imageSuch villages are scattered throughout Germany and, moreover, it manages to be - contrary to stereotypes - the least working (that is, the most resting) country on the planet: work-life balance in all fields.

Everything here that concerns the basic needs of life is solid. Basic products are inexpensive and of high quality. Apartments in new buildings are inexpensive and of high quality. High-quality infrastructure, high-quality urban planning, high-quality ecology. The medical system (more about it later in detail) can be dreary, but in decisive issues it is of high quality.

If you live in Europe, it is difficult not to consider Germany: Eastern Europe is poorer, Southern Europe is more unemployed and hotter, Northern Europe is more expensive and colder.

Here is the golden mean of Europe, not only geographically and climatically, but also in many socio-economic issues. It is also convenient to travel all over Europe from here, which I have been doing with great pleasure in recent years.

You notice that Germany has absorbed a lot from its neighbors. Bavaria is similar to Austria, Baden-Württemberg to Switzerland, Hamburg to Scandinavia, Lower Saxony to Holland and Belgium. Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltics, on the other hand, have the entire history under strong German influence.

You have heard a lot about the German industry, you see its products even in Moscow in the form of premium Mercedes and BMW cars, electric trains "Swallow" (Siemens Desiro), Airbuses, household chemicals, medicines and construction equipment. Someone has come across the dull but irreplaceable SAP software. Yes, even our native Gazprom would not have coped with its task without German and Austrian oil production equipment.

All of the above confirms Germany's title of the first economy in Europe and a country with a high reputation in everything; despite her past.
Why is it not worth going as a programmer from the CIS to Europe?
But after all, with all this, you can hear a lot of unflattering reviews about moving to Europe in general and about Germany in particular: where are they from? Some are justified, as I understand from my own experience. Others are more likely the result of a misunderstanding of the system.

I will try to warn against moving to Germany those for whom it is not suitable: those who are accustomed to having everything in the CIS at once, for (personally for them) inexpensively.

This point applies to the whole of Europe, and is the main reason for the dissatisfaction of IT-schnick - there is no caste or status ™ IT-schnick. In the CIS, programmers take it for granted to have 3-5 national average incomes and rarely think about how privileged they are. In the US, programmers can likewise have incomes that are completely outside the averages.

In Western Europe, IT-schnicks are ordinary "white collars" who have about one and a half average income. Since the general level of salaries in the West is much higher, IT-schnicks do not necessarily lose in the standard of living, but they lose in the status ™. This means, among other things:

No private medicine out of turn: doctors here earn more than you, and you can't afford to make them your on-call servants. Sign up for an appointment under the compulsory medical insurance. There are private insurances for which you can get medical services in private, with all the usual privileges - but they are much more expensive in the long term than voluntary health insurance at home.

Services (= others' time) hit the budget. Why be surprised that home internet costs € 30 and not € 5 if the technician earns € 3000 and not € 500? It's the same with locksmiths, hairdressers, waiters, taxi drivers and everyone else who in the CIS was strongly below you in the hierarchy, and here you have "only" two of his salaries after taxes.

Forget about the momentary purchase of real estate. Rent a home, or take a long-term mortgage, like ordinary people everywhere on the planet. There are more people with money in the west, which means you have more competitors in buying limited land, which means that real estate prices will be high. Prepare to take many years to become the owner of even ordinary, non-luxury real estate.

Hence, according to my observations, the lion's share of dissatisfaction with IT-Schnikov from the CIS after moving to the west. No, this is not a bad West, it’s just that you are accustomed to too good at home: to the life of the money elite. It also exists here, but as an ordinary programmer, you probably won't enter it (the lot of all businessmen, self-employed people, rentiers and doctors). C'est la vie.

The described one is not even so much a disadvantage of Germany specifically (about them in detail later), as a general disclaimer: in Europe, you will lose your elite status and become the middle class.

imageTypical landscape for the south of Germany. The north is flatter and the houses are brick Quite good in my own experience. It seems to me that in some aspects it is better than even the money elite in Russia or Ukraine - after all, money at home does not save you from all the surrounding problems. And whatever your personal financial situation, you somehow benefit from the merits of living in Western Europe.

But still, let's finish with the purely financial side of the question:
Cost of living in Germany
Housing problem : for a migrant without hereditary housing, of course, the main one. For a two-room apartment for one in conditional Nuremberg or Berlin, start from € 800- € 900. There are the cities of Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt with a hopelessly overheated housing market; salaries here are unlikely to justify the prices.

In most regions, rent is actually lower - but there it is more difficult to work for an IT emigrant. Although acquaintances found work anywhere, even in a remote provincial town. I will tell you about the regions with the best ratio of income and spending in the next post.

Utilities relatively expensive (the consumer subsidizes the transition to fully renewable energy): the bill will be about € 3 per square meter; € 180 for a small kopeck piece, including electricity. Please note that sometimes the price is indicated already with utilities (Warmmiete), sometimes without (Kaltmiete).

Products inexpensive for the western country. For € 300, you can more than fully eat, if you cook completely yourself - you can keep within even smaller amounts. A check for visiting gastronomy will be about € 10-12 in inexpensive diner-diners, € 30 in "decent" ones and € 50 in prestigious ones.

In any city with a population of more than 500,000 people, it is not necessary to have a car: public transport will be excellently developed, without a crowd, even during rush hours. The travel card costs around € 60. Maintenance of an ordinary car with insurance, gasoline, technical inspections costs about € 200 per month. The car itself, of course, costs exactly the same as in the CIS.

A tax deduction is required for long distances to work, which contributes to the mobility of the population: living in the suburbs and even neighboring settlements is real if you are not averse to spending hours in transport every day.

Typical layout for connections - € 50, including a mandatory fee for TV, home (100 Mbps) and mobile communications (5-8 GB). In large cities, as a rule, there are no problems with prices or coverage. In villages and small towns, everything is already very different, sometimes sad.

In total, about € 1,500 per month are needed to decently "exist" in a relatively large city in Germany, renting their own housing for one. The rest of the money is conditionally "yours". With an average programming salary, they will be around € 2000, senior up to € 3500. These are not American amounts of income after mandatory spending, but more than comparable with Moscow ones.

In order to live really well, you must either fit into a mortgage, or share the rent for two with a partner, or find a very good option with rent below market prices.

It depends on the solution of the housing issue whether you will become a full-fledged member of the middle class here along with the locals (who often have hereditary housing), how much you can save and how confidently you can make plans for the future in the country.

imageHere you could live In the following posts I will tell you in detail about the mortgage, about the arrangement of various spheres of life, social sphere, about education, about service, about cuisine, about medicine, about various regions of Germany, about comparison with other countries of Europe and the CIS, about unique advantages and disadvantages - and why I am thinking of staying here forever.

Stay connected auf Wiedersehen!
Skull 2 march 2021, 19:21
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