Moving to the US From Germany – Is It Good to Do It or Not?

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Yes. You read it right. I am moving to the U.S. from Germany! Sounds crazy, I know. I also feel that way. This is a personal post about why we are moving to the U.S., how long we plan to be there, and what will happen to this blog.

The background

I have been living in Germany now for 12 years. I went from being a student to becoming an employee. Then, I became a wife, a mother, a homeowner, an investor, an entrepreneur… Even though I live in Germany for one-third of my life now, I still remember how hard it was when I first moved to Germany.

The language barrier, the difficulty of finding a job here, the paperwork, and all the cultural shock I had…

After going through so much in Germany, I cannot say that I know everything. But I do know a lot about Germany and how things work here. There is only one thing that I have not experienced yet: moving out of Germany.

Remember one of my blog posts about moving back home after living abroad? I mentioned in the post that even though I loved it so much about Germany, I couldn’t say for sure that I would stay in Germany forever. Maybe I would move back home one day, or maybe I would move to a completely different country. Who knows?

And now, this is happening. No. I am not moving back to Hong Kong.

I am moving to the U.S!

Ok, I know. I know. I have always said that Germany is a much better place to live and work. And honestly, I have never thought that I would move to the U.S.

But…never say never! That is what I always say.

You never know what will happen. This is life.

I still love Germany. And I still believe that Germany is one of the best places in the world to live and work. But sometimes, I am feeling a bit too comfortable here in Germany.

I mean, it is very stable. Some people work for the same company for their whole life. Others work for the same company for 10 years before they consider changing a job.

Job security is high and social welfare is good. I don’t have to worry too much about losing my job. However, the rise in salary is slow. The opportunity for promotion is limited.

For some people, these are really great things. Especially for those who just want to have a stable life and spend a lot of private time with their families.

Too comfortable?

For some others, this can get too comfortable and maybe a bit boring. Especially for young people (or people who feel young). Sometimes, I ask myself: “Is that it? Am I going to live like this for the rest of my life? Will there ever be another adventure?”

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I am an adventurous person. That’s why I quit my job in Hong Kong and moved to Germany back then.

Then, this opportunity came. The kind of “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

My husband got a super offer to move to the U.S. for work.

Since my husband and I work in the same company, to make our move more attractive, I was also offered a job in the U.S. at the same time!

Should we really move to the U.S. from Germany?

Honestly, in the beginning, we were skeptical. With two small kids and our properties, our move becomes very complicated.

It is completely different than 12 years ago when I moved to Germany. Back then, I was alone and carefree.

Now, there is a lot more to think about:

  • Will my children adapt?
  • What to do with our properties?
  • What are the tax implications?

Moving to the U.S. also means giving up a lot of benefits from Germany: the child allowance, our job security, many tax benefits, healthcare benefits, our vacation days, and sick leave

Oh yea, in the U.S. there is no sick leave. So, we need to take our vacation days in case we are sick…

Why did we decide to move to the U.S. from Germany?

A super opportunity

This chance of moving to the U.S. is a super opportunity that may not come again. We were both offered nice jobs in the U.S. at the same time. Our company will provide all the help and assistance for our move.

A big adventure

After living in Germany for so many years,  I am in this “stable state” for too long and almost forget the feeling of adventure. Any adventure involves risk. Otherwise, it is not called an adventure. But that is what makes it exciting and interesting.

The potential

In my opinion, the U.S. is a place full of opportunities. Yes, we will for sure need to work a lot. A lot more than we do in Germany. But it opens the doors for us.

The opportunities are unlimited. No matter for people who want to have a good career, or for those who want to start a new business. Our CV is going to look better.

For our kids

Last but not least is the international exposure for our kids. Our kids are already multilingual because we are speaking both Chinese and German at home. Moving to the U.S. means that they are going to speak English as well.

For sure, it won’t be easy for them at the beginning. But I am confident that they will soon master it. The experience will widen their horizon. They can be immersed in a diverse culture and learn to adapt to new environments fast.

How long will we stay in the U.S.?

We plan for 3-5 years. As I said, I love Germany and it is really the place I want to be in for the long term. However, we want to move to the U.S. for the experience.

We will have to see how things go after moving to the U.S. from Germany. And we will look for an opportunity to move back in a few years.

What will happen to this blog?

Don’t worry! I am still going to run this blog, no matter where I am.

I started this blog because I want to help other people who are like me, who want to move to Germany, or who struggle with their new life in Germany. This is the ultimate goal of this blog. I want it to be helpful for you guys.

Over the years, I have already written many useful guides about studying, working, and living in Germany.

Unfortunately, my ideas are unlimited and my time is limited. I have lots of blog post ideas piling up and I am always behind in catching up.

With that said, I still have many topics that I would like to write about.

I mean, I have spent 12 years in Germany (one-third of my life!).

I have got enough to share.

Will I forget about Germany?

We are going to visit Germany regularly. My husband’s family members are all living in Germany.

Our kids need to see their grandparents. At the moment, we are planning to spend 2-3 months in Germany every year. Probably during the summertime. And we are going to work remotely for our bosses in the U.S. during that time.

Besides, we still have three rental properties in Germany that we need to take care of.

So, no, I will not forget about Germany.

How can my experience help with this blog?

In fact, I think my experience of moving to the U.S. can help to enrich the content of this blog. Moving out of Germany is a topic that I have never written about.

Why? Because I normally only want to share tips and tricks on things that I have personal experience with.

Now, I am planning everything about the move. And I realize how much work that is. This actually helps me to feel closer to you guys. I am reminded again of the feeling of moving abroad.

I have a checklist and timeline of everything about our move, e.g. deregistration, informing different insurance and government bodies, etc.

We don’t want to do something wrong or miss anything.

Once I have all these through, I am going to write a detailed guide about all you need to know if you are moving out of Germany. With first-hand experience and personal tips 🙂

Thank you all for your support!

I would like to take this chance to thank all of you, my dear readers.

I cannot run my blog for that long without your support.

From time to time, I am getting notes from your guys in the comment or per email. Some of you thanked me for my informative articles and told me how they changed your life.

It really warmed me up and motivated me.

It reminded me why I started this blog in the first place.

This is a reminder that I am helping other people and my time spent on this blog is worth it.

So, please let me know your opinion on this blog.

Anything you think is good, or things that need to be improved so that I can help you better.

Like” and “follow” me on social media!

Subscribe to my newsletter!

Leave a comment below this post!

It means a lot to me 🙂

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About the author

Originally from Hong Kong, Sindy spent 13 years in Germany before moving to the US. Her blog is your ultimate resource for navigating Germany, offering pro tips on bureaucracy, job hunting, education, culture, family life, and more.

With a "been there, done that" attitude, Sindy, a certified public accountant, draws on her extensive finance and accounting background to provide professional insights with a friendly touch.

Having navigated German life with her German husband and raising two kids there, Sindy brings a personal touch to her advice. Let this blog help fellow expats like you navigate the ins and outs of life in Germany!

More info about the author

Moving to Germany or new in Germany? Check out our Resources Page for all the help you need!

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10 Replies to “Moving to the US From Germany – Is It Good to Do It or Not?”

  1. Thank you for honestly sharing the situation. I personally respect a lot for the person who are brave enough to get out of their comfort zone. Congratulations for that. While I wish all the best in your adventure, I am very curious to stay in tune of what you are feeling over there. You want or not, you will compare every moments in the US with the similar ones in Germany.
    Best regards

    1. Thanks a lot for your comment!
      You are right. I will compare everything in the US vs. Germany after moving there.
      Just like I compared everything in Germany vs. my home town Hong Kong after moving to Germany.
      For sure I will keep you guys updated about my life over there 🙂

  2. I have the same Opinion with you about the work stability in Germany. There is a little chance of getting a high promotion in Job in Germany and the salaries in the U.S are way more higher. But you should also consider the Benefits that Germany has in Comparison with the U.S : the living Costs are probabely less in Germany, the free social secruity, and the last important point is the extremly high Tuituions Fees for your Kids at the University in The U.S ( more than 30 k per year at american Med Schools for example). However Life is an adventure ! I wish you the best of luck in your Journey and plz keep up this amazing Blog rolling !

    1. Salam,

      Thanks a lot for your comment!

      You are absolutely right.
      Even though the salary is higher in the US, the cost of living is also much higher.
      There are also much less social benefits and security in the US compared to Germany.
      That is why it was a really hard decision for us to move.

      But, like you say, life is an adventure.
      We move to the US for the experience.
      Thanks a lot for your nice words and I will for sure continue to keep this blog rolling 😀

      Best regards,
      Sindy

  3. Hey!

    Your blog helped answering a lot of my questions when I moved here not too long ago.

    Surprisingly I’m also in a situation where I’ve to make the decision to move out of Germang, albeit for a different reason.

    Guess what? Your writing is going to help me again this time around 🥳

    wish you great success there!

    1. Elliot,

      Thanks a lot for your message! It is really encouraging for me to hear that my blog has helped you.
      And what a coincidence that you are also facing the same thing like me 😀
      I also wish you all the best, no matter which decision you make!

      Thanks and best regards,
      Sindy

  4. Hi Sindy,
    Thanks you for your valuable information, and sharing your in-depth experiences with us.
    I live in Germany as a foreigner for 10 years, I am single and working as a researcher in a university. Recently, I applied for a US permanent residency program (NIW) and it was accepted. In a couple of months I will move to US for work and living. I would appreciate if you could advice us about first necessary steps of moving, such as selecting health insurance in USA, transferring driving licenses and Schadenfreiheitsklassen to USA (if it is possible) or what ever you think we can considerfor moving from Germany to USA.
    I would be also very happy if I can share with you and others my experience about NIW process and receiving US permanent residency.
    Thanks
    Habib

    1. Habib,

      Thanks a lot for your comment.
      It is nice for me to hear that some of my readers are also moving to the US and there is interest in this topic.
      Have you check out my article here: Leaving Germany | A Checklist Based on My Firsthand Experience

      I talked about everything I did to prepare my move out of my Germany and to the USA.

      For health insurance in the USA, it depends on the employer.
      Usually employers offer different health insurance and they have different terms.
      So, you can check what yours offers. And if you have a spouse, his company usually offers insurance as well.
      You can compare if it is better to stay with your own company’s health insurance, or join your spouse’s health insurance as a family.

      Regarding driving license, it depends on the state.
      Certain states such as Taxes, you can just exchange your German license to the US one.
      Other states such as California, you will have to do a driving exam again.

      Regarding driving record, you can download it online from the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA).
      I wrote about that in the article.

      Your NIW experience does sound interesting.
      If you want, you can write a guest article and we can go from there.

      Hope my answer helps with your move!

      All the best,
      Sindy

  5. I hope you enjoy your time in the U.S. You have that entrepreneurial spirit, you will do very well. I don’t think you want to come back to Germany in a couple of years.

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