Figuring out whether or not the salary you are offered will hinder your quality of life is something that expats are adamant to know before agreeing to a job in Germany. With the conversion rate between the US dollar and the Euro, lots of gray lines are created in this area. Another thing that comes into play and needs to be thoroughly assessed is the price of rent. Housing prices in the United States are relatively cheaper than the housing prices in Germany.
Where someone in the United States may be living in a house that can very nearly be called a mansion, having to move to Germany and not being able to afford, or even find something with that amount of square meters can be disappointing. This however, all depends on where you live in the United States and where you’re planning on relocating to in Germany. A comparison can be drawn between house prices in Albany, Georgia and New York City for example. You may pay less for a five bedroom house with a big yard and a swimming pool in Albany, than you would pay for a two bedroom apartment in New York City, where prices are very similar to those in Germany. This however, does not mean that regardless of the salary you earn, you’ll be living in a box in Germany. Germany has some very beautiful apartments as well as houses. The further you move away from the city centre, the cheaper rent becomes. In some cases you may be looking at a 300-400 euro difference. If you’re flexible with the location, there should be no problem finding a place that you can call home, without spending your entire monthly salary on it.
Healthcare is a big plus for Germany, especially in comparison to the United States. With insurance, you’ll be able to break your leg as many times as you please, get treated and still have the same amount of money that you walked in with. The healthcare system in Germany offers you the security that if something happens, no matter how big or small it may seem, you can go to the doctor without worrying about the cost. The only down, or upside, depending on how you look at it, is that over the counter pain killers, like Aspirin tend to be a lot more expensive in Germany, and don’t come in the XXL packages that are available in the United States.
Food in Germany is rather inexpensive which comes as a shock to most people when they check out a full cart at the grocery store and pay half the price of what they would pay in the US. We’re talking about vegetables, fruits, organic products, meat, bread, cheese and even pizza. The cost of pizza in Germany is so unbelievably low, that it leaves you even more surprised with each bite you take. The price does not in the least bit affect the quality. German frozen pizza tastes great.
To conclude, your salary may affect your quality of life, but doesn’t have to. If you’re already paying New York prices, then Germany will be a positive change due to other aspects that come out more inexpensive. However, if you’re paying Georgia prices, then you may be disgruntled that you’ll have to downsize the grand house, for something a bit cozier.