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Relo update as requested
Old 06-18-2019, 01:21 PM   #1
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Relo update as requested

Warning long thread! I wrote earlier that I was coming out of semi-retirement and going back to work. This job is overseas in Germany and will last 3-5 years. The process for applying and obtaining the job has been rigorous and long (6 months), but I am now down to my last week in the USA. Listed below is what I've been doing for the last few months in preparation:

1) I had to make a decision whether or not to sell my house or rent it out. I spoke with a few property managers, but in the end decided to sell as I knew I would probably not return here but go live near my father across the country. Moreover, the last time I did this, I did rent out my house and came back to tens of thousands of dollars of renovation due to renter abuse.

2) My move is paid for (sort of), so I did not have the overwhelming space or weight constraints the FIRE'd had (thank goodness!!!). However, I used this opportunity as a purge, store and move exercise. It can be discouraging to realize how much you have accreted over the years - and how some things can be quite sentimental. Marie Kondo aside, I realized that I had surrounded myself with items that reminded me of my accomplishments and experiences and that I didn't necessarily want to rid myself of those just yet. However, I also noticed that many things I thought I had wanted to keep, I was able to purge.

The frugalista in me tells me not to get rid of things that are perfectly serviceable and of good quality and yet a move like this can be an ordeal with thoughts of lighting a match and starting over at the other side :-). In the end, I am storing a few things and am anticipating that in five years when I re-look at that stuff, I may purge 80-90% of it.

3) Next was the car. I could have shipped mine, however, it was 11 years old and had become expensive to maintain. Had I stayed here, I had already planned on replacing it with a 1-2 year old used car. I ended up selling it to the dealer I had used for service and am grateful they took it as well as made it easy. I did not have the bandwidth to haggle too much with strangers. I did negotiate with the dealer and got more than what they first offered.

4) For logistics on the other side, I have already started looking at houses for rent and for cars to buy. Still trying to decide on whether to just buy a beater car, local specs for the time I'm there, or splurge on a newer car (not absolutely new). I want reliable wheels, so it's a case of doing the balancing act of price up front versus maintenance costs. On the house front, I am looking for a similar square footage as what I have here in some very specific villages near my place of work. So far, I've been fortunate to get in touch with two possible houses and hopefully another one to see when I get there. I will have to wait until my stuff gets there to enter into the contract, but I'm hoping that being a single person with no pets will be a good thing in terms of tenant desirability.

5) It has been weird emotionally with this move - I've moved many times and every time there is a bittersweetness to the process. I have been surprised by how many people have told me they would miss me here - I did not think I had made that many friends, and yet, I had. I have been transient all of my life, so have kept friends from all over the world. I do not have to be co-located geographically to stay connected. In any case, it is nice to know I have some more friends to add to my list :-)

6) My plane leaves next Monday and I will have three duffels, a carry-on and backpack with me. I'm reminded of my first move to the same location when I was in the military 18 years ago. I had three duffels, a carry-on and a backpack, only this time the duffels don't have uniforms and other military stuff....I've come full circle....
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:50 PM   #2
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Good luck! Sounds exciting. What town/area in Germany? -ERD50
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:51 PM   #3
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What an adventure for you, please check in from time to time and tell us where you ended up living and about your job and travels. Sounds like you will be busy. I hope it goes smoothly. You are working full time correct? I hope it's not too much of a shock to your system...
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:23 PM   #4
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What an adventure for you, please check in from time to time and tell us where you ended up living and about your job and travels. Sounds like you will be busy. I hope it goes smoothly. You are working full time correct? I hope it's not too much of a shock to your system...
haha - I've been telling people the 0730-1630 daily will definitely be a shock, but I can handle anything for a few years :-)
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:24 PM   #5
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Good luck! Sounds exciting. What town/area in Germany? -ERD50
I will be working at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and hope to live in Bann, Queidersbach or Obernbach or around that area....it's in the Kaiserslautern area of Rheinland-Pfalz.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:26 PM   #6
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Alles Gute in Deutschland, deserat!
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:34 PM   #7
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I will be working at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and hope to live in Bann, Queidersbach or Obernbach or around that area....it's in the Kaiserslautern area of Rheinland-Pfalz.
I've seen it on House hunters International

Spent a year in Germany in 66-67 Dad was stationed at Kitzingen.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:46 PM   #8
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Having spent 4 years working in Germany in the late 90s (greater Frankfurt area), I think you made the right decisions to sell your house and car. We had two cars while there, one was new and leased through a special deal by our employer, the other we purchased used. Although Hondas and Toyotas are scarce in Germany compared to the USA, we were able to relatively quickly find a 3 year old Toyota that was just what we needed, and it did not disappoint in reliability (only routine maintenance).

I hope you'll be able to take advantage of being pretty much in the center of Europe to do a lot of travel. Some of our favorite weekend trips were to the Alsace area of France - Riquewir in particular we visited several times just because it was so gosh darned cute,
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:29 PM   #9
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Good Luck with the move ! I hope it is a great move .
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:39 PM   #10
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Enjoy your time in Germany. Living there will be a good experience and able to go see a lot of Europe on vacations. Agree that selling your car and buying one over there is the best choice. Maybe an example where a lease might be a good idea? Guess it depends on how long you are actually there, 3-5 years is not very exact.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:02 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the good wishes - note, I've lived in Germany twice before and Riquewihr and Alsace are definitely old stomping grounds I am happy to revisit!!!

Yes - the car will be interesting....just need to get over there and see. Never thought about a lease.. thanks for the tip.
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:42 AM   #12
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I will be working at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and hope to live in Bann, Queidersbach or Obernbach or around that area....it's in the Kaiserslautern area of Rheinland-Pfalz.
Fantastic, Deserat, enjoy your old stomping grounds-- this time with more liberty and more money!

Please say hello to Dan Huffman (KeepInvestingSimpleStupid) and Megan Kuykendall for me. You'll freak out both of them.

And then you can tell them about reaching military retirement & financial independence with clay tablets and wooden styluses...
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:21 PM   #13
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Congrats! Enjoy your assignment.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:37 PM   #14
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Germany is one of the countries where a beater car is seldom seen. Most auto owners have more current automobiles.

If I was living there, I'd want a vehicle that'd get up and go. The times I've driven econoboxes on the autobahn, I felt absolutely inadequate--watching the Mercs and BMW's passing me at 130 mph/210 kmh
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:53 PM   #15
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Yes - BMWs and VWs are high on my list....love that German car immediate response :-)
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:56 PM   #16
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Fantastic, Deserat, enjoy your old stomping grounds-- this time with more liberty and more money!

Please say hello to Dan Huffman (KeepInvestingSimpleStupid) and Megan Kuykendall for me. You'll freak out both of them.

And then you can tell them about reaching military retirement & financial independence with clay tablets and wooden styluses...
Will do, Nords....hahaha - it wasn't that bad....however as I was purging, I was looking at old Fidelity, USAA and Vanguard statements...whoowee....some stooooopid choices back then chasing returns...but I think just having the discipline to save, save, save and keep my lifestyle costs below my means overcame the naivete of investment choices and I am truly FIRE'd, just adding to the pile now :-)
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:11 PM   #17
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Your relo story reminded me so much of mine. Good luck with your move to Germany!
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:19 AM   #18
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Update 2:

Made it to Germany in one piece, although had airline issues and was later than expected....all worked out OK.

Have found a car and will get possession of it tomorrow (long convoluted process with DoD and VAT and registration). Purchased a Euro spec manual VW with 60K miles on it. Will sell it here when leave in 3-5 years and purchase another car for use in USA.

Found a house to rent 5- 10 minutes commute from main workplace - newer house with radiant floor heating, a walk-in closet (unheard of in Germany), garage, small yard, nice kitchen and lots of bathrooms and bedrooms....plan to move in 1 August with furnishings arriving mid-August.

Am running around to meetings for in-processing, but have had a chance to chat up a few colleagues - this might be easier than I anticipated.

Now for the best part: I hit the ground on Tuesday 25 June. That weekend (Sat) I went canoeing on the Sauer River and did a 10 km Volksmarch (Sun). This weekend, I did the Rhine in Flames Tour and next weekend I will be taking a trip to Switzerland on the 'chocolate train' which takes a train trip through the Alps and visits a Chocolate and Cheese factory - 9t's a 24 hour trip - I return late Saturday night and will be doing ziplining in Elmstein on Sunday. The following weekend I'm signed up for a France-Germany hike (great hike along border here going from ruined castle to ruined castle and then eating Flammkuchen or Tarte Flambe afterward - yum!

Am looking at bike trip options and can't wait for ski season - also fest season has started, so lots of choices for wine fests.....

So far, loving this decision....as for the work part... we'll see :-)
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:07 PM   #19
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Update 2:

Made it to Germany in one piece, although had airline issues and was later than expected....all worked out OK.

Have found a car and will get possession of it tomorrow (long convoluted process with DoD and VAT and registration). Purchased a Euro spec manual VW with 60K miles on it. Will sell it here when leave in 3-5 years and purchase another car for use in USA.

Found a house to rent 5- 10 minutes commute from main workplace - newer house with radiant floor heating, a walk-in closet (unheard of in Germany), garage, small yard, nice kitchen and lots of bathrooms and bedrooms....plan to move in 1 August with furnishings arriving mid-August.

Am running around to meetings for in-processing, but have had a chance to chat up a few colleagues - this might be easier than I anticipated.

Now for the best part: I hit the ground on Tuesday 25 June. That weekend (Sat) I went canoeing on the Sauer River and did a 10 km Volksmarch (Sun). This weekend, I did the Rhine in Flames Tour and next weekend I will be taking a trip to Switzerland on the 'chocolate train' which takes a train trip through the Alps and visits a Chocolate and Cheese factory - 9t's a 24 hour trip - I return late Saturday night and will be doing ziplining in Elmstein on Sunday. The following weekend I'm signed up for a France-Germany hike (great hike along border here going from ruined castle to ruined castle and then eating Flammkuchen or Tarte Flambe afterward - yum!

Am looking at bike trip options and can't wait for ski season - also fest season has started, so lots of choices for wine fests.....

So far, loving this decision....as for the work part... we'll see :-)
So glad that you arrived safely, and that this is all working out for you! The rental house sounds wonderful and it's nice to be just a short commute to work.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:52 AM   #20
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Update - nearly one year later:

Well, I've gone back to being an employee for a year and am ready many times to just quit. 50% of the reason was the travel opportunities which have been shot since the COVID crisis. The job is, well, the job. Interestingly, I've been told I'm fantastic at what I do here - which is mostly tell people how to communicate effectively and think critically. Yowza, some of the bureaucratic viscosity is *amazing* and very difficult to face after you haven't had to for a few years.

Car is great - gets ~720 km a tank; house I rent is too big - way too big and has stairs. Will not be having stairs where I live next, for sure. Skiing was great except I'm getting older and I can tell; hiking is great; biking is great; other travel is great - when I can do it. Bad thing - I ended up in German hospital with pneumonia last September and wonder if I got this bug that is going around now - I had an Asian here in Germany on a vacation (family friends of someone) sit next to me on a 12 hour bus trip to Switzerland - got the flu for the first time in my life 2 days later and 2 weeks later double infiltrated pneumonia.

Money - really not an issue at all - almost ashamed at what I earn. Am not spending much. Only thing is the market and how that affects current portfolio, but I believe the cushion I had before as well as the years of saving and the AA I have, I will be fine - more than fine - whatever happens. I have established several streams of income and will have them staggered over the years for when they turn on.

Am telecommuting/working (term is different based on who you work for) now 100% and it seems like I'm working double what I normally do - I am fortunate I am working and getting paid, however, I am tired. I work in Health IT - the acceleration of the use of virtual tools for the delivery of healthcare while also ensuring other clinical systems have high availability keep me busy.

In light of the above, even though I am currently unable to move anywhere, I may not last the three years working here. I've noticed there is a mental exhaustion as I get older with regard to revisiting/rehashing/rethinking about things that I've experienced. I just hope to get a few more choice travel trips in and then it will be retired for sure with some small side gigs with my consulting business to keep the intellectual gears working.
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