For those who can do their work from home, spending the winter in southern climes has never been so attractive. More and more people are considering escaping bad weather, immense heating costs and galloping electricity inflation. What to consider.
No longer an insider tip among pensioners: When the German November threatens, you ideally pack your things – and move south. This is at least one variant for retirees who have additional income in addition to their pension. Because it’s only really cheap in areas where you don’t really want to be yourself.
In the meantime, however, full-time employees are also coming up with the idea. The typical computer nerd, the self-employed service provider whose home is also the office, the home worker who his employer only needs virtually in the office – all of these are candidates for an escape from the cold and galloping heating costs, from inflation and other unpleasant manifestations of life in Central Europe.
While pensioners are being ensnared by tourists from all sorts of angles, the potential of the mostly younger, globally adept professionals for German service providers is still rather unrecognized. As early as May, the Association of Independent Travel Agencies (VUSR) appealed to the federal government to give every pensioner a state subsidy on their way to Mallorca, because that would naturally save gas at home.
This was brusquely rejected by all political parties, but at least the message helped to convey: Pensioners, Mallorca needs you! In the meantime, there are complaints about sharp price increases, and this means that pensioners are more likely to stay at home, and even the “home(office) away from home” doesn’t really save anything there, gas price or not. A mass exodus would also cause domestic consumption to collapse, which the state does not want to encourage.
If it doesn’t have to be Mallorca, there are certainly countries where frost is foreign and which are affordable. For those who enjoy retirement, who can restrict themselves a little but are generally well off, FOCUS online has already created a hit list of warm refuges, which, however, cannot keep an eye on all the costs that Germans are inevitably confronted with, whether pensioners or laborers.
That ranges from the obligation to heat the home at home to a minimum. In addition, the usual (ancillary) costs remain for tenants if subletting is not permitted. In addition, insurance up to the broadcasting fee, which will not give way even if you flee the broadcasting area. You have to be able to afford to save a lot on gas, apparently.
There are numerous helpful websites for getting started abroad. The “Auswanderer-Handbuch” tries to show all possible life situations on the Internet that make a stay abroad conceivable, from posting by the employer to founding a company in warmer climes.
The pitfalls are tightly woven and numerous. Those countries that seem dreamy when you see palm trees and sand and nothing else often present cultural hurdles that can spoil your whole day. The culture shock of Asian paradises shouldn’t be underestimated – from cheap Thailand to Vietnam, the language barrier alone is huge, the customs are alien and the bureaucracy, well, it’s just like home.
After all, it can be lived relatively cheaply. This means that a skilled worker abroad can probably continue to finance a residence in Germany thanks to appropriate allowances. The time of the secondment is usually limited. However, many “expats” fall in love with their host country, which ideally should be explored before starting work, and remain there when the contract expires. In most cases, a change to a local employer was then offered; this works best in English and Spanish speaking countries. Then it’s at most a summer vacation in Germany.
It’s completely different for the self-employed, who don’t have to be present in person for the project or the service, or who can process long-term orders from the computer, of course. This means that the number of lucky people who can spend a season there in Turkey with living expenses of maybe 1,500 euros a month is quite small.
Even then, however, it is advisable to take a closer look at the additional costs. A stay abroad cannot be denied with the expected price increases for heating and electricity alone, even the flight tickets eat it up. And you definitely need international health insurance for longer periods of time. Depending on where you land, there is also a significant time difference. The daily morning conference via “Zoom” can sometimes take place at midnight. Must like.
International health insurance covers medical costs abroad and is indispensable in an emergency – now available from €12.60 per year
But a winter abroad as a rehearsal could be worth an additional financial burden for some. The emigrant author Sebastian Kühn did extensive research for this clientele and himself started a new life every month for a year in a new place in the world. The result is a book (as an e-book, of course) with numerous tips.
Surprising, and certainly not very effective given the geography, at least if you want to save on heating costs: Estonia, a paradise for nerds and internet-savvy adventurers. Life can really be organized there via the World Wide Web – it starts with the “e-residency” and all other governmental and non-governmental services are built on that. Practical: You don’t have to freeze in the Baltic States as a digital citizen of Estonia. Modern nomads are well taken care of, but this kind of thing is mostly closed to ordinary workers.
For employees, the employer’s consent is crucial in several respects: The basis is that 100 percent home office is possible. In the meantime, many also allow the home office not to be limited to the place of residence, but also to make mobile work possible abroad. Various bureaucratic hurdles are cleared in the way of companies. The decisive factor is that the wish comes from the employer: then it is a so-called posting, which allows a stay of up to six months before issues such as taxes or social security have to be re-regulated.
As long as you move within the European Union, legal obstacles are usually few and freedom of movement in the EU regulates many issues. You shouldn’t just rely on financial freedom from worries. For almost everyone, whether emigrants or digital globetrotters, the “heating cost savings” item is at best an additional little goodie. You can perhaps cheat the winter, but only to a limited extent with the shrinkage in your wallet.
The article “With home office in the south you can outsmart the gas price” comes from WirtschaftsKurier.