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Why financial consulting makes sense for an International in Germany

Fabian Beining - Senior Investment Consultant

Are you an international living in Germany and feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of the German financial system? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Navigating the ins and outs of financial planning and management can be a daunting task, especially in a foreign country. That’s where financial consulting comes in.

Financial consulting provides expert guidance and support to individuals and businesses to help them navigate the intricacies of the financial world.

In the context of international individuals in Germany, a financial consultant can play a crucial role in ensuring that your financial affairs are in order and optimized for your specific circumstances.

In this article, we will explore why hiring a financial consultant makes sense for internationals living in Germany. We will delve into the German financial system and its peculiarities, and discuss the various benefits of having a financial consultant by your side.

From managing international finances to planning for retirement and even estate and wealth planning, a financial consultant can provide invaluable assistance every step of the way.

So, let’s jump right into it and unravel the mysteries of the German financial system, shall we?

Understanding the German Financial System

When it comes to navigating the financial landscape in Germany, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the country’s unique financial system. Whether you are an international individual or a business operating in Germany, gaining knowledge about the German financial system can help you make informed decisions and optimize your financial planning. In this section, we will provide an overview of key aspects of the German financial system, including the banking sector, taxation and financial regulations, and insurance and retirement planning.

Overview of German Banking Sector

The German banking sector is known for its stability and robustness. It consists of various types of banks, including public banks, private banks, cooperative banks, and foreign banks. The banking system in Germany is highly regulated and supervised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Here are some key points to know about the German banking sector:

  • Public banks, known as Landesbanken, play a significant role in the German banking system. They are owned by the federal states and support regional economic development.
  • Private banks, both large and small, operate in Germany, offering a wide range of financial services, such as retail banking, wealth management, and investment banking.
  • Cooperative banks, also known as Sparkassen, are local or regional banks that are owned by their members. They focus on providing banking services to individuals, small businesses, and local communities.
  • Foreign banks, including international financial institutions, have a presence in Germany and cater to the needs of multinational corporations and individuals with international financial interests.

Taxation and Financial Regulations

Navigating the German taxation system can be complex, especially for foreigners or expatriates. Understanding the tax regulations and requirements is crucial to ensure compliance and optimize tax planning. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Germany operates on a progressive income tax system, which means that higher incomes are subject to higher tax rates. The tax rates vary depending on the level of income and the tax class.
  • Individuals are required to file an annual tax return, and it’s important to be aware of the various deductions and allowances available to minimize tax liabilities.
  • Value-added tax (VAT) is applied to most goods and services in Germany. The standard VAT rate is 19%, with reduced rates of 7% for certain goods and services.
  • Germany has strict regulations regarding money laundering and financial crimes. It’s important to understand and comply with these regulations when operating in the country.

Insurance and Retirement Planning

When it comes to insurance and retirement planning, Germany offers a comprehensive system to protect individuals and provide for their future needs. Here are a few key aspects to consider:

  • Health insurance is mandatory for all residents in Germany. The health insurance system is based on a social insurance model, with contributions from both employees and employers.
  • The German pension system provides retirement income to its citizens. It is based on a pay-as-you-go system, where current workers’ contributions fund the benefits of current retirees. Private pension plans are also available for individuals to supplement their retirement income.
  • Life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance are important components of financial planning in Germany. These insurances provide financial protection and support in times of need.

Understanding the German financial system is the first step towards effective financial planning and management. Whether you are an individual or a business, having a knowledgeable financial consultant by your side can help you navigate the complexities of the system and make informed decisions that align with your financial goals. In the next section, we will discuss the benefits of hiring a financial consultant in Germany.

Benefits of Hiring a Financial Consultant

When it comes to managing your finances, especially in a foreign country like Germany, it can be a daunting task. The German financial system has its own set of complexities and regulations that can be overwhelming for newcomers. This is where a financial consultant can come to your rescue. Hiring a financial consultant offers a range of benefits that can help you navigate the intricacies of the German financial landscape and make smarter financial decisions. Let’s explore some of these benefits:

Navigating the Complexities of German Laws and Regulations

The German financial system is known for its stringent laws and regulations. Understanding and complying with these laws can be a challenge. A financial consultant with expertise in the German financial market can guide you through the legal maze and help you stay compliant with all the necessary regulations. They can ensure that you are aware of your responsibilities and obligations, offering you peace of mind.

Optimizing Tax Planning and Minimization

Tax planning is crucial for individuals and businesses alike. However, it can be particularly intricate in a foreign country. A financial consultant can help you optimize your tax planning by identifying potential savings opportunities and minimizing your tax liabilities. They stay up-to-date with the latest tax laws and can offer you valuable advice on tax-efficient strategies to protect your hard-earned money.

Tailored Investment Strategies

Investing your money wisely is essential for long-term financial success. A financial consultant can evaluate your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences to create a tailored investment strategy that aligns with your needs. They have access to a wide range of investment vehicles and can provide you with personalized recommendations to help you make informed decisions. Whether you are interested in stocks, bonds, real estate, or other investment opportunities, a financial consultant can help you navigate the complexities and maximize your returns.

“A financial consultant can be your trusted partner in making sound financial decisions and achieving your long-term goals.”

With the expertise and guidance of a financial consultant, you can have confidence in your financial decisions and make educated choices that maximize your financial potential. They can help you simplify the complexities of the German financial system, optimize your tax planning, and tailor investment strategies to meet your unique needs. So, consider hiring a financial consultant to save yourself time, reduce stress, and secure your financial future.

Managing International Finances

Managing international finances can be a challenging task, especially when you are living and working in a foreign country like Germany. From currency exchange to cross-border investments, there are several factors that you need to consider. This is where a financial consultant can play a crucial role in helping you navigate the complexities of managing your international finances.

Currency Exchange and Foreign Currency Accounts

One of the key aspects of managing international finances is dealing with currency exchange. When you are living in a foreign country, you will often need to convert your earnings and savings into the local currency. A financial consultant can provide valuable insights and guidance on the best strategies for currency exchange, helping you minimize conversion costs and maximize your savings.

In addition to currency exchange, a financial consultant can also help you set up and manage foreign currency accounts. These accounts allow you to hold funds in different currencies, making it easier to handle international transactions and mitigate the risks of currency fluctuations. By working with a financial consultant, you can ensure that your international finances are managed efficiently and cost-effectively.

International Taxation Considerations

Managing international finances also involves understanding and complying with the taxation rules and regulations of both your home country and the foreign country you are residing in. This can be a complex task, as tax laws vary between countries and can be subject to change. A financial consultant who specializes in international taxation can provide you with the guidance you need to navigate through the intricacies of tax planning.

Whether it’s understanding your tax residency status, optimizing your tax return, or dealing with double taxation agreements, a financial consultant can help you make informed decisions to minimize your tax liabilities and ensure compliance with all relevant tax regulations.

Cross-Border Investments

Investing your money across borders can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and potentially increase your returns. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges and risks. A financial consultant can assist you in making informed investment decisions by analyzing the local and global investment landscape, assessing the risks involved, and designing tailored investment strategies that align with your financial goals.

By working with a financial consultant who understands the complexities of cross-border investments, you can gain access to a wider range of investment opportunities, manage risks effectively, and optimize your returns.

In summary, managing international finances requires careful consideration of currency exchange, international taxation, and cross-border investments. By enlisting the help of a knowledgeable financial consultant, you can navigate through these complexities with ease and confidence. With their expertise and guidance, you can make informed decisions that will help you maximize your savings, minimize your tax liabilities, and achieve your financial goals.

Planning for Retirement

Retirement planning is an essential aspect of financial management, regardless of where you live or work. When it comes to planning for retirement in Germany as an international, there are several key factors to consider. Let’s explore some of them below:

German Pension System

Germany has a well-developed pension system that provides retirement benefits to its citizens. As an international, it’s important to understand how this system works and what options are available to you. Some key points to note about the German pension system include:

  • Statutory Retirement Insurance: All employees in Germany are required to contribute to the statutory retirement insurance system, known as the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. These contributions are deducted from your salary and entitle you to receive a pension upon retirement.
  • Pension Eligibility: To be eligible for the full pension benefit, you generally need to have contributed to the statutory retirement insurance system for at least 60 months. However, there are other factors that can affect your eligibility, such as your age and the number of children you have.
  • Additional Pension Schemes: In addition to the statutory retirement insurance, there are other pension schemes available in Germany. These include occupational pension schemes (Betriebliche Altersvorsorge) and private pension plans (Private Altersvorsorge). These schemes provide additional retirement income on top of the statutory pension.

Private Retirement Planning Options

While the German pension system provides a solid foundation for retirement income, it’s often recommended to supplement it with private retirement planning options. Some popular options for international residents in Germany include:

  • Riester Pension: The Riester pension is a private pension scheme that offers government subsidies and tax advantages. It is available to individuals who are eligible for the statutory retirement insurance and choose to contribute to a Riester pension plan.
  • Rürup Pension: The Rürup pension, also known as the “Basisrente,” is a private pension scheme designed for self-employed individuals and high-income earners. Contributions to a Rürup pension plan are tax-deductible, providing additional tax benefits.
  • Investment Funds: Investing in retirement-focused investment funds can also be a viable option for international residents in Germany. These funds allow you to grow your retirement savings through investments in stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

Evaluating Investment Vehicles

When planning for retirement, it’s crucial to evaluate different investment vehicles to maximize your returns and mitigate risk. Some key points to consider when evaluating investment options include:

  • Risk Tolerance: Assess your risk tolerance and determine how much risk you are willing to take with your retirement savings. Generally, the younger you are, the more risk you can afford to take, as you have more time to recover from potential market downturns.
  • Diversification: Diversifying your investment portfolio is crucial to manage risk effectively. Consider spreading your investments across various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities.
  • Financial Advisor: It can be beneficial to seek the guidance of a financial advisor who specializes in retirement planning. They can help you navigate the complex investment landscape, tailor investment strategies to your specific goals, and provide ongoing monitoring and adjustments as needed.

Planning for retirement requires careful consideration of various factors, from understanding the German pension system to evaluating private retirement planning options and investment vehicles. By seeking the expertise of a financial consultant with knowledge of the German financial system, you can navigate these complexities with confidence and ensure that you are on track for a comfortable retirement. So start planning today and secure your financial future!

Risk Management

When it comes to managing your finances, one crucial aspect that you need to consider is risk management. Financial risks are inherent in any investment or business venture, and understanding how to assess and mitigate these risks is essential for long-term success. This is especially important for international individuals living in Germany, as the country has its own unique regulations and requirements. Hiring a financial consultant specializing in risk management can provide you with the expertise and guidance needed to navigate the complexities of the German financial system. Here are some key areas where a financial consultant can help you with risk management:

Insurance Coverage Requirements

Insurance is a vital component of risk management, as it provides protection against unexpected events and liabilities. In Germany, there are specific insurance coverage requirements that individuals and businesses must meet. These include health insurance, liability insurance, and car insurance, among others. A financial consultant can help you understand the different types of insurance coverage you need and guide you in finding the right insurance providers that offer the most comprehensive and cost-effective policies for your specific needs.

Property and Liability Insurance

Owning property comes with its own set of risks. Whether it’s your primary residence, investment property, or business premises, protecting your assets from damage or loss is crucial. Property insurance can provide coverage for events like fire, theft, natural disasters, and other unforeseen circumstances. Liability insurance, on the other hand, protects you from potential legal claims and damages if someone gets injured on your property or if you cause damage to someone else’s property. An experienced financial consultant can help you assess your insurance needs and recommend appropriate coverage options to ensure you are adequately protected.

Assessing Risks and Implementing Mitigation Strategies

Identifying and evaluating risks is an integral part of risk management. A financial consultant can conduct a comprehensive risk assessment for your specific financial situation and goals. They will analyze various factors, such as market volatility, economic conditions, and regulatory requirements, to determine potential risks and their potential impact on your finances. Based on this assessment, they can then develop and implement tailored risk mitigation strategies to protect your investments and assets. These strategies may include diversifying your investment portfolio, setting up emergency funds, and implementing risk management tools such as insurance and hedging strategies.

Seeking Expert Advice

Risk management is a complex field that requires a deep understanding of financial markets, legal regulations, and industry trends. Without proper knowledge and expertise, it can be challenging to effectively manage and minimize financial risks. By hiring a financial consultant specializing in risk management, you gain access to expert advice and insights tailored to your specific needs. They can guide you through the intricacies of risk management, provide you with strategies to protect your assets, and help you make informed decisions based on your risk tolerance and financial goals.

In conclusion, risk management is a critical aspect of managing your finances, especially as an international individual living in Germany. By hiring a financial consultant specializing in risk management, you can benefit from their expertise and guidance in navigating the complexities of the German financial system. They can help you meet insurance coverage requirements, find the right property and liability insurance policies, assess risks, and implement effective risk mitigation strategies. With their advice and support, you can better protect your investments and assets, ensuring long-term financial stability and success.

Estate and Wealth Planning

When it comes to planning for the future and ensuring the smooth transfer of wealth and assets, estate planning is crucial. In Germany, estate and wealth planning are governed by specific laws and regulations that may differ from other countries. To navigate this complex landscape and ensure your estate is properly managed, it is highly recommended to hire a financial consultant who specializes in estate and wealth planning. Here are some key aspects of estate and wealth planning in Germany that you should be aware of:

German Inheritance Laws

  • Germany has its own set of inheritance laws that dictate how a person’s assets are distributed after their death. These laws are known as the “Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch” (BGB).
  • In Germany, the concept of “forced heirship” exists, which means that certain close family members have a legal right to a portion of the deceased person’s estate.
  • Understanding these laws can help you plan your estate in a way that aligns with your wishes and minimizes potential conflicts among your heirs.

Asset Protection Strategies

  • Asset protection is an essential aspect of estate planning. It involves taking steps to protect your assets from potential risks and ensure they pass on to your intended beneficiaries.
  • One common method of asset protection is the establishment of trusts. A trust allows you to transfer your assets to a separate legal entity, managed by a trustee, for the benefit of your chosen beneficiaries.
  • Another strategy is the use of foundations, which can provide long-term protection and administration of assets for charitable or philanthropic purposes.

Setting up Trusts and Foundations

  • Setting up trusts and foundations requires careful planning and consideration. A financial consultant specializing in estate and wealth planning can assist you in establishing these structures and guide you through the legal processes.
  • They can tailor the trust or foundation to your specific needs and ensure compliance with German laws and regulations.
  • A financial consultant can also provide ongoing management and administration services for your trust or foundation, ensuring that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.

In conclusion, estate and wealth planning in Germany involve navigating complex laws and regulations. Hiring a financial consultant who specializes in this area can provide invaluable assistance in ensuring your assets are protected, your wishes are upheld, and your estate is managed in the most effective way possible. They can guide you through the intricacies of German inheritance laws, help you develop asset protection strategies, and assist in setting up trusts or foundations. By working with a financial consultant, you can have peace of mind knowing that your estate and wealth will be handled with expertise and care.


In conclusion, navigating the complexities of the German financial system can be challenging for internationals living in Germany. That’s why hiring a financial consultant can make a lot of sense. A financial consultant can help you understand the German banking sector, taxation and financial regulations, as well as insurance and retirement planning.

By hiring a financial consultant, you can benefit from their expertise and knowledge of the German financial system. They can help you optimize your tax planning, tailor investment strategies to your specific goals, and manage your international finances effectively. With their guidance, you can make informed decisions and maximize your financial opportunities while minimizing risks.

Additionally, a financial consultant can assist you in planning for your retirement. They can provide you with insights into the German pension system, help you explore private retirement planning options, and evaluate different investment vehicles. With their assistance, you can ensure a comfortable and secure retirement future.

Moreover, a financial consultant can help you with risk management by assessing your insurance coverage requirements, advising on property and liability insurance, and implementing mitigation strategies. They can guide you through the complexities of German inheritance laws, help you protect your assets, and set up trusts and foundations to ensure proper estate and wealth planning.

At Finanz2Go, we specialize in providing personalized investment advice and asset management services for internationals and expats living in Germany. Our team of licensed and certified investment advisors is dedicated to helping you build wealth, plan for retirement, and optimize your investment portfolios. Join our Financial Expat Community and take control of your financial future.

Remember, when it comes to your financial well-being in Germany, seeking the guidance of a financial consultant can make all the difference.

Join our Financial Expat Community and discover how we can help you to make the most of your financial journey in Germany!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is financial consulting?Financial consulting refers to the professional service provided by experts who offer advice and solutions to individuals or businesses on financial matters such as budgeting, investment strategies, tax planning, risk management, and more.
  2. Why should an international living in Germany consider financial consulting?An international living in Germany may find financial consulting beneficial due to the complexities of the German financial system, tax laws, and regulations. Financial consultants can provide guidance on optimizing financial resources, ensuring compliance, and taking advantage of available opportunities.
  3. What are the advantages of seeking financial consulting in Germany?Seeking financial consulting in Germany can help internationals understand the local financial landscape, navigate bureaucratic procedures, minimize tax liabilities, make informed investment decisions, and ensure financial stability and compliance with legal obligations.
  4. How can financial consulting help with tax planning for internationals in Germany?Financial consultants can analyze an international’s unique tax situation and provide personalized tax planning advice, ensuring compliance with German tax laws while optimizing deductions and credits, minimizing tax liabilities, and maximizing financial resources.
  5. Are financial consulting services expensive?The cost of financial consulting services can vary depending on the complexity of the individual’s or business’s financial needs and the expertise of the consultant. However, considering the potential savings, tax optimization, and financial security achieved through professional advice, the cost is usually justified.