Prevention: this is how you invest your money correctly

Questions about money – answers from Helma Sick.

Helma Sick


Do old bills still have any value?

I rearranged my bookshelf and found six hundred in a book, unfortunately in D-Marks. Surely they have no more value, right?

Yes, they still have a value. You can exchange D-Mark notes and coins at the Deutsche Bundesbank for euros at any time at the irrevocable exchange rate of 1.95583 DM = 1 euro. There is no time limit for this. Under you will find the addresses of the individual branches and everything you need to know about exchanges.


What contracts should I have?

I have all kinds of insurance and I don't know if I really need it. Can you tell me what should and shouldn't be?

Basically: Risks threatening existence must be covered. You don't need insurance for damage that you can bear yourself. For example, glass insurance is unnecessary for private individuals because a new window pane is usually cheaper than a policy that has been in place for many years. Luggage insurance is also superfluous because the loss of luggage is usually covered by household insurance or by the tour operator.

A traffic legal protection insurance makes sense. If there are problems with labor or tenancy law, however, trade unions, social associations or the tenants' association often offer better protection. Nobody needs a vehicle passenger accident insurance: Passengers are covered by the driver's vehicle liability insurance. For the driver, his health insurance or an accident insurance would be responsible. So go through your insurance folder and separate yourself from anything that is superfluous.

Joint custody

How do I protect my children from financial terror?

I've been divorced for years. But my ex-husband doesn't stop terrorizing me and uses my children to do so. An example: My son (16) needed a credit card for a trip abroad. To do this, in turn, he needed his own account. My ex-husband refused to sign the account opening documents. I could only do that through legal proceedings. Now my son has an account, but the father threatens that he can have it blocked at any time and that he would like to see all bank statements in order to check them. I learned from the bank that he wanted to convert the account into an AND account, then my son can only withdraw money with him. I want to end this perfidious game. What shall I do?

Our lawyer says: Since the father obviously shares custody with you, he can actually check the bank statements. The transfer of the account to an AND account is possible under banking law, but is not entitled to do so under custody. Since you have already obtained a court order to open your son's account, you should have the court specify this so that the account should not be an And account. I recommend that you apply for sole custody of financial matters (and possibly other sub-areas if there were also difficulties here) as he appears to be using his custody to harass you and your children.


Where can we find partnership marriage contracts?

I will get married soon. My boyfriend and I want to draw up a prenuptial agreement. We found model contracts on the Internet, but they are all formulated in favor of the man. Can you give us a tip on where we can find a contract that sufficiently takes women's interests into account?

My best tip: Don't look for a suitable marriage contract on the internet. Even if you should find a pattern that takes a woman's concerns into account. He will hardly have anything to do with your very personal situation. But that's exactly what matters. You should have your marriage contract drawn up by a lawyer specializing in family law. Then it will fit your situation exactly. And you will also be competently informed about all the consequences that could result from such a contract. Mutually. Of course it costs money. But that shouldn't be an obstacle. You will have reasons for a marriage contract. And they should be worth the fee to you.


What do I pay as a pensioner?

I am considering taking out private pension insurance for retirement. But now I've heard that old age pensions have to be fully taxed. With the low return, there is almost nothing left. What should be attractive about it?

Your assumption is incorrect. Only pensions from state-sponsored models (Riester, Rürup, company and statutory pension schemes) are highly taxed. Private pensions, on the other hand, are only taxed slightly, with the so-called income share. The amount depends on the age at which you start drawing this private pension. If, for example, you receive the private pension from 67, you only have to pay tax on 17 percent of this pension. If you move in from 70, it would only be 15 percent, etc.

Legal protection

Useful for students?

My daughter is studying. I would like to take out legal protection insurance for you. What do I have to look out for?

In my opinion, legal expenses insurance is not one of the types of insurance that you absolutely have to have at a young age. Personal liability insurance and disability insurance are vital for your daughter. This protects her and others to whom she could harm. You need legal protection insurance, for example, if you drive a lot by car (traffic legal protection) or have a difficult employer (labor legal protection) or if a landlord causes trouble (rental legal protection). You should first check whether your daughter really needs legal protection insurance and whether the existential risks are covered.

BRIGITTE WOMAN financial expert Helma Sick runs the company "Frau und Geld" in Munich with Renate Fritz and is a successful book author.

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