Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Life  % width 51

Moving a family to Poland, any info, advice needed

headstrong 1 | 9  
21 Mar 2007 /  #1
ok, so here it goes:
we are planing on moving with our two kids (both toddlers) to Poland in the next year. I was born and left when a teenager (over 18 years ago), and my husband is 100% Canadian. We are both in our mid 30ies. We are planing to move to either Warsaw or Gdansk. What is the basic amount of cash flow we should take to survive for 1 year. what are the prospects of jobs. Mind you, my husband has been working in food service wholesale (coffee, fair trade, organics, conventionals, etc), and owning a quite successfull cafe in Toronto, but his educations is really just high school. My experience is in corporate administration, but I have only a basic certificate in accounting, and not administration, though. So what are our chances for good paying jobs (living at the level of an average Pole is not interesting to us, especially since I have been a stay at home mom fr the last 3 years). Also how muchis a basic (with automatic transmission), gently used, not more than 2-3 year old car? What about loans for car, condo, house? What would the combined income be to live like a normal person (used to all the Western goodies and not scraping around)?

Either way and info, pointers would be greatly apprecited.

(it really is my idea to move - you know, Canada is great to live when it comes to educations, medical, etc, but I would much rather be in Europe, so we can travel, and be able to attend many theatres, galleries and such, which in Toronto are not many or absolutelly overpriced).

BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
21 Mar 2007 /  #2
i am biased headstrong but i suggest gdansk - much more fun for kids growing up, beach and forest on the doorstep etc...

getting worthwhile jobs without a competent knowledge of polish will not be easy and the job market in the tri city is obviously not the same as warszawa... saying that... IMO the tri city is ripe for the introduction of fair trade and organics and there is a growing cafe culture... why not just pick up where youre leaving of...

costs are hard to estimate - house prices are soaring as we speak and loans for new comers are not so easy to come by. that said, rent remains comparitively low and you could probably live a reasonable life for in the region of 6k zl pm...

if you want more specifics, ask and people will happily answer...
21 Mar 2007 /  #3
I'm sure you have already, but I would read as many threads on similar topics and ganer as much info as possible. Then you'll be able to ask more specific questions.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
21 Mar 2007 /  #4
What would the combined income be to live like a normal person (used to all the Western goodies and not scraping around)?

1.5-2 thousand EUR a month.
OP headstrong 1 | 9  
21 Mar 2007 /  #5
thank you for such a quick response.

I am leaning more towards Gdansk. We are thinking about the coffee industry, even though Poles LOOOVE their tea and lemon, :). However, before that idea will bear any fruit, we will need to have ways to support ourselves so the question still is:

Can a person really accumulate as many students as needed to actually be able to support oneself just from private lessons, translations, etc? My Polish is more than sufficient for obvious reasons.

thank you.
Speachless - | 11  
22 Mar 2007 /  #6
Me and my family are moving to Poland too. My wife is Polish, we have two small children 2 and 4, and I'm American. We will probably move to Krakow in May and we too are thinking of getting into the coffee business. Our move is motivated by getting the best quality of life for our children. We estimate that 9000zl a month is what we need to get us settled. Then, after we are there for a while, we'll adjust that amount to fit our needs. Less is always better.
jolly happy  
22 Mar 2007 /  #7
Hi everybody! We are as well planning to move to Wroclaw. I've been told that a 4 bed house is £1500 a mth, international british school is £600 per mth, a new peugueot 806(i think thats the number) is £25k.

taking these figures into account, I still can't get my head round to the fact that people say that it is very cheap to live over there. A 4 bed house for sale in a nice area (outside Wroclaw) costs £300K !! Surely with those kind of figures your monthly salary after tax can't be less than 24,000 zl, which seems an extroardinary amount to me!!

Does anybody have any knowledge on the subject? Thank you
22 Mar 2007 /  #8
People, what are You talking about?! Moving from Canada or USA to Poland? ARE YOU CRAZY? Actually I am now in Poland I have been to the USA, the UK and I can tell You Your idea is just sick. Do You know ANYTHING about Poland? Don't You know why most of us wants to go aboard ASAP?

1. Poland is not expensive ONLY when You work aboard. I see You count and think "ohh, how cheap it is, blablaba" but actually when You work here You will work all Your whole life for a stupid new middle class car! And the CASH is not everything I can say there are much more important differences between Poland and other countries, and of course

Average salary: 2500 PLN monthly * 2 PPL = 5000 PLN * 12 months = 60000 PLN (~20 000 USD)

6-8 year Audi A6 = at least 30000-40000 PLN (so more than average Pole can get in one year lol of course if he will keep everyting, well will be hard if You like to drink, eat or just live!)

One square meter in even older flat in a bigger town can be now even 10000 PLN in Warsaw and more. In smalller cities (but not small at all - 100000 - 400000 occupants) - 4000-5000 PLN (Szczecin) 6000 (Olsztyn) etc. So 2-bedroom and 1-livingroom flat is at least 60 m^2. 60 * 5000 = 300000 PLN (100 000 USD!). AT LEAST. You are going to work together for that flat about 5 years without spending a cent! If Your salary will be 2500 PL, well it's much easier now to find a job for 1500 than 2500, especially with a high school only!

Oh. Clothes, oil, cars, computer parts, notebooks, mobiles, ipods etc. are MUCH MUCH cheaper in the America or England. And the average salary in the UK is 6x higher than in the UK, but who cares!

It was about cash about only. Want to hear something about politicans, education system, mortgaged hospitals, 500 deaths in car accidents in 2 days because of drunk drivers, police, thieves etc.?






You must be sick.

And do not search for docs here - they are in the UK.

And please do not delete this post, I am now in Poland and everything what I wrote is true. I don't want those people to waste their lives and I can't believe there are people who want to go here when everyone is trying to go out.

Did You even tried to think WHY the three Polish biggest cities are:

Warsaw - 1,7 mln - Poland
Chicago - 1,5 mln - the USA
London - 1 mln or more - who knows? - the UK?

If You think the answer is really simple and it's MONEY You are really wrong...
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
22 Mar 2007 /  #9
You must be sick.

Well, some people can make it anywhere. Guess you have to be a determined person, but it can work.
22 Mar 2007 /  #10
unfortunately for some people on this forum (which I don't give a fly about anyways) I have to agree with Polak. He said it like it realy is.

Poland is good to retire in, with a foreign pension.

Good luck Polak, you are a brave soul:)

But hey, some people who like challanges - go for it, and before you do, do the homework.
hello 22 | 891  
22 Mar 2007 /  #11
Great post, Polak; many valid points. On the other hand, I don't think those people who want to move to Poland have hard time to make ends meet -- they are mostly well-off people who find Poland attractive for other reasons than "getting rich". But I agree those who think it's easier to live in Poland than in the US/Canada/GB, having an average job, are very mistaken.
jolly happy  
22 Mar 2007 /  #12
Hi Polak,

Are you polish who has lived abroad and gone back to poland?

How does taxation work over there? When does the 40% kick in?

And one more thing, you mention average wage: 2,500pln or 25,000pln per month.Surely with 2,500 per month you can't live!! Figures do not add up!!!
22 Mar 2007 /  #13
I have many friends that have emigrate from the UK just as I am intending to do.
To leave ones homeland and seek to settle else where is a challenge and to do so unprepared would be foolish.
Its a old English tradition, that young gentlemen of no means, would seek their fortunes abroad. So I'm following that tradition. If it fails, it fails. Que sera sera.

All this constant xenaphobic claptrap, of Poles warning foreigners against Poland and Brits warning Poles about the UK.

The key word is MONEY. Bottomline.
OP headstrong 1 | 9  
22 Mar 2007 /  #14
thank you for your consideration Polak. and you are right on many points. However, there is more to life than work 12 hrs per day like generally people do here on their own. there are a lot of people who are just plainly tired of the commute for 3-4 hours per day to get to work and back. and you must admit that the occasions to visit a museum, art gallery or even to go and see a good play or travel somewhere for a weekend really is much easier in Europe than in Canada or US.

it's not the money, it's the quality.

and I do live in a big city, so it's not like we do not have the opportunity here. Nevertheless, Canada is trully a great country to lead and very quiet, and vary slow life. And I really mean QUIET & SLOW.


all the best.
krysia 23 | 3,058  
22 Mar 2007 /  #15
Sometimes it's good to go there for vacation and check things out at first before sell everything and move. It could be hard at first, people in Poland are not as honest as in the US or Canada, you have to watch out what kind of car they sell you. It will look good but there will be something wrong and they won't tell you.

Also bribes are very common.
hello 22 | 891  
22 Mar 2007 /  #16
2,500pln or 25,000pln per month

I'm confident he meant 2,500 pln per month (that's the average payment in the city).
22 Mar 2007 /  #17
Also bribes are very common:)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
22 Mar 2007 /  #18
Can a person really accumulate as many students as needed to actually be able to support oneself just from private lessons, translations, etc?

Rather not. If you want to teach English, first of all you should find a private language school.
Speachless - | 11  
22 Mar 2007 /  #19
Wow Polak, I thank you for your time. You are right, making money in the states is fairly easy. But the quallity of life is deceiving. And by far, the easiest thing to get here is into debt. Anything you want to buy is right here waiting for you, and the bank is begging for you to do so. It is very materialistic here, and unlike Poland, there is no comradere in the despair and frustrations. My family and I are looking for a place where my kids can spend time with their grandparents, can attend cultural events without angst (financial or sellouts), and my wife and I can try a new business.

We visit Poland once or twice and year, and my kids are bilingual. We are in love with Poland and all it has to offer. If we decide to try, I won't be too surprised if we fail. At least we will have another family experience under our belt.

From what I have seen, the larger cities in Poland are doing well. There isn't much poverty, the stores are well stocked, people are well dressed, the hotels are often full, the property prices continue to rise, the cars are all in good shape and people are well educated. This all points to a society that is getting an ever increasing amount of expendable income. I understand that the national unemployment is large, I also understand that Poland has only been a member of the EU for 3 years and was independent from Communism for only 15 years before that. There are 38 million people there that are strong minded and have a lot of national pride.

I meet a lot of Poles around New York that have decent manual labor jobs, work very hard, but I'm not always sure what they are working for. Some of the smart ones save thier money and move back to Poland. Some start successful businesses, or educate themselves and get good jobs. Mostly, I see the kids of immigrants well intrenched in the American dream. That of course is progressively more and more elusive. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and middle class works more and more. This overworked middle class gets brief respite in consumerism; only to become more deeply entrenched in a rut, with less choices.

We are exploring the idea of living in Poland because we feel there are more oportunities in it's furtile growth than most countries. We lived in Costa Rica last year and found it too hot and too difficult to make a living. CR is a much better place to retire than Poland because if I ever get to that age my tired bones will welcome the warmth. But in the mean time, I love the seasons of the north.

Well bla bla bal. I may be insane for even entertaining the idea of moving, but I'll know in the next couple weeks. Hopefully I will have rented an apartment by June. My daughter is already enrolled in a school for September, there is a meet and greet at the end of May, and we don't want to miss the Dragon parade in Krakow.

Did I just write my opus to move?
22 Mar 2007 /  #20
If You think the answer is really simple and it's MONEY You are really wrong...

Polak, Thanks for you insight, I've detected a lot of anger and bitterness in your responds which is understandable. Things will never be good in Poland whilst the average wage is some 2000zl a month and house prices rise at a alarming rate and increasingly out of reach of the majority of polish people.

I understand people like Ola who are working hard and see no light at the end of the tunnel. I understand people especially in country Poland resorting to drugs,alcohol, and crime frustrated with the whole system.

I have no time for the new rich and foreigners in Poland snapping up opportunities at the expense of the Poles.
The Poles have suffered for far too long and what is going on now is most unfair.
At the end of the day justice will prevail and Poland will be Poland once again.
My hat goes off to you Polak, hang in there, and maintain the faith.
Speachless - | 11  
22 Mar 2007 /  #21
My wife warned me about the xenophobes and other racists. 3 out of 4 of my family are Polish citizens, are we welcomed only in Chicago?

I don't want to engage in a useless battle of education, ignorance and immigration, I only wish I have the opportunity to spend time with people like most of you.

Headstrong, thank you for starting this thread, I would like to hear more about your thoughts, frights and time line.
23 Mar 2007 /  #22
Are you polish who has lived abroad and gone back to poland?

Yes, and I will back aboard of course :-( I don't want to, because it's never good for a man to leave his homeland.

How does taxation work over there? When does the 40% kick in?

It kicks in when Your income is higher than 85,528 PLN/year (abt 28,500 USD).

And when you employ a worker it costs You at least 25% of his salary + tax for him is at least 19% so at the start it's waste of almost 45% of his and Your cash. And that's the true only for min. salary, if You want to pay him more (actually You have to pay at least 1.5x more nowadays because not many people will work for 900 PLN) You will be much more taxed. Otherwise the 45% for min salary is not so high because it's only a part of Your costs, really it's at least 60 to even 90%... That's why You HAVE to cheat the country if You want to live...

Even with so high taxes the Polish Pension System is going to crash. And it will really hurts. Actually one of Polish financial magazines wrote it will happen in next few years. Can You imagine what gonna happen in Canada, the USA or any other country when president will say "End od pensions. Have a nice die :)"? I am sure I want to be far away from here when he will have to LOL! But I am not sure what my parents are working for now... :|

It will crash even if it's one of the most thievish pension system on the whole world. For example:

A man works all his life, he pays the taxes for ZUS (ZUS stands for Institution of Public Insurance - the biggest thief in Europe), he had to pay because everybody have, after 45 years of work he have paid at least 100,000 USD so now he is rich. When he reach 65 yo he can became a pensioner.

OK it's fair You will say. I agree. Till this point it's ALMOST fair because the pensioners cash is not working for itself (it is but not for him), actually if he will have a opportunity of putting this cash to a bank he will have now about 150,000 USD or even more. But OK, who cares!!!

Now check this out:

The man have his 200,000 USD in ZUS. He can't get everything, NO, NO WAY! His pension will be maybe 500 USD/month (nobody nowadays gets more than 1000 USD/month). Here's the tricky part:

200,000 USD/500 USD = 400

200 months : 12 = 32 years +

Life expectancy in Poland for a man is about 75 years

See? ;-)

When the same man will work in Germany and die his cash will be given to his wife, kids etc.

Nothing! Cash disappears! Haha! Work over 40 years, get pension for 5 years then die and let us do repairs in our office for 14 mln USD (actually they spent 14 mln USD for some repairs in ZUS Office in Cracov - of course if You think they spent it all on repairs You must be naive...).

New ZUS place in Warsaw will cost us AT LEAST 60 MLN USD.

What's here so funny? That: ZUS's debt is now almost 1 MLD (!) USD.

Anything to add?

I will have to take my parents from here ASAP because this system is going to crash and I think we'll have new. It will be new Argentina 2001...

And what government did for fix that? They have sent our soldiers to Iraq (134 MLN USD/year) or Afghanistan (about 70 MLN USD). Of course we do not have this cash, but who cares. It's so nice to attack other countries!

Ok, I don't say it's wrong, nope! I just think we are not ready for a war, we are just too poor for doing that or buying F16. We do not have even ONE nuclear plant etc. and we want to rule the world with the USA, the UK and other RICH countries.

That's just crazy, that's just sick, soon there will be war here, in Poland and nobody knows how it will finish.

But it will start.

There's no future for Your children people, believe me.

I am not talking about xenophoby etc. but about something what he can do nothing about and that's just making me cry, because after years we still have to emigrate and most of us feel like we are still the part of USSR.

If You are trying to learn Polish try to translate this Polish songs about everything that I wrote: ;-)

And it was written more than ten years ago... Blah, nothing changes.
23 Mar 2007 /  #23
Save yourselfs !!!!! the prophet had spoke the end is coming!!!! dude and I just emigrate to poland may god be with me !!!!
Speachless - | 11  
23 Mar 2007 /  #24
Polak, you raise a lot of valid points but you seem to believe that UK or USA are some flawless places with no health, retirement or war issues. May I remind you that not so long ago people in London were afraid to get on the tube? I was in NY city when the towers fell down and milions of people lost jobs, businesses lost offices and all their property and many lost someone very close.

Six years later, people come up who suffer from cancer, that developed while they were performing clean up work at Graound 0. Those people are the Poles, the Hispanics and the Albanians. There is no medical help for them because not enough reaserch was done to prove that cancer is directly related to clean up work at Ground 0.

A lot of the Polish people I know in NY have very bad health insurance or none. A lot of my friends decide to work crappy, unsatisfactory, boring jobs just to have the security of health insurance. They go to Poland in the summer to take care of their health needs. Is this a way to live? I pay for my health insurance $680 a month which is the cheapest to get and it is not very good. The better ones are $1200 a month. I don't have dental care, optometrist, rehabilitation, psychiatric etc. I have to pay for presctiption medications or even an ambulance out of pocket (not a small change). Ride in an ambulance (3 miles) $1200 !!!

There is lots of flaws in the health system. I could tell you lots of stories that would make you think going to the doctor in Poland is great.

I have learned to navigate the system by now but I paid my tuition.

As for the Polish doctors working in the UK, I know they do that but only for the weekend or a shift here and there. Those docs still work for the Polish hospitals, see patients privately and educate themselves in Poland. I know that from the docs. My mom has a private clinic and lots of great specialists work for her, live in Poland and just go abroad for conference or occasional shifts. I am not saying it is good that they have to do that but it is not all that terrible.

I assume you do not have children, Polak? Headstrong and I do. Childcare is very expensive in the US. If you want to continue to work as a woman and have noone to help you, you have to hire strangers to raise your children. Most of my friends in Poland do not have to worry about it. There is always grandma around to help. I have to take my kids with me everywhere. (dentist, OB, hairdresser, grocery shopping, jogging). Have you ever jogged with a child??? It is not much fun.

Last time I was in Poland my cousins and friends with children just dropped the kids off at grandma and went to see a movie? I was shocked how easy that was. I have to arrange for a babysitter, pay her at least $10 per hour and worry all the time if my kids are OK. Thoughts like is this girl honest, will she know what to do in case of emergency etc.

and going to see a movie is more stressfull than fun.
I can go on for hours about other things (consumerism in America, overblown competitiveness at school, workplace, bad nutrision at schools and how to get anything good you have to pay hefty ($14.000-20.000 per year for a good private school for a 4 year old!!! ) it is great to come and make the $$$ and bring those back (although the slipping $ makes me wonder. It is 2.9 to the zloty now!!!)

Let me know which subjects would you like me to ellaborate on.
Headstrong, we should talk. I might have some helpful info for you about schools for kids and other things.
23 Mar 2007 /  #25
Speachless you come to poland no babysitter fees any more . Polak you go to america and we donne with the problem !!!!

polak is right in his analises , in general ...once you Speachless take individual case to put in comparison , not many people in poland can leave the kids with they Grannies on and off he is right thats why more Poles decide to live outside .Hearstrong if you have the cash to come to live here do it, for all what you are looking for is better here then in the US but once that said .if you want make the cash to get acess tho these better cultural events and easy acess travel to all those near by places then be ready for a hell of a ride .
23 Mar 2007 /  #26
zion, pfff... Yeah, laugh, actually in next 15 years 35% of population here will be pensioners and now ZUS haves 2 mld USD debt and is losing mlns of USD every day... And today only 13% of Poles are 65yo and older...

Speachless, oh my God :) I know other countries ain't flawless but why are You taking about terrorism?

Stop doing that, I know government wants You to do that but just stop. What's the point? You said "the USA isn't perfect because Osama Bin Laden doesn't like us"? That's just nonsense! Wake up! Who is guilt? You? People from London? Bush? Nope. So what we are talking about? I can also say "Poland sux, because Putin doesn't like us". So what? It's there a problem with Poland or with him? :|

And here in Poland we had no terrorism (but probably will :|) but we have our government and everything is REALLY UP TO US.

Do You see the difference?

Stop talking about terrorism, actually we are partners and planes can land in my room also. And here's no my fault and I can do nothing with that.

BTW about the Tube in London - we will be never afraid because we have only one metro in Poland and the route lenght is about 18 kms - You can always go by walk or using a cab :>

Maybe that's even better because there's no place to attack? The pride of Warsaw - PKiN was built by Russians so we will be all happy if someone will destroy this building. What more? I am not sure. Maybe castles? Forrests? Hum... As I said before we do not have even modern power plants...

About the health insurance - I really believe it's cheaper in Poland BUT it's CHEAP ONLY WHEN YOU WORK ABOARD SO THAT'S WHY YOUR POLISH FRIENDS ARE COMING HERE. You see - You don't have cash for dental care and here one porcelaine teeth = 50% of month salary in my city (200,000 occupants).

Actually my dad pays almost 600 USD for health insurance monthly and it's almost useless and he still have to do everything in private clinics so I see no difference here. Actually my dad's boss is as I said paying for it too so I guess the health insurance system gets even more than 600 USD (but I can say my dad salary is much better than random Pole). And it's much more easier to get 600 USD in the USA and there's much harder to find a GOOD job in Poland than in the UK/USA (especially if You are experienced and eduacated).

I know really lots of HAPPY Poles from States so I don't know what the problem is, maybe You have never been to Poland so You don't know the difference and You think the health insurance is worst in the USA? Do You have bailiffs in the American Hospitals? Do Your hospitals have xx MLD USD debts? Do Your government have to beg west banks to wait with execution of debt of the biggest American hospital and 95% of the rest? So what we are talking about?

Many docs are already in the UK, Germany even Spain... NOT FOR THE SHIFTS ONLY. And don't even ask for nurses!

You said the childcare in the USA is expensive. Do You think here isn't? You will also have to hire strangers (what is not so popular - not many people have $ for that).

Don't people have grandmothers in the USA? Or maybe the Polish ones are better? I don't understand.

I can agree only with private schools for kids, in Poland it's about 10x times cheaper, but the best ones can be also really expensive.

Pozdro! ;-)
Speachless - | 11  
23 Mar 2007 /  #27
Oh are some angry person with a lot of venom. Actually I come to Poland twice a year. I was born, raised and finished college there I am very educated about the situation there and see things quite dirreretntly. I opened a business there and it is doing quite well so far. I pay only half of the ZUS for 2 years. It is a new incentive for young people to open businesses. It helps.

As for the grandmas in America- they either live too far or don't want to care for their grandkids. It is their right. They come to the gym and have lunch with their friends and travel.

Young people have to get independent fast...pretty much at 16 everybody works (after school or between classes). I did so as well and in Poland many young people do not want to work and expect God knows what?

There are opportunities for the educated and hardworking but surely none for the lazy and dumb ones.
By te way your discouraging comments are really sad for people like me who want to do something good in Poland and come back to their home country with new insight and ideas.

wish you luck with that kind of attitude !
OP headstrong 1 | 9  
23 Mar 2007 /  #28
well, we could talk "'till kingdom come" which country is better to live.

it depends on personal goals and experiences, as well as connections (let's not kidd ourselves about that one - it's an everpresent occurence in EVERY country).

to each his own - as many say.

I know a lot of people who moved back to Poland after living here for quite some time.
I'm lucky enough to know people who are doing very well in Poland. I do go there periodically about every two years for 2-4 months at a time.

Nothing wrong with going back to whence one came.

all the best.

and another thing is:

why are you so against poeple bringing capitla into Poland. Looke at a bigger picture, it's not about taking jobs, it's about creating new ones and not just for oneself but others as well.

any other country you move to and ask for papers, they ask first what can you do for us, what can you bring.

c ya.
Speachless - | 11  
23 Mar 2007 /  #29
thanks for reminding me about the personal goals. it is easy to loose sight of it once you start listening to other people's opinions. People who aren't like you and want different things from life. Our family spend last winter in Costa Rica and it was great but not for us. There were many Americans, Europeans and Canadians living there permanently. They found their paradise.

Thanks for your insight.
OP headstrong 1 | 9  
23 Mar 2007 /  #30
wholly, I just realised I typed like a drunk, rolf - sorry for all the typos, :).

Archives - 2005-2009 / Life / Moving a family to Poland, any info, advice neededArchived