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My experience in Poland 15 years ago as an American trying to live and work there.


delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
28 Feb 2012 #121
Almost every word you have written is well-meaning but untrue.

I was just about to say the same. It's a nice story, but much of it is simply not true.

Many Americans and Brits retire in Poland, after buying property there.

Barely any do.

The office of citizens' services at a local consulate or embassy allows their office/po box to be used as your overseas address, which is a good idea to do, due to longstanding security issues with the Polish mail service.

I have my doubts as to whether this is true. It seems rather unlikely, given that most embassies charge for everything.

And you must do so and have all this verified both in the US and in Poland, long before you get your visa and can go live there in the first place.

This is pretty much totally incorrect.

You will need to pay for lawyers in Poland (at the very least, several notaries).

This is again - pretty much totally incorrect.

I would consult a tax attorney and financial advisor, long before you plan to move to Poland..

Again - riddled with factual inaccuracies. Whoever told the poster that they couldn't use the health care system or schooling was clearly winding them up.

Seems to me as if the whole thing was written by someone who lived in a bubble.
Harry
28 Feb 2012 #122
You will need to pay for lawyers in Poland

ROFL!!!! None of that is true!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
28 Feb 2012 #123
I mean, we should mention that you can pay for expensive notaries and lawyers if you wish, but...

(incidentally, as far as I'm aware, you can't apply for residency from outside Poland, and certainly not permanent residency)
sa11y 5 | 331
28 Feb 2012 #124
Guys, this is semantics. Bottom line is that many people retire outside their own country and I don't think Polish law is that much different than i.e. Spanish. You can easily retire in Spain, Italy, South Africa etc. as long as you can prove you have enough money, usually specific amount. If the guy worked all his life in USA he probably has assets he can liquidate, if he is determined enough. Anyway, best place for his questions is Polish embassy.
Next Generation
29 Feb 2012 #125
Valpomike is very sick man. Same questions all the time. Boring person.
Meathead 5 | 470
1 Mar 2012 #126
What is wrong in what was said. Please advise. I need help with this. Where do I get more information on this?

Take the plunge and move there. The worst that can happen you'll have to move back.
valpomike 11 | 197
5 Mar 2012 #127
Anyone more, have any good input on this for me?

Mike
Alligator - | 261
5 Mar 2012 #128
Go to embassy and check there for more information . Then write here what you will learn from embassy and we can further discuss this matter.

If there would be anything more to clarify, I will gladly help.
ecocks - | 1
8 Jul 2012 #129
Merged: How is the job situation in the northern region of Poland?

OK, I will be reading the forum threads but some fresh info along with the ease of looking at advice from people currently on the ground leads me to ask this in a new thread

Of course someone will want the thumbnail on me, so: American, mid-50's, 4 years EFL, MBA, 14 years teaching in HS and Universities (Business and IT), single, coasting to retirement years and expecting to work 20-24 contact hours a week. I would prefer the northern regions (Gdansk, Sczcecin, etc.) since I actually prefer cold weather and coastal regions. I speak no Polish, just a little Russian to get by in the grocery, getting taxi's, etc. I have lived in Ukraine for three years, Azerbaijan for one and am thinking about the next location a bit. I like to travel and have visited Krakow 3 times, Warsaw once (not that crazy about it but okay) and Zakopane in the winter.

Specifically, how difficult is it for Americans to gain legal residence status and/or work status?

Any thoughts on the economies or moods of these areas?

Housing thoughts? soviet-style apartments don't bother me. I prefer three-room places so I can teach private students without having them sit on the bed. Mashrutkas, trolleys, buses, metros, elektrichkas, all usable but like to stroll in the centers and enjoy my coffee while watching the world.

Cost of living info and general guides would be good too.

Thanks for any constructive advice.
MarcinBu - | 8
16 Apr 2014 #130
Merged: American Born Polish Guy wants to live in Poland

Hey guys I have a life dilemma haha

I was born in America but both of my parents are Polish and I speak both fluent Polish and fluent English.

I am now 25 and my whole family lives in Poland except for my parents who spend a few months in both America and Poland. I visit Poland every year and the older I get the more I enjoy the culture, the girls, and just the general better feeling I get when I am in Poland. Even the radio stations play better music haha.

I am currently a student studying Optometry in America. In America this profession is highly regarded and we will be able to prescribe oral medications, eyedrops, treat eye disease, write prescriptions for glasses/contact lenses and do some minor surgical procedures. I know in Poland there is no equivalent Profession but maybe I can get advanced standing in an Okulista (Ophthalmology) residency or be a college Professor or some sort of teacher. Thankfully, I will have less debt than almost everyone at my school so I can easily pay it off 6 months after I graduate which will be in one year.

The point is I am having doubts about America's future. I would rather have my taxes go to a country that does not engage in ridiculous wars, playing world police, spying on its citizens and drone attacking children in Yemen for example. Also the demographics of this country will drastically change so in 2050 Europeans here will be a minority so there will be less people of my cultural background that I'll be able to relate to. The economy of Poland is growing rapidly and America's is stagnating. Yes, my job will get me high 5 figures or 6 figures but I'd rather be happy and poor than unhappy and rich. I have friends here in the USA but I feel as though family is more important.

My plan is to graduate in a year, pay off my loans in 1.5 years, work an extra year after that to save up some capital to buy a house in Poland eventually and then slowly transition to living in Poland so by the time I am 30-31 I can fully live in Poland.

I want my kids to have a nice non-violent environment they can grow up in (I am unmarried as of now), have free education and healthcare. The student loans in the USA are ridiculous and it is a trap of financial slavery if you make the wrong life decision.

Also, If I ever need extra money I can always go to the USA and work for a few months out of the year.

Anyways, I'd like to hear from anyone that might have any insights on my situation and thank you for those of you that read everything haha.
Crow 137 | 7,756
16 Apr 2014 #131
American Born Polish Guy want to live in Poland

congrats. Wise choice
trancespottingp - | 25
13 Nov 2014 #132
Merged: Any experiences of Americans expatriating to Poland???

After much lurking around and reading random posts I decided to join this site.. mainly because I'm looking to expatriate to Poland soon - like in the next year or two...

A little about me: I'm a 25 year old male and I was born in Wroclaw. I currently reside in Lake Forest Illinois which is about 20 miles north of downtown Chicago. I have family that still lives in Wroclaw as well as other parts of Poland and the rest of Europe (Dortmund, Holland, London, Tychy). My uncle actually owns a popular hotel in Poland (Hotel Piramida in Tychy). I am fluent in English and Polish and am moderately proficient in Russian and Spanish as well. I graduated about 2 years ago with a bachelor's in International Business and will be beginning my MBA (also with a concentration in international business) in the fall. I currently work for a publicly traded corporation outside of Chicago Il that has a couple locations around the world but unfortunately none in Poland.

Most of my experience is in sales, management, and finance. I see that there's a lot of IT and teaching jobs available in Poland but the pay is rather low. The only job I really saw so far on an that interested me was on an online board for a sales manager position and the pay was $30k Euro + commission. I don't expect to make the same salary as I would in the US as costs of living are a bit less in Poland but I would like to make at least the equivalent of $60k-$70k gross annually. I am single and have no kids but I do like to maintain a certain type of lifestyle.

Does anyone have any experiences expatriating to Poland? If so, was it difficult to get a job? Did you have to take a salary cut or did your earnings remain about the same? Did you find a job through a recruiting agency or directly from the employer? Did the employer help with temporary housing and helping you move? Any help or experiences would be appreciated...

Thanks!!!
DominicB - | 2,678
13 Nov 2014 #133
I'm a 25 year old male ... I graduated about 2 years ago with a bachelor's in International Business and will be beginning my MBA (also with a concentration in international business) in the fall. Most of my experience is in sales, management, and finance.

That means you don't or won't have too much to offer that is particularly attractive on the Polish job market. You will have great difficulty finding any job that pays anything decent. The undergraduate degree is not much in demand, and neither is the MBA without solid long-term proven experience, and you are far from that stage. At best, you might get hired as a management trainee that will bring in $12,000 gross a year or so, $15,000 at the very most. It would be hardly worth your while to accept such a position at this stage in your career.

I was born in Wroclaw. I am fluent in English and Polish and am moderately proficient in Russian and Spanish as well.

If you are a Polish citizen, that helps a lot, but will not likely bring in much in terms of additional income, even with the languages. Maybe a extra 1000 PLN a month in the best of circumstances.

My uncle actually owns a popular hotel in Poland (Hotel Piramida in Tychy).

Talk to your uncle, this is really your only option of finding decent work in Poland.

I currently work for a publicly traded corporation outside of Chicago Il that has a couple locations around the world but unfortunately none in Poland.

Doesn't help much, anyway. You're far to green to qualify for a transfer unless there is a desperate need for a Polish speaker inside Poland. Not very likely. Transfers are usually granted to employees with high-level management or administrative experience, or highly qualified technical specialists.

I see that there's a lot of IT and teaching jobs available in Poland but the pay is rather low.

Yes, wages in Poland are low, and teaching is not a viable option for you as you would be unlikely to break even the first year without abundant help from your family in Poland.

I am single and have no kids but I do like to maintain a certain type of lifestyle.

First part, good. Second part, fuggedabowdit. You will struggle to live a spartan existence.

I would like to make at least the equivalent of $60k-$70k gross annually.

Dream on. You would be lucky to make a quarter of that, and even with the somewhat lower cost of living, it still won't be very satisfying. As a management trainee, you would be lucky to make half that even in the States. Basically, you're only one step or two above the office pencil sharpener.

Does anyone have any experiences expatriating to Poland?

Did it for twelve years myself, but I was extremely highly qualified and experienced and I did it as semi-retirement.

Did you have to take a salary cut or did your earnings remain about the same?

Huge cut, by a factor of ten. I didn't go to Poland with the intention or need of earning good money, though.

Did you find a job through a recruiting agency or directly from the employer?

Directly from the employer.

Did the employer help with temporary housing and helping you move?

Forget about it. You are far too low on the totem pole to qualify.

Sorry, but Poland is definitely not the place to further your career. Even any experience you gain there at your level is unlikely to enhance your CV much. Furthermore, you have no useful qualifications or experience and you have unrealistic expectations that lie too far away from reality to make you a promising candidate for the expat life.

My advice would be to work in the States or elsewhere in the West. The job market is much more open to inexperienced recent grads, the wages are much higher, unemployment is lower, opportunities for advancement are more abundant, and lifetime earnings and savings potential are much, much higher.
scottie1113 7 | 898
14 Nov 2014 #134
Everything DominicB said is true and I mean everything. I'm an American and having been living and working in Poland for 7+ years. I teach English and I'm doing better than most people I know here, including my Polish friends and that's because I'm good at what I do and I work hard. Your plan, such as it is, is simply unreasonable.
Szczerbaty 4 | 49
14 Nov 2014 #135
Man, you better think long and hard about some of the reasons why you want to leave your home and go to Poland. I lived there for eight years, married there, had two kids there and bought two apartments there, etc. As a single dude, I had a great time, but when life got serious I knew the party was over. I'm not doggin' Poland in any way. I would return there in a heartbeat if I were single and in my 20s, but as a 40-something with a wife and kids, no way.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
14 Nov 2014 #136
DominicB is completely right. Don't come to Poland if you want to be an employee. Families here are lucky if they can get 20 or 30 years credit for 400 000 PLN apartment. And you want to earn this much gross in 2 years? It is possible, but you need to have family connections in order to become one of the 1.5% most payed Poles. Foreign diplomas don't give jobs with salaries more than 2 x average. To become this 1.5% more than American diploma is needed.


Sparks11 - | 335
14 Nov 2014 #137
I'll pile on and add that 60-70k dollars/year is not possible in the job market unless you are an extremely high-level manager/board member in a major company, this is simply not a sum that is paid. If you were transfered here with a big company, sure, if you have some brilliant business idea that you would like to pursue and have the start-up capital, the sky is the limit, but working in ANY company, nein.
trancespottingp - | 25
17 Nov 2014 #138
Wow thanks for all the responses! Holy crap.. lol.. well it looks like I may have to wait a good 5-10 years before I can expat to PL and make the salary I want and/or follow the markets there even more closely... Guess for now it'll be somewhere I'll use my vacations day to visit = / I could do living in Poland but would probably have to travel to Western European countries to really make some decent coin.

When my family moved to the U.S. my mother and father contemplated what to do with the money they saved up. I write this because I'm actually the same as they were at this time - granted this is the late 80's, early 90s. They debated to either move to the US and work (mom was already fluent in English - she worked for Western Electric and we had some connections in Chicago). My dad was a jeweler by trade in Communism and his parents, my grandparents were in the meat business. They also made some money from dollar exchanging, cars/cigs/jeans/electronics/etc. smuggling from West Germany so they were able to put aside some cash. They were either going to purchase a beautiful home in a nice Warsaw suburb or go to Chicago. They chose the U.S. If they bought the house in Warsaw they'd be for Poland since the real estate became hot. In fact, the house I was born in is near the Wroclaw airport and I think they got around 200k USD for it, about 7 years ago. It had an orchard and the property value went up astronomically since we lived there.

In the U.S. job market, it's not hard for me to find a good paying job. I feel I've truly been blessed and very lucky as well because I know a lot of my friends have had a lot of trouble finding a good job. It's got to the point where there's former attorneys applying for secretary and office admin jobs. That's why I feel really blessed since I haven't had to face much if any job insecurity. However, I work like 60-70 hour weeks amongst two jobs, both in sales and a good portion of my income (about 1/2) is commission. Plus I try to make a couple bucks on the market, doing remodeling, etc. I worked as a commodity broker throughout college and made out pretty well when a lot of the well heeled Americans moved their money out of blue chips and into precious metals. You wouldn't believe how many farmers might wear dirty overall everyday and drive a 20 year old truck but have $3 mil in assets. This demographic was about 50% of my clients when I worked as a broker.

I got offered to do a transfer to Bucharest, Romania or Madrid, Spain with my current employer. The offer in Bucharest I wasn't too interested in as I don't know the language at all and I think I would already be a bit out of place in Europe but coming to a country where I have no knowledge of the language would make it a bit harder. Although the pay at 40k USD a year was very enticing.

I did a lot of consideration with Madrid though. They offered me $17 an hour with full benefits (health, dental, life, $5k a year towards furthering education, employer matched 401k, preferred stock, etc.) but the position was for a Customer Service manager. I declined their offer. I'd essentially be doing the same thing but with a larger team, a different country and market, and focused on customer service management rather than sales. One Greek dude who I use to work with took the offer but quit about 5-6 months later although he had kids so I think it could've been more related to his family.

That's unfortuante that salaries are low like that in Poland. I do sense a bit more of an entreprenuerial sprit increasing in Poland and we made it through the recession pretty damn good. I think this will take a while though. I know a lot of the Western world looks to Poland as an IT hub and in a way a source of high skilled but relatively inexpensive labor. Ikea, IBM, HP, Google, as well as various banks I do know have operations in PL. However, I haven't seen too many 'good' job openings in the realm of sales, finance, or management (except IT related) with high salaries. Even the doctors and specialist don't make all that much although more people go towards medicine for passion rather than for a high salary. Nonetheless, even 'average' jobs are rather low still in Poland compared to pockets of Eastern and Central Europe. I've heard of nannies in Moscow getting paid $10-$12 an hour which is quite a bit all things considered. The job I described above the on that I saw in Gdansk for a regional sales manager (which is my title right now actually) is one I would love to do and probably will do something like that in the future in Poland - but perhaps first it would be wise to save up some capital, get more experience, more connections, etc. 30k EU a year + commission I could do and live on, although I am kind of skeptical because that was really the only job I saw despite quite a bit of research that paid that much - most were quite a bit less. Either way, breaking the six figure mark with a job in Poland doesn't look too realistic, at least not in the near future.

I wonder what it would take to make PL a country where the purchasing power of the average citizen exceeds USD $25k annually. I'd be happy if it even was equal to the Czech Republic's. We don't have oil or natural gas, or too much of a domestic market and we don't have as large of a banking sector as the West, but it looks like PL has a good reputation for IT and skilled manufacturing. I know one Polish guy made his million by forming a screen printing company (he has a company that makes the machines that makes t-shirts, hoodies, etc.) and his machines are assembled in PL. He sells to over 70 counties - he has machines brought over from China, assembled in PL, and sold from the Chicago suburb office (sales/marketing and HQ) around the world although most machines end up in the U.S. although Latin America is gradually becoming a larger customer for him.

How is it though that like even though in PL people don't make much but yet they seem to like get by. Not many seem to be like going hungry, without clothes, etc. and oftentimes they have even basic luxuries like a lower end German car, a flat screen TV, etc.

Also, I know it's been a bit since my stats class, but unless I'm reading that chart incorrectly - is that stating that only the top 5.24% in Poland made over 5,000 PLN Brutto in 2010 while the top 2% made over 10k PLN ? (which is about $1,500 USD for 5k pln, $3k USD gross for 10k PLN... I'm assuming that's gross? Netto being after taxes?) If so that's very low and I'm sad to see that... Yeah there's no way there going to pay me 10k PLN a month lol let alone my US income... Not enough to afford a condo, v8 German car, and a couple Polish girlfriends in Wroclaw =/ I'm starting to think that perhaps that sales manager job might have been BS.

Curious, any experience on sales/management/finance or other business professional jobs? Have you, or anyone you know, work as say a real estate person in PL, perhaps in investments? Or something like that??

Also, to the people (like Scottie and Szczerbaty) who lived/live in PL -

What towns/cities did you live in while working there?

And to Szczerbaty - the two apartments you had, did you rent those out as extra income or perhaps live in/share 1 and rent the other out? Congrats - home ownership is very difficult to attain especially in

Poland.

Lastly - 'To become this 1.5% more than American diploma is needed.'

Top 1.5% is pretty damn ambitious. Top 10-15% would be more realistic. Nonetheless, what would you recommend?

I heard that there are those who make 50k Euro gross a year in PL with an MBA from a top school like INSEAD, London School of Business, + 5-7 years experience and/or connections... Is that something along the lines you were thinking of?
ufo973 10 | 89
18 Nov 2014 #140
It's still the same **** man...nothing has changed inside the system, wages or standard of living.
THE PROBLEM IS THE OLD MENTALITY RUSSIAN ERA POLITICIANS.
Wulkan - | 3,251
18 Nov 2014 #141
THE PROBLEM IS THE OLD MENTALITY RUSSIAN ERA POLITICIANS.

Better "Russian era politicians" than Pakistani ones.
trancespottingp - | 25
18 Nov 2014 #142
I found this website that offers a lot of info about salaries in PL - It's from a head hunter firm so I'd assume it's pretty accurate....

hays.pl/cs/groups/hays_common/documents/digitalasset/hays_465124.pdf

Seems like medical sales jobs, especially managers/directors, pays half decent. If I could find a job that paid me at least 10k PL a month (combo of salary, benefits, commission, etc.) I would move in a heartbeat. I'm pretty confident that this might happen sooner or later - I got two decent offers from my current employer to work abroad... ah if only they had a PL office = /

I'm going to contact this firm and see if anything happens.... Anyone have experience with these guys or any other recruiters?

And yes, the old politicians create a lot of red tape in PL. I was amazed at how much paperwork my parents had to go through to sell their house in Wroclaw. I think the neighborhood was called Krzyki (kind of freaky - literal translation means 'screams')
Monitor 14 | 1,820
18 Nov 2014 #143
I've heard of nannies in Moscow getting paid $10-$12 an hour which is quite a bit all things considered.

Moscow is an island of higher salaries on the low payed sea of Eastern Europe. According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage substantially more than in Poland is payed only in Slovenia (and Austria if you count it as the east). So that's not really true what you write here.

How is it though that like even though in PL people don't make much but yet they seem to like get by. Not many seem to be like going hungry, without clothes, etc. and oftentimes they have even basic luxuries like a lower end German car, a flat screen TV, etc.

Are you really asking this question seriously?

I was just comparing your expectations - $60k annually with the reality of market. I've heard that sometimes diploma from best western schools is an obstacle when searching for a job in Poland. Because people don't want to employ somebody who will have too big expectations. I don't know about MBA.

If I could find a job that paid me at least 10k PL a month (combo of salary, benefits, commission, etc.) I would move in a heartbeat.

You see how fast you're adjusting :) Just week ago you wanted at least 17k PLN monthly. 10 000 PLN gross monthly is around average salary for a senior programmer in Warsaw so it's not as far away from reality as 17 000.

Best payed specialities in Poland
kariera.pracuj.pl/zarobki-i-prawo-pracy/najlepiej-platne-zawody-w-polsce/
trancespottingp - | 25
18 Nov 2014 #144
How is it though that like even though in PL people don't make much but yet they seem to like get by. Not many seem to be like going hungry, without clothes, etc. and oftentimes they have even basic luxuries like a lower end German car, a flat screen TV, etc.

Are you really asking this question seriously?

In a way yes, it's more of a cultural question and on family/community dynamics I'd suppose. But in a way yes, I mean obviously if you don't make as much money you can't afford an IPad on say the median 2900 zl salary - that'd be essentially an entire month's salary. Yet, I have seen even people driving newer cars that cost say 12k EU yet they only make 10k EU and I know there's not nearly as much of a credit culture as in the West. I've even seen a couple guys with new Harleys even in my grandparents' little town (Oborniki Slaskie - about an hour outside of Wroclaw, small town maybe 10k 20k people) and I'm pretty sure they're 'middle class' just like most people there - getting by on perhaps 2k-2.5k ZL a month if they work locally, maybe 3k-3.5k if they're lucky or commute to and from Wroclaw.

If according to that chart, 2900 zl a month is the average salary ($966 a month) take out 20% for taxes and such that leaves you with 2,300 zl. Also, there's probably more people making 2900 zl in Warsaw than say a smaller city/town. Let's say that you make 2900 zl a month though - 2300 after taxes. Say you're paying even only 1000 zl a month for rent + utilities ($333 - this is probably a low estimate??) and another 600 zl a month for food and say another 600 zl for gas, transport, misc. expenses that's almost your entire salary - 100zl remains.. Maybe there's more dual income households now... Or maybe just more hand me downs, uncles/aunts/cousins help the youngins and not just the parents - I guess maybe since there's more a 'family' culture that lowers the burden of expenses. That's really more the question - like is it more typical to have a multigenerational household? Do other family members besides just parents help with the costs of a child like tuition, upbringing, toys, etc.

The experience I'm basing this on is mainly my family since I have everyone from lower middle class cousins that live in a rural area outside of Wroclaw to a wealthy uncle and aunt who have over 7 figures in assets and of course plenty of babcias, ciocias, etc. that live in the apartment blocks, a few own their own home, etc. I guess the poorer people can manage with a lower wage since food is cheap and they rent their place - usually an apartment in the Communist style 'bloki' and typically use public trans or have some older car like a Maluch or Fiat Cincuento (forgot how it's spelled, first car I learned how to drive - was basically a 50 horsepower lawnmower...)

I have noticed though that typically only the upper middle class are able to afford homes - the rest rent and home ownership is highly unlikely for them.

Well yes, $60k annually in PL is totally unrealistic at this point since that'd be 15k ZL a month. However, somewhere between 8k to 10k ZL a month I think would be pretty realisitc. In the U.S. I make a pretty average 'salary' in terms of the average American but rather high for my age and education (25 years old, recent college grad) - $18 an hour which is approx $38,000 a year (2100 hour work year - some overtime included). However, with commission it's easily another $20-$30k and that brings it to $58k-$68k. Also, health, dental, eye, life, tuition reimbursement is included which would be another 10k in benefits.

In Poland it appears that most medical device/pharma sales reps average 3500-4200 ZL salary in a larger city, and manager make much more - anywhere from 4000 to 8000 but I'll use the rep as an example since it's highly unlikely i'd be given a managerial position right away with a new employer. (Google pays their sales reps in Wroclaw about 3000 ZL a month + commission but theyre on the low end compared to a lot of other companies) Anyway, so 3500 ZL salary plus commission which is usually equal to salary, gives me a total of 7000 ZL a month. Still short of that 10000 ZL a month - that would be realistic for a manager, but not a regular rep unless they've been on the job already a few years and have a solid book of biz. Also, I typically always work a 2nd job or do odd jobs to make extra cash which in the US brings me an extra $8-10k a year now. I could do something similar in PL whether it's a quick construction job, helping with marketing, setting up a network, private tutoring, English lessons, start a business, etc.

So after doing some research, participating in this convo, and such, it looks like 7000ZL to 8000ZL would be a reality though with salary, commission, and making some extra side money....

Now, what kind of lifestyle could I expect on say 6500ZL-7000ZL a month (with a month every once in a while with an extra 1000zl here and there)? I would probably live with my grandparents at first but would end up renting an apartment. I am single and have no kids. Would I be able to afford renting a flat in downtown Wroclaw or a nicer area? Are the suburbs (ones that are 40km or less from city center) typically more expensive or cheaper than living in the city? Would I be able to afford driving a car and not have to take public trans? (I would probably bring my car over from the US or take my grandpa's Honda CRV turbodiesel). Would I have enough money left over for going out on the weekends?

And yes, in some cases having a Western degree hurts your chances from what I read. However, in many cases large corporations and the recruiters they hire only want those with a Western education. It depends on the company, the job, etc.

Thanks a ton for that link! That helps a lot... So it looks like I'm not too far off... (these are in Netto)

Financial Director 13000 (would def need an MBA + 3-5 years post-mba experience)
Sales Director 10000 - same as above

But there's a few here that don't require an MBA and are within my education and experience level:

Financial Controller - 5800
Key Account Manager - 5400

So it looks like my estimates aren't too far off. If I'm estimating say 7500 ZL a month and after tax (not sure what tax rate is - I'll say 23%) is 5800 net.. not much in dollars (that's only $1,933 a month...)

I'm guessing these positions and their respective earnings are including like everything together (median salary + commission for the sales type jobs, bonuses for the rest) since there's no way a key account manager would make 5800 ZL net salary + commission (typically commission is equal to anywhere from 50%-100%+ of salary - depending on the structure).. unless he/she is the best account executive in Warsaw or something..
Monitor 14 | 1,820
18 Nov 2014 #145
If according to that chart, 2900 zl a month is the average salary ($966 a month) take out 20% for taxes and such that leaves you with 2,300 zl.

This graph is 4 years old. Now median salary is around 15% higher. But in Poland when we talk about net salary we have to take into account all necessary insurances deducted from gross pay. When you do so, then "taxes" are 30%, meaning net is around 70% of gross (little less if you are one of 2% best payed).

I have noticed though that typically only the upper middle class are able to afford homes - the rest rent and home ownership is highly unlikely for them.

Wrong observation. Because of communistic past and they way the system transformed only 2.5% people rent flats. The rest owns them or owns the right for them, meaning that they cannot sell apartment, but they don't have to pay rent.

Only 2.5% of Poles rents an apartment. Why, instead of freedom, we choose a small stabilization?

Buy or rent? Most Poles have no doubts. We are buying flats obsessively as soon as we can get a time job or postpone some cash. If only have own place, even 20 meters in Białołęka on credit, which we will have to pay for a lifetime. What here is the norm in the West surprising. Possession - a relic of the communist regime and the need for stability in difficult times?

- This problem results from a lack of trust - says Mirosław Pęczak. - We are a closed society that is struggling to cooperation. Everywhere we see the conspiracy, even assuming that if someone is rich, that's for sure because he has something stolen. This is enhanced yet by the unstable times in which we live. It is typical that if at our environment something happens, we begin to build a fortress around us. Closed settlements, which grow like mushrooms are a great example - adds sociologist.

natemat.pl/29219,tylko-2-5-polakow-wynajmuje-mieszkania-dlaczego-zamiast-wolnosci-wybieramy-mala-stabilizacje

People who have to rent are usually graduates who move to bigger cities for jobs. With 2000 - 3000 pln net starting salary they have to spend half of their income for housing, or share it with colleagues.

In Poland it appears that most medical device/pharma sales reps average 3500-4200 ZL salary in a larger city,

I guess that there is fierce competition for these jobs, because there are no jobs in labs for biology and chemistry graduates and they're mostly forced to do that. But maybe it's not hard to get it if the basic salary is low and most of money should be earned from commissions. I don't know.

Financial Director 13000 (would def need an MBA + 3-5 years post-mba experience)

I don't really know about MBAs, but I think that it's like with studying management 10 years ago. It was extremely popular, because everybody wanted become manager. It worked 20 years ago, because after communism anybody with knowledge of English and diploma in management could simply become manager. But after thousands started graduating management in Poland, thousands started realizing that their degree is worthless. Maybe it was the same at the beginning with MBA when few people had it in Poland. But know I don't think that it's opening any gates to high positions. Maybe if it's one of these top 20 MBA in the world, but otherwise I think it is waste of time and money for people who don't have managing position before starting MBA.

If I'm estimating say 7500 ZL a month and after tax (not sure what tax rate is - I'll say 23%) is 5800 net

5300, because tax and insurances is 30%. Less if you have special agreements or have a company.

Now, what kind of lifestyle could I expect on say 6500ZL-7000ZL a month (with a month every once in a while with an extra 1000zl here and there)? I would probably live with my grandparents at first but would end up renting an apartment.

How big do you think Wroclaw is? The city has radius 10km and 20km away from center are last settlements which you could say belong to the city. If you want to travel up to 50km, then you can stay for example in Środa Śląska (33km away) and buy apartment for nearly half Wrocław's price. With such salary you can afford to rent studio apartment, drive a car (in worst case with LPG installation) and going out for the weekend (to cheap and average places). The only problem is small saving potential and apartment prices in Wrocław are rather high, while most of people want to buy one sooner or later. It's not easy for a single person with such a salary.

otodom.pl/sprzedaz/mieszkanie/sroda-slaska
trancespottingp - | 25
19 Nov 2014 #146
Thanks for the reply Monitor.

Wow I'm surprised there's so much home ownership. That was really shocking to read. I guess maybe it's because homes get passed down and also use to be much cheaper than they are now. The house I was born in probably wasn't worth much more than maybe $40-$70k back in the late 80s early 90s even though it was a nice two story home in a decent area. However, with the expansion of Wroclaw airport and a lot of development around the area, my parents sold the home around 2007 2008 for I believe 150k. If they would've waited till now they would've probably got 200-250k USD.

It amazes me though how expensive some real estate is in PL relative to peoples' earnings.

So it seems like if I could get 5300-5800 net I wouldn't have too bad of a lifestyle but i wouldn't live . It seems like such a small amount though when converted to dollars - $1933 a month... There's no way I'd really be able to save up money but I wouldn't be moving to PL for that. Also, this would be something I'd liek to do for 3 ears or soI'd probably live with roommates or with my grandparents' in their guest house to save on rent. They live in Oborniki Slaskie which is about the same distance as Sroda Slaska from Wroclaw, perhaps a tad closer. I also like the town of Trzebnica a lot and I have cousins that live in Prusice - more of a rural small town. Due to the crappy roads, it would take us about 45 min - 1 hour to get from Oborniki to Wroclaw. Still though, that's doable. I drive about 1.5 hours every as it is now to work and back and I have one of the shortest commutes out of the employees.

Oborniki Slaskie claim to fame - I believe the current President of PL was born there.

I could always wait a couple years till I'm in a place in my career and have an MBA and already work as a higher level manager. I do know that a lot of Western companies look for managers to send abroad and be the head of an operation. My current company offered to send me to Spain at $17 an hour but I really don't want to be a customer service manager lol. Although living in Madrid would be pretty awesome.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
19 Nov 2014 #147
Wow I'm surprised there's so much home ownership. That was really shocking to read. I guess maybe it's because homes get passed down and also use to be much cheaper than they are now.

They were cheaper, but it was like with everything in communism. You had to wait in queue to get it. Priorities depending on your background, age, family, job.

I was born in probably wasn't worth much more than maybe $40-$70k back in the late 80s early 90s

I think much less, because Poland bankrupted in 80' and there was currency exchange control, so in 80' average monthly salary was 20USD. For 100USD exchanged on black market you could live for half a year. Studio in Warsaw was only 3500USD, 10 000USD big apartment. In 1989 was hyperinflation, so prices must have been even more attractive.
trancespottingp - | 25
19 Nov 2014 #148
yeah you're probably right... I was kind of going off an assumption.. maybe early 90s that could've been the price (probably closer to like 10k 20k even) but yes in the 80s i highly doubt it was worth much... regardless though, they made off pretty well when they sold their house in the 2000s because of all the development around Wroclaw airport. I believe the area is either called Zlotniki or Krzyki or something..

lol we still have some of our old ration cards. one of my friends memories as a kid was being in a pewex store lol and my grandma's boyfriend selling US dollars in front of it. Fortunately, my grandparents from my dads side were in the meat business back then and still are (along with a couple other small ventures - they have a lil deli/grocery store, a stand in the Wroclaw rynek where they sell meats, and a metal fabrication shop). So we were pretty lucky we didn't have to que for much as we could usually trade meat for stuff that we needed. My dad was a jeweler and he frequently went to East Germany to sell or trade his wares as he had connections in West Germany for stuff like jeans, vodka, cigs, and even cars. I was very very young since I was born in 1988 so I have barely any memories of Communism. From what it sounds like though they were pretty well off since a lot of people couldn't afford a new car or a 4 channel stereo with cd player a few years after Communism let alone during it. My dad said he was like the only person in Oborniki with AC DC and Black Sabbath albums lol. I do remember like when they'd buy stuff they'd have to carry a crap load of money as the currency was like almost worthless prior to the revaluation. We have a ton of that old money still laying around but I don't think it's worth anything - even the metal it's made of feels cheap lol.

By the way, do you live in Poland monitor?
Szczerbaty 4 | 49
24 Nov 2014 #149
I lived in Poznan. I bought my first little place in 2001 for a song, but really got taken to the cleaners when I bought the second in 2007. I left Poland and rented them both out, which worked pretty well. The small place I rented with a rental agreement until I sold it, but the second place I have always rented without any paperwork to students. Basically it's all been done over the Internet, as I don't live there anymore, and I must say it's worked out well. I'd love to get rid of it. It's in a great location in the center on Sw. Wojciech for those of you in Poznan. Is anybody looking for a 76-m2, three-room apartment that needs to be renovated?


Home / Life / My experience in Poland 15 years ago as an American trying to live and work there.
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