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To move back to Poland from the USA or not to move back....that is the question

Polanglik 11 | 303
7 Jul 2010 #61
Hi Rysiek,

A lot of what has been written is very true.

The fact that you can speak the language, and have an income stream as well as funds from the sale of your US property puts you in quite a good starting position.

However ....

Secondly Polish people WILL NOT consider you Polish or having a pure Polish heart or whatever imo. You are American with Polish roots

I have to diasagree on this comment; I am in a similar position to yourself, in that I was born in England of Polish parents - first generation born in England.

Apart from spending many holidays as a child in Poland, I have frequently been travelling to Poland for the last 10 -11 years (I am now 47yrs young!), business and pleasure, and the native Poles I meet have always considered me as Polish. On first meeting them they think I was born in Poland, probably because I speak Polish fluently and are very surprised that I was born in London and have never lived in Poland.

Being brought up in England by Polish parents /grandparents has definitely instilled the 'Polishness' in me , and we try to maintain the Polish traditions and culture.

English friends who enter our London home are aware they are entering a Polish household.
It also helps that my wife is a native Pole, and both our children (aged 8 & 6 yrs old) can speak English and Polish fluently.

That isn't saying that they will not be nice to you but you will not be considered Polish. If you get your citizenship then ok maybe but since you are not born here

I don't have Polish citizenship and I was not born in Poland, yet I consider myself more Polish than English; my wife and many people I come into contact with from Poland see me as Polish, but being born and living in England :o)

I have friends who have a very similar background to me, who moved over to Poland and lead very good lives, and have been acepted as 'true Poles'; they sold up in UK over 10 years ago, some even 20 yrs ago .... married Polish girls and live very happily over there. Quite a few make a good living from teaching English as native speakers, even without any TEFL or certificates to teach English as a foreign language.

My wife and I are waiting for our oldest child to finsish primary school and then we plan to sell up and move over to Poland permanently - we'll see what happens :o))

Is this a dream, or a possiblility? I hope that the country I have always dreamed of living in, could become a reality! I am the first generation to be born in the USA so I hope that I would be excepted by the Polish people and regarded as a person with a "true" Polish heart and soul.

You'll never know unless you give it a go ..... but be realistic and don't expect a 'fairytale ending' - making such a transition will not be easy. Maybe going to Poland and living there for a year before selling up in US could be the best option. Also take into account your mum .... her healthcare and other needs etc.

Feel free to PM if you wish to talk at greater lengths - I see many similarities with your situation and mine - where in Poland do you plan to move to ?

Good Luck !!
Seanus 15 | 19668
7 Jul 2010 #62
If it is in your heart and you could put some practical steps into place, why not? Poland has been on the up for some time now and all it needs is a bit of luck in finding a job befitting of your experience.

However, a small caveat. Beware of discussing religion. Although I really agree with the following speaker (very well known to Brits), I would never raise these issues with students as to do so would be to inflame and potentially jeopardise a good relationship. Besides, schools don't encourage it.
Stephen Fry on Catholicism.

I'm off to watch the rest. Good luck and follow your dreams!
cinek 2 | 347
7 Jul 2010 #63
if you're looking for a job Warsaw is the place to be

I dont think Warszawa is a good place to move to spend the rest of your life after retirement. Big, noisy, smelly, jammed, difficult to drive (especially for someone used to American streets) and EXPENSIVE (belive me, your 300000 zł. won't be enough to find anything good to live in there unless 50km from the city center).

The cities I recommend to consider are: Toruń (for me the best in the world), Poznań, Wrocław, Gdańsk. Smaller towns: Piła, Kołobrzeg, Tuchola.

I agree. And there are also English lang schools there, so shouldn't be a big problem to find a job, and you'll be able to buy a decent flat or even a small house.

As the others, I recommend you to rent out your current house out (so you can pay for your living in Poland) for a few months, e.g. one school year, and give it a try.

RysiekK 6 | 38
7 Jul 2010 #64
Thanks to all that replied!

Please keep any advice/comments coming! Since there are so many posts :) I will just answer a few questions without quoting anyone.

The 1500 USD are after taxes.

If my health should improve I would like to teach English.

I am thinking of going to Poland for a few weeks,probably in November. My cousin is coming back in October and I may just return with him :)

The comment of " It's not my mother's Poland anymore" or something to that affect... My mother lived through WWII as a child, until she came to the USA in 1961 or 1962. I don't think I would want to live through her experiences. She has told me stories that are just horrible! But she also told me stories that would warm one's heart :)

Thank you to all that have replied!
LovePolska - | 8
7 Jul 2010 #65
Hi RysiekK
After having made harder decision than yours and moved to Poland 2 years ago with less money than what you have my answer to your question is simple JUST DO IT MAN Poland is a beautiful place to be and you won’t have a problem to live with $1500 and 300,000PLN for a starter. You know what is the worst that can happen “Nothing” absolutely nothing can happen everyone can survive the harshest conditions of life people come from Africa to Europe by boats and if they land safely they just go on with life so what are you afraid of do you know what is worse than coming to Poland ; it’s being 65 years old in the USA and remembering that you missed all the adventure and excitement that you could have had if took the plunge and came to Europe. I did just that and I don't regret it.
PlasticPole 7 | 2641
7 Jul 2010 #66
Yes, you should go, have fun, immerse yourself in the language and culture!
16 Sep 2010 #67
If your disability is due to emotional problems than yes your move might make sense but other challanges without health insurance I do not know ..... polish social security( zus ) will ask for their part from your social security ( about 40%) and that will gave you health insurance.

Health system is nothing to compare to US keep it in mind It is simply poor...
20 Mar 2011 #68
Have a look at my website for some insights.
Midas 1 | 571
20 Mar 2011 #69

You're lucky You've made it here, most PF users won't BS You around and will tell it like it is.

My 2 cents:

1) For the whole taxation issue You'll have to consult the appropriate binding agreement between Poland and U.S. regarding what's called dual taxation. I also believe what's mentioned in this article will directly apply in Your case:

Personally I never encountered a situation in which someone living strictly of US SSD moved to Poland, so I have no idea how it will be taxed. On one hand, the Polish IRS and ZUS ( Social Security ) are greedy *************, on the other hand U.S. has always had the knack of negotiating with the state of Poland and gaining favourable results for U.S. citizens... You'll have to check for Yourself.

2) ASSUMING Your 1500 USD is left intact and equals the sum You will have monthly at Your disposal You'll be good to go, even in Cracow or Warsaw ( though in both these cities You'll be on a bit of a tight budget ).

3) As was mentioned, a number of Polish people will tell You You're not Polish because You were born in the States and nothing will sway them. Same people tell me I can't be a Polish citizen because I am a Jew. Ignore them.

4) Don't take it for granted that You'll just be able to come over to Poland and live there. While I believe there are no visas required for Americans to visit I don't know if that's the case with a prolonged stay ( You are not an EU citizen ). Explore the matter further.

5) If You have Polish ancestors You might be legible for a Polish passport ( if You don't have one already ). This might save You loads of hassle, look into it.

6) While monetarily You will be fine I STRONGLY ADVISE NOT TO MAKE THE TRIP if You want to take an elderly person ( Your mother ) with You and take care of her over in Poland.

While the U.S. healthcare system has it's flaws, the Polish national healhcare system is a dump, period. Of course, You might "go private". But should Your mother have some serious health problems Your money might not be enough to pay for the costs of private healthcare, I'm being dead serious now.

And the public healthcare system in Poland quite simply has a knack for killing off elderly citizens.

That's all from me, thank You.
jacobadam - | 4
21 Mar 2011 #70
The Poland is best place than USA. The USA is about 200% to 300% more expensive than Poland for the same exact things.
People are very humble and sincere, churches everywhere and people take family and church seriously. It is the center of Europe and from Poland you can go anywhere in a short distance. I often go to Lviv, Vienna , Africa, Greece or the Northern countries with ease. A new experience. Poland has great food, if you love Polish cooking and fresh home cooked meals, you will love Poland. Fresh food in Poland tastes nothing like these large farm grown produce in the United States.
JonnyM 11 | 2608
21 Mar 2011 #71
The USA is about 200% to 300% more expensive than Poland for the same exact things.

Are you sure about that?
cinek 2 | 347
21 Mar 2011 #72
The USA is about 200% to 300% more expensive than Poland for the same exact things.

It's not true. Some things like cothing, toys, electronics, computers, cars etc. are cheaper in US. Every time I visit US I always buy much clothing and electronics there. Though, the price difference may not be that much now, as $ went up compared to zł recently.

Food is only slightly cheaper in Poland when you compare prices in big markets, but it's true that you can buy goot cheap food in Poland if you know where (I guess, in US you can also do, but I wasn't there long enough to learn).

21 Mar 2011 #73
jacobadam wrote:

The USA is about 200% to 300% more expensive than Poland for the same exact things.


you obviously have no idea what you're talking about. nothing further.

jacobadam wrote:

The Poland.....

I forgive you though, you wrote "The Poland". I love it when poles say "The Poland".
wielki pan 2 | 250
21 Mar 2011 #74
RysiekK... a lot of comments here are from people who frankly do not know what they are talking about, best to come over experience and decide.

Just a few comments, health care is the big big issue and this incidently varies from hospital to hospital, I might add that Polish doctors are pretty good and on par to those in the US or GB, to get something done you have to slip over some zlotes.(it helps and in fact works)

You will be accepted as a "pole" but remembered as a American...( access to money) this is a false perception as more poles are living better than those in the US.

300000zl for a house/apartment... not in the inner city area, won't get much in the country either.

1500$US per month, average Polish wage, this can fluctuate as the zlote falls and rises. Enough to get by, nothing to write home about. This money cannot be taxed again as it has already been taxed in Poland, (cannot be taxed twice)

Visiting Poland and living in Poland is two different things, be prepared to suffer and suffer from red tape, waiting and laws that were meant for the 19th century.

A move like this can either make or break you, a lot of people end up seeking delights in a bottle to offset anger and frustrations... true.
1jola 14 | 1875
21 Mar 2011 #75
1500$US per month, average Polish wage,

You must have read that in Gazeta Wyborcza, better known as Gówno Prawda.
wielki pan 2 | 250
21 Mar 2011 #76
You must have read that in Gazeta Wyborcza,

1jola... no I didn't, and your point is???, I agree that the unemployed and pensioners have it pretty tough and a person on a pension can only get just under 1000zl a month, but a person intending to return to Poland wants a far better lifestyle, agreed? otherwise stay where you are!

Heating/gas/electrity/water is very expensive in Poland, 600zl a month on a heating a small apartment is the norm. If we were to believe some people who post on this forum, wages in Poland are high.
delphiandomine 86 | 17823
21 Mar 2011 #77
600zl a month? Where? Perhaps if you're using electric heaters, yes - but certainly not if you're using gas.
wielki pan 2 | 250
21 Mar 2011 #78
600zl a month?

75m apartment.... gas and electricty.. check your last bill.. don't want to clutch at straws, Thats only a sideline, point being that his apartment will have to be heated 24/7 if the gentleman is going to look after his mother.
JonnyM 11 | 2608
21 Mar 2011 #79
75m apartment.... gas and electricty.. check your last bill.

I did just that. 95 metres, and the gas and leccy bills were 326 zl.
delphiandomine 86 | 17823
21 Mar 2011 #80
70 metres here, and the bill was about the same. That's with running all sorts of electricity-draining devices and not particularly caring about heaters being left on and suchlike.

Thats only a sideline, point being that his apartment will have to be heated 24/7 if the gentleman is going to look after his mother.

Not necessarily so. The 1970's/1980's communist blocks tend to be pretty warm, for instance.
22 Mar 2011 #81
wielki pan wrote:

1jola... no I didn't, and your point is???

his point is that 4,400zl/month is not the avg. wage in Poland.
cinek 2 | 347
22 Mar 2011 #82
600zl a month? Where?

A house 170 m2. Plus some wood for the fireplace.

Wroclaw Boy
22 Mar 2011 #83
Polish doctors are pretty good and on par to those in the US or GB, to get something done you have to slip over some zlotes.

Friggen hey, finally some body else said it.

95 metres, and the gas and leccy bills were 326 zl.

Last year i paid over 2000 PLN per month Jan/Feb for electric heating, this year im a little more careful and i have a wood burning fire. In any case the break down goes something like this.

Approx 0.48 PLN per KW/H of electricity used.

A 2000 watt radiator on full for an hour will use approx 1 kw of electricity thus costing 1 PLN / hour. So five radiators on full for a month, 24 kwh x 5 radiators x 7 days x 4 weeks = 3360 PLN / month. My wood burning fire has a 10 kwh capacity, so the equivalent of 5 2000 watt radiators when stoked up.
RysiekK 6 | 38
22 Mar 2011 #84
I will be in PL in April :) . I cannot wait ! And I was told by the Polish Embassy that I am DEFINETLY a Polish citizen ( for those that may care). I guess my adventure starts soon . My relative from Poland is here and we leave together for PL !


Czesc !
valpomike 11 | 194
22 Mar 2011 #85
If I could move to Poland, from here in the USA, I would leave today. I love Poland and her people. This is one of the last great place to live.

Midas 1 | 571
22 Mar 2011 #86
It's Your choice sir, however I fear You might have to take Your mum back to the U.S. should she develop some serious health problems.
Havok 10 | 902
22 Mar 2011 #87
The Poland". I love it when poles say "The Poland

Because there are many other Poland's harbored in our Polish harts...
My aunt was born here and recently she decided to "move" to Poland as well. Hopefully she didn't get the idea on PF. the whole thing didn't last too long anyways.

She got into some kind of family feud over the rights to purchase an apartment... The story didn't make much sense, maybe because she was really upset and crying when I was talking to her. Basically she told me that our family shunned her for taking sides on the issue and now some of them are consistently gossiping behind her back causing her more grief. What she was describing sounded like some crappy soap opera episode, but anyways, in her monologue she concluded that she can no longer live there. I was like, WTF was that all about?

Rysiek, there are a lot of differences that you're not prepared for. Just one trip over there is not going to be sufficient to understand it all.

Keep in mind that people in Poland are deeply depend on their family and close friend networks. That's the way of life there. It's very hard to exist in Poland without those close connections.

Don't get "stuck" in Poland because it may be very difficult for you to come back here in case when you can't fit in.

There is also this other thing.

If you're looking for a piece of as$ in Poland, err, female companionship 4life and such then you should just said so.
I'm a guy, you're a guy and we all know that "felt that I belong in Poland" is bunch of crap.

Btw my uncle just passed away so her moving to Poland had yet other underlining motive other than the feeling of belonging.

valpomike 11 | 194
24 Mar 2011 #88

On one of my visit, I needed health care, and got as good, in some places, even better, than here in the USA, for a very small price. And these people act like they care.

RysiekK 6 | 38
23 Apr 2011 #89
Healthcare is a major concern for me. I visited quite a few private healthcare providers. While they seemed OK , I couldn't understand their area of coverage! For example, Medi-Cover seemed great until they stated that anyone 65 or over would need to reside within 15KM of the center of Warsaw! And if an ambulace were needed, they did not got further. I need to consider my mothers health as well as my own. I am determined to find a solution! I will have NFZ after paying 9% of my income but I was hoping to also have other options. If anyone has any ideas or companies to check out, please let me know. Especially coverage in the area of Brody-Parcele or Pomiechowek.

Thank you in advance!

delphiandomine 86 | 17823
23 Apr 2011 #90
I need to consider my mothers health as well as my own.

In all honesty, unless you reside within a major city (that being Warsaw, Trojmiasto, Wroclaw, Poznan, Katowice and Krakow - maybe Szczecin too) - you're going to have trouble with finding something suitable for your mother - by suitable, I mean comparable to America.

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