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Family of four considering a move to Poland from USA


malbork
11 May 2021 #1
Hello all, as the title stipulates. I'm considering a move back to Poland from the US. I have a wife and 2 young kids. We're Polish citizens with EU passports, with family in woj. Podkarpackie region. We've visited on numerous occasions.

I've just started looking for work however, and I have a job interview tomorrow for the position of Sales Manager for a global industrial safety equipment supplier in the Slask region. The position would require me to travel and meet clients throughout Germany, Poland, Czech & Slovakia.

I'm curious what kind of salary I should expect or request in order to live outside of the Wroclaw city limits. I wouldn't need to be in the city, hence its better to be further away as its a lower cost of living.

We currently live in NJ, and with house prices skyrocketing, it has become nearly impossible to get on the housing ladder here.
pawian 176 | 15,438
11 May 2021 #2
I'm curious what kind of salary I should expect or request

Let`s say that not less than 10.000.
OP malbork
12 May 2021 #3
Thanks pawian for your reply.

Ok, so I had the interview. I believe it went well. I gave him a figure of 12,000PLN per month, but I did say that I am open for negotiation, in case they want to negotiate down. We'll see what happens.
pawian 176 | 15,438
12 May 2021 #4
That`s a good negotiation strategy. :)
Atch 16 | 3,267
12 May 2021 #5
in case they want to negotiate down.

They will.

12,000 per month will give you take-home pay of around 8,500 zl per month. If you want to calculate some rough living costs, this site is pretty accurate.

numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Poland

it has become nearly impossible to get on the housing ladder here.

If you want to get a mortgage you'll need between 10 and 20% of the purchase price depending on the bank. Most banks will want you to have six momths employment history and at least six months remaining to run on your current employment contract, but ideally they prefer an 'indefinite' contract which is the equivalnent of a permanent job.

Your prospective employer will probably want you to do a three month probationary period. It's quite usual and it won't count towards your employment history so you can start to apply for mortgages within nine months of starting that job.
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,663
12 May 2021 #6
@malbork

I'm actually in quite a similar situation... PL born with passport, living in US, worked in sales/sales management most of my adult life, looking to move back to Wroclaw (where I'm from) or some other city in Poland due to being sick of living in urban American (Chicago in my case) and either continue working in sales or go into consulting, open a small business or something of the sorts in Poland.

Here's what I can tell you based on my experience/research with sales - stats show a sales manager ought to make at least 12-15k+ ZL salary on the low end plus an additional commission/bonus. A Swedish transportation (cargo, RoRo, etc.) company in Gdansk offered 30k EU + commission for an RSM position, the company I work for now pays their Polish RSMs $24k USD salary + commission (about $2-$4k a month for an average PL based RSM with the top two guys over there consistently averaging $5-6k, and up to 10k+ a month top during peak season) and for their Ukranian RSMs $12k annually + same commission structure. I recently found out that the Ukrainian government imposed a sort of tax on everyone's salary to help bring in money to fight the war against Russia.

If you have a proven track record of bringing in big clients and a lot of revenue and are known in your industry than people will be fighting over hiring you. Or, you can always go into consulting especially if you have a grad level education and work for a company like Bain, McKinsey, Booz Allen, etc. all of whom have offices in Poland. The salaries are going to be around the same 12-20k ballpark but the December bonuses can easily be 50-100%+ of annual salary.
OP malbork
14 May 2021 #7
cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Poland

Thank you for the info.

We would be planning on buying a house as soon as is practicable. We already have enough saved up to cover atleast the 20% deposit. However, I'm wondering if its possible for a lendor in Poland to take into consideration credit history in America. My credit history is very good here.
Atch 16 | 3,267
14 May 2021 #8
I'm wondering if its possible for a lendor in Poland to take into consideration credit history in America.

You will need a credit report issued by an approved agency, which varies according to your country of origin so the banks will certainly be pleased to see that you have a good credit record . This is a really useful site, written in English. The guy is a mortgage broker so he's available for consultation if you feel you need customized advice but there's plenty of material there to give you a good overview.

//polishmortgage.pl/
OP malbork
14 May 2021 #9
@Dirk diggler
I'm hoping to move to Poland and make the most of the fact that I can speak both languages well. Also with rising real estate prices and property taxes here in NJ, I've been put off from buying a house. Poland is likely still cheap to me, and you can buy a newly built house for about $120k.

However, based on your info I'm getting the feeling that I should have set the salary bar higher. Perhaps atleast 15k? I had a short chat with an HR lady and she said I'd have a few perks with this position. Amongst others, a company car for visiting clients, I'd be working from home and traveling 2 days out of the week. Also, this position would only cover Poland (Which is better for me). I could potentially base myself out of my wife's home in Poland and not have to worry at having to pay rent, until we buy a house.

The good news is that the HR lady emailed me earlier saying that the Lead Manager would like another interview with me. If they bring up the salary and want to negotiate down, I'll may my ground. Also, I'l ask them if they cover relocation costs, it might not be likely, but I'll take my chances.
PolAmKrakow 1 | 766
14 May 2021 #10
Speaking from my personal experience, they didn't care that I had a perfect credit score in USA. Banks in Poland, most still controlled by the state, have their own credit agency. They wanted to see six months of income in Poland, deposited into Polish accounts, then they would issue a credit card. Mortgage? Have not needed one so can't speak to that. I will say though, that credit here in cards is a lot different than the US. No points programs, or other perks even with very high limits and Gold card seems to be the highest level here. It is clearly still a young and emerging market, so expect a lot of red tape and different ways of banking business.
Strzelec35 28 | 860
14 May 2021 #11
Why the hell would anyone want to move to such a forsaken and backward place with almost no healthcare to speak of? I mean on weekends almost all both private and public doctor clinics are closed for gosh sake and after 5 pm as well on top of this hospitals only take you if youre lying dying.

"most still controlled by the state"

everything is controlled by the state sort of like Belarus. TV, media, healthcare, etc.
amiga500 2 | 503
14 May 2021 #12
No points programs, or other perks even with very high limits

That's not quite correct, Citibank has the usual points + perks cards. Also Diners is available in Poland with their excellent worldwide airport lounge access.

if youre lying dying.

One lives in hope.
Atch 16 | 3,267
14 May 2021 #13
they didn't care that I had a perfect credit score in USA.

It's true that Polish banks don't 'officially' take your USA credit history into account, but I'm sure that they prefer to see someone with a good credit history rather than a bad one. It can't hurt anyway.

I could potentially base myself out of my wife's home in Poland

Living with the in-laws? Be afraid, be very afraid!!

Btw, another thing to be aware of with Polish companies is that they have a very mixed reputation as employers and many of them don't do automatic salary reviews eg after the first year of employment. If you want a pay rise, you frequently have to demand it. It will rarely be offered as a matter of course. You won't necessarily get one either.
OP malbork
14 May 2021 #14
@Atch
I wonder if the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union here in America could act as some kind of notary and confirm that someone has very good credit history, and then take this document to Poland to prove one's financial responsibility and good standing. It's probably a long shot, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the PSFCU.

The wife's house is empty, FIL passed away and MIL lives and works abroad. Its in a quiet town with decent internet connectivity.

The company is originally an American company, but who's setup a European HQ in Switzerland, and a sub-HQ in Warsaw. My boss would actually be based out of Bulgaria. They seem to be quiet well established and diverse throughout Europe, so they're not a "Polish company".
Atch 16 | 3,267
14 May 2021 #15
well established and diverse throughout Europe

There are quite a lot of foreign owned companies in Poland that are not as good to work for as you might imagine because the Polish offices are managed by locals and they have their own way of doing things. However, it's a bit of a lottery and it could suit you quite well.

Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union here in America could act as some kind of notary

If the bank wants a USA credit history from you they may specify which agency it should be from. There is no harm in having a bank reference or credit reference but as another poster mentioned, it won't carry that much weight. Things are different in Poland. The bank is not that interested in your past, they care about your present. How much are you earning, what kind of employment contract do you have, what are your outgoings, any other loans to service. The only thing they want to be sure of is that you're not currently wanted for an unpaid debt. Otherwise, they're really not impressed with a faultless credit history, a good record of saving etc. It won't influence their decision to grant you a mortgage.

I don't know how it works in the USA, but you should also know that although you can have a meeting to discuss your requirements and get a 'yes we would give you a mortgage' in theory, you can't actually apply for one until you find a property you want. In Ireland, where I'm from you apply and get approval for a certain amount, then when you find a house you draw down the mortgage. In Poland you have to wait until you find a house and then you apply for a mortgage for that particular property. It takes about six weeks to process the application. Oh and the mortgage has to be joint with your wife unless you sign a 'separation of property' agreement. That means you will be making all your financial affairs separate, not just the ownership of the house.

Poland is a very different kettle of fish legally to the USA because your laws mostly originate with the English Common Law system (and a bit of constitutional law) while Poland has the Roman law system, more common on the continent and a complete pain in the nether portions, in my opinion. But that's a discussion for another day!
PolAmKrakow 1 | 766
14 May 2021 #16
@amiga500
Citi and Diners both American companies/banks. I am looking at strictly Polish banks. Try using an Amex in Poland less than 5% of places take them.
OP malbork
14 May 2021 #17
@mafketis
In all fairness, it's actually amusing reading some of Strzelec's posts, that is if you can understand them.

Every country has its advantages and disadvantages. I lived 8 years in Scotland, and although it's a great and very safe country to live in, my wife wasn't a fan of the gloomy weather, and a few factors as well.

I currently live in New Jersey in America. House prices here have gone through the roof since the pandemic (as they have elsewhere as well, Poland too), also the high taxes here, traffic, as well as crime do not appeal to me. I've considered moving to a different state (TX, NM), but jobwise, it may not be worth it for me as well as the fact that traveling to Poland to visit family and friends would turn into quite a trek.

Also, I do understand that going to a state sponsored doctor in Poland can be a pain, dealing with long lines, etc. I guess that's why people go privately.

However, dealing with doctors and insurance companies in America is no fun either. You never know what you're going to end up paying until the bill comes in the mail. Some times you have to wait to get a decision whether certain tests or procedures are not covered or not, depending on your insurance, etc. The NHS in the UK isn't that great either, but at least you didn't have to worry about getting a ridiculously high bill in the mail.

@PolAmKrakow
I've never paid by credit card in Poland. Too many fee's to worry about.
jon357 67 | 16,654
14 May 2021 #18
Try using an Amex in Poland less than 5% of places take them.

Indeed.

Quite a few places have (out of date) stickers that say they do, however in reality they don't. Something to do with a change of policy by one of the main payment processing companies they use.
amiga500 2 | 503
15 May 2021 #19
Citi and Diners both American companies/banks. I am looking at strictly Polish banks.

You said banks in Poland. What is the difference between banking at a Polish subsidiary of an american bank as opposed to a Polish owned bank? (of which they are only two main ones afaik the rest are foreign multinationals)
PolAmKrakow 1 | 766
15 May 2021 #20
@amiga500
They may be located in Poland, and are American companies, but are operating using Polish banking guidelines.
amiga500 2 | 503
15 May 2021 #21
@polamkrakow
I just had a quick look at satander, and they too offer points + perks on their credit cards, as i imagine nearly everyone else does, time to change banks sir?. You're welcome :)
PolAmKrakow 1 | 766
15 May 2021 #22
Santander is also an American bank. "Santander Bank, N. A., formerly Sovereign Bank, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group. It is based in Boston and its principal market is the northeastern United States."

Bank points are not what I am interested in unless they can be redeemed for travel. Most cards in USA have points/miles programs. These are simply not available that I have seen here. They give nice card limits here, and are very generous with all lending in my opinion. I was used to the "American" way of things with cards, but am used to having only one Polish card here and its not an issue once used to it. But thanks.
amiga500 2 | 503
15 May 2021 #23
unless they can be redeemed for travel

Yes that is what i do as well. USA might be a bit stingier but in Oz we have great signup offers, ie 100k points/miles and reduced card fee for first year. Some people get 3 or 4 new cards a year so it's all good fun :) i'll see if there is any Miles and More LOT/Lufthansa cards in Poland for you
PolAmKrakow 1 | 766
15 May 2021 #24
@amiga500
I would only fly LOT if it was the only available carrier. They are brutal when it comes to delays and cancelled flights, and I would never take them on a flight to the States. I used to play the card stacking game too for miles in the US. Once you have all the cards though...
amiga500 2 | 503
15 May 2021 #25
They are brutal when it comes to delays and cancelled flights,

I think the issue was when the dreamliner was grounded for half a year , LOT roped in shonky planes from charter operators and that is where their bad reputation came from flying across the ditch. But yes easier to deal with a delay from a megahub like frankfurt etc.

Once you have all the cards though...

That's when close family members start signing up for cards ... hahaha
Crow 148 | 9,276
15 May 2021 #26
Family of four considering a move to Poland from USA

Reasonable and wise.
pawian 176 | 15,438
15 May 2021 #27
at least 12-15k+ ZL salary on the low end

How many working hours per week? How long holiday?
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,663
18 May 2021 #28
Poland is likely still cheap to me, and you can buy a newly built house for about $120k.

Precisely why I'm moving. I can buy a nice ass house paid for in cash and never have to worry about a mortgage or paying several grand every year in property taxes alone ever again. And that's one of the best things about it - the taxes on property are a joke compared to many places in the USA.

Perhaps atleast 15k?

I wouldn't take any salary that's less than 12-15k, but it also depends on how the commission/bonus is. Either way stand your ground and negotiate hard, focus on the value and revenue you'll bring. With sales it's very simple - either you bring in enough revenue to justify your position or you don't. On the other hand, you don't want to bring in a bunch of money making others rich while you get shafted making a lower income.

Will your position have subordinates like inside sales reps/fronters, a secratary/assistant or dealers or something like that? Or is it more you working a territory and traveling to do prospecting, closing deals, visiting clients, etc?

How many working hours per week? How long holiday?

40 hours is required, most put in time outside of work hours though answering calls, emails, traveling from place to place, etc. Idk about holidays for everyone, but most have like 3 weeks vacation/personal plus the regular state holidays.
Cargo pants 2 | 985
18 May 2021 #29
I can buy a nice ass house paid for in cash

Do it quick,prices are going to be same like USA here soon.
JacekthePole 1 | 57
18 May 2021 #30
Poland still one of the cheapest places in europe for real estate, but boom is happening, prices gonna continue to rocket so get in while you can.


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