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Retire in Poland - Good or Bad Idea?


Steve   Jan 16, 2006, 11:06pm /  #1
If you are a Pole, and you have spent the working part of your life overseas, and are now looking forward to your retirement, possibly you wonder, just a bit, about retirement in Poland. Is it a good or a bad idea?

I guess, as always the answer depends on who is asking the question and what the situation is. Poland as such is not a bad country to live in, although certainly all is not perfect, but tell me a country where everything is.

On the positive side are the Poles themselves. And if you are of Polish origin, certainly you will appreciate hearing the Polish language around you, the Polish radio and TV, the Polish humor and the cheeky Polish attitude. You will appreciate the beauty of the country with its old cities, like Gdansk and Krakow, the many old castles, like the royal Wawel, palaces, and other buildings. You will also enjoy the beautiful, mostly flat country side with its plentiful lakes and forests; sunny during the summertime, covered by a white layer of snow in the winter. You don't even need to be a Pole to appreciate the attractions of the land.

And if by chance you prefer mountains, you can ski as much as you want in the south of Poland. Why not go to the Tatry Mountains and live in Zakopane, a famous alpine resort - you will enjoy it, if you can afford it.

The cost of living in Poland for a foreigner is not very high. On the contrary, Poland is the cheapest country of all in the EU. On the other hand, the taxes are as bad as in any Western country. So, if you have to pay tax in Poland, which you will have to if you choose to retire there, it is one aspect of living in Poland that might put you off a bit.

And there is also the famous Polish bureaucracy - whatever you need to arrange, it will be complicated - and there is corruption, according to some, the worst in the whole of Europe (maybe except for Russia). On the plus side, most things are possible to arrange, provided you know whom to talk to and what to say... The Poles do not complain, so why should you?

The standard of living has improved a lot in recent years. There is a lot of new housing coming up, so, if you can afford it - and it is not cheap - you can enjoy a similar standard to the West. Renting is also an option, but, especially in the major cities, quite expensive. There is actually a shortage of decent housing with a moderate price tag, which can be an obstacle.

Should you for any reason be single, you should not be complaining. There is a huge choice of available ladies looking for a partner, and it is a definitive advantage if you are a returning Pole or of foreign origin. Although, it should be stressed, that on the negative side, for most of Poles, Polish is the language of choice when communicating with a stranger. The English language might be a world language, but hardly in the Polish country side.

Things are slowly improving, but it will still be many years before you will be able to ask for eggs and bacon in any Polish supermarket in English. On the other hand, if you are open-minded and prepared to learn a few words, it will take you quite far.

Last but not least, the Poles like to eat well and drink well, so be prepared to be invited to consume huge quantities of Polish specialties, like the famous "bigos" or "kielbasa" and others. Don't forget that you need to be able to withstand the Polish vodka in huge quantities, which the Poles cannot do without. A healthy liver is almost a prerequisite for enjoying the proverbial Polish hospitality.

If you still wonder about the pros and cons, I'd say go for it. If the worst come to worst, you can always go back to where you came from to recover for a while, the question is, if and how long you will be able to keep away.


Henryk   Jan 16, 2006, 11:34pm /  #2
Great article! I'm in my 50-ties and still thinking about coming back and retire in Poland... But I'm afraid it's too late to start a new life after being almost 30 years abroad. It's good to come back as a tourist, but to retire? Well, I guess my wife will make the ultimate decision - it depends on how much healthcare costs there and what are the benefits too.


Guest   Jan 21, 2006, 06:22pm /  #3
I'll retire in Poland as soon as I make enough money in the West :)

gilest   Feb 21, 2006, 03:39am /  #4
I met very briefly a Bristol couple, the wife actually, and they had retired to Poland.
I think its sheer genius. Sell up in the UK and take your cash to Poland your standard of living will sky rocket. Imagine if you have a morgaged paid off house worth say £250,000 (not alot in the UK), you could spend £150,000 on a very nice house and keep the other £100,000 for whatever,oh my god what a life. at the current rate of 5 to 1 think about it.

Guest   Feb 21, 2006, 04:45pm /  #5
Wow, for £150,000 you would have a VERY nice house indeed (including several has of lot :). It makes sense for people who earn pounds; hopefully dollar will increase it's value soon....

Mitch2   Mar 19, 2006, 11:55pm /  #6
I think it's too expensive in Poland - for an American at least. A few (2-3) years ago one dollar was about 4.50 zlotys, today it's like 3.20 zlotys -28% less. I don't believe the Polish economy grew so fast in comparison to US and other countries (when you go to a typical Polish country or small town you'll know what I mean). I was considering to buy a property in Poland but now it's just doesn't pay - it's better to buy something here in the US than to buy a property in Poland in the hopes it will gain a lot in value in 10 or 20 years...

Just my $.02 cents.
Mitch

STANLEY   Apr 22, 2006, 12:20am /  #7
I used to live in U.S.A. for 25 years. Two years ago I came back to my HOMELAND and I like it very much. Now I am HAPPY man. Poland is just for me. I love this country. So many SPAS like; CIECHOCINEK . In AMERICA you can not find places like this. I really enjoy my life now here in centrum of EUROPE. I just need a woman for partner and toogether take advantage
of POLAND and Europe.

Guest   May 26, 2006, 08:49pm /  #8
There is lots of Kaski in Poland I am surpriced that you still single

jackelliot   Jun 13, 2006, 10:20am /  #9
take out good medical insurance

lef   Jun 29, 2006, 08:57pm /  #10
:)it is obvious that buying a property in poland as an investment is not viable ie capital growth and rent.. realestate in poland is too expensive

bossie   Jun 30, 2006, 03:50pm /  #11
Just as the initial post suggests, it depends on your situationand preferences whether or not retiring in Poland is for you.

I know that many people love coming back home for the autumn of their lives. On the other hand I know examples of Poles coming back to Poland and then leaving again because they couldn't stand the red tape, the way the country is governed, the brainwashing of the media, lack of culture and other things you get used to living in the West.

Anyway, the decision is yours, hope you're happy with it, whatever you bet on.

Hi23   Jun 30, 2006, 03:55pm /  #12
bossie
You're right. I know a few sad stories of some Poles who came back to Poland in the hopes of having a good and stress-free life. Most of them, unfortunately, died within a year or so after having come back. So it seems working until old is not that bad idea after all...

Wujek_Dobra_Rada   Jun 30, 2006, 04:05pm /  #13
They died becaouse they`ve retired here - gosh... this is really tragic ?

lef   Jun 30, 2006, 04:06pm /  #14
It always comes back to a question of value for money, I feel the red tape is slowing going away, the issue now in poland is extreme poverty for some people and high incidents of crime and drug abuse... clearly law enforcement is getting better but nowhere to that of western standards.:)

Hi23   Jun 30, 2006, 04:07pm /  #15
Quoting: Wujek_Dobra_Rada
They died becaouse they`ve retired here - gosh... this is really tragic ?

If it's "normal" for you to die in your 50-ties, then yes...

lef   Jun 30, 2006, 06:09pm /  #16
You're right. I know a few sad stories of some Poles who came back to Poland in the hopes of having a good and stress-free life. Most of them, unfortunately, died within a year or so after having come back. So it seems working until old is not that bad idea after all...



I know of may examples, one just recently who had a nervous breakdown and now is on medication.. some times previous good memories are differant in reliality. money cannot buy happiness[b][/b]

Len   Jul 30, 2006, 10:35pm /  #17
Mitch- soon the US dollar will==be 1to 1 with the zloty-remember bushie@Co. run a 2-3 billion $ a DAY deficit !

bolo   Jul 30, 2006, 10:38pm /  #18
Quoting: Len, Post #21
soon the US dollar will==be 1to 1 with the zloty

It's a nice joke by the end of the day, isn't it..:)

lef   Jul 31, 2006, 12:36am /  #19
Quoting: Len, Post #21
Mitch- soon the US dollar will==be 1to 1 with the zloty-remember bushie@Co. run a 2-3 billion $ a DAY deficit


I don't know who you are. but you make sense.

lef   Jul 31, 2006, 12:39am /  #20
Quoting: Len, Post #21
Mitch- soon the US dollar will==be 1to 1 with the zloty-remember bushie@Co. run a 2-3 billion $ a DAY deficit !



The Outstanding Public Debt as of 31 Jul 2006 at 05:37:16 AM GMT is:



The estimated population of the United States is 299,208,145
so each citizen's share of this debt is $28,182.74.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$1.65 billion per day since September 30, 2005!

Its no bull

lef   Jul 31, 2006, 12:59am /  #21
Quoting: lef, Post #24
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 31 Jul 2006 at 05:37:16 AM GMT is:



sorry the full us debt is $us 8,432,523,288,184,65 wow... its nice to live in credit

guest-iwona   Jul 31, 2006, 05:51am /  #22
You're right. I know a few sad stories of some Poles who came back to Poland in the hopes of having a good and stress-free life. Most of them, unfortunately, died within a year or so after having come back. So it seems working until old is not that bad idea after all...



I know of may examples, one just recently who had a nervous breakdown and now is on medication.. some times previous good memories are differant in reliality. money cannot buy happiness




But it depends on situation. If someone lived in USA or Australia and visited Poland probbably once in 10 years it can be true.
My aunt's friend spent about 30 years in France but she visits Poland few times a year , is still in touch with her friends and when she reitres quite soon- she plans to move back.
I don't think she will have breakdown.

guest-iwona   Aug 1, 2006, 02:35pm /  #23
The are 2 kinds of emigrants- People like me I live in England because my husband is English ( I had quite good job in Krakow) so it is not really escape from poverty. But I prefer Poland our culture everything - It is my home and even if it is really bad it will be always my place. I don't mind England but it will never be my home country. I will be always outsider here. But second grup of emigrants ( I met few of them) is always negative about Poland don't come here often but find their new country as paradise.

I don't know why?

lef   Aug 1, 2006, 05:18pm /  #24
Quoting: guest-iwona, Post #28
But second grup of emigrants ( I met few of them) is always negative about Poland don't come here often but find their new country as paradise.

I don't know why?


from my experience ( I was not born in poland) and I associate with may polish people, can I just say that most poles who have settled here post war, have made it there home because they could not return because of the communist system, these people have adapted well in this country and always have full respect for Poland and what it stood for, they probally remember poland before the war, and clearly poland was a rich cultural and christian country..family life was a very high priority.
Post solidarity times, the poles had a great dislike and intense hatred for the system in which they were brought up in. ( I agree they were nightmare times) and moving to a western type country was a sight of fresh air with unlimited prospects..it didn't mean they were rich overnight but they had a carrot dangled in there face, giving them an opportunity to use there own talents and iniative to make things happen. (unlike what was available to them in poland)

As mentioned in a previous post, some poles have a hate/love relationship, ie when intoxicated are patriotic, when sober couldn't be more critical.

Wujek_Dobra_Rada   Aug 1, 2006, 05:42pm /  #25
Quoting: guest-iwona, Post #28
s always negative about Poland don't come here often but find their new country as paradise.

I don't know why?


I can tell you why - Those are usually people from the deep province. People from villadges as well as some of the the poorer towns bellow 20K. For them immigration means living in paradise cose they don`t know anything better - even if they have to do some shitty jobs abroad - they do it - becaouse they want to "look smart" when boasting about their supposed "wealth" to their peasant neighbours.. You know what they do ? While they are abroad they make photos of themselves posing as if they would get into some of the more expensive cars (which ofcourse aren`t belonging to them).. to be able to show to their neighbours a photo that would prove how "succesful" they are... ...If you`ve read Reymonts Ch≥opi.. ..or perhaps you`ve seen the movie Wesele - you`d get the idea why they are doing this. They are the people who make most of the crap abroad - and becaouse of them we have to be sometimes ashamed while traveling to other countries..

Dee   Aug 1, 2006, 06:03pm /  #26
My grandfather came to the states from a small village in Poland. He worked very hard all of his life, raised 6 sons, 2 daugjhters(all by the way graduated from college and in turn had very good postions themselves.) He bought a home and was very respected in his community. My point is I take offense to the comment about his not knowing any better and trying to boast about their good fortune to family back in their homeland. Maybe, a few reacted that way but I am sure most didn't.

guest-iwona   Aug 2, 2006, 12:44pm /  #27
but I think that Poland is quite good place to retire - good food, not overcrowded so nice house with big garden in the country is still much cheaper than in west europe, relativey safe, health care not as bad as people say... I suppose winter could be cold what is disadvatage for some people who prefer warm Italy or Spain.

Matyjasz Edited by: Matyjasz    Aug 3, 2006, 01:58pm /  #28
Quoting: guest-iwona, Post #28
But second grup of emigrants ( I met few of them) is always negative about Poland don't come here often but find their new country as paradise.

I don't know why?


It's very easy. It's all about the money. Have you ever heard a pole complain about polish food, alcohol, sights or history of his country?? Certainly not! They only moan about the wages in Poland and/or about our government.

guest-iwona   Aug 3, 2006, 02:58pm /  #29
that is true. Polish usually moan about money, government and chruch-priets( probbaly not everyone).

What do English moan about? mainly weather.:) :)

lef   Aug 4, 2006, 12:46am /  #30
Quoting: Matyjasz, Post #38
They only moan about the wages in Poland and/or about our government.


what so bad about that, if I was getting paid what the poles get paid, I would also complain.. perfectly normal.

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