I do understand some, and much of it comes back to me, from boyhood. If I had to speak, I think I also could remember some words, and when living in Poland, I would learn more, each day, as others do. Many live in Poland, not being Polish, or speaking or understand Polish, and get along well, why would I not?
Do you think I could make it in Poland, and since you come from the place I would live, Warsaw, you would know best, as things are now. I think you have more of a handle than most would have. What do you think?
Mike, I moved from then communist Poland to US in 1981. Me my wife and 2.5 year son managed to dodge the Marshall Law I was 23 year old then. With a little knowledge of English and a Junior year of BSME (not graduated). We started building an "American Dream". To be honest I am well off got two Master Degrees and have been working in an aerospace company for 28 years now. I am lucky enough that my works requires me to travel to Poland 4-5 times a year on business since 2000 to our facilities, first in Rzeszow and now Wroclaw. So I could watch the country changing. I turned 55 in April this year and am eligible for a reduced company pension of about $2,500 after all SS reductions and taxes. I plan to take early SS benefits reduced to about $1,700 once I'll turn 62 (4.5 years). USA has deteriorated to a police state, with no future for older folks, so before really bad times come I and my wife decided to move back to Poland perhaps as early s by the fall of 2014. The economy and retirement here does not look promising. Here are some hints: 1. Indeed knowledge of Polish is important, but most younger people speak near fluent English and even some local offices have English speaking personnel. So, although it would be indeed difficult, you could start your own business there. 2. I am in a great position of a dual citizenship and bear both US and Polish (EU) passports. You as a US national will have to obtain an equivalent of our "Green Card". No way in the world you'll get it within 90 days. You may have to leave EU (go for few days to Switzerland for example, get the passport stamped at the border and come back. This will give you another 90 days. The best thing is to apply early at the Polish consulate. 3. I believe that you need a proof that you can support you and your wife while living in Poland. $1,000 is now about 3,150 PLN. An average experienced worker in Poland makes that or more a month and barely makes the ends meet. 4. You would have to pick up employment to get national health insurance. NFZ (National Health Fund) is not very expensive, however inefficient, but still better than our God forsaken Medicare. Contrary to someone else's comment, Polish doctors are top notch. There are plenty of inexpensive (for Americans) private clinics/hospitals, capable of most complicated surgeries and treatments even in the public sector. After all Poland has one of the best medical schools in the world (i.e. Jagiellonian University in Cracow). But you have to factor the cost in. I don't know if VA benefits are acceptable, I doubt, but as long as you are permanent resident and pay small taxes (progressive, the less you make the less you pay)you should be all set. 5. Getting a driver's license in Poland is a bear, even if you speak Polish fluently. You could travel to England, take the test there and exchange it later, or drive on the UK DL. Any EU DL will do. Although I already have a Polish DL, I am not planning on driving and am ditching the car. The public transportation is very good. Besides, Polish beer is excellent and there is practically zero tolerance on BAC and driving, and gas costs about $1.90 a liter (.275 gallon). 6. I would strongly suggest to find a place to live in a smaller town. For example, Rzeszow is a very pretty small city and is 2/3 cheaper than Warsaw or Cracow for example. There are several multinationals located there: Pratt& Whitney, former Goodrich now UTAS, and MTU. They all may need English speaking employees. 2 hour train ride to Cracow and its own international airport in Jasionka (20 minutes from town square). Beautiful Bieszczady National Park is nearby. 7. You definitely need at least 4,500-6,000 PLN for two people to live a decent live in Poland.