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Hi everyone,
I'm new here and I'd like to get some valuable info from you. :)

I'm 21 years old guy, currently living in Poland (my homeland). I've got quite nice (considering Polish salaries and my age) full-time job - working online, with income of at least 1200 USD per month (I have to pay taxes by myself and take care of health care). I have some savings. Can speak English, learned some German in school.

I have a big family in Poland (only siblings), but I want to move abroad. I don't like Polish society and culture that we derive from western countries. I'm studying now IT on one of universities (first year), but it's non-sense for me as I'm not able to focus on studying, because of my job (40h/week).

I'd like to see some world, meet new people and use ability to work online anywhere in the world. :) I can consider moving out permanently (and working there in some IT field, or learn new skills). If it's possible, of course I'd like to save some money, but if the place is reallyyyy good, then I can live with less savings. Only requirement: reliable Internet connection, at least 2Mbps speed.

What would you recommend me?

I'll appreciate any help!

Jacek
 

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The issue, of course, is legal residence. Even with an income from working online, in many (most?) countries you won't be able to stay longer than a tourist. There may be a few exceptions, but that would require research. Actually getting a job would be harder.

One option is to migrate around for a while, never overstaying the tourist visa, while working online. Difficult to organize apartments and internet access, but possible, and lets you experience different places.

Alternatively, Poland's EU membership should allow you to move to some sunny corner of the continent, like Portugal or Spain. There presumably you could establish residence while continuing to work.
 

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Just be careful with your nomadic plan - different countries have different laws about how you must establish "residence" especially for tax purposes. In some, you will have to set up a local business entity, which may involve paying VAT on your income. It can get complicated, even if you don't need a visa to move countries, and while $1200 a month may meet your needs at present, it's less than the legal minimum wage in many places.

Take a look around the various country forums here and see what the folks living there have to say. It might give you some ideas about where you would like to settle down.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi Jacek, seems to me that you are better off where you are at present. You earn an equivalent amount of PLN 3,700 per month which is quite a lot of money in Poland. However if you are really set on leaving the country, there is nothing stopping you, especially if your English is as good as you say. I know plenty of Polish people who work in Ireland, England and Holland and if you have some savings there is no reason why you couldn't up and leave to find employment, you are young and seem quite adventurous. Problem with that however is setting yourself up with accommodation and ensuring that you could continue earning some money from the job you have now online.

There are house shares posted on gumtree throughout Ireland, Scotland and England. This may be the best way of finding accommodation with other Polish people who normally share a house to keep the costs down.

Be careful though, Job hunting in the UK is quite tough now and 1200 US is quite hard to live on although not impossible.
 

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As a freelancer (you'd be classified as such if you're not employed by a local company) you'd have to pay €350-700/month for (compulsory) health insurance in Germany. After that, what remains of your current income is below the poverty line.
I expect the situation to be much the same in all EU countries.
You better stay where you are, or seek out countries with much lower living standards (and thus prices), mainly in the third world.
 

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It's nice you're ready to learn new skills because working as a freelancer is not enough for getting legal residence. Getting a job is one of the best ways to residency. You might have difficulties trying to prove that you're a better candidate for a particular foreign company than a local specialist. However, everything is possible - just give it a try.
 

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Good grief... 300-700€ a month?! Holy cow, how does anyone afford that and what do you get for it? That's enough to pay rent! How does anyone earn enough to afford that....
 

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For employees, half of this is paid by the employer. But as freelancer (self-employed) you have to pay both halves yourself. There is no (legal) way around it, I am afraid, although Germans and EU citizens can get social security to cover it if they really earn that little.
It gives you a very comprehensive health insurance that covers all doctors consultations and medically necessary treatments (incl. maternity and dental) with no deductible, no exclusions (e.g. for pre-existing conditions) and no upper limits. It also costs the same independent of age, so it's society's way to keep our poor and old healthy, too.
 

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For employees, half of this is paid by the employer. But as freelancer (self-employed) you have to pay both halves yourself. There is no (legal) way around it, I am afraid, although Germans and EU citizens can get social security to cover it if they really earn that little.
It gives you a very comprehensive health insurance that covers all doctors consultations and medically necessary treatments (incl. maternity and dental) with no deductible, no exclusions (e.g. for pre-existing conditions) and no upper limits. It also costs the same independent of age, so it's society's way to keep our poor and old healthy, too.

But if I earn $2000 a month working online and then have to pay that on top of rent somewhere.... I'd die. Don't they take into consideration how healthy you are, at all? That's terrible! I see a doctor maybe once every 3 years or something. Not worth 700€ a month.... It seems like a bad plan for them to require people to pay so much, forcing them to ask the government for help via social security.... and what if they don't qualify? Jeez, I wouldn't want to be forking over that much money every month for something I don't use. At least paying rent keeps a roof over my head. I'll never live in Germany! :p
 

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Indeed. As a freelancer, on that salary you could not afford to live in Germany.

The funny thing about health insurance is that it doesn't work very well if all the healthy people refuse to pay into it.
 

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Indeed. As a freelancer, on that salary you could not afford to live in Germany.

The funny thing about health insurance is that it doesn't work very well if all the healthy people refuse to pay into it.

But it's taking advantage of people to do it that way. What if the person who has to pay a huge chunk of their income to the healthcare otherwise could have spent the money in a way that would have benefitted humanity long term? Started a charity organization, paid for their travel to volunteer in Africa, adopted a child.... I mean that's a lot of money when you add it up every year. It's putting people in a bad spot where they have to work harder to afford a basic standard of living, keeping them from doing other things, to pay for older people who perhaps aren't giving back to the world in the way a healthy young person can if they are given the freedom. Perhaps people could take care of their own elderly parents if they were able to save that money instead of handing it over. They could use it as they see appropriate, to care for their own family. They could save up for their own health care so they wouldn't have to rely on others when they get old or sick. Seriously, if I could put aside 700€ a month into a healthcare account.... ok if I started at age 18, I'd have 117.000€ in that account by now. Minus maybe 1000€ for healthcare I would have paid for over those years.... that's a lot of money. Yeah, not a fan of forcing people to pay a load of money into a program that they're not even guaranteed to benefit from. It's one thing to be charitable and help people out, but it doesn't have to be to that extent. That's just wealth redistribution there.
 

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Honestly I don't think anyone in Germany who makes 1400 euro/month is paying 700 euro/month for health insurance. (I've lived there, though I had insurance through my employer so I don't quite know how it works for self-employed.)

Listen, if you want a country where paying for health insurance is basically optional, I can think of a great big example just south of where I currently live. By all accounts it's a fantastic system where everyone receives excellent care.
 

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Honestly I don't think anyone in Germany who makes 1400 euro/month is paying 700 euro/month for health insurance. (I've lived there, though I had insurance through my employer so I don't quite know how it works for self-employed.)

Listen, if you want a country where paying for health insurance is basically optional, I can think of a great big example just south of where I currently live. By all accounts it's a fantastic system where everyone receives excellent care.
Somewhere in South America?
American healthcare is a joke. When I first went to France, I got travel insurance for $100 a month, covering everywhere in the world EXCEPT America. If I wanted it to cover the US... it would cost me $400. It's messed up here. So many retirees are heading for South America for the cheaper healthcare costs, and I'm considering it as well.
 

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The actual contribution depends on your salary - with €2000/month you'd be at the lower end of the €350-700 range. And if you only make that little, why would you freelance?!?
(FYI: You'd have to earn below €1000/month to get sofial security.)
 

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The actual contribution depends on your salary - with €2000/month you'd be at the lower end of the €350-700 range. And if you only make that little, why would you freelance?!?
(FYI: You'd have to earn below €1000/month to get sofial security.)

Why would I freelance? Because that's the line of work I'm in, no matter what I earn with it. what's the alternative? Wait tables and be chained to one location? though I could do both. They just wouldn't appreciate me taking off as much as I do. And it's more like $2000, not 2000€ . So 350€ is about $500, then rent would be what... let's say $700. So then we're at $1200. But then you've got internet, cell phone, food, pet care, car insurance, gas, savings (so I could even buy a car in a new country...)... yeah I'd like to keep that $500. :) It does more damage than good to me at this point in my life to throw away $500 a month. I want to save enough to invest and to... well... save.

Anyway, I've never paid over $120 a month for health insurance and I don't intend to start!
 

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There are lots of Germans who earn less than €2000/month, so it IS possible. But if your idea of a desirable lifestyle is not in line with what your income can afford here (and your explanation suggests health insurance is not the only item causing this), you're welcome to not move to Germany. Please keep in mind that most places in the EU are similar in this respect.
 

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What if I tell you that the income tax you'd have to pay would be higher than the health insurance cost? Does it really do more damage than good to you at this point in your life to pay your (legal and compulsory) contributions to the society you live in?
 

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Just for fun, I ran the key numbers for a hypothetical 45 year old individual with zero dependents filing as a single taxpayer and living in Pinellas County, Florida, U.S.A. (I had to pick somewhere, and Florida has beaches.) Total gross income is assumed to be $24,000 per annum (as freelance, self-employed, earned income) with no other income. Tax breaks from U.S. tax-advantaged savings programs are not considered in this example.

In this scenario, the total personal income tax would be 6.89% (total effective rate). There is no state income tax in Florida, so that's everything on the income tax side. The sales tax rate in Pinellas County is 7%, i.e. considerably lower than European norms for VAT, and with some exemptions on certain spending. Medical insurance purchased through Healthcare.gov would be $75/month for a Humana bronze policy after federal subsidies, and that policy would include free preventive care services (such as routine checkups), unlimited catastrophic coverage (no lifetime limit), a cap of $6300/year out-of-pocket, and access to a very large private network of medical providers. The self-employment tax rate is 15.3% on earned income, but that premium provides federal disability insurance coverage and (at that income level) probably the world's best deal for a guaranteed retirement annuity, including automatic inflation adjustment, joint/survivor coverage, and the flexibility to start collecting at any time from age 62 to age 70.

Property taxes (as reflected in rental rates also) are low in Pinellas County, there are lots of beaches, and public transportation is unspectacular but decent. Schools are generally mediocre. Unlimited mobile phone service (voice and text, with some data and international calling thrown in) is $29/month, and home Internet service is about the same. Food costs are considerably lower than European norms, heating bills are very modest, and electricity and water rates are also low.

....Though there is the fact that a very few other people living in Pinellas County pay a top marginal income tax rate of 43.4% (on only the earned income amounts past $406,750 of taxable income, tax year 2014, single filer). Which of course makes that 6.89% actual income tax rate paid by a $24,000/year single filer in Pinellas County null and void, as everyone knows. Yes, I'm being facetious, but this is how the original poster wants to evaluate places to live -- whether rich people not him who are cheap would like it. ;)
 

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Good grief... 300-700€ a month?! Holy cow, how does anyone afford that and what do you get for it? That's enough to pay rent! How does anyone earn enough to afford that....
Was this sarcastic or am I totally out of touch with the rest of the world? I live in Greece, I'm the sole wage earner - I get at least 400 euros a month, but for half the year its more like 600. I live in a lovely, large 3 bedroom house - we run one car, take a normal amount of holidays, eat really well. Its hard work making real savings, but we pay all our bills on time and have emergency money for most things. Sure I'd love more money, but in all honesty we have a nice life style.
 

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Was this sarcastic or am I totally out of touch with the rest of the world? I live in Greece, I'm the sole wage earner - I get at least 400 euros a month, but for half the year its more like 600. I live in a lovely, large 3 bedroom house - we run one car, take a normal amount of holidays, eat really well. Its hard work making real savings, but we pay all our bills on time and have emergency money for most things. Sure I'd love more money, but in all honesty we have a nice life style.

So... you make about 600€ a month... how much is your insurance? Because if your insurance was 300€ a month, wouldn't you find that unaffordable?

That's amazing to me though that you can live on 600€ a month. Maybe I should move to Greece. lol. In Los Angeles and Paris you're lucky if you can even find a place to rent for that much, and no way could you live off of that much. I'm looking for a place where I don't have to spend so much time trying to earn money just to pay rent and bills (and yet not feel cut off from the world). Where in Greece do you live? Is this normal? It sounds so much more reasonable than everywhere I've lived or thought about living so far.
 
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