Retirement Goals

When you move from school to school, country to country, there’s no district office to tie a career in International Education into a sponsored retirement plan. If, for conversation’s sake, individual International Schools did offer retirement plans, how would it realistically work to have a small pension set up for you in 4 or 5 foreign counties, depending on how much you moved around?

Retirement after a career in International Education will be what each of us creates for ourselves. The best advice is: “Make a plan, start early & diversify.” Volatile markets, unforeseen global events & worldwide pandemics, as recently witnessed, can put a serious crease in the best-laid plans. The more financial irons in the fire, the more secure your plan will be. At least that’s what we hear from the economic gurus of our day.

ISR asks: What do YOU consider your retirement goal to be? What are you currently doing or plan to do to meet that goal? Naturally, goals will differ depending on what age you are now & what age you’d like to be when retiring, your current & future financial responsibilities, where in the world you plan to retire, & how extravagantly you’d like to live — a beer & bread budget or a caviar & champagne budget? Sharing plans, ideas & concerns, we can help each other to make informed, forward-thinking decisions on this important topic. We hope you’ll join in the conversation!

Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

44 thoughts on “Retirement Goals

  1. Hi
    My wife just saw this discussion and actually ISR after teaching abroad some years.

    Is there any way to pay into Social Security while living and earning all money abroad?
    Can I pay into an IRA while living and earning abroad?
    Can I transfer funds from a traditional IRA Brokerage account to a Roth when living and earning abroad?

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    1. Hey I’m not an expert but these are my thoughts.

      Social Security must be paid through W-2’s, self-employment income, or some int’l schools pay into the SSA.

      You cant use money from abroad to finance an IRA b/c these are tax advantaged accounts and you arent paying the US on your foreign income most likely as a teacher.

      Can I transfer funds from a traditional IRA Brokerage account to a Roth when living and earning abroad?……………………you can make a backdoor Roth on money you put in when it was earned in the USA.

      just my interpretation of the rules.

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  2. OK folks, teaching is my second career, after a career in finance. Investing is not rocket science. Stay away from Bitcoin, and fancy schemes. All you need to do is invest in a variety of ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), in small cap, dividend funds, international, developing markets, etc. BUY AND HOLD for the long term. Do NOT put all your eggs in one basket.

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    1. be very careful of shiny shoe salesman who arrive like vultures selling schemes that they wouldn’t purchase themselves. Yep, we got sold one in KuwaitWe lost half of our so called pension plan this way as we pulled out 15 years into a 30 year plan. Also be wary of buying off plan properties from developers in UK city centers etc which guarantee rental for a few years but will then leave you with a mortgage and a property you might struggle to sell. Keep up pension payment contributions to your home country if you can and schemes where your employer pays an equal amount in.
      In the current times sometimes just saving each month is something though the returns are 0 the money is there. Ask, be cautious, diversify definitely. I’m 53 and hoping my organisation will increase the retirement age as I need to work till I’m in my mid 60s. Moving internationally several times, divorce, children’s uni fees have all made investing difficult but I’m finally earning good money and living frugally, something I should have done 20 years ago, I guess!

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  3. I have a retirement plan. I plan on hiking till I drop down dead.

    Some great ideas and plans here. just remember though, money is only a vehicle, not a goal.

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  4. My partner and I implemented have no financial need for accepting any job having reached financial independence. It took 20 years for me (10 at home and 10 internationally) and 9 years for her (all international).

    While I wish for everyone to have the same choice, we certainly all do not have the same circumstances, start in the same place, and/or have the same opportunities. We took the time to develop our financial literacy, which led us to building offensive (money making money) and defensive (most control is over our spending) game plans to be financial independent. We were not extreme savers (some colleagues may disagree given lifestyle differences), but focused on efficient ways to afford experiences which bring us joy. We set financial goals. We measured our progress. We learned from mistakes and acknowledged our successes.

    Like investing, the international teaching job search and lifestyle has its own elements of a risk/reward profile. A reward COULD include more disposable income given tax exemption, a lifestyle you couldn’t live at home, a great place to work, and/or a really unique experience. The risk being you are 100% responsible for your financial independence no matter which of those you value, or find.

    This is a timely topic. I believe strongly enough in financial literacy and independence that I am actually choosing to make a career change. I am pre-launch and currently collecting feedback from a small handful of clients. I have no product to sell besides my time, knowledge, experience, and skills to support you along your path to financial independence (which I can help you define what that means for you).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. *sigh* If a deal looks too good to be true then it isn’t true. I just can’t believe some of the posts here. Having been on the international circuit for close on 25 years some of these comments just don’t sound plausible. If you’re depressed after reading these comments because it sounds like international education is the place to be if you want to make a quick buck and be a millionaire by 35, and you’re not, don’t be taken in by them.

    What international school pays you enough to have a net worth of $1.5 million by 35? What planet does the poster live on? Maybe a teaching couple in a high salaried top tier school, with one or both partners in senior management, might earn enough to do that. There’s no way on planet earth can you accrue that kind of income in a small to medium international school in most out of the way places by 35. I just don’t believe it. Many older IS teachers I know are concerned about their financial resources for the retirement.

    Then the investments being touted, especially Bitcoin. Unless you’re the Wolf of Wall Street why would you take the risk? We’re teachers not professional investors! If you’ve invested in Bitcoin or another crypto currency good for you. When you’re 35 and can afford to lose your $1.5 million you still have 20 or 30 years to earn it again. I haven’t met a teacher on the international circuit that’s made a fortune teaching internationally. Most international teachers don’t get to work at top tier schools in Asia. But even so the cost of living in places like Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore is very expensive. You need a large salary to survive. Western Europe is even worse. Many of these schools don’t pay for flights and accommodation and you get taxed after 2 years. Then we get to Africa and South America. Perhaps ISK, LIS, AISL or one or two other schools in Africa pay well enough but the vast majority ONLY pay a good LOCAL salary. And South America? No way Jose.

    Having said all that I know it’s possible to accrue a healthy bank balance over time, I have friends who’ve invested in property and done well, but that’s not the majority. It makes a big difference to be a teaching couple as well. I’m 63 and looking at my options. I think I’m fine until about 80 or possibly 85, should I live that long, but after that I don’t know. I have a 95 year old mother so I have to take that into consideration.

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    1. There were some very lucrative contracts in Saudi Arabia a while back. Those,. plus 5 years of intensive tutoring, have allowed me to save enough to retire any time I desire.

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  6. https://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-creators-30-billion-destabilize-crypto-market-coinbase-risks-2021-2

    I’ll just leave it at this….for example, if the mysterious Japanese-named mysterious entity that controls $64 billion worth of those Bitcoins were to put them all on the market, there would be a panic to get out before prizes crashed. That’s a huge chunk of the trillion dollar Bitcoin universe. Even Coinbase acknowledges this risk.

    Now Dogecoin is going crazy for no other reason than Elon Musk or Dave Portnoy or some random threads on Reddit.

    I’m 51, around $1.9 million, and have done it the more traditional way. Money markets, CD’s, individual stocks, Treasury notes, REIT’s, and a collection of mutual funds from Oakmark, Legg Mason, Miller Value Funds, Fidelity and especially Vanguard. Got rid of American Century.

    I’m missing out on the really big plays that grab headlines, but also can play around with PLTR, OPEN, SKLZ, DISCA and am very optimistic on Mercedes-Benz/Daimler AG cutting into Tesla with their new e-vehicles. And that’s with Chinese stocks like Baba, Ten Cent and JD getting kneecapped by the government here…where Bitcoin mining threatens to do the most damage, along with South Korea and Japan.

    Just don’t get too greedy. I bought JDSU at $110, watched it rise to $140 on inclusion in the S&P and then watched it all disappear and refused to sell due to that psychological determination it was going to recover one day back to my original investment. That’s going to the tough call to make the next big crash in Bitcoin, Coinbase, Ethereum, Dogecoin. Kevin Durant can afford to lose $10-15 million here and there, but most investors can’t replace that money with a $30 million annual salary. At least most intl teachers that I know.

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  7. The above is all good advice. I got taken in by a broker who “specialised” in retirement funds for international school leaders with the promise of “high returns” and I invested a lot of $. I am now retired and wait to get my investment + returns back, that are now embroiled in a legal case regarding fraud in Dubai. Beware of nice guys in fancy suits who promise you a quick buck.

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  8. International teacher in my late 30’s located in Asia. Net worth around $1.5 million.

    Invest everything you can. Be early. Take on risk. The biggest risk is no risk and letting money rot in a savings account. Ignore all legacy institutions and companies and definitely ignore a financial advisor targeting international teachers. Read and research a ton. Bitcoin, Ethereum and other interesting crypto projects. ARK funds.

    I could retire on the beach tomorrow, but that would be boring.

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    1. The problem is could you actually monetize all those cryptocurrencies tomorrow?

      On paper, in the late 1990’s, everyone was buying companies like Nortel, JDS-Uniphase, Sun, Lucent, anything to do with fibre-optics…or pretty much any dot.com stock, regardless of it having a viable path to profitability. Or go to the 2008/09 crisis…Remember Enron? Remember WorldCom? AIG?

      All those coin offerings are based on a theory about the value of the blockchain tech and the finite number being produced. There’s also the environmental aspects of mining to consider, and the reaction of the US and China feeling threatened by currencies that either challenge the USD as the global reserve currency or are outside the control of the government, in the case of China.

      For the average teacher who is 39 years old, chasing the latest trend or fad (digital or crypto) is not something a more sophisticated investor with a tolerance for higher risk and the willingness to take a massive loss (or gain) should be doing. Most of the world can’t even explain why any coin offering actually has the speculative (see COINBASE recently) value that it possesses.

      It’s basically “cheating” the process of patient, dollar cost averaging, compound interest investing in passive index funds that do better than 85-90% of active managers with a fraction of the fees.

      Also, avoid “load funds” (lose 4-6% of your initial investment off the top and take years to make it back compared to peers) and any type of annuities.

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    2. One can pretty much guarantee that following Cathie Wood’s hottest ETF funds and being late to the game or trying to mimic her trades but doing it well after the market-setting trades have already been processed is another bad idea. Another would be Ray Dalio/Bridgewater. Chasing after funds that are returning 200-300% per year usually means a gigantic cliff dive later. For more information, look at what happened with Bill Hwang/Archegos in the last 2-3 weeks…due to leverage he ended up losing a net worth of $10-20 billion and basically caused the investment banks backing him to be on the hook for tens of millions of additional losses to cover margin calls.

      I remember my dad had me invest in solid/conservative Nicholas Funds after I graduated from high school. But I got impatient with value investing when the tech stocks were taking off and jumped into American Century, and took another decade to get back to even. Same with Bill Miller, one of the most famous investors of the last fifty years. He had the longest streak of beating the S&P year after year (two or three times in a row is pretty unusual, 13 or 15 consecutive years or whatever it ended up being was virtually unheard of. But look at the track record of LMOPX/LMVTX over the time period from 1999 the financial crisis of 2008/09. He eventually lost control of his funds (too many redemptions) and had to start over from scratch on a much smaller scale. They’ve done “okay” in the last decade, but many investors went through a decade there of almost no growth before the Fed easy money policies really kicked in at the end of Bush and beginning of Obama administrations…and we’ve put another $5 trillion, and likely $2 trillion more in the world economy in the span of roughly a year. There’s way too much money chasing returns (Chinese bond and money markets!!!), but there are very few “cheap” or undervalued investments right now. Digital currency hardly is one of them for a first-time investor new to the game.

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    3. The problem is could you actually monetize all those cryptocurrencies tomorrow?

      -Yes, I could. Immediately, actually.

      On paper, in the late 1990’s, everyone was buying companies like Nortel, JDS-Uniphase, Sun, Lucent, anything to do with fibre-optics…or pretty much any dot.com stock, regardless of it having a viable path to profitability. Or go to the 2008/09 crisis…Remember Enron? Remember WorldCom? AIG?

      -Yes, I remember, though I was younger at the time, my father always walked me through investing. There is a lot of garbage out there, and most will go to zero. There are also seriously impressive projects that most certainly won’t go to zero and in fact will change the infrastructure of how humans move value to each other.

      All those coin offerings are based on a theory about the value of the blockchain tech and the finite number being produced. There’s also the environmental aspects of mining to consider, and the reaction of the US and China feeling threatened by currencies that either challenge the USD as the global reserve currency or are outside the control of the government, in the case of China.

      -Blockchain technology is not a theory. It’s a very hard science founded on math. Some coins are actually not based on finite numbers and build in a natural burn or inflation. Other coins, like Bitcoin for example, are finite and cannot be inflated.

      Please read this paper regarding energy usage around mining cryptocurrencies.

      View at Medium.com

      I agree about the nation state threat, though I believe that game theory will play out specifically around Bitcoin with a number of nations showing Bitcoin on their balance sheet in the coming 24 months.

      For the average teacher who is 39 years old, chasing the latest trend or fad (digital or crypto) is not something a more sophisticated investor with a tolerance for higher risk and the willingness to take a massive loss (or gain) should be doing. Most of the world can’t even explain why any coin offering actually has the speculative (see COINBASE recently) value that it possesses.

      -My life’s goal is not to be average. I don’t believe emerging technologies around automation, longevity, blockchain and the digitization of the world are particularly unsophisticated or trendy. Betting back on the legacy structures of the world is much more risky. Coinbase, which IPO’d this week, posted Q1 revenues of 1.4 billion USD. That is a real business and crypto is a real asset class.

      It’s basically “cheating” the process of patient, dollar cost averaging, compound interest investing in passive index funds that do better than 85-90% of active managers with a fraction of the fees.

      -I’ve dollar cost averaged since 22 years old. It’s just that my profile of assets is decidedly betting on tech and innovation. No trading here.

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    4. Congrats! Have you mostly been in Asia. I chose Western Europe, but financial it is very challenging. I could have difficulty retiring!!

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    5. ARK funds have been my greatest performers. I’m just mad I didn’t put more into them than I did! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  9. If you’re from the UK, keep paying your National Insurance (NI) contributions. This will allow you access to the state pension on retirement and is actually a really cheap way to get some money assured for retirement (though not a huge amount!)

    Look carefully at property – make sure you are either renting in an area which has a decent rental market, or if you’re looking at the gain an area where property sells relatively quickly. Lots of us love the idea of a house in France, for example, but if you’re using it to gain money and sell before retirement be aware that it can take over a year to complete – while property in the UK, though much more expensive, generally sells within a couple of months.

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    1. Am I right in thinking the state pension is about £630 a month now? If you have other funds to supplement that it’s great, but if that’s all you’re getting it doesn’t allow for many luxuries and holidays overseas.

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  10. Lots of good advice in this thread. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is opening a Roth IRA (US teachers) for the equity investments described. Roth contributions are limited to $6-$7K/year depending on age, but contributions are made after tax, and any withdrawals on the back end are tax-free. Yes, all earnings are free of capital gains taxes.
    Exchange-traded funds are a great tool to use if you don’t have time to sweat individual stock moves. That is, instead of investing in, say, DraftKings ($DKNG), just invest in $BETZ and get shares of a managed basket of companies in the online gambling industry. Just be wary of the management fees for the various ETF’s wherein your portfolio takes a fraction of a percent off each year. Some funds, like Schwab Large-Cap Growth, take just 0.04% in expenses, which you will find is the case with index funds that simply track NASDAQ or the S&P, for instance.
    Pensions run by US states are all over the place, as states are slowly but surely abandoning the defined benefit plans in favor of defined contribution ones. Either way, they are definitely beneficial since they force you to set aside a little bit of money from day 1 of your career.
    Do NOT overlook the need for health insurance in retirement. If you retire before age 65, you probably DON’T want to retire in the US unless you can handle the five-figure health insurance premiums for a 50-something couple. For my wife (non-teacher) and me, even participating in the state-run teacher retirement medical insurance will cost ~$21K off the top of my pension.
    Finally, whatever you do, do NOT rely on some financial planner or sales pitch as mentioned above.

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    1. My understanding is that you have to earn the Roth IRA contribution amount in US wage income to be able to contribute to a Roth IRA. We thought you could us US earned rental income, but our accountant told us that does not work. It has to be US earned wage income. Do you understand differently? I would love it if rental income counted.

      On a related question … anyone know how likely it is to be “caught” if you accidently contributed to a Roth IRA when you did not have any US wage income? What would happen when you were “caught”.

      We have used Vanguard, mostly mutual funds, and that has worked well. I recommend Vanguage.

      Thanks!

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    2. Hello. I thought you couldn’t invest in a Roth IRA while you are working abroad . If I go back to work in the summer, then I could invest. Correct? Thanks.

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    3. Roth contributions have to be ‘earned income’, so dividends from investments or rental income won’t count. If a financial advisor is telling you your income earned abroad isn’t eligible, then I can only guess you aren’t filing taxes in the US, due to the earned income tax exclusion, but if you have a spouse working, too, then there may be an option as outlined here;
      https://www.thebalance.com/ira-for-workers-abroad-3193218

      https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/081615/basics-roth-ira-contribution-rules.asp
      Obviously, the professionals are the ones to listen to, and it doesn’t hurt to ask yours if there might be away to file your taxes in a way to make you eligible for a Roth contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. About Roth IRAs. Unfortunately, rental income doesn’t count. I think maybe because it’s an investment.

      You can only open a Roth if you are making wages in America. If you go home over the summer and try to open one up, it still won’t work if you earning income overseas.

      I kept contributing to mine while working overseas and I got “caught” when I filed my taxes. They kept charging me a 6% penalty on my over-contributions until I sorted it out.

      Maybe a Roth 401k could be an option if you’re earning income overseas.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Yeah, I got caught too in a way…or moreso, caught up. Didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to until like three years abroad and someone mentioned it to me casually. I had to go back and take out a lot of money and pay some penalties I think.

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  11. Put a good chunk of money…dollar cost averaging, in a mixture of Vanguard or Fidelity no load index funds.

    If you invest in stocks, never more than 10-15% in any single company.

    Diversification…international or emerging markets, small and mid cap, REIT’s.

    Some in precious metals as a hedge, as well as being mindful of looking at more bonds, CD’s, money market, fixed income investments as you get closer to retirement age. Need to be more conservative. Everyone quickly forgets the lessons of 1987, 98-99, 2001-2002 and 2008-2009…and assumes markets, Bitcoin/crypto, SPAC’s, real estate will always rise in value.

    Used to be an axiom, your age, let’s say if you were 65 you should have 65% in bonds and just 35% in more aggressive growth and even value equities. Conversely, at age 25, 75% in stocks and just 25% in bonds. But almost everyone is much more aggressive these days.

    The reality is that eventually something will slow down the fast and easy gravy train…returns will normalize to 3-5% after taxes and inflation.

    Don’t chase high returns, you’re usually too late to the party…holding the bag, like the Reddit WSB stocks such as GME and AMC.

    Don’t panic. Buy low and sell high. When times are really gloomy, that’s the best time to buy, and when the rich or at least wealthy of the world define legacies for the next generations.

    Be wary of buying condos or real estate in countries where you are not the actual owners…I know a Chinese couple that just lost $125,000 in Thailand and have limited ways to even contest a dispute with Covid restrictions in place. Buying properties and renting or renovating works if you have all those practical skills in plumbing, electricity, interior decorating, etc.

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    1. Very sage advice.

      One question. I was looking at condos in Thailand and was specifically looking at condos because I thought you did own it outright as opposed to houses where it gets murky. Do you know the specific clause or feature that caused them problems?

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  12. No amount of savings and investment will work unless you have a decent income, especially from your early 30’s onward. Compound interest can only do so much. If you want to make a career out of international teaching then you need to pick the right schools. I would refer you to the ISR list on “Schools with the biggest savings potential/biggest compensation package” or something like that. My wife and I started out at a small South American school earning $12000 a year each and were paid in cash (yes, real $100 bills) and we had to pay local taxes on that income. We were poor and the school was terrible but had a blast and saved nothing (this was also before we had children). Most recently we spent 10 years working for a Middle Eastern state oil company and lived the 5 star/business class lifestyle and still walked away with more than enough to retire. Currently we are taking a few years off and living off the passive income from the rental properties that we bought with the extra earnings from our most recent jobs. My advice is to work for a natural resource school (they pay really well), start by the time you are 30, have a teaching spouse and split your retirement into 50% real estate and %50 investments. I am now 51 and we started our retirement/international journey 25 years ago, so be patient.

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  13. Im shocked at how good the comments are on here. State run pensions are reliable, but quite frankly you’re being charged a massive premium for stability. Learn how to incest inequities and understand financial markets, and use real estate as the less volatile asset; your net worth will be several mutiples higher if you do things on your own.

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  14. We’ve been at this international teaching gig for about 24 years now I and can say with complete confidence that it is possible to save enough and retire well. Pick your schools wisely, save consistently, invest in equities and real estate and you’ll be fine. We’re both in our low 50s and have more than enough to retire anytime now if we wanted to and live a very good life with travel, houses to live in in a couple of different countries (summer and winter residences) and houses which will provide rental income, not to mention a portfolio of stocks and ETFs. I’m budgeting on a retirement income of 120-150K a year. We’re lucky that we continue to love teaching, but there is no way I want to be that guy sitting miserably and complaining every day in the staff room, working until 65 because he HAS to keep working.

    My advice:
    1) Make saving a priority each year. Save first and spend remaining funds on travel and “life”. Make a plan and stick to it. Too many of our friends and colleagues save what’s left over after paying for exotic and expensive holidays and things which they probably should not be buying. Don’t think of all of your income as “spending money”. Don’t sacrifice the things that are really important to you, but ALWAYS make sure you are saving.
    2) Buy real estate… start small, buy rentals, hire a property manager, and keep buying, pulling your income out of properties and reinvesting it in more properties. You’ll be amazed and what kind of long term gains you can make in real estate and these places will provide you with rental income in retirement.
    3) Learn how to invest in equities and ETFs. I’m not a huge fan of the book Millionaire Teacher, but this is a fine place to start if you have no knowledge or confidence. No one is going to do this for you. 4)At all costs, AVOID signing up for some “plan” that some dude sitting in the staff room is trying to sell you. I don’t know anyone who made any money from these, expect the dude selling it and committing to taking your money each month for 20+ years.
    5) Start early… don’t wait until your 40s to start thinking about saving. Compound interest is your friend.

    Good luck! It is possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Pick your schools wisely” I’ve never been to a job fair where I can pick the school I want to work in. The best schools have large numbers of applicants for each position. Unless you’re a ‘unicorn’ this advice isn’t really much help. If you’re a Primary teacher with a non-teaching spouse you’re never going to be a ‘unicorn’.

      But great for you, you must have spectacular investments to know that you’re going to get 120 to 150K a year. I can’t imagine there are many international schools that even pay that as a salary to their staff.

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    2. In regards to picking your schools wisely, I took it to mean, from my experiences, that you may not want to go to a school in Puerto Vallarta which no one has ever heard of, but you live on the beach, when maybe you can work at the American School in Monterrey and work in a school that is highly accredited, part of the Tri Association, AASSA, has AP classes, etc. It might be a bit polluted and not be close to a beach, but from this time here you can then jump to another similar or even higher tiered school and keep making those decisions as your career moves on.

      A personal example for me is that I went to the Middle East and to a tier 2 or tier 3 school there and I just went there to experience the living and travel, and knew that it could be a detriment to my CV but didn’t care. Still don’t care, but as I get older I’m just trying to make smarter decisions now 🙂

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  15. Retirement funds cobbled together from pensions accrued before going abroad, stock investments (that’s the big one…), income from rental properties, savings, eventual state pension. It can be a bit confusing but it does have the advantage of being pretty well diversified. Start early, diversify, consider that you might want the option to quit permanently or temporarily long before official retirement age. (Teaching, like any job, can seriously lose its lustre after a few decades… having a high degree of financial independence is a very useful thing.)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Any money saved will eventually run out. There is no substitute for SSI and a state retirement plan. They will last a lifetime. Working overseas is fun, but there is a price to pay once a person hits retirement age. Why not get vested in a state retirement plan first, then go overseas?

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    1. This doesn’t work. Social Security and state runs plans are a ‘get what you give situation’. If you’re not paying into social security, you’re not going to get much back…

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    2. That’s what I did! I retired from teaching in the US once I reached my state’s requirements for retirement. I’ll be finishing my 4th year overseas in June then will be starting a new job at a new school in a different country. I’ve found it’s been helpful putting in the maximum amount possible in an IRA yearly while abroad. Also, look for schools in countries that have no age limit for obtaining a work visa.

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    3. I disagree. If you plan ahead you can save for retirement and make investments of your own. Savings will run out, but your money should not if you invest in stocks that continue to make money. My grandfather made more money after he retired because of his investments than he made in his whole career as a chiropractor. SSI doesn’t provide much support and neither do State retirement plans, especially if you aren’t in a state with a strong teacher’s union. Plan to invest in your own retirement plan (an IRA), keep traveling, keep saving money, and retirement will be just lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Most people don’t want to wait until retirement age to travel and live abroad, especially when health gets poorer with age and other countries do not always offer the best medical care. The best advice I got from a seasoned international teacher (she is in her 60s and spent her whole career abroad) was to have the adventures when you are young because you might not make it to old age.

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  17. I’m almost there. Save Save Save, make sure you line up a small side income. Goal is to live stress free in Northern NSW after some really stressful times and concentrate on more creative pursuits. Don’t need much to be happy.

    I invested in real estate, rented out while abroad and made sure I sent off a large chunk home to reduce that mortgage.

    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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