What to Do With Foreign-Earned Income?

“Dear ISR, I have a question I think will be of real interest to many International Educators: I’m in my mid-30s and this is my 2nd teaching post. I’ve been overseas for 4 years. The 1st year I was busily paying off personal debts I’d accrued. Then, I started saving. I’ve saved a decent amount and was planning to use it to make a hefty house deposit on a property back home.

A couple friends who’ve taught overseas for many years own houses back home and are paying their mortgages. It seems like a good idea; but recently a new friend told me the problems they have with their homes and the associated costs. This has got me wondering, maybe investing in a property is not such a good idea?

Is the stock market a better option for me? I have a pension fund at home but with little in it for retirement – maybe I should be putting money into this? Another friend told me pension funds are not worth investing in at all and suggested a Roth IRA.

I’d love to know what international teachers are doing with their income. Many of us earn good salaries where the cost of living is far less than it is back home, enabling us to save, save, save! I’m very aware I need to prepare for my future on my own. Any advice would be well appreciated.”