I’m 28, so I’m not going to retire anytime soon, but these are prime investing years, and when you work internationally like I do, it can get pretty confusing. From what I have seen and heard, many young international teachers like myself haven’t attempted to save for retirement. Even though I love my job, and want to continue teaching internationally for the rest of my life, getting visas after the age of 60 is more difficult (Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand to name a few according to this website). This is why I need to be saving and investing now!
International teachers have:
No Roth IRAs
No Social Security
No work-based retirement plans
This is the reality of international teaching.
Ok, there are a FEW schools that will pay into social security because they have such close ties to an embassy. Good schools also might have retirement plans. However, I have never worked at any of those schools. So what have I been doing to save for retirement?!
I studied personal finance and accounting a bit as part of my minor in Business Administration, but most of what I do I learned from personal finance books and blogs that I have read on my own time over the years.
Some blogs that come to mind that I read regularly are:
Andrew Hallam’s Millionaire Teacher
So what do I do to save for retirement?
- Try to stay debt free. If I use my credit card I pay it off in full at the end of the month.
- Pay down my student loans as quickly as possible (highest interest rate first)
- Invest in a Vanguard 2050 Retirement Fund
- Have six months worth of emergency savings in a high yield online savings account.
- Plan big purchases by creating savings goals with SmartyPig
Next step: Make more money! This means either sign on at a school where I will get paid more and/or make money on the side either tutoring or with TeachersPayTeachers. This is the part I’m not so good at and it is not part of my current plan. While teaching in Mexico I tutored because the salary was so low, but I haven’t tutored since then because the pay wasn’t worth my time. Making passive income is my next goal for myself!
Disclosure: I’m working on my “next step” so this blog includes a few affiliate links, which means that if you click them I might earn a few cents to help support my travels and help me pay off my student loans.