Saving money while teaching overseas takes discipline.
Most of us have large student loans, so we’re constantly trying to pay down these debts, yet still enjoy a year or two abroad, and squeeze in a bit of travel too.
Certain teachers (and teacher couples) working at international schools in countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have managed to sock away up to a hundred thousand dollars a year.
And they’re not exactly living like misers either…
These teachers enjoy multiple vacations, can afford domestic help, and support their children (some of whom get free tuition at international schools).
One way these teachers are able to stash so much cash is through a school sponsored savings plan. Similar to a 401K in the US, or an RRSP in Canada.
How it works is the school matches what the teacher invests up to a maximum contribution.
The International School of Bangkok (ISB) offers a similar type of incentivized savings plan. It helps Steve Perkins save about $58,000 a year at ISB. The 49-year old Canadian is a single, divorced, father of two boys, aged 12 and 14 who both attend the school. “I live the dream,” says Steve. “I have a car, a maid who cooks for me and does all the household chores. I eat out at least once a week, and travel quite a bit.”
Keep in mind, most teachers at international schools have education degrees.
When you’re qualified to teach subjects like Math, Social Studies and Art, an entirely new job market opens up to you beyond teaching ESL at language institutes, public schools, and universities.
If you’re thinking about making teaching your career, perhaps returning to university for a year or two (depending on what country you’re from) and finding employment at an international school is an appealing option.
As an international teacher, you’ll not only enrich others, but you’ll grow rich slowly. (relatively speaking)
Read Andrew Hallam’s full article to learn more about who these teachers are, how much they’re saving, and the names of the schools they’re working at.