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June 09, 2005

Workplace Issues - Do You Have A Plan?

Hello all,

Something happened to me last night that has become a frequent, yet unwelcome part of my life. It was about 3 a.m. and suddenly I shot up in bed, scared and sweating. In my dream, I had been older, still teaching for a living, but about to retire. I had already given notice at my job, and was looking forward to my golden years lazing on the beach. Then, as I opened my checkbook to look at my balance, I realized that I couldn't possibly retire. I simply hadn't saved enough over the years to quit working.

Ay!

It's true that most ESL teachers don't make a great living, but we accept that because we love what we do. But what does that mean for our futures?

In my previous post, I outlined some ideas to help get you on a budget, but obviously that isn't enough. In order to retire comfortably, we need to plan, save and invest in order to be prepared for that big day.

If you work in the states, you probably don't have these worries, but if you have worked in a foreign land for most of your career, you likely don't have a 401K or retirement plan! And considering the average salary, you're probably not socking it away unless you're lucky enough to work in a high-paying area.

What will you do?

I talked to a few people this week, and the responses that I heard were interesting. Some told me that they would simply work until they dropped (not recommended!), while others told me that they planned to retire in their current country because the living expenses were so much lower than they could expect in the U.S. While I lean in that direction myself, I'm still searching for other options.

It would make financial sense to return to the U.S. once I get serious about retirement, earn more money, and put myself on a plan.

But oh how I would miss those afternoon siestas and the ecstatic shrills of children on Saturdays as they bang a piñata to death!

How many of you wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts like these? Are we setting ourselves up for a dismal future by doing what we love now? Will we ever be able to retire, or will we be teaching phrasal verbs way into our 90's?

Will everything be okay?

Talk to me! If you have plans in motion, I'd love to hear about them. If you think this is an issue that doesn't matter, tell me why. If you are intimately familiar with my types of dreams, let's share.

Until next time,

Michelle

Posted by msimmons at June 9, 2005 04:52 PM

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