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Teaching in Asia is often viewed as the preserve of gap year students wishing to fund a year in an exotic location but, in actual fact, many professional teachers move to Asia looking for new challenges, others are expatriate spouses who are looking to further their own careers having moved for the sake of their partner.
Some of the most prestigious schools operate satellite establishments in Asia including Harrow in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing, Dulwich College in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Zhuhai and Marlborough College – seat of learning for none other than the Duchess of Cambridge – in Malaysia. These exclusive establishments, and many other high quality international schools, offer attractive packages to expat teachers which often include a competitive salary, assistance with accommodation, health insurance and generous holiday allowances. This, combined with a low cost of living compared to many parts of the world, means that many expat teachers earn well above the amount they need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle each month and gives them a unique opportunity to start squirreling cash away for retirement.
In addition, expat teachers could benefit from certain tax advantages while they are working abroad which can provide a welcome extra boost to their savings. There are a number of factors which need to be taken into account when setting up a savings plan. For those who have previously worked and saved for retirement in the UK, it may be fiscally advantageous to transfer an existing pension into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme or QROPS. This will depend on your personal circumstances – not everyone will be eligible and it is certainly not in everyone’s interest to do so which is why we would always advise taking professional advice before embarking on this process.
Our consultants are well placed to help. Many of them have clients who are teachers and will be familiar with the issues to consider. They will be able to explain clearly the options available to expat teachers with regard to pensions, savings and other financial solutions.
Your teaching experience in Asia could open the door to a whole world of opportunities, give you a unique and fulfilling experience and boost your career – why not also ensure that it boosts your future financial security?