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Finances while overseas

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by charlottesaville, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. charlottesaville

    charlottesaville New commenter

    I have been offered a post starting in the summer, and am just beginning to think seriously about finances and what il need to sort.
    • What is the best method of 'sending money home' to fulfil obligations from my uk bank account.
    • How do I go about continuing national insurance contributions?
    • Do people generally register with the tax office as 'overseas' and therefore limited as to how much time can be spend in the uk.
    • Do I still have to pay my student loan?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    You do not say where the job is so this could be a nonsense answer. However, here in Thailand the schools set up a bank account for the new staff and they can then arrange to send money home via International Transfer, it is very simple. When we were in China the school organized this as the banks were a little bit ropey. Get in touch with the National Insurance people, you can find their address on the web, it is not very difficult to set up a standing order to pay NI. We have been gone for 17 years and I do not think we ever told anyone, I could be wrong though. I believe that student loans are dependent upon income, however, in a lot of overseas posts you will have more disposable income than at home so you are probably better off just paying them and getting rid. Obviously your choice though.

    Where are you going?

    All the best,

  3. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    We have a local bank account here in Taiwan (set up by the scool) and send money home monthly into savings. Other than that not done much else. If you want to save for the future, talk to your bank about the best savings for you. I know we need to sort out ours soon as I've been putting it off.
  4. charlottesaville

    charlottesaville New commenter

    Thank you for your responses.
    Sorry - I am going to be in Eastern Europe - just wondered if there was a certain company that was used with lower charges than the bank.
    If you didn't declare yourself as not resident to the tax office when you left, did they avoid giving you the rebate you're probably owed when you left the uk?
    Also with my student loan as its wiped off after 25 years and I was there for 5 years I will never pay it all back! Hence seeing it more of an education tax and wanting to spend as less as possible!
  5. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I got my tax rebate after a year abroad. It was £1600 and was sent as a cheque to my UK address. Was a nice summer surprise :)
  6. 576

    576 Established commenter

    • What is the best method of 'sending money home' to fulfil obligations from my uk bank account.
    That may depend on where you are. Personally I've always just done bank transfers.

    • How do I go about continuing national insurance contributions?

    • Do people generally register with the tax office as 'overseas' and therefore limited as to how much time can be spend in the uk.
    I did - as already mentioned it leads to tax rebates and because I am registered as a non-resident landlord I get the rental income from my property tax-free. I do have to do a self-assessment but after the first one they're not too hard.

    • Do I still have to pay my student loan?
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    You are more than likely going to be paid in $. To avoid the excessive bank charges of constantly converting your money, you can set up a $ account with most banks. I have a $ account with Barclays and have my pay sent there. I then convert smaller amounts from there when I need them in Pounds. there are also a number of offshore accounts you can get. The Isle of Man is a good place for this, but there are other options available.

    where in eastern Europe are you going?
  8. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Just a quick addendum. We get paid here in Baht, and we have an offshore account in the Isle of Man, we are also house owners in the UK both of which are let out and we do not pay tax on anything, yet. Although the buy to let thing may change that soon. At the moment we send about three thousand pounds home every month which will be our pension, eventually.
    Anyway, why do people who work in Europe get paid in dollars?(revans66) If this is right then you are being shafted!

    Take care what you wish for....

  9. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Sending money home - my previous two schools, China and Eastern Europe, have asked for bank details and they pay(ed) to the account I gave them. I've not had to do it on my own as it were. Colleagues who have set up local accounts have tended to pay 4 or 6 times a year to lessen any transfer costs if their cash flow situation could cover it.

    Tax - I have nothing in the UK in the shape of money, debt or property so I have never bothered to do anything about this. I would suggest checking on this one.

    Student loan - yes. You might be able to get a deferral, but you'll need to pay it back at some point.

    On a final note, and it doesn't seem likely you'll do this, but don't close any UK accounts you have. I stupidly closed all mine and now I am not resident I can't open one. My work around is an offshore account.

    Good luck.
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    If you had actually read the Op's follow up post Percy, you would have noticed they said it was "Eastern" Europe specifically that they were going. Having worked in that region, and have a lot of connections with a lot of schools in that region, then you will find that unless the country is acually in the Euro, then they will be more than likely paid in dollars.... probably because most of the currencies in that part of the world are not easily transferable. Whilst i was in Ukraine i had 20% paid into a local account (local currency), and the rest, paid in dollars paid to my overseas account.

    On the point of the student loan, as far as i am aware, you have no obligation to pay the loan back whilst out of the country, it is voluntary.
  11. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    I've mailed you Charlottesaville I might be able to help (click on the green swirly thing!)

    I'm in Eastern Europe and get paid in local currency - it's still easy to send money back. I use transfer wise more than anything :)
  12. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    As the student loan repayment form states, you need to keep paying it back even if you are overseas. If you go away without supplying your details you will be fined and charged higher interest. It is a debt like any other and not what you call an education tax. The worst case scenario is that you could be stopped from re-entering the country or taken aside by the police at UK Border Control. There was a case a couple of weeks ago where a woman was taken away by police at Edinburgh airport because she had a £55 unpaid fine.


    While you may want to 'spend as less as possible' there are issues of honesty and integrity here. As a teacher you are supposed to be a role model. I know this is an old-fashioned concept but you might find other countries take it more seriously than we do and any hint of debt will make them uneasy. If you arrange to pay your national insurance and contact the tax office you're in the system and can be traced. Do you want to be pursued to your parents' address or even to your new school?
  13. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    They aren't avoiding a rebate. If you don't declare yourself as UK non-resident for tax purposes they have no way of knowing you've gone abroad. The tax threshold for earnings is around £10,000. If you've earned less than that in the tax year before you go abroad you are entitled to a rebate. If you've earned more, you probably aren't.
  14. charlottesaville

    charlottesaville New commenter

    Thanks for all the replies, feeling a lot more informed now! (And for those wondering, as far as I know so far I'm being paid in euros!)
  15. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Then you can get a Euro account with most banks too. Try The Standard Bank on the Isle of Man
  16. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Excellent, so it isn't dollars then?
    Have a nice weekend....

  17. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    A voluntary loan? If only.

    You VERY MUCH have to still pay your student loan while you are overseas. You need to make sure you get the correct forms from them and send the required documents when you start your job which will be a declaration of income and a contract etc. They will then calculate the amount that you have to pay. This is somewhat negotiable though to allow for costs of living etc. If you don't pay it, expect it to become much bigger very quickly.
    davidbowiefan likes this.
  18. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    *hollow laughter*
  19. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    I would always caution that you get in touch with the loans company. As with everything else they get nasty when not repaid. It would be a shame to have a blissful few years away and then find oneself blacklisted, credit wise, upon ones return.
  20. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Ooops.... i have been "volunteering" for years. i just fill in a form once a year saying i live abroad and then they leave me alone. thanks for the heads up
    T0nyGT and percy topliss like this.

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