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Pension/saving money while teaching abroad

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Mrs_St, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Mrs_St

    Mrs_St New commenter

    Hi guys! I have been teaching in Shanghai for over 2 years now and have no plans of going back to the UK. Recently I have been thinking about my retirement. While in the UK, I had a teacher pension scheme through the local council, which stopped since I moved to work in China. I know I can pay back the NI contributions to get the minimum pension. However, I am worried that that will not be enough. How are teachers working overseas investing money or saving towards their retirement? TIA
    TeacherPure likes this.
  2. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    Property and over paying as much as I'm allowed.
    TeacherPure likes this.
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Please search the forum. You'll find many opinions and even some guidance.
    Andrew Hallam is mentioned regularly, and not always by me.
  4. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    I recommend you do it!
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the general consensus on the "Teaching Overseas" forum is yes, carry on paying your NI contributions. Then you will, eventually, get your State Pension, assuming that it has not been scrapped by the time you get to 65 or 70 or 75 or whatever. Oh yes and it also helps if you can stay alive, if you want to receive it.

    No, you cannot pay into your Teacher's Pension if you are overseas. You used to be able to do this, but not anymore. You could make some "top up" contributions, if you were to return to teaching in the UK.

    Buying-to-let, especially in the UK, seems to be a very popular form of investment for expat teachers. How do you go about getting a mortgage if you are teaching overseas? Although this might be a bit of a problem, quite a lot of expat teachers have found that it is indeed possible.
    TeacherPure and towncryer like this.
  6. Ms_Love_

    Ms_Love_ Occasional commenter

    I am so confused about which NI contribution we have to make if we still wish to pay into the UK pension scheme (not the teachers' one). Class 1,2,3,4 . . . how does one select??!?!
    TeacherPure likes this.
  7. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    @Xtinelove it's class 2 - they're the only NI contributions you're allowed to make.
  8. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    I read the Andrew Hallam books after seeing them mentioned on the forum and I found them very interesting and useful.
  9. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Pay your NI, buy houses, regularly, and let them out. Pay into a private pension.


    TeacherPure likes this.
  10. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Established commenter

    Do you know any lenders who provide buy to let mortgages to expats??
  11. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    Buy Andrew Hallam's book. It may save your financial life.... And you'll get to read about me, although I won't tell which pages.
    clovispoint likes this.
  12. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    Class 2 and 3 can be made depending on your prior employment immediately before leaving the UK.

    Helen-Back, I didn't know you featured in the book... Andrew Hallam's book is well worth reading. It will get your head straight on what is required. Buy-to-let is not the only option and his book can get you off on the right track.
    TeacherPure and Helen-Back like this.
  13. loislane1

    loislane1 New commenter

    Unless you buy outright I don't think you can get a mortgage anymore (system changed I believe last year)
  14. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    we used an International mortgage broker for the one that we bought last year. He spent some time sourcing it but we got a mortgage in the end.

    TeacherPure likes this.
  15. james_1979

    james_1979 New commenter

    Most people I know and myself park their money in both property and a private pension. As for getting an expat loan, Liquid Expats is used by many but it will set you back £1500-2000 of brokerage fees. If you have 35-40% deposit then there are no problems... Your mortgage is with still the major banks in the UK. In saying that, with the GFC, getting a loan in the UK as a citizen is remarkably hard... I know friends who have worked for gas schools and couldn't get a £50k loan to pay the house upfront despite having 90% deposit.
    TeacherPure likes this.
  16. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    Care to share details? We are finding it hard even with a 40k deposit.
  17. sparklesparkle

    sparklesparkle Established commenter

    I'd strongly advise posters not to take financial advice from anonymous posts on the internet. You don't know who is giving you advice - they may be an employee of the institution itself.

    Having a good UK credit record will help you to get a loan. You will keep your credit record if you have financial obligations that you service on a regular basis - a bank account, overdraft, credit card, mortgage, etc. (A student loan doesn't count.) This is one reason why it's a very bad idea to close all accounts before you leave. It's much harder to open new ones if you live overseas.
    TeacherPure and towncryer like this.
  18. TexanTeacher2013

    TexanTeacher2013 New commenter

    Many of you refer ITs from the UK to read/buy Andrew Hallam's book. What literature recommendations are available for Americans seeking similar options?
  19. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Same. He’s an American, actually. Everything he did personally is based on being an American expat. He covers the US slightly better than the UK.
  20. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I'm pretty sure he's actually Canadian.

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