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Should I move countries for the money?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by catdee, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. catdee

    catdee New commenter

    Hello everyone. I'm currently head of department in a Spanish school. I love the school and pupils and still have plenty of things to keep me interested. However, I'm worried that by staying in Spain I am not doing the best for my future self. I could certainly earn 10k per year more if I moved countries and perhaps have more chance of further career progression. Am I right to stay and be happy, or should I chase the green and perhaps still be happy and certainly be better off long term? Gracias!
  2. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    No one can tell you. Do you have enough money to afford you a comfortable retirement and life until then? If yes then why move? You will gain money in many places, but may lose something else. You have to weigh the pros and cons.
    Mr_Frosty and yasf like this.
  3. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Money cannot buy happiness. If you currently have it where you are, I would stay put.
    Corvuscorax, freckle06 and yasf like this.
  4. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Only 10k more? ;) Surely that would be higher given how low salaries are here in Spain!

    In roughly the same position as you (3rd year as HoD in Spain), but with children as a complication. We own a house here, and in the UK (which we rent out), which provides some sense of security but also an added tie. I'm only 38, so my current thinking is that as long as our children are happy here, we'll probably see out their education here and then maybe consider moving, by which point I'll be 49: perhaps then I'll chase the green for a few years (possibly as SLT).

    Right now though, I'll just enjoy the extra time with my kids, the long holidays, the lack of pressure from management, the lovely students, beach, mountains, great food and being able to speak the local language.

    By the way, catdee, do you speak Spanish? You mention concern about lack of career progression: the group I work for is looking for potential school leaders, who would need to be comfortable in both Spanish and English. PM me if you want to know more...
  5. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    it depends on your age, field, family circumstance etc. I moved a lot when l was younger to get experience but now l'm settled in a "cushy" number and shall stay until l retire.
    Jeremyinspain likes this.
  6. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Can you save enough where you are to ensure the retirement you want? If no, you must move or you’re simply substituting current happiness for guaranteed unhappiness later. A major disservice to yourself. If yes, you have choices to make.
    motorhomer likes this.
  7. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Money can't buy happens... True. Noone can really predict your level of satisfaction or expectations. But.. Here is a realistic example of a HoD's saving and happiness potential in the ME.

    Savings potential £20,000 - £25,000 a year. Single. Teaching couple, a whole salary upto £30-£36,000+.

    Happiness. Everyone knows it's how you integrate yourself inside and outside of school that will determine that factor.

    Ultimately it is upto you. But why work in Spain when you can retire there with a house mortgage free and a good sizable nest egg?
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  8. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    On the other hand, why retire wait to retire somewhere when you can live there your whole life. If OP is planning to retire in Spain, and has pension plans in place, then why move?
    ToK-tastic and tb9605 like this.
  9. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    That's worth 10k
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    why don't you go somewhere for the money and earn enough in ten years to retire, or struggle in Spain for the next 30 years to come nowhere near earning the same amount. I know which one I would do.

    there are plenty of places that have lovely kids, are great schools and have plenty of things to keep you interested. none of them will ever pay as badly as Spain.
  11. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    T0nyGT really nails it. You'll have to take this decision for yourself (after listening to all the advice you can get), My wife and I (two teachers, no kids, house rented out back home) knew we could have earned more elsewhere (back 'home' for example), but Spain just got under our skins and we've never regretted staying (now 14 years) for a second.
    Do your sums and make your plans but I do agree that money isn't everything.
    Mucha suerte.
    DocShew and tb9605 like this.
  12. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    It's also worth bearing in mind the higher cost of living in some countries that pay more and job security. Many people have moved to the UAE in the last few years, but there aren't as many jobs as there were. In my time here in Abu Dhabi we're down from 115 teachers to around 80 - no-one has been let go but leavers haven't been replaced. Many expats have left so schools just don't need as many teachers. I'm not sure I'll still have a job in 2 years as it stands.

    Maybe saving 10k a year less for 10 years would be better than saving 10k a year more for 2-3 years and then having to change jobs etc.
    576 and T0nyGT like this.
  13. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Do you want the money for a specific reason, say, to buy a home? If so, money is important as it could give you an opportunity you may not otherwise have.

    I gave up 4 years of my life - there were moments but it was a huge social and personal sacrifice - taking on a specific teaching role that put 100K sterling in my bank account. It gave me unprecedented security for my future and allowed me the luxury of independence. I have no regrets about that post.

    Otherwise, life is for living and money doesn't make you happy. Rare to find happiness in the workplace and even when you find it, variables can change quickly to undermine it.
  14. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Lets be honest here OP, you are in Spain....were ever you go will be better than Spain. You are right at the bottom of the pile where you are. When i left my hell hole of a school in Spain, i only moved to eastern europe and my pay nearly doubled, and on top of that i had my accommodation and bills paid for. This was the significant difference. Not paying for accommodation is a big one. Factor in as well i went to a country that was significantly cheaper to live in than Spain. Your money goes a lot further in many many places.

    Dont fall for the lie of "its all about the lifestyle".
  15. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Ah, I can see why you choose your username.

    Personally I like Spain very much and it sounds as if the OP does too. Your opinions are clouded by your own unhappy experience.

    There's no 'lie' in giving value to 'lifestyle'. What's your alternative? Giving value to money? I moved schools within a group to improve my 'lifestyle' after putting in the years in a location not as appealing. I can assure you, plenty of happiness to be found when you value and suit the lifestyle you lead.
    DocShew likes this.
  16. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    The lifestyle lie is what they sell you to live in Spain.... its available all over the world. There is nothing special about the Spanish lifestyle
  17. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    For the record, i have never said i hate Spain, i would honestly live there in a heartbeat.....working there however is a totally different matter. There are so so so so so many better places all over the world to work.
    eutiquio likes this.
  18. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    Well, it may well be that money can't buy happiness, but happiness won't buy you a pension pot.

    All the blather about lifestyle will be worth diddly-squat if you have to keep working until you drop, or have to retire because you become ill and have insufficient funds for a decent standard of living in old age.
    claytie, dumbbells66 and motorhomer like this.
  19. shakes16

    shakes16 New commenter

    or were prohibited 10 years ago for things that happened 20 years ago that were diddly-squat too! DB66 can you PM me please about something. Thanks.
  20. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Live in Spain, on a teacher's salary, paying off a mortgage your whole life... What an amazing retirement ahead T0nyGT?!

    Others who can calculate the product of £30,000 x 10 years of savings in the ME. Well.... without factoring interest, it is a mighty fine nest egg by 45-48.

    The Spanish lifestyle will always be there. Would rather do it with ££€€€ in the pot instead of working until your late 50s, early 60s scraping by.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    dumbbells66 likes this.

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