Author Topic: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain  (Read 1860 times)

thelyon19

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Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« on: December 06, 2017, 07:58:44 PM »
My husband and I are international teachers, and we recently began a new post in Jakarta, Indonesia. We have been MMM-ers for a few years, and have FIRE on the brain...

We have 2 kids--6 and 8--and we have been abroad for 13 years. In these jobs, our house and travel home are paid for, full insurance, etc. It's a great way to save money, and we've done pretty well.

We feel the pull to take this crazy leap in 2019, but are scared for lots of reasons, mainly because of everything associated with repatriation. We would move to one of these place: Phoenix (family), Tulsa (friends/family), or somewhere in CO (because it's CO).

The basic numbers are: $1,175,000 currently in assets--all invested. No property. We make collectively $110,000 per year, and hope to save/invest $80,000 per year this year and next. Depending on the stock market, we hope to reach $1.5 M by mid 2019.

Any thoughts? Advice? Anybody out there who has had the expat life and returned to the States to retire early?



« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:06:46 PM by thelyon19 »

Meesh

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 10:30:04 AM »
I don't see why it wouldn't work with 1.5 mil that's about twice what you spend in Indonesia. 60k should be plenty for those areas I think.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 02:00:29 PM »
The basic numbers are: $1,175,000 currently in assets--all invested. No property. We make collectively $110,000 per year, and hope to save/invest $80,000 per year this year and next. Depending on the stock market, we hope to reach $1.5 M by mid 2019.

Any thoughts? Advice? Anybody out there who has had the expat life and returned to the States to retire early?

Until you know what your spending is per year, you cannot determine if the $1.5M is going to be enough.

You could probably find out the approx costs, add a 20% fudge factor and then see if $60k (4% withdrawal rate) will meet your cost.

I strongly feel, for a Mustachian couple like you, you will be able to do so.

thelyon19

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 04:38:21 PM »
Thanks, Meesh and CowboyAndIndian.

I am pretty sure we could do it, but my fellow Mustachian husband, is more risk averse. We are now thinking we should soldier on to $2M and then feel much more comfortable (especially in order to buy a house with cash), and be more set-up for the higher cost of living in beautiful Colorado.

4-5 years is the "safe" projection...I guess it's not too far off in the grand scheme of things. I will be 43 and husband will be 50.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 12:24:49 PM »
Would you be open to bridging the gap with some part time work or consulting or some other side gig to have some income in retirement? Remember it's not keep current job vs. retire.  There are miles in between.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 05:03:43 AM »
Thanks, Meesh and CowboyAndIndian.

I am pretty sure we could do it, but my fellow Mustachian husband, is more risk averse. We are now thinking we should soldier on to $2M and then feel much more comfortable (especially in order to buy a house with cash), and be more set-up for the higher cost of living in beautiful Colorado.

4-5 years is the "safe" projection...I guess it's not too far off in the grand scheme of things. I will be 43 and husband will be 50.

MMM lives in CO and has a general budget of $25k right? You have far more than he did when he fired. I guess he did have a paid of house. With all of that invested, you will make money from your investments. I think you’ll be fine. The only thing to factor in is your taxes. On your current income and situation, you probably pay 0 US taxes, but they’ll be hire in US if you keep working. I’ve lived outside the US as long as you and nothing on earth would bring me back to living here. Maybe consider renting for a year or two and living in different places before you buy so you find the right environment. Repatriation is very hard and sometimes more difficult than being an expat. The consumerism, sugar, small-world mindsets will drive you crazy. Your kids might find the thinking of American kids to be off.

Lukim

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 09:31:52 PM »
I am also a long term expat who has been too scared or worried about repatriating but will probably do it late in 2018 after 30 years overseas (including more than 15 years in Jakarta).

I suggest wait until your children reach high school age - which seems to be about 2021 - before you make the move.  Make the best of it while you can as you may regret it later.  The extra time overseas will also give you more time to build up your portfolio/savings.

I know international high schools in Jakarta are not great and the social life for teenagers in Jakarta has its issues but before the children get to that point enjoy the expat life for as long as you can (we sent our 2 children to boarding school while we continued as expats - that is not for all children but it worked well for us).

For children under 12, Jakarta is a great place and for expatriate adults it is also a great place so make the most of it - if you return the US too soon you will quickly get itchy feet and wish you were back overseas.

lhamo

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 10:15:35 PM »
You might want to look into what is required to serve as a substitute teacher in the US areas you are considering returning to -- some places have more stringent requirements than others, but that would be a way to keep a bit of income coming in while you get readjusted.  Especially if you decide to return earlier rather than later.

We returned to the US after 13 years in China in 2015-16.  My son was admitted to a special early entrance program at the university here, and he and I came back first.  After he was formally admitted to the UW, my daughter came and joined us just before the start of the next school year.  She was just going into 6th grade, and though she was sad to leave her friends in Beijing she weathered the transition pretty well.   It was good for her that she was able to finish out primary level schooling in China and then start at middle school here.  Her school here is a K-8 set up, so not that many new students coming in at middle school, but there were a few and the school is very focused on providing a welcoming environment so that was a better transition for her than going into a big mainstream middle school probably would have been. 
Wherever you go, there you are

thelyon19

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 09:41:52 PM »
Thanks for the advice...we are definitely most nervous and unsure about taking our kids out of international private schools for the unknown in the States. It may be that we decide to stay in this life until they graduate.

We also definitely fear "itchy feet." For now we have decided to just live and enjoy what we have and also the freedom knowing that we actually could be FIREd. :)

Did your kids go to JIS?

I am also a long term expat who has been too scared or worried about repatriating but will probably do it late in 2018 after 30 years overseas (including more than 15 years in Jakarta).

I suggest wait until your children reach high school age - which seems to be about 2021 - before you make the move.  Make the best of it while you can as you may regret it later.  The extra time overseas will also give you more time to build up your portfolio/savings.

I know international high schools in Jakarta are not great and the social life for teenagers in Jakarta has its issues but before the children get to that point enjoy the expat life for as long as you can (we sent our 2 children to boarding school while we continued as expats - that is not for all children but it worked well for us).

For children under 12, Jakarta is a great place and for expatriate adults it is also a great place so make the most of it - if you return the US too soon you will quickly get itchy feet and wish you were back overseas.


eazyebeneezer

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Re: Expats in Indonesia with FIRE on the brain
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 08:25:53 AM »
Maybe consider renting for a year or two and living in different places before you buy so you find the right environment. Repatriation is very hard and sometimes more difficult than being an expat. The consumerism, sugar, small-world mindsets will drive you crazy. Your kids might find the thinking of American kids to be off.

I agree on both counts. If you fear itchy feet, why not rent for a while as you get to know your new community?

Consumerism, sugar, small-world mindsets.... so true! And so much more! I lived in Europe for five years and I've been struggling with this every day since I came back.... 10 years ago.