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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: africano on May 09, 2020, 08:51:37 PM

Title: A year off - thoughts and advice?!
Post by: africano on May 09, 2020, 08:51:37 PM
So, first of all hi! My wife and I are relatively young (35) and we have a 10 month old baby! We are international school teachers and currently work in Asia. We've been investing in ETFs for a little while and have 17000 thousand euros invested, so early days yet.

We have worked in 3 different countries and have been international for around 6 years. We love it and we love where we currently are, however, we always thought of taking a year off, something like a gap year - a break from work to be able to enjoy our kid and our families.

With this pandemic, and not being able to fly back home to Europe easily - even not knowing when that will be and how it will be with possible quarantines etc. All this has made us think about maybe doing one more year to finish our contract and then heading home for a school academic year and taking our year off.

We have a house in Europe which we have a mortgage for and could live there. We calculate that we could save 50k euro and use that to continue to pay our mortgage and live off during our year off.

Plan would be to them look for work again in international schools and go back internationally again.

Would just like some advice or thoughts from some people with more experience than us. Obviously things that worry us:
-Not being able to continue to invest in our etf regularly
-Not finding work
-We need to pay our mortgage so we would need work after a year
-Not finding work that pays as well
-Stigma from people who would think us irresponsible for taking a year out.

Thanks, hope we get some advice! Any questions please just ask!
Title: Re: A year off - thoughts and advice?!
Post by: Freedomin5 on May 09, 2020, 09:01:05 PM
We are also an international school teaching family (well, DH is a teacher. Iím just tagging along) working in Asia.

I donít think your plan is a bad plan at all, and I donít think it would be too hard to jump back into the international school circuit after your gap year, especially because it sounds like you are a teaching couple and because of your previous international school experience. My only worry would be whether the schools are hiring. Iíve been hearing in our city that many international schools are implementing hiring freezes due to the loss of revenue from the pandemic. Those who have signed contracts are safe as the school honor the contracts but they are not replacing people who leave, at the moment. Not sure what the situation will be like in two years (1 year to finish contract, 1 year off), and not sure how the situation is in your city. Just something to consider.
Title: Re: A year off - thoughts and advice?!
Post by: expatartist on May 09, 2020, 09:34:08 PM
+1 to Freedomin5's post. The education org I work for has implemented hiring and salary freezes for next year. Since it's difficult to know what the virus's path will take, it's challenging to make life decisions. Children will still need to be educated though.

Would online teaching be an option or something of interest to you? It could be a part-time experiment during your year off. Would moving to another low cost yet family-friendly (with good health care and virus strategy) location like Thailand be something that interests you, if you can rent out your house in Europe?

Lots of exciting options. Keep us posted.
Title: Re: A year off - thoughts and advice?!
Post by: africano on May 10, 2020, 04:09:04 AM
We are also an international school teaching family (well, DH is a teacher. Iím just tagging along) working in Asia.

I donít think your plan is a bad plan at all, and I donít think it would be too hard to jump back into the international school circuit after your gap year, especially because it sounds like you are a teaching couple and because of your previous international school experience. My only worry would be whether the schools are hiring. Iíve been hearing in our city that many international schools are implementing hiring freezes due to the loss of revenue from the pandemic. Those who have signed contracts are safe as the school honor the contracts but they are not replacing people who leave, at the moment. Not sure what the situation will be like in two years (1 year to finish contract, 1 year off), and not sure how the situation is in your city. Just something to consider.

Thanks for the replies, both have some good points.

It's just a thought we've had and the plan was to do it in 6-10 years but this virus situation has gotten to us and made us think. Also having a small baby and not knowing when we will be able to see our family and for baby to spend time with fam makes us think a 'break' close to family would be nice. But always with the idea of returning.

Anyway, it's only an idea.....and with the virus maybe not the best time, potentially something to do in the future, we'll see. Thanks for the points about work - I think it will be easy to find work however I never thought about the impact of the virus and schools not hiring but that makes total sense!
I guess I was hoping that things would be sorted by then!

House wise, I know it sounds crazy but we would rather not rent it out - more my wife than me. She says its our future home and she doesn't want to rent it out.