Author Topic: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do  (Read 3086 times)

wepner

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I'm awful at making titles but basically if you guys had a clean slate to start your lives over in a new place what would you do? How would you set up your lives? What kind of house/apartment would you like to live in? What kind of furniture would you buy? Any other things you would do differently in your life if you could design it from the ground up?

If you want you could give me some advice but I don't really have a specific questions.

I have been living in Japan for 3.5 years. I got married, I found this website, I figured out what I want to do for a career (teacher) and now I'm moving back to America in 3 weeks and was wondering about general advice on how to hit the ground running. I've got some of the obvious ones like minimizing my commute and riding a bike, but other ideas would be welcome. I'm 31 my wife is 26 we have around $60,000 saved up so far, no debts, but I'll probably only be able to work as a sub teacher while I'm getting my credential which should be between 6-9 months from now.

 Looking forward to some of your ideas.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 05:32:39 AM »
First, I'd pick a low cost of living place to live. I have family reasons why I live in a moderate-cost area, but the few years in post-recession Houston did wonders for our 'stache.

Second, I would sign a one-year lease on a one-bedroom apartment to get a feel for the area. If you want to keep yourself mobile, which I think makes sense, there's no reason to own a fancy footboard or other hard-to-move, low-utility furniture. I'd buy my furniture at Goodwill.

If you can go without a car for at least a few months, even better. Otherwise, lots of car advice on this forum that amounts to "buy a 2010-ish Honda Fit or a 90s beater".

Gone Fishing

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Re: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 08:12:52 AM »
Pretty much what Shoulder said.  I'd also do a poll (there are many teachers on the forum) and plenty of research on the best places to teach.  Some states are much better than others in terms of compensation, number of positions available, and general attitude towards education. 

MLKnits

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Re: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 08:22:02 AM »
I think if I were starting over I'd want to focus much, much more on my "life," and much, much less on my home. And I say that as a very contented introvert/homebody.

Make sure you're putting your effort into making local friends, finding activities, and getting to know the city rather than sitting at home watching TV in the 6-9 months you're in training. You can always watch TV later, but if you lose out on your early exploration, you may find yourself hating the place and feeling isolated. I did this to myself after my last move and I'm still rebuilding from a year of being annoyed at my city over my own faults in not actually learning it or making the most of it.

okonomiyaki

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Re: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 08:30:56 AM »
Don't buy furniture at the outset. Try living without a set of couches/desk/shelves/etc etc - for ~3 months - and then slowly buy up what you need.

The essentials are probably:
bed/futon on which to sleep
fridge/washing machine (if your rental doesn't come with one)
Chairs or a single couch for your living room

Don't ship too much stuff

Don't go shopping because you can/ have access to favorite stores.

Question everything: do you really need *blah* that everyone expects you to have? Did you have it in Japan? If not, did you miss not having it? An overseas move is an awesome way to force minimalism upon yourself.

Karen

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Re: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 08:51:49 AM »
OK, this idea is a little unusual, but when you return to the US, put off your teaching training for a few years. You AND your wife attend CDL school to become team truck drivers. Find someone who will allow you to use their address. Then you both work for a trucking company living for free and earning a ton of money driving cross country. In 3 years, you should be able to SAVE close to $200,000. You can invest that and have a ready made retirement pot, or not. Either way, 3 years is not a lot but an extra $200,000 will give you a whole lot of freedom and choice in life!

Ganbatte ne!

Karen

teacherwithamustache

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Re: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 09:26:58 AM »
I agree HIGHLY with KAREN

I am a school administrator and I am loosing all of my male coach/teachers to the oilfield/ trucking careers.  In my humble opinion... You are starting too late to take part in the real benefits of being a teacher  (the pension).  With a pension you can retire at 51 easy as long as you start at 21 to 24.  So why not be a truck driver for 10 years then teach when you are retired and 45 years old?  You will work for a company the first 2 years and make 150K as a unit.  Then you buy your own truck after 2 years and you make 220K as a unit.  If you or your wife have any computer skills you can literally make about 30% higher doing independent trucking runs thru online trucking companies.  It will cost you 5K to get trained (by a decent company with good job placement).  Then your only expenses are food, health insurance, and wireless internet.  Save a million dollars within 10 years easy.  Buy a house in 8 years where wife can have babies, and you retire 5 years later.

wepner

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Re: If you had to start from scratch in a new place what would you do
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2015, 03:46:34 AM »
Yeah I really like the idea of not buying too many things to begin with and limiting my commitments for rent and stuff like that. Also really love the advice about making friends and trying to connect myself sooner rather than later.

The trucker advice is really interesting but driving sucks and I've been doing pretty well saving money on less than a teacher' s salary so far. For me the primary benefit of teaching is that its fun and I like kids and the secondary benefit is that it gives me time to spend with my (future) kids and gives me time to visit my family in Japan on the summers. I'm way too paranoid about pensions getting negotiated away to put too much of a priority on it either way.