Author Topic: Foreign Income investment options  (Read 1485 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Foreign Income investment options
« on: August 08, 2014, 06:48:59 PM »
Hi everyone--new to the forums and really enjoying what I've found so far.

I'm a chemistry teacher an international school in SE Asia.  I'm 31 y/o,  make about $52k/year, plus ~$20k in benefits (housing, travel allowances, etc.).  My school simply takes my base salary and adds (in cash) 10% and calls that "retirement".  My employer doesn't contribute to any kind of fund in my behest--mainly because we aren't in the US!

I've got about $35k in networth, and about $15k of that is in a Roth from my days of teaching in the US. The rest of that money is a bit 'hodge podge', but about $15k is in some recently purchased low expense ratio mutual funds (mostly US small cap and broad market, at Charles Schwab). As far as Uncle Sam is concerned, I am still able to pay zero taxes because I am under the Foreign Income Tax Credit limit (believe it was about $94k this year).  I also don't pay taxes in the country I am working for (my school picks up that tab!).

Nobody likes to admit this, but I will probably inherit a very sizeable sum of money when my parents pass away. I only mention this because I think this should have some bearing on the type of instruments I use (i.e. Roth vs. traditional) to save.

Basically I'm looking for "big picture" advice.  I'm not an expert at the terminology thrown around here, nor at tax planning, but I'm trying to become one! 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 06:51:04 PM by doughpat »


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Re: Foreign Income investment options
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 01:25:09 AM »
Hi Doughpat
I'm in a similar situation- working internationally- under the 94K FEI exclusion, not able to use tax advantaged accounts in the US since I have no US earned income.  I'm mostly in VTSAX and figure I'll deal with taxes when I start withdrawing - but I'd be keen to hear other options.  My plan is to have low expenses in retirement and therefor be in a lower tax bracket- plus they will be long term capital gains at that point- I'm about 4-8 years from FIRE depending on a number of factors.
Good luck- enjoy your travels