I posted a few weeks back in the main section how with being childfree, there is a great chance that I will be able to retire very very early. I want to travel and my dream would be to be able to live in foreign cities for medium stretches, like living in Barcelona for 90 days (visit visa) and then move to another place.
Has anyone done a teach English program? I know two people spending a year teaching English in Korea and love it, and that that would be a great program for me. I applied to teach English in the Marshall Islands after college but didn't get in. Has anyone done this or anything like it?
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:32 am Posts: 1041 Location: Canada
I haven't taught English (although this has been an idea in my mind for about 15 years!) I did live in England on what is called a Working Holiday Visa - it's good for 2 years - but you can only be employed for 12 months throughout the 2 years. If I had been single then I would have had a very different experience! I think it's a great plan though and if I didn't have kitties it's probably what I'd be doing right now.
_________________ "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." - Anais Nin
The uncharted roadmap for Childfree Life is quite exciting but you’ll have to plan it yourself. I am currently living overseas for a couple of years. Am trained to teach English but found other contract work instead, so can't help you with info on language programs.
Currently Childfree people don't get the same favourable treatment as parents do so you'll need to self-manage. Plan well so you can follow your dreams!
The WORKPLACE accommodates the family model (parental leave, part-time option for mothers, school hour jobs, RDOs…). But doesn’t usually accommodate the lifecycle needs of its Childfree workers. Most of us are not (and don't want to be artifically) tied to the school system. We often prefer: • Off-peak holidays. • Longer leave blocks rather than shorter daily hours. I’d gladly work 11 hour days/6 days a week in exchange for a longer leave block. Dumbed down, low stress, late start/early finish jobs or the occasional RDO don’t really inspire. I'd prefer to work hard, play hard and save my credits to travel. • Sabbatical break options. (Sabbatical for parents is already provided in the form of maternity/paternity/adoption leave). • Semi-retirement options, such as the ability to return-to-job or organisation after longer breaks.
On top of inflexible work structures - early retirement planning is rarely discussed by journalists and FINANCIAL PLANNING templates are predicated on the family model. The industry often assumes that early retirement is only for the mega-wealthy which is a big fallacy. You (OP) seem on your way already, but for those trying to plan these are the differences I observed: 1. The CF accumulation phase can be more intense, quicker and priorities different. In our 20s and 30s - we worked very hard as DINKs to save as much money as possible. Spent very little on disposable consumer goods.
2. CF people can reach financial independence (FI) (debt-free and modest income stream from investments) much earlier. In the absence of sabbatical leave, this may be a prerequisite before taking an extended travel break unless you can work overseas on a visa.
3. Post-FI, CF people may be more eager to jump in & out of paid employment than typical family folk. Because we can. Because we're not so tied to continual paid employment for our basic survival.
4. CF people may want to semi-retire in their mid to late 40s. Access to superannuation isn't allowed until 65yo (here). A low-risk regular income stream outside of super is necessary. Don't fall for the (family model) idea that everything is best locked away in super, or should be high-risk for maximum gain. This is your bread-and-butter money. Keep this portion of your portfolio safe and steady.
5. Pay attention to when you sell assets as capital gains can be a killer. If possible, sell in a financial year where you're not earning much (rather than in a year when you're salaried full-time). Selling shared assets can also be a good time to buy new assets in the name of the person who earns the least.
6. Short-term contract work is ideal to maintain cashflow without dipping into income generating assets. For example, work full-time for 3 months and then go off travelling. Part-time work commits you to turn up most days so isn't as flexible for travel. You'll also be waiting in line for leave to be approved. Know what the tax-free threshold is. This amount is often just the right amount of work to keep things topped up without busting a gut. A DRINK (D-Retired-INK) couple can double this by both working to the threshold.
Hopefully, someday Childfree people will cease to be discriminated against in the workforce and by the taxation system. Childfree workers should be as valued by employers as Parent workers. DINKs should be able to income split like other 'families' can. Don't even get me started on tax Rights for Singles.
Despite these obstacles, life is still too short to squeeze into other people's boxes (coffins). 9 to 5 til you're 65 with tacky consumer trinkets as a consolation prize? Not my ideal, thank you. I prefer to live while still in my prime.
It's sad (for the tax collectors) that many people are beginning to feel that being a salaried DINK is a mugs game once you reach FI. I quite like my career, but the corporate route without breaks is too restrictive on my life plans so I'll trade it for leisure instead.
Incredibly detailed MatureCulture! Thanks for this information. I work for my a small company that does not have any family leave, the basic plan for vacations isn't so much about accumulated time as reasonableness of the request.
One of the advantages of being childfree is the fact that the I won't need to spend over 250k on raising a child to the age of 18. The extra disposable income will go to my mutual funds, which should grow, so that over the course of the 18 years, I should *knock on wood* will have well over 250k extra towards my retirement. This does not take into account the tax benefits of having a child, but it also ignores the fact that having kids will also raise other costs of living, for instance I can live in a much smaller place and will have less pressure to keep up with the Joneses, which I believe will save far more than any tax benefits (also will help my sanity).
Good point you made about CF cost of living. One of the best methods of inflation-proofing your early retirement is to keep your COL expenditures low and/or ring-fencing against price hikes. Many ways to do this including: own your home, solar power, off-grid water/sewerage, growing own food, borrowing rather than buying (books, tools, car pool).... Endless options if you have a creative mind to ask "how else could I provide this?"
Mutual funds can be good especially for diversification. Some can have high management fees. Index funds that passively track a known index can be bought as shares & often have substantially lower management fees. I have both. I pay for active management in niche markets but don't think it's always worthwhile across regular ones.
Insurances can be different for Childfree people too. Usually the Financial Planning industry pushes insurance to the hilt. It's wise to be covered, of course, but do you need to be covered for everything? For example, consider whether you need Life/Death insurance for the benefit of your dependents. Or could you be suitably covered by disability, critical incident, and medical insurances for the benefit of yourself instead.
Don't forget to write a Will and Medical Directive! It's boring stuff but very important to implement and keep current.
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:57 pm Posts: 1040 Location: Canada
SamCM - for teaching English abroad, most countries require you to have a Bachelor's degree. It doesn't matter what subject you major in, they just want people who are university educated. Some countries are a bit more relaxed on this requirement and are happy with just a TEFL qualification. I know a few people who have taught English overseas who absolutely loved it.
I worked overseas for several years doing either minimum wage work or picking up jobs in my field. It's a fantastic experience.
As for early retirement, or semi-retirement, that's most definitely on my agenda.
I sometimes feel like I'm miles behind my peers when it comes to finances because I spent so much time and money travelling in my 20s. I have to remind myself that the only thing I'm "missing" is a house and I'll be getting that in the next year or so. Considering that I just started my wealth accumulation process about 4 years ago, I'm doing fricking awesome.
Early on, I discovered the key to financial success was to ignore almost everyone around me. You need to surround yourself with people who are on the same journey. If someone who is a slave to their job and has no retirement plans offers you advice, take it with a grain of salt. If they knew what they were talking about they wouldn't be in that situation. Take your cue from people who are in the position that you are aiming for. They're the ones who know what they're doing.
Jayd, I do have a bachelors degree, so that shouldn't be an issue.
MatureCulture- great advice! I have my money in Vanguard's index funds, which all have insanely low expenses- about half of my investments are in their Total Stock Market index which has an expense ratio of .06%. Of all the mutual funds, the highest expense is .22% which is still lower than the ones I previously was invested into at Fidelity. Another feature that I find appealing is automatic investments, I am living fairly frugally and so have set it up that each week a set amount gets wired to Vanguard from my bank account.
I don't know anything about Will and Medical Directive, will look into it. I should write a living will, lest I become the next Terri Shiavo. If I do get into a persistent vegetative state without any chance of recovery, I would rather have my family pull the tube and let me die rather than drain their bank accounts to keep me artificially alive. I don't think I will need life insurance, but I might be willing to look into getting it and putting the beneficiaries to be some charities that I support, any idea if that is common?
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