45 years old. Life decisions. What would you do?

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45 years old. Life decisions. What would you do?

Post by trevidoo »

I am Canadian, living in S. Korea and recently married on paper, but saving for an actual wedding (she is Korean). We have no kids, but want them soon. I’m currently teaching English. Most of which is private lessons(quite lucrative). I have a Kinesiology degree and no other credentials aside from teaching English for 12 years.
I’m trying to decide what the best move would be for my family. Being that I’m 45 the idea of pension/retirement is on my mind constantly.
These are my options as I see it right now.
1. Continue teaching English and likely open a study room/ English academy
2. Return to Canada to earn my Education degree (considering programs that range between 10 to 18 months. I have found 5 worth considering).
3. Going the alternate route of attaining a teaching license. Teach-now seems to suit me best.

The first option scares me as it’s a competitive market and pretty risky as Korea has a declining birthrate. But the rewards could be great. Even at my age I’m in pretty high demand to teach private lessons to kids from K-6 grade.

Option 2 is what I want to do in my heart, but it’s expensive and really doesn’t put us in a great situation to start a family. Plus, my wife will have to apply for permanent residency and wait months for a work permit while I’m studying. Then when finished…possibly be on a sub list for years. Although, my hometown is screaming for teachers and a few of my friends are teachers and administrators there. So, I will have a leg up. Also, the pension upon retirement would be great. Although, it won’t be all that much as I won’t have the years to contribute. Roughly 25k/yr if I’m lucky. Going this route my wife will have to find some sort of work as well…not sure what her prospects will be.

Option 3 would be the easiest in the short term. I could do the program while still working so won’t cut into our savings. She is interested in it too and she graduated from a US university so we would both get our teaching credential at the same time. We could use our savings for a wedding and get our lives started. My concern here is that we won’t be able to save enough for retirement. And how competitive would we be for potential jobs at international schools? We would both be going the primary route. Although I may be able to teach higher grades if I’m teaching phys ed. And could possibly do some coaching. And how likely is it that we would both find positions in the same school….especially as I get older(she’s 12 years younger than me)? Must be tough to find work after 60.

Probably worth noting that if we do decide on option 3….then that would pretty much preclude us from ever moving back to Canada as they don’t recognize the licensure that goes along with teach-now. I don’t feel the need to move back, but with aging parents I may want to at some point.

So what would you do in this situation?

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Re: 45 years old. Life decisions. What would you do?

Post by shadylane »

Number 1 or 2. Which would depend on the family situation in Canada vs South Korea. Where would you get the best support if you get married and have kids.

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Post by PsyGuy »

Lets look at these a bit differently do you want to:
1) Stay in SK your spouses home
2) Leave for CAN and live in your home
3) Travel

Of your three options, option 1 is the strongest, because its a plan you can start immediately and all the success factors are either connected or directly under your ability to control them. You can start this now. Youre married you can own/rent property, the most ready solution if your going to start a family soon is a shophouse. Teach on the ground floor, and live on the second floor. All you need to start is a business license. You can have the move and everything set up by the end of March. As you grow you can hire staff and a manager and step away from the day to day business if you want.

Next would be option 3, but you dont need to spend the coin and time on Teach Now, you can simply take some exams and apply for effective lifetime provisional entry grade) credentials though the State of MA. This greatly lowers the entry barrier and financial costs. Once you have those credentials you can peddle them on the circuit and locally and see hat interest you generate. One of the major issues your going to face is that the general forum and IE consensus is 2 years of post credentialing experience in DE before meeting the bar of entering IE. Youre not going to find a whole lot of interest in a primary IT who isnt an NES with no experience or a PHE IT with no experience ESOL doesnt count in IE). You will have to be very open and flexible with locations and generally wont find interest above lower third tier ISs, and its going to take you five years before your back up to the level of coin your making now, working youre way up in IE.

Option 2 is the worst. It has the most extraneous factors outside your control. Youre looking at about 2 years of being a student, how are you going to support your spouse while your a student, other than exhausting your savings just living, and thats on top of the tuition costs. You would be better off financially if thats what you want to do earning a Masters degree through UPe in education to meet the CAN academic preparation at the same time get the MA Provisional credential while youre getting to work and setting yourself up with recent KS/K12 classroom experience in SK. You may have to do something to transition that to CAN but the deficiencies (mainly the online degree) would likely be minor.
Your other main issue is a lot of it depends on hat angles you have available to you in CAN, youve said you have friends in leadership and teaching back in CAN but have you made contact with any of these people and will they offer you a job, unless you really want to be on a substitute/supply/relief rolls for a long time, not the greatest way to build retirement.

Youre not limited to just doing one of these, theres nothing keeping you from planning for all three at different stages of your life.

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Re: 45 years old. Life decisions. What would you do?

Post by tangchao »

Have the 12 years been in RoK? If so, you are only another eight years away from a pension. Option Three must be your best bet.

Also, I think coupling the Education Cert with the Kinesiology degree may only allow you to qualify as a PE teacher, and they are ten a penny.

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