Location vs Money

Ask your investment, budget, and other money related questions here
James_0011
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Location vs Money

Post by James_0011 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:46 pm

Hi everyone,

So I've gotten a few job offers and I need to make a decision soon, so I thought I would ask everyone here.

My main problem is trying to choose between holistic life goals and money to fast track ere. One offer is in south east asia, which is a place I've been wanting to live for awhile and the other is In the US. I am going to be making a lot more money if I stay in the US, but living costs are higher. I would still be able to save more if I stay in the US. I also have about 19k in student loans I need to pay off and want to do this asap. Its cheaper to live in asia, but I will be getting paid less too.

If I didn't have loans I would go to asia no question, but I feel irresponsible not paying down my loans as quickly as possible. After I ere I can obviously live in south east asia for an extended period of time if I wish, but I'm not sure how much different doing something like that in my early twenties would be versus doing that in my mid/late thirties.

I was also told that I could tutor english on the side in asia after work, and bring in another 15k a year.

The exact numbers are: 55k - 60k if I stay in the US
20k - 25k in asia + potential tutoring money = 35k - 40k

What does everyone think?

I think cost of living in the US would be in the 15k per year range, and in asia the 6k per year range. But, Im still unsure.

Anyways, Im open to any comments. thanks

I should also mention that I would probably only do the asia thing for a few years, and then move back to the US for a higher paying job
Last edited by James_0011 on Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Did
Posts: 565
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by Did » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:59 pm

I think for the accumulation phase follow the money. Asia is fun but can be hard to squirrel it away if the pay is low. Less fun when you are old and broke and stuck in asia.
Last edited by Did on Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

George the original one
Posts: 4162
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Location vs Money

Post by George the original one » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:44 pm

Asia will always be there in the future.

scriptbunny
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by scriptbunny » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:23 pm

My vote is for Asia. Now all you're walking away from is a job offer. In a couple years after you've paid off your loans, you'll be walking away from a life. You'll have progressed in your career, be making more money, settled into your apartment, maybe met someone that you're dating. It'll be a lot harder to just drop everything and move to another country. You'll never be less tied down than you are right now.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:02 pm

Another SE asia vote. The same reasons as @ scriptbunny. Plus, experiencing things young is different than experiencing things when you are older. If you are committed to ERE you will reach your goals no matter which decision you make at this juncture. Also, you are being paid to travel to a dream destination now, take advantage of serendipity.

Scott 2
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:06 pm

Asia now, once established and accustomed to the higher income, very hard to leave.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 2090
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by BRUTE » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:13 pm

money

Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:07 am

Choose what your heart is saying, you only live once

wood
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by wood » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:07 am

What is it about life in Asia that intrigues you? If you're gonna bring in 15k from tutoring, you might find yourself drowned in work there and no time for play.

James_0011
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by James_0011 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:29 am

I think Im just going to go for the money, I want to get this working thing over as quickly as possible.

Scott 2
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by Scott 2 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:28 am

What are you going to do once the working thing is "over"? Travel to Asia? Maybe get to know the local culture by teaching some people English?

There's a good chance you're never going to Asia for an extended period, if you don't go now. Life happens. To me, the biggest advantage of knowing how to live inexpensively, is you have the freedom to try something like this.

The worst case scenario is it goes horribly, you move back to the US, and get a different entry level job, but without the constant wonder about Asia.

I personally hate traveling, live about 5 miles from where I grew up, and would never go to Asia. One of my oldest friends moved to HK in his mid twenties, enjoyed the hell out of it, and never moved back. He's able to get by working part time, takes multiple trips to east Asia each year, and meets all sorts of cool people. I have more money from staying put and working my 9-5, but he's definitely had the more exciting life.

James_0011
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by James_0011 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:02 am

@scott, now Im doubting my decision haha. I see both sides of the argument -which is a blessing and a curse I guess. I still don't know what exactly I would do after I retire, i've just read a few FI blogs where people retire abroad in their thirties, so I don't see why I couldn't do it too.

User avatar
Dragline
Posts: 4179
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by Dragline » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:34 am

If you were my kid, I'd tell you to stay in the US and pay off your debt. Then you can go live in Asia or do whatever.

But if it were me and I was planning on coming back anyway and feel like you can get a similar US job when you do, then go by all means. If you are considering retiring there, you really need to know what its like. I would not count on the tutoring money in your calculations, though.

User avatar
stayhigh
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:20 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by stayhigh » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:53 pm

Follow your heart. I'd go to Asia, as this can be your only chance. You will learn A LOT about world and yourself, and have tons of great memories, even if you won't like it as much as you think. Don't forget you still have many decades left to make more money, so don't worry about it too much now. You are young only once.

thrifty++
Posts: 607
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:58 pm

The extra money from tutoring will be for extra work which will not make an enjoyable life. So I dont think you should even consider the extra $15k in your decision. There will be side hustle opportunities bringing in an equivalent amount in the USA too if you really want them. So on the money side I think you should be looking at it as 55k - 60k vs 20k - 25k in asia.

You could even bring your USA based living costs close to the living costs in Asia if you really focused on the extreme side of early retirement. Eg growing your own food rather than buying, foraging, hunting, fishing,. Maybe even kitting out a van to live in for a while to get rent down. Maybe you could hike up the extreme until you get those debts paid down and grow some capital.

I would probably go for the USA based option. Mind you to me working in south east Asia doesnt actually seem too pleasant. Retiring yes but working no. I feel like working in such a hot climate would be unpleasant. And I am not sure what working life would be like, eg such countries arent known for workers rights and I imagine long intense working hours. But then I imagine this might be an ex pat job for a foreign country and working life being westernised?

rube
Posts: 421
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Location vs Money

Post by rube » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:13 pm

+1 for Asia.
You said you wanna go there, so go. Life experience beats a few years faster to ERE. See Asia as part of ERE, I am not sure to which part you go but I can tell you that during the time I lived in Asia has drastically changed my life for good (although that would have been different in a place like Singapore/HK).
Either way, there is no wrong choice.

James_0011
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by James_0011 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:18 pm

thrifty++ wrote:The extra money from tutoring will be for extra work which will not make an enjoyable life. So I dont think you should even consider the extra $15k in your decision. There will be side hustle opportunities bringing in an equivalent amount in the USA too if you really want them. So on the money side I think you should be looking at it as 55k - 60k vs 20k - 25k in asia.

You could even bring your USA based living costs close to the living costs in Asia if you really focused on the extreme side of early retirement. Eg growing your own food rather than buying, foraging, hunting, fishing,. Maybe even kitting out a van to live in for a while to get rent down. Maybe you could hike up the extreme until you get those debts paid down and grow some capital.

I would probably go for the USA based option. Mind you to me working in south east Asia doesnt actually seem too pleasant. Retiring yes but working no. I feel like working in such a hot climate would be unpleasant. And I am not sure what working life would be like, eg such countries arent known for workers rights and I imagine long intense working hours. But then I imagine this might be an ex pat job for a foreign country and working life being westernised?
Makes sense thanks for the input.

Yeah its an expat job, most of the other employees and the ceo are from western countries so I don't think it would be that much different in terms of work culture.

Seriously considering the van thing if I stay in the US. I'm not sure how it would work in asia though I need to research it more.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1488
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:13 pm

I'd take the better paying job and get my finances in order before I thought about going overseas for half the pay. Of course, this is coming from someone born without the exotic wanderlust gene and with the ability (maybe due to lower standards) of creating a fulfilling life wherever I happen to be.

I understand tomorrows are not guaranteed, but for a young person they are highly likely.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 8884
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Location vs Money

Post by jacob » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:34 pm

I'd pick the one with the greater optionality. Your future self 5 years from now will appreciate the foresight. It's not clear to me which of the 1+few choices is best in that regard. Personally, my strategy has been to look out for my future self rather than my present self. This generally works well for my present self thanks to my past self.

Practically speaking. If Asia is just an entertaining dead-end whereas US is an upward or increasingly branching trajectory, I'd go with US. If US is just a random job that doesn't increase prospects but does come with money whereas Asia is part of an international track, I'd go with Asia.

PS: That whole debt thing might not sound like a lot in terms of LTD to income, but if you look at it in terms of exponential time, the eventual difference can be very significant. See http://earlyretirementextreme.com/updat ... ation.html

James_0011
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by James_0011 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:52 pm

Thanks for the remarks, especially the last part about debt. Both of the jobs are in the technology field and will lead to more/better opportunities down the road. In fact, part of the reason Asia is attractive is because of the massive economic growth in Burma (which is a huge market for the product the Thai company is developing)

pukingRainbows
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:56 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by pukingRainbows » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:41 pm

How valuable is being in Asia to you compared with expediency toward ERE?

I see living and working in Asia as an opportunity that provides a wealth of experiences in and of itself as well as being useful for making decisions further down the road in regards to travel and lifestyle possibilities. So my vote would be Asia, depending on how much you value the experience of living in another country.

My perspective is that there's no rush to ERE if you are actively enjoying what you are doing presently.

Also, depending on your family/relationship situation, living abroad in the future may not be as feasible as it is now.

Jason
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by Jason » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:25 pm

I have no idea what you should do but congrats on having the choice. My douchebag brother worked in Hong Kong back in the day and made money because his employer picked up his housing costs. I don't know if there is a certain amount of cache working overseas in your field. I personally wouldn't go near Asia specifically China. Not the people but the government. I don't think I could live in a non-democratic society unless I pulled a Colonel Kurtz and made myself God of the people. Even then I'm not sure of though. I like to be left alone.

On a philosophical note, this seems to be an ongoing question for ERE in general. For those of us who are geographically tethered, there is nothing to do for the moment, but eventually retiring will be predicated on where to do it.

James_0011
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by James_0011 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:53 am

@pukingRainbows.

Yeah thats what I am trying to figure out. I highly value new experiences and learning from other cultures, Im just not sure if its worth pushing back the FI date. Although the main reason I want to FI is so I can have new experiences...hmmmmmmmm

@Jason

Im not sure that many people in my field go abroad to work. I don't think the company will pay for my housing as its not a company that just has a branch office in thailand, it was founded there by expat westerners.

General Snoopy
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Re: Location vs Money

Post by General Snoopy » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:03 pm

With a US income of $55-60K and student loans of $19K, you should be able to retire the debt within one year. Asia can wait one year. Pay of the debt first.

User avatar
Riggerjack
Posts: 1558
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Location vs Money

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:40 pm

You should listen to your heart.

Then ignore that tripe, and make a good decision. While I think expat work could be fun, the technical people I know who have done expat work ended up living in expat committed, that did everything they could to minimize the cultural influence of the host country.

Whereas going to Asia to spend time and immerse yourself in the experience would be a completely different trip. Kinda like the difference between backpacking, and "camping" in an RV, with satellite TV.

I don't know you, or your goals, but my recommendation would be to get the money, pay off your debt, get a passport, and wait for your first layoff/quit/stress out/fired situation, and go rent a place in SE Asia, while figuring out what is next. Get the money. Get the good stories. Get the job there after you decide you like it, and have a higher salary history.

Or listen to your heart, it probably doesn't agree with me.

Post Reply