A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

What responsibilities do I have in my home country before I go?

Should I keep a mailing address in my home country?

Do it right - take care of all your obligations - debts, bills, taxes, etc. before you go.  Get a permanent forwarding address - so that important mail can find you.  Most of us use our parents or relatives for this at first.  But know that they grow tired of this after a few years. 

Get a Commercial Mailbox

I'd like to encourage you, if you are going to spend more than a couple years overseas - to do it in an adult way.  And, to me, an "adult" takes care of their business and doesn't leave it to others to take care of it for them.  So . . . I encourage you to use a commercial mailbox service - rather than leaving it to your family or friends. 

Look at a company called USABOX.com - they are the least expensive I have seen.  They will also do a little shopping for you and send it to you cheaper than any other company.  Want a little treat you can't find overseas?  They will send it to you.

Do I really need a home country address?

I think so.  In a few years, if you would like another credit card, if you want to maintain a credit history or to buy a house, for example - it is useful to have a permanent home country address. 

Get a CPA for your taxes

Taxes are not difficult to do - but if you hate doing them (I do!) - line up a CPA to do them for you before you leave.  Also, over a period of time, taxes can become complicated as you lose contact with all the changes and as you invest in property and/or stocks. 

I have a VERY reasonable accountant/CPA who charges me about US$450 per year for a joint return for my wife and I (we both work) - and that includes all the required reporting and accounting for several income properties and mutual fund investments.  A bargain for the peace of mind - knowing that it has been done correctly.


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