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Goodbye TEFL

Posted: 29 Apr 2019, 09:06
by John V55
Goodbye TEFL

Goodbye TEFL? Yes, having just turned 64 it’s back home to the UK to work and save up for my retirement at 66. I’ve just spent a year living off savings and confirmed what deep down I already knew – there is no legal work in Asia for the over 60s. Of course, there are some still working at that age, but I haven’t met anyone online who applied over 60 and got a job. In fact, having sent out over a hundred applications over the past year, I haven’t been refused I’ve just met a deafening wall of silence!

I recently applied for my annual marriage visa here in Thailand and was grilled about my income and from the required bank statements it was fairly obvious I have no income. My wife will stay here in the house we own, run her little business and I will go and earn four times what I can earn here with my previous skills as long as my health holds out. Hopefully, in the next two or three years I’ll return with enough savings to top up my UK state pension which should last my life out. Until then, a holiday here every year.

So, a warning for those already in their 50s in Thailand. Not only does finding work become more difficult, at 60 it stops and you better have a couple of million baht saved up by then, because immigration are tightening up everywhere – it’s all about money now. It doesn’t matter what ties you have here or the length of time you’ve been here, you’re out and it’s better to leave while you still have the required amount of 400K for the marriage visa, or 800K for the retirement visa in the bank to fall back on and take back with you, rather than try to struggle on and go back with nothing.

It will be strange returning after over a decade absence. Finding a place to live, updating my skills … a lot of work, but another challenge after the years I’ve spent away. Deep breath and away we go again. :)

Re: Goodbye TEFL

Posted: 05 May 2019, 06:56
by Joe
Sorry to say goodbye John, and anyway best of luck back home ;)

I'm sure other members will be interested to know how you get on, so please stay in touch :R:

Good luck :!:

Re: Goodbye TEFL

Posted: 05 May 2019, 10:54
by John V55
Thanks Joe.

I fly out next Sunday, the 12th. I used to work in logistics and we were all required to have a class 1 HGV licence. I’ll go back and renew my licence, do the required competence exam and become … A trucker! Flat share already sorted out and guaranteed work when my documents are in order and as long as I pass a medical, with no age restrictions. From the UK to Thailand onto Inner Mongolia and back to the UK, it’s all an adventure. Of course I’ll pop in from time to time and wish you all the best of luck. :)

Re: Goodbye TEFL

Posted: 05 May 2019, 11:54
by Joe
Hi John. Sounds tempting ;) Good job you had that HGV! We've got an English for Taxi Drivers page on EnglishClub. Maybe you could write our English for Truckers page when you've picked up all the lingo :roll: :mrgreen:

Really wish you all the best. Sounds as though you're falling on your feet! I might come and join you one day...or I might if I had an HGV^^

And thanks for all your contributions to the Teflnet Forums.

Best,
Joe

Re: Goodbye TEFL

Posted: 06 May 2019, 00:46
by John V55
Joe wrote:
05 May 2019, 11:54
Hi John. Sounds tempting ;) Good job you had that HGV! We've got an English for Taxi Drivers page on EnglishClub. Maybe you could write our English for Truckers page when you've picked up all the lingo :roll: :mrgreen:

Really wish you all the best. Sounds as though you're falling on your feet! I might come and join you one day...or I might if I had an HGV^^

And thanks for all your contributions to the Teflnet Forums.

Best,
Joe
Yes, I’ll still be around. I separate employment into two categories; academic and vocational. Asia is academic, but there is a huge shortage of vocational drivers in the UK, even more so if and when Brexit finally occurs and the economic migrants return to Europe. Yet it’s certainly nothing like driving happily into the sunset eating a Yorkie bar!

The downside is that if you start from scratch it can cost up to £3K to go through the training, tests and exams required and the hours are long, which means it’s not the choice for a younger generation. You are unlikely to have less than a 10 hour shift and 12 or the maximum 15 is the norm. However, over a period of a 15 hour shift around five hours will be spent waiting to be ‘tipped’ (unloaded). Due to the hours, you could expect minimum take home pay of around £500pw, with optional over time every other Sunday, £600+. In two years you should easily be able to save 1½m Baht.

I’ll probably be driving for an agency doing night ‘trunking’ (single drop and return deliveries) for the big supermarkets to their ‘RDCs’ (regional distribution centers), with no ‘handball’ (physical lifting), because the contents are palletized loads, with the occasional ‘fridges’, which are giant temperature controlled trailers. It’s not a lifestyle choice, but as a steady way to save money it’s ideal.

Although there’s still a living to be made in TEFL for the right type of person in places like China, over the years I’ve watched the TEFL industry in Thailand collapsing. Salaries are stagnant, new regulations are an almost weekly occurrence and the work load is now grueling, attracting the all sorts working illegally which the regulations were supposed to weed out, because many with the right paperwork and experience have gone elsewhere. In other words, Thailand is no longer a long term lifestyle choice and a plan B is now a must, not an option.