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  • KimDuHan
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1244

    • January 15, 2015, 11:48:59 am
    • Seoul
Are you a lifer?
« on: September 21, 2018, 07:33:58 am »
Are you a lifer?

Why or why not?

What are your thoughts on lifers if you aren't one.


Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2018, 07:37:05 am »
Well how can you know until it is too late? You find yourself having a heart attack thinking "is this it? Dam it! I really was a lifer since I didn't retire in my home country or somewhere tropical"


  • sbk
  • Veteran

    • 93

    • March 22, 2016, 02:44:47 pm
    • seoul
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2018, 07:54:43 am »
What is a lifer?


Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2018, 07:55:36 am »
Sadly, I probably am at this point...

I was here for a few years and then went home...

Then, I came back and have been here a few more years...

No plans for leaving are on the horizon.

To be fair, I guess it isn't that sad. I just worry about the future here, given that I'm still in E-2 hell (at least, at the moment). But I really wonder what the future will look like, given the difference in work culture here; especially as I get older.


Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2018, 07:56:14 am »
I have been here a long time (in intervals), and have feared becoming a lifer, because I have not met many (if any) that are all there upstairs. However, I have credentialed myself to the point that I am soon going to be back in my home country with a very stable job and upward mobility.


  • AMDC
  • Veteran

    • 95

    • April 19, 2018, 08:00:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2018, 07:57:43 am »
If I get hit by a bus today, am I technically a lifer?


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1420

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2018, 08:04:41 am »
Yeah probably, I do agree it takes a certain kind of crazy to want to be here for the long haul. I do have serious plans to repatriate in 2-3 years for my family's sake.


  • oglop
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1897

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2018, 08:04:58 am »
If I get hit by a bus today, am I technically a lifer?
technically a deader


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1065

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2018, 08:05:07 am »
I wonder that myself.  I will go home eventually.


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2638

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2018, 08:08:40 am »
I know a few people who are planning to live here and possibly die here. A few who will work till retirement then plan to go home. Most of them are married. Most are American. I'm always a little surprised when someone tells me they plan to live here forever. Maybe because the idea of that kind of scares me. In a way I envy them. If I really felt comfortable here and enjoyed the country it would be a great place to settle down. Safe. Improving social services. Excellent infrastructure.

But, alas, I am not a lifer. I have been here 5.5 years and it's more than enough. I'm ready to leave. I came here for my wife and I think I have more than put my time in. Korea just doesn't fit me. It's the 5th country I've lived in. It's the only one that within a week of being here I was like "this place....this is not my kind of place". A year later the feeling had only grown.  What's the point of forcing a square peg into a round hole. Some places just don't fit some people.

Korea has enabled me to save a lot and to travel a lot. Most importantly, my little boy was born here. And if it weren't for the doctors and nurses at our local woman's/children's hospital he wouldn't have made it past my wife's 20th week of pregnancy. If we had had the same issue back home, I can almost guarantee that we would have lost the pregnancy. I'll always have a connection to Korea through my family and I'm sure I'll visit after I leave. But I need some distance first. Because right now it tends to drive me up the wall a bit.


Kpip! - Martin 2018


  • oglop
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1897

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2018, 08:12:27 am »
i don't want to be a lifer but i also don't want to live back in the uk

i keep trying to look for ways to live in australia again, as i really enjoyed my time there, but (like most places these days) visa restrictions are getting tighter and tighter


  • Savant
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1917

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2018, 08:14:34 am »
i don't want to be a lifer but i also don't want to live back in the uk

i keep trying to look for ways to live in australia again, as i really enjoyed my time there, but (like most places these days) visa restrictions are getting tighter and tighter

This! I like returning to the UK but living there? Probably not, now that Brexit is a total clusterfeck.


Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2018, 08:19:47 am »
I know a few people who are planning to live here and possibly die here. A few who will work till retirement then plan to go home. Most of them are married. Most are American. I'm always a little surprised when someone tells me they plan to live here forever. Maybe because the idea of that kind of scares me. In a way I envy them. If I really felt comfortable here and enjoyed the country it would be a great place to settle down. Safe. Improving social services. Excellent infrastructure.

But, alas, I am not a lifer. I have been here 5.5 years and it's more than enough. I'm ready to leave. I came here for my wife and I think I have more than put my time in. Korea just doesn't fit me. It's the 5th country I've lived in. It's the only one that within a week of being here I was like "this place....this is not my kind of place". A year later the feeling had only grown.  What's the point of forcing a square peg into a round hole. Some places just don't fit some people.

Korea has enabled me to save a lot and to travel a lot. Most importantly, my little boy was born here. And if it weren't for the doctors and nurses at our local woman's/children's hospital he wouldn't have made it past my wife's 20th week of pregnancy. If we had had the same issue back home, I can almost guarantee that we would have lost the pregnancy. I'll always have a connection to Korea through my family and I'm sure I'll visit after I leave. But I need some distance first. Because right now it tends to drive me up the wall a bit.

http://youtu.be/RuFeYW-KWC0?t=198

This was on TV the other night.  It seems a square peg in a round hole holds things together better!


Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2018, 10:03:32 am »
i don't want to be a lifer but i also don't want to live back in the uk

i keep trying to look for ways to live in australia again, as i really enjoyed my time there, but (like most places these days) visa restrictions are getting tighter and tighter

This! I like returning to the UK but living there? Probably not, now that Brexit is a total clusterfeck.

Same  :sad:


Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2018, 12:08:44 pm »
Errrr maybe my answer doesn't count but the only reason why I'm teaching IS to live in Korea indefinitely (I'm Korean American and my parents randomly moved back here).

Plus even working in the USA, I kind of realized early on that yes, making money is cool and all but honestly I just want a quiet life with my family.

I don't know how my future nonexistent children will turn out tbh because I had a super privileged childhood but errrrr... I hope they get some of the opportunities I had...lol....

Buttttttt, if I were to teach in another country, I definitely don't think I could live there forever or even at all. I'm impressed by those who have lived here 3+years~!


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1269

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2018, 12:11:12 pm »
Yes and no.

I've been teaching here for 15 years, the last eight of which have been with no definite exit strategy. I love Mondays here and feel blessed to be able to do something I love for a living.

That said, I am open to considering other countries and dabbling in other professions if the situation arises. I am now on one of those new 2-year e2 visas so I expect to be here until May of 2020 at least. I have two 5-year-old cats and have thought I might teach here until they're old and, well, needing to be buried by my own hands.

I don't imagine retiring here. I certainly fear the hospitals given the horror stories I've heard over the years regarding cleanliness, painkilling and basic nursing services, all deficient in some cases.

So, I may appear to be a lifer and may be from some perspectives, but I expect to be elsewhere, likely back in my home country, before I retire.


Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2018, 12:21:37 pm »
it takes a certain kind of crazy to want to be here for the long haul
It would take a certain kind of crazy for me to go back to South Africa. Every time I open the news, my appreciation for Korea and the (literal) lifeline it's given me skyrockets.

Yes, it's kinda boring. And yes, it's packed to the rafters with sticklers. But at least I can let my guard down and forget about politics for a bit.


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1610

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2018, 12:21:44 pm »
I've been here for a while, but the wife and I will definitely be packing my bags in the next 3-5yrs.
It's MUCH easier to stay here long term if you're married.

I've tried to make some smart financial choices and so far and the longer I stay in Korea, the better it is for my finances.
In the next few months, I will have fully 'jeonsed' (fully paid off) my apartment in Korea (in it's a pretty decent sized one), using my own savings.
I'm lucky as the landlord thinks highly of foreigners, as he thinks we're well-mannered and pay our rent on time. He's willing to make an exception with us to pay jeonse, initially he was relectunant.

The next plan is to get a 'jeonse' loan from the bank. As far as I know, Shinnan is the only bank who considers foreigners for home loans. If that goes through, I'll replace my savings with the loan from the bank and use the savings to augment my unit trust back home. With Korea's low interest rate, I'm hoping to make a tidy sum to finance some investment and residential property back home.

While my salary is stagnant, the savings are astronomical compared to back home, so yeah, with the right plan being long-term in Korea can set you up for life.


  • Savant
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1917

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2018, 12:26:28 pm »
i don't want to be a lifer but i also don't want to live back in the uk

i keep trying to look for ways to live in australia again, as i really enjoyed my time there, but (like most places these days) visa restrictions are getting tighter and tighter

This! I like returning to the UK but living there? Probably not, now that Brexit is a total clusterfeck.

Same  :sad:

We can get Waitrose stuff in Emart.  Boots are starting to pop up all over the place.  Just need a M&S and it'll be just like the UK.  I just googled that and found that there are.... :huh:

If I need M&S stuff then a short break in Hong Kong will do :)


  • kangsheng
  • Adventurer

    • 29

    • November 26, 2017, 01:02:06 am
    • Yongin
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2018, 01:43:12 pm »

But, alas, I am not a lifer. I have been here 5.5 years and it's more than enough. I'm ready to leave. I came here for my wife and I think I have more than put my time in. Korea just doesn't fit me. It's the 5th country I've lived in. It's the only one that within a week of being here I was like "this place....this is not my kind of place". A year later the feeling had only grown.  What's the point of forcing a square peg into a round hole. Some places just don't fit some people.

If the Seinfeld allusion was intentional that was the perfect episode to reference.