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Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« on: December 09, 2020, 02:00:48 am »
Serious question

For those who plan on staying in Korea until the end of their working days, how do you plan to retire?

Have you been investing for years? Hope that what you've contributed to the Korean pension scheme will be enough? Hope to win the lotto???

Would love to hear from veterans, not joe blows who are here for a a few years before heading off to their next adventure.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 4525

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 04:39:24 am »
Invested. I took the pension in a lump sum to pay for my re-entry into the US.


  • SPQR
  • Expert Waygook

    • 694

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Canada
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 07:33:51 am »
I'm retiring in nine years. Can't wait. It will be the end
of a 35 year teaching career in Korea. I'm relying on
five things:

1/ Canadian pension - About CAD200.00/month
2/ Korean pension - About KRW1-1.5M/month
3/ Apartment equity - Currently about KRW700,000,000
4/ Inheritance - Not sure, maybe GBP200,000-300,000
5/ I also work at home doing web services for a Korean company.
     I will continue to do that as I enjoy it. - KRW400,000-500,000/month

I'm looking forward to spending summers on Koh Samui playing disc
golf and winters in Korea hot tenting.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2020, 07:51:55 am »
Invested. I took the pension in a lump sum to pay for my re-entry into the US.

You have to pay to enter your own country now?


  • D.L.Orean
  • Super Waygook

    • 311

    • February 25, 2020, 09:34:41 am
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2020, 07:54:31 am »
You have to pay to enter your own country now?

Yes. Americans who have declared residency in foreign countries for 12 months or longer are required to pay a resettlement fee of $5,000.
Do other countries not do the same?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 07:56:33 am by D.L.Orean »


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2020, 07:57:43 am »
I'm retiring in nine years. Can't wait. It will be the end
of a 35 year teaching career in Korea. I'm relying on
five things:

1/ Canadian pension - About CAD200.00/month
2/ Korean pension - About KRW1-1.5M/month
3/ Apartment equity - Currently about KRW700,000,000
4/ Inheritance - Not sure, maybe GBP200,000-300,000
5/ I also work at home doing web services for a Korean company.
     I will continue to do that as I enjoy it. - KRW400,000-500,000/month

I'm looking forward to spending summers on Koh Samui playing disc
golf and winters in Korea hot tenting.

How'd you end up with such a large amount of Korean pension?  They tell me if I stay and wait till 65 and collect pension I will get 850,000 a month.  Less than yours but better than a kick in the pants or those eslers that go from contract to contract and countryhop.  Those guys will have nothing.  I prob will also have 200 bucks in Canadian funds.  I may have to go to the US once corona gets recovered, but depending on the outcome of the election (just to build up some cash).  It's clear Korea isn't the place for money anymore. 


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2020, 07:59:44 am »
Yes. Americans who have declared residency in foreign countries for 12 months or longer are required to pay a resettlement fee of $5,000.
Do other countries not do the same?

No.  Sounds like extortion to me.  I mean what do you get in return for this "fee"?    You shouldn't have to pay to re enter your own country especially if you didn't use it's services in your absence.  I am just shocked.  Usually the US is a low tax low fee place. 

I guess if you come here for only a year or two, most of your cashout - pensions and bonuses and such will be eaten up by this BS fee.  Even less incentive to come over here for Americans to teach then.  (Add in typically bad exchange rate and low wages; not good for them at all.  Only good for the rich kids who didn't have to take out student loans I guess.) 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 08:02:14 am by hangook77 »


  • D.L.Orean
  • Super Waygook

    • 311

    • February 25, 2020, 09:34:41 am
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2020, 08:01:40 am »
No.  Sounds like extortion to me.  I mean what do you get in return for this "fee"?    You shouldn't have to pay to re enter your own country especially if you didn't use it's services in your absence.  I am just shocked.  Usually the US is a low tax low fee place.

It's optional. But if you choose not to pay you will not qualify to be resident in the US. This has far reaching consequences. It would be virtually impossible to start life as a non-resident citizen while living in the US.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2020, 08:05:45 am »
It's optional. But if you choose not to pay you will not qualify to be resident in the US. This has far reaching consequences. It would be virtually impossible to start life as a non-resident citizen while living in the US.

What do you mean?  For someone immigrating there?  I mean citizens usually don't have to pay to enter their own country.  I couldn't see how the government would be allowed to deny it's own citizen.  I thought I knew the US pretty well, having spent quite a bit of time there as a youth.  Guess curve balls always surprise you.  (Never heard of this for other countries.  You may or may not have to pay some tax though.  But otherwise, it's usually free to enter your own country.)  A 5K fee would make coming over to do ESL pointless cause your fee would eat up your bonuses. 


  • D.L.Orean
  • Super Waygook

    • 311

    • February 25, 2020, 09:34:41 am
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2020, 08:11:23 am »
What do you mean?  For someone immigrating there?  I mean citizens usually don't have to pay to enter their own country.  I couldn't see how the government would be allowed to deny it's own citizen.  I thought I knew the US pretty well, having spent quite a bit of time there as a youth.  Guess curve balls always surprise you.  (Never heard of this for other countries.  You may or may not have to pay some tax though.  But otherwise, it's usually free to enter your own country.)  A 5K fee would make coming over to do ESL pointless cause your fee would eat up your bonuses.

It's not a fee to enter the country. Americans that choose to live and work abroad for 12+ months have the option to declare themselves non-resident. Maintaining resident status while working abroad has tax implications. So, many people give up their residency status (nothing to do with citizenship). American citizens are free to enter and leave the country as they please with or without residency status. But once you have given up residency status there is a fee to regain it. Changes to residency status are optional. However, if an American citizen is living and working in the US it makes life much easier to regain the residency status. Simple things like access to new bank accounts, health insurance, etc require this status.


Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2020, 08:12:06 am »
Yes. Americans who have declared residency in foreign countries for 12 months or longer are required to pay a resettlement fee of $5,000.
Do other countries not do the same?

What? Is this a joke? Is it APril? I've never heard anything about this.  Please provide a link


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2020, 08:18:53 am »
It's not a fee to enter the country. Americans that choose to live and work abroad for 12+ months have the option to declare themselves non-resident. Maintaining resident status while working abroad has tax implications. So many people give up their residency status (nothing to do with citizenship). American citizens are free to enter and leave the country as they please. But once you have given up residency status there is a fee to regain it. Changes to residency status are optional. However, if an American citizen is living and working in the US it makes life much easier to regain the residency status. Simple things like access to new bank accounts, health insurance, etc require this status.

Sounds like extortion to me.  In Canada nothing.  I went non resident years ago.  I don't have to pay anything.  (One friend who went back from living in China in his province anyways got re instated for full residency from day one meaning health care, government services, etc.  I was surprised as some provinces may make you wait 3 or more months to be eligible for all government services.)

Ticking a form shouldn't cost 5 grand.  But, at least you explained it well.  (I'm not shooting the messenger.) 


More of you young Americans should be aware of this fee.  If you come over for a year or two, this "fee" will eat up your severance (bonus and pension payout.  Ask yourself if it's still worth it then?


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2020, 08:20:31 am »
What? Is this a joke? Is it APril? I've never heard anything about this.  Please provide a link

Gators said he had to pay it?


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2282

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2020, 08:21:45 am »
Never retire.

Always stay active, at least part time, at something productive. It's good for the soul. Golfing gets old quick. At least take up gardening and sell produce at the farmer's market. Tutor two days a week. Something.


  • D.L.Orean
  • Super Waygook

    • 311

    • February 25, 2020, 09:34:41 am
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2020, 08:23:42 am »
Sounds like extortion to me.  In Canada nothing.  I went non resident years ago.  I don't have to pay anything.  (One friend who went back from living in China in his province anyways got re instated for full residency from day one meaning health care, government services, etc.  I was surprised as some provinces may make you wait 3 or more months to be eligible for all government services.)

Ticking a form shouldn't cost 5 grand.  But, at least you explained it well.  (I'm not shooting the messenger.) 


More of you young Americans should be aware of this fee.  If you come over for a year or two, this "fee" will eat up your severance (bonus and pension payout.  Ask yourself if it's still worth it then?

Those working in the public school system have a 2 year window with which they can claim special status. This allows them to avoid any issues if returning after 2 years. I suspect most people don't give up residency status. In practical terms, this has no effect on their lives here. However, the IRS will eventually catch up with them as they have probably avoided some of their tax requirements while keeping resident status but living and receiving their pay in Korea.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2958

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2020, 08:24:03 am »
Never retire.

Always stay active, at least part time, at something productive. It's good for the soul. Golfing gets old quick. At least take up gardening and sell produce at the farmer's market. Tutor two days a week. Something.

Good advice.


Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2020, 08:48:58 am »
Those working in the public school system have a 2 year window with which they can claim special status. This allows them to avoid any issues if returning after 2 years. I suspect most people don't give up residency status. In practical terms, this has no effect on their lives here. However, the IRS will eventually catch up with them as they have probably avoided some of their tax requirements while keeping resident status but living and receiving their pay in Korea.

Oh so if you take the 2 year tax exemption then you have to paya fee to retain resident status? Wow never knew. Does the IRS just send you a notice or what? I've literally never heard anyone having to pay this $5,000 fee until now.

** Form 8802 to get form 6166, is certifying that you are a tax resident of the US, so how can you lose you resident status by asking to certify your tax status? This doesn't make any sense and I am seriously doubting this $5,000 fee is legit.

Quote
Use Form 8802 to request Form 6166, a letter of U.S. residency certification for purposes of claiming benefits under an income tax treaty or value added tax (VAT) exemption. You cannot use Form 6166 to substantiate that U.S. taxes were paid for purposes of claiming a foreign tax credit.

I ain't paying sh!T
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 08:58:02 am by thunderlips »


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6724

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2020, 08:51:08 am »
Yeah, this is complete news to me.
The first thing to say is that this is definitely not pyramid selling, OK?


Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2020, 09:48:33 am »
What VanIslander said. No plans to fully retire. I like gardening and baking, and I get out on my bike when it's warm. Being retired in korea would just be a little too boring for me, so 3 or 4 days teaching would be perfect. In fact I've only been working 4 days a week for the past 2 or 3 years but in the last month added speaking classes on Fridays and Saturday mornings. Back to 5 and a bit days, over winter anyway. My wife is also not interested in full retirement. She wants to take over her sister's food stand in the next year or two. She loves being occupied.


  • yolopopo
  • Waygookin

    • 24

    • June 01, 2018, 10:25:05 am
    • South Korea
Re: Lifers...how do you plan to retire?
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2020, 11:09:03 am »
Does anyone contribute to a private pension fund (not the KTP), be it a private Korean one or one based in their 'home' country?

I contribute to my UK state pension, the NPS, and have a private UK pension set-up (admittedly haven't contributed to this one since leaving my previous job in the UK).

Sorry obwannabe, not trying to derail this thread. To answer, while I love living in Korea, the thought of retiring here does not appeal.

Hopefully, I/we will end up in a warmer climate (all year round) towards the end of my/our careers. I definitely do not want to just retire to a new place but hope to work their for the last 5-10 years, so I feel some what part of the community. As others have pointed out, I hope to never 'fully' retire and work to some degree until I drop dead.

I know this will depend on your nationality somewhat, but what platforms or brokers do people use here to invest?

Also...$200 a month for a state pension, really? I thought the UK state pension was terrible. Is that because you do not contribute to it when abroad?