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ESL Gypsy Blog

The End of Tax-Free Living in Portugal?

I wanted to get away from writing about life here in Portugal, but some potential changes in tax laws have come to light in the past week that merit the attention of this week’s posting. First, I’ve written about the tax benefits of Non-Habitual Residency here in Portugal. Accounting firms have referred to it as Europe’s best kept secret. The Portuguese Communist Party has been pushing for an end to NHR for several years without any success. However, this year, they may be able to push through changes to the retirement scheme for pensioners. This week’s blog is going to

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Portugal: Living in Lisbon v. the Silver Coast

I started writing this week’s blog from a café on the side of Rossio Square in the center of Lisbon, and I’m editing it from a tiny bar in Peniche on Portugal’s Silver Coast. I moved to Portugal seven months ago and have been living in a very small fishing village on the Silver Coast called Consolação. It’s less than ten minutes south of Peniche. This past week, I packed up, rented an apartment in the heart of Lisbon, and decided to experience a week of city living. This week, I’m going to revisit my decision to move to the

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Considerations for US Expats

This week’s blog is not aimed at people looking to travel and work abroad for a few months. Rather this is for those who are packing up, selling everything, and moving abroad. I recently sold my homes in America, got rid of the car, packed, sold, donated, gifted, or trashed everything that was left over and purchased a place on the beach in Portugal. The freedom is indescribable. I no longer walk into shopping malls in Jacksonville, Florida and wonder if some nutjob is going to open fire in another American mass shooting. I go to the pharmacy and pick

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Online Doctoral Programs for Teachers

A doctoral degree is a huge undertaking. There is no shortage of options for prospective students to consider. One also needs to keep their professional goals in mind. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to have a PhD or an EdD?” In this article, we’ll touch on some of the concerns associated with an online PhD/EdD and name five of our favorite online doctoral programs. Why do you want a doctorate? There are a variety of reasons for someone to earn a doctorate. Some seek a salary bump, career advancement, a love of learning, and simply want the title, “Doctor.”

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Pros and Cons of the IOA TEFL Certificate

This is sure to be a topic that people have different and strong opinions on. I have seen people comment both ways on this certificate being great and others saying it’s awful. So, I’m going to spend this week breaking down what I see as the pros and cons of the International Open Academy (IOA) aka Groupon TEFL certificate. Be aware- this website contains affiliate links to the IOA certificate, and I also completed the very same certificate to satisfy the Chinese government requirements of a 120-hr TEFL certificate. Still, I’m trying to offer an honest appraisal of what I

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Useful Tax Deductions for Self-Employed Teachers

As 2019 draws to a close, the start of 2020 means the start of tax season. Most online teachers are not employees (do not receive a W-2) and will be getting ready to report their self-employment income prior to the April 15* deadline. Listed below are some deductions to tally up prior to the end of the year, and/or to keep in mind for 2020. Some Straightforward Deductions Props & Realia Do you use puppets? Stuffed animals? Whiteboards and markers? All of these things are tax deductible expenses that can offset your business income. Anything that you purchase to create

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Winter Getaways for Digital Nomads

December brings a lot of holiday joy, but it also brings colder temperatures. Even here in southern Europe, things are starting to get chillier. One of the huge advantages of the digital nomad lifestyle is being able to pick up and escape winter whenever you want. This week’s post covers four locations that have warmer temperatures, a relatively low cost of living, and are just plain cool places to post up for a few months. Canary Islands, Spain Tenerife, Canary Islands I’ve visited the Canary Islands several times and always loved it. The Canaries are part of Spain, but located

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Formative Assessment Tools for Online Instruction

Formative assessment, also known as informal assessment, is a tool to help drive instruction. It can take many different forms and should be the most frequently used form of assessment in most teachers’ classrooms- including virtual classrooms. What is formative assessment? Formative assessment is a tool to gauge students’ learning. It helps teachers understand if students are ‘getting it.’ Do students need additional instruction in a particular area? Where do teachers need to improve? Seeing where students may be struggling is a tool that teachers use to help them understand how to adjust (or in some cases revamp) their lessons

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Is Investing in Rental Real Estate a Good Idea for Digital Nomads?

Buying a house is a way to put down roots in a particular place, which really runs counter to being a digital nomad. So, for those who are constantly on the move, is rental real estate a good idea? What about the risk? The old saying, “It’s safe as houses,” indicates that investing in real estate is the safest way to enjoy long-term growth of your investment. Many people who invested at the height of the sub-prime mortgage bubble might disagree. There is a real risk to investing in rental real estate. However, it remains a really attractive option for

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The Advantages of Relocating to Nicaragua

I absolutely loved Nicaragua! The lifestyle is super laidback, with fresh fish and some of the world’s best coffee. The people are incredibly kind. The landscape is stunning. The waves are great, and the water is always warm. What more could you want? Oh yeah, it’s also perhaps the cheapest landing spot in Central America. This week, we’re going to look at how easy it is to make Nicaragua your home. How long can I stay in Nica? I entered Nicaragua without a visa and was able to stay for up to 90 days. For those who wish to make

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