Blog

ESL Gypsy Blog

Is a SIMPLE IRA a good choice for self-employed teachers?

There is no doubt that the lack of benefits is one of the biggest drawbacks of being an online English teacher. Treating online English teaching solely as a gap year experience is something a lot of young people choose to do. However, the lifestyle is so amazing that you may want to do this on a more permanent basis. If that’s the case, you need to be prepared for retirement. There are several sources that a self-employed teacher can tap for income in retirement. Ensuring you pay your payroll taxes can help you earn credits toward social security benefits. Contributing

Read More »

Managing Student Concerns Related to the Coronavirus

During the last several weeks the severity of the coronavirus has sparked global panic. Citizens of China are taking measures to protect themselves and their families from a potentially deadly virus. As a result, the New Year holiday has been extended and many children won’t be going back to school until the 17th of February. Most will continue to receive their online instruction as usual. The situation in China is an incredibly scary one, and one that we will likely have to navigate in the classroom over the next few weeks. One of my middle school students lost her aunt

Read More »

Comparing the Canary Islands and Portugal’s Silver Coast

With a week off for Chinese New Year, I packed my bags and headed to Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. It’s been eighteen years since I’ve been back to the Canary Islands. I last spent time here studying Spanish as an undergrad. I absolutely loved it then and love it just as much now. So much so, that when I first set foot in my Airbnb, I thought, “I’m not leaving this island without buying an apartment.” While I still may make a purchase here, I think it will probably be later in the year. Since I’ve

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »