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ESL Gypsy Blog

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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Is Estonia’s E-Residency Program the Right Choice for Digital Nomads & Entrepreneurs

Starting a company can often be a difficult and complicated process. It’s made even more difficult when you’re a digital entrepreneur without a physical place of business. This is often the case with digital nomads who want to run an online teaching business or some other type of location-independent start-up. This week, we break down if the Republic of Estonia’s E-Residency program may offer the answer. What is E-Residency? E-Residency is just like what it sounds like- a digital form of residency. It is not physical residency and does not allow you to live and remain in Estonia. It allows

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SEP IRAs for Digital Nomads

SEP IRAs are an amazing way for self-employed digital nomads to defer some of their income from taxation and build their retirement savings. I’ve touched on SEP IRAs in some of my previous postings, but never really got into the nitty gritty of what they are and how they can be advantageous to digital nomads, such as ESOL teachers. This week, I’m going to break it down for you. What is a SEP IRA? SEP stands for Simplified Employee Pension and IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. Last week, we talked about Roth and traditional IRAs. This week, we’re going

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Using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and Roth IRA Rollover to Receive Tax-Free Income in Retirement

No one wants to pay tax- not now or in retirement. Living and working overseas may entitle US taxpayers to exclude some or all of their income from taxation under the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE). This element of US tax code can be hugely advantageous for expats. However, one major downside is that claiming this exclusion may prohibit taxpayers from the making contributions to tax advantaged retirement accounts- such as a Roth IRA. This week, we’re going to explore an obscure loophole in the US tax code that may help American expats who already have pretax retirement savings convert

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Completing a US Teaching License While Working at Whales English

Welcome back to ESL Gypsy! In the past, I’ve outlined the steps to take for completing a Florida state teaching license while working online. The challenge to this process is being able to complete your field experience, which must total 150 hours (including a one-week culminating experience). I’ve recently completed the coursework and field experience for my license while teaching at Whales English. This week, I’m going to walk you through the details of the process. For those who missed the last posting on this, I’ll be briefly review the Teacher Ready program before explaining the culminating week. The Program

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Teaching & Surfing in Morocco

Welcome back to ESL Gypsy. Before we get into this week’s post, a big ‘thank you’ goes out to the beautiful and talented Sabrina Leskovsek for sharing her insights on Moroccan travel. This week, we’re going to take you back out on the road to the beautiful town of Taghazout in southern Morocco. Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America have been hotspots for digital nomads because of the awesome quality of life and low cost of living. Parts of Europe are becoming more and more popular too as digital nomads seek to set up camp in places like Spain, Portugal,

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What steps can digital nomads take to weather an upcoming recession?

Welcome back to ESL Gypsy. This week, we’re going to visit some of the implications of the impending recession and how digital nomads can better position themselves for the recession. There has been some back and forth on if a recession is coming. Let’s clear this up. The economy is cyclical. A recession is ALWAYS coming. It’s just a matter of when. After that, a recovery will be coming too. Hopefully the upswings last longer than the downswings. So, let’s look at where we’re at now. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in decades (3.5%), the stock market is at

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