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Can you get a $21K pay rise by moving abroad?

11 October 2018

As Ireland’s economy struggled in the wake of the global financial crisis and people were left wondering how they could keep up with their mortgages, Sorcha Coyle took the plunge and moved to the Middle East.

It wasn’t just the idea of a new challenge that the teacher found exciting, but the fact that by working overseas she would be in a better position to reach the financial goals she’d set herself than if she stayed at home.

“I’d been in Ireland during the recession and was surrounded by family and friends who had lost their jobs, weren’t able to pay their inflated mortgages and who were mentally and physically exhausted by money worries,” Coyle recalls from Dubai, where the 32-year-old now lives.

The decision proved life-changing.

The money worries Coyle saw her friends struggling with and that she herself had endured earlier when teaching in the UK – spending more than 50% of her salary on rent, leaving little for savings – have disappeared. Since her first expatriate job in Qatar in 2011, she has saved more than $186,000 and purchased two properties, including a four-bedroom house in her hometown. She’s even managed to travel.

“One year as an expat could be the financial equivalent of three years back home,” says Andrew Talbot, who has been a certified financial planner for 18 years and currently works with Expat Financial Planning in Singapore.

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