Expatitis & The Millionaire Teacher

The first time I read about “expatitis” I had a guilty chuckle. It’s a term used by investmentinternational.com back in 2005 to describe overseas British who, despite the lower cost of living, don’t save much. It affects more men than women, especially those in their 40s and 50s. I know we had the symptoms when we repatriated back to the US and started talking about eating out once a week to explore the different restaurants in the area, of hosting dinners and themed parties for our neighbors, of going to shows and concerts — activities we’re normally used to doing overseas when we were both employed. Now we’re not. Luckily expatitis is curable.

Andrew-Hawaii-07-300x278This guy calls himself a Millionaire Teacher, and what makes it more amazing is Andrew Hallam accomplished this while teaching in Singapore, that has a high cost of living.

Well, I’m happy to receive a copy of his book to learn how he did this. Investment is not everyone’s cup of tea, and yet everyone wants financial freedom, and everyone dreams of retiring early to get more out life, like travel, while they’re still young. His book seemed to be written for expat couples like my husband and I. One of us likes to invest and the other one is not comfortable with it. It’s easy to guess which is who.


It’s great that my husband inherited his father’s penchant for investing. My in-laws lead frugal lives while enjoying life. FIL retired 20 years ago from his job teaching Math, and has since gotten active in community theater (he’s currently writing a play), chaperoned two grandchildren to Grandpa/Grandma camps for several summers, took his wife on cruises to Alaska and the Carribean, traveled to my hometown in the Philippines twice, visited us in Thailand thrice. The second time was for our wedding and they had enough frequent flyer miles so my sister-in-law and her family could also come. Nowadays they like to do a couple of roadtrips, making good use of their Worldmark membership.

So yes, even if I’m not very supportive I appreciate what my husband is doing and hope this book will help us. You see, life threw us a curve ball and we suddenly found ourselves on an unscheduled “sabbatical” here in Spokane. It’s the best place for our son’s special needs, but less than ideal for us to find work. My husband went through a stressful transition but finally decided to make the most of our time here. And I’m starting to appreciate being able to do these things with him, while we’re still young: working out to get back in shape, hiking, exploring trails on weekdays, planting herbs and vegetables. More important, having more energy and time to take our son to parks, helping him with his homework, teaching him to read, volunteering at his school, and playing with him. And we have downscaled considerably, using coupons, looking for sales and discounted rates, buying from yard sales or thru Craiglist. I also deferred projects that will cost money like taking online classes until I get a part-time job. And we continue to look up job openings here and in international schools and submitting our resumes. I had a couple of job interviews so far. We’re not lazy, we do want to teach — but teaching jobs rarely open up in the middle of the school year.

We’re still living comfortably, because we saved a lot of money while working abroad and my husband invested 70 percent of our income. But this sabbatical is not meant to last indefinitely, and we need to re-build our nest egg. That is why I need this book and learn more from the Millionaire Teacher. I’m not completely cured of expatitis yet.

Check out Andrew Hallam’s Website


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