Retirement for Seniors

Get Paid for Speaking English While Retired Overseas (and Not Just for Teaching!) | Retirement for Seniors
Home Planning Money Matters Lifestyle Where to Retire Retiree in Thailand Health Insurance Social

Get Paid for Speaking English While Retired Overseas (and Not Just for Teaching!)

Date : July 24,2013
By : Mario Vitanelli

Mario Vitanelli is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in international politics and finance, retirement and investment. His areas of expertise include European, Asian and Latin/South American economic policy and UK pension transfers. When away from his keyboard, he enjoys photography and appreciates the rest of the Vitanelli family’s endless patience with his football dependence.

Finding work after you’ve retired can be worrisome and intimidating under the most traditional circumstances. The prospect of doing so on foreign soil, however, is enough to put many a pensioner off the golden-years-job-search altogether, especially when there’s a language barrier. It’s unfortunate too because a job overseas, particularly one where English is not the first language, actually, can become one of the most satisfying (and certainly the most profitable) features of an overseas retirement.

Teaching English

I know I said “not just for teaching” but I think it’s actually a law that any article even roughly like this one includes this paragraph. It’s a no-brainer: English has become the international language, especially for business. As such, acquiring fluency gives a lot of people in a lot of places a huge advantage in business. This is true of both emerging and established economies. With a solid understanding of the language and basic people skills, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding work in any number of places. And if you live in the following nations: China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and other Persian Gulf states, and perhaps Turkey, Spain, Singapore, Costa Rica, Chile and the Czech Republic, there’s a good chance you’ll be approached on the street about English teaching or tutoring.


You probably didn’t expect this one. Becoming a model in the country you’ve retired to requires only a few qualifications: if you’re a woman you’ll have to be tall and statuesque, have a Hollywood figure (meaning you weigh less than 50 kilos/110lbs) and look like you’re 18-25, whatever your age. If you’re male you should be square-jawed and ruggedly handsome with a chiseled physique- a result of five hours in the gym six days a week, except on Sunday (only 4 hours on Sunday). You should look between 18-45.

No, I’m just kidding. Particularly in Asian countries, foreign or foreign-looking individuals are commonly much-sought for modeling work. Often for ad and business publications. The good news is: that means there’s a decent chances you can make some extra cash as a model, younger, middle-years or finely-aged, despite not looking like Sophia Loren or Brad Pitt (I hear people who aren’t me sometimes have that problem). If that sounds interesting to you, check in with some local modeling/advertising agencies.


If you found a place an attractive option for retirement, there’s an excellent chance that many of your countrymen (or at least co-English-speakers) were likewise drawn to that same place for an either temporary or permanent holiday. That’s good news for many potential job-seekers because those visitors are going to be dining at, staying with or otherwise patronizing restaurants, hotels, pubs and other establishments catering to English speakers. And those visitors will welcome a friendly face and familiar dialect.

English-Language Companies and Government Jobs

This one’s pretty broad but if you’re looking for work in general, check in with the local branches or franchises of organizations or corporations from your motherland (or fatherland, depending on your native soil’s gender). The same goes for government jobs. Scan the internet for any number of employment opportunities in embassies, consulates and the other less-John Le Carré-sounding governmental institutions.

Do What You Used to Do

Even though your choice of retirement destinations was exotic that doesn’t mean your choice of post-retirement work need be. Check in with companies or organizations that are foreign counterparts of the one for which you used to work. They too may have need of an English-speaker and it’s not like you don’t have experience…

Tour Guide

This one isn’t for everyone but it’s certainly worth considering if it sounds like something that would be in your wheelhouse. Did a fascination with the Knights of Malta and their history influence your decision to move to Malta (along with the great QROPSrates if you’re a pensioner)? Well give tours of the Hospitallers’ old haunts. Did you relocate to Rome because you’ve forgotten more about her arches, basilicas and catacombs than mostof the locals ever knew? You see where this is going- share your knowledge with speakers of your native tongue.


While being a talented scribe certainly doesn’t hurt, you need not be James Joyce or William Faulkner to put that English-typing ability to use in your new home. Depending on your energy level, experience, tastes, time, interests and degree of desire, paid writing work can be found as a stringer or reporter for newspapers, local expat publications, English language magazines, corporate newsletters, travel sites, travel and expat blogs, etc. As is the case with any of the above-mentioned employment options, keep your ear to the ground, your eyes on the net and shoe-leather on the street for appropriate work and you’ll find it. After all- your work has brought you this far!