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Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Old Apr 10th 2016, 4:23 pm
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Default Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Hello

I would really appreciate some advice and an outside perspective on my potential plans. Thanks in advance for reading my life story below!

Last year was a big shake-up for me; I nursed my father through a short battle with cancer until his death, my elder children all flew the nest (one to study in Northern Spain, the others locally but have busy lives as should be) and my wider family all fell out squabbling over my father's non-existent cash that they thought he left (he was actually £18000 in debt!). All of this made me begin to think that life is too short to hang around in the UK in the cold and dismal weather with everyone at each other's throats, so I started to look at jobs abroad which was perhaps a dream at first. I am a 41 year old married woman (Head of English in a challenging UK school) with 4 children (3 over 21, one at 13years). However the dream is becoming more of a potential reality after applying for a Job a few weeks ago and returning home from a week in Spakn to find that I now have an interview for a Head of Dept role at a school in Mallorca.

My elder children are encouraging me to go for it, and my husband, bless him, just wants to see me happy again. He is a landscape gardener, so I doubt he would be able to get well paid work but will happily be a handyman or barman if he can get the work. My 13 year old is in a quite tough school in the UK, so a funded place (comes with the job) in a nice school in Mallorca would be preferable for her, even though she's reluctant to leave her boyfriend(!).

I think the pay would be about 25000 euros per year. I'd be renting accommodation for my husband and 13 year old. I manage to make a small amount from writing too.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Am I having a Shirley Valentine moment? Would we be able to survive on that salary if the worse happened and husband couldn't get a job. We don't speak Spanish, but the school stated on the ad that no Spanish is necessary. It's just my husband who'd struggle for employment without that skill.

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks for reading,

L X
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Old Apr 10th 2016, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

By the way, I forgot to say that I currently earn £52000 per year, so if be taking a 50% pay cut! That's the biggest worry I guess.
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Old Apr 10th 2016, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst BEVS moderates Europe. Moderators are there to ensure that the site runs smoothly within the rules of BE. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

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Old Apr 10th 2016, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Your current salary of 52000 is about 65000 euros so 25000 euro is not a 50% pay cut.

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Old Apr 10th 2016, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Indeed it is not. However, life for a teacher is pretty miserable in the UK in ways you don't really appreciate unless you are one. We do get long holidays, but the amount of marking, working hours, changing government dictates, pressure to attain exam results at all costs (even when students don't or barely attend school - don't ask!) and constant scrutiny are unbearable here now. There's simply no quality of life during term time, so it could be worth the huge drop in pay.
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Old Apr 10th 2016, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by Lindsey74 View Post
By the way, I forgot to say that I currently earn £52000 per year, so if be taking a 50% pay cut! That's the biggest worry I guess.
I'm guessing you're in a pension scheme at work. At what age could you take early retirement? In any case you may stand to lose a lot if you leave your job now.
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Old Apr 10th 2016, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Thanks Stevie. Yes, I'm in a pension scheme and there'd be no chance if early retirement until I'm about 60, so a while to wait yet . Good point though.
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Old Apr 10th 2016, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by Lindsey74 View Post
By the way, I forgot to say that I currently earn £52000 per year, so if be taking a 50% pay cut! That's the biggest worry I guess.
Survive? You will very comfortably on half that, even if your husband doesn't work
Many are living on much less, and can only dream of living on 25 k!
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Old Apr 10th 2016, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Lindsey, it's not clear whether you have a UK property to sell / rent or have savings ? Either or both should obviously be factored in, also there are cost of living comparison web sites out on t'interweb to give you a rough idea of what you'll be letting yourselves in for.

I believe €25k is just about the average salary in Spain, worth bearing in mind the cost of living in Majorca is higher than mainland Spain, and presumably you'll be based in the Palma area, so rental costs would be the biggie to consider.
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 7:52 am
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by Neptuno View Post
Survive? You will very comfortably on half that, even if your husband doesn't work
Many are living on much less, and can only dream of living on 25 k!
Seriously?

25k euros for a family who are used to earning close to 100k euros in the UK is a pittance

After tax and social security that is about 1,700 euros per month

In my opinion it would be a massive struggle

However, if you have a good amount of savings or have lots of equity in a house in the UK then it could be doable
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by cricketman View Post
Seriously?

25k euros for a family who are used to earning close to 100k euros in the UK is a pittance

After tax and social security that is about 1,700 euros per month

In my opinion it would be a massive struggle

However, if you have a good amount of savings or have lots of equity in a house in the UK then it could be doable
Thanks everyone. The pay may be more, but not much. I was going to let my property in the UK so I'd have something to return to if I didn't like it there.

Never mind - perhaps this is a bit unattainable. Thanks for your honest insights.
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by cricketman View Post
Seriously?

25k euros for a family who are used to earning close to 100k euros in the UK is a pittance

After tax and social security that is about 1,700 euros per month

In my opinion it would be a massive struggle

However, if you have a good amount of savings or have lots of equity in a house in the UK then it could be doable
Massive struggle on 1700 euros per month
It's hard for me to understand this
It's more than enough for normal, sensible people.
That includes running a car, holidays but of course if you have a massive rent or mortgage it might be a struggle , but if you're talking about that amount to live on, there's something wrong with someone if they can't manage on that!
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by Neptuno View Post
Massive struggle on 1700 euros per month
It's hard for me to understand this
It's more than enough for normal, sensible people.
That includes running a car, holidays but of course if you have a massive rent or mortgage it might be a struggle , but if you're talking about that amount to live on, there's something wrong with someone if they can't manage on that!
FWIW we get through about 3,000 euros per month, after rent, so not including the rent

1,700 euros is on the poverty line. And someone who is used to earning 5 times that would struggle tremendously

Spain is about 30% cheaper than the UK in my opinion, but it is not one fifth as expensive!
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by cricketman View Post
FWIW we get through about 3,000 euros per month, after rent, so not including the rent

1,700 euros is on the poverty line. And someone who is used to earning 5 times that would struggle tremendously

Spain is about 30% cheaper than the UK in my opinion, but it is not one fifth as expensive!
The problem is that international schools don't disclose the pay until the interview when they see what you're like, then make an offer based on experience. It's a bit awkward in that respect, as I don't want to waste their time by going through the interview to have to decline it due to a lack of feasibility regarding finances. However, it's not really the done thing to go harping on about pay before the interview. I am very experienced, so have a good chance of getting the top end of what they're likely to offer.

I have another slight concern that as I'm from the midlands that I'm not quite posh enough for an international school! Anyway, that's by the by. Are the British expats all quite well to do out there? I'm a bit worried I won't fit in.

I suppose these fears are fairly normal. I'll keep you updated on what happens at interview. Thanks again.
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Could I survive in Mallorca on a teacher's salary?

Originally Posted by Lindsey74 View Post
The problem is that international schools don't disclose the pay until the interview when they see what you're like, then make an offer based on experience. It's a bit awkward in that respect, as I don't want to waste their time by going through the interview to have to decline it due to a lack of feasibility regarding finances. However, it's not really the done thing to go harping on about pay before the interview. I am very experienced, so have a good chance of getting the top end of what they're likely to offer.

I have another slight concern that as I'm from the midlands that I'm not quite posh enough for an international school! Anyway, that's by the by. Are the British expats all quite well to do out there? I'm a bit worried I won't fit in.

I suppose these fears are fairly normal. I'll keep you updated on what happens at interview. Thanks again.
From my experience of international schools in Spain, the British kids who go to them and their parents are not posh at all

And 90% of children in some international schools are actually Spanish because their parents want them to have a British education and learn English. It depends completely on the location of the school
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