How do you make money living abroad?

So, I’m new here.

I’ve lived in Beijing, China for about 3.5 years from 2015-2018. I speak decent Mandarin. I’ve been wanting to move abroad again, but after losing most of my life’s savings after I got back to the US, I got into aviation. I’m so bored of life in the US and dating is impossible here. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to move abroad again, because it was definitely different in China. However, I don’t want to teach English in a school. I wouldn’t mind private tutoring where the students actually want to learn, but I’ve been screwed by a lot of schools in China on things like travel reimbursement and contract completion bonuses. I’m assuming it’s kind of the same story in Taiwan.

I have a house in the US that I make a little bit of money renting out, and it’s almost paid off. If I had another income-producing property that was paid off, I think I would just pull the plug and move overseas, but I still want to be able to support myself just in case of an SHTF scenario. I have some ideas, and I plan to possibly start a Youtube channel for both Mandarin and English-speakers and help people work through their personal finance issues. So, on that vein, I would really like to hear from some of the people who have moved to Taiwan and make a location-independent income, since I am kind of tied to my job right now, and I really don’t want to stay in the US long-term. I am still hoping to have a stream of income from my property in the US, but I mainly want to know the best way that I can provide services that people will pay for while living in Taiwan and traveling a bit. Please let me know your experience if this sounds familiar, or any other information I may need before doing something like this.

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You can set it up 3 main ways to basically be anywhere.

  1. Use a fulfillment center that fulfills your orders. They of course will take a cut of it. Amazon is a major fulfillment company that you can also list your products on their site.

  2. Drop ship (I personally hate this)

  3. Set up your own warehouse and have employees run day to day operations. This is what I do.


So who runs your employees? I assume that if the general manager is stealing your products or harassing the staff, you’ll need to be on-site to deal with that, and other similar issues.

Also, if you’re not on-site doing anything to contribute to the company, and your GM is running the whole company, then what’s stopping them from starting their own company and stealing your customers?

Coding is an obvious thing to look into. Teaching certification also very useful.
Your private tutoring plan doesn’t sound solid.
I think setting up a business always sounds good but the reality is it can be a rocky road.
Still you are motivated which is important. You would still have to support yourself while trying to set up any business though.
I think you’ll have to teach for a while in schools if you come here with no other skills, plus you may need to sort yourself a visa to live or work here somehow unless trying the travel in and out game.

Schools in Taiwan are fine. Just avoid the cram schools (which aren’t real schools).

You won’t be able to work here as a private tutor if you don’t have open work rights, and if you plan to work here for an overseas business, you won’t have a work visa, so unless you have open work rights you’d have to leave the country every 90 days.

General manager.

I’m contributing the most to the company. The staff are mostly doing stuff after the sale has been made or customer support. It’s a e-commerce operation.

Isn’t this the same of literally any company? If it’s so easy to just start anyone would do it and be successful. There’s a low barrier of entry to my business. Anyone can call a factory and make beauty products. Doesn’t mean they can create a company. Ive made myself an expert in my niche of the beauty industry. This level of expertise and the ability to communicate it with people isn’t easily replicated.

I think people mistake e-commerce as buy and sell products to people. If that was the case everyone would just do it. People buy from companies they trust and connect with. It’s why you’ll buy Nike shoes instead of 10 dollar shoes that come from the same factory. You have to build a brand behind the product.

If you’re that worried just add a non compete and no solicitation in your contract with the employees.


Yup I had my website host in Taipei try to copy my business and steal my customers. Didn’t take long for them to go bankrupt and screw a lot of people over. Less than 12 months. His intention was that he was going to make my business fail and take all my clients. He also planned to do the same thing to other companies like LADO which is owned by a UK national I did business with in Taipei.

Copying someone’s business idea because you don’t have your own ideas often leads to failure. My site host was actually emailing all my clients telling them my business was the one that was going to go out of business. That was his grand plan on attracting customers. Of course some customers became quite concerned. When my site host did fail any of those people that left my business to get his services I did not take back as customers. Before he failed I had already moved my website and email elsewhere. To my own office.

My company chooses which customers we decide to do business with and which ones to decline services to.

Being in a niche market has pros and cons. I’m in a nice market for my services. Anyone can setup and try to do what I do. Getting customers to come to you for long term business… well that’s another thing entirely.


As we speak it’s about 3am here and I’m talking to my manufacturer about a new product and design I made.

Owning a business is a different schedule. While many people may hate 9-5. They wouldn’t know what to do if they weren’t given a schedule and a task list someone gave them. There is no one to ask and SOP on how to build a business.


What about private tutoring doesn’t sound solid? Keep in mind, it’s not actually a plan at this stage, just an idea for something to do. Obviously, I would need to market my services, but other than that, are there any issues you see with it? Is there a demand for English tutoring in Taiwan?

My skills are teaching and airplanes, and I am trying to set up a personal financial coaching business that would mainly cater to Americans since I am most familiar with the laws and how the economy works there. May I ask your experience with getting into the country and getting going? How was that?

I made a brand new packaging concept for a product that made more sense. Funny enough my former manufacturer started to copy this design to sell to other companies using the same packaging for the product that is superior and other companies have been trying to sell it. But I’ve just improved it even more :joy: they don’t get it because it’s not their idea :bulb: they can only copy.


may as well ask me how was the transition to electricity in 1880s, not sure would be too useful for ya. :wink:

Private tutoring is just small bucks I assume especially if you have no leads here.


Why’s that?

EVA and China Airlines are occasionally looking for pilots.

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The other thing is clients won’t just jump ship because the person copying the business tries to undercut you on price. My “clone competitor” lowered his prices to be more attractive. My clients are like well that’s a good way to go out of business. Rent a really large expensive office with huge overheads, base your business on stealing another’s idea how has much lower operating costs than you do, then go on a pricing competition. I raised my prices actually. He went out of business lol. It was a little traumatic at the time. He created all these fake accounts on forumosa to trash my business. But I didn’t get my business from forumosa lol


I fix 'em, I don’t fly 'em.

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The government of Taiwan doesn’t issue work visas to private tutors. You’ll need open work rights in Taiwan to do that.

So if you’re a Taiwan citizen or permanent resident, or otherwise have open work rights, then I think it’s a good business as long as you’re ok with potentially unstable income (as with any freelance business).

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I would hope they maintain them too. Maybe they have openings for technicians. Sounds like a specialized skilled job that might pay decently.


It does, but I haven’t found a way to do it in any other country without already being set up there. I suppose I could move and then look for jobs, but I honestly don’t even know if I would actually be able to do that yet.

Why not look online for job postings? I’m sure there are job openings in aircraft maintenance in Taiwan for foreign talent. You don’t need to start your own business.


People can and will ask to see your resident visa so they know they are dealing with someone who may not be here for very long. After China cancelled a lot of English teaching tons of people started trying to offer online English teaching. Yes can do privates here but it takes a long time to build up a base that will keep you with enough income.

Is there a demand for English teachers? yes. School teachers and language school teachers and there are some people successfully teaching business English to corporate clients. For that you would need a degree to get a work permit. Also if you want to be a financial planning consultant people may ask are you licensed and what is your background in this area. Not many Americans living in Taiwan that would need your services.

I came to Taiwan as a business investor. My first business was buying and selling people. Getting people permanent or temporary residency in other countries.