How Long Should I Work Abroad?

Pinoy Pop

Data From Wikipedia

They say that there is about 10 million Filipinos abroad and about 200 Thousand Filipinos in Qatar and it is growing.

I have previously set a time frame for myself for working abroad. At first I set it at 5 years, then recently I have moved it by another 5 years and probably I will move it again.

I have a chance to meet Mr. Vince Rapisura on one of the Financial Literacy program here in Doha and in his lecture he asked us this Question – How Long Should I Work Abroad?…. This question has been in my mind for so long and I really do not know the answer. One thing in my mind is – I WANT TO GO HOME!

Vince called us OFW’s in the Middle East as an economic migrants – this means we go abroad to find job and help us financially to fund our dreams – house, car, children’s education, savings etc. He mentioned that the maximum number of years for economic migration is 10 years. Wow… I am already in my 9th year this means I should have one more year.

He also discuss the 3 stages of economic migration:

  1. The Beginning – 1 to 2 years – This stage an OFW pays off his debts.
  2. Medium Term – 2 to 3 years – This stage provides needs of the Family.
  3. Long Term – 3 to 5 years – This stage where the OFW saves for financial goals/dreams.

He also provide tips/suggestion for an OFW to go home early or on time as describe above as are follows:

  • Family to talk, agree and set clear financial goals.
  • Check and watch out all expenses.
  • It is better that all basic need such water, electricity, food should be taken from the income in the Philippines.
  • For the dreams such as children’s tuition, house, car, business should come from income abroad.
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Recommended Maximum Economic Migration is 10 Years

This should result to family’s lifestyle will be controlled and will not go out of hand. This is usually the case of an OFW family where the remittance provided every month were expended and usually end with minimal or no savings. This results to increase in lifestyle and the migration process were extended.

You can watch his video about this on YouTube – Usapang Pera S01E06 Working Abroad. If you want to know about Vince, try googling his name or you can read all about him. You can also go to his website –

I believe that Vince is correct. It is up to us if we want to go home and be with our family and friends as soon as possible.  We should have focused on our goals and not be tempted to things that we want. It is what we need and our dreams really matter. I know that most of the OFW’s prefer to be at home in the Philippines including me.

What do you think? How long have you been an OFW? Do you really want to go home and be with your families and friends soon?


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