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Would it be possible to retire in Japan? 2008/9/2 18:25
Here's my story in a nutshell. I was born in Japan to two Japanese citizens. When I was a child, my Japanese mother got a divorce from my Japanese father and subsequently married a US Citizen. I was transplanted as a child (without any say-so) to the United States, where I eventually became a US citizen and went on to go to school, have a career and a life of sorts.

Lately, I have given a lot of thought to going back to Japan. My mother, who is still alive goes back all the time, and seems to miss Japan. I miss it too.

How logistically difficult would it be to have a US pension converted and transferred to Japan. I also have a question about my health benefits, I doubt my US medical insurance would carry over if I decide to move to Japan.

I'm not too worried about the Japanese citizenship thing. My mother said she would help me getting my Japanese passport back if it comes to that.

My main worry is the feasibility of converting my American retirement pension and health benefits into something tangible in Japan. Any thoughts?
by Aki  

Shouldnt be a problem 2008/9/3 11:52
As far as any type of health benefits obtained in the U.S. I think you are out of luck (unless of course you travel back to the U.S. for health care, Hawaii is only a five hour flight) However if you obtain Japanese citizenship you should be covered under the national health care system. As far as pension and investment portfolio simply manage it via the internet (gotta love modern technology).
by Yuki rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/3 12:04
I'm not too worried about the Japanese citizenship thing. My mother said she would help me getting my Japanese passport back if it comes to that.

You better straighten out your Japanese passport issue soon. If you actually renounced your Japanese citizenship, I don't think you'll get it back very easily. I know Japanese people have a long life-longevity, but I don't think your mom will be around to help when you're retired.
by P rate this post as useful

Managing my portfolio 2008/9/3 12:07
Thanks for your answer. I guess I need to do some research to find out how easy it is to actually do the nuts and bolts task of coverting my US dollars pension payments into Japanese yen that I can spend in Japan. That's still something I am not entirely sure about. To make matters worse, my pension is paid in bi-weekly checks, not in lump sums.
by Aki rate this post as useful

citizenship.. 2008/9/3 12:09
I actually never renounced it. I was naturalized when I was a child. According to my mother, who did some research, as far as Japan is concerned, I am still a Japanese citizen. A lot of my family is still there, and even if my mother is not around, I have cousins, uncles, aunts, etc.
by Aki rate this post as useful

to be technical 2008/9/3 12:59
just to be technical in regards to your US citizenship, you weren't naturalized but rather, derived citizenship as a child (since you were a child of parents who were naturalized and under the age of 18 at the time). Anyhow, the passport issue shouldn't really be a problem, you just need to check with the Japanese consulate.

As for your pension payments, that seems like a really complicated issue and you should talk with an expert regarding that issue especially when it starts involving taxes, etc.

Good luck!
by Jackie O rate this post as useful

retiring 2008/9/3 15:00
Getting a pension earned in one country sent to another country is very easy and done by a good number of people IF the 2 countries in question have an agreement. They usually also have a tax income agreement to avoid paying taxes in both countries on the total income. You have to find out from the US government, your pension system(if it is private)and the Japanese embassy in the US.
by Red frog rate this post as useful

retire in Japan 2008/9/3 16:26
I'm a retired American living in my wife's home town on a spousal visa. here's the way I handled the money. if someone has a better way I sure would appreciate hearing it.
1-forget your American health benefits and sign up for Japanese insurance as soon as you get here. cost will be based on your income
2-my wife set up a bank account before we moved. we were building a new house so I had a large sum wire transferred from my US bank into a dollar account in Japan and changed it into yen as we needed it.
3-all dollar income including SS benefits are deposited in an American bank. I haven't found any way to avoid some type of fee but for bringing in larger sums either a wire transfer or write a personal check. check will take 4 to 6 weeks to clear. I also use a ATM card to get cash from the P.O. or pay bills using my American AMX card where it's accepted.
4- I have a P.O. box in Reno that my niece takes care of so I have a US address. suggest you use a state that has no income tax to save yourself problems.( been there done that). also have a Skype in telephone # using area code 702
by wds rate this post as useful

wds 2008/9/3 23:59
You can have your relative send the money by Paypal. It works well and quickly.
by Umi rate this post as useful

Paypal 2008/9/4 01:49
I have a Paypal merchant account. For that matter, I could probably figure out a way to send Paypal funds to myself in Japan, but the reality is, Paypal takes a pretty bit cut in transaction fees, and I am suspect that the conversion rate is not that great either. I was hoping to find something along the lines of Paypal, but without the exhorbitant fees.

The more I look into this, the more it seems I might have to just maintain some sort of presence in the US to administer to my pension account.

I like the idea of using an American Express card where possible. I could simply pay off the card in US dollars on the charges I make in Japan. Provided the exchange rate they offer is equitable.
by Aki rate this post as useful

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