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Thread: Retiring Overseas - Japan

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    #1

    Retiring Overseas - Japan

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    Is anybody here retired overseas? Bought a house there and secured a job on base? Please share your experience. We really want to retire in Japan and live there forever.
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    Not yet. Looking for Thailand though.

    One issue you will run into is buying property. Many countries do not allow non-citizens to buy property, or they make it very difficult and expensive.
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    Japan is really not big on letting foreigners live in their country at all.

    If you or your husband have Japanese citizenship though it wouldn't be a problem.

    But if you don't... chances are slim you'll find a place willing to rent or sell you property.
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    I'd be very worried about the cost of living. If you are retiring with American dollars in the bank, they aren't going to go far at all in Japan, especially right now with the horrid yen to dollar rate.

    And base jobs are extremely few and far between. The SOFA agreement requires that many of them go to Japanese nationals. What's left for Americans are usually things liek grocery checker, which don't pay much, and I am guess they give priority to active duty spouses for those.
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    #5
    i think dh has a junior enlisted who bought a house through his wife in japan. idk about jobs though.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I'd be very worried about the cost of living. If you are retiring with American dollars in the bank, they aren't going to go far at all in Japan, especially right now with the horrid yen to dollar rate.

    And base jobs are extremely few and far between. The SOFA agreement requires that many of them go to Japanese nationals. What's left for Americans are usually things liek grocery checker, which don't pay much, and I am guess they give priority to active duty spouses for those.
    Aren't there DOD jobs that hire retirees? I know in Korea it's easy to retire there and get a really good paying DOD job that nationals could not have. As far as buying a home I am not sure about that but we knew a lot of people who were retired military working for the DOD making tons of money and the first $80k was tax free.
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    #7
    Sorry I left out the details. I have a Japanese citizenship and my family still live there. I know there are retirees that get contracting jobs on base but dh and I are wondering what if we never get stationed back to Japan. We're in Korea until next year and be pcsing to England for 4 years. We will try to get Japan after England but who knows what's gonna happen. We volunteered for Korea to get Japan afterwards but things didn't go that way. Dh and I had been talking about retiring in Japan almost everyday and the only thing that we're not sure of is how to secure a job for him.
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    #8
    My parents retired to Japan. They do not work for the military, but my dad speaks fluent Japanese and English, and he works for a major company in Tokyo. THere are many, many, many expatriate jobs available in Japan for major US companies. There are international schools, etc. However, you need to remember it's expensive!

    My parents live in Roppongi, in the center of Tokyo (and where all the expats live), and it costs them 600,000Y/month for their apartment which is considered inexpensive, and when their kids went to school there, it was $25,000/year for the English School. MOST companies (like my parents) will include accommodation, schooling, transport, etc for expatriate contracts, but GETTING the expatriate contracts is difficult. If he has a degree and military experience though, I know a few head hunters he could get in contact with.

    THere are contract-ee jobs with the Navy too...I just don't know how you go about getting them. I know we have a friend who works like 3/12 months at Yokosuka, and he makes enough money for the year. But I have no idea who you would get in to contact with to get those.

    Also remember he would have to get Permanent Residency, if he doesn't already have it
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    #9
    interesting. yeah i figure im gonna have to sponsor my husband to get his permanent visa. I dont think i'd like to live in ropponggi though too much foreigners =P. and i'd feel awkward cause thats where dh and i used to party like rockstars lol.

    as far as school, i know many japanese private schools that doesnt cost as much as american schools so i might put my dd there instead of public unless she'd be totally bilingual in Jap/Eng. I also know that there are many american companies out there but where do we find those ads online? the ones that we've been seeing all require japanese and dh doesn't speak jap.
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    #10
    If he doesn't speak Japanese it may be harder for him to get a permanent year round job with a company. Is he planning on learning Japanese anytime soon?

    Maybe he can do what a friend of mine (and I am, but his situation is closer to yours) is doing and teach English in Japan until things get settled and he knows the language.

    Teaching jobs are there and while they don't pay as much it could hold you guys over until he can find a more permanent job. Jobs are all over Japan, too, which is nice. If you want more info on teaching English in Japan (as I'm pretty sure that is one of the few jobs that will allow no Japanese knowledge at all) then shoot me a PM and I'll send you some of the links I stumbled across while researching my job.
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