Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 09:54 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
Oh, I think he would like it (especially the mass transit!) but, I bet he would never move that far away from his kids.
You guys are perfect! Just remember Shiny, Mi casa es tu casa!

As I see the trip, your husband will likely be fine because he will have work and the associations from work. Key is how you feel- do you personally look forward to it?

Since you are a professional and young, I suppose you could teach English to Japanese professional people if you would like to do that.

Like Ed said, Seattle isn't going anywhere (I hope, though I am remembering something Wab said about subduction, or seduction, or something...)

We'll definitely look forward to your regular reports if you go.

Ha

__________________

__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 10:19 PM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Like Ed said, Seattle isn't going anywhere (I hope, though I am remembering something Wab said about subduction, or seduction, or something...)
Yeah, that would be a real bummer if Seattle got swallowed up by the subduction zone and the resulting tsunami wiped out Tokyo.

Personally, I would like to take the family to live in a foreign land for a year or two. But it might be different for your working spouse.

One of my relative-in-laws works in the US with a Japan-related firm. He keeps very weird hours due to Japan-US communication requirements, and he works on most US holidays. He seems a bit burned out sometimes. Just something for your spouse to consider.
__________________

__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 11:11 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
Re: International Assignment or ER??

I'm another who would vote to go for it. As long as you don't make the mistake of taking a container load of belongings with you, it would be quite easy to walk away from the assignment if you tire of the situation after 18 months or so. It does sound rather exciting to me.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-22-2007, 12:52 AM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,284
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse
I'm another who would vote to go for it. As long as you don't make the mistake of taking a container load of belongings with you, it would be quite easy to walk away from the assignment if you tire of the situation after 18 months or so. It does sound rather exciting to me.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
Don't think you can walk away as easily as you think... I could not without costing me a LOT... They paid for my housing which is taxable income to me.. they also paid me a cost of living difference that was taxable per the IRS, but they would pick up the tax on that amount... and they withheld a hypothetical tax which means nothing was sent to the IRS.. and when you added up all the money, my 'income' was three to four times higher than it really was... if I had walked away, I would be responsible for paying ALL my own taxes... that is a big hit when you look at overseas taxes along with US taxes...
__________________
Texas Proud is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-22-2007, 08:42 AM   #25
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
We haven't made the decision yet, it will be about a month until all the details are sorted out.
I just realized that you & bpp are going to raise the local population high enough to have to start up the ER board's Japan chapter.

As part of your cultural immersion you'll have many informal opportunities to participate in conversational groups to improve both your Japanese and their English. Some exchange money, some just exchange friendship.

If you "look like an American", especially the Hawaii-local-kine or California-blond-surfer-dude images, you'll be surprised by the opportunities in print modeling & commercials. A friend of ours (with her two tow-headed surfer-dude kids) paid for many plane tickets with this part-time income.

After a decade in Hawaii we were offered the "choice" of relocating to Japan or Norfolk. We had a very hard time convincing the assignment officer (living on the Mainland) that we wanted to continue enjoying the friends, cuisine, & other familiar aspects of our lifestyle. We explained many times that we didn't want to relocate thousands of miles overseas to a totally foreign country and so we would much rather be stationed in Japan.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-22-2007, 11:40 AM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: North Bay
Posts: 1,026
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Shiny, living overseas for a few years can change your whole perspective on yourself and where you came from. I lived in Indonesia for 4 years with DW and kids. We vacationed all around the Pacific, learned the local language and customs, made great friends, had great adventures (2am airlift from a burning Jakarta) and gained a whole new perspective on the role of the US in global culture. It was a hugely positive experience, although not without significant pain (culture shock is real when you move there...and then back again).

That said, we decided not to move back for another 4 years this past year because of DW's health issues and to be closer to aging parents. If I were you I would look at those things that might keep you in the US. If they aren't going to change over the next couple of years (Seattle won't...but sick parents might) then I would go for it. Good luck!
__________________
scrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-22-2007, 12:05 PM   #27
Full time employment: Posting here.
flipstress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 537
Re: International Assignment or ER??

shiny,

How absolutely wonderful to be where you're at! I mean, FI, such that you can start with either adventure: both of you RE or go to Japan!

Looking from the outside, I would vote for going to Japan. Eighteen months doesn't seem too long, but you'd be staying long enough to be "immersed" in their culture. Who knows, you might even like it and stay longer there? Edited to add: This could also be the start of your (kayak) modeling career! 8)

Lots of good advice already on "inside factors" to consider: how ready you and your hubby are to RE, his bargaining position (seems like he's in a good position and have won some things already like an apartment close to work), what the work demands would be and if he's willing to meet them, things you want to do right away here that can't or won't wait...

Good luck with your decision!
__________________
flipstress is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-22-2007, 12:38 PM   #28
Full time employment: Posting here.
bow-tie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 687
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
...Life is long...
Not always. Sometimes the reaper sneaks up on you. If there is any chance that if something happened to one of you while on your Int'l Assignment, would you regret not retiring in March '07 and maximizing your retirement time together?

If not, then go do it... if so, or, if maybe, then make sure you think it through...
__________________
Diggin' my way to financial freedom, one buck-at-a-time
bow-tie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-22-2007, 12:55 PM   #29
Full time employment: Posting here.
shiny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 673
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
He keeps very weird hours due to Japan-US communication requirements, and he works on most US holidays.
The holiday thing will be strange - instead of 4th of July he'll get some random day in May. But, interestingly enough, his company gives 18 paid holidays in Japan and only 10 here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse
As long as you don't make the mistake of taking a container load of belongings with you, it would be quite easy to walk away from the assignment if you tire of the situation after 18 months or so.
We're limited to 800 pounds, but I'd hope to do less (I can't really visualize that amount) Also, Texas is right about the tax problems, but by the 18 month mark we could escape unscathed (we would only HAVE to be there a year)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bow-tie
Not always. Sometimes the reaper sneaks up on you. If there is any chance that if something happened to one of you while on your Int'l Assignment, would you regret not retiring in March '07 and maximizing your retirement time together?
Oh, hell yes I will be disappointed if we die before ER.

Really, if something happened to DH I would be sorely disappointed that we didn't ER and kayak into the sunset. But, after a few years of ER I think we would be disappointed that we didn't take advantage of the international opportunity. So, I guess I'm counting on the odds of dying are less than the odds of DH making it to the age of 42 or so. (and I'm guessing that if I die I won't care)
__________________
I'm made of atoms, you're made of atoms, and we're all in this together. Ben Lee
shiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-22-2007, 01:20 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Quote from: Ed_The_Gypsy on February 21, 2007, 02:25:17 PM
...Life is long...

Not always.
OK. Life is short! So go!
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-23-2007, 06:01 AM   #31
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London
Posts: 58
Re: International Assignment or ER??

We're currently in our second year overseas and I highly recommend it. The experience is worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
I also wanted to add that we've been to Tokyo before (one time we were there for almost a month) so, we know a bit of what we would be signing up for.
Big, huge difference in visiting and living somewhere. Living overseas is a life changing experience, but don't expect living there to be like being there on vacation. If you're expectations are unrealistic, you won't be happy there - speaking from personal experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Don't think you can walk away as easily as you think... I could not without costing me a LOT... They paid for my housing which is taxable income to me.. they also paid me a cost of living difference that was taxable per the IRS, but they would pick up the tax on that amount... and they withheld a hypothetical tax which means nothing was sent to the IRS.. and when you added up all the money, my 'income' was three to four times higher than it really was... if I had walked away, I would be responsible for paying ALL my own taxes... that is a big hit when you look at overseas taxes along with US taxes...
We're on basically the same package that Texas had. After a year we don't have to repay the relocation money, but that tax equalization calculation is worth a lot of money to us. Clarify with DH's employer that if you FIRE at the end of this assignment will they still pay the local taxes to Japan and will you now responsible for paying all your US taxes, which will include a massive W-2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
The holiday thing will be strange - instead of 4th of July he'll get some random day in May. But, interestingly enough, his company gives 18 paid holidays in Japan and only 10 here.
Also, don't underestimate how much DH is going to work. In the UK, DH had a fairly normal office schedule when he was home - lots of travel. Now in Russia, much less travel, but tons of office time - 60 hour weeks at a minimum. Office politics in Japan are going to be different than DH is used to also - potentially causing more stress for DH. This completely depends, for my DH the UK office environment was much worse than the Russian one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
We're limited to 800 pounds, but I'd hope to do less (I can't really visualize that amount)
My advice is to plan your shipment carefully. It can make a big difference in something feeling like home. Bring the pictures, books, art and leave the gravy boat at home. Remember scale, US stuff is so much bigger than the rest of the world. Furniture, cookie sheets, etc. A few transformers will make some of your US appliances work overseas.

If you sell up in Seattle, remember you'll have "start up" costs when you come back to the US - house, washer, dryer, refrigerator, lawn mower, etc. Unless you're going to put all this stuff in storage.

Practical stuff aside - go and enjoy it!
__________________
Gillette is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-23-2007, 09:54 AM   #32
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by neeps
If you sell up in Seattle, remember you'll have "start up" costs when you come back to the US - house, washer, dryer, refrigerator, lawn mower, etc. Unless you're going to put all this stuff in storage.
I don't think Shiny is the lawnmower type.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-23-2007, 01:56 PM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
Re: International Assignment or ER??

hiya shiny. sorry didn't see post till just now. what an exciting opportunity. isn't it amazing to have such options.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-23-2007, 02:25 PM   #34
Full time employment: Posting here.
shiny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 673
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
I don't think Shiny is the lawnmower type.
How true! We felt emancipated getting rid of it about 5 years ago! But out of all the things listed I would say that I'm not the gravyboat type!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
isn't it amazing to have such options.
I do feel lucky, if a bit overwhelmed with making a decision! Of course it is mainly DH's call about the job, but at this point I believe that he feels we are going (depending on the offer package) unless I back out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neeps
We're currently in our second year overseas and I highly recommend it. The experience is worth it.
Thanks for all the GREAT info, I hope you don't mind if I PM you to pick your brain on specifics in the future!
__________________
I'm made of atoms, you're made of atoms, and we're all in this together. Ben Lee
shiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-24-2007, 06:07 AM   #35
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Take the assignment so you can experience Japan. If you do not like it in 6 months... ER.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-24-2007, 07:08 AM   #36
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 699
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by neeps
My advice is to plan your shipment carefully. It can make a big difference in something feeling like home. Bring the pictures, books, art and leave the gravy boat at home. Remember scale, US stuff is so much bigger than the rest of the world. Furniture, cookie sheets, etc. A few transformers will make some of your US appliances work overseas.
I responded to shiny's PM a couple of weeks ago, but as far as bringing stuff goes, I would generally try to do without whatever you comfortably can for the duration. Though, if the company is paying for shipping, and if your home here does not come furnished, buying stuff here is likely to be expensive if you are not careful or savvy, which you won't be fresh off the plane. Maybe plan to bring only those things you will absolutely need in the first couple of weeks, for example. Since you've already spent a month in Tokyo before, you probably have a pretty good idea of what those things would be.

As you may recall, Tokyo power is 100 Volts, 50 Hz. This is close enough to North American standard that most modern electronics can handle both (computers, VCRs), but things like motors which depend on the line frequency (some clocks, hair dryers, kitchen appliances) might have problems. Note that transformers can only fix the voltage, and not the frequency, and hence are probably not useful for you. Radios and TVs won't fully work right because of somewhat different broadcast frequency bands used (though the analog video is NTSC; there is also HDTV, but I don't know if it is compatible with the US version -- I would guess not). This doesn't matter if you have cable, of course.

One thing that might be useful is a North American DVD player, if you plan to bring any DVDs with you, since Japan and the US are in different regions -- though there are some zone-free players floating around out there, too. On the other hand, if you plan to rent or buy your DVDs here, you will need a Japanese player. By the way, if you rent a DVD of a Hollywood movie here, it will have an English track available (menus to get to it will be in Japanese, though -- good practice!).

Also, a home computer (ideally laptop) might be good to bring along at first, since the Japanese keyboard layout might take some getting used to if you are a touch-typist, and the operating system will generally be in Japanese. On the other hand, once you have learned some Japanese, and if you are at all into gadgets, you might enjoy shopping around Akihabara at some point -- geek heaven.

One other piece of advice: learn katakana as soon as possible. English loan-words, which are quite common, are written in katakana, and this will give you a big leg-up on finding your way around and reading restaurant menus. Next is hiragana, then kanji (which you will still be learning by the time you leave...)
__________________
bpp is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-24-2007, 07:48 AM   #37
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London
Posts: 58
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpp
things like motors which depend on the line frequency (some clocks, hair dryers, kitchen appliances) might have problems. Note that transformers can only fix the voltage, and not the frequency, and hence are probably not useful for you.
While true that transformers only fix voltage and not frequency, broadly speaking, motors can be divided into synchronous and asynchronous categories. Synchronous motors, have a rotational speed which is linked to the supply frequency. Thus a motor intended for 60Hz operation will run at only about 5/6 normal speed on 50Hz power. Asynchronous motors aren't locked to the frequency and don't have this problem.

The motors used in portable power tools, kitchen food mixers, hair dryers, are so on are normally of the asynchronous type, and will run on 50Hz with few problems. Again, technically a motor intended specifically for 60Hz run on 50Hz may run very slightly warmer than before, and it will not perform at quite such peak efficiency as on the proper frequency, but for light domestic motors such as these the difference is very small and unlikely to be a problem. I have my Kitchen Aid mixer, food processor and blender all run through a transformer (also toaster, drip coffee maker, electric skillet - but those don't have motors).

Synchronous motors are commonly found in mechanical clocks, timers, and older traditional-style record and tape decks. Unfortunately, these are just the applications in which the correct speed is essential. The clocks are best left at home.

Modern CD players, cassette decks, and so on use a completely different type of motor arrangement and are not affected by the frequency difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpp
One thing that might be useful is a North American DVD player, if you plan to bring any DVDs with you, since Japan and the US are in different regions -- though there are some zone-free players floating around out there, too. On the other hand, if you plan to rent or buy your DVDs here, you will need a Japanese player.
Buy a multi-region DVD player or use your laptop. Your laptop can be connected to a television fairly easily and laptops play DVDs from any region. Our US tv we left in storage, but we've managed to negotiate into both our leases that the landlord will provide us with a tv.

We did the math before we left the US. For us, the $200 we spent on quality transformers was by far cheaper than replacing the items in the local country (and currency) and then there is the hassel of getting rid of it when you go back to the US. Same applies to furniture.

Also, many US electronics are multi-voltage. If you look at the plugs and where it says input: 100-240 volt, you will simply need a plug adapter (not sure what Japanese plugs look like).
__________________
Gillette is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-24-2007, 02:37 PM   #38
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Do it, that way there is no regrets.

We've spent the last year in Italy and loved it.

Most people save their entire lives to come and live here or other foreign countries, if you can experience it while getting paid, it is worth it. ER will be waiting when you get back or you may find you want to ER somewhere while you are there.



__________________
"Those who think it cannot be done, need to stay out of the way of those of us doing it."
PsyopRanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-24-2007, 10:11 PM   #39
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Re: International Assignment or ER??

Half of Japan has 60 hz, the other half has 50 hz. Don't make your decisions based on power line frequencies. :P
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-25-2007, 07:09 PM   #40
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 213
Re: International Assignment or ER??

If you or your husband is tall, I would bring bicycles especially if his company is paying.

Also there is an IKEA in Tokyo now.
__________________

__________________
mikew is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need for International Small Cap ? mb FIRE and Money 11 06-15-2007 08:09 PM
International investing-- a year later Nords FIRE and Money 57 04-29-2007 01:03 PM
Tweaking International Allocation WilliamG FIRE and Money 1 08-02-2005 12:26 PM
International Equity Allocation Telly FIRE and Money 14 07-14-2005 09:46 AM
Unhedged International Bond Funds charlie FIRE and Money 31 02-08-2005 08:04 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:20 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.