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International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:08 PM   #1
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International Assignment or ER??

Two years ago DH and I downsized our housing and moved to Seattle and formulated a plan for both of us to be ERed by March 2007. Well, it was my task to get our ducks in a row - finances, health ins, etc. I've accomplished this and we were close to making the final decision on the date, etc. but now...

DH has been offered an international assignment to Tokyo. He resisted at first since he was planning to quit and Tokyo is so expensive, but then his company started offering all kinds of perks and meeting his every demand (about who his boss will be, how much independence he'll have on the project, etc)

Basically, our housing will be covered for what we are paying now for our apartment (even though in Tokyo, such a place would cost 4X) and he'll get a COLA and all kinds of things like language courses for both of us, paid for storage and move and trips home and extra move $.

We are so torn about it! We had already planned some summer driving trips and we really wanted to explore this area more for the next few years (we don't know if we'll live in WA state forever, but we really like it here) Plus we were going to buy a KAYAK!!!!

But, this international assignment with all the perks just doesn't come around that often.

I know we'll make up our own minds, but I do want to know what you guys think and what you would do if faced with this decision.
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Maybe this goes against the ER grain, but if I were him I would take the job. He is young (I assume you are too). It sounds like a great adventure. You can kayak when you get back home.

But there are totally personal decisions. As you are FI, you can do what you want to do.
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

How long is the assignment for? Is there an end to it that could become you're next ER date?
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

shiny,

For me, it would depend on how onerous the basic job was.

Other things being equal, I would take the assignment (but that's just me). It is an adventure. I assume that you are looking at ER as an adventure. This adventure someone else is paying for. You can always come back to Seattle. Life is long.

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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Is the tokyo job a 40-45 hr/wk job? Or more like 60? In other words, would your husband have any time to actually enjoy the new location? How much would you miss being near friends/family (or on the other side of the world from them?).

If it were me (with no kids), I'd be tempted to do it. All expense paid trip to Tokyo for a few years - when you are ER, that kind of travel for long periods will be a lot more expensive.
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
How long is the assignment for? Is there an end to it that could become you're next ER date?
Its for one year minimum, but can be up to 3 years. DH tells me that is will most likely be between 18 months to 2 years.

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.

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Life is long.
awesome!
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:34 PM   #7
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Is the tokyo job a 40-45 hr/wk job? Or more like 60?
Hopefully it is more like 40-45, but he would have to do some conference calls at crazy hours (from home)

One of the BIG things he made sure of is that we could live close to the office even though it is very expensive. Lots of people there commute over an hour on the metro.
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:35 PM   #8
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

could be a good base for week long trips to elsewhere in asia (or long weekend trips).

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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:56 PM   #9
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

If hubby thinks the project and working conditions, as he's negotiated them, sound attractive, go. If not, don't go. After a while, being in Japan won't offset him not being happy with what he's doing.
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 01:57 PM   #10
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Just do it!!
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 02:37 PM   #11
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

DH's mega corp asked if he would be interested in taking a job in South Africa several years ago. We would be there approximately 3 years. Since he is an executive, he too would get all the perks. It sounded wonderful.

After much discussion we decided not to go. Being that far away from family had its drawbacks. We found out that we would have to live on a compound, and we would have to have a chauffeur...even to the grocery store.

The security and liability may not be the same in your case. You sound excited about it. Make a list of pros and cons....make that decision and don't look back!

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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 02:39 PM   #12
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI
South Africa
Definitely not Tokyo! Was your DH offered combat pay, too, while he was there?

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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 02:40 PM   #13
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

I spent 14 months in London and LOVED it.... I tried to get an assignment in Singapore, but they wanted someone permanent... I would take the job and then do some traveling from there... with two years, you can do maybe 8 good trips with long weekends and a couple of week long trips... SEE THE WORLD on the companies dime..

Now I have been demoted back to entry level position, but still get a good salary.. so I don't complaine much...
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 02:44 PM   #14
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Speaking as a lifelong diehard ER: Take the job!! You're practically getting paid to do something you might be doing in ER anyway.

You'll have plenty of cultural & travel opportunities-- not just Japan but Okinawa, Korea, the PI, Russia, China, & Thailand. You'll be fluent (or getting there) in one of the world's more difficult languages before you finish the assignment. You could pack out your stuff and spend a couple months traveling the world (with your stuff in storage) before you triumphantly return to the U.S.-- if you decide that you want to return to the U.S.

As for the hours and the effort, your spouse can always work on his terms. What are they gonna do-- make him ER?
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 03:26 PM   #15
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Justin,

Yeah, I guess he would get combat pay.

They would increase his life insurance!
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 04:08 PM   #16
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

I also recommend that you travel and live in Japan for at least a year.
Many years ago I lived in Europe for a few years and it has shaped my life. I work for an international company and travel to Japan once or twice a year. I always enjoy the international travel (even to South Africa).

When I lived overseas, there was no real internet and American things were not available to me like Oreo cookies and M&Ms. This is no longer a problem. Nowadays, one can easily keep a connection to home via the internet. Also, you may be able to return the US every 3 months for a week or so if needed, even if husband will not be able to.

Japan will be "foreign" because the signs are not in English, but the people are so friendly and helpful. I found that I could figure out the trains and buses without any problems. I am not bashful about asking complete strangers for help and directions even if I don't speak their language though.

There is nothing like being immersed in another culture. Just do it!
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 04:11 PM   #17
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

And of course there is plenty of kayaking in Japan:
http://canyons.jp/index_E.html
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 04:15 PM   #18
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Can you take HaHa with you?
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 09:05 PM   #19
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Can you take HaHa with you?
Oh, I think he would like it (especially the mass transit!) but, I bet he would never move that far away from his kids.

Thanks for the replies and the support for the non-ER choice - I was a little surprised by that.

In a perfect world we could take the summer off to travel then get to Tokyo in the fall, but as things seem to happen once he tells them he's in they want him there yesterday.

We haven't made the decision yet, it will be about a month until all the details are sorted out.
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Re: International Assignment or ER??
Old 02-21-2007, 09:44 PM   #20
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Re: International Assignment or ER??

Tokyo is nice, as you know. If you didn't get to Kyoto and Osaka, I would recommend a trip there. I remember that my dad, a LYHM kind of guy, decided against taking the bullet train since Uncle Sam would not pay for it but would pay for a flight.
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