Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Golden Years

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 9/27/2006
I was lapped by an 80-year-old man this morning. In my defense, it was 9:30-ish in the morning and I was on my way to work where all I had to look forward to was an impromptu fire drill. Whoop-dee-doo, as my nephew would say.

I've recently been looking into my finances and better late than never getting a handle on setting up a retirement account in the U.S. E7 has different retirement accounts as a city hall employee so I'm fine...as long as he's alive. But I don't have any retirement accounts here since I am not part of the regular workforce because I am more of a contracted worker. Oh, and social security? Ha...what a joke. So I pretty much have determined that I will figure out my own future and am looking across the "pond" to determine how I'm going to live in my golden years.

There were a number of different things I've had to think about over the past year when trying to do this, including the fact that I can't make over US $80,000 per year or I get double taxed by the Japanese AND U.S. government (gotta love Uncle Sam). Even though there's no chance in hell of me making that much money per year, I still have to make sure that all the "income" I report keeps me under that borderline.

Anyway, I picked up this great book called "Smart Women Finish Rich" by David Bach, which I just (finally!) finished reading. It's great and I now have a better idea of how I'm going to set up my finances. His idea is that you should have a "three-basket" approach for your finances.

1) Security basket for when something unexpected comes up like unemployment (that will be me in a few months!), health problems, etc.

2) Retirement basket for...yes, you guessed it! Retirement.

3) Dreams basket for any short-, mid-, or long-term dreams you may have...traveling the world, owning your own home, or just a fun night on the town.

I am using these questions to figure out just what I think of myself. I'd love to hear your answers too!
  • What is it that you are really good at?
  • What do you enjoy so much that you would do it for free if you had US $20 million?
  • What would you stop doing tomorrow if you had US $20 million?
  • What would you do differently if you only had three years left to live?
  • What do others regularly tell you that you are good at?

I'll try to answer these in my next post. Get your pencils and paper out and your thinking caps on! Ready, set, go!

6 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

Winnie said...

• What is it that you are really good at?
Reading, public speaking
• What do you enjoy so much that you would do it for free if you had US $20 million?
Start a library in a Third World country so that kids would have a chance to read good books. For that matter, in a poor US neighborhood also.
• What would you stop doing tomorrow if you had US $20 million?
my current job;. paying my mortgage because I would pay it all off.
• What would you do differently if you only had three years left to live?
I would go to Mongolia, now. And take horse back riding lessons. and go to flight school. I would never take another standardized test. I would live in London for the one of those years. And I would go see a shuttle lift off.
• What do others regularly tell you that you are good at?
taking photos, studying stuff, teaching

Mande's J-Life said...

What is it that you are really good at?
Scrapbooking, teaching, organizing, anything that involves creativity.

What do you enjoy so much that you would do it for free if you had US $20 million?
Scrapbooking - either teaching it or doing other peoples' albums on commission.

What would you stop doing tomorrow if you had US $20 million?
I would stop being "uninterested" in traveling to various countries besides the USA. In other words, I would actually travel more with Suk and we would go to interesting countries.

What would you do differently if you only had three years left to live?
I would move back to the USA to be closer to family and friends. I would make Suk go with me. I would make damn sure he improves his English.

What do others regularly tell you that you are good at?
Coming up with ideas, manipulating the system, making plans and organizing (like lesson units for classes), scrapbooking

L. said...

Note on taxation: it`s true you don`t even have to bother filing if you make less than the US foreign-earned income exclusion, but you don`t get double-taxed on income above that, because you can deduct foreign tax payments from your taxes. However, what it means is that you do end up paying the higher of the two taxes, of the countries where you file (i.e., if the tax rate is 10% in Japan and 20% in the US, you can claim that 10% you paid in Japan, but you still have to pay the 10% difference to Uncle Sam).

When investing outside of Japan, be very wary of this: if you live in Japan for more than 5 years, Japan considers itself to be your "tax domicile" and insists that you`re supposed to pay Japanese taxes on ALL of your investment income from outside the country! This is one reason lots of companies rotate their highly-paid expat employees back home after 5 years.

Ah, expat taxation. It`s ug-ly....

deenster said...

What is it that you are really good at?
Translating documents, giving presentations, and working under tight deadlines.

What do you enjoy so much that you would do it for free if you had US $20 million?
Anything that involves working with animals.

What would you stop doing tomorrow if you had US $20 million?
My current job!! And I would stop paying rent because I would buy myself a nice place to live (or maybe a few nice places to live - ha ha).

What would you do differently if you only had three years left to live?
I would quit my job without any hesitation and travel the world. I would make more time to just "hang out" with friends and loved ones. I would walk more slowly, see more sunrises/sunsets, and eat more cake.

What do others regularly tell you you're good at?
Negotiation.

Narelle said...

What is it that you are really good at?
Teaching, being a friend, swimming

What do you enjoy so much that you would do it for free if you had US $20 million?
Teach – I would set up a school in an area of world where there is a greatest need. I would get the best facilities and the best teachers and teach the children to love life and love the gift of learning.

What would you stop doing tomorrow if you had US $20 million?
Paying rent and paying off the credit cards. I would own my own place(s) and live life to the fullest

What would you do differently if you only had three years left to live?
Stop obsessing about my weight and the fact that I am single. Spend time with the people that I love the most and worry less about the little things in life.

What do others regularly tell you that you are good at?
Being a b!tch *smile*

kuri & ping said...

These are great answers! I'm going to post my thoughts in the next couple of days or so, after the drugs leave my system. :)

 

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