lifestyle

Sun rises in East, retires in West for expats: survey

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© 2012 AFP

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Japan is actually a great place for an expat to retire if s/he can speak the language reasonably well and doesn't need to live in super-expensive central Tokyo. The food, the national healthcare, the full-coverage public transport, the hot springs and natural beauty spots. With Costco, the Internet, Amazon and Expat Express, you might as well be living "back home".

That being said, if I had the cash I'd prefer retiring in London or in Italy.

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what about the 25 year eligibility clause to get a japanese pension? If it still exists by the time you retire

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Rural England is the best place to retire, apart from the costs. Even small villages have wonderful pubs, parks and social scenes. Japan, with its dying countryside, needs to research how the British are keeping their rural communities attractive and alive.

For overall expat experience....last came Japan...

I'm increasingly starting to agree. The rural areas are geriatric and depressing, the cities too crowded, concreted and workaholic. There needs to be a balance.

Singapore is the ultimate city for convenience and comfort, apart from the constant heat.

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Restrictions on who can stay longer than 90 days are going to be the biggest factors on expats thinking of moving to Japan to retire. It isn't going to happen.

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I am still waiting for further property collapse in Spain and/or Portugal.....

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As for pensions, for citizens of at least some countries there is a reciprocal recognition agreement--e.g., a japanese person who has worked long-term in the U.S. (or U.S. person who has worked in Japan), can have that credited in the other country's pension system. Also, a U.S. person eligible for social security can retire to any country they want (inc. japan) and still collect that pension.

That leaves health care. I think anyone who achieves most any residency status longer than "tourist", is required to buy that, and the cost is based on income rather than some risk assessment of the insured person. This is a superb deal. As another JT article describes, Hokkaido is somewhat of a medical tourism destination for Chinese.

I'm in a smaller city (about 450,000) and the cost of living is cheaper than many places in the U.S., while the food is better quality and there's more variety.

Tho it wouldn't apply to first-time buyers, as a good driver my supplemental car insurance is down to about ¥22,000/yr. Try finding that deal anywhere else in the world. (my vehicle isn't insured, but that's max/unlimited for everything else)

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