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View Full Version : Would you accept JET if you had heavy financial commitments back home?



shue
May 10th, 2014, 11:16
Hello, 2days ago I received what should had been a happy call. I've been upgraded for JET!

2 weeks ago, I found a house near my parent, at a good price. It will be ready mid of next year. I'm not that young. Having lost hope for JET, I decided to purchase. I figured if I get upgraded, the one year window before the house is completed is just nice.

Now that I did my detailed calculations, I realised that I will have to live so frugally to service my loans, that I will probably not do any of those road trips at all.

My question is, will I still enjoy JET without the frills? I'm actually really looking forward to the job itself, the classroom teaching, but the stories i hear about JET being life changing seem to be about what happens outside your job. Without the spare cash, will I be living a terribly lonely life?

What would you do if you were me? Honour my previous decision and give up JET (for good, since I will reject and be blacklisted) and since it won't be enjoyable without any spare cash. Or go ahead with it (my parents will need to help me with part of my loan repayment) and trust that things will turn out just fine even if Im on a shoestring max budget? Im budgeting to send back about 8man to 110man back home every month to cover my home loan.

Thanks in advance for advice.

Jedirust
May 10th, 2014, 11:32
Couldn't you rent your house out until you move back? This would cover the mortgage, taxes, and maybe any HOA you might have. As long as you come out profiting 20% ahead then you're fine. Just make them pay for the utilities.

I use a property management company to handle my rental units so I can be hands off. They only charge 1 months rent to deal with tenants and set up contracts.


** I posted assuming you're just remodeling over the next year (which could wait until you get back) and it's not a new construction**

If it is a new construction, then I'm afraid the best is to pay your loan. Nothing is worth going into deep debt.


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shue
May 10th, 2014, 11:45
Hi Jedirust, yes I intend to rent out when the house is ready. Its a brand new construction, so from now till when its ready to rent, i have to service the instalments for about a year... Thats the tough part. I hate to give up on JET..

Randomgirl
May 10th, 2014, 12:00
My first time around, I was able to have a blast and send home about 800$ per month. I travelled too, one trip back home and one to Okinawa in my first year. I wasn't lonely either. I found rural japan to be very affordable!

Antonath
May 10th, 2014, 12:46
Saving $800 to $1000 a month is easily do-able, even without being frugal. Your costs on arrival wil be higher, of course, but once you settle in saving money is fairly easy.

shue
May 10th, 2014, 13:00
Thanks everyone for your advice. Cross my fingers that I get the better of the ESID situations. I'll ask for advice when I get my exact placement.

ihatefall
May 10th, 2014, 15:10
I knew JETs that sent home 14man a month to pay off school loans. It's surprising how much you can save. how much you can save if you


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therealwindycity
May 10th, 2014, 15:34
If you're willing to be frugal in certain areas (drinking at bars and going out to dinner, frequent travel) I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to send home around 600-800 dollars per month. I did about that much for my first year so that I could have my student loans paid off quickly.

shue
May 10th, 2014, 16:01
Thanks all. Can you all share, which cities/prefectures these stories are from/you are from? Esp the 14man story by ihatefall. Thank you everyone!

uthinkimlost?
May 10th, 2014, 16:16
Thanks all. Can you all share, which cities/prefectures these stories are from/you are from? Esp the 14man story by ihatefall. Thank you everyone!

14 man is probably over half of your take-home salary. It is doable, but it is definitely on the outer limits of doability. Also, 1 month with unexpected expenses (ie injuries,house fire, etc) would equal a missed payment.

soh
May 10th, 2014, 17:36
Thanks all. Can you all share, which cities/prefectures these stories are from/you are from? Esp the 14man story by ihatefall. Thank you everyone!
Rural Hokkaido.
My expenses for April was about 6man, leaving me with 16.5man in savings.
The main reason is that my rent is just under 1man, but many other JETs pay 4-5man for housing. That's going to make a big difference in how much you can save.

Ini
May 10th, 2014, 18:16
I didn't save a penny in 5 years of the jet program...... If you have a car, enjoy a few drinks and go on a couple of holidays you'll struggle to save anything.

shue
May 10th, 2014, 18:18
Thanks. I needed to hear that side of the story as well. Say, i reject the upgrade this time, am I still eligible to apply next year?

Antonath
May 10th, 2014, 18:48
I may be wrong (I probably am), but I believe you're disqualified if you turn it down after you hear your placement.

ihatefall
May 10th, 2014, 19:03
Thanks all. Can you all share, which cities/prefectures these stories are from/you are from? Esp the 14man story by ihatefall. Thank you everyone!

Sorry the last part got cut off. It said, "if the local bar doesn't know your name.)

I PM'd you the details but the town I lived in pay our rent in full. Super rare but they are out there.
My expenses were about 2man a month. (Cell phone, internet, water, electric and phone.) I could walk to the station, so I didn't need a car.



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mrcharisma
May 11th, 2014, 11:06
If you get a fairly cheap placement you'll be able to manage 8man without being too frugal. I've eaten out nearly every night, travelled all over and have still scrabbled together some savings.

tealparadise
May 13th, 2014, 09:02
You will have to reject after hearing your placement, if you do reject. There's nothing for it. Accept for now. Get in contact with the person already there (your predecessor) and explain the situation. Ask for a detailed account of their expenses. You're going to hear all sorts of ESID because the expenses are what's really variable on this program.

For example, I have what I'd call a "middle-good" situation. $220/month in rent (yay!), $330/month car rental (boo!), $150/month phone and internet (I'm an idiot who signs 2-year contracts my first week here!), and higher gas & electric than most due to my little mountain town placement. I can save $1100/month if I scrimp. Did the same as therealwindycity and sent home a giant chunk my first year to get my student loans under control. But this year I went to Thailand for 3 weeks instead.

It will not matter what city or prefecture everyone is from, because only your specific placement will determine costs. The BOE will decide if/how much your rent is subsidized. Rent might even be free! Your pred might give you a free car!

On the other hand, rent might be 600/month, and you might have to rent a car at a further $300/month.

You won't know until you ask the person vacating the position. At that point, you can make your real decision.

Wasabi
May 13th, 2014, 09:54
Also, if you reject after your placement, you could reapply for the 2016 programme (apply in 2015 for placement in 2016) per my understanding. Maybe if you take a year or two to get your affairs with the house in order & find a tenant who could at least cover your mortgage & other housing payment costs, you'd be better off?

Best of luck with your plans!

shue
May 13th, 2014, 10:53
Thanks everyone.. can someone verify what my friend told me? Of the monthly pay I get, I need to set aside 20% for taxes, and a further 18% for health insurance and pensions (I know I get part of that back, but it doesnt matter..its cash upfront) Previously I only budgeted for 20% off, which was why I thought I can save. Now with an additional 18% thrown in, it means my parents will have to fork out even more for me. The new intakes get lesser pay and more taxes, it's rather errm taxing isn't ut. After an internaI struggle I've decided not to pursue JET this year.

But I guess, if I won't be able to enjoy myself while I'm there, and I have to constantly worry about the house back here, then I won't really enjoy JET I think. I'm going to call the coordinator at my Japan Embassy here and explain, she's a really nice lady. And then, I keep my fingers crossed till next year. Maybe I'll come across something better.

Thanks everyone for your advice :)

Quote for the moment to console myself in giving up a 3 year dream.... "As I look back on my life, everytime I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better." Steve Maraboli

Antonath
May 13th, 2014, 11:04
If you haven't been given a placement yet, you'll be eligible to apply again for next year's intake, and if you got selected once and turned it down on legitimate grounds, there's every chance you'll be accepted again. That way, you'll have another year to look after the housing and tenant situation. The long, drawn-out application process can really screw with people that are trying to have a Plan B, so there's nothing wrong with declining JET to get things in order first. Heck, you can play up that sort of forward-thinking in your SOP next time!

tealparadise
May 13th, 2014, 11:43
Thanks everyone.. can someone verify what my friend told me? Of the monthly pay I get, I need to set aside 20% for taxes, and a further 18% for health insurance and pensions (I know I get part of that back, but it doesnt matter..its cash upfront) i

Are you USA or not? Other countries pay more in tax. If I'm wrong about this, someone correct me.

Bluntly, I started in 2012, so on the new pay system. My take home is about 2800 a month, and what I posted before was based on that.

Teishou
May 13th, 2014, 12:17
I started in 2012 as well, but my BoE wasn't altogether interested in switching to the new system, so, I'm on the old pay grade. You might get a nice BoE like that. It apparently benefits me more.

uzateq
May 13th, 2014, 17:48
Are you USA or not? Other countries pay more in tax. Are you referring to paying tax to your home country? I was under the impression that UK citizens don't pay any tax at all to the UK government while working abroad. I could have misinterpreted what I read though... Tax Requirements and Obligations for British Citizens Who Move Overseas : Expat Info Desk (http://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-guide/nationality-specific-information/british/tax-considerations/)

Antonath
May 13th, 2014, 18:04
Are you referring to paying tax to your home country? I was under the impression that UK citizens don't pay any tax at all to the UK government while working abroad. I could have misinterpreted what I read though... Tax Requirements and Obligations for British Citizens Who Move Overseas : Expat Info Desk (http://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-guide/nationality-specific-information/british/tax-considerations/)
The USA has a tax agreement with Japan whereby Americans don't pay Japanese taxes for two years (may just be city taxes? I'm a Brit so I don't know the details). Brits and most other people have to pay them from the start. Neither pays taxes in their home countries (unless they're making money there as well, obviously).

webstaa
May 14th, 2014, 08:25
Strictly speaking, the US requires all of its citizens to pay federal income tax irrespective of where they live. However, you can exempt the first $96,000 you make from working abroad if you live outside the country (and in a country with which the US has a tax agreement in place) for 360 days in a 365 day period or voodoo loophools of the Bona Fide Residence test. Any income made in the US (such as taxable dividends on investments etc) must still be paid.

The Japanese-US tax agreement exempts Americans from paying local residence taxes in Japan for the first 2 calendar years from their arrival date in Japan, after which point they must pay like anybody else.

Gizmotech
May 14th, 2014, 09:19
Thanks everyone.. can someone verify what my friend told me? Of the monthly pay I get, I need to set aside 20% for taxes, and a further 18% for health insurance and pensions (I know I get part of that back, but it doesnt matter..its cash upfront) Previously I only budgeted for 20% off, which was why I thought I can save. Now with an additional 18% thrown in, it means my parents will have to fork out even more for me. The new intakes get lesser pay and more taxes, it's rather errm taxing isn't ut. After an internaI struggle I've decided not to pursue JET this year.

But I guess, if I won't be able to enjoy myself while I'm there, and I have to constantly worry about the house back here, then I won't really enjoy JET I think. I'm going to call the coordinator at my Japan Embassy here and explain, she's a really nice lady. And then, I keep my fingers crossed till next year. Maybe I'll come across something better.

Thanks everyone for your advice :)

Quote for the moment to console myself in giving up a 3 year dream.... "As I look back on my life, everytime I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better." Steve Maraboli

My pay stub: (old system, but work out the % and recalculate on a base payment of 280,000/month)
Pay: 322,000
Health: 15936
Pension: 27392
unemployment ins: 1610
Income tax: 7490
Municipal Tax: 13800
(Total deductions): 66228
Take home: 255,772

These numbers will work as my paystub includes all relevant taxes in it, and my employer is handling my municipal tax payments rather than making me handle it myself (local tax). I was old system, so I was adjusted up from 300,000 to the 322,000, but on the new system, the percentages should be similar. It looks like it's about 20% total after your first year (when municipal tax starts) so... 230,000 / month? After that take off any living costs (which could be upto 120,000/month) and there's your final food/savings money.

bluemarigolds
May 15th, 2014, 13:48
I am surprised no one's mentioned the exchange rate. Yes, it is stabilized for the time being (I still take the 2-3% "loss" when I send money home), but it was way easier to send home $1,000 when the yen was 30% stronger.

shue
October 17th, 2014, 10:58
Just an update half a year later. I declined in the end, and I wasnt blacklisted because I didnt know my placement yet. It was a hard decision and I was pretty depressed but hey im back and im applying for 2015 intake! By then, my house shld be ready for rental :) thanks everyone for your help and advice.