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ebochan
January 13th, 2015, 15:11
Hello all! Im a former JET 2006. My husband applied and got an interview this year. I've been looking all over for families applying for the program, but most applicants seem to be fresh about to be college graduates or young couples.

We will be going as a family with our daughter who will be 1. Is there anyone going with children? Or are we the only family?

BTW I wish everyone the best during this stressful time. Prepping for interviews can be so stressful. And then the wait after is gut wrenching hell. 頑張れ!

word
January 13th, 2015, 15:19
We've got more than a few couples here on the board, and a couple of folks have kids (our resident bad dad is currently banned, but he'll be back).

While we'd love to have you stick around here and keep us company, and though I certainly think we've got a lot of advice and support to offer a young family, if you're really looking for a family-oriented group of JETs, there's one on Facebook that is probably right up your alley. As most JET groups, there is no doubt some overlap, anyway...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/jetcouplesandfamilies/

ebochan
January 13th, 2015, 15:22
Ah, thanks! That is super helpful! My husband won't make an account on here and mine happened to still be available from eons ago. I'll vent for him.

Ini
January 13th, 2015, 15:26
ebochan? ebochan....ebochan.....

Chunky black girl with the low cut tops? Theres a blast from the past.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 15:31
ebochan? ebochan....ebochan.....

Chunky black girl with the low cut tops? Theres a blast from the past.

Can't tell if kidding or not...

Ini
January 13th, 2015, 15:32
I remember you all like you were my children. ebochan was from the golden age of ITIL - before the dark times.

ebochan
January 13th, 2015, 15:37
Hahaha. Omg. That's me. The boobs got bigger since I had the kid. Wow. Didn't think anyone on here would remember me....

uthinkimlost?
January 13th, 2015, 15:44
Will only one of you be working? 'cuz this new payscale will kick you in the teeth with a kid.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 15:45
Christing hell, Ini.

And I guess welcome back Ebochan, though you are from well before my time.

ebochan
January 13th, 2015, 15:52
Only one he is applying to JET and then I will find work once there. I figured I can give lessons to the obaachans and okusans. Amd there are some jobs which require residence. What is the new pay scale?

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 15:54
Only one he is applying to JET and then I will find work once there. I figured I can give lessons to the obaachans and okusans. Amd there are some jobs which require residence. What is the new pay scale?

Lower. I think, what, 280,000y a month for new starters?

uthinkimlost?
January 13th, 2015, 15:56
Only one he is applying to JET and then I will find work once there. I figured I can give lessons to the obaachans and okusans. Amd there are some jobs which require residence. What is the new pay scale?

His take home each month will be around 230,000, give or take. You'll get a small stipend for the rugrat. (That will vary by prefecture.) You might be able to get conversation work in your area, you might not. The inaka is a lot emptier than it was when I arrived, let alone when you left.

uthinkimlost?
January 13th, 2015, 15:57
Lower. I think, what, 280,000y a month for new starters?

minus tax.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 13th, 2015, 15:58
minus tax.

Yep, very true. Let me find a payslip from last year...

256,049y was my average takehome.

Edit: Balls, wrong payslip. 229,530y.

word
January 13th, 2015, 16:00
I dunno; there's a couple near me making it work with one JET and one night-lessoning, and they've even got a little money on the side. They live pretty frugally (no car, closet of an apartment), but I guess they're okay. They could probably do better if they were a little more motivated, even (we've been trying to talk them into looking for a bigger place all year).

uthinkimlost?
January 13th, 2015, 16:03
I dunno; there's a couple near me making it work with one JET and one night-lessoning, and they've even got a little money on the side. They live pretty frugally (no car, closet of an apartment), but I guess they're okay. They could probably do better if they were a little more motivated, even (we've been trying to talk them into looking for a bigger place all year).

Couples can get by, I think. Those with older kids, too. Just not sure with a wee one.

ebochan
January 13th, 2015, 16:06
His take home each month will be around 230,000, give or take. You'll get a small stipend for the rugrat. (That will vary by prefecture.) You might be able to get conversation work in your area, you might not. The inaka is a lot emptier than it was when I arrived, let alone when you left.

ah. When did they change the pay scale? And how on earth did inaka become more inaka? People moving to bigger cities because of the economy?

i just asked and my husband didn't know about the change in pay.

Ini
January 13th, 2015, 16:09
JET participants who started on the Programme in 2011 or earlier receive approximately 3.6 million yen per year after Japanese income and resident taxes are imposed.

In line with revised application guidelines, JET participants who arrive in Japan from 2012 will receive approximately 3.36 million yen in their first year of appointment, approximately 3.6 million yen in their second year of appointment, approximately 3.9 million yen for their third appointment, and for those appointed for a fourth and fifth year, approximately 3.96 million yen for each year. JET participants arriving in Japan in 2012 or later who will have Japanese income and resident taxes imposed on them will have to pay these taxes from their remuneration.

The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/faq/faq10rem.html#10.2)

uthinkimlost?
January 13th, 2015, 16:12
And how on earth did inaka become more inaka? People moving to bigger cities because of the economy?

In part, but mostly because grandma dies and there is no new grandma to replace her. Loads of empty schools and houses in rural Japan these days.

word
January 13th, 2015, 16:29
In part, but mostly because grandma dies and there is no new grandma to replace her. Loads of empty schools and houses in rural Japan these days.
word

Both of those things, really. After you live here for a while, you tend to stop noticing it; it seems normal and it's easy to get accustomed to it. Travel outside of Japan for a bit, though, or coming here from overseas, and it can be rather alarming. The inaka is being reclaimed by nature at a startling rate, kids are increasingly scarce, entire villages are dying, and everybody seems to be pretty okay with it.

There was an ES that was closed and torn down just a few blocks from my house. It's a big empty lot now; I have guests park there when I throw a party or something. My old village will probably have to close their preschool this year, and maybe their elementary school in another two or three years. I doubt they'll keep the JHS running much longer. Already more teachers than students. They just finished a nice new road that leads to the next nearest village, and its schools are a little bigger and nicer.

ebochan
January 13th, 2015, 16:42
The dying towns sound creepy and interesting. Thanks everyone for the info. We still want to be there.

johnny
January 13th, 2015, 18:29
Yeah, it's not happening everywhere. My town and the next town over are actually growing. My classrooms are packed and the enrollment is actually expected to increase next year.

I've been to the dying cities though, and I find it to be a little sad. I quite enjoy the mid-sized town lifestyle and probably prefer it to living in cities like Osaka or Tokyo.

PuddingHead
January 14th, 2015, 00:07
word

Both of those things, really. After you live here for a while, you tend to stop noticing it; it seems normal and it's easy to get accustomed to it. Travel outside of Japan for a bit, though, or coming here from overseas, and it can be rather alarming. The inaka is being reclaimed by nature at a startling rate, kids are increasingly scarce, entire villages are dying, and everybody seems to be pretty okay with it.

There was an ES that was closed and torn down just a few blocks from my house. It's a big empty lot now; I have guests park there when I throw a party or something. My old village will probably have to close their preschool this year, and maybe their elementary school in another two or three years. I doubt they'll keep the JHS running much longer. Already more teachers than students. They just finished a nice new road that leads to the next nearest village, and its schools are a little bigger and nicer.

That sounds like both a blessing and a curse to get placed in a rural area like that. On one hand, you get to witness the final remnants of a dying culture. On the other hand, well, it's dying.

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 04:44
Yeah, it's not happening everywhere. My town and the next town over are actually growing. My classrooms are packed and the enrollment is actually expected to increase next year.

I've been to the dying cities though, and I find it to be a little sad. I quite enjoy the mid-sized town lifestyle and probably prefer it to living in cities like Osaka or Tokyo.

that is good to hear that some towns are growing. I lived in Matsuyama and thought it was a good size. Everywhere is inaka if it's not Tokyo. That's how my friends in Tokyo say. I guess all we can do is make the best of where ever we are put.

squirrelmagnolia
January 14th, 2015, 05:49
Hello! My husband applied and was granted an interview. we have two little boys (they will be 7 and 4 by August if we get in). he previously lived in Japan for 2 years in the military. he will be graduating in april at the old age of 28 lol. I'm glad we are not the only ones with kids. Our families think we are crazy for doing this, but we are the adventurous type.

gibbity
January 14th, 2015, 05:59
I lived in Matsuyama and thought it was a good size.

I lived in Matsuyama the year before you came! One of your preds actually taught at the school i attended. Robert was awesome. Did you meet a tall bald white guy from chicago? that was him!

borilocks
January 14th, 2015, 07:33
Heya! My husband is a 4th year JET and I am applying this year for the first time (still don't know if I have an interview though...damn it Canada, get with the program). We came to Japan in 2011 with our two little boys who were 3 and 4 months old at the time and in 2013 we had a baby girl here in Japan.

Don't stress out too much about the JET salary. It is way more than enough for a couple and having a young child is fairly inexpensive. There is additional medical coverage given by the government for young children, a child allowance given 4 times a year, and even hoikuen or yochien has yearly reimbursements from the government.

If it makes you feel more confident, we are supporting 5 people on one JET salary, one in elementary school (which is NOT free even if Japan says they have free public education), one in a private yochien, we pay two student loans back in Canada, and we send a portion of our income back every month as financial support for my mother. It is not wizardry, but we just live fairly simply and don't blow our income on booze and traveling a lot of JETs are wont to do.

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 07:35
Hello! My husband applied and was granted an interview. we have two little boys (they will be 7 and 4 by August if we get in). he previously lived in Japan for 2 years in the military. he will be graduating in april at the old age of 28 lol. I'm glad we are not the only ones with kids. Our families think we are crazy for doing this, but we are the adventurous type.

Well, yay! I'm glad to hear we aren't the only crazy ones. My husband will be 29 in August. I think...

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 07:38
If it makes you feel more confident, we are supporting 5 people on one JET salary, one in elementary school (which is NOT free even if Japan says they have free public education), one in a private yochien, we pay two student loans back in Canada, and we send a portion of our income back every month as financial support for my mother. It is not wizardry, but we just live fairly simply and don't blow our income on booze and traveling a lot of JETs are wont to do.

it sounds like magic to me! We aren't too worried about the money. We are frugal as it is. but the booze and traveling would be so worth it though! It's nice to know you have made it work. I might pm you later.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 07:53
Heya! My husband is a 4th year JET and I am applying this year for the first time (still don't know if I have an interview though...damn it Canada, get with the program). We came to Japan in 2011 with our two little boys who were 3 and 4 months old at the time and in 2013 we had a baby girl here in Japan.

Don't stress out too much about the JET salary. It is way more than enough for a couple and having a young child is fairly inexpensive. There is additional medical coverage given by the government for young children, a child allowance given 4 times a year, and even hoikuen or yochien has yearly reimbursements from the government.

If it makes you feel more confident, we are supporting 5 people on one JET salary, one in elementary school (which is NOT free even if Japan says they have free public education), one in a private yochien, we pay two student loans back in Canada, and we send a portion of our income back every month as financial support for my mother. It is not wizardry, but we just live fairly simply and don't blow our income on booze and traveling a lot of JETs are wont to do.

You're on the old pay scale.

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 08:04
You're on the old pay scale.

Then it is wizardry...

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 08:07
Then it is wizardry...

No, she's just been here since 2011. Those hired prior to the 2012 intake are all still on the old scale with the old bennies.

Jiggit
January 14th, 2015, 08:25
Well, yay! I'm glad to hear we aren't the only crazy ones. My husband will be 29 in August. I think...

Or you could just both be crazy?

Seriously though, you're an old-timer so I'm just going to be blunt... shouldn't consideration for your child be at the forefront of your life decisions? Going on JET when you're young and single or even just a couple is one thing, dragging a kid across the world on a whim is something else entirely. If you've really thought it through then more power to you, but if you'd really thought it through wouldn't you have found out how much money you were taking home each month before even applying?

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 08:44
Or you could just both be crazy?

Seriously though, you're an old-timer so I'm just going to be blunt... shouldn't consideration for your child be at the forefront of your life decisions? Going on JET when you're young and single or even just a couple is one thing, dragging a kid across the world on a whim is something else entirely. If you've really thought it through then more power to you, but if you'd really thought it through wouldn't you have found out how much money you were taking home each month before even applying?

We have thought it through.

Jiggit
January 14th, 2015, 08:49
We have thought it through.

Then why did you have no idea of what your pay was going to be?

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 09:01
Jiggles the mod is a lot like word the mod.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 09:03
Let's be constructive.
Let's do a rough breakdown of expected expenses in our particular Japans.

I'll start.

Rent: 35000
Electricity: Winter-6000 Summer-12000
Kerosene: Winter- 10000-18000 (depends on the month. during vacations I'm home a lot more. I'm assuming you'll be home all day, so YMMV.)
Water: 3500
Gas: 2500
Car insurance: 7000
Internet (fiber or cable): 6000
Cell (per adult): 5000, bare bones data plan
Fuel costs: 25000
Food costs (per adult): 20000 (includes one meal out. Slightly cheaper in summer with farmer's markets.)
Random fees / paperwork that crop up monthly: 5000

So, for one person, living the minimum modern lifestyle, guaranteed monthly expenses are ~125000. Two people comes to at least 148000. (Not adjusting the water, gas, or kerosene usage.) Add a kid in there, and assuming they eat less, your total hits 168000.

That leaves about 60,000 for various expenses for three people. Hospital trips / medicine can run a 10000 each trip, depending on the tests and medication. Only your husband and child have full coverage.

johnny
January 14th, 2015, 09:06
Yeah, basically both parents would have to find work if possible.

Jiggit
January 14th, 2015, 09:06
Jiggles the mod is a lot like word the mod.

Who do you think made me a mod?

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 09:09
Who do you think made me a mod?

You're just a demimod, the unintended result of BB's drunken transformation to a lusty swan.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 09:15
A JET salary would probably just about cover all the boring stuff but the other parent would need some kind of job for walking around money unless you intend to stay in the house every weekend eating your daily ration from the giant vat of curry and rice you made last a week while the kid is entertained by the fun game of "chase the cockroach around the living room". Also if the parent who doesn't have JET health insurance gets sick you better start researching the medical applications of leeches and tree moss because you wont be visiting a doctor.

word
January 14th, 2015, 09:15
Jiggles the mod is a lot like word the mod.
I'm *trying* to improve. :(

word
January 14th, 2015, 09:20
To parents who are reading this--I am truly sorry that some of these guys are being so harsh... but please don't dismiss them too quickly. It's very easy to view JET placement with a bit more optimism than might be warranted. Make sure you're prepared for the reality of the situation.

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 09:26
I'm *trying* to improve. :(

By hiring others to do your dirty work.

word
January 14th, 2015, 09:34
Well, it counts for something, doesn't it?

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 09:37
that is good to hear that some towns are growing. I lived in Matsuyama and thought it was a good size. Everywhere is inaka if it's not Tokyo. That's how my friends in Tokyo say. I guess all we can do is make the best of where ever we are put.
Uh, this is coming from people living in Tokyo, they are going to have a biased view. My city is on the up and we are no where near Tokyo at all.

johnny
January 14th, 2015, 09:39
Word has to be above the fray so he can appear fair and judicious. His actions in hiring goons to do his shit disturbing is most wise.

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 09:40
To parents who are reading this--I am truly sorry that some of these guys are being so harsh... but please don't dismiss them too quickly. It's very easy to view JET placement with a bit more optimism than might be warranted. Make sure you're prepared for the reality of the situation.
Word. You will need a second job.

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 09:45
Children are expensive no matter how much a family makes and no matter where in the world they live. I get the impression that taking a child out of their home country is a bad thing and I wonder why some of you feel that way. Military, foreign services and many other jobs require families to live in other countries. So, it's not an unfamiliar concept.

Jiggit
January 14th, 2015, 09:48
Children are expensive no matter how much a family makes and no matter where in the world they live. I get the impression that taking a child out of their home country is a bad thing and I wonder why some of you feel that way. Military, foreign services and many other jobs require families to live in other countries. So, it's not an unfamiliar concept.

Right, everyone knows military kids usually turn out just fine...

Besides, that's not what everyone's talking about. You've just completely ignored the issue of you not knowing how much salary you're going to be dealing with and budgeting for it.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 14th, 2015, 09:50
Children are expensive no matter how much a family makes and no matter where in the world they live. I get the impression that taking a child out of their home country is a bad thing and I wonder why some of you feel that way. Military, foreign services and many other jobs require families to live in other countries. So, it's not an unfamiliar concept.

That's true, but the majority of these positions pay a lot more than the JET programme. I don't think it's inherently a bad idea to move countries with a child in tow - although I can see why some do - but I do think that when that move also consist of a major change in standard of living, as well as language, then it needs to be thought about far more carefully. And not knowing how much you're going to get paid is... disturbing.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 09:52
Children are expensive no matter how much a family makes and no matter where in the world they live. I get the impression that taking a child out of their home country is a bad thing and I wonder why some of you feel that way. Military, foreign services and many other jobs require families to live in other countries. So, it's not an unfamiliar concept.

I'm all for giving kids new experiences, but the military is a bad comparison. US bases are basically mini-murrica's, which has led many a female ITILer to exchange sexual favours for Taco Bell. Kids learn some local dirty words then head on to the next place.

I don't share the concern about uprooting kids. My only concern is paying for the little buggers, something that I think you'll have a rough time doing, unless you already have a fairly large rainy day fund squirreled away.

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 10:04
Besides, that's not what everyone's talking about. You've just completely ignored the issue of you not knowing how much salary you're going to be dealing with and budgeting for it.

We looked at the salary before applying. I just haven't looked at anything since November which is why I asked when because it could have changed and I wouldnt know.

But as I stated earlier, I'd be looking for work while there.

Jiggit
January 14th, 2015, 10:08
We looked at the salary before applying. I just haven't looked at anything since November which is why I asked when because it could have changed and I wouldnt know.

But as I stated earlier, I'd be looking for work while there.

The pay scale changed in 2012, so no, you didn't check it in November.

I'm not saying you can't make the situation work financially. I'm just saying that to make it work you need to be making far more solid plans. Since, you know, child.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 10:10
But as I stated earlier, I'd be looking for work while there.

What if you don't get it? I run the only local eikaiwa and I get paid a pittance and garden veg. The nearest area run by a dispatch company is at least 1.5 hours away. The only income you can depend on is his. Can you really safely get by on just that?

ebochan
January 14th, 2015, 10:17
What if you don't get it? I run the only local eikaiwa and I get paid a pittance and garden veg. The nearest area run by a dispatch company is at least 1.5 hours away. The only income you can depend on is his. Can you really safely get by on just that?

We've thought of that. I appreciate everyone's concern. But I have no obligation to spell my life out to you and you will just have to be unsatisfied with my vague answers.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 10:25
Didn't say you were. But hubby'd better be ready for the same questions at the interview, because they will ask him. They'll ask what you'll do if you're stuck in a farmhouse all day, kilometers from nowhere, while he is off dancing the English dance. They'll ask if you can speak Japanese well enough to get through a 110 or 119 call if the kid turns blue. They'll ask if he is still willing to stay after school 4 nights a week for English club, like lots of JHS ans SHS ALTs do. These are all questions I've heard about being asked of couples and families.

Jiggit
January 14th, 2015, 10:28
Word. We've had multiple people post on here about how their interview was 50% about their family/partner. If you can't answer us you'd better make sure you can answer the interviewers.

borilocks
January 14th, 2015, 12:09
No, she's just been here since 2011. Those hired prior to the 2012 intake are all still on the old scale with the old bennies.

Yeah, our pay is incrementally higher but I don't think the pay is so different that it will make or break you. My husband's paycheque is 232,000 yen per month since our rent comes out of our pay before we even see it. I think the big difference is that we have 5 people to support.

Last year I started to teach a few classes a week at a local English school and I pull in an extra 60,000 per month. This extra income is definitely nice but wasn't actually necessary for our financial survival. We've used the money I've made in the past year to buy a car, some new furniture, and go on some trips.

I find that JETs who have never been in my situation are always the ones who are the most incredulous about the idea that you can support a spouse and let alone children on the JET salary. There are actually 3 other JET families in our city; two of them have one child and the other has two kids. We all make it work.


Then it is wizardry...

Please PM me any time if you want to chat details :) Also, this is our family blog (http://dustinandlaura.blogspot.jp). I started it in the spring of 2011 when we found out we were going to Japan and the oldest posts go through packing, moving, finances, and those little details about moving overseas. Anyway, hope you can find something useful in it.

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 12:29
Most JETs have no idea how to budget money, so they become incredulous whenever a fellow JET actually displays any financial acumen whatsoever.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 12:39
My husband's paycheque is 232,000 yen per month

I think that might constitute child abuse.

borilocks
January 14th, 2015, 12:53
I think that might constitute child abuse.

What?!? Do you have any idea of the expenses of which you speak? You are right, we couldn't afford to take them to Tokyo Disney 5 times this year, go out to eat for every meal, buy them all a new iPad, and pay for personal nannies so I can go out on mom dates...Instead my kids got to do free things like play outside, go on hikes, go to the beach, learn how to fix things instead of always buying a new one, and eat home made meals. Holy shit, it's child abuse!


Joking aside, there is nothing wrong with choosing to move to a foreign country with your children. Actually, you are doing them a service. They will learn a new language, a new culture, try new foods, and have their mind completely opened. I guarantee you that they will be more intelligent, global, and empathetic for the experience. Yes, you need to think about how you will financially make it work, but it can work! There are so many JET families here living all across the country and coming in to very different situations. These are the people you want to discuss these things with because they have advice based on actual experience. I suggest you check out the Facebook JET Families page. We are a pretty friendly bunch of people.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 13:00
What if you get sick? Cancer-sick? How much wiggle room is left?

Bringing spouses is great. Lots of very happy couples on JET. Bringing kids is fine.

Knowingly taking a job that won't pay enough to cover your health expenses in an emergency, when there are better options, is not. If you have the nest egg and don't need to worry about saving for little Taro's college, go for it. If you don't, and will live day-to-day, that is just irresponsible.

word
January 14th, 2015, 13:10
What if you get sick? Cancer-sick? How much wiggle room is left?

Bringing spouses is great. Lots of very happy couples on JET. Bringing kids is fine.

Knowingly taking a job that won't pay enough to cover your health expenses in an emergency, when there are better options, is not. If you have the nest egg and don't need to worry about saving for little Taro's college, go for it. If you don't, and will live day-to-day, that is just irresponsible.
In their defense, on the Facebook JET Families page, there is a fundraising drive for some bald chick who was diagnosed with cancer when she came to Japan and is probably gonna kick off soon. She came with her SO and they were all planning on having fun and stuff but now all their money goes to her medical treatments and sh*t. So, yeah, it might not pay enough to handle medical emergencies your kids might face, but it doesn't even pay enough for medical emergencies that you might face, either. Besides, most people who live in the 'States don't really make enough money to cover a medical emergency.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 13:14
[REDACTED]

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 13:16
In their defense, on the Facebook JET Families page, there is a fundraising drive for some bald chick who was diagnosed with cancer when she came to Japan and is probably gonna kick off soon. She came with her SO and they were all planning on having fun and stuff but now all their money goes to her medical treatments and sh*t. So, yeah, it might not pay enough to handle medical emergencies your kids might face, but it doesn't even pay enough for medical emergencies that you might face, either. Besides, most people who live in the 'States don't really make enough money to cover a medical emergency.No comment about Americas health system...


I know it feels like we are attacking you, but we are just trying to raise questions that you may or may not have thought about before. They will also be the kind of questions that your OH will be faced in his interview. He must be prepared to answer them then. At least this gives you both time to think it over.

word
January 14th, 2015, 13:16
Word pls.

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 13:19
Words!

Leave it for your successor to take care of, along with that space heater that quit working.

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 13:31
We've thought of that. I appreciate everyone's concern. But I have no obligation to spell my life out to you and you will just have to be unsatisfied with my vague answers.
I'm sure It is possible to support a family on that low salary. Just be aware that you will have to cut out luxuries right from day one. We would like it to succeed for you, but we all share a level of concern. That is where these questions come from.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 13:33
(removed)

borilocks
January 14th, 2015, 13:39
I am covered 70% by National Health insurance as is every foreign resident in this country. Also, I pay exactly the same amount at the doc as my husband does as a JET. As far as kids go, they are insured down to 500 yen for every medical expense (dental, medical, or pharmaceutical). Any medical expense for children, be it open heart surgery or removing a splinter will only cost a maximum of 500 yen. I know this for a fact because a. I have three kids in this country, and b. my oldest son did have a medical emergency last year which required surgery in another prefecture and it cost us 500 yen.


Besides, most people who live in the 'States don't really make enough money to cover a medical emergency.

Exactly! I hear my American friends complain about this all the time and am horrified by the amount of debt that some of them rack up due to basic hospital bills, even the ones with supposedly good benefits. Bad things can happen no matter where you are.



If you have the nest egg and don't need to worry about saving for little Taro's college, go for it. If you don't, and will live day-to-day, that is just irresponsible.

It is a really good idea to have a bit of money stockpiled away before coming on JET for the just in case sort of things. We at least always make sure to have enough to fly our whole family back to Canada if something ever came up. Also the idea that college must cost tens of thousands of dollars and your parents must pay for it or they are crap parents is just bs propaganda that has been forced down people's throats to support the bloated American college machine. Anyway, JET is only a few years of your life and I doubt that little Taro kun is going to become a crack dealer because you chose to follow one of your dreams instead of single mindedly labouring away for his "future".

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 13:42
I pay exactly the same amount at the doc as my husband does as a JET.

Phrase it better please. Good point though.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 14:17
I am covered 70% by National Health insurance as is every foreign resident in this country. Also, I pay exactly the same amount at the doc as my husband does as a JET. As far as kids go, they are insured down to 500 yen for every medical expense (dental, medical, or pharmaceutical). Any medical expense for children, be it open heart surgery or removing a splinter will only cost a maximum of 500 yen. I know this for a fact because a. I have three kids in this country, and b. my oldest son did have a medical emergency last year which required surgery in another prefecture and it cost us 500 yen.
".

Yes, but his travel insurance will pick up the remaining 30% if he has some enormous bill worth claiming. We also already mentioned the kids are covered. I've even met a few despicable ALTs that came, knowing full-well they planned to get knocked up and be out of work for months, because the coverage for the ALT and child is so good.

The difference really comes down to networking and support structure. It just won't be here for a lot of ALTs that have shit hit the fan. Direct access to family and old friends can make a world of difference, both in funds and family issues that arise from illness.


Also the idea that college must cost tens of thousands of dollars and your parents must pay for it or they are crap parents is just bs propaganda that has been forced down people's throats to support the bloated American college machine. Anyway, JET is only a few years of your life and I doubt that little Taro kun is going to become a crack dealer because you chose to follow one of your dreams instead of single mindedly labouring away for his "future".

That's not propaganda for the American system, that is really how it works. If you don't pay for your kids to go, they'll start off life deep in debt.

Again, if you have that nest egg to fall back on, fantabulous. But it is a legitimate concern for those with very young children, since you should probably start saving and investing for it when they are very young. Spending two years missing the chance to save so you can have fun is just bad planning.

Zolrak 22
January 14th, 2015, 14:19
Or you can follow my family's example, expect for me to get scholarships or give up on getting a degree.

Gizmotech
January 14th, 2015, 16:20
Not gonna way in on the good vs bad part of the argument, but I will remind you guys of something. MANY JETs brag about cheap rent. I'm one of em. That being said, imagine living where I am on the new salary with the following things (this is a friend of mine):

65,000 rent
12,000 electric (yay winter winds)
10,000 gas(es) (piped and butane)
8,000 smartphone (x1)
5,000 internet
3,000 water (assuming no leaks)
7,000-12,000/month car insurrance
10,000 petrol
10,000 random job related expenses (because we all know they happen)

Now we're at 130,000 of 230,000 take home.
I haven't calculated food (assume another 10,000/week/person (which does decrease with more people) so 40,000)
that leaves you with 60,000 free.

Now Sure, you can stretch that quite a bit and reduce some of those expenses. You can never go out and just live your life doing this job in Japan, but that seems silly to me. Part of coming here is to engage with the culture, the people, their activities, and those ALTS that become hermits or NEVER socialize with the locals (which are most often the married couples) tend to have rather... incomplete experiences in Japan. I can't imagine on one person's salary doing a family with this income.

The above costs are not unusual, and could certainly happen.

borilocks
January 14th, 2015, 16:48
Not gonna way in on the good vs bad part of the argument, but I will remind you guys of something. MANY JETs brag about cheap rent. I'm one of em. That being said, imagine living where I am on the new salary with the following things (this is a friend of mine):

65,000 rent
12,000 electric (yay winter winds)
10,000 gas(es) (piped and butane)
8,000 smartphone (x1)
5,000 internet
3,000 water (assuming no leaks)
7,000-12,000/month car insurrance
10,000 petrol
10,000 random job related expenses (because we all know they happen)

Now we're at 130,000 of 230,000 take home.
I haven't calculated food (assume another 10,000/week/person (which does decrease with more people) so 40,000)
that leaves you with 60,000 free.

Now Sure, you can stretch that quite a bit and reduce some of those expenses. You can never go out and just live your life doing this job in Japan, but that seems silly to me. Part of coming here is to engage with the culture, the people, their activities, and those ALTS that become hermits or NEVER socialize with the locals (which are most often the married couples) tend to have rather... incomplete experiences in Japan. I can't imagine on one person's salary doing a family with this income.

The above costs are not unusual, and could certainly happen.

This is a pretty accurate budget break down of expenses.

I do have to disagree with your idea of never go out = saves money. My family is very active in our community. We are involved in all the neighbourhood festivals, we regularly do things with our neighbours, have planted rice at the nearby farm, our kids go to local the local kindergarten and elementary, etc. We actually have to set limits on how much stuff in which we involve ourselves, not because of finances but because we just don't have the energy or time for all of it. All of these things are free. Really, the only sort of "socializing with the locals" that we can't afford is going to every single enkai that is held and going to karaoke and bars every single weekend. Not really that big of a deal for us but I think some people would feel like they are missing out.

borilocks
January 14th, 2015, 21:39
Money is definitely is the biggest issue when coming with a family, but there are a few other unique issues to a family that should be seriously considered too:

1. Your living space will most likely be much smaller than what you are used to back home. Ask yourself if you would be okay living in a bachelor's suite or small one bedroom apartment with your family at this given moment. Now imagine that it is the rainy season and you and your kid(s) haven't been able to get outside to the playground or wherever for over a week. Could you handle it? You may be one of those lucky people who gets a house but you have to be mentally prepared for likelihood that you won't.

2. This kind of ties into the first point, but your privacy as a couple will be drastically reduced. Having intimate moments with your spouse will be much more difficult to come by when you have a tiny apartment with one or more children sleeping 10 feet away with only a thin paper door between you and them.

3. The concept of the "date night" will be a thing of the past. Until you develop some kind of support network with other JETs in the area, neighbours, or other friends one of you will always have to stay home on kid duty. Depending on where you are placed and how easy it is to make close friends you may never find anyone who is willing/or who you trust to watch your children while you and your spouse go out.

4. Every single little thing in your life will become 10x harder. Laundry: only cold water washes and you won't have a dryer. Even in the rainy season you have to find a way to get all those kid's uniforms and clothes dry before they get musty. Shopping: you may not have a car and may have to do all shopping with a mamachari or walking. Beds that need to be beaten and put away and stupid, stupid tatami. Every little note from school, every vaccination, every person who fawns over your baby and tries to feed them a creepy ham sandwich pulled out of their purse (yes, this happened to me). Sometimes it is wonderful and challenging and sometimes it just grates on your very soul.

I guess it just depends on how flexible you are and how willing you are to make sacrifices for this experience. Our family loves it in Japan despite all of these challenges. Some we have overcome, some we just put up with, and some we have just learned to laugh at. We wouldn't still be here otherwise!

word
January 14th, 2015, 21:54
Money is definitely is the biggest issue when coming with a family, but there are a few other unique issues to a family that should be seriously considered too:

1. Your living space will most likely be much smaller than what you are used to back home. Ask yourself if you would be okay living in a bachelor's suite or small one bedroom apartment with your family at this given moment. Now imagine that it is the rainy season and you and your kid(s) haven't been able to get outside to the playground or wherever for over a week. Could you handle it? You may be one of those lucky people who gets a house but you have to be mentally prepared for likelihood that you won't.

2. This kind of ties into the first point, but your privacy as a couple will be drastically reduced. Having intimate moments with your spouse will be much more difficult to come by when you have a tiny apartment with one or more children sleeping 10 feet away with only a thin paper door between you and them.

3. The concept of the "date night" will be a thing of the past. Until you develop some kind of support network with other JETs in the area, neighbours, or other friends one of you will always have to stay home on kid duty. Depending on where you are placed and how easy it is to make close friends you may never find anyone who is willing/or who you trust to watch your children while you and your spouse go out.

4. Every single little thing in your life will become 10x harder. Laundry: only cold water washes and you won't have a dryer. Even in the rainy season you have to find a way to get all those kid's uniforms and clothes dry before they get musty. Shopping: you may not have a car and may have to do all shopping with a mamachari or walking. Beds that need to be beaten and put away and stupid, stupid tatami. Every little note from school, every vaccination, every person who fawns over your baby and tries to feed them a creepy ham sandwich pulled out of their purse (yes, this happened to me). Sometimes it is wonderful and challenging and sometimes it just grates on your very soul.

I guess it just depends on how flexible you are and how willing you are to make sacrifices for this experience. Our family loves it in Japan despite all of these challenges. Some we have overcome, some we just put up with, and some we have just learned to laugh at. We wouldn't still be here otherwise!word

krayziesensei
January 14th, 2015, 23:39
It's none of my business (or anybody else's) what you decide is best for your family.

But since everybody else on the forum has weighed in and tried to convince you it's a terrible decision, I'll give my 2 cents.

I think it's definitely possible for a family to live here off of a JET's salary. How easy it is will depend on your situation.

I was able to bring 20,000 US dollars home with me after 1 year in Japan. I didn't feel like I lived frugally, but I must have compared to other JETs. Granted, this was on the old pay scale, but during that year I took a trip home to the States and bought a laptop. I also lived in a medium-sized city without a car. The BOE reimbursed me for my travel expenses (train tickets) to my schools and I made an extra $20/week teaching English to the CEO of a multimillion dollar company. I was also paid to do a weekend English camp. If you want to make extra money, finding extra work teaching English on the weekends or at night is easy, but could be an issue depending on your BOE. I found myself turning down offers because I liked my free time.

Judging from everyone else's posts, I must have had a good placement financially. Once you get placed, you'll be able to talk to your predecessor to figure out how tight things will be. IMO and judging from my experience, It's definitely doable.

mothy
January 15th, 2015, 01:22
I think people are forgetting how much you can sell a gaijin baby for.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 15th, 2015, 01:24
I think people are forgetting how much you can sell a gaijin baby for.

I... what?

mothy
January 15th, 2015, 01:28
Exactly

coop52
January 16th, 2015, 23:00
If it's got blonde hair and blue eyes, you'll make a freaking fortune.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 23:10
Please try to keep it on topic guys. Selling excess children is not on topic!

uthinkimlost?
January 16th, 2015, 23:51
If you sell your children, you'll have No Family, and that is as on topic as it gets.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 17th, 2015, 00:03
If you sell your children, you'll have No Family, and that is as on topic as it gets.

I'm finding it hard to dispute this logic. I know there's a problem somewhere, but...

sharpinthefang
January 17th, 2015, 00:13
I'm finding it hard to dispute this logic. I know there's a problem somewhere, but...
agreed.

Zolrak 22
January 17th, 2015, 01:08
I bet you'd make a killing as sperm donors then.

uthinkimlost?
January 17th, 2015, 01:11
ITIL keeps donating, the other people on the train keep calling the cops.

Swmrgrl
February 2nd, 2015, 11:44
Okay, I have an interview next week, and also have 2 blue-eyed blonde children. Will this increase or hinder my chances? In all seriousness, I am not a fan of the salary reduction, and if I am accepted, I'm hoping it is somewhere hubby can find PT work

uthinkimlost?
February 2nd, 2015, 11:52
Okay, I have an interview next week, and also have 2 blue-eyed blonde children. Will this increase or hinder my chances?

I doubt it does either, if you act like you have it together and have a plan for what to do with the kids.


In all seriousness, I am not a fan of the salary reduction, and if I am accepted, I'm hoping it is somewhere hubby can find PT work

It won't be a guarantee anywhere you go, and you won't really have an idea of your odds until you get contact with your pred.