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weepinbell
April 16th, 2015, 03:31
So I'm with Chase right now, but I'm wondering if there's a better option... people on the JET FB page are saying USAA and I think people on here have said positive things about it, too.

I'll have around 3500-4000$ to go with me to Japan, but I'd honestly feel pretty weird about bringing SO much in cash. If I happen to lose it, wow I'd be pretty screwed. So I'm trying to figure out the best way to go with banking so that I can maybe go with around 2000-2500 and have easy access if I need more in cash.

Shincantsen
April 16th, 2015, 04:09
Other people will have more in-depth answers, but I can tell you that if you keep the money in whatever US checking account you currently have, you will be able to pull out more using your debit card at any Japanese post office. There's usually about a $10 surcharge.

miamicoordinator
April 16th, 2015, 04:38
You should bring enough money to take care of your immediate needs for the first week or two while in Japan. How much you need to bring really depends on your sitations. Will you be purchasing a new phone in Japan? Doing any traveling before the summer break ends? Need a special piece of furniture? Maybe you are moving into a new apartment and need to pay key money. There are so many different situations that would have an impact of how much money should should bring. Now, everyone should have $2500-$3000 available for the first month of expenses until you get paid with your first check. Sometime people only need to spend a few hundred dollars before being able to open their Japanese post office/bank account. Some people considerably spend more.

You will not be able to have your BoE deposit money into your American bank account. You are going to need to remit money from your Japanese account to your American account if you need to have money in your U.S. account for loans/payments.

If you are truly scared about taking a large sum of cash, I would suggest taking at least $1000 cash, and leave the rest in your U.S. account. Then, once you open your Japanese post account, you can use your debit card and take out the money, and deposit however much you need into your Japanese account until your next pay day.

singinglupines
April 16th, 2015, 04:59
I have Charles Schwab for banking. No international exchange fees and no international atm withdrawal fees. The international money transfer charges were lower as well. It's a brokerage company, but I only use the free checking account. I used them while traveling across Europe and while I lived in Czech Republic until I got my Czech account set up and enough money from teaching.

For credit cards, I have Discover and Capital One. Both without any yearly fees and they charge no international exchange fees.

BifCarbet
April 16th, 2015, 05:31
I've never had a debit card declined in Japan, and I've used accounts with Wells Fargo and Citi. Sure, you'll want to have some cash with you when you arrive, but you can easily get access to your home accounts.

There are ATMs at Narita Airport and in every 7-11 convenience store. I've flown to Japan with no Japanese cash before, and not had an issue. Taking a big amount of start-up money might be a fine idea if it makes you more comfortable, but as long as you're near a 7-11 or a post office, you're close to your money.

Lorenzo
April 16th, 2015, 07:46
In everyone's opinion, what's the bare minimum amount you can get away with before you receive your first paycheck? I'm a little concerned because I really don't have much money at all. I'm going to need to sell a few possessions as it is.

BifCarbet
April 16th, 2015, 07:54
In everyone's opinion, what's the bare minimum amount you can get away with before you receive your first paycheck? I'm a little concerned because I really don't have much money at all. I'm going to need to sell a few possessions as it is.

You have to live for a whole month. If you really mean bare minimum, and you are willing to put off things like getting internet, getting a car (should the need exist), furnishing, shopping, exploring, partying, etc., you might be able to get by on under $1500. If you need to make a rent deposit, that will be much higher, of course. It's also possible that going super low-budget on everything will cause problems for your contracting organization, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do, right? They can't really FORCE you to spend more money, but there are certain start-up costs.

If you cover some expenses with a credit card, you'll soon be making enough money to at least cover the initial costs in a couple months, but you might not be able to do that most places.

Ananasboat
April 16th, 2015, 08:20
In some cases your BOE will loan you a little bit of money or may allow you to defer some payments (like rent, etc.). I came in with about $2000 and I lived pretty easily until the first paycheck, but I didn't have many major purchases to deal with.

mrcharisma
April 16th, 2015, 08:24
In everyone's opinion, what's the bare minimum amount you can get away with before you receive your first paycheck? I'm a little concerned because I really don't have much money at all. I'm going to need to sell a few possessions as it is.

I went with about a grand and managed to get through the 3 weeks till payday quite easy, but that was with an unusually cheap situation (no rent / key money, no payments on car till September).

I ate out every single night and bought quite a lot of shite so could have done it cheaper, I think if you dodge the key money Russian Roulette you should be okay to get through the first few weeks. Not to forget your pounds will go nearly twice as far as mine did in 2011.

Cbill1
April 16th, 2015, 08:28
In everyone's opinion, what's the bare minimum amount you can get away with before you receive your first paycheck? I'm a little concerned because I really don't have much money at all. I'm going to need to sell a few possessions as it is.

ESID.

Each BoE pays at different times of the month. Mine pays on the 16th, and my first rent check was due on the twentieth, so I think I managed <300$ before my first payday (the apartment was already fully furnished, which helped). However, I also knew people who had to go through the larger part of 2000$. There's really no way to tell how much you'll need until you get your placement/in contact with your pred.

word
April 16th, 2015, 11:05
I came in with about $2000 and I lived pretty easily until the first paycheck, but I didn't have many major purchases to deal with.
Same here.

krayziesensei
April 16th, 2015, 11:29
I would assume you're going to need $2000 'til you hear from your CO/predecessor. Banking on the idea that you're going to get placed in an inexpensive situation is gambling. The last time I was on JET, I spent $2500 in the first two weeks. I had to get a new apartment with a ridiculous deposit, cell phone, and had to furnish the apartment. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

quis
April 16th, 2015, 11:40
If I were to assume the very worst scenario money-wise - Tokyo city, new apartment (unfurnished), deposit, new furniture, key money, new internet connection, a car, one whole month until next payday - what kind of ballpark figure would I need? $5000ish?

Am I going to need to start selling myself on the streets?

word
April 16th, 2015, 11:46
If I were to assume the very worst scenario money-wise - Tokyo city, new apartment (unfurnished), deposit, new furniture, key money, new internet connection, a car, one whole month until next payday - what kind of ballpark figure would I need? $5000ish?Probably a safe estimate? Don't worry, though. You'll be okay even if you show up with nothing--you may not be in a particularly ideal situation for a while; you might even be downright miserable, bored, and a burden to those around you... but you're not going to starve or be forced into selling yourself on the streets, LOL.

Bring what you can based on the best estimates provided to you. Your pred, should you have one, will probably be your most valuable source of information in this regard.

webstaa
April 16th, 2015, 11:47
In everyone's opinion, what's the bare minimum amount you can get away with before you receive your first paycheck? I'm a little concerned because I really don't have much money at all. I'm going to need to sell a few possessions as it is.

Best advice is to ask your predecessor when you get that info. It'll vary based on the dozens of possible variables like cars, rent, furnishings, internet and phone, as well as fees for prefectural/local orientation etc. Especially for rent - quite a few BoEs subsidize housing or pay it outright as a part of your salary.

My experience was something like this. I brought a little under $2000 in yen with me. Pretty much all the money I had at the time. I got my student loan payments deferred for 4 months due to the international move, which saved my bacon. I got my phone (using my credit card) and set up my bank account on the first day at my town. You might need to deposit a little cash into the bank to open your account - mine was ¥2000. Next day I transferred the car I bought to my town, paid for insurance, which was a bit much, but I don't recall how much I paid (I could look it up, but I'm lazy. I might look it up when I get home from work.) Other than that, I didn't make any major purchases until after my first paycheck. I still had quite a lot left. But I didn't go traveling/shopping as soon as I hit the ground like a number of newcomers do. I also didn't have to make a rent payment or parking payment the first month. And the local orientation fee (for use of the grounds etc was less than ¥5000 as well.) I spent close to maybe ¥4-5man total.

Get set up with a remittance service asap - investigate which is going to be the cheapest for you. Post office, GoRemit, 7 Bank, direct international transfer etc. Hell, some folks even use cryptocurrencies. Especially if you have to pay student loans. Personally I use GoRemit, as it's cheaper in 98% of my remittances and I don't have to fill out paperwork each time or schedule regular remittances.

ambrosse
April 16th, 2015, 11:59
I'm only going to be screwed if my pred tries to rip me off, or I get put in a new Tokyo placement...in which I pay for everything (happened to someone I know).

webstaa
April 16th, 2015, 12:04
Its pretty safe to say that an urban or super urban placement (like Tokyo) is going to be a lot more costly than an remote placement. Even without a car in the mix.

And Tokyo doubly so, as they're still adding new JETs. Who have to deal with brand new apartments (probably empty) etc.

word
April 16th, 2015, 12:16
Keep an eye on Tokyo Craigslist, Tokyo newbs. You could probably have a pretty kickass setup for dirt cheap within a month (although I assume demand is gonna far outstrip supply come August).

No other Craigslists in Japan are particularly active, but Tokyo isn't bad, and people give away a lot of sh*t on there, generally the only catch being that you hafta go pick it up.

greyjoy
April 16th, 2015, 14:43
I brought $2500 worth of yen and didn't have to withdraw any additional funds until after I received my second pay check. I made no real attempt to save money. Assuming you don't have key money, even if you come into a bare bones apartment and need to get one of everything, even a car, you shouldn't have much real trouble getting by on the ¥250000 they tell you to bring. You may need to skip a few parties, but it's really pretty easy to save money in most parts of japan.

johnny
April 16th, 2015, 19:59
I would really love if we could hear from some of the Tokyo Jets and hear their stories. It would be really interesting.

Zolrak 22
April 16th, 2015, 23:17
I would really love if we could hear from some of the Tokyo Jets and hear their stories. It would be really interesting.
They are probably too busy living in Tokyo.

johnny
April 16th, 2015, 23:31
They are probably too busy living in Tokyo.

I guess so, but even in Tokyo, you're not going out every night, are you? It's pretty pricey there and I wouldn't think that people would have the cash to go out all the time.

Zolrak 22
April 16th, 2015, 23:43
I guess so, but even in Tokyo, you're not going out every night, are you? It's pretty pricey there and I wouldn't think that people would have the cash to go out all the time.
You underestimate cheapskates.

Back in my barcrawling days, I didn't have to spend a dime (or at least much).

I don't see why it couldn't be the same in Tokyo.

weepinbell
April 16th, 2015, 23:49
Alright cool thanks everyone. I'll probably just plan on doing the 2500 cash then and withdrawing/transferring funds later if needed... hopefully I can avoid that because my bank has a little bit of a fee. Shoulda thought about that when I set it up haha. Oh well.

Yea I'm curious to hear about people with urban placements too. I feel like everyone here is out in inaka land :P

Lorenzo
April 16th, 2015, 23:57
Thanks guys, that was seriously helpful. And terrifying. No idea where I'm going to get this money from. Looks like I'll be saying goodbye to my guitars.

uthinkimlost?
April 16th, 2015, 23:59
I knew people in uni that would sell their blood plasma and volunteer for medical trials. The money can be good.

Zolrak 22
April 17th, 2015, 00:03
I knew people in uni that would sell their blood plasma.

And here I was giving it away for free. [emoji28]

weepinbell
April 17th, 2015, 00:25
I knew people in uni that would sell their blood plasma and volunteer for medical trials. The money can be good.

I have way too many friends who donated plasma in college. You have to be kinda careful though, those places can get sketchy haha. But maybe that's bc my college was in a dumpy town. It's really only worth it if you weigh like 170lbs+ though, since they can collect more plasma. I know people who have gotten about 100$/wk from it...

x_stei
April 17th, 2015, 00:35
Thanks guys, that was seriously helpful. And terrifying. No idea where I'm going to get this money from. Looks like I'll be saying goodbye to my guitars.
A bunch of people around me are starting gofundme pages to fund their study abroad experiences including going on JET. Maybe consider putting up a gofundme page for yourself?

naginataonthebrain
April 17th, 2015, 05:01
I follow a Tokyo-based JET on tumblr and if my memory serves me correctly, his salary is enough to get by but it's hard to save money in big chunks. Majority of his salary goes to paying rent.

ambrosse
April 17th, 2015, 05:09
Giving plasma regularly makes people look like drug addicts...it leaves ugly scars on your arms XD

ambrosse
April 17th, 2015, 05:09
A bunch of people around me are starting gofundme pages to fund their study abroad experiences including going on JET. Maybe consider putting up a gofundme page for yourself?

Word.

Zolrak 22
April 17th, 2015, 05:52
A bunch of people around me are starting gofundme pages to fund their study abroad experiences including going on JET. Maybe consider putting up a gofundme page for yourself?
If you are a writer, photographer or any of that sort. Think about offering something in exchange for that assistance.

It's not the same to say, "Give me money because I said so or cause I need it.", than "If you help fund me, I'll show you this cool stuff in Japan."

You can even have different reward levels in order to motivate more funding.

x_stei
April 17th, 2015, 06:27
If you are a writer, photographer or any of that sort. Think about offering something in exchange for that assistance.

It's not the same to say, "Give me money because I said so or cause I need it.", than "If you help fund me, I'll show you this cool stuff in Japan."

You can even have different reward levels in order to motivate more funding.

This is so smart! Wow. Great idea!

The different reward levels idea will work wonders with kickstarter :D

mrcharisma
April 17th, 2015, 07:39
Thanks guys, that was seriously helpful. And terrifying. No idea where I'm going to get this money from. Looks like I'll be saying goodbye to my guitars.

Nonsense, the streets are paved with gold in Dave's Britain.

You've got 3 months. 3 shifts a week in a pub and you'll easily make over a grand in that time. Pick the right kind of pub and you'll get plenty shagging done too.

word
April 17th, 2015, 11:15
I dunno; there was that one guy who started a kickstarter to buy himself a burrito and made like $700.

Gizmotech
April 17th, 2015, 11:46
A bunch of people around me are starting gofundme pages to fund their study abroad experiences including going on JET. Maybe consider putting up a gofundme page for yourself?

I don't understand the point of a go fund me page. Like, why would I give you money to go to Japan/University/USJ/mom's house? What do I get in return for this? You provide nothing of value to me, nor will I ever likely see a return on that 20$ I might toss your way.

What possible emotion in me would a gofundme actual tap at the end of the day? My desire to help others? My desire to see others accomplish their dreams?

It makes no sense to me at all.

word
April 17th, 2015, 12:00
I don't understand the point of a go fund me page. Like, why would I give you money to go to Japan/University/USJ/mom's house? What do I get in return for this? You provide nothing of value to me, nor will I ever likely see a return on that 20$ I might toss your way.

What possible emotion in me would a gofundme actual tap at the end of the day? My desire to help others? My desire to see others accomplish their dreams?

It makes no sense to me at all.

Why would anyone have contributed to that dude's quest to get enough money to buy himself a burrito?

Trying to a make sense of the internet's hive mind is a road straight to insanity.

coop52
April 17th, 2015, 12:02
So I'm with Chase right now, but I'm wondering if there's a better option... people on the JET FB page are saying USAA and I think people on here have said positive things about it, too.



USAA is great. I believe they don't have fees to use foreign ATMs, or if they do they're cheap, and they give you a decent rate. Plus, it's easy to just wire a bunch of money to your Japanese account.

Jiggit
April 17th, 2015, 12:08
I don't understand the point of a go fund me page. Like, why would I give you money to go to Japan/University/USJ/mom's house? What do I get in return for this? You provide nothing of value to me, nor will I ever likely see a return on that 20$ I might toss your way.

What possible emotion in me would a gofundme actual tap at the end of the day? My desire to help others? My desire to see others accomplish their dreams?

It makes no sense to me at all.

I kind of agree with you, but I can't help reading your posts in a "WHAT IS THIS THING YOU CALL 'FEELINGS', HUMAN?" robot voice.

Gizmotech
April 17th, 2015, 12:15
Why would anyone have contributed to that dude's quest to get enough money to buy himself a burrito?

Trying to a make sense of the internet's hive mind is a road straight to insanity.

Okay, I actually get that one. The initial goal was accomplished and then people were just being stupid. That's internet hive mind at it's finest. The important thing though was his initial goal was like 5$ and people were playing after that. (also helped he got a reddit/kotaku link as well)


I kind of agree with you, but I can't help reading your posts in a "WHAT IS THIS THING YOU CALL 'FEELINGS', HUMAN?" robot voice.

Nah, I'm not trying to talk about it like that, but more from a marketing perspective. There needs to be some reason for the audience to connect to the product, and the product itself isn't valuable, there is no return on investment, and there seems to be no relation/intent to create interest in the product in the first place. People are relying on some innate understanding in others that they should be interested in them, which seems exceedingly entitled to me. This is what I don't understand, as human generosity is pretty common towards groups and towards known individuals, but genuine philanthropy on a one to one basis for anything more than pocket change is just rare.

greyjoy
April 17th, 2015, 12:23
Patreon is just an old concept born again. It used to be that people with fabulous wealth paid artists to live, so they could produce art all the time without needing to serve gyros at the Parthenon to make ends meet. Nowadays, the rich don't give shit to anybody, so the moderately less poor give a little bit in aggregate.

Go fund me is sort of a bastardization of this, which is why it sometimes results in people doing stupid requests for personal charity. I've gotten requests to fund weddings, to recoup money lost to a scam artist, and other things. As an easy way to appeal to family or whatever, I guess it might work for raising a little extra cash to go live abroad.

Jiggit
April 17th, 2015, 12:24
Patreon is just an old concept born again. It used to be that people with fabulous wealth paid artists to live, so they could produce art all the time without needing to serve gyros at the Parthenon to make ends meet. Nowadays, the rich don't give shit to anybody, so the moderately less poor give a little bit in aggregate.

It's almost as if that's where they got their site name from.


Nah, I'm not trying to talk about it like that, but more from a marketing perspective. There needs to be some reason for the audience to connect to the product, and the product itself isn't valuable, there is no return on investment, and there seems to be no relation/intent to create interest in the product in the first place. People are relying on some innate understanding in others that they should be interested in them, which seems exceedingly entitled to me. This is what I don't understand, as human generosity is pretty common towards groups and towards known individuals, but genuine philanthropy on a one to one basis for anything more than pocket change is just rare.

The thing is that it is working though. So clearly there doesn't need to be all those things. Why is that?

johnny
April 17th, 2015, 12:25
A bunch of people around me are starting gofundme pages to fund their study abroad experiences including going on JET. Maybe consider putting up a gofundme page for yourself?

Why don't they just get jobs and earn the money like everyone else?

Gizmotech
April 17th, 2015, 12:34
Patreon is just an old concept born again. It used to be that people with fabulous wealth paid artists to live, so they could produce art all the time without needing to serve gyros at the Parthenon to make ends meet. Nowadays, the rich don't give shit to anybody, so the moderately less poor give a little bit in aggregate.

Go fund me is sort of a bastardization of this, which is why it sometimes results in people doing stupid requests for personal charity. I've gotten requests to fund weddings, to recoup money lost to a scam artist, and other things. As an easy way to appeal to family or whatever, I guess it might work for raising a little extra cash to go live abroad.

Well see I don't mind patreon to be honest. Patreon in it's concept has a return. You are contributing to the creation of art, and enabling an artist to create content you can consume.


The thing is that it is working though. So clearly there doesn't need to be all those things. Why is that?

I'd love to see stats on it, which I know neither of us have. How many gofundme project have a return of sometype that the audience can relate to are successful, and how many Hey bro, give me monies are successful?

BifCarbet
April 17th, 2015, 12:40
I would never just ask everyone for money because I want something and can't get it, but if people are willing to shame themselves, and they can get the money, they should take the damn money.

Jiggit
April 17th, 2015, 12:42
I'd love to see stats on it, which I know neither of us have. How many gofundme project have a return of sometype that the audience can relate to are successful, and how many Hey bro, give me monies are successful?

TBH I'm not too familiar with gofundme. What I'm trying to get at is that if you're right that people have to get something to give something, what is it that they are getting? A nice warm feeling, vicariously living through someone else, amusement, what?

genkispirit
April 17th, 2015, 13:28
I think the point of gofundme is for people to reach out to reach their dream to do something. For some people, donating $10.00 isn't really a huge inconvenience for a lot of people, and if they can help someone further reach their goal they would be willing to do it. $10.00 doesn't seem like much but you get 1,000 people to donate and that's a nice chunk of coin, and it's not a lot for the individual. It's exactly how jumpstarters make 10s of 1000s of dollars quickly.

johnny
April 17th, 2015, 13:29
I get the idea behind it, but asking for money to go on JET is shameful begging.

acpc2203
April 17th, 2015, 13:39
I get the idea behind it, but asking for money to go on JET is shameful begging.
Yeah, the only way I can see this as being any better than panhandling is if you offer services or goods to the people who support you. You'd be better off just finding a temp job.

BifCarbet
April 17th, 2015, 13:44
Not everybody cares about dignity, though.

Zolrak 22
April 17th, 2015, 13:45
I get the idea behind it, but asking for money to go on JET is shameful begging.
You'd think you would plan ahead when you start applying for the program.

Hmm.

I know I did, even if it was just enough to get by on the first month.

weepinbell
April 17th, 2015, 20:43
I personally wouldn't feel comfortable using a gofundme but I also have a job that pays decently enough for me to have saved good money over the last year. Some people are working super low wage jobs and then there are those kids just getting out of college. If I did JET right out of college I would have seriously considered starting a donation fund bc I seriously had 300$ to my name. And it's seriously next to impossible to find a job that'll hire on for 2 months. Also it's not like you're asking strangers, I only see ones like this on FB (fund my study abroad etc) so they're really mainly asking their friends/family (and acquaintances I guess but I doubt that's expected) who are more inclined to donate anyway...

johnny
April 17th, 2015, 23:13
Hitting up friends and family isn't so bad I guess. If I did Jet straight out of university, I'd have no qualms about hitting my parents up for most of the start up cash.

BifCarbet
April 18th, 2015, 00:32
I'd probably ask family for a loan, or use a credit card. Asking for help to go start a job that pays enough to save money sounds kind of weak if you're not going to repay it.

weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 00:44
Yeah it pays well enough once you get there, but I think you're underestimating the expenses it takes to actually get over to Japan and settle in (for some people anyway). Using a credit card is a great way to rack up interest/fees when you won't be able to make payments on it for probably over a month. Just because you guys wouldn't donate 20$ to a stranger who's trying to go abroad doesn't mean their friends and family wouldn't happily do it without expecting anything in return. I do think it's a cute gesture when people offer to send a postcard or a small gift, though. This is all kinda unnecessary criticism. Again, personally? I would never do a gofundme. But I'm not gonna knock other people for it, because I know what it's like to live on 200$/month while being responsible for bills, groceries, etc. and it kinda sucks enough, and that's without having to worry about trying to move to another country.

BifCarbet
April 18th, 2015, 00:48
Yeah it pays well enough once you get there, but I think you're underestimating the expenses it takes to actually get over to Japan and settle in (for some people anyway). Using a credit card is a great way to rack up interest/fees when you won't be able to make payments on it for probably over a month. Just because you guys wouldn't donate 20$ to a stranger who's trying to go abroad doesn't mean their friends and family wouldn't happily do it without expecting anything in return. I do think it's a cute gesture when people offer to send a postcard or a small gift, though. This is all kinda unnecessary criticism. Again, personally? I would never do a gofundme. But I'm not gonna knock other people for it, because I know what it's like to live on 200$/month while being responsible for bills, groceries, etc. and it kinda sucks enough, and that's without having to worry about trying to move to another country.

Me? I already did it, and I needed to get a car. I know people would donate, and I'm not opposed to it completely. I just meant that I, personally, would not ask people to give me money for JET. For something like Peace Boat or other volunteering, maybe.

weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 01:02
That's fine but I wouldn't necessarily call it shameful when for the most part these people are being upfront with what they're trying to do and a lot of them are still trying to supplement their income with their own jobs. What's shameful is those 18 y/o crazies on tumblr that make up sob stories stories about abusive parents and end up getting 6000$ from other crazies for "move out expenses"...

BifCarbet
April 18th, 2015, 01:26
I don't think it's shameful. There's a difference between "little or no sense of shame" and "shameful" acts. I think it takes a reduced sense of shame to say, "Hey! I don't have enough money! Could you give me some?" I think that way because it's admitting to people that I don't have much money, which I've been conditioned to think is humiliating, and I have been conditioned to think that asking for discretionary stuff is selfish. I'm just saying I would be embarrassed doing that. I admire people who can get past that. I would also be embarrassed walking around yellow pants and a brown shirt, but that doesn't mean it's shameful.

singinglupines
April 18th, 2015, 02:27
USAA is great. I believe they don't have fees to use foreign ATMs, or if they do they're cheap, and they give you a decent rate. Plus, it's easy to just wire a bunch of money to your Japanese account.
Heads up. USAA is only for military folks. That's why I recommend Schwab.

weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 02:54
Heads up. USAA is only for military folks. That's why I recommend Schwab.

That's what I heard, but people kept telling me it's open for everyone now? On the website though it looks like it implies you need to have some sort of military connection...

For Charles Schwab what kind of debit do you get? And how's transferring money? I looked a bit on the website and it says there's no minimum amount on a checking account either... that sounds too good to be true haha.

Perilwink
April 18th, 2015, 04:36
If USAA has opened up, I don't think it will necessarily be as good. I know there are different tiers too depending on what kind of military, so officers and such get better rates. But if you have a qualifying military connection, definitely go for USAA. Once you're in, I believe you can keep bringing in future generations of your family whether they are enlisted or not. (Ex: my dad was military, I am not, but I am still a USAA customer.)

coop52
April 18th, 2015, 06:22
I got my account through my mom, since her dad was in the military. I believe it's restricted to spouses and descendants of account holders, regardless of their own military status. So, you might qualify if your grandparents served. It might be worth looking into since they offer good car insurance and such as well.

naginataonthebrain
April 18th, 2015, 06:57
No hope for a first gen American then

Kurisuchan
April 18th, 2015, 12:05
I'm just keeping my normal US bank. Usually, my bank requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 per month, or a minimum balance of $1,500 to not get maintenance fees. However, I talked to them and they told me a way around that rule.

I'm not sure about transferring money back and forth yet, but I know when I was in Japan last summer I could easily get yen from 7-11 ATMs and the exchange rate didn't seem bad. I believe my home bank did charge an international transaction fee, but even that wasn't very large. So, if your only issue is getting the money out​ once you get to Japan, this might be an option.

greyjoy
April 18th, 2015, 18:32
I'm just keeping my normal US bank. Usually, my bank requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 per month, or a minimum balance of $1,500 to not get maintenance fees. However, I talked to them and they told me a way around that rule.

I'm not sure about transferring money back and forth yet, but I know when I was in Japan last summer I could easily get yen from 7-11 ATMs and the exchange rate didn't seem bad. I believe my home bank did charge an international transaction fee, but even that wasn't very large. So, if your only issue is getting the money out​ once you get to Japan, this might be an option.

If you thought the exchange rate was pretty good last summer, than I've got great news for you this summer.

I never bothered pulling money out of my USA account here. I brought everything over in cash, and trust me, you're going to want to carry more cash around here every day than you ever do back home. You'll have to get used to carrying that wad around sometime, and it might as well be on day 1. Even on the mean streets of shinjuku, you won't get robbed, so try to shake that fear.

I left some funds in my home account to take care of lingering debts though, which I do recommend. If you have a small credit card debt or the like, anyway, not a student loan.

Kurisuchan
April 18th, 2015, 22:00
If you thought the exchange rate was pretty good last summer, then I've got great news for you this summer.

I never bothered pulling money out of my USA account here. I brought everything over in cash, and trust me, you're going to want to carry more cash around here every day than you ever do back home. You'll have to get used to carrying that wad around sometime, and it might as well be on day 1. Even on the mean streets of Shinjuku, you won't get robbed, so try to shake that fear.

I left some funds in my home account to take care of lingering debts though, which I do recommend. If you have a small credit card debt or the like, anyway, not a student loan.

I'm not quite sure if you were being sarcastic about the exchange rate (that it's going to get or has gotten worse), or if it's going to get better. It doesn't seem that the sentence was fully explained. Please explain what you mean? ^_^

In my response, I was under the impression that the poster of this thread was mainly concerned with losing their money on the way to Japan, not having it stolen once they get there. That's why I suggested this as an option for them to take a smaller amount to get started and get the rest out from an ATM once they get there.

I'm aware that it's a cash society. But, I also don't anticipate that I'll often need to carry thousands (referring to U.S. dollar worth, not yen) in order to do basic things like grocery shop. It's my understanding that the poster considers carrying all the money they have to their name at one time is foolish, seeing as if the money is lost somewhere (if they drop their wallet on the plane or in the airport by accident, maybe) they'll be screwed.

weepinbell
April 18th, 2015, 23:34
I'm not quite sure if you were being sarcastic about the exchange rate (that it's going to get or has gotten worse), or if it's going to get better. It doesn't seem that the sentence was fully explained. Please explain what you mean? ^_^

In my response, I was under the impression that the poster of this thread was mainly concerned with losing their money on the way to Japan, not having it stolen once they get there. That's why I suggested this as an option for them to take a smaller amount to get started and get the rest out from an ATM once they get there.

I'm aware that it's a cash society. But, I also don't anticipate that I'll often need to carry thousands (referring to U.S. dollar worth, not yen) in order to do basic things like grocery shop. It's my understanding that the poster considers carrying all the money they have to their name at one time is foolish, seeing as if the money is lost somewhere (if they drop their wallet on the plane or in the airport by accident, maybe) they'll be screwed.

Yeah I'm mostly worried about losing my wallet somewhere lol. But that's something I'll have to get over because for startup costs, I'll need to have a lot of cash on me so whatever I'll bring a good chunk and then if I need some more I'll just withdraw.

With the money transferring/withdrawing I'm a little concerned about losing money because of the fees from my bank, it's like 3% or something so if I'm withdrawing a few thousand that's like at least 50-100$ which is kind of annoying... especially when I start having to send money home for loans and stuff since the value of what I'm sending over will drop pretty significantly if the yen doesn't get better...

I think greyjoy means you'll be happy with the exchange rate going over there though, because your dollar's gonna go a pretty long way which is kinda nice. Just not nice for transferring money back to the states.

Penguee
April 18th, 2015, 23:38
I'm not quite sure if you were being sarcastic about the exchange rate (that it's going to get or has gotten worse), or if it's going to get better. It doesn't seem that the sentence was fully explained. Please explain what you mean? ^_^

In my response, I was under the impression that the poster of this thread was mainly concerned with losing their money on the way to Japan, not having it stolen once they get there. That's why I suggested this as an option for them to take a smaller amount to get started and get the rest out from an ATM once they get there.

I'm aware that it's a cash society. But, I also don't anticipate that I'll often need to carry thousands (referring to U.S. dollar worth, not yen) in order to do basic things like grocery shop. It's my understanding that the poster considers carrying all the money they have to their name at one time is foolish, seeing as if the money is lost somewhere (if they drop their wallet on the plane or in the airport by accident, maybe) they'll be screwed.

Pretty sure Grey Joy was being positive. The yen is really weak right now so you will get WAY more yen now for your dollars because the exchange rate shows a weak yen. Yay!
And no, he's being serious. Some business men regularly carry around what the equivalent of a thousand dollars
would be in America and they usually don't have a problem. I dropped my wallet in Tokyo, folks, and it came back to me with all the money in it. I usually don't feel comfortable if I carry less than what equals $100 on me at all times.

I suggest bringing about 50,000 yen cash and then using the ATM and taking it out as needed from your American bank account. Post Office or 7-11s are everywhere! And you get a good rate! :)

mrcharisma
April 18th, 2015, 23:52
Pretty sure Grey Joy was being positive. The yen is really weak right now so you will get WAY more yen now for your dollars because the exchange rate shows a weak yen. Yay! :)

And his JET salary will be worth a good 40% less than what it was three years back, meaning if he wants to send money home or undertake any international travel he'll have to fork out more.

"Yay!" is an overly short-term way of looking at it.

Jedirust
April 19th, 2015, 15:46
I spent about $1000 on a car, $250 to my pred for various items, set up Internet, phone, car insurance. Then had rent at the end. Total minimum cost was around $1700 not including food. I brought more than this. Once again, ask your predecessor for things like furnishings, car cost etc. They will be your best source for total costs. The first month cost me a lot. (Not as much as the new Tokyo ALTs).

Now I live off less than $400 a month for all my bills/rent. So plenty to save and spend on food and travel. ESID though.

Penguinonfire
April 19th, 2015, 17:41
I have a banking question that probably comes up very rarely. When I was in Japan for studying abroad I had a part time job through the school that required me opening a Japanese bank account. I still have the bank card, my PIN number, etc. The account was through SMBC and when I left I had a grand total of around 500円.
Do Japanese bank accounts ever close or get locked due to disuse or should it still be waiting for me after I submit change of address and such?
Obviously if no one knows it's not a big deal, I'll figure it out when I get there, but if anyone has input that'd be great.

Penguinonfire
April 19th, 2015, 17:43
And his JET salary will be worth a good 40% less than what it was three years back, meaning if he wants to send money home or undertake any international travel he'll have to fork out more.

"Yay!" is an overly short-term way of looking at it.

I'm hoping the yen stays weak until I get my money converted and then inexplicably skyrockets in value over the dollar.

Penguee
April 19th, 2015, 22:54
And his JET salary will be worth a good 40% less than what it was three years back, meaning if he wants to send money home or undertake any international travel he'll have to fork out more.

"Yay!" is an overly short-term way of looking at it.
I've been living in Japan for the last 3 years. I have loans to pay and it sucks to send money home and to travel at all. I'm bleeding money every month. Doesn't mean I can't be positive for someone who will have a bit of good luck due to the weak yen. :)

Penguee
April 19th, 2015, 22:56
I have a banking question that probably comes up very rarely. When I was in Japan for studying abroad I had a part time job through the school that required me opening a Japanese bank account. I still have the bank card, my PIN number, etc. The account was through SMBC and when I left I had a grand total of around 500円.
Do Japanese bank accounts ever close or get locked due to disuse or should it still be waiting for me after I submit change of address and such?
Obviously if no one knows it's not a big deal, I'll figure it out when I get there, but if anyone has input that'd be great.
I had the same situation and had no problem using the account when I came back. You should be okay unless something got demagnetized and as long as you have your Hanko you shouldn't have any problem and could have everything reissued as far as I know.

BifCarbet
April 20th, 2015, 01:20
I have a banking question that probably comes up very rarely. When I was in Japan for studying abroad I had a part time job through the school that required me opening a Japanese bank account. I still have the bank card, my PIN number, etc. The account was through SMBC and when I left I had a grand total of around 500円.
Do Japanese bank accounts ever close or get locked due to disuse or should it still be waiting for me after I submit change of address and such?
Obviously if no one knows it's not a big deal, I'll figure it out when I get there, but if anyone has input that'd be great.

I have an open account that I've left basically untouched since summer 2012, but I go back and use it once or twice a year. I have not had a fee in three years, so it basically just stays the same. Actually, my BOE made a random deposit of 10,000 yen a year after my contract ended. It's a smaller, rural bank, but my experience is that the account sits untouched, and no fees are charged. Something like SMBC may be different.

acpc2203
April 20th, 2015, 06:25
I have an open account that I've left basically untouched since summer 2012, but I go back and use it once or twice a year. I have not had a fee in three years, so it basically just stays the same. Actually, my BOE made a random deposit of 10,000 yen a year after my contract ended. It's a smaller, rural bank, but my experience is that the account sits untouched, and no fees are charged. Something like SMBC may be different.
That is good to hear, I have a JP Bank account that I left with ~500 yen, so hopefully it is still there.

singinglupines
April 20th, 2015, 07:23
That's what I heard, but people kept telling me it's open for everyone now? On the website though it looks like it implies you need to have some sort of military connection...

I was looking at it for car rental discounts and found that it is no longer open.

For Charles Schwab what kind of debit do you get? And how's transferring money? I looked a bit on the website and it says there's no minimum amount on a checking account either... that sounds too good to be true haha.

So far, I only transferred money from my primary US account to Schwab. While I was abroad I still had enough in my primary to pay loans. The customer service was great though in sending me the wire transfer info though when I thought I might.

There is no minimum which is fantastic. I think have about $200 in it now and have dropped it down to $20 with no problem. It is a Visa debit card. You open a brokerage account and get the checking account with it, all for free. I have never used the brokerage account and upon signing up I told them I had no immediate plans to start trading. The interest rate is horrible but that wasn't important to me, haha.

Otherwise I have used the card regularly in Europe to withdraw from various ATMs. All my ATM fees where refunded within a month. The exchange rate was comparable to the current market rate. And no exchange fees as my primary bank charges 1.5%. I prefer to withdraw money as needed rather than carry a lump sum.

I had also had a friend who used Schwab while studying abroad in Isreal with no problems.

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 08:21
So far, I only transferred money from my primary US account to Schwab. While I was abroad I still had enough in my primary to pay loans. The customer service was great though in sending me the wire transfer info though when I thought I might.

There is no minimum which is fantastic. I think have about $200 in it now and have dropped it down to $20 with no problem. It is a Visa debit card. You open a brokerage account and get the checking account with it, all for free. I have never used the brokerage account and upon signing up I told them I had no immediate plans to start trading. The interest rate is horrible but that wasn't important to me, haha.

Otherwise I have used the card regularly in Europe to withdraw from various ATMs. All my ATM fees where refunded within a month. The exchange rate was comparable to the current market rate. And no exchange fees as my primary bank charges 1.5%. I prefer to withdraw money as needed rather than carry a lump sum.

I had also had a friend who used Schwab while studying abroad in Isreal with no problems.

So if I'm understanding correctly, you use Schwab to get a better exchange rate/less fees on your debit for withdrawing internationally? My current bank charges 3% for withdrawing abroad. Maybe it'd also work well to transfer money from Japan to and then into my primary account if I needed to? If that's the case, sounds like a smart move...

Gizmotech
April 20th, 2015, 08:33
Guys, I would in no way plan your banking around the ability to withdraw cash in Japan more than once (even then, why bother?). I came over with 1500$ in cash, had no troubles, used quite a bit of it on various things, and never worried. After your first pay check, you shouldn't even need to use your foreign account.

Unlike a study abroad or travel program, you are getting paid here eh? You will have an income (a rather sizable one at that likely compared to anything you've earned before), and you won't need your foreign accounts.

That being said, IF you find out you are going to have to spend 2-3k when you get here of your own money to buy car, etc... DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOUR BANK. If you need to take out cash from back home, just do it once, bite the bullet on the potential 60-80$ charge on a 3000$ withdrawl, and never worry again.

Also, as for old bank accounts here, do no be surprised if your employer requests you to initially use a local bank that they have a working relationship with. This is rather common, as they want to make sure you actually GET your paycheck and can access it appropriately. If at a later date you want to switch to whatever old account you had (not that I could see any reason unless you had a Shinsei bank account) then you can, but there are usually better options than things like smbc and jpost these days (real internet banking, english support, 24/7 free withdrawls, etc...)

johnny
April 20th, 2015, 08:38
Good post. I would totally switch to Shinsei if I weren't leaving and would use them if I came back for any reason.

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 08:47
Guys, I would in no way plan your banking around the ability to withdraw cash in Japan more than once (even then, why bother?). I came over with 1500$ in cash, had no troubles, used quite a bit of it on various things, and never worried. After your first pay check, you shouldn't even need to use your foreign account.

Unlike a study abroad or travel program, you are getting paid here eh? You will have an income (a rather sizable one at that likely compared to anything you've earned before), and you won't need your foreign accounts.

That being said, IF you find out you are going to have to spend 2-3k when you get here of your own money to buy car, etc... DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOUR BANK. If you need to take out cash from back home, just do it once, bite the bullet on the potential 60-80$ charge on a 3000$ withdrawl, and never worry again.


I totally get your point. I'm really not worried about getting a Japanese bank account, and if I could... wouldn't worry about my current one. But a lot of us have no choice but to keep our foreign accounts because of student loans. I will be using mine quite a lot for that, so it'd be nice to get a good exchange rate since I'll be transferring large sums of money at least a few times a year - and if that comes with a few more perks? Even better.

BifCarbet
April 20th, 2015, 09:32
If you need to take out cash from back home, just do it once, bite the bullet on the potential 60-80$ charge on a 3000$ withdrawl, and never worry again.

In my experience, percentage fees have only been for credit card cash advances, and any time I've used my ATM card to withdraw from my checking account, it's been a flat rate. I've taken out 10,000 and paid 3-5 bucks and taken out 50,000 or 100,000 and still only been charged 3-5 bucks. I've always seen the fees as insignificant when measured against the process of purposefully closing and/or opening bank accounts.

johnny
April 20th, 2015, 09:40
I totally get your point. I'm really not worried about getting a Japanese bank account, and if I could... wouldn't worry about my current one. But a lot of us have no choice but to keep our foreign accounts because of student loans. I will be using mine quite a lot for that, so it'd be nice to get a good exchange rate since I'll be transferring large sums of money at least a few times a year - and if that comes with a few more perks? Even better.

I don't think it gets much better than GoRemit. I guess you could try Bitcoin.

uthinkimlost?
April 20th, 2015, 09:42
I don't think it gets much better than GoRemit. I guess you could try Bitcoin.

That's how Abolish20 launders all of his money, so it must be good!

Gizmotech
April 20th, 2015, 09:44
I totally get your point. I'm really not worried about getting a Japanese bank account, and if I could... wouldn't worry about my current one. But a lot of us have no choice but to keep our foreign accounts because of student loans. I will be using mine quite a lot for that, so it'd be nice to get a good exchange rate since I'll be transferring large sums of money at least a few times a year - and if that comes with a few more perks? Even better.

Wait, you do understand that they are not going to deposit into a foreign account from your employer, AND your foreign bank has nothing to do with the exchange rate? The exchange rates that matter are your banks here in Japan when they push Yen out to American/CAD through services like goremit or international money transfers.

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 10:14
What? Yes I know that they wouldn't deposit money into an American account, that's why I'm asking about ways to transfer money from my Japanese account to my American. Some banks (like Schwab) do wire transfers, that's why I ask.

BifCarbet
April 20th, 2015, 10:20
What? Yes I know that they wouldn't deposit money into an American account, that's why I'm asking about ways to transfer money from my Japanese account to my American. Some banks (like Schwab) do wire transfers, that's why I ask.

Any bank will do wire transfers. What are you getting at? I agree there's no reason to change your US bank to receive remittances from Japan.

johnny
April 20th, 2015, 10:20
What? Obviously wow. I'm talking about transferring money from my Japanese account to America. Some banks (like Schwab) do wire transfers, that's why I ask.

That's a fair question. I'm not sure which banks have the best rate, but I can tell you that local banks will quite likely have much higher transfer fees than GoRemit. I did my first international wire transfer through my bank, and all told it was 9,500 yen instead of the 4,000 or so yen I now pay with GoRemit. So that will be a big factor.

Those are total figures btw including charges from all institutions ( my Japanese bank+Go Remit+my Canadian bank), not just the transfer fee alone.

Other banks in Japan may have more competitive fees though.

weepinbell
April 20th, 2015, 10:34
That's a fair question. I'm not sure which banks have the best rate, but I can tell you that local banks will quite likely have much higher transfer fees than GoRemit. I did my first international wire transfer through my bank, and all told it was 9,500 yen instead of the 4,000 or so yen I now pay with GoRemit. So that will be a big factor.

Those are total figures btw including charges from all institutions ( my Japanese bank+Go Remit+my Canadian bank), not just the transfer fee alone.

Other banks in Japan may have more competitive fees though.

Yes this is what I'm asking about. I've never done the international banking thing, forgive me for not being super up on how it works. Just trying to figure it out since I know I'll be doing transfers. Thank you!


Any bank will do wire transfers. What are you getting at? I agree there's no reason to change your US bank to receive remittances from Japan.

Sorry with better rates*. I'm not gonna get rid of my primary bank, but I know lots of people do those online banks on the side to avoid some of the international fees that come along with other banks so I'm trying to work out my options.

johnny
April 20th, 2015, 10:38
Fwiw, I think GoRemit rates are pretty competitive and as good as you're going to get for a little puke like either of us. I have to confess that I cannot verify that without visiting my bank and other banks to confirm and I couldn't be bothered.

GoRemit will send you a daily email with their transfer rates though.

greyjoy
April 20th, 2015, 10:50
9500 for a wire transfer fee? Jesus, you might as well throw your yen in a box and mail it home.

What's the process of opening up a Shinsei account? I've got a local branch nearby, but it looks like it's mostly just internet banking. Which I guess is the draw.

Gizmotech
April 20th, 2015, 10:53
9500 for a wire transfer fee? Jesus, you might as well throw your yen in a box and mail it home.

What's the process of opening up a Shinsei account? I've got a local branch nearby, but it looks like it's mostly just internet banking. Which I guess is the draw.

Uhh, I tried doing it by post three times and failed. Dunno why, they probably didn't like my hanko or something. Finally when I was down in Tokyo, I just went over to roppongi hills and setup the account. In person at a branch it took like 15 minutes tops.

I haven't been into a branch since, I've had to call em a few times (Found out they don't support cash card direct bill payment setup, gotta use paper forms for it), otherwise it's been great. Especially the whole 24/7 no fee cash withdrawl from convenience store atms.

johnny
April 20th, 2015, 11:40
9500 for a wire transfer fee? Jesus, you might as well throw your yen in a box and mail it home.

What's the process of opening up a Shinsei account? I've got a local branch nearby, but it looks like it's mostly just internet banking. Which I guess is the draw.

Oh yeah, it was crazy. I procrastinated quite a lot in setting up my GoRemt account. I screwed up the application form by sending in a crappy photocopy of my resident card so the application was rejected and process got delayed a couple of weeks. It the mean time I needed to get money home so I bit the bullet and paid the fee.

I wonder if many if any small banks have much better fees than mine.

singinglupines
April 21st, 2015, 03:43
So if I'm understanding correctly, you use Schwab to get a better exchange rate/less fees on your debit for withdrawing internationally? My current bank charges 3% for withdrawing abroad. Maybe it'd also work well to transfer money from Japan to and then into my primary account if I needed to? If that's the case, sounds like a smart move...

Yup, no exchange fees or atm fees. This blog (What’s the Best Bank Account for Traveling? (http://maphappy.org/2012/07/whats-the-best-bank-account-for-traveling/)) has a good comparison as to what you lose with wire transfers. It's good for that as well.

Instead it goes Japanese bank --> Charles Schwab branch in Tokyo --> your Schwab account so less fees total.

singinglupines
April 21st, 2015, 03:45
Guys, I would in no way plan your banking around the ability to withdraw cash in Japan more than once (even then, why bother?). I came over with 1500$ in cash, had no troubles, used quite a bit of it on various things, and never worried. After your first pay check, you shouldn't even need to use your foreign account.

Unlike a study abroad or travel program, you are getting paid here eh? You will have an income (a rather sizable one at that likely compared to anything you've earned before), and you won't need your foreign accounts.

That being said, IF you find out you are going to have to spend 2-3k when you get here of your own money to buy car, etc... DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOUR BANK. If you need to take out cash from back home, just do it once, bite the bullet on the potential 60-80$ charge on a 3000$ withdrawl, and never worry again.

Also, as for old bank accounts here, do no be surprised if your employer requests you to initially use a local bank that they have a working relationship with. This is rather common, as they want to make sure you actually GET your paycheck and can access it appropriately. If at a later date you want to switch to whatever old account you had (not that I could see any reason unless you had a Shinsei bank account) then you can, but there are usually better options than things like smbc and jpost these days (real internet banking, english support, 24/7 free withdrawls, etc...)

I was working in CR and still had to pay a lot out of pocket before my paychecks started coming in. I like to save anywhere I can and taking a couple minutes to set up an extra bank account was well worth it for me. All those fees add up and it's not worth it for me when I know they are cheaper ways out there.

weepinbell
April 21st, 2015, 04:11
Yup, no exchange fees or atm fees. This blog (What’s the Best Bank Account for Traveling? (http://maphappy.org/2012/07/whats-the-best-bank-account-for-traveling/)) has a good comparison as to what you lose with wire transfers. It's good for that as well.

Instead it goes Japanese bank --> Charles Schwab branch in Tokyo --> your Schwab account so less fees total.

THANK YOU this is exactly what I've been looking for. Idk why anyone would be against saving on fees if you're gonna have money going back and forth pretty often haha (looking at my current bank's international rates, they would definitely add up...). Definitely going to look into setting one of these up as a secondary account.

Gizmotech
April 21st, 2015, 06:35
So you're telling me that Charles schwab is gonna refund the Citibank transfer fees as well? Seeing as there is no Charles schwab presence in Japan.

Weeping bell, you won't be sending money back and forth pretty often. You'll be sending it back mostly, and maybe a withdrawal in country once or twice tops. (In my four years here, I've done it... Once, which is one more than most).

For the record, I've also sent back well over fifteen thousand dollars, and based on the pile of paper I just shuffled through I lost exactly 160$ over those various transactions. That's about 1% (on top of the goremit rates which you watch). Total work required, setup goremit account. Total Japanese bank staff interaction required, one visit. (This is a potential headache that you guys aren't even considering yet, which I gladly sacrifice that 1% total for)

singinglupines
April 21st, 2015, 09:40
Charles Schwab does transfer through/with Citibank, but you don't get an extra transfer fee from Citibank because it counts as Schwab.

Each to their own method. I'm just saying it's an option to have among many. GoRemit may be the best choice.

acpc2203
April 21st, 2015, 12:53
Is there a max for tax purposes for the amount of money you can have in your Japanese bank account? I don't have any financial commitments back home so I don't really have a need to send money back.

Zolrak 22
April 21st, 2015, 13:19
Is there a max for tax purposes for the amount of money you can have in your Japanese bank account?

On a JET salary? [emoji14]

BifCarbet
April 21st, 2015, 13:26
If you're American it's $10,000. It's not a max, but you have to report beyond that much.

vaterross
April 21st, 2015, 13:32
Is there a max for tax purposes for the amount of money you can have in your Japanese bank account? I don't have any financial commitments back home so I don't really have a need to send money back.

The 10K thing is known as an FBAR, this (http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Report-of-Foreign-Bank-and-Financial-Accounts-FBAR)handy form.

acpc2203
April 21st, 2015, 13:37
Ah ok thanks! I remember my friend who did JET mentioning something like that.

webstaa
April 21st, 2015, 14:11
Ah ok thanks! I remember my friend who did JET mentioning something like that.

The FBAR isn't a limit. It's a 'security' reporting measure, (mostly for taxing people who earn more than total excludable foreign income.) It's separate, and easier to file than taxes. The only penalty is if the Treasury finds you didn't report. At which point there are penalties - something like $10,000 or 10%. It's really easy to hit that limit now due to the exchange rate if you aren't sending money back to the US.

One more thing to mention is that if you keep a large sum in Japan, there is a limit on how much you can remit in a set period - so when you're heading back to the States etc you'll need to plan ahead to get your money remitted properly.

acpc2203
April 21st, 2015, 15:11
Alright I was just planning on holding it until the yen to dollar exchange gets more favorable and then slowly transferring it over.