Q How I can save money effectively before I move to the US for marrage?
I answer financial questions at FP Cafe which is the website to find your lifetime financial planner. Here is the latest question and answer.
Q: I am currently engaged with an American guy and plan to immigrate to the U.S. in one year (visa application pending). I would like to save as much money as possible before I come to the US. What is the best way to do this? (26-year-old female, living in Tokyo)
A: Hello, I am Yoshiko Nakamura, a financial planner.
There are many things I would like to talk about, but here I would like to write about the most important one.
If you are going to get married and live in the U.S., the most important thing is to have the financial ability to be independent.
You should be able to earn enough money to live on your own there, at least $40,000 a year. This does not have to be done immediately after arriving in the U.S., but can be planned for a few years.
Ideally, you should find a job in the United States. Working for a Japanese company or individual is an option, but it is very inefficient due to the cheap yen.
In the U.S., the hourly wage for a part-time job at McDonald’s is about $19. In Japanese yen, it is 2,565 yen (assuming $1 = 135 yen). In other words, the hourly wage in Japan is less than half of the American wage.
Therefore, now is the time to seriously think and plan how you will earn an income after moving to the U.S., and make adequate preparations before coming to the U.S.
In the U.S., few people think that “one husband works to support his wife and children. If Naomi does not have sufficient income, there is a risk that this will be a cause for divorce. (I know an example of such a Japanese woman.)
As you know, one out of every two married couples in the U.S. gets divorced. The percentage is even higher for international marriages.
It is important to save money, but now is the time to develop “earning power” even if you lose your savings, and to develop the financial strength to survive on your own both in Japan and in the U.S.
If you want to find a job in the travel industry in the U.S., you may consider working in the travel industry in Japan to develop your career and obtain qualifications. In the U.S., it is difficult to find a job if you do not have a proven track record.
Things like the National Pension Plan and the Nomura Settlement NISA are just the tip of the iceberg. What are you going to do with your job and what will you do to earn money to live?
Please consult with your boyfriend and local friends to make a realistic plan and implement it.
Also, as harsh as it may sound, think about what you will do if your marriage is not going to work out in a few years. If you leave him, will you continue to live in the U.S. or will you come back to Japan?
If you have the financial resources, you have the option to stay in the U.S. If not, you will have to return to Japan. What if you have children then? (I have seen several examples of such Japanese women) Develop your financial strength.
I consult with Japanese individuals, Japanese couples, and international married couples living abroad. I welcome Naomi’s request for consultation.
Alpha and Associates