Saving for Two?
RetireJapan: I'm really pleased to have another reader profile for you today. John very kindly shares his story with us below, and seems to be making an excellent start on saving and investing for retirement.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I've been in Japan for about 10 years. Originally I was on the JET Program. I've remained in education and I currently work for a private Junior and Senior High School. I enjoy teaching and hope to continue in my current job long-term.
2. How did you get started with personal finance?
I didn't give much thought to personal finance until I got married and realized that I'd probably be in Japan long-term. Initially, it was very stressful because it was clear that saving money and hoping for pension benefits wasn't a good plan. As I learned more, the stress levels dropped and I now feel a lot more optimistic.
3. What are you doing at the moment?
So far, as per the financial plan I made, I have cut down on spending and saved an emergency fund of about three months of living expenses. Now I am in the process of opening a J401k, NISA and a stockbroking account.
4. What books/websites/companies do you recommend?
I really recommend Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam and the Mr. Money Mustache website.
5. What's your plan going forward?
My plan is to put money into my J401k and NISA and anything left over into Vanguard Index funds through my Rakuten stockbroking account. Also, to try and make some money outside of my main job. My initial goal is 200,000￥ in the first year increasing to 1,000,000￥ the next. That seems to be happening but it's early days yet.
Any other thoughts?
I am having trouble convincing the wife to do any of this for herself. This is something I hadn't considered but is starting to dawn on me, that my financial security really relies on her not cocking it up for herself. I'm not sure I can provide a comfortable retirement for us both.
John mentions two extremely important points. Finding ways of making extra money can provide a huge boost to your saving, and can also be a lot of fun if you find something you enjoy.
The second point, working with a spouse or partner who is not interested in personal finance, is such a common story that I will be doing a blog post about it soon. Thanks for the inspiration, John!
I'm still looking for more reader profiles so if you would be willing to answer the questions above and share your situation and story please get in touch via the contact form. We'd love to hear from you.