This book is a useful starting point. It may help you grasp some of the basics and teach you a few new Japanese terms. However, if you can speak and read Japanese, you can easily gather much more detailed and useful information simply by spending a few hours to make the rounds of your local Japanese pension service office, national tax office, various city hall departments and so on, to ask questions and pick up their booklets. Also, if you are employed in Japan, your employer's personnel department ought to have information about various retirement-related matters, such as options for health insurance coverage after retirement. Japanese banks also often have retirement specialists who will advise customers on pensions and other retirement-related matters in considerable depth for free. My local bank also offers a free, detailed brochure explaining different types of wills. And the city where I live offers free consultations with a tax specialist on such things as inheritance tax.
If you are fluent in Japanese, this book is not for you. Maybe good as an orientation, or to share with the extended family overseas to build understanding for why you do certain things to prepare or why you request this or that from them.
Thank you, Ms. Penn and team, for the valuable book. My copy just arrived, and I feel enriched from the chapters I have read. This book addresses a growing need, because we all play this game together - growing older. It does not give us ready-made solutions, but points out where to look and where to be extra careful. Now, where is the forum to pool our experience and learn more with each other?
As a 30-plus year resident of Japan and recently retired, I greatly appreciate the author's generosity in sharing her (migraine-inducing?) research. Even as a financial and tax professional for decades, there are areas which I have a hard time comprehending.
I've learned things I didn't know before. Particularly, the mandatory rules on inheritance and heirs. I've seen the matter explained, but the explanations are so contorted, I get lost. I appreciate the explanation being simple.
The author might tell Louise at the Japan Times to change how this book can be purchased. The article refers the reader to Amazon-US. Far better, simpler and cheaper to tell us it can purchased from Amazon-Japan.
5つ星のうち3.0Very useful content, but some butchered English
This book presents a large amount of useful information that would otherwise be difficult or time consuming for expats to gather and sort through. Thus, it admirably fulfills its purpose and the cost (of the Kindle version I bought) is reasonable.
However, although I have yet to read it from cover to cover, I was shocked by the following expressions:
"A copy of this will is also kept on record so that it’s accuracy cannot be disputed."
"If the heirs do it that way, they can breath a sigh of relief that the inheritance procedures are finally complete."
These violations of proper English may be due to a lack of proofreading, but the fact that they were written is, to me, simply unprofessional. I emailed the author about the "it is" issue but received no reply.