The financial fun of an ex-pat

I’m trying something new here … updating my blog exclusively with my iPad. I don’t plan on doing this for long entries, but it is pretty convenient. I’m in Tokyo for the weekend and decided not to bring my laptop.

I was reading CNN, and noticed an interesting article on the dollar / yen FOREX. It isn’t good news as the dollar approaches record lows against the yen. For ex-pats, this can be great news, bad news, or no impact. Luckily for me, it really isn’t that big of an impact, and might even be a little bit to my advantage. I am still paid in dollars, so my net worth in yen has been in pretty steady decline. However, my housing and major expenses are covered by the company at their cost. I don’t have an allowance in USD other than my transportation allowance. In addition, I have a goods and services differential that basically covers cost of living differences in consumer item costs as well as adjustments for exchange rate fluctuations. So, provided my lifestyle doesn’t exceed the basis for my goods and services differential I am OK. When I do buy major items here like plane tickets, it hurts! If I was going to settle in Japan it would be more of an issue. But one of these days the adventure will end and I’ll pre turn to LA.

Other ex-pats are on a dollar salary and may not have the goods and services differential as part of their package. They are the ones that are hurting the most in this situation. Life is costing more and more in USD even though inflation is low.

Still other ex-pats are paid in yen. If they are planning on returning to the States, i would imagine they are buying dollars like crazy right now. They are quite happy!