Saturday, October 08, 2005
Deep Thinking on the Porcelain Throne
JiXiang had a pretty good sleep last night. Right now she is napping and she only has coughed once so far.
(***huge relief sigh***)
Due to JiXiang being sick, my mind has relaxed and my ranting about visas has mellowed a tad. I have been thinking very clearly about things.
My deepest thinking happened on the porcelain throne yesterday (why is that?) and I realized something very important.
Li and I have to leave Japan fairly soon or else stay here forever.
It all boils down to age and pensions.
I am 32 years old already. If we stay here for about 5 more years that makes me 37 and Li almost 36. Imagine starting your entire life over again at that age. No home, no job, no nothing.
People have done it but I don’t really want to.
Then there is the pension problem.
As of now I have maybe 5 years sitting in Canada. Li has none. (I have no idea how it works for China) Here in Japan I have been paying into the pension scam (no spelling mistake) for almost 6 years, yet almost NONE of that money is mine. When I leave Japan I can not take that money with me, I can not transfer it to Canada.
Paying your pension is law in this country, but if you are a foreigner you get almost none of it back. By law I am entitled to 90% of three years of my pension contributions.
That is if I leave Japan.
The other option is staying here for 25 years and then receiving the full payments when I retire, if there is any money left in the pension account at that time. Probably not. If I leave the country before 25 years of working I am not entitled to ANY pensions payments when I retire.
To put it into perspective for you, I paid 230$ towards pension last month AND NONE OF THAT MONEY I WILL EVER SEE AGAIN. Now times that 230 by about 36 months and you will begin to understand why I am curling my eye brows a bit about this. That is a lot of money that I will never see again.
I could have been putting that into a long term high interest education fund for JiXiang, or towards the Toyota Corolla that I want to buy for my family when we move back to Canada.
That and the government has been talking about raising the pension premium thingy so that I have to pay MORE. Not liking that.
I am not against paying my pension. I think it is a smart thing to do, what ever country you are in. And I understand the government keeping a small amount although it is slightly equivalent to stealing. It could be more. But I do believe that that money is mine for when I retire, therefore I should be entitled to transfer it. Maybe not get a lump sum when I leave but at least let me transfer it to my country or allow me to receive it when I do retire, regardless of what country I am in at that time. I worked for it.
When my grandparents left Germany for Canada many moons ago my grandparents were offered a lump payment of their pensions, or a holding of it in trust, until the time they do retire. Grandpa chose to leave it in Germany. When they retired they received two pension checks from two separate countries. Totally legal and RIGHT! They had worked their asses off for that pension. Their check was only based on their contributions.
Once you hit 30 the whole pension idea starts to make sense to you, and having one becomes important. I want to retire comfortably and not cause my kids money stress when I do. Right now I am not doing a very good job in that area.