Sixty-six million people get Social Security payments each month. Almost 48 million retirees are beneficiaries of these. This translates to 9 out of 10 Americans who are 65 or older. Not all of these people live in the US. Over 695,000 live in other countries. Of those, 97,693 live in Japan.
The Japanese number is surprising. According to a recent 24/7 Tempo study, Japan ranks 10th among countries with US expats, behind Mexico, the UK, and several other European countries. Only a few thousand Americans move there each year. These are the countries with the most American expats.
There are several reasons Americans relocate to Japan. For the most part, people in Japan are paid well. Whether this affects American retirees is hard to say. It depends on how many are still working.
What is clear is that Japan is one of the safest nations in the world. There is very little violence, and it is extremely rare for residents to have guns.
The cost of living in Japan is about 50% of the US figure. A strong dollar makes that advantage larger.
Americans who live in Japan do have to pay US taxes. However, this is rare. According to H&R Block, “The United States is one of only two countries that taxes based on citizenship, not place of residency.” However, Americans who pay taxes in the countries where they live may get relief from the IRS.
For older Americans, healthcare is a critical issue. Japan has one of the world’s best healthcare systems. And according to one source, “Health care in Japan is, generally speaking, provided free for Japanese citizens, expatriates, and foreigners.”
Finally, and unfortunately, very few Americans speak Japanese. That alone is a reason few people from the US live there.
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