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How I Send Money Between my Japan and USA Bank Accounts - Life Abroad

Despite living abroad in Japan for quite some time now, I of course still maintain a USA presence of sorts in the form of bank accounts and credit cards.  Therefore, a common scenario is sending money between my Japan bank account and my USA one.  While the options used to be fairly limited to international money orders and wire transfers, a couple of newly-discovered and extremely convenient solutions have proved their weight in yen to me.  For the sake of completeness, I document all the solutions I've utilized.

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How to Get USA Stuff Shipped to You in Japan - Living Abroad

During the course of my life abroad in Japan, I've increasingly found myself in this situation:
- I find something online that I just must have--usually something very American (and a bit silly) like ridiculously potent gel that makes my teeth gloriously white.
- Not surprisingly I can't buy it in Japan. -OR- I can buy it in Japan, but the price is insanely high.
- I go to Amazon USA or Ebay and find it there, but the seller won't ship it to Japan.
Oh, and this situation is compounded by the fact my family back home loves gifting me Amazon USA gift certificates for birthdays and Christmas.

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Babysitting Services in Japan

Life abroad as a parent can be tough, and there are moments when you just want someone to take the pain  It can be especially difficult when those moments sneak up on you, and you don’t have nearby friends or family who can keep an eye on the youngsters.  While you take care of business or recover from an illness or recent childbirth, wouldn't it be nice to have a helping hand?  Sure, there are daycare programs and preschools; but those options aren't always convenient or suitable, often requiring advance registration procedures.  Luckily with some relatively recent developments, parents in Japan can choose from a number of babysitter options to help alleviate the stress of finding someone trustworthy to take care of the kiddies in those busy times.

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Sumida Hospital's Clinical Trials Program Seeks Participants in Tokyo

Several years ago I enrolled in Sumida Hospital's clinical trials program, participating in one of their paid clinical trials.  Despite the commitment, I found it a rewarding experience both in monetary value and blog-worthiness.  I described the experience here: The Clinical Trial

Since I'm on their mailing list, I receive occasional invitations and information regarding their other clinical trials.  They are currently seeking Caucasian and Hispanic female participants for a well-compensated clinical trial slated to start the first week of February 2016.

- healthy Caucasian or Hispanic female (both parents must be Caucasian or Hispanic)
- age between 20 and 45
- weight between 40 kg and 90 kg
- able to refrain from smoking during the clinic stay
* Please note that these are just the major requirements. There may be other requirements or conditions not listed here that could cause you to be ineligible for this particular trial.

Please contact Sumida Hospital using their contact form if interested.  Please let them know that David Pavlina referred you, as this will allow me to receive credit for the referral.  Here's the link:

How to Receive SMS Passcodes Abroad

Although I've lived overseas in Japan for some time now, I still maintain a "presence" of sorts in my USA homeland in the form of bank accounts, credit cards, Paypal, etc.  The Internet with its access-anywhere convenience makes this reasonably easy; however, I smacked into a challenge when seeking to boost the security of my online financial accounts.  My ultimate goal was to setup multi-factor authentication wherever possible--a feature supported by most major online services, especially the money-related ones.

Some sites use handy token apps like "Google Authenticator" to provide the second authentication factor, but most I found use SMS--messaging the one-time password (OTP) to your phone upon login.  The problem I have is that sites like Paypal require a USA phone number to send the SMS to.  But I don't have a USA phone number because I live abroad.  Am I forever doomed to answer recycled personal questions when logging in?

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