Financial Wellness: Strategies for a Secure and Independent Future | Event Recap


November 16th @ 7:00 PM – 8:45 PM (JST)

Real-Life Perspectives on Retirement

FEW’s November Monthly Meeting centered around Financial Wellness, exploring strategies for a secure and independent retirement. The event featured insightful discussions led by four panelists, covering key takeaways and advice for navigating the changing retirement landscape.

Meet our Panelists

Diane Nagatomo (Retired Professor)

Diane Nagatomo (Retired Professor)

Diane Hawley Nagatomo has been living and teaching in Japan since 1979. She retired from Ochanomizu University in 2022 as a full professor but continues to teach part-time at several Tokyo universities. She has extensively researched and written on issues related to gender and identity in language learners and language teachers. Additionally, she has authored numerous EFL textbooks and a Japanese phrase book titled “暮らしの日本語指さし会話帳4 英語版 暮らしの日本語指さし会話帳シリーズ.” Her first novel, “The Butterfly Café,” set in contemporary Tokyo, was published in July 2023. She lives with her husband and has 6 grandchildren.

Ryann Thomas (International Tax Services Partner)

Ryann Thomas (International Tax Services Partner)

After joining PwC Japan in mid-2001, Ryann worked initially in the transfer pricing area but more recently she is providing general international tax services for multinational enterprises. Her client base is primarily foreign-headquartered companies conducting inbound business to Japan, although she also works with several Japanese-headquartered corporations. She is a sole householder, is not married and does not have children therefore her financial wealth is reliant on herself. Her current position has a mandatory retirement at 60 so she has to retire in 6 years.

Rebecca Jennison (Professor Emerita)

Rebecca was born and raised in the US and has lived in Kyoto for over 4 decades. She came to Japan after graduating from university with an interest in Japanese and East Asian art and later received a Master’s Degree from Cornell University in East Asian Languages and Literatures.  She taught courses in women‘s studies with a focus on art and literature in the Department of Humanities at Kyoto Seika University until the end of March 2020, and is continuing her research and writing on the works of women contemporary artists engaged with feminism, post-colonial theory, and transnational issues. She is also a sole householder with 1 Japanese son.

Vivian Tianyue Hu (Client Advisor)

Vivian Tianyue Hu (Client Advisor)

Vivian is a Managing Director at Leo Wealth, an independent global wealth advisor. Based in Hong Kong, Vivian provides comprehensive financial planning services to global citizens including investment management, trust and estate planning, cash flow planning, retirement planning, and cross-border advisory. Prior to Leo Wealth, Vivian served as a VP at Pictet & Cie SA, advising High Net Worth clients in the APAC region. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Vivian was based in New York as a financial planner at First Republic Bank. Vivian has more than 10 years of experience delivering wealth management solutions across both the US and Asia Pacific. Vivian holds an MS in Finance from Pace University and a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a Certified Financial Planner professional, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She is married and has one son.

Key Insights

  1. Self-Reliance: Be prepared to rely on yourself, considering potential unforeseen challenges in retirement.
  2. Safety Nets: Explore health insurance, pension plans, and social security benefits for a secure financial foundation.
  3. Early Planning: Start retirement planning early, especially for women, who face a longer average longevity than men.
  4. Educate Yourself: Understand the power of saving, compounding interest, and regularly review your budget to adapt to changing responsibilities.
  5. Multiple Income Streams: Diversify income sources through property ownership, investments, and potentially post-retirement work.

Practical Tips

  1. Consult Authorities: Seek advice from local prefectural offices regarding retirement, wills, and end-of-life planning.
  2. Health Considerations: Factor in family medical history when budgeting for retirement.
  3. Legal Preparedness: Ensure documents are in order, including permanent residency, consistent names, and property ownership details.
  4. Professional Assessment: Consider professional services like LEO Wealth to assess and project your financial situation.
  5. Personal Fulfillment: Project your retirement, envisioning where you want to live, what you want to do, and the annual funds required.


Many thanks to our panelists for sharing valuable insights, practical tips, and empowering stories that will help us chart a course toward financial security and personal fulfillment in retirement. We would also like to thank FEW Japan Leadership for organizing this event and providing a platform for our speakers to share their knowledge. Special thanks to our FEW Japan community for attending and engaging in this important conversation. We look forward to continuing to support each other in our journeys towards Financial Wellness.

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