The Cost of Living in Hong Kong

Written by Alex Bach

Living abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of any lifetime. But depending where you go, it is not always the most inexpensive experience especially if that place happens to be Hong Kong. We’ll go over the cost of living in Hong Kong, what you can expect when you get there and what you’ll need to stay.

To get your belongings there, we can make moving to Hong Kong one of the lesser stresses you’ll have to worry about. We’ve helped hundreds of families make international moves and can help get your possessions to to your new home without a hitch.

Rent and Housing:

Hong Kong is the most vertical city in the world, resulting from the relatively tight space of the city, forcing construction to build up instead of out. As a result, the price of property in Hong Kong is not cheap. Whether you’re renting or buying, you will likely be paying more for lodging than you did back in the States. The average rent for an unfurnished apartment in the city is anywhere from $3,600 to $5k!

Utilities:

Utilities are fairly expensive as well in Hong Kong. You can expect your water bill to be around $50, your gas bill somewhere near $25 and your electricity bill ( the big one) to rest between $130 and $200. Meaning an additional $300 per month on top of the rent.

Lifestyle Costs:

Luckily many of your grocery items and restaurant dishes are going to be relatively the same as you’d find in any major city in America. Fresh baked bread goes for about $5, eggs for around $2, coffee for about $8, local milk $3. Note: Hong Kong has several options for higher level foods, such as free range eggs and Australian milk, which are going to cost significantly more money than their base level counterparts.

Alcohol:

Alcohol is an expensive commodity in Hong Kong. You can expect to pay as much as $35 for a bottle of Tanqueray gin and up to $22 for a bottle of wine. Thankfully six packs of beer, like Heineken, are only about $6 per pack.

Restaurants and Entertainment:

Luckily the cost of having fun in Hong Kong is about the same as it is in New York or Chicago. Certainly not cheap to do every night, but it won’t break your bank to go out once or twice a week. A mid-level dinner for two can be found for under $100 though not including alcohol. And a concert or trip to the theater can range from $13 all the way to $130 for premium seats.

 

Best Places to Retire in Hawaii

Written by Alex Bach

For many, retiring is all about retreating to your dream destination, your paradise. As such, retirees are looking to Hawaii to spend their golden years. Here are some of the best places in Hawaii to spend out the rest of your days. (Though take heed, Hawaii is not necessarily the most affordable place to retire.)

And just because it’s still part of the US doesn’t mean moving there is going to be an easy task. You’ll have to plan ahead and make arrangements to ship all the belongings you want to bring via ocean carrier, but giving yourself time will make the move to Hawaii that much smoother.

If You Can Afford It:

As we said earlier, Hawaii is not going to be the cheapest option for your retirement. But if you can afford it, here are some of the most desirable places to lay down your final stakes.

Kaanapali (Maui):

The beaches of Kaanapali are some of Hawaii’s most iconic and famous. As such, it’s also one of the most expensive. Expect to pay upwards of $900,000 for your retirement home.

Honolulu:

As the third-most expensive city in all of America, Honolulu isn’t going to be the retirement option for many. Still, this major city located right on a gorgeous beach that could make South Beach in Miami seem a bit insecure is the perfect place to retire if you can afford it especially as Honolulu will give you access to prime healthcare.

More Affordable:

Hilo:

This often overlooked city on the island of Hawaii is one of the more affordable places you could retire. Situated between Mount Loa and Mount Kea, Hilo offers over one-hundred miles of fantastic hiking, gorgeous rain forests, waterfalls, beaches and access to hospitals and a major airport.

Kailua-Kona:

On the western coast of Hawaii’s big island is a quiet, volcanic paradise loaded with fantastic golf courses and minimal rain fall: only about 10 inches per year, as opposed to Hilo’s 128 inches. Certainly an exotic retirement locale.

Paia:

Paia is a tiny little beach town on the northeastern side of the ever-popular and eminently-gorgeous Maui. A quiet town, Paia has a population of under 3,000 and offers a small town feel on this popular island. Don’t worry, it’s only a short 8-mile drive over to the main city of Maui, Kahului, where you can find more shopping, restaurants and hospitals.

The Cost of Living in New Zealand

Written by Damien Shields

Thinking of making a major move? Great decision. But where will you go? Largely your choice will depend on what kind of finances you have and what standard of living you hope to find. The good news is that New Zealand is a gorgeous, exotic location and one that won’t break your bank.

A big move overseas can be a big headache. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Make sure you plan ahead and give yourself ample time to get all the preparations for your move to New Zealand finished well before you actually leave. Then you can start focusing on which part of the “Lord of the Rings” tour you’ll hit first.

Economy:

New Zealand has welcomed a growth in their economy in the past years, with the median household income around 60,000 Euros per year (although the country is on its own New Zealand currency). Compared to many other cities around the world, New Zealand’s main cities, Auckland and Wellington come in at numbers 56 and 74, with cities like London and New York coming in at numbers 25 and 33, respectfully.

Rent:

Rent in New Zealand is fairly affordable. You can rent a three-bedroom house here for about $357 NZ a month, with higher prices in the city going towards $600. That’s quite a bit lower than any real estate you’d find in most major American cities. And if you’re looking to buy, the average house price was $392K in 2013. Again, much lower than many American and European cities.

Goods:

The price for market goods is fairly standard in New Zealand. Milk costs about $2.40NZ per liter (they are on the metric system there). Eggs are a bit more expensive at about $4.35/dozen. Though, if you’re a smoker, you should expect to pay a lot more for your Marlboro’s, approximately $18NZ a pack!

Transportation:

Luckily New Zealand has many affordable ways to get around. Tickets for local public transportation go for about $3.50 with monthly passes around $120.0; about what you’d pay in most other metropolitan cities. Gas goes for about $2.20-liter; as there are 3.785 liters in a gallon you’re looking at a pretty hefty price for gasoline.

Overall, New Zealand is likely one of the more affordable destinations you could choose for an international adventure, just keep in mind that it’s a different lifestyle and many things such as gasoline and tobacco have some steep surcharges.

Cost of Living in Hawaii

Written by Alex Bach

For many, the dream of living on a beautiful tropical island is, well, just a dream. Still, some have committed to besting that dream and making it a reality by moving to Hawaii. And while Hawaii will surely be an epic and beautiful adventure, take heed, it is not the cheapest of places to find yourself living.

And if you need help bringing your car or other household items from the mainland to your new island paradise, research some relocation companies that service Hawaii. We’ve shipped hundreds of cars and helped countless families make the difficult move across the pacific. Call us today about your move to Hawaii.

According to a report by Civil Beat, Hawaii has the highest cost of living out of every state in the U.S. Apparently the cost of living in Hawaii is 16-percent higher than the runner up, New York. Let’s break it down and take a look some of these costs and why they are what they are:

Incomes:

For just sheer dollar amount, Hawaii sounds like an economic paradise at first, with the median household income at almost $60k per year: which would put it ninth in the nation. However, once you factor in the high cost of living in this Pacific Paradise, you’re left with a more disappointing figure that puts it in about the middle. Similarly, the amount you’d need to make per hour just to rent a 2-bedroom house would be around $34/hour. Keep that in mind when you consider your move.

Housing:

Hawaii has some of of the most expensive property in the nation. A standard two-bedroom house can go for as much as $600,000 and condos sell for around $315,000: or about $1,600/month for a 2-bedroom.

The fact that these are islands with very real limits on the availability of space, not to mention the desire of living on the island, are all responsible for these prices being what they are.

Goods:

Consider that most of the products you will buy, outside of coconuts, papaya, and Rum, will be imported from the mainland or other countries. This means paying the most in the nation for gas, about $4.25/gallon. This means paying more for milk, about $6/gallon, and virtually anything you’d need.

You’ll have to keep these prices in mind when plannining your dream island retirement.

Best Colleges in Ireland for U.S. Students

Written by Jason Lowder

The Emerald Isle has long held a fascination with many American students. A place of rich culture, heritage, geography, and, of course, spirits. Many American students have sought out Ireland as a place to study abroad. But which schools should they be looking at?  We will break down the best schools for American students.

And if you need help getting your golf clubs, furniture, or other goods to and from Ireland Schumacher Cargo is here to assist. We’ll help you transport your souvenirs or luggage and make your move to Ireland as smooth as a pint of Guinness.

Best Irish Schools for U.S. Students:

Trinity College:

Trinity is the Harvard of Ireland. It’s international prestige makes it a top destination for education for prospective students around the world. While the fact that this gorgeous campus is in the heart of Dublin might be at the top of many American students Ireland University Wish-Lists, it might not be the most feasible to get into.

University College Dublin:

Another top ranked College in Dublin, the UCD is likely a much more promising option for many U.S. students and one that would still put them into Ireland’s most bustling city. Tour the old haunts of James Joyce while taking classes on Ulysses or Irish History (which you’ll need if you hope to master that incredible tome).

IBAT College Dublin:

IBAT is a great choice for US students looking to study in Ireland. The college prides itself on its international student body, the cultural breadth of which supplies an extra level of education for students. IBAT is a great school for those majoring in business, accounting, IT, or looking to get their MBA. As Ireland, and especially Dublin, is a major international center for business and IT, your education here could take you a long ways in the job market.

University College Cork:

For something outside of Dublin try the UCC, located in County Cork and surrounded by the luscious geography Ireland is known for. The school caters to both undergraduate and graduate work for international non-EU students, making it a great place for US students looking for a quality education in Ireland. The college offers 40 different degrees for their international students and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The 7 Places and Things You Do First in Australia

Written by Damien Shields

With the world going ever more global, it’s becoming easier and easier for people to try out living in an exciting new part of the world. And one of the most exciting places you could hope to test out is Australia. But with so many iconic, exotic, and exciting things on your plate, what do you do and see first?

A big move requires planning and preparation, and luckily we’re just the right people to help with that during moving season. We can help your move to Australia be as easy and stress-free as possible.

7 Things To Do And See FIRST In Your Move to Australia:

Great Barrier Reef:

This one will certainly qualify as an adventure and might cost a bit but you absolutely have to see the biggest barrier reef in the entire world. Home to some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef is a sust see!

Drive the Great Ocean Road:

One of the cheaper and yet more stunning sights in Australia can be found simply by driving the Great Ocean Road. This coastal highway offers easily some of the best shoreline driving on the planet. Be sure to watch the coast for the 12 Apostles – 12 columns of limestone jutting out from the waters.

Sydney Opera House:

One of Australia’s most, if not the most, iconic buildings is the Sydney Opera House. You simply must attend something here. It would be like moving to Chicago and not seeing the Sears Tower (yes, that’s right Sears Tower).

The Grampians National Park:

This park in Victoria is home to some of the coolest rock formations in the country as well as some of the oldest Aboriginal rock art. This is the Monument Valley of Australia.

Byron Bay:

Though a bit of a tourist trap, Byron bay in Queensland is one of Australia”s most iconic beaches. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out once. Might as well get it out of the way while you are still a tourist before setting out to find the hidden gems.

Uluru:

The most iconic sight in all of Australia’s Outback is Uluru. This humpbacked rock is truly a marvel of geography and ancient culture. You must see it!

Kakadu National Park:

While pretty much any of Australia’s national parks should be on your immediate must see lists, Kakadu offers some of Australia’s rarest, most iconic, and most gorgeous sights all in one park.

Best Colleges for U.S. students in Germany

Written by Alex Bach

When most college students think of where they’d like to study abroad, most think of exotic places like Italy, Spain, or Hong Kong: often overlooking one of the best places for U.S. students to study in the entire world: Germany. A linguistic cousin of America’s predominant English, Germany is more accessible than many of those other countries and offers some incredible and compelling scenery as well. Here are some of the best colleges for U.S. students to study at in Germany.

And if you need some help with the moving process, Schumacher Cargo is happy to assist. We’ve assisted hundreds of people over the years make their dreams of living overseas a reality and we can help you move to Germany with ease.

The 3 Best German Colleges for U.S. Students:

Humboldt University of Berlin:

With ten percent of the school’s enrollment consisting of international students, US students should feel comfortable in this prestigious university. Ranked 99th in the world, this is a great school for the scientifically minded: in both technology, green sciences, and quantitative economics. After all, what could be be better than researching (and even working) climate science in one of the greenest countries on the globe?!

Heidelberg University:

While many colleges in the U.S. try and imitate a castle-like campus–this one actually is a castle! Formed in 1386, Heidelberg is one of the oldest universities in all of Europe, and one of the most prestigious too. This is a great university for the abroad-dedicated student who truly wants to study someplace out of the ordinary. And you won’t be alone with over 20% of the classrooms filled with international students. Though you should brush up on your German before.

The Technische Universitaet Munchen:

The Technische Universitaet Munchen, or Technical University Munich, is the school to be at if your field of study is engineering. Consider this: Germany is renowned all over the world for its engineering, and this is Germany’s most prestigious school for it. The school is so strong in the field that it has partnerships with some of the best schools in America such as Cornell, MIT and Stanford. Imagine coming back to the US and hitting the job market with that under your belt!

See How Schumacher Cargo Helped a Superhero!

Written by Damien Shields

What do NBCNews, a Batmobile and Yverdon-les-bains, Switzerland all have in common?……Schumacher Cargo Logistics!

We must admit that over the years, there have been quite a few vehicles we have shipped that have even stood out for us!

There was David Hasselhoff’s KIT replica from Knight Rider that went to Dublin Ireland for an Exhibition and the famous time travelling DeLorean from Back to the Future fame that went to a collector in Holland.

But the one that stands out the most……of course, it’s the Batmobile. Sure, it was only used in the films as a prop but all the same, we like to think we assisted The Caped Crusader with his International shipping needs in Heroic style!

batmobile in shipping container

So…what might someone want with a Batmobile? Well, Comic Con isn’t the only event for Superheroes. We moved it for a client from our facility in Los Angeles to Switzerland for the Superhero Exhibition in Yverdon-les-bains.

This was one of the production cars from the 1980’s Batman Movie starring Michael Keaton. It was purchased and restored by one of our clients who has a profound interest in all things movies.

He delivered the vehicle to our warehouse, where we loaded it into a 40’ container. It shipped from LA to Bremerhaven, with the final destination in Switzerland.

1980's batmobile

We move a lot of movie memorabilia autos and it’s amazing to think of the adventures these vehicles go on: travelling the world for movie fans alike to view in person.

It is a testament to the people who have the desire and make sure these small snippets of movie history, are kept restored and in circulation for everyone to enjoy.

You can see a few pictures and read the full article and on NBCNews!

Best Places to Retire in Spain

Written by Alex Bach

Destination retirements are the dream of many of us. A way to relax and go on permanent vacation. And while many have chosen destinations within their own country, say from New York to Florida, several have started to look further, into a more international retirement plan: and for that, Spain is one of the best places.

Retirement is all about kicking back after a life of hard work and letting it fall on younger shoulders. Schumacher Cargo is happy to help you with with relocating to Spain from your home in the U.S.. We’ll take care of the move, so you can just take care of the retirement!

Costa del Sol:

Costa del Sol in the Andalucian province is Spain’s most popular retirement destination. Probably because it’s home to some of the country’s best medical facilities, schools and real estate. Meaning you’ll find many other English speaking retirees and professionals to help you make the transition. The lack of sales tax and a low property tax make this an economically feasible move for many.

Costa del Alhazar:

The Costa del Alhazar, or the Orange Blossom Coast, is about an hour’s drive north of Valencia and one of the most gorgeous and as-yet untapped areas of the country you could hope to find yourself. Filled with orange blossoms (obviously), almond trees and white sand beaches. The population is only around 12,000, meaning you’ll get a quiet, small town feel that’s distinctly Spanish.

Spanish Countryside:

As the big cities of Barcelona and Madrid can be very expensive, a retirement in the countryside might be the way to go for many retirees not looking to break the bank. Cities like Salamanca, Granada or Santiago de Compostela, are great spots to get city amenities without paying city prices.

Beach-side:

While the first two locations on this list certainly have an abundant beach life to offer, there are other, cheaper and more off the path places you can retire that won’t upend your bank account. Look at places on the island of Gran Canaria–which will also give you an island retirement inside an international retirement–or the less populated beach town of Menorca.

Best Colleges for U.S. students in Italy

Written by Jason Lowder

Studying abroad is a great way to get an education and go on an adventure. Part of the education you receive will be that adventure as well as diving into a new geography, language and culture.

As an international student entering a new country with a new, and likely unfamiliar language, you’ll have to pick a school that caters to the needs and abilities of US students. Here are the best colleges in Italy for US students.

Moving abroad can be tricky as well.  Luckily, Schumacher Cargo can help make the move to Italy a little less worrisome. So all you will have to worry about is the which site and food you’ll experience first!

Italy’s 5 Best Schools for US Students

John Cabot University:

What makes John Cabot University so great for US students in Italy is that it is a US school. The University is an American accredited institution that teaches in English and offers students 4 year Bachelor degrees and 2 year Associates degrees. You will be in classrooms of about 15, filled with many other international students studying in the heart of Rome.

University of Milan:

This gorgeous city renowned for its fashion and football is a dream destination for many US students. And thankfully the University of Milan is very accommodating to making that happen. The University offers several classes taught entirely in English as well an entry program that allows students to take their first 45-60 credits in English, allowing them to boost their Italian before digging into the harder classes.

The University of Rome:

Another great school for US students in Rome is the University of Rome, or La Sapienza (the Knowledge). The school has a wide variety of clubs, sports, theater groups, and even career services for English speaking students. The fact that they even offer a Masters degree in English should speak volumes about how at home US students could feel here.

The University of Bologna:

Though this school only has a handful of classes in English and might not be the best for people who have difficulty learning new languages, it is the first University…ever. Which is reason enough.

The University of Florence:

One of Italy’s most iconic and historic universities, the University of Florence is an international student’s dream! Learn in the same classrooms where legends of the Renaissance like Dante and Boccacio used to teach! However, at this university only those who know Italian may apply.