Is Your City Expensive for Expats?

Many people don’t live in the country of their birth. They might leave in order to search for a better life; to find better work; to join a family member; or to enjoy a change. Certainly, the cost of doing so and the cost of living in this new country isn’t the same from place to place and it’s important to be educated before taking such a leap.

Each year the Mercer Cost of Living Survey examines 226 cities and over 200 items in each location. These include items like transportation, clothing, food and entertainment. Cost of living has certainly been increasing around the world in the last few years, and the survey reflects that. In the US, for instance, seven cities appeared in the top 20 most expensive locations for expats.

The impact of such findings is explained by Vince Cordova at Mercer US as he explains, “As US-based companies continue to source talent globally, inflationary pressures may give some inbound foreign nationals pause to accept a position in some of the high-cost cities and metro areas in the US.”

The survey reveals that Hong Kong remains the most expensive city for expats, followed by Singapore. Swiss cities, including Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Bern, dominate the top rankings, indicating high expenses related to housing, transportation, and general goods. New York and Los Angeles represent the U.S. among the top ten, with New York securing seventh place and Los Angeles tenth. London has risen to eighth from seventeenth.

Hong Kong Skyscrapers Share Holiday Cheer

877448_160_160Neighborhood homes and local stores are not the only buildings adorned with flashy holiday lights this year- in fact, some of the most intricate and flashy designs can be found on skyscrapers in Hong Kong!

The light-images displayed are complex and enormous, displaying Santa Claus in various scenarios, frolicking reindeer, snowmen, Christmas trees, colorful gifts and so much more. Created mostly by Terence Wong, the images are an expression of the former electrician’s calling.

“It is my passion,” Wong explained. “I never want to stop.”

He added, “Every day I think about Christmas- all year!”

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He explained that his enlightened career began over three decades ago, when a property developer wanted stars suspended from the tops of his buildings. Since then, Wong has developed new styles and techniques for building light displays. He began setting the lights up with the help of window-cleaning platforms, eventually perfecting his work to create intricate, moving images.

Wong added that his business is hardly affected by economic changes. In fact, businesses and property owners actually focus more on display when financial times are rough.

Wong’s craft actually follows an ancient tradition in Chinese culture. The people love light displays, and they have incorporated them in their art and celebrations for centuries. Traditional light displays use breathtaking lanterns and fireworks instead of electric lights.