New Zealand vs. US Cost of Goods and Services

»Posted on Mar 23, 2013

For anyone contemplating a move to the United States from New Zealand, the excellent news is that goods and services are much cheaper in America than they are in New Zealand, which means that you may find yourself in the enviable position of having quite a bit more disposable income than you were previously accustomed to. On the other hand, travelers in the opposite direction may find they pay one hell of a heavy price in terms of their spending power.

New Zealand FlagIt is an unquestionable fact that the cost of living and of various goods and services varies quite a bit from one country to another. In New Zealand, the cost of living is sky high, so this is a huge disincentive to anyone considering moving there from elsewhere in the world. In particular, those emigrating from the United States will be shocked at the eye-watering prices for many goods and services, which can be obtained much more cheaply in the U.S. While the quality of life in New Zealand is much sought after, the costs that accompany it are far from welcome.

Solar Electricity System DiagramEnergy prices are a good example of the issues facing persons coming to New Zealand from the U.S. and vice versa. While the cost of energy is rocketing the world over, there is no doubt that prices are already sky high in the Antipodes. On the other hand, there is plenty of sunlight down under. That means installing solar panels on your roof, despite being an expensive undertaking in New Zealand, will pay rich dividends in terms of slashing your energy bills in the longer term. By contrast, New Zealanders taking up residence in the U.S. will be find themselves in a “win win” situation. They will be pleased to discover that solar panels are less prohibitively expensive to install AND the long term cost savings will be massive. More at www.SolarPanelsCostGuide.com

When it comes to the issue of granite counters in your kitchen, there is no doubt that these are a very worthwhile alteration to make. Granite looks beautiful, to be sure, plus it will definitely add value to any home. However, unless you have exceedingly deep pockets, you do have to consider the cost of fitting granite countertops. In the United States they can be fitted much more cheaply than is the case in New Zealand, so it pays to do your homework before signing on the dotted line to have such countertops installed. Find more about granite slab prices at www.granitecountertopscostguide.com.

As regards protecting the exterior of your home from the worst that the elements can hurl at it, vinyl siding is a method that some householders favor. Overall, vinyl siding prices are quite cost-effective when compared to the other methods used. However, householders in New Zealand who formerly resided in the U.S. may find the price exorbitantly expensive. In addition, there may well be issues with damp and mildew, not to mention some pretty serious risks of fire, so you should look carefully at all the methods for exterior cladding before making that all-important product choice.

Kitchen remodeling is something folks the world over look to for the purposes of improving their living standards as well as boosting the resale value of their residences. In New Zealand, however, householders may be somewhat constrained by the expense involved. Anyone who immigrates to the United States, on the other hand, will find that the price of kitchen remodeling is an absolute bargain by comparison.

In addition to improving the interior and exterior of their homes, many people like to spend the money they have available on health and beauty products and services. For example, cosmetic procedures aimed at mole removal are very popular. Nowadays, unsightly moles can be sliced off in a jiffy leaving little trace. These procedures are very quick and easy, generally speaking, although the cost to remove a mole may vary quite a bit in different parts of the world. In New Zealand, as would appear to be the case across the board, the cost is much higher than in the United States. Therefore, if you are planning to immigrate to New Zealand from the U.S., it might be wise to see to any moles that need removing BEFORE you quit the old country.

Eye Exam Chart

The same cost issues as regards New Zealand versus the United States rear their ugly heads again when it comes to the matter of dental implants and eye exams. In the first place, ultra-realistic dental implants are popular these days when there is a need to fill in the gaps where teeth have been lost for one reason or another. However, the dental implant cost in New Zealand will set you back a fair whack as compared to prices in the U.S. Perhaps this is why take-up for dental implants is much higher in the United States. The same is true for the cost of an eye examination, which are undoubtedly valuable for maintenance of healthy eyesight. Nevertheless, regardless of differences in the cost of eye exams in the U.S. and New Zealand, there is absolutely no doubt that the money is well spent.

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Well-Paying Careers in Business with Different Education Requirements

»Posted on Mar 20, 2013

In the current depressed economic climate, job hunters may be forgiven for believing their prospects are exceedingly bleak, all things considered. Nevertheless, the facts are that career opportunities are always there for the taking, although applicants may require specialized educational qualifications to make them eligible for certain posts.

One occupation that is always in demand, whether the economy is booming or depressed, is that of bookkeeper. Despite the fact that the economy shrinks massively in a depression, bookkeeping is still needed in order to keep tabs on those all-important balance sheets. To be fair, it matters very little to a bookkeeper whether a firm is struggling for survival, since profit and loss are all part of a day’s work! However, bookkeepers do need the appropriate qualifications, namely either a bookkeeping or accounting college degree. Find out what a full charge bookkeeper’s salary is.

A business administration career is another great example of a job that is always needed, whatever the state of the economy. However, it should be noted that there is quite a significant amount of volatility at the current time. In other words, with companies failing right, left, and center, job seekers pursuing a career in business administration may find themselves jumping from one sinking ship to another. Nevertheless, there are always opportunities available for business administrators with a college education under their belt. Ideally, you should have a degree in business administration or business studies in order to get in the frame for consideration to receive the average salary for a business admin career.

Insurance Agent Career

If you fancy a fairly dependable job, you might wish to consider pursuing a career as an insurance agent. In its favor, this is a position that often requires no specialized qualifications. Mature applicants will often be considered, and the necessary training may be given “on the job”. The requirements are more likely to center on a smart appearance and a good manner in speaking and dealing with people. This is because an insurance agent is effectively a salesperson, which requires a positive attitude and a charming, persuasive manner. These are qualities that always trump paper qualifications when it comes to appointing insurance agents. On the flipside, job seekers should bear in mind that the field is quite competitive, and in the current climate the public may be resistant to spending money on insurance, which may restrict your earnings potential. For further details, please visit www.InsuranceAgentSalaryData.com.

Applicants who want a high-flying, high-paying career may gravitate toward investment banking and stock broking. These are pressurized, demanding occupations that favor individuals with a go-getting attitude and plenty of zeal. Anyone who fancies a quiet life behind a desk avoiding stress and pressure should steer well clear of this field as it is not a good fit for shrinking violets. In common with several of the other occupations here, employers may be flexible concerning academic qualifications. The average stock broker income is approximately $72,000. A college degree, especially one in economics or other finance-related subjects, never goes amiss, but employers are always on the lookout for individuals with a dynamic attitude and sharp wits. These qualities, as displayed at interview, are likely to be more significant than academic attainments alone.

Financial Advisor JobPersons seeking a somewhat quieter life may prefer the position of financial advisor. This is a job requiring a mature attitude and a good personal manner. The idea is to sell financial services to the public, but this is not normally done using a “hard sell” approach. The financial adviser salary is primarily based off of commission, meaning that the more they sell, the more money they make. That means applicants must have a friendly, non-threatening manner, along with the necessary understanding of the products and services being sold. A degree comes in handy, no doubt, but employers may make an exception for the right candidates and then provide the necessary training later.

In a similar vein, retirement planning is a good bet for those who have a talent for sales. Here, the job is all about selling pensions and retirement plans to members of the public. People doing this job must have a strong grasp of the facts and figures concerning the policies they sell, but they must also have the right attitude and manner in order to put clients at their ease and to close the sale. Once again, applicants for retirement planning sales posts will find a degree immensely helpful, especially if it is finance-related. However, the academic qualification will not get you the job on its own.

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Want To Be A Doctor But Can’t? – Great Jobs In Health

»Posted on Feb 24, 2013

Growing up many kids dream of the job that they may do when they get older, and becoming a doctor is one of them; unfortunately for some this dream may not come true, for a variety of different reasons. However that does not mean that they cannot seek employment in other areas of the medical profession, here we are going to look at five areas that people may consider as possible jobs.

Dental Hygienist
Great Jobs in Health CareA dental hygienist works alongside a normal dentist to provide help assistance to people about oral health. They are also able to assist the dentist when it comes to taking radio-graphs of the patients mouth, prepare dental sealants, help in the administration of fluoride and also with local anaesthesia. However their main purpose with the dentists is to provide the advice on oral health, this includes how to go about it; establishing better behaviors in routine dental care and also to help with therapeutic services if the person suffers from gum disease and tooth decay. Here is a more complete dental hygienist job description.

Physical Therapist
Usually used in conjunction with other medical services, the role of the physical therapist is to provide care and advice to those who have mobility problems or disabilities. They can also work with carers and family members of the person they treat to advise them on things they may be able to do at home in-between seeing them. A therapist can work with all age groups, even those that may have just been born, and also treat many different health conditions. Different countries and even states in the USA have varying standards and qualifications that must be met prior to providing this kind of service. Learn more about PT education requirements.

Massage Therapist
This form of therapy can again be used for those who have some mobility problems, or issues that affect the muscles and tissues of the body. Typically used for those that suffer with shoulder and back problems, the massage can help to release tension, to better movement and also to help with the healing process of damages tissues or tendons. There are many different forms of massage as well as different sectors that the person can train in, for example sports injuries or spinal injuries. Find out what a certified massage therapist salary is on average.

Licensed Vocational Nurse

Licensed Vocational Nurse
This term is used mainly in the USA and in some areas of Canada; in Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Canada they are known as Ens or enrolled nurses; whilst in the UK they are known as State Enrolled Nurses or SENs. In any case they all provide the care that people need when they are sick and are in hospital. The care they give can vary depending on the ward or area they decide to go into, for example they may choose child nursing or the elderly. They will ensure that all medical checks are carried out when needed, administer medications and provide basic bedside care. An average LVN salary is approximately $42,000 per year.

Medical Records Technician
Here the person will be managing and organising all patient information, and health documents. Typically working within hospitals or doctors surgeries they ensure that all information is kept up to date, is available to other medical professionals when needed whilst ensuring all security measures are undertaken. Also known as a health information technologist, a medical records technician must complete the HIT certification requirements before they can become a professional in the field.

These five examples are good alternatives if you are not able to become a doctor, each of them still incorporates the need to provide others with good care, no matter if it is in the physical form or for just taking care of the relevant paperwork. When it comes to thinking about seeking a job in any of these professions, make sure you research the requirements of your training, as this can vary from state to state, including any accreditation you may have to get before you can undertake a full time job.

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Interesting Jobs That Pay More Than Writing

»Posted on Feb 20, 2013

Job income brackets depend on supply and demand, as well as the skill levels required to perform these tasks. There are a variety of things that people can do in order to earn money, though of course the money that you will be getting depends on how well you do the job as well as on how needed the service that you can provide really is.

Jobs - Finding the Right CareerTake writing, for instance. With the Internet, there are a lot of new openings for writers especially with blog writing as well as for those who would like to self publish books. The usual writer who was a 9 to 5 job would probably get slightly above minimum wage. Of course, if you would prefer to go freelance, you can maybe get paid on a per word or a per page basis. You can also get great income when you right and publish your own book online, but you would still have the problem of your book not getting any buyers, as well as having to pay for royalties once your book has been sold.

So, all in all, writing is great if you love to read and research and if you have a lot of free time. However, there are a lot of other jobs that pay more than writing. Examples of these include automotive engineers (see www.TopAutomotiveEngineeringSchools.com), electrical engineers (see electrical engineering education requirements) (all types of engineer, really) and medical professionals. This includes ophthalmologists, dentists, dermatologists, or doctors. Take dentistry as an example. Dental implants costs mostly above 500 dollars for high end products. Mole removal can cost 150 dollars a session, while eye exams cost around 50 to 70 dollars per patient. Imagine a chunk of that being provided to you even though you are only there to assist. The average medical assistant earns around 40,000 dollars a year, so much more, and so much more stable, than being a writer where profits would depend on your output as well as on your marketing skills.

You are also much better off installing furniture than a writer, or at least an entry level one (we’re not talking about the J.K. Rowlings or the Stephen Kings here). The average diesel mechanic salary, graphic artist salary or truck driver salary can earn around $20 to $30 an hour. Ditto, granite countertop installers and those that provide other kitchen remodeling services. Those can also increase if you are part of a union. All in all, you can probably get 35,000 to 50,000 dollars a year, before taxes, doing these types of jobs. Of course, you’re insurance premiums may go a bit higher due to the hazards of your occupation.

Thus, if you want to be a writer, then it is recommended that you drop your day job, at least until you’ve got your feet firmly in the industry. It takes real skill to make it big in the writing business, and to even be able to feed your family using writing can be a bit of a struggle. There are other jobs that can pay more, although writing can be used as a means to earn additional money especially if you have a lot of free time on your hands.

Still, you have to make sure that you do what you love. Like writing, it takes passion and dedication to sit through eye exams or mole removal sessions. It can be painful to talk to customers wanting dental implants or granite countertops for their home. Those who want solar panels or vinyl sidings installed need it to be done perfectly, and there are a lot of other things that can go wrong with these professions, in the same way as with any other type of job.

In conclusion, while there may be other professions that can earn you more money than writing, this article does not dissuade you from choosing the career path of your choice. Ultimately, you must be able to enjoy what you do, and the financial aspect is only one part of your decision. Make sure that you have the skills and the passion in your chosen profession and you will be able to find success as well as satisfaction along the way. Who needs a lot of money anyway when you can look forward to your trips to work with a smile on your face everyday?

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Does Anyone Use Non-Dental Braces?

»Posted on Feb 18, 2013

Perhaps everyone is familiar with dental braces and the prices of braces; because if you have not had braces yourself, someone close in your family would have. This is how common dental braces are. Dental braces are required to correct and treat certain dental disorders; the most common of which is irregularly placed teeth or protruding teeth which make people conscious when they are talking and laughing with friends.

Girl Wearing Dental BracesBraces can also fix problems with the jaws that might cause other complications in the future. The treatment involving dental braces is a lengthy one which often involves wearing unappealing rubber bands (Read More: what do rubber bands do?) and enduring pain; however they are quite necessary for the person to whom the dental braces have been prescribed. The rubber bands that wrap around and apply pressure to the brackets can come in many different colors. Find out more at www.bracescolorsguide.com.

Therefore we realize that dental braces are of much importance and no matter how costly the whole procedure is, the outcome is well worth the price and the trouble. But what about all the other non-dental braces? Are the non-dental braces as effective as the dental ones?

Non-dental braces exist in various types and each one of them is specifically meant to treat a disorder or an injury in a particular body part. Let’s see what other braces are there and who would require wearing them.

Posture Braces

Posture SupportPosture braces are quite valuable gears especially for people who complain about back problems. A posture brace provides external support to the backbone and the muscles surrounding them. These braces are prescribed to people suffering from different back ailments; for example the braces can be worn for the purpose of immobilization, injury protection and corrective posture. If someone does suffer from any kind of back problem, he/she should not wear a brace without the consultation of the doctor as the braces are available in different types and each of these types is designed to serve a different purpose.

There are certain people who suffer from a particular backbone condition, in which the doctor requires the back to be immobilized for a specific period of time. These conditions include fractures of the spine, surgery or injury of the muscles. These kind of non-dental braces are also needed for people who frequently complain about muscle spasms. The muscle spasm may or may not result from poor posture. People who only suffer from postural deformities also benefit from wearing posture braces as it helps in strengthening their weak back muscles.

Tennis Elbow Braces

Tennis elbow braces are another kind of non-dental braces that some patients are prescribed. Basically the tennis elbow brace provides a non-surgical treatment to elbow tendinitis that could result from excessive use of the fore arm muscle or a sudden blow or a forceful pull on that region.
Sportsmen who indulge in games like tennis, table tennis, shooting or archery often complain of this problem. But besides the sportsmen, other people who are daily involved in physical work that includes lifting and adjusting heavy objects also face the risk of tennis elbow.

Because tennis elbow is becoming so common, doctors often recommend such people to wear the tennis elbow brace as a preventive measure before they actually develop that medical condition. The tennis elbow brace, therefore, provides support to the forearm muscles and to the elbow joint so that the person wearing it, would not exert unnecessary pressure on this area. For more information, see this lateral epicondylitis guide at www.tenniselbowbracehelp.com.

All these different kinds of non-dental braces prove to be quite effective against certain specific medical conditions that inflict upon different people. Sometimes, they are far better solutions to problems than surgery as surgery can be painful and requires a longer time for recovery.

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Comparison – Chevrolet Traverse vs. Buick Enclave

»Posted on Jan 7, 2013

SUVs are definitely the vogue these days when it comes to moderately sized vehicle that has improved seating capacity, enhanced cargo space, off-roading capability, good looks, sturdy built and is fuel efficient. While trying to put so many beneficial features into a vehicle, you can expect these luxury vehicles to be a bit pricey; however these babies are built to last. Most of these are all-wheel drives with a V-6 engine with a slight variation from one manufacturer to the other. Among the SUVs, the midsize, also known as the compact SUVs, are some of the bestselling vehicles these days. Two of these, from the well-known automobile manufacturers, are the 2013 Buick Enclave and the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse according to BestSmallSUVHelp.com. Read further below for an elaborate comparison of the two.

When it comes to comfort and seating capacity, surprisingly, both the SUVs have the same amount of space to offer. The rear passenger seats of the two vehicles have almost the same legroom and head room. In fact the front seat comfort and the storage space at the back are also quite comparable between the Buick Enclave and the Chevrolet Traverse.

When one compares them from the outside, it can grossly be estimated that both of them require the same amount of parking space or garage area. With minute differences not noticeable to the naked eye, the dimensions seem to be the same, which means that the width and the length of both of these cars are also comparable. The style of their designs are clean and attractive, but which you prefer depends on your personal taste.

Both of these cars are manufactured in a way that they have a user friendly interior with elegant body styling on the outside. The Buick Enclave has a bit more of luxurious features inside; whereas the Chevrolet Traverse offers the driver a controlled and comfortable ride. One of the biggest advantages of buying latest crossover SUVs is that you don’t have to spend much on transmission maintenance and/or repair. With a sturdy and quality transmission system, you can expect its components to last for a very long time. That said, it’s always a good idea to get your transmission fluid replaced or flushed on at least a semi-regular basis according to this guide.

If you look at each of these midsize SUVs separately, both of them have some splendid features to offer. Let’s look at some of the highlighting specs of Buick Enclave and then compare them with that of Chevrolet Traverse.

2013 Buick Enclave

Buick Enclave Specs

  • Buick’s midsize SUV is available in both seven and eight passenger seating configuration which makes it of great utility. It also has eight-way power seats. With a single handle, you can shift the alignment of the second-row seats. The fore and aft movement of this row provides easy access to the back row of seats, while still giving you 3 feet of legroom. If you’re specifically looking tocompare 7 passenger vehicles, check out 7passengervehicleszone.com.
  • The Enclave has a six-speed automatic transmission. You will notice smooth shifts in gears as the vehicle picks up speed.
  • Side airbags along with front airbags, traction and stability control and satellite radio.
  • The Buick Enclave has almost 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space at the end because of the elevated positioning of all three rows. And if you are not having company, and you fold down the two back rows then you get an impressive cargo space measuring around 115.2 feet.
  • Gives 17 mpg within city and 24 on highway

2013 Chevrolet Traverse

Chevrolet Traverse Specs

  • The Chevrolet Traverse also has optional third row seating. For more SUVs that offer this, check out this comprehensive site, SUVsWith3rdRowSeatingHelp.
  • 6 speed automatic transmission
  • Side/curtain airbags along with front airbags
  • Stability and traction control
  • Satellite radio
  • Gives 17 mpg within city and 24 on highway
  • Massive cargo space with adult friendly third row seating.

As it is visible, both these midsize SUVs resemble each other in specs and features greatly.

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How Can Getting a Car Fixed Cost This Much?

»Posted on Jan 7, 2013

Many people are shocked when they get the bill from the mechanic or even the estimate. If the car repairs go so far as transmission repair and maintenance you can expect quite the bill to come back. Even the smaller pieces such as brake pads and windshield replacement and repair can add up quickly. Brake pad replacement can cost $100 to $250 per axle (learn more here) and windshield replacement is usually around $100. Visit this site to learn what the factors that affect the cost are. It seems almost ridiculous that certain things cost as much as they do. It might even seem like your mechanic is overcharging, but often the placement of certain parts or the work it takes to figure out what is wrong is what really adds up more than the repairs themselves. Staying on top of things like oil changes can help you save money and keeping up with wheel alignments (what is wheel alignment?) can help you avoid expensive repairs, but you should understand why repairing a car costs so much.

The Price of the Parts

Vehicle Repair and MaintenanceThe price of parts is a small piece of the puzzle. If you drive a foreign car the parts will likely be more expensive than a local made vehicle. Smaller mechanics might even charge more for certain parts because they cannot buy them in the same quantity as other players. This tends to add up over time.

Car paint jobs are another pricey part of repairs. The way the paint must be put on is expensive as well as the type of paint. It needs to be able to stand up to the elements over time and handle flying rocks and other dangers that cause chips. Auto body shops often charge significant amounts for new parts especially if you have any kind of custom paint color. You can save some money by going and finding the replacement pieces off old cars at a junk yard. You will be more successful if you drive a more common car, the rarer the vehicle, the harder it will be to find the parts and the more expensive those parts will be. Check out the following site if you are trying to decide whether to go with Maaco vs an independent shop.

Car Parts

The Labor Factor

The labor is what really adds up when it comes to getting your car fixed. Mechanics charge a significant amount per hour to make up for all the schooling they have gone through and the time they spend without a car to fix. The thing is, it is not like changing the filter in a coffee pot, often you have to take out other pieces of the vehicle to get to what needs to be fixed. This then adds up to more hours and a larger bill. For example, tinting a car’s windows uses very little material/tools, but still costs around $200 due to the amount of labor required to complete the job. www.WindowTintingPricesData.com has more information about the process and what affects the price.

You need to understand the anatomy of the vehicle in order to understand why certain repairs take longer than others. The easier it is to get the parts that need to be adjusted or changed, the less time you will have to pay for. If your car needs its transmission fixed, it will likely be quite a hefty labor bill – an average of $1,500 according to Transmission Repair Cost Guide. If you know how to do the maintenance on your own you can save some money.

Big Problems from Small Problems

Often preventative maintenance can save you from wracking up the larger vehicle repair bills. If you keep up with oil changes, spark plug replacement and sensors you can avoid the problems inside your engine. Not only are these pieces harder to get to but they are also harder to diagnose. This often means the mechanic must pull apart multiple pieces in order to get to the problem or even figure out what the problem is. This adds up on labor, then parts and you may be without your car longer, costing you a rental car on top of everything else. Check out this oil change coupon list to see if you can save some money on your next oil change.

Changing a Car's Oil

Sometimes cars end up getting pieces fixed that are not even broken in order to figure out what the problem is. This type of diagnostic information is somewhat easier to assess now that there are computers, but often there is a line of things that are wrong causing the bigger problem. The computer might say one thing is wrong but really the one thing leads to another, leads to another. This makes the estimate go through the roof and slowly causes the time frame of getting your car fixed expand.

It is still shocking when you get a vehicle repair bill and it is tons of money. Often it is too late to consider trading in the car as you have now re-invested in fixing the one you have. Once you have experienced a bill like that, you will likely become much more diligent about keeping up with the service schedule. Staying on top of your tires and other service needs is your first step in not receiving a shocking maintenance bill. The time you will spend and the little bit of money it costs to do the things ahead of time far beats out the alternative. Don’t learn the hard way, keep your car in good repair and avoid ever getting the bill every car owner dreads. If you car is completely broken down, consider looking into new car financing but make sure you’re aware of the ups and downs of financing so you can determine if 0% car financing is a better deal.

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