Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Cost to Move Back to Jamaica

This is one topic that I have been asked about a few times. I admit... I have just been lazy about looking up the past info needed to answer the question.

One patient reader asked:

My question to you is, and yes, this is all relative. How much do you believe is a reasonable sum of money (liquid US$) to make a 'comfortable' move. Okay, let me be reasonable give me a scale, a range. Thanks.

Here are some basic costs I incurred in my move from Hollywood, Florida to Kingston Jamaica:

1. Packing
This involves moving all your stuff into a 40 foot container, (or two or three.) The packing that must be done is more involved than it sounds, as I detailed in these post to my blog.

Professional help is a must to prevent breakage. I paid around US$550 to pack my container.

2. Moving the Container to Jamaica
I have no idea what the going rate is, but I paid about $2000 for a 40 foot container without a car inside.

3. Moving and Unpacking the Container
I recommend using a customs broker to do everything from clearing the container and its contents, to putting it all away in your new residence. I paid about $1350

4. Airfares
Depends on where you are coming from, and the size of the family.

As a returning resident who kept to the guidelines of they allow in a single move, I did not pay any customs duties.

This was all 2 years ago, so things may very well have changed since then.

With respect to the amount needed to feel comfortable, I would say that a budget in South Florida works out to about the same lifestyle in Jamaica, more or less. I have kept a monthly budget for a few years, and can see where the transition to Jamaica resulted in some one-time costs, but the overall number stayed about the same.

In other words, a US$50k salary in the Miami/Broward area gives just about the same lifestyle in both places, by me estimates. I left South Florida before housing prices went on a rampage, (and before some major hurricanes) so this should be adjusted somewhat to reflect these events.


At 7/31/2010 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned you stayed in the guidelines and were not required any customs fees. Where did you locate the allowance information to avoid these fees?


At 7/31/2010 11:30 AM, Blogger fwade said...

Back then, there was a list of items that a returnee could bring back. I imagine it still exists, and at the time it was available on the web. If you search around, you might be able to find it on the government sites, but any copy you see there might be stale, so be careful to get the most recent version.


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