1. The Graying of America: Moving into Retirement Options

    August 2, 2011 by Editor

    Very recently our attention has been drawn to the elder members of society who are finding unique retirement options which have become much more diverse in the fairly recent past.  One of those options is known as a Continuous Care Retirement Community, or CCRC.  The premise for such communities is to have well-planned access to amenities that concur with the lifestyle preferences of older Americans.  A significant portion of those amenities incorporate a transitioning flow of healthcare options and facilities that adjust with the needs of the members of such communities as they age and their needs change accordingly.  A common comment from those seeking out these communities is “We just don’t want to be a burden on our children as we grow older.”

    What is most enlightening about these developing communities is the detailed attention to seniors and the common affects to every aging member of society that are beginning to emerge.  Early in life, typically we exert great efforts in education and preparation to become professional, self-sustaining and self-reliant members of our communities.  Now encouragement for those same kinds of efforts is being brought to our awareness in preparing for the latter years of life.  Awareness is key so that options for preparation can be sought out and implemented well in advance of potential difficulties.  That preparation essentially eliminates the fears of what to do when life takes these turns and twists.  There many professionals who have made concentrated efforts to really identify the options in great detail so that well-informed choices can be made well in advance so that proper and seamless preparations can be made.

    So often, seniors are hit with life changing events that they know are coming but really do not prepare for them mostly because, as the adage goes, they don’t know what they don’t know.  It’s no wonder that they don’t know the questions to ask.  So where does one learn the questions?  What resources are available that can help senior citizens set the direction could consider?

    On a local level, many communities have public organizations oftentimes referred to as Aging Services, Senior Community Centers, Elder Services Programs to name a few.  National associations have been organized to set ethical and reliability standards to which legitimate service providers can attach themselves.  Well founded professionals are engaged in this dedicated effort.  They want to assure senior citizens they will not fall prey to scam artists that are intent on bilking them of their carefully prepared savings for life’s latter years.  One such organization is called the National Association of Senior Move Managers; NASMM for short.  They are easily found on the internet and are a tremendous resource that can help find the right questions to ask or consider.  Another more generalized association is the National Association of Personal Organizers (NAPO).  These professionals are more diverse in the services they offer.  They are particularly useful for those whose lives are so busy in their professions that they require assistance in handling the personal details of their lives thereby reducing significant stress and bolstering their confidence in timely execution of important details, events, objectives, etc.

    CCRC’s have recognized just how valuable these professionals are and endeavor to align themselves with these professionals when establishing these community developments and working with their prospective clients.  For those of us in the moving industry, there is emerging a great need for these kinds of services.  The question now is whether senior citizens in our communities actually want to acquire the services of these professionals.  We are taking a good, hard look at what these professionals can offer and how to integrate these kinds of services into moving.  One of the saddest things we see fairly often is when a spouse dies and the surviving spouse is left with a whole house full of memories that have been acquired over a lifetime and the assumption is that the surviving spouse can pick it all up and take it with them when the move in with children or, at least, into a residence near family.  That can be a very painful reality when suddenly faced with the prospect of having to downsize and having to leave many of those memories behind.  This is a major transition in life that when properly approached and addressed, can be a greatly relaxed, albeit difficult experience.


  2. Insurance & Valuation: Protecting Your Household Goods Moving to Alaska … or anywhere!

    June 17, 2011 by Editor

    One of the greatest concerns that anyone has when considering a move whether it be moving just a few miles away in the same town, moving across the country, moving from the lower 48 states to Alaska or moving to the other side of the world  – centers on one or two simple questions.

     “How Can I be Sure my Belongings will Arrive Safely?”

    “What are my Options when Protecting my Belongings?” 

    Whether it be the heirlooms that have been passed down through generations with more sentimental value than perhaps cash value or bonafide valuable articles with significant cash value, the options available to you can be narrowed to two basic choices with moving companies.  These are Replacement Coverage which has other names like Full Value Replacement Coverage, Maximum Value Protection to name just a few. 

    Other options available outside of moving companies in general are available through some homeowners’ insurance carriers and some renters’ insurance carriers.  Right at the outset, it would be most helpful when determining your best choices by seeing what you may already be paying for and may not realize it.  The very first step is for you to contact your insurance agent that takes care of your homeowners insurance policy or your renters insurance policy.  Ask if your policy covers transportation of your household goods in a move from your current residence to your new residence wherever that might be.  Coverage can vary from complete coverage at one end of the spectrum to catastrophic coverage in the event a loss is the result of a major accident in which the moving van might be totaled. 

    This will be a detailed look at these options from both household goods moving companies which will be referred to as carriers and what is available from insurance companies that your insurance agent represents.  This can create a little confusion since moving companies are referred to as carriers and insurance companies are referred to as insurance carriers which do the underwriting for the policies that are available for purchase.  When you hear the term “carrier”, it is important that you distinguish between the moving company as a carrier and the insurance company as an insurance carrier.  To help with these distinctions, coverage that is available to moving company customers (referred to as “shippers”) is called Valuation Protection, Valuation Coverage or simply Valuation. 

    Technically, carriers are not able to offer insurance because insurance can only be purchased from a duly state-licensed and authorized insurance agent representing an insurance carrier.  Insurance agents sell insurance policies created or underwritten by insurance carriers.  On the other hand, moving companies (carriers) offer what is called Valuation Protection, Valuation Coverage or Valuation.  We will simply refer to this as Valuation.   Hence, what becomes available to shippers (moving company customers) comes from two different industries – the moving industry and the insurance industry.  This is an important distinction particularly when it comes to settling a potential claim from problems that may occur from a move and the choices you make about your coverage before anyone even picks up a box to load it in a moving van.  We will first examine coverage that is available from the moving industry called Valuation. 

    The term “valuation” comes from establishing a value for your belongings or your shipment.  As a rule-of-thumb, the moving industry uses a value per pound to establish a minimum value from which to base a price for valuation coverage.  Hi-Line Moving Services uses the factor of $5 per pound.  For example, a shipment that is estimated to weigh 1000 pounds would have a minimum valuation of $5000 ($5 X 1000 lbs. = $5000).  This means that if a shipper chooses Valuation, the minimum amount of coverage that shipper can purchase, in this example, is coverage of $5000.  Let’s assume that the shipper has some valuable artwork in the shipment that by itself is worth $5000.  The shipper has the option to acquire greater coverage than the minimum but not vice versa.  The shipper in this case might choose to purchase $10,000 coverage for Valuation instead of the minimum – $5000 to cover the extra value and $5000 for the household goods.  

    Then there are other options for each level of valuation which are available much like the options available by insurance carriers.  Those options are called deductibles.  Deductibles work the same way when settling a claim as with insurance policies.  Hi-Line Moving Services offers $0 deductible, $250 deductible and $500 deductible. To be clear, a deductible refers to the amount of the claim that is deducted from the settlement. For example, assuming a claim is submitting for $350 to replace some broken crystal that the carrier packed.  The shipper purchased $5000 coverage with $250 deductible before the shipment was loaded.  The claim is substantiated and a check is written for $100 to settle the claim ($350 claim minus $250 deductible = $100 payable on the claim).  

    One last word about Valuation…  An important difference between Valuation and Insurance is that Valuation is purchased for the whole shipment.  One cannot purchase coverage for just the one or two items of concern.  Referring back to the example of the shipment with the expensive piece of artwork, let’s assume a major accident occurred in which the artwork was deemed a total loss as was the rest of the shipment.  The shipper purchased $5000 coverage with $0 deductible.  The loss really amounted to $8750 because the other household goods were totally destroyed.  The maximum amount payable on this claim would be $5000 because that is the limit of liability due to the level of valuation coverage purchased.  It should be noted that anything shipped that has a value of $100 per pound or greater would be required to be listed on a High Value Inventory describing the items and the real value.  Otherwise, it would be subject to a lesser value since it was not properly declared.  

    Catastrophic coverage typically does not cover losses due to breakage from neglect,   whether from your own handling when packing your own boxes or neglect of the moving company you select if providing full-service packing at your request.  This typically refers to major damage caused, for example, by a vehicle accident where the contents in the moving van are a total loss or at least receives major damage as the result of a major accident.  This is the kind of coverage most often provided by homeowners’ policies. 

    This all comes down to risk management.  As a customer (shipper) contracting the services of a moving company (carrier), it is very important that you understand what coverage you really have and who to address a claim with.  No matter the claim, the moving company you choose will definitely be involved in resolving the claim.  Make sure you understand who has what responsibility for settling the claim should you experience damage to your belongings.  Nobody wants claims and everyone should be exerting their best effort to reduce the possibility of a claim.  Even so, claims sometimes do happen.  Keep in mind that furniture and household goods are not made or produced with the idea that they will be moved.  Otherwise, that would be a significant factor in the way things are designed.  A professional moving company is one that pays attention to the small details and stays informed of the most current concepts is handling your precious things.  It is in everyone’s best interest that your belongings arrive safe and sound whether you are moving to Alaska or to Zanzibar or anywhere in between.


  3. Motorcycles Moving to Alaska

    June 3, 2011 by Editor

    Motorcycles to Alaska

    What do you do if you need to get four high-end touring motorcycles from Florida to Alaska?

     In June of 2009, employees of a moving company based in Florida were planning the ride of a lifetime—an adventure to remember. 

    Their equipment was in the class of “pride and joy.” Four champions of the road, real “dressers,” plus sidecars and saddlebags—polished, perfect road machines. This should have been a magazine feature for Harley-Davidson. 

    The group planned to bike the last frontier, ride down the AlCan highway, taking their time to get back across the country to Florida in the opposite corner of the continent. 

    This would be a life-changing trip. The right equipment was all. How do you get all your bikes, and all you’ve invested in this trip, safely and reliably to Alaska so it will be ready to go when you get there? 

    Remember, these guys are in the moving industry themselves. So they knew who to call: Hi-Line Moving Services, the experts – the Alaska moving company to call when transporting household goods to Alaska from anywhere in the lower 48. 

    “Shipping by highway to Alaska provided them better service than going by sea—and was certainly a lot safer for their bikes,” says Art Groux, Chief Operating Officer for Hi-Line Moving Services. Each motorcycle and sidecar was individually strapped to a pallet and loaded into a truck and trailer customized for the Alaska route. On the appointed day, right on schedule, the riders met up with their wheels in Anchorage and hit the road. 

    The ones who know the business of moving to Alaska know Hi-Line when it comes to—or goes to—Alaska. Expert, one-step moving household goods, crated goods, cars and, oh yeah, motorcycles. 

    For more information and a quote, visit
    http://www.hilinemoving.com/houseshold/form.php


  4. Bearing Your Neighbors when You Move to Alaska

    June 1, 2011 by Editor

    May begins bear awareness in Anchorage

    Alaska residents are proud of the fact that they share their state with so many varieties of wildlife. But imagine sharing the neighborhood with some of North America’s largest predators. More than 290,000 people live in Anchorage, along with 250-350 American black bears and 55-65 brown (grizzly) bears.
     

    In early May, the bears begin emerging from hibernation. All too often, they come to residential neighborhoods looking for food. Unsecured trash cans are a favorite target.
     

    According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the municipality of Anchorage encompasses 1,959 square miles, including a large state park, two military reserves, a portion of Chugach National Forest, other lands managed by federal agencies and a large state wildlife refuge. People occupy only about 10 percent of the total. Anchorage is a major modern city, but bear habitat encroaches on all sides.
     

    It isn’t just the leavings of human activity that draw the bears to the developed areas—though bears are highly attracted to bird feeders, pet food and garbage. Anchorage’s metropolitan area also includes several large city parks that are chiefly natural, wooded habitat that provides abundant natural food sources for the omnivorous bears. Numerous streams are populated with spawning salmon from May through November.
     

    So when moving to Alaska, be aware.  The presence of the bears is watchfully tolerated. But with so many large predators present, encounters are inevitable. At least three near-deadly incidents have occurred in one Anchorage city park in the last three years. A 15-year-old girl was savagely mauled in 2008 when she surprised a brown bear while participating in a 24-hour bicycle race. A few weeks later, a runner on the same trail survived a mauling by what was believed to be the same bear. In 2010, another bicyclist had an incredibly lucky escape from a bear while he rode his daily commute along the same creek-side trail.
      

    Wildlife managers use a balanced approach and examine each case to decide if a particular bear is dangerous and needs to be destroyed. In 2002, the Anchorage Bear Committee was formed to develop and implement recommendations for bear conservation and management. Numerous public education programs emphasize safe practices and bear awareness. Keep it in mind if you’re on your way to Anchorage. Do your hiking in a group and give the bears a chance to hear you coming..


  5. Japanese Invasion: Yukigassen Moving to Alaska!

    May 30, 2011 by Editor

    From February 25 through March 8, the winter streets of Anchorage will come alive during the annual Fur Rendezvous. Over the 76-year history of the celebration, unique events have been added to the traditions of the Fur “Rondy”—snowshoe softball, the running of the reindeer, World Champion Dog Weight Pull, outhouse races and more.

    A new event added for 2011 was the first official Yukigassen in the U.S.

    The “snow battle” invented over 20 years ago in Sobetsu, Japan, has finally made its way to North America and debuted in Anchorage during the final weekend of the 2011 “Rondy”.

    Yukigassen is a highly structured snowball fight tournament. Two teams of seven players pelt each other madly on a rectangular court punctuated with shelters and a flag tower for each team. Certified officials oversee each match, consisting of three periods of three minutes each. A team wins by either capturing their opponent’s flag or hitting all of their opponents with snowballs. Spectators watch the chaos in wonder.

    Since its origination to boost winter tourism, Yukigassen has developed zealous participation in Japan and annual championships in Finland, Norway, Australia, Holland and Sweden (which held its first in 2010). Edmonton will host the first Canadian tournament in March.

    Anchorage’s Fur “Rondy” was established to coincide with the time miners and trappers brought their winter yield into town. What would those old sourdoughs think of a Japanese-style snowball fight?

    Hi-Line Moving specializes in moving household goods to Alaska every day of the year.


    Learn more:

    Online www.hilinemoving.com/alaska,
    or call toll-free 1-800-769-1096

     


  6. Battling Winter on the Move to Alaska

    May 27, 2011 by Editor

    A simple breakdown becomes serious at 30-below. Diesel fuel and standard lubricants gel at extremely cold temperatures. Tire air pressure fluctuates with temperature change. Hi-Line Moving Services uses science to improve performance and prevent breakdowns on the 5000-mile round trip for household moves to Alaska in the winter months.  

    “Attention to detail is critical,” says Hi-Line’s Art Groux. “We’ve got to give our drivers the equipment to get there and back safely on their own.”  

    And they do. Trucks are fitted with special tires and four-wheel traction. Tires are inflated with nitrogen—resulting in constant inflation, less chance of leaks due to the larger molecule, and better tire wear and fuel mileage. Synthetic lube and engine oil are used for better performance in extreme cold. Left and right rear fuel tanks are heated by engine coolant. Fuel and coolant lines are insulated. Fuel conditioner is used along with a low temperature diesel mix. Auxiliary engine heaters are programmed to start two hours before the driver wakes up. An extra cab heater is also installed in each semi-tractor. 

    “Our trucks that go north are truly customized for the trip,” says Art.  


  7. Moves to Alaska: A Driver and His Best Friend

    May 25, 2011 by Editor

    Twice a month, Lynn Erickson drives to Alaska and back. In the five years he has worked as a driver for Hi-Line Moving Services, Lynn has made the 5,000-mile round trip 102 times. 

    The Alaska haul, or “running north” as the drivers at the Montana headquarters call it, is the job Lynn has enjoyed most in a long and varied career. He has been a corporate pilot, a police officer and owned his own company in the construction trades. “I could retire,” says Lynn, “but I donʼt want to give up that road.” 

    Hi-Line general manager Art Groux thinks itʼs not just the road that Lynn wonʼt give up. “He really likes that red truck,” says Art. “When heʼs not working, Lynnʼs in the shop tinkering and polishing. Our fleet of drivers have a lot of pride in maintaining the equipment and Lynn is a driver that take great pride in his tractor.”   The same is true for those moving household goods to Alaska.

     


  8. Christmas Cheer All Year at North Pole, Alaska

    May 23, 2011 by Editor

    If you are moving to Alaska or just visiting, the spirit of Christmas is alive all year in North Pole, but never more glowing than in the month of December. North Pole, Alaska, is located about 12 miles south of Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway that begins at Delta Junction. Central attractions in the village are the picturesque Santa Claus House and a 42-foot figure of Santa. Since 1952, Santa Claus House has sent out over two million letters from Santa to children all over the world.

    As you might imagine, December is a busy time in North Pole. Letters from near and far are sent to the town to obtain the distinctive “North Pole” postmark. 

    The first weekend of December, families flock to North Pole for the annual Winterfest events and Christmas tree lighting. The sparkling Christmas in Ice kicks off a competition of Christmas-themed ice sculptures by local and international carvers. Family entertainment includes an ice maze and ice slides. 

    North Pole will warm your soul in the magical holiday season, but if you’d prefer to keep all your parts unchilled, visit North Pole in August for a view of classic cars and Santa’s summer ensemble during “Cruisin’ with Santa.”

    Alaska is a land of endless adventure. Hi-Line Moving specializes in moving household goods toAlaska,  the “last frontier” every day of the year.
    Learn more:

    Online www.hilinemoving.com/alaska,
    or call toll-free 1-800-769-1096

     


  9. No Light Undertaking

    May 11, 2011 by Editor

    If the sourdoughs only knew: moving  your household goods to Alaska these days is easier than calling a cab. Working with www.hilinemoving.com provides a one-step move for truckloads of goods.

    The Klondike and Nome gold rushes spurred the expansion of transportation routes to Alaska—steamships to Skagway, the 110-mile narrow gauge White Pass and Yukon Railroad built in 1898-1900, and paddle-wheelers up the Yukon River. Today, the most economical and efficient route to Alaska is the AlCan highway. The eighteen-wheeler has replaced the paddle-wheeler (and the train is for the tourists). Instead of manhandled or bounced along on flat sleds and pack mules, the goods are securely crated or blanket-wrapped in a Kentucky air ride trailer.

    But it remains true that the 2,400-mile trip to the Far North is no light undertaking—especially when youʼve got a load that averages about 24,000 pounds.

    “When you think about it, any kind of journey is harder for the tenderfoot than for the old hand,” says David Vaughn, Hi-Lineʼs road driver manager. Hi-Line Moving has trucks departing for Alaska every other day, year ʻround. “Our drivers arenʼt just drivers; they are trip managers, and every one is an expert on the route to Alaska from the lower 48,” Vaughn explains.

    Hi-Line drivers can also oversee packing and loading Code 2 crates for shipment to Alaska, for both military and non-military households. Hi-Line offers the flexibility to meet the needs of partner carriers—supplying the transportation leg or handling every segment of the move.

    For more information and a quote calculator, visit
    www.hilinemoving.com/alaska

    For fun, check out the historical McDougall and Secord Klondike Outfit List here.


  10. Back Then, Moving to Alaska was Backbreaking!

    May 9, 2011 by Editor

    Times were hard, and the hope of striking it rich was irresistible. 

    The U.S. remained in a severe recession following the burst of an economic bubble inflated by land and railroad speculation. Businesses went bankrupt and banks closed. The rate of unemployment shot up to as much as 20 percent. Into this backdrop, headlines of gold strikes in the Klondike landed like a bombshell. On July 17, 1897, when the steamship Portland docked at Seattle, a crowd of 5,000 watched 68 bedraggled but jubilant miners unload one million dollars in gold. 

    Within six months, hoards of clerks, farmers, adventurers and unemployed workers stampeded off to the Yukon Territory in the Klondike Gold Rush. Almost overnight, an entire industry supplying Klondike prospectors sprang up. The fevered gold seekers were showered with advice, maps and equipment lists. Seattle boomed as merchants made fortunes outfitting the miners. 

    To avoid shortages in the harsh interior, the Canadian government ruled that a yearʼs worth of supplies were required to enter Canada. Each traveler had  2,000 lbs. of household goods moving to Canada and Alaska, including food, clothing and equipment. The Mounties turned back anyone who came short. 

    The Chilkoot Trail took the stampeders from Dyea (about ten miles from Skagway) to Lake Bennett, where they would build boats for the 500-mile trip on the Yukon River to Dawson. Some prospectors walked nearly 1,000 miles to move their household goods and supplies into northern Canada and on to  Alaska  by way of the 33 miles from Dyea to the waterway. 

    For many of those that eventually turned back, the last straw was the 1,000-foot climb up icy “stairs” cut into the Chilkoot Pass. For even the strongest men, it would take 25 to 30 trips up the mountain to get all their goods to the top. Each man would cache his goods at the bottom, take a load on his back to the top, cache that and then slide back down the mountain. Then he would strap on the next load and wait to get back into the endless line of fellow gold-rushers moving to Canada and to Alaska. 

    Of the estimated 100,000 who set out for the Klondike, only about 30,000 got there, and only about half of those actually did any prospecting. Probably no more than 4,000 found any gold at all. 

    Very few of the stampeders got their chance at a claim, but the gold was there. “The British Yukon Navigation Company received over 37 tons of gold for shipment ʻoutside,ʼ” in the year 1900, mining inspector G.W. Gilbert wrote in a Canadian government report. At todayʼs gold prices, it would be worth over a billion and a half U.S. dollars—$1,678,142,400. 

    Opportunities still abound in the Last Frontier. Hi-Line gets the household goods moving to Alaska, the easiest and most economical way, for the start of new Alaskan adventures. Hi-Line Moving specializes in moving crated or wrapped household goods overland to Alaska every day of the year.
    Learn more:

    Online www.hilinemoving.com/alaska,
    or call toll-free 1-800-769-1096