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Old 06-28-2011, 10:21 PM
3 posts, read 18,018 times
Reputation: 11


Aloha! New to the forum here. I'm a Californian looking to make the move to Hawaii. I'm trying to get into law enforcement with absolutely no luck after graduating the police academy last September here in NorCal. My wife and I are in our mid 30's with 3 kids (13,10,8). My wife is a worker's comp claims examiner. We're looking to leave the hustle and bustle of the SF Bay and live the island life. I noticed that cops don't make much out there (average about $52K to start). How much does a family of 5 need to make it? We're not extravagant at all, don't keep up with the Jones's, and live pretty meager lives as it is. Any advice/input would be appreciated. Mahalo!
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:47 AM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,154 posts, read 17,427,881 times
Reputation: 7756
It absolutely depends on the family of five and what resources they have. Will you be able to buy a place and put enough down that your mortgage payment will be reasonable? Did you choose a house with solar hot water so your electric bill will be affordable? Do you drive inexpensive paid for cars or will there be car payments? Do you get by with older stuff or do you have to go buy new stuff all the time? Do you shop thrift shops or only buy things at retail? Which island are you considering? Oahu, Maui and Kauai are more expensive than Hawaii, Lanai and Molokai. Can you catch fish, grow a garden or hunt pigs to increase your non-store bought food? There are about one zillion factors which will determine how much each family will need to get by.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:39 AM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,464 posts, read 8,818,529 times
Reputation: 4274
You need to do lots and lots of research before making such a big move with three kids. Why do you want to live in Hawaii? Have you ever been?

Spend some time looking through the various threads on this forum where your questions have been discussed a zillion times. The cost of most things is higher than what we were used to in Colorado. What is your idea of living a “meager life”? A lot of people have suggested a book called “So You Want to Live in Hawaii” by Toni Polancy. It's getting a little dated, but there are lots of good ideas for you to consider. If you end up on Oahu, where most of the jobs are, then you may end up with the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and you wouldn't have gained anything.

Consider the fact that most of the public schools are really poor in relation to mainland schools. Please read through the threads where people who have actually gone through the school system discuss their experiences. They are not very positive.

Living in Hawaii is quite different than the mainland, and you have to have a compelling reason to move a family of five here other than a desire to experience the “island life”.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:57 PM
3 posts, read 18,018 times
Reputation: 11
I feel we always are trying to work to get 1 week or 2 weeks off to go to a place like Hawaii or Cancun, Cebu, etc. Why not just live there? That's where my heads at. My family would like a change. We like warm water/weather. That's not here in the bay, and barely in SoCal. We'd like to grow a garden and be sustainable. I'd like to show and bring up our children in a family environment. Nowadays here in NorCal your neighbors barely speak to you and everyone just keeps to themselves.
I'm hearing/reading that's not the case in Hawaii.

Right now Kaui and Maui PD's are hiring so we'd most likely end up in there. Is there a lot of nepotism/politics when it comes to getting jobs in police departments or any job for that matter?

We are frugal, get things used off craigslist or thrift shops, and always look for sales. We'd also like to show our children that there's an alternative to the hustle and bustle 9-5 life. We plan on renting, we'll consider buying later on. We do have 2 low car payments and one will be paid off next year.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:34 AM
75 posts, read 156,956 times
Reputation: 107
It is difficult to raise a family here on a cops salary so your spouse will likely have to work too. All four county police departments get paid the same because they are all in the same union (SHOPO). Honolulu in particular has lots of "off duty" or "special duty" work that pays well in addition to regular pay. Maybe you could go through the hiring process and graduate from the academy (mandatory) before you move the whole family over. As in most places there is a lot of competition for law enforcement jobs, veterans points do help. If your in the SF bay area prices here should not shock you much.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:28 AM
820 posts, read 2,611,276 times
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Just my opinion, but Maui PD is nothing like California PDs. MUCH less politically correct, you will start a rookie and be treated as such for a long time, no matter the experience you have elsewhere. Attitudes and behavior may shock you. The comparison is probably closer to another, more rural state. More good old boy, more aggressive. Less Officer Friendly and more Sergeant Badge.

I don't write this to discourage you from checking it out, but don't expect it to be the same.

Maui PD may be hiring, but your graduation from the academy won't get you the job. They look at such things as finances too. You need to show them that you have some savings banked, and that you aren't in deep debt. This is because MANY people move away from the islands after a couple of years, finding the cost of living too high, or from island fever. Maui PD doesn't want to invest a whole lot of training time and money into folks who can't afford to stay and pay back that investment.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:35 PM
181 posts, read 467,156 times
Reputation: 182
Most likely you weren't thinking about sending your 3 kids to private schools, but its the only way they are going to get a good education in Hawaii. Maui has some good private schools, but they aren't cheap.

Below are prices from five years ago.

Private school tuition continues to rise - Mauinews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor's Information - The Maui News
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:52 PM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,154 posts, read 17,427,881 times
Reputation: 7756
There are a lot of folks who home school in Hawaii. They also send their kids to a few classes at the public schools, classes such as music, art, phys ed., etc. so they can socialize with the rest of the kids.

Kids going to public school can do well, but they need the parents to participate in their education and fill in what the kids don't learn in the public schools.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:51 PM
Location: Maui County, HI
4,131 posts, read 5,922,572 times
Reputation: 3341
The sea water in Hawaii is not really warm. Warm is when you get in, it doesn't feel cold at all, and you can stay in as long as you want. Maui tops out around 80, and in the winter it's in the low 70s. It's kind of funny hearing locals and people from the west coast talk about the water being warm. They've probably never experienced the Gulf or the Caribbean. Have you considered Florida or southern Texas?

US NODC Coastal Water Temperature Guide
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:59 AM
3 posts, read 18,018 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for all the responses, sounds like it's not going to work. Oh well.
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