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Old 04-04-2011, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Makaha/Waianae, Oahu
159 posts, read 194,035 times
Reputation: 101
Dreaming, appreciate your input and I'm not so "rose colored" as you might think. Former So. Californians (anyone who has left before 2010) don't know how much the standard goods of living have increased. Products are being taxed to death, wages haven't increased, etc.

I know that it's expensive, but so is So. Cal. If I do P&L's on our finances in both locations, Oahu and Maui, are still less expensive for the two of us.

Expensive is still relevant to where you are coming from plus what type of lifestyle your family was enjoying there.

Reading threads, enjoying convo, know our strengths...and weaknesses ; ). Only the Higher Spirit will know if we end up on Oahu or Maui.

Enjoy the day!
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
119 posts, read 217,071 times
Reputation: 43
To be honest I'm not a fan of LA and surrounding, so I can really understand you prefer to live in Hawaii or else where. In Cali (except for SanFran) you do have everything, but takes you hours on the road. I was only on business trips or visiting friends there, and I couldn't get out fast enough.

I wouldn't suggest to live on Maui. It will be nicer, but if you look to find clients/jobs it should be on Oahu. Since your husband is not working, one car should be enough. We live downtown Honolulu and I never need a car, sometimes, if I really really need a car I can drive DH to work. Other than that taxi and buses everywhere. I wouldn't call bus ride reliable as means of transport outside Honolulu, it is really good for the city but once you ride outside it's really crappy. The bus just need a little traffic or 3-5 passengers with either wheelchair/stroller/bicycle, you're looking at 30 minutes delay.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:03 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 10,201,678 times
Reputation: 5752
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloha_silverlining View Post
The cost of living between Honolulu, LA, San Francisco isn't that different given that there are some expenses that aren't necessary in Honolulu. Yes, coming from Idaho, Chicago, Texas...Honolulu is extremely expensive. But if you had any type of lifestyle in So. Cal., there isn't not that type of sticker shock.
Not the way you think. The cost of living between the two maybe equal for total expenses. CA may be equal because of two or three high ticket expenses that may be the same or a little lower on hawaii. If you save on those 2 or 3 items but find all the rest of the 200 other items are high, you may have no savings or a loss. Save $25 a week on one thing but spend $25 a week on basic necessities and what savings do you have.

I agree with the above that you are really not interested in the truths but only the answers that fit your dream.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Makaha/Waianae, Oahu
159 posts, read 194,035 times
Reputation: 101
Each family comes with different financial criteria. I've received several direct e-mails from professionals with my background with hard numbers. Folks who have moved in the last year from Northern and Southern Cali, with similar lifestyles.

This allows me to create a P&L that has true numbers, not rosey or hard core ney sayers views, actual numbers that help my family make the best decision.

Not having to bring over a car with a loan balance, makes a big difference to us. No way could we do that in Cali, two car minimum for our family.

Keep posting what you feel is the truth, but you need to be also open to folks, who have been their financial situation in order, to make that move.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:06 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 10,201,678 times
Reputation: 5752
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloha_silverlining View Post
Folks who have moved in the last year from Northern and Southern Cali, with similar lifestyles.
That is part of the rose colored glasses that was mentioned. One year (even two) is not enough time to get a true idea odf cost of living. Especially since most move away within the frist three years having found out their reality and REALITY didn;t mesh. I think most run into problem because they stop time. They think in todays cost and never plan on tommorrows cost. They plan based on todays income and expenses, or on what others spend during the prior year. Prices have a habit of rising on Hawaii that don;t rise in similar ways on the mainland. A 20% rise in oil could nmean a 15-20% rise in prices in CA, but on Hawaii that could end up being a 30+% rise.

I'm sure everyone can give their cost of living the past year and most will say that's not going to be their cost of living going forward or next year. All everyone is saying is these things happen from experience and no amount of newcommer wishful thinking changes history. There are people who post on this board who a year or two ago were talking all sorts of snap about how they can make it, nay sayers are wrong, they had it all oworked out, but today they are saying how bad it is, how much they didn;t save up, they are living well below what they want to live. Just like there are those who said is planing for a 20% increase too small? and today they are saying they are glad they took the advice to increase cost 20% from what they planned on.

But it's your life, don;t let friendly words of wisdom and you may want to considers stop you from your reality.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:21 PM
 
683 posts, read 1,747,685 times
Reputation: 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloha_silverlining View Post
Former So. Californians (anyone who has left before 2010) don't know how much the standard goods of living have increased. Products are being taxed to death, wages haven't increased, etc.
So, people who don't live in So Cal right now (even if, for example, our whole family, our childhood friends, and lots of collaborators and colleagues still live there and we visit usually once or twice a year) can't have any idea of the cost of living there.

And at the same time, the people who live in Honolulu right now don't understand how rents have dropped (hint: no, not really!) and how affordable it is.

Do you see the contradictions in your various postings here? We live here, and we're trying to help. But you don't want to hear it. Just ask yourself: "What if I'm wrong and they're right?" Be sure you have a plan B (as in an escape plan), because it sounds like you're going to need it.

I had an employer who paid (most of) my moving expenses, a guaranteed job at a much higher salary, a spouse with a job, and still I find it hard to make ends meet sometimes. As far as I can tell, you have none of these things.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Makaha/Waianae, Oahu
159 posts, read 194,035 times
Reputation: 101
We'll have his retirement/pension which seems to be the average income for most people working two jobs or DI. I'll have my investment from selling my business. Only taking a classic car that's paid for. No other bills. : )

I try to find a job, but will continue my on-line store from Hawaii just to have some extra funds coming in. He wants to work, so he'll try to find something as well.

I read in other threads that your guaranteed job isn't quite a great as you thought, and you feel you have no where else to move to. We can always go back to the mainland. If you don't want to adjust your lifestyle (2 trips home, plus where ever else you go to) which isn't the norm. And I come from Europe and have been to most, plus Southeast Asia. My family can visit me. ; )

Maybe you should look for a place where you would be HAPPY!
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:15 PM
 
683 posts, read 1,747,685 times
Reputation: 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloha_silverlining View Post
I read in other threads that your guaranteed job isn't quite a great as you thought, and you feel you have no where else to move to. We can always go back to the mainland. If you don't want to adjust your lifestyle (2 trips home, plus where ever else you go to) which isn't the norm. And I come from Europe and have been to most, plus Southeast Asia. My family can visit me. ; )

Maybe you should look for a place where you would be HAPPY!
I don't know what other threads you're talking about. I'm pretty happy in my job. I wasn't so happy to take a 5% pay cut a year after showing up, no. And I kind of hate how education at every level gets shafted in this state. I'm pretty sure that I've said a few times *if* I don't get tenure, I'll go to a private university (which will mean a move because UH is the only game in town). But nowhere to move? I turned down six job offers when I came here and had many other interviews. I could go if I wanted to.

And I remarked several times that I *have* adjusted my lifestyle down. A lot. "Two trips home" is a ridiculous phrase. Home is here. Home is not where I grew up 20 years ago, nor where I worked for one year befor emy move here. So Cal will never, ever be home again! Praise to whoever it is you praise to! However, I do take 6+ trips to the mainland per year for conferences. The trips are paid for by my grants, by my collaborators' grants, or by the conferences that invite me. So when I take trips to So Cal (and almost everywhere else I go), it's not at my own expense.

By "have a plan B," I meant the ability to go back. You make it sound trivial, but the move across the ocean is hard. As long as you have an escape plan, then go for it. But I maintain that you're in for a bit of a rude awakening. And lots of other posters here seem to agree. If all of the magical income you describe isn't enough to live on in So Cal, it's not going to be enough here.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Ewa Beach, Hawaii
4 posts, read 3,152 times
Reputation: 22
Hi Aloha_Silverlining,

So you want to move to Hawaii, that's great it can be a really great place to live. But you really do need to give heed to what those who live here are trying to tell you.

My wife and I have been here for just over three years and we really love it. We are both professionals, I am a Systems Analyst for a large International Corp and my wife is an RN here. We originally came from central California and knew we wanted a change to another location, a position opened up in Hawaii and I took it. My company paid for about 3/4 of my move and we put the rest on credit cards, (paid off). My wife handles the bills and is very good with money. We shop at Costco, Wal-Mart, Target etc etc, wherever she can find the best deals on things here. Our income is around 50% higher than what it was in California and we live OK, not great, just OK. But believe what others are telling you, if you have a tough time living in Southern California on what you make, IT IS NOT going to be any easier here, and maybe even harder.

Before I accepted my current position, we researched things into the ground, we made trips out here and did comparison shopping etc and we still got a really rude awaking on the actual cost of living here especially the housing, renting or buying, but it's prob on a par with So-Cal.

We have no debt aside from our condo and day to day living expenses.
We don’t eat out very much at all, maybe 5-6 times a year
We don’t have cable.
We use window A/C units and don’t leave them running all the time
Our entertainment budget is next to nothing
No kids anymore, (Hurrah!!) or we couldn't even think about living here

You will experience a lower standard of living here if your going to live on what your living on now, guaranteed. We left a 2192 SQ foot that was beautiful, flawless landscaping, 16x16 patio, with SPA, 10x10 storage shed, custom throughout, 4 bedrooms, 3 bath, custom office, etc. But we knew when we came here that we would NEVER have a home like that again as long as we live in Hawaii, and that’s OK with us. We now live in Kaneohe, in a 1300 SQ foot Condo, and it’s OK, but nothing to write home about and it cost us $ 420K. It had lots of problems and we spent 2 of our 3 years and thousands of dollars renovating and fixing things.

A lot of the houses/condos that you see advertised on Craigslist, and other places here on Oahu look great in the pictures, but when you actually go see them they are dumps, or in a bad neighborhood, or they used a wide angle lens to take the pictures because the rooms are actually smaller than the walk-in closets most houses on the mainland have.

All we are trying to say is be prepared.

It’s great that your going to only have one car cause gas is a killer here and getting worse. Last week for the first time in my life I spent on the sunny side of a $ 100 for a tank of gas and no I don’t drive a Hummer. Also, there is a lot of up hill driving here, so your car is going to burn more gas that it would it some other places. We spend about $210 a month for gas and we don’t drive much, my job is 12 miles one way from our house and my wife’s is 5 minutes. We don’t have a car note, not because we wouldn’t like a new car, but because we can’t afford the payments.

Food is a trade-off, some things are cheaper and some things are more expensive. I would have to say that overall our food budget is prob 20% higher than what it was on the mainland, which isn’t too bad. We do eat a lot of the local produce and local foods, try the Poke when you get here its very ono. If something we want is outrageous we get something else or wait for it to go on sale.

Other things over here are more expensive than on the mainland, office supplies, computers, appliances etc etc. Some things are very hard to find and/or impossible to get here and shipping from the mainland is absolutely insane. I recently wanted to order a snack food that I am fond of and can’t get here, the cost was $ 12.00 and the shipping from Seattle was $ 58.00. What did I do, I did without. We sometimes have mainland visitors brings stuff that is hard to get here. I like a particular type of Brandy that is quite expensive over here, so when I have family or friends coming they pick me up a bottle or two and I pay them when they get here.

If you’re an outdoor person there is lots and lots to do here and most of it free or cheap. If you’re not much into the outdoors, the kind of entertainment you might have enjoyed on the mainland is going be really expensive. Our idea of a great day is to spend the day at the beach scuba diving or snorkeling with friends and soaking up the rays. Cost $ 10 for the air in our tanks, the gas to get there and we take whatever food we have in the frig.

Also, if you have pets, be prepared for outrageous costs at the vet. For the annual routine checkup for our dog we never get out of the vets office for less than $ 150.00 and it’s usually more. Bottle of dog vitamins here $ 40, we paid $ 18 for the exact same vitamins on the mainland.

One more thing, not to be rude, but you seem like a very outspoken person who sticks to her guns. You do not want to bring that kind of an attitude with you here, telling people you know what your doing, or “This is how we did it where I come from” or “let me show you the right way to do that” will make you unpopular really really fast. You’ll sometimes see bumper stickers that read “I don’t care how you did it on the mainland this isn’t the mainland”. You need to be willing to listen and yes take the recommendations of the people who have lived here for years, many all their lives. This is a very different place and things are done very differently here. You can’t change Hawaii and if you don’t let Hawaii change you, you WILL NOT be happy here in the long term.

In the final analysis:

Has our standard of living gone down? ABSOLUTELY

Have we had to make sacrifices to live here? ABSOLUTELY

Has our quality of life gone up? ABSOLUTELY!!!

We have no plans to leave, this is our home now and we love it here. As long as your willing to make adjustments and sacrifices as well as accept a lower standard of living, but a higher quality of life and learn to become a part of Hawaii then it’s great.

Cheers

Brian

Last edited by owensct; 04-09-2011 at 07:57 PM.. Reason: Spelling and formatting
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Ewa Beach, Hawaii
4 posts, read 3,152 times
Reputation: 22
One more thing to be aware of, as least for us in Kaneohe, the Internet speeds are lousy. The connection speeds at my office is slower than the DSL I had at my house in California. We see regular slowdowns, (whales bumping the cable maybe) :-)

Brian
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