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Old 10-18-2011, 05:47 PM
 
414 posts, read 276,504 times
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i read beach, tropical, warm, cheap....why not the gulf coast in FL, LA, TX, MS or AL. there's hurricanes but there are natural disasters waiting for ya everywhere. all those states are cheaper than HI.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:09 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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The more or less affordable areas in Hawaii aren't the ones with the nice beaches. Any place within "reasonable" distance to a nice beach (i.e. walking or within a ten to fifteen minute drive) is very expensive. The Puna district on the Island of Hawaii (aka "the Big Island") is relatively reasonably priced because the nearby "beaches" are mostly rocks or shoreline cliffs. Puna has a few other difficulties such as the possibility of being over run by lava.

There are quite a few folks going for off-the-grid as well as other forms of sustainable living in Puna, but there is a HUGE learning curve since the conditions are so much different than what most folks are used to. Growing things is likely to be entirely different than you are used to so you may not want to have to rely on what you can grow for the first several years. Just to start, most of the land in Puna is lava rock and not dirt/soil at all. Add in tropical insects, lack of chilling hours, etc., there are a whole bunch of things to learn about how to grow stuff.

Jobs are pretty few and far between with a very large preference for local folks to be hired over new comers. Also, if you do find a job, it will probably pay about 20% less than an equivalent job on the mainland. Add in an additional 20% increase in basic expenses, the numbers can get pretty tight. These numbers of course, are relative and depending on how much you are willing to change to fit the local lifestyles, they may be more workable.

Should you decide to try it, have in place an exit plan. Money set aside for plane tickets back to the mainland might be a wise precaution, just in case. Not that you'll necessarily need it, but lots of folks move to the islands under estimating the costs and end up unable to get back to the mainland where they have their support systems.

WWOOFing might be a way to get a start over in the islands, although each place is different, so investigate carefully first.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:13 PM
 
43 posts, read 22,500 times
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My husband and I have lived in Hawaii for more than 20 years. Here are some things that guide books aimed at tourists will not tell you about living here:

1. Most food and consumer goods are shipped here by cargo ship. Very little of the things for sale here in stores are actually made here. Goods sent to Hawaii arrive to the island of Oahu first. From there goods are then sent, by ship, to the other Hawaiian islands. That means prices for common goods run about 20% higher on Oahu than on the US mainland. The same goods on the other islands run about 30-40% higher than on the mainland. Last weekend gasoline was selling for more than $4.00 per gallon and milk was more than $5.00 per gallon. If there is a dockworker's strike or a hurricane that damages an island's main port, high-demand goods (toilet paper, milk, bread, rice, Spam, batteries) will quickly run out and it can take 3 or more weeks for many items to be re-stocked. There is very little inventory of consumer goods kept on the islands -- warehouse space is limited and land for warehouses is scarce and expensive.

2. Most of the land in Hawaii is owned by the federal government, state government or private chariable estates. Many of the houses in established neighborhoods in Hawaii sit on what we call "lease hold" land. This is land owned by a charitable trust and the homeowner rents the house lot for a 30 or 50-year period (while also paying mortgage payments for the house). At the end of the lease period, the land owner may or may not allow the homeowner to sign up for another lease period. Only a small percentage of houses and condos sit on what is called "fee simple" land -- this is what you on the mainland are familiar with, where you buy both the dwelling and the land it sits on when you sign-up for a mortgage. Houses and condos here are small and the price per square foot much higher than on the US mainland. Rents are also much higher than on the mainland.

3. Utilities cost a lot here -- we have the highest cost for electricity in the US. And property taxes are also high. Most consumer goods, including food and medicine, are taxed by the state.

4. Competition for good paying jobs is fierce. It is common for adults in Hawaii to work 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs (restraunts, hotels) to make ends meet. Many of the employers in our largest city (Honolulu) want bilingual workers (Japanese or one of the Philippine languages).

5. Cheap house lots on Hawaii Island (AKA the Big Island) that you may see advertised on the internet are on undeveloped lava fields (no water, no sewer, no top soil). Settlers/homesteaders who live on this type of property depend upon water catchment systems and water storage tanks for water and have the expense of putting in septic systems. They have to haul in top soil if they want to grow tropical fruit trees and vegetables.

6. The public school system in Hawaii is inferior to most mainland school systems. Those familes that can afford it send their children to private schools or enroll their children in after-hours tutoring to make up for the poor qality of public educuation. If you have school age children and are on a limited income here, you may have to do homeschooling as a supplement to public school.

7. It is difficult to get a gun permit in Hawaii. Permit holders are allowed to have a gun in their home, in their workplace, and to transport it unloaded in their vehicle to and from work. No one who is not a law enforcement officer, is allowed to wear a gun openly when away from their residence or workplace. No one in Hawaii, who is not a law enforment officer, has been granted a concealed carry permit -- no one, not ever.

8. On the upside, we have some of the best quality tap water in the world, mild weather most of the year and never need to own winter clothes. And if you are a multimillionaire, there are some lovely mansions with spectacular ocean views perfect for retirement living.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: My ranch
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will put in like this. try Rogue River, Oregon. look into it if the ocean is what you desire.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,491 posts, read 27,075,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 295linda View Post
Utilities cost a lot here -- we have the highest cost for electricity in the US.
But not the highest rate under the US flag. That dubious distinction goes to the US Virgin Islands. I believe the highest rate in Hawaii is currently 37/kWh while we're at 46/kWh. One big ouch.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:34 PM
 
Location: My ranch
15,147 posts, read 6,549,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
But not the highest rate under the US flag. That dubious distinction goes to the US Virgin Islands. I believe the highest rate in Hawaii is currently 37/kWh while we're at 46/kWh. One big ouch.

electricity?

Where I work it costs 3 cents per mwh to produce, and we produce over 1100 megawatts here.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:12 PM
 
8,065 posts, read 8,669,527 times
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The OP sounds like a very foolish person, and what is scary is she has a 7yr old child.

She was considering, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is about as dangerous a place you can be if you're a single woman who is a foreigner.

And 10K in savings isn't much to move on, and certainly not in Hawaii.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:19 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 10,670,129 times
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With your resources and ideas, you will become another Hawaii homeless statistics.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 5,754,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
The OP sounds like a very foolish person, and what is scary is she has a 7yr old child.

She was considering, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is about as dangerous a place you can be if you're a single woman who is a foreigner.

And 10K in savings isn't much to move on, and certainly not in Hawaii.
Sadly, she isn't merely foolish, she is typical of many people here on City-Data and elsewhere. "I have a little money, I want to move where life is comfortable and happy year 'round, where all the pictures make it seem like you just open your hand and food and a home and jobs fall into it, I deserve it, someone help me make it happen!"

They really don't care about their progeny or what they drag them into or out of. They don't really want to take the time or care enough to do their research about what it takes to live off of the land, move to a place, deal with the weather or costs or prices. Life sux where they are, which means that somewhere else has to be better. They have little to no conception about planning, setting goals, working toward what they want; they don't understand how money works, neither macro-economics or personal finance - and most importantly, they can't be bothered with all of that hard and time-consuming stuff. They want what they want, they deserve it, and therefore they should have it. Now. They look around at the people who have the things that they want and think that they should have them, too. Otherwise it isn't fair. Most won't even accept the responsibility that their life sux because of them, not because of where they live.

That's why there was a housing boom and bust, after all - so many people honestly believed that they deserved a brand-new house, a brand-new car, brand-new furniture, and all of the trappings of 'the good life' - all paid for with a 40-hour-a-week, minimum wage, service-oriented job. They were told and believed that they deserved better, simply because the ads on TV and their politicians said so. Had they understood that buying a home and determining a future takes savings, planning, and effort, had most folks understood basic economics, the whole scheme would never have worked. Can't tell you how many times in the past two years I have disabused peoples' fantasies on C-D about the ephemeral joys of 'living off the land', 'raising my own food' 'having farm animals' - and caught holy heck for it, for mistreating the poor little darlngs with facts instead of sweetly-scented hyperbole.

No, the OP is not alone, not different, not individual, not atypical in either her purposeful ignorance nor her expectations. There are hundreds of thousands like her, all determined to have whatever they want, because they have been told that they deserve it... without effort, without thought, without planning, without any foundation or reason other than the fact that they exist.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,326 posts, read 7,278,055 times
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To SCGranny: Once again, nail hit squarely on the head!
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