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Big Island The Island of Hawaii
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:31 AM
 
9 posts, read 58,357 times
Reputation: 21

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[SIZE=3]My wife and I are considering a permanent move to the Big Island, but after reading many many posts about the high cost of living – or the other side of the coin, those that say it is possible to live affordably on the Big Island – we are left none the wiser. No one has quoted any specific $ amounts. What is affordable to one person might be expensive to another. To make matters worse, although I was born in California, I have lived all of my adult life in England. I have completely lost touch with the cost of living in the States. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]We now have enough cash to buy a $350k or so house (possibly Leilani Estates) with no mortgage, and will have investment income of approx $20k a year before taxes. We have one 16 year old son, who we would send to a charter school, and then on to Hilo university? Our aim is to live simply. We want to grow as much of our own food as possible, possibly live off the grid. We are NOT into shopping for the latest fashions, driving new BMWs, fine dining or expensive wines. Going for long hikes, snorkelling, and lazing in the sun will do nicely.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]My question is this:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Is $20k before taxes enough to live comfortably (considering we’d have no mortgage) on the Big Island?[/SIZE]
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Hawai'i
115 posts, read 472,698 times
Reputation: 52
Well you can get an idea if you do a spreadsheet on all your expenses you have to have such as:

Home Insurance
Automotive Insurance
Food that you don't grow
Maintinance on home and auto's
Automotive registration tags each year
health insurance
figure in the health ins deductible
Misc products such as shampoo, soaps etc for everyday living
property taxes each year

and so on.

If you do this and over estimate a bit so you don't kid your self that you can live on less you should be able to come up with a figure for a monthly living expense.

What I would do is add up the total and then add a minimum of 20% on top of that figure for un-expected expenses that always seems to come up.

Hope this helps
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:18 AM
 
35 posts, read 183,917 times
Reputation: 19
I can't be of much help but I'll try. [preface: I'm moving back to SC after 10 years here for financial reasons].
A few years ago I qualified for 330K mortgage and was looking in South Kona. I saw some condos but wanted a single family dwelling. Further south past Kealakekua the prices became more reasonable and a home was possible. That was during the housing boom and prices were becoming obscene. I understand it has leveled off and people are having trouble selling and getting their money out. At that time sales went to people whose 1st offer was above the asking price!
You are in a good position with the cash. I would contact a real estate agent, get pre-qualified and they can give you information about other costs.
My concern would be daily living expenses. Gasoline averages 3.30-3.50/gal. Every day it seems groceries are more expensive. I assume it is fuel costs and on an island you have no choices. Unless you live on Oahu there is no transportation system that helps much. When you live here you are truely a slave to petroleum prices.
It is awesomly beautiful and there are many free things to do. If you have property with fruit (or friends) it helps [lemons a $1.00 each) and gardens frow well. Avocados, pineapples, citrus and all the other things that grow here cost just as much or more than on the mainland.
That's about all. Good luck, it is paradise in many ways.
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:52 AM
 
9 posts, read 58,357 times
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Thanks Jimbo for the budgeting suggestion (make a list), but my problem is that I have lived in england for 18 years, and don't know how much any of the necessities will cost in any part of the US - let alone Hawaii.

What I need to know is how much $ per year is the minimum to get by on? Assuming it is done right (but cheap). By right, I mean having homeoners insurance, health insurance, car insurance, able to afford buy toothpaste and to wear clean clothes, etc. Maybe eat out at a local place once a week. Even here in the UK, we only buy clothes and most food when it's on sale, instead of putting on the central heating we put on a sweater, we eat out maybe twice a week - and then it is far from fine dinning. We have owned a farm in the past, can grow our own food, etc. So maybe that gives you an idea of our lifestyle. Over here in the UK, we can get by quite nicely on £10,000 a year (which is more or less $20,000) - and that's with two cars and gas over $8.00 a gallon!! I know we could get by on much less if we tried.

So what do you think is about right to get by on the Big Island? (and don't say slightly more than Los Angeles, or twice as much as Ohio - I'm asking for a specific $ figure, ballpark of course).
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:38 PM
 
203 posts, read 1,360,348 times
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I noticed the food at the farmer's markets were generally quite a bit less than on the mainland. Saw avocado for about 30-50 cents each and papaya for roughly the same price. And what you can't buy for cheap I'm sure you can find for free once you find your fruit gathering 'spots'. I had 'heard' of 5 avocado for a dollar but couldn't find it. Maybe I looked in the wrong places
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:15 PM
 
Location: fern forest, glenwood, hawai'i
850 posts, read 4,375,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brav989 View Post
I noticed the food at the farmer's markets were generally quite a bit less than on the mainland. Saw avocado for about 30-50 cents each and papaya for roughly the same price. And what you can't buy for cheap I'm sure you can find for free once you find your fruit gathering 'spots'. I had 'heard' of 5 avocado for a dollar but couldn't find it. Maybe I looked in the wrong places
just bought two small haas avocados at safeway 2/$4.00. papayas are about 89cents/lb.
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,956,366 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by bornintheusa1966 View Post
What I need to know is how much $ per year is the minimum to get by on? Assuming it is done right (but cheap). By right, I mean having homeoners insurance, health insurance, car insurance, able to afford buy toothpaste and to wear clean clothes, etc. Maybe eat out at a local place once a week.
So what do you think is about right to get by on the Big Island? (and don't say slightly more than Los Angeles, or twice as much as Ohio - I'm asking for a specific $ figure, ballpark of course).
Unless you find someone here who owns their own home with no mortgage and is getting by on $20k, I don't think you will get an answer. I think you need to get real prices, make shopping lists, and decide for yourself. Here are the latest prices for groceries:

Welcome to Foodland.com

Hank
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:17 AM
 
203 posts, read 1,360,348 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by kani-lehua View Post
just bought two small haas avocados at safeway 2/$4.00. papayas are about 89cents/lb.
Yes I imagine at safeway it is, but I was referring to Hilo farmers market
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:36 AM
 
26 posts, read 338,316 times
Reputation: 39
Thumbs up Minimum to get by and have fun $$$

Never made more than 15k on the Island and had a lot of fun. Ate fish that I caught,got food,fruits,veggies,coffee that I picked in exchange for a little work.

Gained weight and had enough for a few hundreds of beers. Learned how to make coconut Vodka.

P.S. I admit I borrowed T.P. and soap from Mcdonalds once or thrice.

now older..... 20k would do it...no problem.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Hawai'i
115 posts, read 472,698 times
Reputation: 52
I did a lot of thinking on this one and I don't believe that anyone can truly answer this one for you. Everybody’s lifestyle is different, everybody’s priorities are different.

I think you need to research more on the cost of living in Hawaii for your own lifestyle.

Yes there are people that can live on that and less and there are some that can't come close to that. I think if you really wanted to do it you will find a way. I have heard stories about people moving to the Islands with nothing and making it and on the other hand I have heard as many stories of people just becoming statistics.

I am not trying to discourage you but I would rather see people make it in paradise than become a burden on it. It will be my home soon also and I will try and help others once I am there.

Just my two cents
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